Abstracts 2015 LV

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Saggi e testimonianze
Michael J.B. Allen, Attica and Atlantis: Marsilio Ficino’s Interpretations of the Menexenus & Critias of Plato

Abstract. – Via Ficino’s introductions (argumenta) in his great Plato edition of 1484, this paper explores his Neoplatonic interpretation of Plato’s Menexenus and Critias, by way of underscoring what he interpreted as the close connections both between these two separate and unusual texts, and in turn between them and the Timaeus and Republic. It also explores Ficino’s debt to Proclus’s commentary on the Timaeus, one of the principal sources in his development of a number of metaphysical themes and notably of the triadic rhythm that gives rise to the Many’s procession from the One, and the creation of the natural world. Especially striking is Ficino’s commitment to providing a Christian-platonic reading of two dialogues which we now regard as minor but which he interpreted otherwise. By juxtaposing and interweaving various passages, he succeeded in assimilating the story of Atlantis in both the Timaeus and the Critias – with their attendant emphasis on the fecundity, natural, intellectual, and political, of Attica itself, and on its role in shaping the history of the Athenian people – both to the Mosaic account of the Creation and the Flood, and, concomitantly, to Christian political theory, to prophecy, and to eschatology.

Massimo Ferretti, Per Cesare Cesariano pittore a Roma fra il 1507 e il 1508

Abstract. – It is still uncertain who painted the Flagellazione di Cristo held in the Museum of San Paolo fuori le Mura in Rome. The style resembles that of early 16th century Lombardy, and the author seems to be acquainted with Bramante’s Prevedari engraving. This painting was also considered a work from central Italy, or even a product of a more recent time. The poor conservation of this painting has not permitted an understanding that some effects of artificial lighting on some elements are similar to very few documented pictures of Cesare Cesariano in Parma (1508) and in Piacenza (1512). On this basis, this paper proposes the attribution of the painting to Cesariano, in a time between the last months of 1507 – when he is forced to f lee from Reggio Emilia – and in May 1508 – when he returned to Parma. Giorgio Vasari informed us that Cesariano was present in Rome in 1507-08; and this biografical note is not the only element that supports the present attribution, even if, in fact, it remains a conjecture.

Michele Ciliberto, Spinoza e Machiavelli: eguaglianza e libertà. Appunti per un confronto

Abstract. – This essay aims to examine the presence of Machiavelli’s works in Spinoza’s Tractatus politicus. It proposes an analysis of the similarities and differences between the two authors regarding the important themes of freedom and equality, the decadence of governments, and the possibility of eliminating the roots of tyranny. Through a precise textual analysis and a close examination of the era in which Tractatus politicus was written, it suggests an original approach to the relationship between the two philosophers and offers elements useful to the comprehension of the genesis of Spinoza’s work.

Nicola Panichi, «Il couroit à la mort au deffaut de la science». Montaigne e la logica della vita

Abstract. – In the Essais we find 255 occurrences of the word science in the singular and 38 in the plural (excluding correlated words). This is an average, but eloquent, value in illustrating the complex attitude of the philosopher with regard to this subject. An attitude arising from the critical and structural ambivalence (faithful to the option of pour et contre) which distinguishes the nature of his work characterized, on one hand, by a draft of scientific thought, and, on the other, by a sense of disappointment and diffidence toward the scientists and sciences of the time (medicine, mathematics, geometry, astronomy, alchemy etc.).

Simonetta Bassi, tenace filo magico di Paolo Rossi: 1957-2006

 Abstract. – This article examines the development of Paolo Rossi’s studies regarding magic, beginning with his monograph on Bacon in the 1950s to his last volume, Il tempo dei maghi (2006). His unpublished letters to Antonio Banfi and Eugenio Garin ref lect the interests that characterized Rossi’s work – not only historiographic, studying Renaissance magical thinking in its relation to the Scientific Revolution, but also frankly theoretical in nature. Studying all those moments of crisis and transition that present in renewed form the old antithesis between reason and magical thinking, Rossi shows the extreme vitality of the second, and its ever-present challenge to a way of thinking that emerged at the beginning of the Modern Age.


Testi e commenti
Federico Baricci, Per una nuova edizione critica del Dialogo facetissimo di Ruzante

Abstract. – This paper provides a new critical edition of Angelo Beolco’s (better known as Ruzante) Dialogo facetissimo – the first of his three Dialoghi – established according to the tenets of textual bibliography, supplying a translation into Italian and detailed textual notes. A brief introduction gives an account of the textual transmission of the dialogue, which depends entirely on 16th and 17th century printed editions, since no manuscript witness has survived. As each of those editions proves to be descripta of the previous one, this critical edition is based on the princeps, printed by Stefano di Alessi in Venice in 1554. The text is accompanied by a linguistic and exegetical commentary and is followed by a critical apparatus which accounts for the choices of the previous modern editors, Gian Antonio Cibotto (1958), Ludovico Zorzi (1967) and Giorgio Padoan (1981).

Note e varietà
Domenico Ferraro, Petrarca a Milano: le ragioni di una scelta

Abstract. – The decision of Petrarch to settle in Milan under Visconti’s domination, in conformity with a perspective still predominant in the literature, was considered by his contemporaries as a betrayal of unspecified republican ideals, in favor of the new signoria State. In making that choice (which was in evident contrast with what he had hitherto supported) Petrarch intended to certify the change which had occurred in his mind, compelled by the insurmountable corruption of his time to waive his reform plans.

Therefore, he sought a measure of his own freedom, within a vision desolately bare of civil ambition, distant from politics, justified only by the need to govern the wickedness of man. In the public recognition of the value of his work, and in the achievement of better conditions to continue the pursuit of his own studies, he would find the only guide in the relationship with a world that was hopelessly collapsing.

Laura Carotti – Alessandra Paola Macinante, Sondaggi folenghiani: la ‘phantasia’ della parola nel Baldus

Abstract. – This essay aims to examine the key-word phantasia in Teofilo Folengo’s Baldus. The first section analyses the relationship between Folengo and Pietro Pomponazzi, focusing the attention also on the account of Pomponazzi’s ideas regarding language that Sperone Speroni promotes in his Dialogo delle lingue, published in 1542. The second section outlines the evolution of the use of the term in Folengo’s opus macaronicum, through precise collations and textual analyses, such as the reinterpretation of the opening dialogue of Book VII of the so-called Toscolanense edition.

Gabriele Natta, L’enigma dell’Etiopia nel Rinascimento italiano: Ludovico Beccadelli tra inquietudini religiose e orizzonti globali

Abstract. – This paper offers a comprehensive reinterpretation of the Historia d’Ethiopia written by Ludovico Beccadelli, secretary to Cardinal Gasparo Contarini, in the years of the Trent Council. It aims to demonstrate the interest shown by this important member of the Catholic clergy in Ethiopian religious culture, wasn’t just a mere ref lection of the widespread attention payed to the new worlds touched by the Iberian expansionism as commonly understood by scholars. Seen as a powerful military ally and a model for the tenacious defence of its Christian identity during the Middle Ages, in the first half of the 16th century Ethiopia became a highly controversial topic in the European religious debate. A heretic land to be converted to the Tridentine orthodoxy for the zealous defenders of the Counter-Reformation spirit, Ethiopia has likewise been used as a model for a completely different approach to the problem of religious tolerance within the Christian world by humanists formed in the school of Catholic irenicism. Among them, in the following pages, we will focus our attention on the often neglected contribution proposed by Ludovico Beccadelli.

Salvatore Carannante, «Certis experimentis et sufficienti ratione». ‘Experientia’ and ‘experimentum’ in Bruno’s Thought

Abstract. – The role played by Giordano Bruno in the genesis of the Scientific Revolution has been widely investigated in particular as far as the theory of the infinite universe and the advocacy of Copernican heliocentrism are concerned. Less attention has been devoted to Bruno’s role in the development of new methodologies for scientific inquiry, which has, in turn, characterized the emergence of modern natural science. This paper aims to analyse the concepts of experientia and experimentum in Bruno’s thought, with special reference to the magical works, where the philosopher dwells on the necessity of interaction between theory and practice, ratio and experimentum in order to achieve good results in magical operations, casting new light on the attention paid by the Italian philosopher to the practical and experimental part of the knowledge of nature. By means of this analysis, during which the experimentum will emerge as a pivotal moment in the progress of the human knowledge of nature, this essay will attempt to describe the complex continuity between Renaissance magic and Scientific Revolution, a continuity in which Bruno plays a relevant but ambiguous and multifaced role.

Marco Matteoli, La Figuratio Aristotelici Physici auditus di Giordano Bruno: luoghi e immagini per una ‘nuova’ Fisica di Aristotele

Abstract. – Giordano Bruno’s Figuratio Aristotelici Physici auditus (1586) is a summarized exposition of Aristotle’s Physics opening with a short but complex artificium mnemonicum invented to fix in the memory the text. This mnemonic system is particular for its fifteen images – types of statuae – ‘drawn’ by Bruno himself, which symbolize the main arguments discussed in the Aristotelian theory of nature, such as matter, the infinite, movement, space and the void, etc. They show that Bruno was focusing on these problems even after the printing of the ‘Italian dialogues’, but also reveal that they were still problematically under development inside the main framework of «Nolan philosophy». The aim of this paper is to describe how this set of images, in addition to its mnemonic purpose, represents an iconographic tool for rewriting most of the Aristotelian arguments, setting them in Bruno’s own new philosophical and cosmological system. This survey will be done comparing the images of the Figuratio with those of the Lampas triginta statuarum, given that the Lampas is the most exhaustive example of mnemonic images applied to the description of Bruno’s philosophical system. Through the reading of the images of the latter we will attempt to decode the true symbolic value of the fifteen statuae of the Figuratio. 1. Il confronto tra Bruno e la Fisica aristotelica Al suo ritorno a Parigi nell’autunno del 1585, dopo il periodo trascorso in Inghilterra, Bruno fu accolto da un’atmosfera politica radicalmente mutata: la marcomatteoli@gmail.com * Questo saggio fu elaborato, per la prima volta, in occasione del convegno ‘Aristotele nel ’500. Fonti, testi, fortuna’, tenutosi presso l’Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento dal 14 al 15 dicembre del 2007. L’idea di rileggere le immagini della Figuratio attraverso quelle della Lampas triginta statuarum nacque su suggerimento di Elisabetta Scapparone, alla quale sono dunque assai grato; è sempre seguendo le sue indicazioni che il testo subì un successivo e più approfondito ampliamento, fino all’attuale versione, sfociata in questa pubblicazione. A questo proposito intendo ringraziare anche i revisori anonimi che con il loro attento lavoro di lettura e le puntuali e preziose osservazioni hanno resto il testo migliore e più


Ilenia Russo, Filosofia e medicina in Giordano Bruno

Abstract. – This essay examines the long-standing issue of the relation between philosophy and medicine as discussed in Giordano Bruno’s De la causa, principio et uno. Three main points are considered. First, it addresses the connection between philosophy, medicine and «knowledge of languages» focusing on Bruno’s appreciative reference to Paracelsus. Second, it investigates the difference between the philosophical and medical consideration of «matter» and illustrates Bruno’s comparison between Paracelsus’s «medical philosophy» and Galen’s «philosophical medicine». Third, it discusses Bruno’s use of the analogy between «the study of different philosophies» and the approval of «different medical methods». By analysing the specific lines of reasoning followed in the dialogue, this essay seeks to outline the role of medicine in Bruno’s reform of knowledge as well as to shed new light on his concern with some aspects of Renaissance medical debate.

John Monfasani, Kristelleriana: Two Biographical Notes

Abstract. – Late in life Kristeller drew up an aide-mémoire in twenty-five brief paragraphs that may be termed a Tabula Peccatorum Raymundi Klibansky. The two giants of twentieth-century Renaissance scholarship became rivals as students in Heidelberg in the 1920s and the tension between them remained throughout their long careers. The aide-mémoire details Kristeller’s complaints about Klibansky’s behavior as a scholar. On a lighter note, Kristeller makes a humorous appearance in a goliardic poem found in a little known memoir of the Landschulheim Florenz, where he taught for a year in the 1930s before becoming an instructor at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. Into the last decade of his life, Kristeller remained in touch with the compiler of the memoir, Ernst M. Oppenheimer.

Indice dei manoscritti 415
Indice dei nomi 417