Abstracts 2016 LVI

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Jill Kraye, Beyond Moral Philosophy: Renaissance Humanism and the Philosophical Canon

 Abstract. – The article begins with a detailed examination of P.O. Kris­teller’s influential definition of the studia humanitatis as consisting of «gram­mar, rhetoric, poetry, history, and moral philosophy»; particular attention is given to the ambiguous status of moral philosophy in this list. Then comes a consideration of the variety of philosophical disciplines, other than moral philosophy, dealt with by Renaissance humanists in their professional capacity. This is followed by an account of Renaissance and later writers who mention no humanist affinity for moral philosophy but instead describe a distinctively humanist approach to philosophical texts. It ends with a plea to rethink the as­sumption that moral philosophy was the only part of the philosophical canon of professional interest to Renaissance humanists.

Pasquale Terracciano, La politica all’inferno: rileggendo il sogno di Machiavelli

Abstract. – According to a legend, Machiavelli in his deathbed recounted a blasfemous dream, in which he saw a procession of poor and pitiful people, who revealed themselves as the spirits of heaven, and a crowd of philosophers and distingued figures, who are settled in hell. Machiavelli decided that was better to remain in hell, conversing with the spiriti magni about politics, rather to be destined for heaven. As far as we know, the story was described for the first time by Anton Francesco Doni in 1544, interweaving dantean images, pop­ular tales, contemporary poems, and original pages taken from Machiavelli. Exploring the paths of this legend’s diffusion with fresh research, this paper aims to shed new light on crucial issues and environments of early modern antimachiavellism.

Nicola Panichi, «Car, quelque langue que parlent mes livres, je leur parle en la mienne». Montaigne lettore di Guicciardini e Machiavelli

Abstract. – Montaigne’s reading of Machiavelli and Guicciardini enriches the complex political vision that he constructs during his philosophical reflec­tion, and constitutes an importat source for its development. The value of the comparative study of these three authors testifies to a thorough knowledge of The Prince, the Discourses, as well as of the History of Italy and the Recollections, together with the related interest in classical themes of Humanism: fortune, virtue, liberality, to which the motive of cruelty must be added.

Gilberto Sacerdoti, Le dannabili opinioni di Christopher Marlowe. L’anticristianesimo rinascimentale tra guerre di religione, nuova filosofia e fonti pagane

Abstract. – In 1593, a few days before his violent death, Christopher Mar­lowe was charged with a series of «damnable opinions». My essay is an anal­ysis of the first five of these, that deal with biblical chronology and Moses. They are set against the historical background of XVIth century antichristian thought, which included: 1) a passionate reaction against religion in the after­math of the current wars of religion, which, in the words of a contemporary witness, had produced «a million of libertines and Epicures»; 2) the growth of a post-Copernican and Epicurean natural philosophy which was at odds with the Judaeo-Christian ideas of God and creation; 3) an extensive use of pagan anti­christian sources (mostly Celsus, Porphyry and Julian the Apostate) which had survived as they were literally, if fragmentarily, referred to in early Christian apologetical works that in their defense of Christianity against pagan attacks could not but quote them.

Rosanna Camerlingo, Machiavelli a Oxford. Guerra e teatro da Gentili a Shakespeare

Abstract. – This article shows how the presence of the great Italian jurist Alberico Gentili in Oxford caused harsh reactions among Puritan authorities in the university. The controversy between Gentili and John Rainolds con­cerning theatre actually hides a deeper contrast of opposing political views. Gentili’s opposition to the Oxonian Puritan authorities resulted in a treatise on war which drew mainly on Machiavelli’s thought, and, in fact, supported Elizabeth I’s foreign policy. Gentili’s ideas on the just war is also the ideolog­ical framework of Shakespeare’s Henry V. The article reveals that a correct reading of Machiavelli sheds light on both Gentili’s De iure belli and Shake­speare’s Henry V.

Gianni Paganini, Descartes, Elisabeth e Campanella. Connessioni e reazioni intorno alla «terza nozione primitiva»

Abstract. – Descartes certainly read at least two of Tommaso Campanel­la’s works: Prodromus philosophiae instaurandae and De sensu rerum; however, he refused to read Metaphysica. It is in De sensu rerum that Campanella postulated several more original ideas, distancing himself from Telesio. There were two ideas in particular that could have attracted Descartes’ attention: a) all knowl­edge is not only passio, but above all perceptio passionis; b) intuition of the self is primary, accompanying all knowledge, from sensation to the intellect and precedes external experience. On the basis of these two ideas some historians (from Léon Blanchet to Stephan Otto) have considered Campanella a forerun­ner or an ispiration for Descartes. This is an uncorrect conclusion. On the oth­er hand, both Blanchet and Otto overlooked another significant circumstance. Alongside dualism, and after Meditationes, Descartes identified, in an important letter to Elisabeth, a «third fundamental notion», i. e. «the union of the soul and the body», which is the object of experience and sensation, not of pure intellect. It is possible that this «third notion» led Descartes back to his former readings of De sensu rerum, wherein sensation is an original property that unites mind and body and is still accompanied by self-awareness.

Testi e commenti
Ilaria Morresi, Una visita alla biblioteca di Marin Sanudo

Abstract. – This essay analyses a Latin poem in elegiac couplets written by Federico da Porto, describing his visit to Marin Sanudo’s house in Venice. The poem gives us relevant information about the quality and size of Sanu­do’s collection of paintings and books; amongst other items, it mentions a rare manuscript of an unpublished work by Dante, which deals with «insanos Veneris […] amores» and has been regarded by scholars as a possible witness of the Fiore, with remarkable consequences on the attribution and the tradition of this work. The verse by da Porto quotes Ovid’s Ars amatoria, and might be interpreted with reference to the Latin literary tradition: this way, it is pos­sible to read v. 207 as an allusion to Dante’s Rime or, better, Vita nova, whose circulation in northern Italy at the beginning of the XVIth century appears less problematic.

Note e varietà
Annarita Angelini, Poliziano nell’umanesimo francese

Abstract. – The writings and personality of Poliziano impacted French culture of the mid-16th century. The development of Poliziano’s teachings is realized by a cultural context intended to claim, within a few decades, a lead­ing role in the European cultural renewal. Still in phases of its construction it investigates and recognizes, in the Italian Renaissance, inspiring motives and authoritative support.

The intellectuals trained at Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples, the Collège Le-moine, introduced Poliziano’s thought within French culture of the early 16th century. However, it will be the following generation of humanists to suffer its influence. They represent a composite group, which brings together the follow­ers of Pierre de la Ramée, jurists, poets, members of the literary academies, grammarians, dialecticians and physicians linked to the Lullist magisterium of Bernardo de Lavinheta. The interest of the French humanism, characterized by a strong encyclopedic purpose, will be captured mainly by three Praelectiones and, above all, by the Panepistemon.

Marialuisa Baldi, Cardano vestito alla francese: dal Proxeneta a La science du monde

Abstract. – The Science du monde (first edition, Paris, 1645) is known as the mid-16th century French translation of Girolamo Cardano’s Proxeneta, the work edited posthumously in Latin (first edition, Lyon, 1627) concerning civil life, from a theorical and practical perspective. The Science du monde is not exactly a translation, but rather a paraphrase of the Latin text: it alters both the formal structure of the 1627 work, and its content. Leaving in the background the cultural context and other French readings of Cardano, the essay compares the Latin text with the French text, thus showing similarities and differences with special reference to the method underlying the two works, the nature and role of the proxeneta. Consistent with Cardano’s autobiographycal point of view, the Proxeneta is a handbook for the social survival of the individual, to maintain and increase his «potestas». The Science du monde is a handbook of codes of conduct for the honnête homme. It aims at being a science of opinion and per­suasion, searching for objectivity in the domain of subjectivity.

Maria Elena Severini, I Ricordi in Francia: la prima fortuna delle massime politiche di Francesco Guicciardini

 Abstract – In 1576, Antoine de Laval published in Paris his French trans­lation of Francesco Guicciardini’s Ricordi, in which a precise political strategy could be discerned. During the crisis of sovereignty, Laval offered the court a collection of precepts conceived to furnish universal models adaptable to vari­ous different occasions of political praxis. Indeed, his edition supplemented the original text with an anthology of aphorisms, a section of 42 articles inspired by classic and modern historiography, that introduce the reader into the parlia­mentary affairs of the French court. Laval’s translation met the demand – very much alive in late-sixteenth-century France – for a kind of manual for the train­ing of the sovereign, as a crucial element in defending the unity and stability of the monarchy.

Valentina Lepri, Per la ricezione di Machiavelli e di Guicciardini nella cultura diplomatica della Polonia cinque-seicentesca

 Abstract. – This article explores the circulation of certain Italian political and historical works in the Polish diplomatic milieu between the 16th and 17th centuries. Attention is focused on the production of two of the most influential diplomats of that time, the Jesuit Krzysztof Warszewicki and the nobleman Andrzej Maksymilian Fredro. The article reveals that, despite having differ­ent educational backgrounds and opposing political objectives, both used the Italian sources in a similar way. Pondering the management of foreign policy, both Warszewicki and Fredro turned their attention to the thought of Ital­ian writers. The diplomats read the works of authors such as Machiavelli and Guicciardini in order to better analyse their own State, under constant threat by its enemies. This aspect of the influence of Italian culture in Early Modern Europe is still little-known, thus calling for further investigation.

Marco Matteoli, Giordano Bruno a Praga tra lullismo, matematica e filosofia

Abstract. – In 1588, from early spring to autumn, Giordano Bruno spent six months in Prague, living at the Spanish embassy. Here he attended at the edition of two works: De specierum scrutinio, a lullian text composed of De lam­pade combinatoria Lulliana and De compendiosa architectura, and Articuli centum et sexaginta adversus mathematicos. If the first recalled the two lullian works pub­lished by Bruno in Paris and Wittenberg, the second offered a new geomet­rical model, founded on minimum, a new conceptual object under which he brought together unity, atom and geometrical point. Thus, here he began a new theoretical season which reached its fulfillment with the Frankfurt poems, especially De triplici minimo et mensura. In this article I aim to demonstrate the intellectual framework, from Prague to Helmstedt, which supported Bruno’s philosophical searching about this new status of matter, within this peculiar theory of atomistic geometry. I focus my reflections on those students who met Bruno at Helmstedt and followed him to Padua.

Massimiliano Malavasi, Ficinus redivivus. Su una nuova edizione della versione latina del Pimander e sui rapporti tra umanesimo e religione

Abstract. – Ficino’s translation of the Hermetical treatises I-XVI has been hitherto read in the text published in the incunable of 1471 and reproduced in subsequent editions. In 2012 Maurizio Campanelli provided a first critical edition of this work, containing a brilliant introductory essay dealing with the history of the text, the quality of Ficino’s translation, and the fortune of his ideas about the figure of Hermes Trismegistus. This publication provides an opportunity to rethink the role of Hermetism in 15th and 16th century culture, and to evaluate the gnoseological shift which marked the religious sensibility of the time, forced by the new spirit of the forthcoming Modern Age to rede­fine the very epistemological foundations of the christian faith.

Brian P. Copenhaver, Contro ‘l’umanesimo’: l’autocoscienza di Pico e la sua fama

Abstract. – Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, who has been famous for five centuries, thought of himself as a philosopher. Today, however, few philoso­phers in the Anglophone world think of him as a philosopher: instead, he is now a humanist. But ‘humanism’ was not a category known to Pico, unlike the category ‘philosophy’. Texts published in Pico’s lifetime, when compared to modern accounts of this period, reveal problems arising from the application of these categories across long periods of time. Examination of these problems shows that the terms ‘humanism’ and ‘humanist’ have produced confusion of four types: ideological, narrative, philosophical and taxonomical. Since these terms have done more harm than good, students of the Renaissance should replace them with other terms – ‘classicism’ and ‘classicist’, perhaps.

Indice dei manoscritti 409
Indice dei nomi 411