Philosophy (The) of the Italian Renaissance


Philosophy (The) of the Italian Renaissance
The philosophy of the Italian Renaissance Jill Kraye TWO CULTURES: SCHOLASTICISM AND HUMANISM IN THE EARLY RENAISSANCE Two movements exerted a profound influence on the philosophy of the Italian Renaissance: scholasticism and humanism, both of which began to take root in northern Italy around 1300. Differing from one another in terms of methods and aims as greatly as the scientific-and humanities-based cultures of our own times, scholasticism and humanism each fostered a distinctive approach to philosophy. The centres of scholasticism were the universities, where philosophy teaching was based on the Aristotelian corpus, in particular the works of logic and natural philosophy. In Italian universities the study of philosophy was propaedeutic to medicine rather than, as in Oxford and Paris, theology. This encouraged an atmosphere in which philosophy could operate as an autonomous discipline, guided solely by rational criteria. Scholastic philosophers consistently defended their right to explain natural phenomena according to the laws of nature without recourse to theological arguments.1 But although theological faculties were absent in the universities, religious authorities had enough power within society at large to challenge thinkers whose single-minded pursuit of natural explanations was perceived to move beyond the territory of philosophy and into the sacred domain of faith. Aristotelian philosophers who dared, for instance, to argue that the soul was material and hence mortal were quickly forced to recant by the ecclesiastical authorities.2 On the equally sensitive subject of the eternity of the world, most scholastics limited themselves to pointing out the opposition between the Peripatetic hypothesis that the world was eternal and the ‘truth of the orthodox faith’ that it was created ex nihilo by God.3 In such cases where religious and philosophical doctrines were in conflict, Aristotelians maintained that Christian dogma, based on faith and revelation, was superior to explanations founded on mere reason. The scholastic doctrine of the ‘double truth’ did not present a choice between equally valid alternatives, but rather took for granted the subordination of the relative truth of philosophy to the absolute truth of theology. Philosophers had no desire to challenge this hierarchy. Their primary concern was instead to maintain the separation of the two realms, thus protecting their right to use rational, and only rational, arguments in philosophical contexts. Just as it was necessary, they asserted, when discussing matters of faith, to leave behind one’s philosophical mentality, so when discussing philosophy, one had to set aside one’s Christian faith.4 Scholastics read Aristotle in late medieval Latin translations, which were unclassical in style and terminology. This type of Latin continued to be one of the hallmarks of scholastic treatises produced during the Renaissance. Another was their rigidly logical format: works were divided and subdivided into propositions or questions; arguments for and against were laid out; a solution was reached; possible objections were raised and appropriate responses supplied. This structure had the advantage of covering issues from all possible angles and ensuring that the opinions of a wide variety of ancient and medieval thinkers were aired, even if Aristotle’s were the most frequently endorsed. In the judgement of Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca, 1304–74), the founder of Italian humanism, such treatises were barbaric, tediously pedantic, arid and incomprehensible.5 His own style was diametrically opposed to that of the scholastics. He modelled his Latin prose on that of the best classical authors, avoiding terms and expressions which were unknown in antiquity. He also eschewed the methodical rigour and systematic presentation found in scholastic treatises, favouring instead a loose—almost at times rambling—structure and adopting genres such as the letter, dialogue and invective which had been used by the Roman authors he most admired. Deeply interested in the state of his own soul, Petrarch ridiculed the scholastics for devoting so much of their energies to natural, rather than moral, philosophy: ‘What is the use,’ he asked, ‘of knowing the nature of quadrupeds, fowls, fishes, and serpents and not knowing or even neglecting man’s nature…?’ The secrets of nature were ‘mysteries of God’, which Christians should accept with ‘humble faith’ rather than attempt to seize ‘in haughty arrogance’.6 As for scholastic logicians, Petrarch had nothing but contempt for what he regarded as their empty loquacity and their addiction to disputation for its own sake: ‘They get the greatest pleasure out of strife and set out not to find the truth but to quarrel.’7 He especially disliked the logica modernorum, a highly technical and semantically orientated form of dialectic associated with William of Ockham and his followers, which had come over to Italy from England in the mid-fourteenth century. Petrarch believed that it reduced all speculation to problems of formal terminology, thereby deflecting philosophers from more important matters and turning theologians into mere dialecticians.8 Another aspect of scholasticism attacked by Petrarch was the dominance of Aristotelianism. While there was much of value in Aristotle’s philosophy, there was also a great deal that from a Christian point of view was harmful, in particular his failure to give a firm endorsement to the immortality of the soul and his belief in the eternity of the world. Aristotle was not alone among pagans in holding these erroneous views, but he presented the greatest danger, Petrarch believed, because he had the most authority and the greatest number of followers. And while the pagan Aristotle could not be blamed for holding these errors, his present-day acolytes had no excuse.9 Despite their adulation of Aristotle, the scholastics failed, in Petrarch’s opinion, to understand his thought. They disdained eloquence, treating it as ‘an obstacle and a disgrace to philosophy’, whereas Aristotle had believed that it was ‘a mighty adornment’.10 He blamed the inelegant style which characterized Latin versions of Aristotle not on the author’s inattention to style but on the ignorance of his medieval translators—a censure which was to be frequently repeated by later humanists.11 Yet aside from the ethical treatises, Petrarch’s acquaintance with Aristotle’s writings was neither wide nor deep. If Petrarch was ill-informed about ‘the Philosopher’, he was positively ignorant about ‘the Commentator’, Averroes, probably never having read anything at all by him. This did not stop him from criticizing the Arabic interpreter even more strongly than he had done the Greek philosopher.12 In sharp contrast to the scholastics, who considered Arabic learning to be an important part of their intellectual legacy, Petrarch and his humanist successors restricted their philosophical interests almost exclusively to the Greco-Roman past. Among the doctrines traditionally associated with Averroism was the double truth,13 which theologians such as Thomas Aquinas rejected, maintaining that there was only one truth, the truth of faith, and that any philosophical proposition which contradicted it was necessarily false. Petrarch shared this point of view, arguing that since ‘knowledge of the true faith’ was ‘the highest, most certain, and ultimately most beatifying of all knowledge’, those who temporarily set it aside, wishing ‘to appear as philosophers rather than as Christians’, were in reality ‘seeking the truth after having rejected the truth’.14 According to him, scholastics were forced into this position not by an inevitable conflict between philosophy and religion, but rather by their support for one particular philosophy, Aristotelianism, which on certain crucial issues —the eternity of the world and the immortality of the soul—denied the fundamental truths of Christianity. The solution was therefore not to abandon philosophy per se, but to adopt a different sort of philosophy, one which avoided these theological errors. That philosophy, for Petrarch, was Platonism. Plato, who offered convincing rational arguments in support of both the immortality of the soul and the creation of the world, had risen higher ‘in divine matters’ than other pagans. Because Plato ‘came nearer than all the others’ to Christian truth, he, and not his student Aristotle, deserved to be called ‘the prince of philosophy’. By promoting Plato as a more theologically correct, and hence more profound, philosopher than Aristotle, Petrarch was able to mount yet another challenge to the scholastic philosophy of his day.15 But for all his advocacy of Plato, Petrarch’s knowledge of his works—like that of all Western scholars in this period—was very limited. Of the four dialogues then available in Latin, he made extensive use only of the Timaeus, in which Plato was believed to describe the creation of the world.16 He owned a manuscript containing many more of the works in Greek; but to his great regret, he never managed to learn the language.17 The bulk of Petrarch’s understanding of Platonism was therefore gained from secondary sources: Cicero, Macrobius, Apuleius, but above all Augustine. It was primarily on Augustine’s authority that Petrarch came to believe to strongly in the essential compatibility of Platonism with Christianity and to regard Plato as a Christian by anticipation.18 Petrarch’s Platonism amounted to little more than a propaganda campaign, but it was an effective one, which paved the way for the more philologically and philosophically ambitious efforts of fifteenth-century scholars. THE NEW ARISTOTELIANISM Petrarch’s antipathy towards Aristotle was far less influential among his followers, many of whom helped to create a new style of Aristotelianism. The key figure in this movement was the humanist Leonardo Bruni (1370–1444), a papal secretary and later chancellor of Florence, who became the most important translator of Aristotle in the early fifteenth century.19 It was not that he made new texts available, since virtually all of Aristotle had been translated into Latin by the end of the thirteenth century. Rather, he pioneered a novel method of translation. Medieval translators had attempted to find a Latin equivalent for each Greek word and to reproduce as far as possible the exact order of the original. Bruni, who had been trained by the Byzantine scholar Manuel Chrysoloras (c. 1350–1414), regarded such word-for-word renderings as worthless since they distorted the meaning of the Greek. From Chrysoloras he learned to translate not individual words but units of meaning—phrases and even sentences.20 From Cicero, on the other hand, Bruni learned to follow the word order and syntactic structure of the target language (Latin) rather than that of the source language (Greek); this meant adopting the prose style of the best classical Latin authors, above all Cicero himself.21 A ‘classical’ Aristotle who wrote in Ciceronian Latin was a direct challenge to the scholastic culture of the universities, where a very different sort of Latin Aristotle had been the mainstay of the curriculum for centuries. By retranslating Aristotle in this way Bruni was tampering with the fundamental terminology used by scholastics and deliberately calling into question all interpretations based on the medieval versions. Following up a line of attack opened by Petrarch, Bruni maintained that it was impossible for the self-professed Aristotelian philosophers ‘to grasp anything rightly…since those books which they say are Aristotle’s have suffered such a great transformation that were anyone to bring them to Aristotle himself, he would not recognize them as his own’.22 Yet for all his criticisms of these translations, Bruni himself relied on them quite heavily, using his knowledge of Greek to correct their worst mistakes, but for the most part simply polishing their rough-hewn Latin.23 For Bruni and his fellow humanists these stylistic changes were by no means superficial. Misled by Cicero’s praise of Aristotle’s writings, they believed that they were restoring his lost eloquence. They saw this as a significant contribution to their larger programme of, replacing the rebarbative treatises of the scholastics with a classically inspired and rhetorically persuasive form of philosophizing.24 Hardline scholastics responded to the humanist rewriting of Aristotle by complaining that wisdom and philosophy had not been joined to eloquence and rhetoric but rather subordinated to them. Although willing to concede that Bruni’s translations were more readable than the medieval versions, they thought that his lacked the scientific precision necessary in a philosophical work. Cicero might be an appropriate model to follow in oratory but not in philosophy, where subtle distinctions had to be made on the basis of careful reasoning.25 Bruni’s desire to remove Aristotle from the scholastic camp and claim him for the humanist cause was a reflection of his high regard for the philosopher. In his Vita Aristotelis, he ranked him higher than his teacher Plato, reversing Petrarch’s evaluation. The grounds for this judgement were Aristotle’s greater consistency and clarity as well as his caution and moderation, which led him to ‘support normal usages and ways of life’, in contrast to Plato, who expressed ‘opinions utterly abhorrent to our customs’, such as the belief that ‘all wives should be held in common’. Although he extolled Aristotle’s methodical presentation of material in all his teachings, whether ‘logic, natural science or ethics’, Bruni’s interest was in practice limited to moral and political philosophy, as his three Aristotelian translations—the Nicomachean Ethics, Oeconomics and Politics—clearly show.26 In his Isagogicon moralis disciplinae, he contrasted ‘the science of morals’, whose study brought ‘the greatest and most excellent of all things: happiness’, with natural philosophy, a discipline ‘of no practical use’, unless, he added, in words reminiscent of Petrarch, ‘you think yourself better instructed in the Good Life for having learned all about ice, snow and the colours of the rainbow’. Also reminiscent of Petrarch was Bruni’s belief that Ockhamist logic, ‘that barbarism which dwells across the ocean’, had reduced contemporary dialectics to ‘absurdity and frivolity’.27 The narrow range of Bruni’s philosophical interests was typical of Italian humanists in the first half of the fifteenth century. The next wave of Aristotle translators, however, were Greek émigrés, who took a much broader view of Aristotelian philosophy. Johannes Argyropulos (c. 1410–87), a Byzantine scholar who taught in Florence, began by lecturing on the Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, but soon moved on to the Physics, De anima, Meteorology and Metaphysics.28 He was able to bring to his teaching and translating of Aristotle an impressive blend of linguistic and philosophical competence, having received his early training in his native Constantinople and later studying at the University of Padua. Argyropulos was concerned to present the entire range of the Aristotelian corpus, which he regarded as the culmination of the Greek philosophical tradition. He did not shy away from logic, producing a compendium on the subject, based primarily on the Aristotelian Organon (most of which he himself translated into Latin) but also drawing on Byzantine commentaries and on standard Western authorities such as Boethius and Peter of Spain.29 Natural philosophy, another subject shunned by humanists like Petrarch and Bruni, was embraced with enthusiasm by Argyropulos, who began his course on the Physics by exclaiming: ‘How great is the nobility of this science, how great its perfection, its strength and power, and how great also is its beauty!’30 In his lectures on De anima, delivered in 1460, Argyropulos tackled the same problems which had exercised scholastic commentators since the thirteenth century: whether there was only one immortal intellect for all mankind, which directed the body’s operations in the way that a sailor steered his ship, as Averroes maintained; or whether the soul was instead the substantial form of each individual person, giving the body existence (esse); and if so, whether it died with the body, as Alexander of Aphrodisias—according to Averroes— believed, or continued to exist after death, as Christian tradition asserted. Argyropulos rejected both the opinion of Alexander of Aphrodisias that the soul was mortal and the Averroist doctrine of the unity of the intellect, which many believed to be the authentic position of Aristotle. Challenging the double-truth doctrine, which dictated that reason should be kept separate from faith, Argyropulos asserted that there were philosophical as well as religious arguments in favour of the Christian dogma of the immortality of individual souls.31 On other issues, however, Argyropulos had no qualms about relying on Averroes, whose works he had studied while at Padua.32 And in his lectures on the Nicomachean Ethics, he made use of Albertus Magnus, Walter Burley and other medieval commentators. These lectures were assiduously taken down by his devoted student, Donato Acciaiuoli (1429–78), who later reworked them in the form of a commentary, which, despite his humanist credentials, had a great deal in common, in terminology, organization and content, with scholastic treatises.33 Humanism and scholasticism were still moving down their separate paths, but in the second half of the fifteenth century those paths were occasionally beginning to cross. A large number of Aristotle’s works, mostly in the field of natural philosophy, were translated by another Greek émigré, George of Trebizond (1395/6–1472/3), as part of a plan, devised and financed by the humanist pope Nicholas V, to produce a new version of the entire corpus.34 Like Bruni and most other fifteenthcentury Aristotle translators, George made use of the medieval versions; but unlike them, he went out of his way to acknowledge and praise them. His own translations resembled the medieval ones in that he tried as far as possible to produce word-for-word versions, avoiding, however, their readiness to violate the rules of Latin syntax and usage. George had a sophisticated understanding of Aristotle’s style and was aware that he had not attempted, or had not been able, to write eloquently when dealing with technical subjects. It was therefore misguided to impose elegance where it was lacking in the original.35 George’s comments were directed not at Bruni but at his fellow Greek, Theodore Gaza (c. 1400–75). Gaza was the protégé of Cardinal Bessarion (c. 1403–72), a distinguished Byzantine theologian and philosopher who had transferred his allegiance to the Roman Catholic church. Bessarion’s political and intellectual clout (he himself had translated the Metaphysics) helped to convince Nicholas V that he should commission Gaza to make new Latin versions of some of the Aristotelian texts translated by George.36 George’s loss of papal favour and patronage was no doubt caused by his notoriously difficult behaviour,37 as well as his failure on occasion to live up to his own high standards of translation. There was a theoretical difference between his position and that of Gaza, however. Gaza’s primary concern was to ensure the elegance and Latinity of his translations even when this entailed imprecision and inconsistency. George, by contrast, took the view that in rendering philosophical works exactitude and fidelity to the author’s words were all-important; judged by this criterion, the medieval translators, for all the inadequacies of their Latin style, had been more successful than Gaza.38 George believed moreover that Gaza’s version, or rather ‘perversion’, of Aristotle would undermine scholasticism, which relied on the long-established terminology of the medieval translations. For George, a Greek convert to Roman Catholicism, a humanist admirer of medieval thinkers such as Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, and a deeply paranoid personality, the classical Latin which Gaza put in Aristotle’s mouth was part of a conspiracy to destroy Christian theology by removing the scholastic Aristotelianism which underpinned it.39 And that, he believed, was only the beginning. The hidden agenda of Gaza and his patron Bessarion included the replacement of Aristotelianism by another ancient philosophical system, one which (as we shall see) George thought was destined to pave the way for a return to paganism. George’s merits as a translator of Aristotle found at least one admirer. Angelo Poliziano (1454–94), the most learned Italian humanist of his day, recognized that Gaza’s much-praised translation of the zoological works borrowed heavily from the earlier version by George, whom Gaza had ungenerously referred to as a ‘brothel keeper’.40 The fact that Poliziano, a teacher of Greek and Latin literature at the Florentine studio, was sufficiently concerned with Aristotelian natural philosophy to study these translations is an indication of the widening philosophical interests of late fifteenth-century Italian humanists. In 1490 Poliziano lectured on the Nicomachean Ethics, a treatise which was within the typical humanist ambit of moral philosophy; but during the next four years he worked his way through the entire Organon. Though keenly interested in Aristotle’s logic, Poliziano—like Petrarch and Bruni—held no brief for the British logicians who dominated the scholastic curriculum. He wanted to apply humanist philological methods to Greek philosophical texts in order to reform subjects such as logic and natural philosophy, corrupted by centuries of scholastic ignorance.41 The professional philosophers whose ability to understand Aristotle Poliziano called into question and whose preserve he invaded, responded, not surprisingly, by accusing him of teaching technical subjects which he knew nothing about. These vampires (lamiae), as Poliziano called them in his 1492 inaugural lecture on the Prior Analytics, had taken to ridiculing him as a would-be philosopher. He in turn replied that he had never claimed to be a philosopher, but rather a philologist (grammaticus), a scholar who used his knowledge of classical languages and culture to interpret ancient texts, be they literary, legal or philosophical.42 Another philologist who brought his talents to bear on philosophical and scientific works was Poliziano’s great friend, the Venetian humanist Ermolao Barbaro (1454–93).43 In 1474–6 Barbaro lectured at Padua on the Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, using the medieval Latin versions—no doubt because of university requirements—but correcting them against the Greek.44 His experiences in the citadel of traditional scholastic Aristotelianism convinced him of the need to promote the new, humanist approach to philosophy. This involved an ambitious plan to retranslate all of Aristotle, although owing to his early death he completed only a version of the Rhetoric and a humanistic reworking of the Liber sex principiorum, a twelfth-century Latin treatise on the categories which had become a regular part of the Aristotelian logical corpus. The latter work allowed him to prove that even the most technical philosophical subjects could be rendered with elegance. Barbaro also wrote a brief treatise which demonstrated that the English calculatory tradition, a highly technical form of logico-mathematical physics developed in fourteenth-century Oxford, could be treated in classical Latin. His overall goal was to reunite eloquence and philosophy, which he believed had been artificially sundered, to the detriment of both, by generations of scholastics.45 Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–94), although on good terms with both Barbaro and Poliziano, did not share their humanist disdain for the ‘dull, rude, uncultured’ scholastics. Pico, who had spent ‘six years on those barbarians’, denied that their lack of eloquence detracted from the quality of their philosophical thought. In his view it was rhetoric and oratory which were the greatest obstacles to philosophy, for they were nothing but ‘sheer mendacity, sheer imposture, sheer trickery’, while philosophy was ‘concerned with knowing the truth and demonstrating it to others’. A philosopher’s style should therefore be not ‘delightful, adorned and graceful’ but ‘useful, grave, something to be respected’. Orators who sought the roar of the crowd’s approval had to be well spoken, but not philosophers, who wanted only the silent respect of the discerning few.46 Pico’s disparagement of eloquence is itself so eloquent that irony is almost certainly in play. But the argument he presented was a serious one, which highlighted a long-standing difference between the scholastic and humanist styles of philosophy. There were substantive as well as stylistic differences between humanist and scholastic Aristotelianism. While Averroes still reigned supreme as ‘the Commentator’ in the universities, humanists like Barbaro, echoing—from a more informed position—Petrarch’s hostility, were determined to replace this Arabic influence with ancient Greek expositors more acceptable to their classical tastes.47 A few works by the ancient Greek commentators on Aristotle had been translated into Latin in the Middle Ages, and some of their views, especially those of Alexander of Aphrodisias, were known through reports given by Averroes; but the vast bulk of the material was unavailable to Western readers.48 To help remedy this situation, Barbaro in 1481 published a Latin translation of the paraphrases of Themistius; and in 1495 Girolamo Donato, a Venetian humanist who belonged to Barbaro’s circle, published a translation of Alexander of Aphrodisias’s commentary on De anima. These versions were soon to have a significant impact on philosophical discussions in Padua.49 While Barbaro and Donato were producing their Latin translations of Aristotle and his ancient commentators, other humanists also working in Venice were directing their efforts towards editing the Greek texts of these works. Their supreme achievement was the Greek Aristotle published between 1495 and 1498 by Aldus Manutius (c. 1452–1515).50 This multi-volume deluxe edition was primarily the fruit of humanist philology, but important contributions came from the scholastic side as well: Francesco Cavalli (d. 1540), a physician who taught at Padua, worked out the proper arrangement of the treatises on natural philosophy and convinced Aldus to substitute Theophrastus’s botanical works for De plantis, a work he recognized to be pseudoAristotelian.51 Aldus also had ambitious plans to publish Greek editions of the Aristotelian commentators, but the project did not get off the ground until early in the next century.52 The rest of the thriving Venetian publishing industry, with an eye to profit rather than to intellectual lustre, focused its energies on producing Latin editions of Aristotle, still, and for some time to come, the staple diet of the philosophical curriculum. One such work, published in 1483–4 and containing the commentaries of Averroes as well as the medieval translations of Aristotle, was edited by Nicoletto Vernia (d. 1499), the leading professor of natural philosophy at the University of Padua. For much of his career Vernia was a typical scholastic, who regarded Averroes and Albertus Magnus as the greatest of Aristotelian commentators. Insisting on the double-truth distinction between theological and rational discourse, Vernia maintained that although the belief in the soul as the substantial form of individual human beings was true according to faith, it was nevertheless completely foreign to Aristotle, whose thought should not be interpreted as if he had been a Christian. Averroes, not Thomas Aquinas, had correctly understood Aristotle, recognizing that according to Peripatetic principles (e.g. the indivisibility of separate substances) there was only one intellective soul for all mankind.53 Vernia’s stance had to be altered when, in 1489, the bishop of Padua banned any further discussion of the Averroist doctrine of the unity of the intellect. Just as earlier scholastics had been forced to recant views which were unacceptable to the Church, Vernia abandoned his Averroist beliefs. In the 1490s he completely rethought his position on the controversial problem of the soul, making considerable use of the newly Latinized works of Themistius and Alexander of Aphrodisias. No longer accepting Averroes as a reliable guide to Aristotelian psychology, Vernia turned to the Greek commentators, who he believed (wrongly in the case of Alexander) provided evidence that Aristotle, like Plato, had argued for the immortality of individual souls. Christian doctrine was therefore not simply an article of faith but could be demonstrated on purely rational grounds.54 This standpoint had already gained philosophical respectability earlier in the century through the influence of Paul of Venice (1369–1429), the most famous scholastic of his time. Although Paul never ceased to regard the Averroist unity of the intellect as the correct interpretation of Aristotle’s De anima, he did not think that this in itself made the position a demonstrable doctrine, for a number of objections to it could be raised, objections based on reason as well as faith. Although Paul and Vernia came to their conclusions by different routes, they both maintained that there were rational as well as theological arguments in favour of Christian dogma.55 The barrier separating the realms of philosophy and theology, used by generations of scholastics to defend the autonomy of their discipline, was starting to crumble. THE REVIVAL OF PLATONISM Interest in Plato had been stirred among Italian humanists by Petrarch’s portrayal of his philosophy as a theologically acceptable alternative to Aristotelianism, one whose closeness to Christianity, moreover, had been endorsed by no less an authority than Augustine, But until the end of the fourteenth century little firsthand knowledge of the dialogues was possible since so few Latin versions existed: the Timaeus was widely accessible in the fragmentary fourth-century version of Chalcidius; the Phaedo and Meno had been translated in the twelfth century by Henricus Aristippus; and part of the Parmenides was embedded in William of Moerbeke’s thirteenth-century translation of Proclus’s commentary.56 Although the Phaedo was already available in medieval Latin, Bruni chose to produce a new humanist version in 1405. This allowed him, as with his Aristotle translations, to demonstrate the stylistic superiority of the humanist approach to philosophy. But there was another reason for this choice. The theme of the Phaedo, the personal immortality of individual human souls, was a minefield for Aristotelians. As such it was an ideal means to emphasize the superiority, from a Christian point of view, of Platonism. In his dedication of the translation to Innocent VII, Bruni told the pope that, although Christian doctrine on the afterlife did not require any confirmation from classical philosophy, it would none the less ‘bring no small increase to the true faith’ if people were made to see ‘that the most subtle and wise of pagan philosophers held the same beliefs about the soul as we hold’ and about many other matters as well.57 These other matters included, as Bruni specified in the dedication of his Gorgias translation to John XXIII (1410), God’s creation of the world: the doctrine which, along with immortality, had determined Petrarch’s preference for Platonism over Aristotelianism.58 As he translated more of the dialogues, however, Bruni became increasingly disillusioned with their ethical and political doctrines. In his partial translations of the Phaedrus (1424) and the Symposium (1435), he resorted to extensive bowdlerization in order to remove any hint of homosexuality; and he refused to translate the Republic because it contained so many repellent notions, among them the community of wives and property, one of those ‘abhorrent’ opinions which led him to transfer his philosophical loyalties to the less wayward Aristotle.59 Bruni’s intense dislike of the Republic was not shared by his teacher Chrysoloras, who appears to have had no scruples about divulging its contents to the Latin reading public. He had produced in 1402 a literal version of the text— the best he could do with his limited knowledge of Latin—which was then revised and polished by one of his Milanese students, Uberto Decembrio (c. 1370–1427). Unfortunately this collaboration resulted in the worst of both worlds: a crude mixture of word-for-word translation and inaccurate paraphrase, which garbled the technical terminology and utterly failed to convey the complexity and sophistication of Plato’s doctrines.60 Thirty-five years later Uberto’s son Pier Candido (1399–1477) decided to make a new translation, one which would ensure that the Republic, a byword for eloquence among Greeks, would not appear lacklustre in Latin. He was also anxious to prove that Aristotle’s account of Plato’s work in Politics II.1 was misleading—that, for instance, the common ownership of wives and goods was not meant to be universal but rather was restricted to the class of guardians. In line with other humanists, Pier Candido emphasized the points of contact between Platonism and Christianity, identifying in his marginal notes to the translation the Form of Good in Book VI with God, and drawing attention to Plato’s proofs of immortality in Book X. Aspects of the dialogue which he found offensive— the equality of the sexes and homosexuality—were treated as ironic or were deliberately mistranslated or, when all else failed, simply left out.61 Since none of these humanists had the philosophical training to come to grips with the elaborate conceptual apparatus of Platonism, they were unable to go beyond an appreciation of Plato’s style, his (carefully censored) moral thought and his agreement with Christianity. Similarly, humanist educators taught their students to read the dialogues in Greek but were not in a position to provide a philosophical framework that would allow them to interpret what they read in its Platonic context. Instead, they encouraged their pupils to use the works as a quarry for wise sayings and pithy maxims, which they could then insert in their thematically organized commonplace books for future use.62 The sheer difficulty of Plato’s teachings on metaphysics and epistemology forced humanists to rely on more straightforward second-hand accounts even when they had access to the original works. Thus an accomplished Greek scholar such as Francesco Filelfo (1398–1481), who had translated Aristotle (Rhetorica ad Alexandrum) as well as Plato (the Euthyphro and some of the Letters), did not turn to the dialogues when writing his treatise on Platonic ideas but relied on the more accessible treatments of the subject in Cicero, Augustine and certain Middle Platonic sources.63 As in the case of Aristotle, it was the Byzantine émigrés who brought a new depth to the study of Plato. Since Platonism was part of their educational background, they were more capable of dealing with the entire range of Plato’s philosophy, speculative doctrines as well as practical ethics and politics. Argyropulos allowed a small Platonic element to seep into his university courses on Aristotle and gave at least one private lecture on the Meno.64 Even Aristotle’s staunchest defender, George of Trebizond, had gone through a Platonic phase in his youth and was later commissioned by Nicholas of Cusa to make a complete Latin version of the Parmenides, only a portion of which was available in the medieval translation. George, who needed the money, agreed with reluctance, and in 1459 produced a reasonably accurate rendering of the text.65 Eight years earlier George had made a far less successful translation of the Laws and Epinomis, this time at the behest of Nicholas V—another offer he could not afford to refuse, although his slipshod and distorted version may have been an attempt to subvert the dialogue’s potential influence. After falling out with the pope,66 George transferred the dedication to the Venetian Republic, suggesting in the new preface that the city’s founders must have read the Laws— Greek, he pointed out, was spoken in Italy during the early Middle Ages— because their government perfectly exemplified the mixed constitution described by Plato in Book III (692–3): the Grand Council representing democracy, the Council of Ten aristocracy and the doge monarchy. George’s real opinion of the dialogue and its author is not to be found in the flattering words he addressed to the Venetians but rather in some marginal notes which he wrote in his own copy of the translation: ‘What shallowness!’ ‘Look at his arrogance!’ ‘The man should be stoned!’67 These harsh remarks were inspired by George’s increasing fear that Platonism would not only replace Aristotelianism as the dominant philosophy of the West but would also be the springboard for a world-wide return to paganism. He blamed Cardinal Bessarion and his accomplice Gaza for promoting Platonism, but the éminence grise of this ruinous movement was, he believed, Bessarion’s teacher, Georgios Gemistos Plethon (c. 1360–1454).68 During the Council of Florence (1439), a last-ditch attempt to reunify the Eastern and Western churches in the face of the approaching Turkish menace, Plethon, a member of the Greek delegation, had written a brief treatise, De differentiis Aristotelis et Platonis, which compared the doctrines of the two philosophers to Aristotle’s great disadvantage. The work was addressed to Westerners, both the minority who were already convinced of Plato’s supremacy and the majority who, taken in by the extravagant claims of Averroes, gave their preference to Aristotle.69 Plethon, who for many years had taught Platonic philosophy at Mistra in the Peloponnese, discussed a wide range of topics—metaphysics, epistemology, cosmology, psychology, ethics—in each case demonstrating the superiority of Plato’s views to those of his student Aristotle. One of the aims of Plethon’s treatise was to suggest that Aristotelian philosophy was unfit to serve as a mainstay of Christian theology and that Platonism would more suitably fill that role. Pouncing on the two issues where Aristotelianism’s claims to support Christianity were weakest, the creation of the world and the immortality of the soul, Plethon pointed out, first, that Aristotle ‘never calls God the creator of anything whatever, but only the motive force of the universe’; and, second, that Aristotle’s position on the afterlife of the soul was at best ambiguous, since he asserted the eternity of the human mind in De anima (408b19–20) and the Metaphysics (1070a 26–7), but never applied this belief to his moral philosophy and even suggested in the Ethics (1115a26–7) that ‘nothing whatever that is good lies in store for man after the end of his present life’, a premise which had led Alexander of Aphrodisias to the ‘deplorable conclusion’ that ‘the human soul is mortal’.70 Plethon’s views do not seem on the face of it very far from those of Petrarch and other humanist supporters of Plato. But the difference between them was in fact considerable. While the Italians genuinely wanted to use Platonic philosophy to buttress Christianity, Plethon envisaged it as the foundation on which to rebuild the polytheistic paganism of ancient Greece. Convinced that the Turks were soon to destroy both the Eastern and Western churches, Plethon saw the only hope for the disintegrating Byzantine Empire in the replacement of Christianity by a revitalized paganism, solidly grounded in Platonic metaphysics. He therefore composed—but did not dare to publish— The Laws, modelled on the Platonic dialogue of the same name, in which he presented a concrete programme for the revival of the beliefs and moral values of the pre-Christian past.71 Plethon’s paganism contained Stoic as well as Platonic elements: he regarded absolute determinism as a necessary concomitant to the divine providence of Zeus, who had fixed the entire future in the best possible form. Free will, therefore, consisted of voluntary subjection to the absolute good which Zeus had decreed.72 In De differentiis Plethon had revealed nothing of his revolutionary plans, pretending for the benefit of his Italian readers to be sincerely concerned about the conflicts between Aristotelian philosophy and Christian theology. But his long-term goal seems to have been to destroy confidence in Aristotelianism so that it could be supplanted by Platonism, which would then sever its ties with Christianity and renew its former alliance with paganism. De differentiis, written in Greek and requiring a level of philosophical understanding far beyond the competence of most Italian humanists, made little impact on its intended audience. It did cause quite a stir among the Byzantines, however, many of whom rushed to Aristotle’s defence.73 Writing in Latin and therefore attracting a wider public, George of Trebizond produced the Comparatio Platonis et Aristotelis (1458), in which he unstintingly praised Aristotle while heaping abuse on Plato and his present-day followers. George claimed to have had a conversation with Plethon during the Council of Florence in which the latter predicted that the whole world would soon be unified under one religion: neither Christianity nor Islam, but a religion which would ‘differ little from paganism’.74 This proved to him that Plethon was the mastermind behind a Platonic conspiracy to overthrow Christianity. As it turns out, George, who had probably heard rumours about Plethon’s Laws, was not far from the truth, although he was certainly wrong to assume that Bessarion and his circle were involved in (or even knew anything of) the plot. In the first book of the Comparatio George argued that Aristotle’s knowledge of all intellectual disciplines was superior to Plato’s. In the second, he showed that although Platonism appeared to be close to Christianity, in reality its doctrines, above all Plato’s belief in the pre-existence of souls and in the creation of the universe from pre-existent matter, were inimical to religion. Aristotle, on the other hand, was in complete agreement with Christianity since he believed in the personal immortality of the soul, creation ex nihilo, divine providence, free will and even had some inkling of the Trinity. These extravagant claims went far beyond what Thomas Aquinas, the father of Christian Aristotelianism, had maintained, for Thomas had always insisted on a firm demarcation between the proofs of philosophy, which could be borrowed from the pagans, and the truths of religion, which were accessible only through revelation.75 In the third and final book George, drawing on the Symposium, Phaedrus and the Laws (in his own misleading translation), disclosed the sexual depravity and moral corruption of Plato and his disciples, among whom he numbered Epicurus and Mohammed. According to George, Mohammed had been a second Plato, Plethon an even more pernicious third and worse might be in store: a fourth Plato, the most dangerous of all, could soon arise— presumably a reference to Cardinal Bessarion, who was a strong candidate for the papacy, a position which would give him the power to destroy Christianity from the inside.76 George knew, however, that this nightmare would not come to pass, for he had been granted an apocalyptic vision which allowed him to predict (just as his archenemy Plethon had) the defeat of Western as well as Eastern Christendom by the Turks. This Islamic triumph would not, he knew, be the prelude to the reemergence of a Plethon-style paganism: the sultan Mehmed II was destined to be converted to Christianity by none other than George himself, who would convince him to turn his might against the true enemies of the Church, Bessarion and his band of paganizing Platonists. Unfortunately, when George travelled to Constantinople, twelve years after its fall to the Turks, in order to play his pivotal role in world history, he failed to gain even an audience with the sultan. On his return to Rome he was imprisoned on suspicion of apostasy, a prophet without honour in his own country.77 While George’s bizarre drama was unfolding, scholars from the Greek community in Italy were busy composing responses to his Comparatio. By 1459 Bessarion, the chief spokesman for Christian Platonism and—as he probably suspected—the main target of George’s attack, had drafted a reply, which he sent to Gaza for comments. Gaza, although identified by George as one of the Platonic conspirators, thought of himself as an Aristotelian and had earlier written two tracts against Plethon, one refuting his concept of substance and the other answering his uncompromising determinism. In the second work Gaza attempted, following a long-established Byzantine tradition, to reconcile the views of Plato and Aristotle, demonstrating that the Stoic-inspired determinism postulated by Plethon had been rejected by both philosophers.78 In the comments which he sent to Bessarion, Gaza set out his Aristotelian critique of the hyper-Aristotelianism of George’s Comparatio. Such a corrective was necessary, he said, because George lacked ‘all understanding of Aristotle’s language and subject matter’. Similar charges had been levelled against Gaza himself by George in his blast against Gaza’s ‘perversion’ of Aristotle; it was now time to settle old scores.79 Gaza focused on the two issues which were at the centre of the debate about the relationship between classical philosophy and Christianity: the doctrines of creation and immortality. On the first, he showed that Aristotle had not, as George claimed, believed in creation ex nihilo but had maintained that the world was eternal, as indeed had Plato, although with far less clarity than Aristotle. The problem of immortality was more complex. Gaza admitted that the Averroist doctrine of the unity of the intellect was difficult to refute on philosophical grounds but pointed out that Aristotle had never explicitly endorsed it; on the other hand, he had never given any indication that he supported the notion of personal immortality. Given, however, that the expectation of just rewards and punishments in the afterlife is essential for the maintenance of public and private morality, Gaza argued that we should adopt Plato’s belief in immortality, even though it is not capable of rational demonstration.80 A decade later Bessarion published his own refutation of the Comparatio, which appeared in a Latin translation so as to reach the same large readership as George’s work. The aim of Bessarion’s treatise, In calumniatorem Platonis, was to defend Plato against the calumnies which threatened to destroy his reputation among Christians and also to damage the reputation of his calumniator by revealing the shoddy scholarship on which his work was based. Following up Gaza’s claim that George censured Platonic doctrines which he could no more understand cthan some rustic fresh from tilling the fields’, Bessarion gave a practical demonstration of George’s ignorance and incompetence by pointing out over two hundred errors, philosophical as well as linguistic, in his translation of the Laws.81 But while Bessarion wanted to lower George’s standing, he had no desire to harm that of Aristotle, whom he respected as a philosopher and whose Metaphysics he had translated. Like Gaza, he accepted the Byzantine position that there were no fundamental differences between the two philosophers, although Bessarion tended to follow the ancient Greek commentators in ranking Plato, the supreme metaphysician, higher than Aristotle, the supreme natural philosopher and logician.82 What Bessarion could not accept was George’s insistence that Aristotle was closer than Plato to Christianity. Both philosophers, Bessarion asserted, were polytheistic pagans who held many beliefs which were entirely foreign to true religion. He therefore had no intention of turning Plato into a Christian, as George had done with Aristotle. Nevertheless, he maintained that if one was looking for philosophical confirmation of Christian dogmas, there was far more in Plato’s works than in those of Aristotle. Although Plato had not fully understood doctrines such as the Trinity, he had received enough illumination from the light of nature to allow him to gain a shadowy knowledge of the mysteries of faith, a knowledge which, however imperfect, could play a valuable role in leading men towards the ultimate truths of the Bible.83 Bessarion’s ability to find intimations and anticipations of Christianity in Plato’s dialogues was greatly aided by his familiarity with the hermeneutical techniques of the ancient Neoplatonists, especially Plotinus and Proclus. He learned from them how to go beyond the often embarrassing literal sense of Plato’s words: his accounts of metempsychosis, for example, or his frank references to homosexual love, which the Italian humanists had deliberately mistranslated or excised. The Neoplatonists taught Bessarion to look for the deeper meaning of such passages by reading them in terms of allegory, myth and symbol—devices which Plato had used to hide his profoundest doctrines from the gaze of the vulgar.84 These tools of analysis, combined with his understanding of Platonic metaphysics, also gained from the Neoplatonists, permitted Bessarion to discredit George’s slanders of Plato and, far more importantly, to lay the philosophical and theological foundation for a systematic Christian Neoplatonism. The philosopher who was to construct that system, Marsilio Ficino (1433–99), had just completed the first draft of his Latin translation of all thirty-six Platonic dialogues when Bessarion’s In calumniatorem Platonis was completed in 1469. Like many others, Ficino wrote to the cardinal to congratulate him on his treatise, from which he clearly learned a great deal.85 Adopting Bessarion’s figurative method of reading the dialogues, Ficino insisted that Plato’s doctrine of the transmigration of souls should be interpreted in a moral key, as an allegorical representation of what happened to those who behaved like animals. Similarly, passages describing Socrates’s sexual passion for his young disciples were, in Ficino’s view, marvellous allegories, ‘just like the Song of Solomon’.86 Although Ficino relied on the work of the earlier humanist translators of Plato, especially Bruni, he did not share their stylistic concerns. He simply wanted to make his translations as accurate and clear as possible, which meant employing an unadorned Latin and not avoiding useful philosophical terms just because they were unclassical or non-Ciceronian. The fact that Ficino’s version remained the standard Latin translation of Plato until the nineteenth century is sufficient testimony of his success.87 He also made advances in the analysis of Platonic works. Instead of mining the dialogues for isolated nuggets of ethical wisdom, as the humanists had taught their students to do, he offered complex and coherent analyses of themes—metaphysical and epistemological as well as moral—which ran through the entire corpus. Humanists quickly began to take account of Ficino’s work, which inspired new interpretations of classical literature. Cristoforo Landino (1425–98) used Ficino’s philosophical ideas in his exegesis of Vergil’s Aeneid, which he saw as a Platonic allegory of the soul’s journey from sensuality and hedonism, symbolized by Troy, to a life of divine contemplation, represented by Italy.88 Ficino was himself influenced by humanists, sharing many of their prejudices about contemporary scholastics, whom he referred to as ‘lovers of ostentation’ (philopompi) rather than ‘lovers of wisdom’ (philosophi). Like Bruni and Poliziano, Ficino accused so-called Aristotelians of not understanding the texts they professed to expound, reading them as they did in barbarous medieval translations. He also displayed a humanistic distaste for the logical nitpicking to which scholastics were addicted, leaving them little time, he felt, for more serious philosophical endeavour.89 Not that Ficino was a stranger to scholastic Aristotelianism. His early university training in logic, natural philosophy and medicine gave him a thorough grounding in Aristotle, Averroes and Avicenna, not to mention more recent writers such as Paul of Venice. Although he soon turned against most of the ideas and doctrines associated with this tradition, it left a lasting impact on his terminology and method of argument: there is a definite scholastic feel about the presentation of most of his treatises.90 De vita libri tres (1489), Ficino’s most popular work, contains many scholastic elements. Book II, on methods of prolonging life, borrows liberally from the thirteenth-century English Franciscan Roger Bacon; Book III deals with medical astrology, as transmitted to the medieval West by Arabic thinkers, and also develops a theory of magic based on the doctrine of substantial form elaborated by Thomas Aquinas and other scholastics.91 Even in his Platonic commentaries scholastic ideas often make an appearance: his defence of the superiority of the intellect to the will in the Philebus is taken verbatim from Thomas.92 Although significant, this scholastic strain in Ficino’s work was overshadowed by ancient Neoplatonism. The philosopher whom he most revered after Plato was Plotinus, the founder of Neoplatonism, whose Enneads he translated and commented upon. He also translated works by Proclus, Iamblichus, Porphyry and Synesius, all of whom helped to shape his understanding of the Platonic corpus.93 By promoting Neoplatonic interpretations, already ventilated to a certain extent by Bessarion, Ficino altered the Western perception of Plato, transforming him from a wise moral philosopher into a profound metaphysician. It was Plotinus who first systematized Platonic ontology, dividing reality into a series of hierarchical levels of being or hypostases, extending from the highest, the transcendent One, which was above being, to the lowest, matter, which was below it. This metaphysical scheme was taken over, with various modifications, by the later Neoplatonists, who used it, as Plotinus had done, to explain the deepest layers of meaning in the dialogues. Proclus, for instance, saw the Parmenides as a metaphysical work dealing with the nature of the One and in particular its ontological priority to being. According to the Neoplatonists, being was co-terminous not with the One but with the second hypostasis, Mind, for it was in Mind that the Platonic Ideas, the primary components of reality, were located. Ficino adopted this view of the Parmenides, treating it as a masterpiece of Platonic theology, in which essential truths about the One—God in Ficino’s Christian version of the scheme—were revealed.94 This interpretation of the dialogue, however, was challenged by other members of the intellectual circle of Medicean Florence. Giovanni Pico, in his De ente et uno (1491), recounts how Poliziano asked him to defend the Aristotelian position that being and one are convertible against the Neoplatonic claim that the One is beyond being. To discredit the main evidence for the Neoplatonic stand, Pico went back to the Middle Platonic account of the Parmenides, which portrayed it not as a dogmatic exposition of unknowable truths about the ineffable One, but rather as ‘a sort of dialectical exercise’ in which nothing was definitively asserted or denied. He also criticized the Neoplatonists for misreading the Sophist, in which—according to Pico—Plato actually maintained that one and being were equal.95 Ficino, of course, sided with Plotinus and Proclus against Poliziano and Pico. His commentary on the Sophist is likewise deeply indebted to the Neoplatonic view of the dialogue as a metaphysical discussion of Mind, with special emphasis on the various relationships between the Platonic Ideas.96 Although Ficino used such Neoplatonic insights to give Renaissance Platonism greater depth and coherence, he never lost sight of the primary motivation which had led his contemporaries to admire this philosophy: its compatibility with Christianity. This was in fact the mainspring of his own commitment to Platonism. At the end of 1473 Ficino became a priest, and in the following year he produced an apologetic work, De christiana religione, which attempted to convince the Jews to abandon their obstinate rejection of the true faith. This interest in religious polemics in no way conflicted with his enthusiastic promotion of Platonism. He believed that scholastic Aristotelianism, with its doctrine of the double truth, had given rise to an artificial rift between reason and faith, which were in reality natural allies. By maintaining, as scholastics had traditionally done, that philosophy was of no use to religion and vice versa, the former had become a tool of impiety, while the latter had been entrusted to ignorant and unworthy men. To show those who had separated philosophical studies from Christianity the error of their ways it was necessary to reunite piety and wisdom, creating a learned religion and a pious philosophy.97 The answer to this dilemma lay for Ficino, as it had for Petrarch, in Platonism. Plato had been both a theologian and a philosopher, many of whose doctrines were in harmony with the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The Church Fathers had recognized this when they repeated Numenius’s description of him as a ‘Greekspeaking Moses’ and speculated that he had learned of the Bible on his travels in Egypt.98 Plato was also believed to be the last in a long line of ‘ancient theologians’, which included Hermes Trismegistus, an Egyptian priest and nearcontemporary of Moses. The Hermetic corpus—like the other documents comprising the ancient theology, a Greek forgery from the early Christian era— was translated by Ficino, who thought that it contained a gentile revelation analogous to that granted to the Jews. This quasi-Mosaic wisdom, which had been transmitted to Plato via Orpheus, Pythagoras and other venerable figures, helped to account for the similarity between Platonic doctrines and those of the Old Testament.99 But Plato had not only followed the Mosaic law, he had foretold the Christian one.100 All this made Platonism an ideal gateway to Christianity, especially for those intellectuals who so admired pagan antiquity that they could not be convinced by arguments based on faith alone.101 Aristotelianism, pace Thomas Aquinas and George of Trebizond, had been unequal to this formidable task, for on those two crucial issues —the immortality of the soul and the creation of the world—it had failed to provide solid philosophical support for Christian dogma. One had therefore to turn instead to Platonism. Early humanists like Bruni had looked primarily to the Phaedo for Plato’s demonstration of immortality. So too did Ficino, but he found further proof in the Phaedrus (245C–246A), where Plato puts forward the thesis that the soul, as the self-moving principle of motion, moves and hence lives perpetually.102 The centrality of this issue for Ficino’s synthesis of Platonism and Christianity can be seen in his major philosophical treatise, Theologia platonica de animorum immortalitate, ‘The Platonic Theology of the Immortality of Souls’. Maintaining that in order to accomplish the goal of our existence as human beings, which is the eternal contemplation of God, our souls must be immortal, he produced fifteen different philosophical arguments which established conclusively, on the basis of reason rather than Christian dogma, that the soul survives the body.103 Ficino’s primary philosophical authorities were Plato and the Neoplatonists, but he believed that Aristotle too had supported the doctrine of immortality, although in a vague and confused manner. Ficino had been persuaded by Themistius and other ancient Greek commentators on Aristotle, as well as by Bessarion, that the two philosophers were in essential agreement in most areas.104 Aristotle’s ambiguous presentation of this doctrine, however, had given rise to two erroneous interpretations, both ‘wholly destructive of religion’: Alexander of Aphrodisias’s belief that the soul was mortal and Averroes’s contention that there was only one rational soul for all mankind.105 The best way to combat these pernicious opinions was to go back to the pristine Platonic source from which Aristotle’s muddled teachings derived. No such reconciliation of Plato and Aristotle was possible on the issue of creation, since Aristotle had declared the world to be eternal, while Plato had produced in his Timaeus a Greek counterpart to the Book of Genesis. Yet although Plato’s description of creation was in agreement with the Mosaic account, Ficino questioned its congruence with Christian theology.106 Recognizing that Plato, as a pagan living long before Christ, was necessarily denied access to mysteries such as the Trinity, Ficino was careful to keep sight of the fact that Plato was not a Christian and that he himself was one.107 The revival of Platonism which Petrarch had wished for in the mid-fourteenth century was brought to completion by Ficino at the end of the fifteenth. All the dialogues were now available in reliable Latin translations, as were the major works of the Neoplatonists. A systematic framework of interpretation, closely linked to Christianity but clearly distinguishable from it, had also been established. Platonism had been put on an entirely new and much surer footing. But despite the efforts of its adherents, it had not displaced Aristotelianism, which would continue to be at the centre of Italian Renaissance philosophy for another century. THE ARISTOTELIAN MAINSTREAM During the fifteenth century the traditional separation of reason and faith had begun to break down as philosophical arguments were increasingly used to confirm religious doctrines, above all the immortality of the soul. Ficino, as we have seen, had employed Platonism as a source of rational support for the Christian belief that individual souls were immortal. Even scholastics like Paul of Venice and Nicoletto Vernia had taken the view—in Vernia’s case under pressure from the Church —that personal immortality was demonstrable in philosophical terms. The culmination of this trend was the Fifth Lateran Council’s decree of 1513, which compelled professors of philosophy to present philosophical demonstrations of the Christian position on immortality. The decree meant that it would no longer be permissible to have recourse to the double-truth doctrine in order to discuss the issue on strictly philosophical grounds, independent of theological criteria. This deliberate attempt by the Council to restrict philosophy’s claims to operate autonomously within its own intellectual sphere was soon challenged by Pietro Pomponazzi (1462–1525), a student of Vernia who succeeded him as the leading natural philosopher at Padua, before transferring in 1512 to Bologna. Throughout his career Pomponazzi lectured and wrote on Aristotelian texts in the time-honoured scholastic fashion: addressing the standard questions, reviewing the opinions of previous commentators and employing the philosophical terminology established during the Middle Ages. Though he was in no sense a humanist himself, he was nevertheless influenced, like Vernia, by the humanist approach to Aristotelianism, particularly by the new availability of the Greek commentators on Aristotle, whom he regarded not as replacements for medieval authorities but rather as further reserves in the arsenal of Aristotelian interpretations on which philosophers could freely draw.108 In his early Paduan lectures on De anima, Pomponazzi rejected Alexander of Aphrodisias’s materialist and mortalist view of the soul. According to Aristotle (I.1), the crucial question in relation to immortality was whether the soul needed the body for all its operations. Pomponazzi accepted the answer given by Thomas Aquinas, who admitted that the body was necessary as the soul’s object but not as its subject, thereby preserving the soul’s immateriality and immortality. Alexander’s belief that the soul was the material form of the body had the additional failing of being unable to account for the intellect’s capacity to understand immaterial universals. The Averroist thesis, which in these years Pomponazzi regarded as the authentic interpretation of Aristotle, was able to explain the comprehension of universals, but at the unacceptable cost of severing the essential unity of body and soul, since the single immortal intellect for all mankind merely guided the activities of individual bodies rather than serving as their substantial form. Pomponazzi never questioned the truth of the Christian belief in personal immortality, but he remained undecided for many years as to the correct position on purely philosophical grounds.109 The breakthrough came during a series of lectures on De caelo which he gave at Bologna in 1515–16. In discussing the eternity of the world (I.10), Aristotle establishes an indissoluble link between generation and corruption. Pomponazzi realized that, following this principle, if the soul was immortal it did not have a beginning in time; and if it did have a beginning, it was not immortal. Following Duns Scotus, Pomponazzi now recognized that since Aristotle believed the soul to be generated, he could not have regarded it as immortal.110 Consequently, it was Alexander, not Averroes, who offered the most accurate interpretation of Aristotle and the most satisfactory answer, in terms of philosophy, to the question of immortality. More importantly, since neither this answer nor the Averroist one bolstered the Christian position, as the Lateran decree demanded, it was essential to defy the Council’s pronouncement, reasserting philosophy’s right to treat philosophical issues philosophically, without theological constraints. This is precisely what Pomponazzi did in De immortalitate animae (1516), which is an attempt to resolve the problem of immortality, remaining entirely within natural limits and leaving all religious considerations aside. Pomponazzi now maintained, against Thomas, that the body was necessary for all the soul’s operations, because thought, for Aristotle, always requires the images provided by the imagination from the raw material of sense data. Therefore, based solely on philosophical premises and Aristotelian principles, the probable conclusion was that the soul was essentially mortal, although immortal in the limited sense of participating in the immaterial realm through the comprehension of universals.111 Despite this, Pomponazzi claimed that his belief in the absolute truth of the Christian doctrine of personal immortality remained unshaken, ‘since the canonical Scripture, which must be preferred to any human reasoning and experience whatever, as it was given by God, sanctions this position’. In ‘neutral problems’ such as immortality and the eternity of the world, natural reasoning could not go beyond probabilities; certainty in such matters lay only with God.112 Nevertheless Pomponazzi’s treatise made the point that, however provisional their conclusions, philosophers must be allowed to pursue them without external interference—wherever they might lead. Since the thirteenth century theologians had looked to Aristotle for philosophical support of the Christian doctrine on the soul. Pomponazzi was effectively ruling out this role. The theologians were quick to fight back, publicly burning the treatise, lobbying the pope to compel Pomponazzi to retract the work and writing, along with philosophers who shared their perspective, a stream of attacks on him. Pomponazzi responded to this onslaught by restating his position that immortality was not rationally demonstrable since it was contrary to natural principles. As an article of faith, it could—and should—only be founded on supernatural revelation.113 The theologians, for their part, continued to insist that it was possible to demonstrate immortality. But Pomponazzi forced them to shift their ground. No longer did they argue in terms of natural philosophy; instead, discussions of the soul were transferred to the discipline of metaphysics, where theological considerations were allowed to hold sway. Aristotelian natural philosophy, abandoned by the theologians, was left to the natural philosophers, who were much freer to interpret Aristotle as they chose and to develop an autonomous science of nature.114 Pomponazzi himself contributed to the development of this science in his De naturalium effectuum causis sive de incantationibus, in which he demonstrated that events normally regarded as miraculous could be explained in natural terms. Dismissing the supernatural agency of angels and demons, he argued that the celestial spheres, governed by the Intelligences, were responsible for most socalled miracles.115 Scholastic natural philosophy, combining Aristotle with Arabic astrology, regarded the stars as secondary causes by means of which God controlled the sublunary realm.116 The heavens, though mediators of divine action, were part of nature, operating according to constant, regular and predictable laws, which could be studied scientifically. So Pomponazzi’s emphasis on astrological causation transformed miracles into natural phenomena, accessible to reason. He did not, however, apply this scientific explanation to all miracles: those in the New Testament were exempted on the grounds that they, unlike other wondrous occurrences, violated the natural order and could therefore only have been brought about by direct divine intervention.117 As with the immortality of the soul, he conceded that in religious matters the probable hypotheses provided by scientific enquiry were overruled by the absolute truths of Christian revelation. But in the domain of nature, from which he had excluded theological and supernatural explanations, rational criteria constituted the sole authority. Alongside the scholastic Aristotelianism of Pomponazzi, the humanist variety continued to thrive, even moving into the universities. Pomponazzi’s Paduan colleague Niccolò Leonico Tomeo (1456–1531) was the first professor to lecture on the Greek text of Aristotle. As a Venetian of Greek parentage, Leonico Tomeo inherited the mantle of Byzantine scholars such as Gaza and Argyropulos along with that of Italian humanists like Poliziano and Barbaro. He brought, like his predecessors, an increased accuracy and enhanced elegance to an ever wider range of Aristotelian texts. His finely tuned philological skills— good enough to win the admiration of Erasmus—were deployed in translations of the Parva naturalia, Mechanics and other scientific works. In his prefaces all the standard humanist complaints about contemporary scholastics were repeated: their inability to understand Aristotle, their barbaric language and their futile search for answers to pointless questions. And in his learned scholia ample space was given to the Greek commentators, whose method of exposition he tried to imitate.118 For humanists like Leonico Tomeo the Greek commentators represented a purer and more authentic exegesis of Aristotle than could be found in the scholastic tradition. By the middle of the sixteenth century virtually all the ancient commentaries on Aristotle were in print, both in the original and in Latin translation. Access to these works affected the way that Aristotle was read in a number of ways. Alexander of Aphrodisias’s doubts about the second book of the Metaphysics set off a long-lived debate (continued in the twentieth century by Werner Jaeger) about its authenticity and correct placement within the corpus. While Alexander’s views on the soul decisively influenced Pomponazzi, many in the Averroist camp preferred Simplicius’s exposition of De anima, which they believed could be used in support of the unity of the intellect. Simplicius, along with Themistius, also provided evidence for the essential harmony of Aristotle and Plato. And Philoponus, by arguing for the existence of a void in nature, gave ammunition to those—Galileo among them—who were challenging the fundamental principles of Aristotelian physics.119 The philhellenic bent of humanist Aristotelianism provoked a backlash among scholastic philosophers, who feared that Arabic and medieval expositors were becoming unfashionable as the Greek commentators gained in popularity. In order to remain competitive, they produced up-to-date editions of approved authors such as Thomas Aquinas, replacing the accompanying medieval translations of Aristotle with modern ones, making editorial improvements to the text and providing indexes, cross-references and other scholarly tools.120 The most elaborate of such enterprises was the eleven-volume Giuntine edition of Aristotle and Averroes (1550–2). Its editors were happy to borrow what they could from the humanists. They adopted the Aristotle translations of Bruni, Bessarion, George of Trebizond and Leonico Tomeo; and they applied philological techniques to Averroes, collating different texts, revising them to enhance readability and including versions recently translated from Hebrew intermediaries. But this edition was designed to strike at the heart of the humanist assumption that the Greeks had a monopoly on philosophical achievement. ‘Our age’, wrote the publisher Tommaso Giunta, ‘worships only the Greeks’, while the writings of the Arabs are treated as ‘nothing other than dregs and useless dirt’. Giunta and his editorial team set out to counter this prejudice by presenting Averroes as the only Aristotelian commentator worthy of the name and as a substantial philosopher in his own right, one who had developed and refined the material he found in Aristotle.121 Progressive Aristotelians in the second half of the sixteenth century took advantage of both the Arabic and Greek traditions. Jacopo Zabarella (1533–89), a professor of logic and natural philosophy at Padua, developed an extremely influential theory of method by drawing in equal measure on Averroes and Simplicius. Certain knowledge, he concluded, could be attained through a demonstrative regression, proceeding first from effect to cause (resolutio), and then working back from cause to effect (compositio).122 Zabarella regarded induction, which dealt only with the effects known to the senses, as an inferior form of ‘resolutive’ or a posteriori demonstration, but he recognized that it was essential for disciplines like natural philosophy.123 Zabarella was himself a great believer in observation, often calling on his experience of meteorological phenomena or his acquaintance with contemporary technological processes to corroborate Aristotelian theories.124 The best Peripatetic science in this period showed a similar empirical basis: Andrea Cesalpino (1519–1603), who revised the Aristotelian taxonomy of plants, made extensive use of the botanical garden at Pisa and even took into account specimens recently brought back from the New World.125 Yet even the most advanced Aristotelians did not progress from empiricism to experimentalism. They remained content to observe nature passively in order to confirm established doctrines rather than trying to devise methods of active intervention or validation. They saw their task not as searching out new approaches to the study of nature but as explaining and at best extending the Aristotelian framework within which they operated. This also meant leaving aside matters on which Aristotle had not made explicit pronouncements, such as the immortality of the soul—a problem which Zabarella referred to the theologians.126 Territorial disputes between philosophy and theology were not, however, at an end. Zabarella’s successor Cesare Cremonini (1550–1631) was attacked by the Inquisition for discussing from a Peripatetic viewpoint the eternity of the world and the absence of divine providence in the sublunary realm. Reiterating the traditional Paduan commitment to a naturalistic exposition of Aristotle, Cremonini replied: ‘I have acted as an interpreter of Aristotle, following only his thought.’127 This statement was a strong reaffirmation of the autonomy of philosophy.128 But in the context of the early seventeenth century, it also signified that Aristotelian natural science was a spent force, reduced to sterile and pedantic exegesis of set texts. Cremonini, the most eminent (and highly paid) Aristotelian of his day, was a completely bookish philosopher, lacking the interest in direct observation displayed by the previous generation but sharing their unwillingness to question the doctrinal foundation of Aristotelian philosophy. He is best remembered—appropriately, if perhaps apocryphally—as the man who refused to look in Galileo’s telescope, preferring to learn about the heavens from the pages of Aristotle’s De caelo.129 ALTERNATIVE PHILOSOPHICAL CURRENTS Flowing around the edges of the Aristotelian mainstream were a number of alternative philosophical currents. Not all of them were hostile to Aristotelianism —though most were—but each challenged the prevailing Peripatetic orthodoxy by putting forward a new model of philosophical enquiry. Complaints about the impenetrable jargon of scholastic logic were commonplace among humanists, but few critics were as incisive as Lorenzo Valla (1407–57). Believing that the limits of allowable discourse were fixed by the usage of the best classical authors, Valla banned virtually the entire logical and metaphysical vocabulary of scholasticism. Not satisfied with assaulting medieval and Renaissance Aristotelianism, he attacked Aristotle himself, rejecting his basic terminology (e.g. potentiality and actuality) and reducing his ten categories to only three (substance, quality and action). Even more radical was Valla’s refusal to consider logic as an independent discipline, treating it instead as a part of rhetoric, on the grounds that the logician’s repertoire was limited to the syllogism, while the orator could draw on the full range of argumentative strategies, both necessary and probable, both demonstrative and persuasive. Moreover, orators, who needed to be understood by their audiences, respected the common manner of speech of learned men (by which Valla meant good classical Latin), whereas logicians created their own language, which was meaningless to non-specialists. This subordination of logic to rhetoric entailed a drastic lowering of Aristotle’s authority and a concomitant rise in the prestige of Cicero and Quintilian.130 Valla’s programme did not find another champion until the mid-sixteenth century.131 Mario Nizolio (1488–1567), a fanatical Ciceronian, who compiled a Latin lexicon devoted entirely to words used by his hero, was indignant when some of his contemporaries questioned Cicero’s competence in philosophical matters. In reply to these ‘Cicerobashers’ (Ciceromastiges) Nizolio wrote a series of works, culminating in the treatise De veris principiis et vera ratione philosophandi contra pseudophilosophos (1553). The ‘pseudo-philosophers’ of the title were Aristotelian logicians and metaphysicians, whose false, obscure and useless disciplines he wanted to replace with a ‘true method of philosophizing’, one which combined Ciceronian rhetoric, Latin grammar and philological expertise. Nizolio cited Valla’s attacks on Aristotelianism with approval and shared his humanist contempt for scholastic terminology as well as his desire to demote logic to a mere subdivision of rhetoric. But Valla had not gone far enough, merely cutting off the foliage and branches of Aristotelian philosophy while leaving its trunk and roots intact.132 To eradicate it completely Nizolio employed a thorough-going nominalism, dismissing Platonic ideas as harmless poetic fictions, but arguing forcefully against the reality of Aristotelian universals, which he regarded as the pillars of scholastic logic and metaphysics. Through philological and philosophical analysis, he demonstrated that universals were simply collective names given to concrete particulars belonging to the same class.133 The treatise, which had little impact in the sixteenth century, was reissued in 1670 by Leibniz, who was interested in Nizolio’s nominalism and in his attempt to produce a linguistic reform of logic. Leibniz, however, pointed out a number of errors committed by Nizolio, not least his failure to appreciate Aristotle’s real merits.134 He also criticized Nizolio’s claim that there were serious doubts about the authenticity of the works attributed to Aristotle. This line of attack had appealed to Nizolio because it made Aristotelians appear foolish as well as servile by suggesting that the ipse of their revered ipse dixit was not the genuine Aristotle.135 The evidence for his assertion was borrowed, with acknowledgement, from Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola (1469–1533), a follower of Savonarola, who had learned from him to distrust all human learning and to rely solely on the divine philosophy of the Scriptures. In his Examen vanitatis doctrinae gentium et veritatis Christianae disciplinae (1520), Gianfrancesco set out to prove the futility of pagan doctrine and the truth of Christianity. The first half of the work employs arguments from the ancient Greek sceptic Sextus Empiricus—virtually unknown in the West—to discredit secular knowledge by showing that on every conceivable issue scholars have disagreed with one another and adhered to incompatible views. The second half targets Aristotle, by far the most influential pagan thinker and therefore the most important to subvert. Displaying immense erudition about the Aristotelian tradition, particularly the Greek commentators, Gianfrancesco revealed that all facets of Peripatetic philosophy lacked certitude: the works assigned to Aristotle were doubtfully authentic; his sense-based epistemology could not produce reliable data; his doctrines, often presented with deliberate obscurity, had been disputed by opponents and followers alike and had been criticized by Christian theologians; even Aristotle himself was uncertain about some of them.136 Aristotelian philosophy, the pinnacle of human wisdom, was therefore shown to be constructed on the shakiest of foundations. Christian dogma, by contrast, was built on the bedrock of divine authority and therefore could not be undermined by the sceptical critique. Or so he believed, unaware that scepticism, which he had revived as an ally of Christianity, would eventually become a powerful weapon in the hands of its enemies.137 By stressing the dissension among competing philosophical schools and their fundamental irreconcilability with each other and with Christianity, Gianfrancesco was intentionally deviating from the path set out by his famous uncle Giovanni Pico.138 Giovanni, the literal and metaphorical ‘prince of concord’—he was the hereditary ruler of Concordia and Mirandola—devoted his brief life to demonstrating that, although different philosophical and religious systems appeared to be in conflict, their disagreements were primarily a matter of words, which disguised an underlying unity. The centrepiece of his project was an attempt to reconcile the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle, partially realized in his De ente et uno, a treatise which managed to antagonize both Platonists and Aristotelians.139 Another part of his synthesis involved bridging the gap between the humanist and scholastic approaches to Aristotle. Differing from his friends Poliziano and Barbaro, Pico’s interest in the Greek commentators did not prevent him from paying equal attention to scholastic thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus—whom, characteristically, he wanted to reconcile—nor from studying the works of Averroes and commissioning translations of those extant only in Hebrew.140 With help from Jewish scholars, he also acquired enough knowledge of Cabbala, a mystical theology purporting to derive from Moses, to apply its hermeneutic techniques to the first verses of Genesis.141 Pico believed that each of these traditions—Greek, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew —despite apparent discrepancies, was an incomplete manifestation of a single truth, whose fullest revelation was to be found in Christianity.142 The real objective of his syncretism was the confirmation of Christian dogma,143 although he scrupulously denied that profound mysteries such as the Trinity had any true parallels outside the Church.144 For Ficino it was Platonism, supplemented by the ancient theology, which provided the philosophical justification of religious beliefs.145 Pico had a much grander design: to prove that every genuine form of wisdom was a witness to some aspect of the ultimate truth embodied in Christianity.146 Since there was no room in this scheme for a double truth, doctrines which conflicted with the demands of faith (the attribution of miracles to the power of the stars, the eternity of the world and the mortality of the soul) were excluded as the products of false philosophy and pseudo-science.147 Pico’s Christian syncretism exerted a formative influence on Francesco Giorgi (1460–1540), a Franciscan theologian, whose De harmonia mundi (1525) used the metaphor of musical harmony to express the universal concord of ideas.148 Giorgi found prefigurations of Christianity wherever he looked and was far less discriminating than Pico in registering the differences between Christian and non- Christian doctrines. He also departed from Pico in his hostility to Aristotelianism, especially the Averroist variety, favouring a more Ficinian synthesis in which Neoplatonic philosophers were combined with Hermes Trismegistus, Zoroaster and other putative ancient theologians.149 To this mixture he added an interest in the Christian application of Cabbala, which was more enthusiastic—though less informed—than Pico’s.150 Pico’s concordism was also the inspiration behind De perenni philosophia (1540), in which Agostino Steuco (1497/8–1548) presented a learned account of the ‘perennial philosophy’, a divinely revealed wisdom known to mankind since earliest times. Steuco was an Augustinian biblical scholar, bishop and prefect of the Vatican Library,151 with a solid knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic along with Greek and Latin. Using the Old Testament—but not Cabbala, which he scorned—and the (spurious) works of ancient theologians, he showed that Jews, Chaldeans, Egyptians and other early peoples had transmitted to the Greeks a body of doctrines which, beneath a diversity of forms, contained the same truths. These included the existence of a triune God, the creation of the world and the immortality of the human soul.152 Christianity’s advent had not brought new truths, as Pico believed, but had simply renewed the knowledge of old ones, which had been corrupted in transmission. Even though Steuco shared Giorgi’s predilection for Neoplatonic authors, he did not exclude Aristotle from the perennial philosophy. His Aristotle, however, was the author of De mundo and other misattributed works, containing hints—amplified by Steuco—of belief in divine providence and immortality, though not, alas, in creation.153 Despite (or more likely because of) having studied in Bologna during Pomponazzi’s final years there, he distanced himself from scholastic Aristotelianism and strongly opposed the notion that philosophical truth was independent of theology. For Steuco, reason and revelation, which both flowed from God, necessarily led to the same conclusions.154 Ficino’s Christianized Neoplatonism, although a key element in the syncretism of thinkers like Giorgi and Steuco, did not gain much support as an independent philosophical system. The only aspect which excited general interest was the theory of love elaborated by Ficino in his Symposium commentary, a theory which became so popular that it dominated the public perception of Platonism throughout the sixteenth century and beyond.155 Even Francesco da Diacceto (1466–1522), Ficino’s Florentine successor, concentrated on the issues of love and beauty, investing them, however, with a metaphysical and theological significance absent in the stylized, literary treatments that proliferated throughout Italy. Beauty, for Diacceto as for Ficino, was a divine emanation, which inspired the human soul with a celestial love that fuelled its spiritual ascent and guided it to an ecstatic union with the One.156 As a philosophy professor at the University of Pisa, Diacceto was constrained to lecture on Aristotle; but he took every opportunity to defend Plato against Aristotle’s attacks and attempted to establish a concord of the two philosophers which, in deliberate contrast to Pico’s, squeezed Aristotle into a Platonic mould.157 Not until 1576 did Platonism enter the curriculum at Pisa. Even then it was merely an ancillary subject assigned to a professor whose main job was to lecture on Aristotle.158 Professorships specifically devoted to Platonism were established in the universities of Ferrara (1578) and Rome (1592), but both were essentially ad hominem chairs created for Francesco Patrizi da Cherso (1529–97). An encounter with Ficino’s Theologia platonica had converted Patrizi, then studying medicine at Padua, into a fervent Platonist, committed to overthrowing the Aristotelian monopoly of the universities.159 The first stage in this crusade was the demolition of Aristotelianism. Combining superb humanist erudition with unflagging polemical energy, he accused Aristotle of both plagiarizing and misrepresenting earlier philosophers; questioned—like Nizolio and Gianfrancesco Pico—the authenticity of the Aristotelian corpus; and challenged the philosophical competence of ancient, medieval and Renaissance Peripatetics.160 His most damning charge against Aristotelianism, however, was the same as that made by Petrarch two centuries earlier: its fundamental incompatibility with Christianity. Addressing Pope Gregory XIV, Patrizi pointed out the absurdity of teaching a philosophy so manifestly detrimental to religion in universities throughout Europe and of using its impious tenets as the philosophical foundation of Christian theology. In its place he wanted to substitute the pious philosophy set out in his Nova de universis philosophia (1591), which was entirely consonant with Catholicism and which was capable of providing such strong rational proofs of dogmatic beliefs that not only Jews and Muslims but even Lutherans would be won over.161 What Patrizi offered the Pope was a Ficinian amalgam of Platonism, Neoplatonism and Christianity, with particular emphasis given to the ancient theology. By the late sixteenth century the genuineness of texts like the Hermetic corpus was beginning to be doubted. But Patrizi, who had read his Steuco, clung to a belief in them as documents of a primitive, divinely inspired wisdom, which had prefigured Christianity and formed the core of Platonism before being crushed by the weight of Aristotelian rationalism.162 In only one treatise had Aristotle incorporated material from this ancient tradition: the Theology (actually a ninth-century Arabic reworking of Plotinus’s Enneads that had come to be attributed to Aristotle) which, according to Patrizi, was a record of his notes on Plato’s lectures concerning Egyptian religion. For Patrizi, as for Steuco, it was pseudonymous works such as this, containing uncharacteristic affirmations of divine providence and immortality, which represented the acceptable face of Aristotelianism.163 The Theology was therefore included, along with the works of Hermes, Zoroaster, Plato and the Neoplatonists, in the new canon of godly philosophy which Patrizi hoped would replace the ungodly Aristotelian one.164 The Roman Inquisitors, evidently unconvinced by Patrizi’s claims, placed the Nova philosophia on the Index—a fate which had earlier befallen Giorgi’s De harmonia mundi.165 These authors, attempting to protect Christianity from the impieties of Aristotelianism, discovered that the Church was not prepared to abandon its long alliance with Peripatetic philosophy. Patrizi’s ‘new philosophy’, aiming to be as comprehensive as the Aristotelian system it was designed to supplant, was basically Neoplatonic. The cosmos consisted of a hierarchical series of nine levels of being, all emanating ultimately from the One. Patrizi’s One was not, like Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover, the final cause of motion, but rather the efficient cause of light, which he regarded as one of the four fundamental principles of the physical world, the others being heat, space and fluid or flux (fluor).166 In substituting these building-blocks for those of Aristotle (fire, air, water and earth), Patrizi was working along similar lines to another anti-Aristotelian philosopher, Bernardino Telesio (1509–88). In his De rerum natura iuxta propria principia (1565–86), a treatise which Patrizi knew well, Telesio too postulated heat as one of the principles of nature, although the other elements in his tripartite scheme were cold and matter.167 Telesio’s philosophy was also presented as an alternative to Aristotelianism—and also ended up on the Index. But he rejected Platonic as well as Aristotelian metaphysics, grounding his system on an extreme form of empiricism, which maintained that nature could only be understood through sensation and observation—a manifesto which would earn him the qualified praise of Francis Bacon.168 Coming from very different directions, Telesio and Patrizi both attacked many of the same weaknesses in the Peripatetic structure, especially Aristotle’s concept of space or place as an attribute of body and his denial of the existence of a void in nature. Telesio, appealing to the evidence of the senses, argued that space could indeed exist without bodies and that empty space was therefore possible.169 Patrizi, building on statements in Plato’s Timaeus (49A, 52B), regarded space as prior to all bodies, an empty receptacle which, although incorporeal, was an extended, dimensional entity.170 These views of Patrizi were taken up in the seventeenth century by Pierre Gassendi, whose atomist physics required precisely this sort of vacuist conception of space.171 Patrizi also maintained, against Aristotle, that there was an infinite stretch of empty space beyond the outermost sphere of the heavens. Below the heavens, however, his cosmos was the traditional Ptolemaic Aristotelian one: finite and closed, with the earth—despite Copernicus —at its centre.172 A more radical cosmology was proposed by Giordano Bruno (1548–1600), who not merely accepted Copernican heliocentrism but expanded it by making our solar system only one of an infinite number of worlds which existed within an infinite universe.173 Bruno did not come to these conclusions on the basis of mathematics, for which he had little respect or talent.174 Nor did he approve of the scholarly method of Patrizi, which he described as ‘soiling pages with the excrement of pedantry’. And while Telesio had ‘fought an honourable battle’ against Aristotle, his empirical epistemology was unable to grasp essential notions like infinity, which were imperceptible to the senses.175 Bruno looked instead to the cosmological poetry of Lucretius, the metaphysical theories of the Neoplatonists and, above all, the theological speculations of Nicholas of Cusa.176 For Bruno, the infinity of the universe was a reflection of the infinity of its divine creator, although God’s infinity was simple and indivisible, while that of the universe consisted of a multiplicity of finite constituent parts. He furthermore maintained that the universe, as the image of God, partook in His eternity, thus giving an entirely new slant to the standard Peripatetic doctrine. In like manner, Bruno—a renegade Dominican monk, thoroughly trained in Peripatetic philosophy—retained much of the accepted metaphysical terminology while dramatically transforming its significance. He still talked of form and matter, actuality and potentiality, but he treated them (as Spinoza would later treat Cartesian thought and extension) as aspects of a single, universal substance, whose accidents were the particular objects which we perceive.177 When put on trial by the Inquisition in the 1590s, Bruno stated that he pursued philosophical ideas ‘according to the light of nature’, without regard to any principles prescribed by faith.178 This was as clear a statement of the autonomy of philosophy as any made by the scholastic Aristotelians that he despised. Unlike them, however, he did not believe in a double truth. There was only one truth for Bruno; but it was not the single truth of faith upheld by non-Aristotelian thinkers from Petrarch to Patrizi. While they were aiming for a pious philosophy, Bruno sought a philosophical piety: a rationalistic and naturalistic religion, patterned on that of ancient Egypt, as portrayed in the Hermetic corpus; a religion which left behind Christian superstitions, such as transubstantiation and the virgin birth, and adopted in their place beliefs and values that reflected the cosmological, physical and metaphysical principles which he had uncovered.179 Bruno was not simply defending the rights of reason, he was usurping those of faith; and it was this, far more than his espousal of Copernicanism or the infinite universe, which led the Church to burn him at the stake on 17 February 1600.180 Some of Bruno’s ideas had a limited influence after his execution, but his philosophy never gained a wide following.181 Nor did that of other sixteenthcentury opponents of Aristotelianism, although individual doctrines gained the approval of later thinkers. The critiques of Peripatetic philosophy formulated in the late Italian Renaissance undoubtedly helped to weaken it, but it was the scientific and epistemological revolutions of the seventeenth century which delivered the death blow. NOTES 1 Pietro d’Abano (c. 1250–1316) noted that this outlook had been endorsed by Albertus Magnus: Pietro d’Abano [1.29], diff. IX, propter 3; see also Paschetto [1. 40]. 2 E.g. Blasius of Parma (Biagio Pelacani, c. 1365–1416): see Blasius of Parma [1. 22], I.8, and also Federici Vescovini [1.33]. 3 Pietro d’Abano [1.29], diff. IX, propter 3; Blasius of Parma [1.22], 58. See Aristotle, De caelo I.10 and Physics VIII. 4 Blasius of Parma [1.22], 71; see also Federici Vescovini [1.33], 395–402; Nardi [1. 14], 47–8, 55–8, 71–3. 5 Petrarch [1.25], 21; see also Foster [1.34]; Mann [1.39]; Kristeller [1.11], ch. 1. 6 Petrarch [1.30], 58–9, 76; see also Garin [1.6], 149–50. 7 Petrarch [1.31], vol. 1, 37 (I.7); see also Petrarch [1.27], 52 (Secretum I); Petrarch [1.28], 75. 8 Petrarch [1.25], vol. 3, 213 (XVI.14); Petrarch [1.32], 245–8 (Seniles V.2); see also Garin [1.6], 150–2; Gilbert [1.36], 210–16; Vasoli [1.19], 9–15. 9 Petrarch [1.24], 40, 62, 65; see also Kamp [1.37]. 10 Petrarch [1.30], 53; see also Petrarch [1.26], 65 (II.31); Petrarch [1.24], 61. 11 Petrarch [1.26], 65 (II.31); Petrarch [1.24], 67. 12 Petrarch [1.30], 142–3 (Seniles XII.2 and XV.6); Petrarch [1.32], 247 (Seniles V. 2); see also Kamp [1.37], 37–9; Kristeller [1.10], vol. 1, 210; Garin [1.6], 147–9. 13 See, for example, Kuksewicz [1.23], 127–46. 14 Petrarch [1.30], 93, 95, 117. 15 Petrarch [1.26], 27–9 (I.25); Petrarch [1.30], 58, 72, 75; Petrarch [1.25], vol. 1, 93 (II.9), vol. 3, 255 (XVII.8); see also Gerosa [1.35]; Kamp [1.37]; Garin [1.6], 269, 277. 16 Petrarch [1.24], 58, 94. On the availability of Plato in Latin see p. 26 below. 17 Petrarch [1.24], 76. On the Greek manuscript see Kristeller [1.12], 57, 153–4. 18 Petrarch [1.24], 66, 78–9; Petrarch [1.26], 31 (I.25); Petrarch [1.28], 662–4; Augustine, De civitate Dei VIII.9–10 and XXII.7, De vera religione III.3, Confessions III.iv.7; see also Foster [1.34], 170; Gerosa [1.35], 246, 252–3. 19 On Bruni see Dizionario [1.4], vol. 14, 618–33; Bruni [1.56], 21–42. Aside from Aristotle, Bruni translated works by Plato, Demosthenes, Aeschines, Xenophon and Plutarch. 20 Bertalot [1.57], vol. 2, 132–3; Bruni [1.46], vol. 1, 17 (I.8); see also Cammelli [1. 63], vol. 1; Schmitt and Skinner [1.17], 86–7; Schmitt [1.16], 68; Gerl [1.65], 125– 6. 21 Bruni [1.46], vol. 2, 88, 216 (VII.4; X.24); Bruni [1.56], 208, 210, 213; Bruni [1.47], 77, 84–6. 22 Bruni [1.56], 68–9 (Dialogi); see also Gilbert [1.36], 209; Vasoli [1.19], 26. 23 Garin [1.64], 62–8. 24 Petrarch [1.24], 67; Bruni [1.56], 82, 91, 226, 229; Bruni [1.47], 48, 77; see also Seigel [1.18], ch. 4. Cicero’s praise (Academica II.xxxviii.119, De finibus I.v.14; Topica I.3) was based on Aristotle’s lost exoteric works, not on the so-called school treatises we now have. 25 See Alonso de Cartagena’s Liber in Birkenmajer [1.59], 168, 173, 175; Bruni [1. 56], 201–6; see also Garin [1.64], 63–4; Schmitt and Skinner [1.17], 79, 90. 26 Bruni [1.56], 45. For the prefaces to his Aristotle translations, see Bruni [1.47], 70– 81, 120–1. 27 Bruni [1.56], 59–60, 268; see also Garin [1.6], 151–2; Vasoli [1.19], 23–7; Gilbert [1.36], 205–13. 28 Cammelli [1.63], vol. II; Dizionario [1.4], vol. 4, 129–31; Field [1.92], ch. 5; for his inaugural lectures, see Müllner [1.51], 3–56. 29 Argyropulos [1.42]. He translated Aristotle’s Categories, De interpretation, Prior and Posterior Analytics, as well as Porphyry’s Isagoge: see Cammelli [1.63], vol. 2, 183–4; Garin [1.64], 83–5. 30 Müllner [1.51], 43. He translated the Physics, De caelo and De anima: Cammelli [1.63], vol. 2, 183; Garin [1.64], 84–5. 31 Müllner [1.51], 51–2: he describes Alexander’s opinion as ‘quite false and totally abhorrent’, and Averroes’s as ‘extremely dangerous’; in support of the Christian position, he produced ‘some rational arguments based on natural philosophy’, as well as those based on ‘faith’; see also Garin [1.5], 102–5. 32 Argyropulos [1.43]. 33 Acciaiuoli [1.41]; see also Bianchi [1.58]; Field [1.92], ch. 8. He wrote a similar commentary on the Politics. 34 George translated the Physics, De anima, De generatione et corruptione, De caelo, the zoological works and the Rhetoric, as well as the Pseudo-Aristotelian Problems: Garin [1.64], 75–81; see also Monfasani [1.103]. 35 George of Trebizond [1.49], 142–3, 191, 268; see also Monfasani [1.103], 26, 42, 76–7; Minio-Paluello [1.67], 264–5; Schmitt and Skinner [1.17], 77, 88. 36 George of Trebizond [1.49], 106–7. Gaza retranslated the zoological works and the Problems, as well as translating Latin works, such as Cicero’s De senectute, into Greek; on Gaza see Monfasani in Hankins et al. [1.8], 189–219, esp. 207–19; on Bessarion see Mohler [1.102], vol. 1; Garin [1.64], 74–5. 37 In 1452 he was imprisoned for brawling with another humanist in the chancery of the papal Curia: Monfasani [1.103], 109–11. 38 George of Trebizond [1.49], 107, 132–3; George of Trebizond in Mohler [1.102], vol. 3, 277–342 (Adversus Theodorum Gazam in perversionem Problematum Aristotelis); see also Monfasani [1.103], 152–4 39 George of Trebizond in Mohler [1.102], vol. 3, 319 (Adversus Theodorum Gazam); George of Trebizond [1.49], 142; see also Monfasani [1.103], 155–6; Garin [1.6], 288–9. He also treated scholastic logicians with respect and drew on their works in his Isagoge dialectics. 40 Poliziano [1.53], 303 (Miscellanea I.90); see also Garin [1.64], 78–80; Dizionario [1.4], vol. 2, 691–702. 41 Poliziano [1.53], 310 (Miscellanea I, Coronis), 529–30 (Praelectio de dialectica), 502 (Praefatio in Suetonii expositionem); see also Klibansky [1.97], 316; Branca [1.61], 13. The Praelectio de dialectica, a by-product of Poliziano’s teaching, became a standard introduction to Aristotelian logic: Schmitt [1.16], 61. 42 Poliziano [1.54], xiv–xxiii, 18; Poliziano [1.53], 179 (Epistolae XII); see also Wolters [1.69]. 43 Dizionario [1.4], vol. 4, 96–9; Branca [1.60]; Branca [1.61], 13–15. Aside from his Aristotelian work, Barbaro also produced philological commentaries on Pliny’s Natural History (Castigationes Plinianae) and on Dioscorides. 44 Barbaro [1.44] is based on his lectures; see also Kristeller [1.10], vol. 1, 337–53. 45 Barbaro [1.45], vol. 1, 16–17, 92, 104–5 (Epp. XII, LXXII, LXXXI), vol. 2, 108 (Oratio ad discipulos); see also Garin [1.64], 87–9; Dionisotti in Medioevo [1.13], vol. 1, 217–53; Branca [1.62], 131–3. 46 Pico [1.166]; see also Kristeller [1.182], 56–8; Valcke [1.197], 191; Roulier [1. 193], 85–6; Branca [1.60], 227–8. 47 Barbaro Epistolae, vol. 1, 77–8 (Ep. LXI); see also Branca [1.62], 132. 48 See Kretzmann et al. [1.38], 74–8; Kristeller [1.10], vol. 1, 341–2 n. 13. 49 Branca [1.62], 131, 166–7; Nardi [1.14], 366–8. 50 Manutius [1.50], vol. 1, 5–7, 13–18, 22–3; see also Minio-Paluello [1.67], 489–93. 51 Cavalli [1.48], a 2v; Manutius [1.50], vol. 1, 14; see also Schmitt in Poppi [1.68], 287–314. 52 Manutius [1.50], vol. 1, 7, 17; see also p. 40 below. 53 Minio-Paluello [1.67], 489, 496; Mahoney [1.66]; Mahoney in Poppi [1.68], 135– 202. 54 Vernia [1.55], 89v; see also Mahoney [1.126], 169–70; Mahoney in Poppi [1.68], 156; Mahoney [1.66], 149–63; Schmitt and Skinner [1.17], 493–4; Di Napoli [1.3], 181–93. Vernia corresponded with Barbaro: see Barbaro [1.44], vol. 1, 79–80 (Ep. LXII). 55 Paul of Venice [1.52], z7r–8r; see also Kuksewicz in Olivieri [1.15], vol. 2, 297– 324; Schmitt and Skinner [1.17], 490. 56 Klibansky [1.96]. 57 Bruni [1.47], 4; translation in Hankins [1.95], vol. 1, p. 50; Bruni [1.46], vol. 1, 15– 16 (I.8); see also Garin in Medioevo [1.13], vol. 1, 339–74, esp. 361–3; Di Napoli [1.3], 125. 58 Bertalot [1.57], vol. 2, 269. 59 Bruni [1.46], vol. 2, 148 (IX.4); Hankins [1.95], vol. 1, 58–81. For Bruni’s second version of the Crito (1424–7) see Plato [1.82]; he also translated the Apology (1424): see Garin in Medioevo [1.13], vol. 1, 365; for his knowledge of the Cratylus see Bruni [1.46], vol. 1, 11–12 (1.6). 60 Bruni [1.46], vol. 2, 148 (IX.4), described the translation as very inept; see also Garin in Medioevo [1.13], vol. 1, 341–4; Hankins in Hankins et al. [1.8], 149–88, esp. 149–60. 61 Hankins [1.95], vol. 1, 105–54, vol. 2, 548–75; Garin in Medioevo [1.13], vol. 1, 347–57. A third version of the Republic was undertaken by the Sicilian humanist Antonio Cassarino (d. 1447): Hankins [1.95], vol. 1, 154–60. 62 Hankins in Hankins et al. [1.8], 166–76. 63 Kraye [1.98]; Hankins [1.95], vol. 2, 515–23. 64 See, for example, his lectures on the Ethics in Müllner [1.51], 15, 20, 22–3; see also Garin [1.5], 119–20; Field [1.92], 107–26. 65 George of Trebizond [1.49], 304; Klibansky [1.97], 289–94; Monfasani [1.103], 18– 19, 167; Garin in Medioevo [1.13], 372–3. 66 See p. 22 above. 67 George of Trebizond [1.49], 198–202 (Preface), 746–7 (marginal notes); see also Monfasani [1.103], 102–3, 171–2 and appendix 10 (for the original Preface to Nicholas V); Hankins [1.95], vol. 2, appendix 11. 68 Woodhouse [1.105]; Mohler [1.102], vol. 1, 335–40. 69 Plethon [1.84], 321, trans. in Plethon [1.87], 192; see also Woodhouse [1.105], ch. 10. 70 Plethon [1.84], 321–2, 327–8, trans. in Plethon [1.87], 192–3, 198–9; Monfasani [1. 103], 157, 205–6. 71 Plethon [1.83], Woodhouse [1.105], ch. 17; Webb [1.104]; Hankins [1.95], vol. 1, 193–208. 72 Plethon [1.83], 64–79 (II.6); Woodhouse [1.105], 332–4. This portion of the treatise circulated independently in the West under the title De fato and was translated into Latin for Nicholas of Cusa: Kristeller [1.100]. 73 Woodhouse [1.105], chs 13 and 15. 74 George of Trebizond [1.80], V viv; see also Monfasani [1.103], 39. 75 George of Trebizond [1.80], D iir–Niiir; see also Hankins [1.95], vol. 2, appendix 14; Monfasani [1.103], 157; Labowsky [1.101], 175–6. 76 George of Trebizond [1.80], T vr–X iiv; Monfasani [1.103], 159; Garin [1.6], 290– 2. 77 Monfasani [1.103], 179–94; for his earlier spell in jail see note 37 above. 78 Gaza [1.79]; for his Adversus Plethonem de substantia see Mohler [1.102], vol. 3, 153–8. 79 Labowsky [1.101], 180, 194; see also p. 23. Argyropulos also wrote a refutation of the Comparatio, which is now lost: Monfasani [1.103], 212, 228. 80 Labowsky [1.101], 180–4, 194–7. 81 Labowsky [1.101], 180, 194. Bessarion’s critique of George’s translation occurs in Book V, which is not printed in the edition of Bessarion’s treatise in Mohler [1. 102], vol. 2; see Hankins [1.95], vol. 1, 191; Garin [1.6], 287. 82 Bessarion in Mohler [1.102], vol. 2, 72–3 (I.7), 90–3 (II.4), 154–5 (II.9), 410–13 (III.28); see also Hankins [1.95], vol. 1, 246–7; Monfasani [1.103], 219–20. 83 Bessarion in Mohler [1.102], vol. 2, 3 (I.1), 102–3, 109 (II.5), 282–95 (III.15). 84 Bessarion in Mohler [1.102], vol. 2, 161–3 (II.8), 443–59 (IV.2), 467 (IV.2); see also Hankins [1.95], vol. 1, 255–9, vol. 2, appendix 13. 85 Ficino’s letter is published in Mohler [1.102], vol. 3, 544–5, as are the letters of Argyropulos (545–6) and Filelfo (599–600). On Ficino see Kristeller [1. 99]; Kristeller [1.11], ch. 4; Kristeller in Garfagnini [1.93], vol. 1, 15–196; Copenhaver and Schmitt [1.2], 143–63. 86 Ficino [1.70], vol. 2, 1304, 1427, 1438, 1484; see also Hankins [1.95], vol. 1, 312– 14, 345, 358, 361. 87 Hankins [1.95], vol. 1, 310–12, vol. 2, appendix 18A. 88 Landino [1.81], Books III and IV; see also Field [1.92], ch. 9. 89 Ficino [1.72], 176–7 (I.100); Ficino [1.70], vol. 2, 1300–3 (In Euthydemum epitome). 90 Kristeller [1.10], vol. 1, 35–97. The major exception is his exposition of the Symposium (Ficino [1.73], trans. in Ficino [1.85], where he adopted a dialogue format and gave more than usual care to literary elegance. It was also the one commentary which Ficino himself translated into Italian. 91 Ficino [1.78]; see also Copenhaver [1.91]. Ficino’s attitude towards astrology fluctuated considerably: see, for example, his attack on judicial astrology: Ficino [1. 71], vol. 2, 11–76 (Disputatio contra indicium astrologorum); see also the articles by Walker and Kaske in Garfagnini [1.93], vol. 2, 341–9, 371–81. 92 Ficino [1.75], 35–48, 368–83 (I.37); he later moved to a more voluntarist position: see Ficino [1.72], 201–10 (I.115), trans. in Ficino [1.86], vol. 1, 171–8. 93 For his Plotinus commentary, first published in 1492, see Ficino [1.70], vol. 2, 1537–1800; see also Wolters [1.69]; Gentile [1.94], 70–104. 94 Ficino [1.70], 1154 (In Parmenidem): see also Allen [1.88]. 95 Pico [1.155], 386–9 (Prooemium), 390–6 (cap. II), trans. in Pico [1.165], 37–8, 38– 41; see also Allen in Garfagnini [1.93], vol. 2, 417–55; Schmitt and Skinner [1.17], 582–4; Klibansky [1.97], 318–25; Garin [1.175], 75–82; Valcke [1.197], 221–3; Roulier [1.193], 96–7. 96 Ficino [1.77], esp. chs 32–5. 97 Ficino [1.74], vol. 1, 36 (prohemium); Ficino [1.70], vol. 1, 1–2 (De christiana religione), 853–4, 871; see also Vasoli [1.20], 19–73. 98 Ficino [1.70], vol. 1, 774, 866, 956. For an earlier use of this argument see Bruni [1. 47], 4, 136; Bertalot [1.57], vol. 2, 269. For Numenius, see Eusebius, Praeparatio evangelica II.10.14 and Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis I.22.150. 99 Ficino [1.70], vol. 1, 156, 268, 386, 854, 871, vol. 2, 1537, 1836; see also Walker [1.21]; Allen in Henry and Hutton [1.9], 38–47; Schmitt [1.195], 507–11; Gentile [1.94], 57–70. 100 See his letter to Prenninger in Klibansky [1.96], 45; Ficino [1.70], vol. 1, 899 (Ep. IX). 101 Ficino [1.74], vol. 1, 36 (I.1), vol. 2, 283 (XIV. 10); Ficino [1.70], vol. 1, 855 (Ep. VII). 102 Ficino [1.70], vol. 2, 1390–5 (In Phaedonem epitome); Ficino [1.76], chs 5–6; see also Allen [1.89], ch. 3. 103 Ficino [1.74], vol. 1, 174–222 (V); see also Kristeller [1.99], ch. 15; Di Napoli [1. 3], ch. 3. 104 Ficino [1.70], vol. II, 1801 (Expositio in interpretationem Prisciani Lydi super Theophrastum). 105 Ficino [1.70], vol. 1, 872 (Ep. VIII), vol. 2, 1537 (In Plotinum). 106 Ficino [1.70], vol. 2, 1442, 1449, 1463 (In Timaeum commentarium); see also Allen in Hankins et al. [1.8], 399–439. 107 Ficino [1.70], vol. 1, 956, vol. 2, 1533 (Argumentum in sextam epistolam Platonis); see also Allen [1.90]; but see Pico’s criticism of Ficino in note 144 below. 108 Kristeller in Olivieri [1.15], vol. 2, 1077–99, esp. 1080–4; Kristeller [1.11], ch. 5. 109 Pomponazzi [1.114]; Pomponazzi [1.115]; see also Nardi [1.127], ch. 4; Di Napoli [1.3], 229–34. 110 Nardi [1.127], 197–9; Di Napoli [1.3], 235–8; Olivieri [1.128], 69–76. 111 Pomponazzi [1.112], 36–7, 82–137; see also Aristotle, De anima I.1, III.7; Di Napoli [1.3], 245–64; Olivieri [1.128], 76–84. 112 Pomponazzi [1.119], 302, 377; Pomponazzi [1.112], 82, 232; see also Pine [1.129], 109–12. 113 Pomponazzi [1.110], 52–75 (Apologia), 81–108 (Defensorium); see also Di Napoli [1.3], 265–75; Schmitt and Skinner [1.17], 504–7. 114 Schmitt and Skinner [1.17], 602–5; Lohr [1.125]. 115 Pomponazzi [1.111], 198; see also Pine [1.129], 235–53; Schmitt and Skinner [1. 17], 273. The treatise, written c. 1520, was published posthumously in 1556; it was the only work by Pomponazzi to be put on the Index. 116 The astrological determinism postulated by Pomponazzi in De incantationibus was reiterated in Books I and II of his De fato (Pomponazzi [1.113], in which he attempts to refute Alexander of Aphrodisias’s defence of contingency. 117 Pomponazzi [1.111], 315; see also Pine [1.129], 256–8; Kristeller in Olivieri [1. 15], vol. 2, 1093–6. 118 De Bellis [1.122]; Branca [1.60], 225. 119 Schmitt [1.134]; Kraye [1.124]; Cranz [1.120]; Nardi [1.14], 365–442; Mahoney [1. 126]; Schmitt [1.135]. 120 Cranz [1.121]. 121 Aristotle [1.106], vol. 1, A A II 2v–3r; see also Schmitt [1.132]; Minio-Paluello [1. 67], 498–500. 122 Zabarella [1.117], 178–9 (De methodis III.18); see also Gilbert [1.7], ch. 7; Poppi [1.130], ch. 6. 123 Zabarella [1.117], 180–1 (De methodis III. 19); see also Schmitt and Skinner [1. 17], 689–93. 124 Zabarella [1.118], 69, 541–56, 1056, 1067, 1069; see also Schmitt [1.131]; Poppi [1.130], ch. 7. 125 Cesalpino [1.108]; his treatise on minerals and metals, De metallicis (1596), also makes use of observational material. 126 Zabarella [1.118], 1004 (De speciebus intelligibilibus 8); see also Schmitt and Skinner [1.17], 530–4. 127 Cremonini [1.109], † 3r; see also Schmitt [1.133], 15; Schmitt [1.16], 101–12, 33, 138; Dizionario [1.4], vol. 30, 618–22. 128 Another late Aristotelian, Francesco Buonamici (1533–1603), one of Galileo’s teachers at the University of Pisa, was equally insistent on the separation of philosophy and religion: Buonamici [1.107], 810; see also Helbing [1.123], 65. 129 Viviani [1.116], 610; see also Schmitt [1.133], 14; Kessler in Henry and Hutton [1. 9], 137–4, esp. 141; Lohr [1.125], 99. 130 Valla [1.159], vol. 1, 1–8 (I, proemium), 128–9 (I.16), 148 (I.17), 175–6 (II, proemium), 277–8 (III, proemium); see also Camporeale [1.171]; Seigel [1.18], ch. 5; Vasoli [1.19], 28–77; Monfasani [1.185], 181–5; Copenhaver and Schmitt [1.2], 209–27; Kristeller [1.11], ch. 2. For Valla’s critique of Aristotelian moral philosophy see Schmitt and Skinner [1.17], 335, 340–1. 131 His Repastinatio had only limited manuscript diffusion and was not printed until 1496–1500. 132 Nizolio [1.146], vol. 1, 21–31 (I.1), 34–5 (I.2), vol. 2, 52, 62 (III.5), 92 (III.8), 140 (IV.2); see also Monfasani [1.185], 192; Vasoli [1.19], 606–13. 133 Nizolio [1.146], vol. 1, 29 (I.1), 52 (I.4), 59–68 (I.6), 89–96 (I.8), 112 (I.10); see also Rossi [1.192]; Wesseler [1.202]. 134 Leibniz [1.144], 398–476. 135 Leibniz [1.144], 429–30; Nizolio [1.146], vol. 2, 165–77 (IV.6). 136 Pico [1.151], 1011–1264 (IV–VI); see also Schmitt [1.194]; Siraisi in Henry and Hutton [1.9], 214–29, esp. 217–21. 137 Pico [1.151], 853 (II.20), 913 (II.37), 1007 (III.14), 1029 (IV.3); see also Popkin [1. 189], ch. 11. 138 Pico [1.151], 738 (I.2), 1026 (IV.2); see also Schmitt [1.194], 47–8, 62. 139 Pico [1.155], 385–441 (De ente), trans. in Pico [1.165], 24–5, 37–62; see also p. 35 above. For his announcement of the project in 1486 see Pico [1.154], 54: ‘There is no natural or divine enquiry in which Aristotle and Plato, for all their apparent verbal disagreement, do not in reality agree.’ For an earlier attempt to establish a concord of Plato and Aristotle see Bessarion in Mohler [1.102], vol. 2, 411–13 (III.28). 140 Pico [1.154], 34–5 (for his Averroist theses), 54 (for the concord of Thomas and Duns Scotus); Pico [1.155], 144–6 (Oratio); see also Nardi [1.14], 127–46. 141 Pico [1.155], 167–383 (Heptaplus), trans. in Pico [1.165], 65–174; see also Wirszubski [1.204]. 142 See his letter to Aldus Manutius (11 February 1490) in Pico [1.152], 359: ‘Philosophy seeks the truth, theology finds it and religion possesses it’. 143 See, for example, Pico [1.154], 83–90, where he puts forward Cabbalistic theses that ‘confirm Christianity’; see also Pico [1.155], 160–1 (Oratio), 246–8 (Heptaplus, III, proemium); Pico [1.152], 124 (Apologia). 144 Pico [1.155], 466–7 (Commente 1.5); he also pointed out important differences between the Christian and Platonic accounts of the angelic intelligence and criticized Ficino for attributing to the Platonists the Christian doctrine of God’s direct creation of individual souls: ibid., 464–6 (I.3–4). 145 On the ancient theology see p. 36. Pico shared Ficino’s interests: see Pico [1.154], 41–50, for theses taken from Neoplatonists and ancient theologians. 146 Roulier [1.193], ch. 2; Valcke [1.197]; Garin [1.175], 73–89; Kristeller [1.182]; Schmitt [1.195], 511–13. 147 Pico [1.153], vol. 1, 126–37 (II.5), vol. 2, 474 (XI.2). Like Vernia, with whom he studied in Padua 1480–2, Pico brought Alexander of Aphrodisias into his Christian synthesis by denying his mortalist view of the soul: Pico [1.154], 40; see also Di Napoli [1.3], 172; Nardi [1.14], 369; on Vernia, see p. 25. 148 Giorgi [1.143], esp. D iir–E viv (I.ii.1–13); see also Schmitt [1.195], 513–14. 149 For his anti-Aristotelianism see Giorgi [1.143], B viiv–viiir (I.i.13), c viiv (III.ii.7); see also Vasoli [1.198]; Vasoli [1.20], 233–56. 150 Giorgi [1.143], D viv–viir, for a list of Cabbalistic books (not necessarily read) which he compiled; and A viir (I.i.5) for a parallel between Cabbala and Aristotle’s ten categories; see also Wirszubski [1.203]. 151 During the late 1520s, Steuco was in charge of the library of Cardinal Domenico Grimani, who had purchased Pico’s books: see Kibre [1.178], 18–20; Crociata [1. 172], 16–17. 152 Steuco [1.156], 1–122 (I–II), 279–411 (VII), 490–560 (IX); see also Schmitt [1. 195], 515–24. 153 Steuco [1.156], 166–207 (IV), 364 (VII.15), 537 (IX.22); like Vernia and Pico, Steuco believed that Alexander of Aphrodisias, as well as Aristotle, supported the immortality of the soul; see also Kraye [1.181], 344–5. 154 Steuco [1.156], 539–43 (IX.25); see also Vasoli [1.200]; Muccillo [1.187]; Crociata [1.172], ch. 1. 155 Ficino [1.173], trans. in Ficino [1.85]; see also Nelson [1.188]; Kristeller [1.12], 59, 61–2. 156 Diacceto [1.139]; Diacceto [1.141]; see also Kristeller [1.10], vol. 1, ch. 15. 157 Diacceto [1.140], 19, 216, 246, 263, 345; he defended Ficino and the Neoplatonists against Pico by arguing, on the basis of the Parmenides, that the One is superior to being: ibid., 14; see also p. 35. 158 According to Francesco de’ Vieri, one of the holders of the chair, his philosophical colleagues objected to Plato being taught in universities because of the lack of order and method in the Dialogues and their use of probable, rather than demonstrative, arguments: Vieri [1.160], 97; see also Kristeller [1.10], vol. 1, 292. 159 See his autobiographical letter of 1597: Patrizi [1.150], 47; see also Muccillo in Garfagnini [1.93], vol. 2, 615–79. The only subject on which he departed from Ficino was love, all manifestations of which, even that between man and God, he believed to be motivated by self-interest: Patrizi [1.149]; see also Vasoli [1.201]; Antonaci [1.167]; Kristeller [1.11], ch. 7; Copenhaver and Schmitt [1.2], ch. 3.4. 160 Patrizi [1.147]; see also Muccillo [1.186]. 161 Patrizi [1.148], a 2r–3v. 162 Purnell [1.190]; Vasoli [1.199]; Muccillo in Garfagnini [1.93], vol. 2, 636, 650, 660, 665. 163 Like Steuco, he regarded De mundo as authentic (Patrizi [1.147], 44r–45v) but he did not place it on the exalted level of the Theology. 164 See the appendix to Patrizi [1.148] for his editions of the Theology, the Hermetic corpus and Chaldaean Oracles (attributed, by Gemistos Plethon, to Zoroaster). Patrizi also had high regard for Proclus’s Elements of Theology, which he translated, together with the Elements of Physics, in 1583. 165 Kraye [1.180], 270–3, 282–4; Vasoli [1.198], 229 n. 249. Steuco’s Cosmopoeia, a commentary on Genesis, was also placed on the Index, though for different reasons: Muccillo [1.187], 51 n. 21, 59 n. 37. 166 Patrizi [1.148], 1r–3r (Panaugia I), 74r–79v (Pancosmia IV–VI); see also Brickmann [1.170]. 167 Telesio [1.157]. For Patrizi’s constructive criticisms of Telesio’s work, see Fiorentino [1.174], vol. 2, 375–91; for Telesio’s reply, see Telesio [1.158], 453–95; see also Kristeller [1.11], ch. 6; Copenhaver and Schmitt [1.2], ch. 5.3. 168 Bacon referred to Telesio as ‘the first of the moderns’, but criticized him because, like his Peripatetic opponents, he devised theories before having recourse to experimentation: Bacon [1.136], 107, 114; see also Giachetti Assenza [1.176]. 169 Telesio [1.157], vol. 1, 188–97 (I.25). 170 Patrizi [1.148], 61r–73v (Pancosmia I–III). 171 Gassendi [1.142], 246 (I.iii.3); see also Henry [1.177], 566–8. 172 Patrizi [1.148], 63v–64r (Pancosmia I); see also Henry [1.177], 564–5; Brickmann [1.170], 62. 173 Bruno [1.137], vol. 1.1, 191–398 (De immense et innumerabilibus); Bruno [1.138], 343–537 (De l’infinito, universe e mondi), trans. in Bruno [1.163]; see also Michel [1.184], chs 6 and 8; Koyré [1.179], 39–55; Kristeller [1.11], ch. 8; Copenhaver and Schmitt [1.2], ch. 5.2. 174 See, for example, his criticism of Copernicus for being ‘more interested in mathematics than in nature’: Bruno [1.138], 28 (La cena de le ceneri); Bruno [1. 137], 380–9 (De immenso III.9). 175 Bruno [1.138], 260–1 (De la causa, principio e uno). 176 See Lucretius, De rerum natura II.1048–89, and Nicholas of Cusa [1.145], 57–75 (II.1–4), for discussions of the infinite universe and plurality of worlds. For the influence of Plotinus on Bruno see Kristeller [1.11], 131, 135; his most Neoplatonic work, De gli eroici furori (Bruno [1.138], 925–1178, trans. in Bruno [1.161], transforms Platonic love into a heroic but doomed struggle to comprehend God’s infinity. 177 Bruno [1.138], 225–53 (De la causa II), trans. in Bruno [1.164], 108–23; see also Blum [1.169], ch. 3; Deregibus [1.173]; Kristeller [1.183], 4. 178 See the trial document published in Spampanato [1.196], 708. 179 See, for example, Bruno [1.138], 547–831 (Spaccio de la bestia trionfante), trans. in Bruno [1.162]; see also Badaloni [1.168]. 180 For a summary of the charges against Bruno see Dizionario [1.4], vol. 14, 663–4. 181 Ricci [1.191]. BIBLIOGRAPHY Italian Renaissance philosophy Collection of texts 1.1 The Renaissance Philosophy of Man, trans. E.Cassirer et al., Chicago, Ill., University of Chicago Press, 1948. General works 1.2 Copenhaver, B.C. and Schmitt, C.B. A History of Western Philosophy, vol. 3, Renaissance Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1992. 1.3 Di Napoli, G. L’immortalità dell’anima nel Rinascimento, Turin, Società editrice internazionale, 1963. 1.4 Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, Rome, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1960–. 1.5 Garin, E. La cultura filosofica del Rinascimento italiano, Florence, Sansoni, 1961. 1.6 Garin, E. L’età nuova, Naples, Morano, 1969. 1.7 Gilbert, N.W. Renaissance Concepts of Method, New York, Columbia University Press, 1960. 1.8 Hankins, J. et al. (eds) Supplementum Festivum: Studies in Honor of Paul Oskar Kristeller, Binghamton, N.Y., Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, 1987. 1.9 Henry, J. and Hutton, S. (eds) New Perspectives on Renaissance Thought, London, Duckworth, 1990. 1.10 Kristeller, P.O. Studies in Renaissance Thought and Letters, Rome, Storia e Letteratura, 2 vols, 1956–85. 1.11 Kristeller, P.O. Eight Philosophers of the Italian Renaissance, Stanford, Calif., Stanford University Press, 1964. 1.12 Kristeller, P.O. Renaissance Thought and Its Sources, New York, Columbia University Press, 1979. 1.13 Medioevo e Rinascimento: Studi in onore di Bruno Nardi, Florence, Sansoni, 2 vols, 1955. 1.14 Nardi, B. Saggi sull’aristotelismo padovano dal secolo XIV al XVI, Florence, Sansoni, 1958. 1.15 Olivieri, L. (ed.) Aristotelismo veneto e scienza moderna, Padua, Antenore, 2 vols, 1983. 1.16 Schmitt, C.B. Aristotle and the Renaissance, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1983. 1.17 Schmitt, C.B. and Skinner, Q. (eds) The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988. 1.18 Seigel, J.E. Rhetoric and Philosophy in Renaissance Humanism, Princeton, N. J., Princeton University Press, 1968. 1.19 Vasoli, C. La dialettica e la retorica dell’Umanesimo, Milan, Feltrinelli, 1968. 1.20 Vasoli, C. Filosofia e religione nella cultura del Rinascimento, Naples, Guida, 1988. 1.21 Walker, D.P. The Ancient Theology: Studies in Christian Platonism from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century, London, Duckworth, 1972. Scholasticism and humanism in the early Renaissance Original language and bilingual editions 1.22 Blasius of Parma, Le Quaestiones de anima, ed. G.Federici Vescovini, Florence, Olschki, 1974. 1.23 Kuksewicz, Z. (ed.) Averroïsme au XIVe siècle: édition des textes, Wroclaw, Ossolineum, 1965. 1.24 Petrarch, Le Traité ‘De sui ipsius et multorum ignorantia’, ed. L.M.Capelli, Paris, Honoré Champion, 1906. 1.25 Petrarch, Le familiari, ed. F.Rossi, Florence, Sansoni, 4 vols, 1933–42. 1.26 Petrarch, Rerum memorandarum libri, ed. G.Billanovich, Florence, Sansoni, 1943. 1.27 Petrarch, Prose, ed. and trans. G.Martellotti et al., Milan, Ricciardi, 1955 (Latin and Italian). 1.28 Petrarch, Invective contra medicum, ed. and trans. P.G.Ricci, Rome, Storia e Letteratura, 1978 (Latin and Italian). 1.29 Pietro d’Abano, Conciliator differentiarum philosophorum et praecipue medicorum, Venice, Apud Iuntas, 1565; facsimile reprint, E.Riondato and L. Olivieri (eds), Padua, Antenore, 1985. English translations 1.30 Petrarch, On His Own Ignorance and That of Many Others, in The Renaissance Philosophy of Man, trans. E.Cassirer et al., Chicago, Ill., University of Chicago Press, 1948, 47–133. 1.31 Petrarch, Rerum familiarium libri I–XXIV, trans. A.S.Bernardo, Albany, N.Y., and Baltimore, Md., SUNY and Johns Hopkins University Presses, 3 vols, 1975–85. 1.32 Petrarch, Letters, trans. M.Bishop, Bloomington, Ind., Indiana University Press, 1966. Secondary literature 1.33 Federici Vescovini, G. Astrologia e scienza: La crisi dell’aristotelismo sul cadere del Trecento e Biagio Pelacani da Parma, Florence, Vallecchi, 1979. 1.34 Foster, K. Petrarch, Poet and Humanist, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1984. 1.35 Gerosa, P.P. Umanesimo cristiano del Petrarca, Turin, Bottega d’Erasmo, 1966. 1.36 Gilbert, N.W. ‘The Early Italian Humanists and Disputation’, in A.Molho and J.Tedeschi (eds) Renaissance Studies in Honor of Hans Baron, Florence, Sansoni, 1971, 201–26. 1.37 Kamp, A. Petrarcas philosophisches Programm, Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang, 1989. 1.38 Kretzmann, N. et al. The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1982. 1.39 Mann, N. Petrarch, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1984. 1.40 Paschetto, E. Pietro d’Abano medico e filosofo, Florence, Vallecchi, 1984. The new Aristotelianism Original language and bilingual editions 1.41 Acciaiuoli, Donato Expositio Ethicorum Aristotelis, Florence, Apud S.Jacobum de Ripoli, 1478. 1.42 Argyropulos, Johannes, Compendium de regulis et formis ratiocinandi, ed. C. Vasoli, Rinascimento 15 (1964) 285–339. 1.43 Argyropulos, Johannes, ‘On the Agent Intellect: An Edition of Ms. Magliabechi V 42 (ff. 224–228v)’, ed. V.Brown, in J.R.O’Donnell (ed.) Essays in Honour of Anton Charles Pegis, Toronto, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1974, 160–75. 1.44 Barbaro, Ermolao, Compendium Ethicorum librorum, Venice, Cominus de Tridino, 1544. 1.45 Barbaro, Ermolao, Epistolae, orationes et carmina, ed. V.Branca, Florence, Bibliopolis, 2 vols, 1942. 1.46 Bruni, Leonardo, Epistolarum libri VIII, ed. L.Mehus, Florence, Bernardus Paperinius, 2 vols, 1741. 1.47 Bruni, Leonardo, Humanistisch-politische Schriften, ed. H.Baron, Leipzig, Teubner, 1928. 1.48 Cavalli, Francesco, De numero et ordine partium ac librorum physicae doctrinae, Venice [Matteo Capcasa, c, 1499]. 1.49 George of Trebizond, Collectanea Trapezuntiana: Texts, Documents and Bibliographies of George of Trebizond, ed. J.Monfasani, Binghamton, N.Y., Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, 1984. 1.50 Manutius, Aldus, Aldo Manuzio editore, ed. and trans. G.Orlandi, Milan, Edizioni il Polifilo, 2 vols, 1975 (Latin and Italian). 1.51 Müllner, K. (ed.) Reden und Briefe italienischer Humanisten, Vienna, Hölder, 1899; reprinted, B.Gerl (ed.), Munich, Fink, 1970. 1.52 Paul of Venice, Scriptum super librum Aristotelis De anima, Venice, Filippo di Pietro, 1481. 1.53 Poliziano, Angelo, Opera, Basel, Nicolaus Episcopius, 1553. 1.54 Poliziano, Angelo, Lamia: Praelectio in Priora Aristotelis Analytica, ed. A. Wesseling, Leiden, Brill, 1986. 1.55 Vernia, Nicoletto, Contra perversam Averrois opinionem de unitate intellectus, in Albert of Saxony, Acutissime questiones super libros De physica auscultatione, Venice, Heredes O. Scoti, 1516, 83r–91r. English translations 1.56 Bruni, Leonardo, The Humanism of Leonardo Bruni: Selected Texts, trans. G.Griffiths et al., Binghamton, N.Y., Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, 1987. Secondary literature 1.57 Bertalot, L. Studien zum italienischen und deutschen Humanismus, Rome, Storia e Letteratura, 2 vols, 1975. 1.58 Bianchi, L. ‘Un commento “umanistico” ad Aristotele: L’“Expositio super libros Ethicorum” di Donato Acciaiuoli’, Rinascimento 30 (1990) 29–55. 1.59 Birkenmajer, A. ‘Der Streit des Alonso von Cartagena mit Leonardo Bruni Aretino’, in his Vermischte Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der mittelalterlichen Philosophie, Münster i. W., Aschendorffsche Verlagsbuchandlung, 1922, 129–210. 1.60 Branca, V. ‘Ermolao Barbaro and Late Quattrocento Venetian Humanism’, in J.Hale (ed.) Renaissance Venice, London, Faber, 1973, 218–43. 1.61 Branca, V. Poliziano e l’umanesimo della parola, Turin, Einaudi, 1983. 1.62 Branca, V. ‘L’umanesimo veneziano alla fine del Quattrocento: Ermolao Barbaro e il suo circolo’, in Storia della cultura veneta, Vicenza, Neri Pozza, vol. 3.1, 1980, 123–75. 1.63 Cammelli, G. I dotti bizantini e le origini dell’umanesimo, Florence, Vallecchi, 3 vols, 1941–54. 1.64 Garin, E. ‘Le traduzioni umanistiche di Aristotele nel secolo XV, Atti e memorie dell’Accademia fiorentina di scienze morali La Colombaria 16 (1947–50) 55–104. 1.65 Gerl, H.-B. Philosophie und Philologie: Leonardo Brunis Übertragung der nikomachischen Ethik in ihren philosophischen Pramissen, Munich, Fink, 1981. 1.66 Mahoney, E.P. ‘Nicoletto Vernia on the Soul and Immortality’, in E.P. Mahoney (ed.) Philosophy and Humanism: Renaissance Essays in Honor of Paul Oskar Kristeller, Leiden, Brill, 1976, 144–63. 1.67 Minio-Paluello, L. Opuscula: The Latin Aristotle, Amsterdam, A.M.Hakkert, 1972. 1.68 Poppi, A. (ed.) Scienza e filosofia all’Università di Padova nel Quattrocento, Padua, Lint, 1983. 1.69 Wolters, A. ‘Poliziano as a Translator of Plotinus’, Renaissance Quarterly 40 (1987) 452–64. The revival of Platonism Original language and bilingual editions 1.70 Ficino, Marsilio, Opera omnia, Basel, Officina Henricpetrina, 2 vols, 1576; reprinted, Turin, Bottega d’Erasmo, 1962. 1.71 Ficino, Marsilio, Supplementum Ficinianum, ed. P.O.Kristeller, Florence, Olschki, 2 vols, 1937. 1.72 Ficino, Marsilio, Lettere, ed. S.Gentile, Florence, Olschki, vol. 1, 1990. 1.73 Ficino, Marsilio, Commentaire sur le Banquet de Platon, ed. and trans. R. Marcel, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1956 (Latin and French). 1.74 Ficino, Marsilio, Théologie platonicienne de l’immortalité des âmes, ed. and trans. R.Marcel, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 3 vols, 1964–70 (Latin and French). 1.75 Ficino, Marsilio, The Philebus Commentary, ed. and trans. M.J. B.Allen, Berkeley, Calif., University of California Press, 1975 (Latin and English). 1.76 Ficino, Marsilio, Marsilio Ficino and the Phaedran Charioteer, ed. and trans. M.J.B.Allen, Berkeley, Calif., University of California Press, 1981 (Latin and English). 1.77 Ficino, Marsilio, Icastes: Marsilio Ficino’s Interpretation of Plato’s Sophist, ed. and trans. M.J.B.Allen, Berkeley, Calif., University of California Press, 1989 (Latin and English). 1.78 Ficino, Marsilio, Three Books on Life, ed. and trans. C.V.Kaske and J.R. Clark, Binghamton, N.Y., Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, 1989 (Latin and English). 1.79 Gaza, Theodore, De fato ed. and trans. J.W.Taylor, Toronto, University of Toronto Library, 1925 (Greek and English). 1.80 George of Trebizond, Comparationes phylosophorum Aristotelis et Platonis, Venice, Iacobus Penitus, 1523; reprinted, Frankfurt am Main, Minerva, 1965. 1.81 Landino, Cristoforo, Disputationes Camaldulenses, ed. P.Lohe, Florence, Sansoni, 1980. 1.82 Plato, Il Critone di Leonardo Bruni e di Rinuccio Aretino, ed. E.Berti and A. Carosini, Florence, Olschki, 1983. 1.83 Plethon, Georgios Gemistos, Traité des lois, ed. C.Alexandre, trans. A.Pellissier, Paris, Firmin-Didot, 1858; reprinted, Amsterdam, A.M.Hakkert, 1966 (Greek and French). 1.84 Plethon, Georgios Gemistos, ‘Le “De differentiis” de Pléthon d’après l’autographe de la Marcienne’, ed. B.Lagarde, Byzantion 43 (1973) 312–43. English translations 1.85 Ficino, Marsilio, Commentary on Plato’s Symposium on Love, trans. S.Jayne, Dallas, Tex., Spring Publications, 1985. 1.86 Ficino, Marsilio, The Letters, London, Shepheard-Walwyn, 4 vols, 1975–88. 1.87 Plethon, Georgios Gemistos, De differentiis, in C.M.Woodhouse, Gemistus Plethon: The Last of the Hellenes, Oxford, Clarendon, 1986, ch. 11. Secondary literature 1.88 Allen, M.J.B. ‘Ficino’s Theory of the Five Substances and the Neoplatonists’ Parmenides’, Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 12 (1982) 19–44. 1.89 Allen, M.J.B. The Platonism of Marsilio Ficino, Berkeley, Calif., University of California Press, 1984. 1.90 Allen, M.J.B. ‘Marsilio Ficino on Plato, the Neoplatonists and the Christian Doctrine of the Trinity’, Renaissance Quarterly 37 (1984) 555–84. 1.91 Copenhaver, B.P. ‘Scholastic Philosophy and Renaissance Magic in the De vita of Marsilio Ficino’, Renaissance Quarterly 37 (1984) 523–54. 1.92 Field, A. The Origins of the Platonic Academy of Florence, Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, 1988. 1.93 Garfagnini, G.C. (ed.) Marsilio Ficino e il ritorno di Platone: Studi e documenti, Florence, Olschki, 2 vols, 1986. 1.94 Gentile, S. ‘Sulle prime traduzioni dal greco di Marsilio Ficino’, Rinascimento 30 (1990) 57–104. 1.95 Hankins, J. Plato in the Italian Renaissance, Leiden, Brill, 2 vols, 1990. 1.96 Klibansky, R. The Continuity of the Platonic Tradition during the Middle Ages, London, Warburg Institute, 1939; reprinted, Munich, Kraus, 1981. 1.97 Klibansky, R. ‘Plato’s Parmenides in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance’, Mediaeval and Renaissance Studies 1 (1943) 281–330; reprinted, Munich, Kraus, 1981. 1.98 Kraye, J. ‘Francesco Filelfo’s Lost Letter De ideis’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 42 (1979) 236–49. 1.99 Kristeller, P.O. The Philosophy of Marsilio Ficino, Gloucester, Mass., Peter Smith, 1964. 1.100 Kristeller, P.O. ‘A Latin Translation of Gemistos Plethon’s De fato by Johannes Sophianos Dedicated to Nicholas of Cusa’, in Nicolò Cusano agli inizi del mondo moderno , Florence, Sansoni, 1970, 175–93. 1.101 Labowsky, L. ‘An Unknown Treatise by Theodorus Gaza’, Mediaeval and Renaissance Studies 6 (1968) 173–93. 1.102 Mohler, L. Kardinal Bessarion als Theologe, Humanist und Staatsmann, Paderborn, Ferdinand Schöningh, 3 vols, 1923–42. 1.103 Monfasani, J. George of Trebizond: A Biography and a Study of his Rhetoric and Logic, Leiden, Brill, 1976. 1.104 Webb, R. ‘The Nomoi of Gemistos Plethon in the Light of Plato’s Laws’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 52 (1989) 214–19. 1.105 Woodhouse, C.M. Gemistus Plethon: The Last of the Hellenes, Oxford, Clarendon, 1986. The Aristotelian mainstream Original language and bilingual editions 1.106 Aristotle, Omnia quae extant opera, Averroes (comment.), Venice, Giunti, 11 vols, 1550–2. 1.107 Buonamici, Francesco, De motu libri X, Florence, Bartolomeo Sermartelli, 1591. 1.108 Cesalpino, Andrea, De plantis libri XVI, Florence, Georgius Marescottus, 1583. 1.109 Cremonini, Cesare, Disputatio de coelo in tres partes divisa, Venice, T. Balionus, 1613. 1.110 Pomponazzi, Pietro, Tractatus acutissimi, utillimi et mereperipatetici, Venice, Octavianus Scouts, 1525. 1.111 Pomponazzi, Pietro, De naturalium effectuum causis sive de incantationibus, in Opera, Basel, Heinrich Petri, 1567; reprinted Hildesheim and New York, Olms, 1970. 1.112 Pomponazzi, Pietro, Tractatus de immortalitate animae, ed. G.Morra, Bologna, Nanni & Fiammenghi, 1954 (Latin and Italian). 1.113 Pomponazzi, Pietro, Libri quinque de fato, de libero arbitrio et de praedestinatione, ed. R.Lemay, Lugano, Thesaurus Mundi, 1957. 1.114 Pomponazzi, Pietro, ‘Two Unpublished Questions on the Soul’, ed. P.O. Kristeller, Medievalia et Humanistica 9 (1955) 76–101. 1.115 Pomponazzi, Pietro, ‘Utrum anima sit mortalis vel immortalis’, ed. W.van Dooren, Nouvelles de la république des lettres (1989) 71–135. 1.116 Viviani, V. Vita di Galileo, in G.Galileo, Le opere, ed. A.Favaro, Florence, G.Barbèra, vol. 19, 597–632. 1.117 Zabarella, Jacopo, Opera logica, Venice, Paulus Meietus, 1578; reprinted, C. Vasoli (ed.), Bologna, Clueb, 1985. 1.118 Zabarella, Jacopo, De rebus naturalibus libri XXX, Frankfurt, Lazarus Zetznerus, 1607; reprinted, Frankfurt, Minerva, 1966. English translations 1.119 Pomponazzi, Pietro, On the Immortality of the Soul, in The Renaissance Philosophy of Man, trans. E.Cassirer et al., Chicago, Ill., University of Chicago Press, 1948, 280–381. Secondary literature 1.120 Cranz, F.E. The Prefaces to the Greek Editions and Latin Translations of Alexander of Aphrodisias, 1450–1575’, American Philosophical Society: Proceedings 102 (1958) 510–46. 1.121 Cranz, F.E. ‘The Publishing History of the Aristotle Commentaries of Thomas Aquinas’, Traditio 34 (1978) 157–92. 1.122 De Bellis, D. ‘Niccolò Leonico Tomeo interprete di Aristotele naturalista’, Physis 17 (1975) 71–93. 1.123 Helbing, M.O. La filosofia di Francesco Buonamici, professore di Galileo, Pisa, Nistri-Lischi, 1989. 1.124 Kraye, J. ‘Alexander of Aphrodisias, Gianfrancesco Beati and the Problem of Metaphysics α ’, in J.Monfasani and R.Musto (eds) Renaissance Society and Culture: Essays in Honour of Eugene F.Rice, Jr., New York, Italica, 1991, 137–60. 1.125 Lohr, C.H. ‘The Sixteenth-Century Transformation of the Aristotelian Natural Philosophy’, in E.Kessler et al. (eds) Aristotelismus und Renaissance, Wiesbaden, Harrasowitz, 1988, 89–99. 1.126 Mahoney, E.P. ‘The Greek Commentators Themistius and Simplicius—and their Influence on Renaissance Aristotelianism’, in D.J.O’Meara (ed.) Neoplatonism and Christian Thought, Norfolk, Va., International Society for Neoplatonic Studies, 1982, 169–77, 264–82. 1.127 Nardi, B. Studi su Pietro Pomponazzi, Florence, Le Monnier, 1965. 1.128 Olivieri, L. ‘Filosofia e teologia in Pietro Pomponazzi tra Padova e Bologna’, in Sapere e/è potere: discipline, dispute eprofessioni nell’università medievale e moderna…Atti del 4° convegno, Bologna…1989, Bologna, Comune di Bologna, vol. 2, 1990, 65–84. 1.129 Pine, M.L. Pietro Pomponazzi: Radical Philosopher of the Renaissance, Padua, Antenore, 1986. 1.130 Poppi, A. La dottrina della scienza in Giacomo Zabarella, Padua, Antenore, 1972. 1.131 Schmitt, C.B. ‘Experience and Experiment: A Comparison of Zabarella’s Views with Galileo’s in De motu, Studies in the Renaissance 16 (1969) 80–138. 1.132 Schmitt, C.B. ‘Renaissance Averroism studied through the Venetian Editions of Aristotle-Averroes (with particular reference to the Giunta edition of 1550–2)’, in L’Averroismo in Italia, Rome, Accademia nazionale dei Lincei, 1979, 121–42. 1.133 Schmitt, C.B. Cesare Cremonini, un aristotelico al tempo di Galilei, Venice, Centro tedesco di studi veneziani, 1980. 1.134 Schmitt, C.B. ‘Alberto Pio and the Aristotelian Studies of His Time’, in Società, politica, e cultura a Carpi ai tempi di Alberto III Pio, Padua, Antenore, 1981, 43–64. 1.135 Schmitt, C.B. ‘Philoponus’ Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics in the Sixteenth Century’, in R.Sorabji (ed.) Philoponus and the Rejection of Aristotelian Science, London, Duckworth, 1987, 210–30. Alternative philosophical currents Original language and bilingual editions 1.136 Bacon, Francis, De principibus atque originibus, in F.Bacon, The Works, ed. J.Spedding et al., London, Longman, vol. 3, 1857, 63–118. 1.137 Bruno, Giordano, Opera latine conscripta, ed. F.Fiorentino et al., Naples and Florence, Morano and Le Monnier, 3 vols, 1879–91. 1.138 Bruno, Giordano, Dialoghi italiani, 3rd edn, ed. G.Gentile and G.Aquilecchia, Florence, Sansoni, 1958. 1.139 Francesco da Diacceto, I tre libri d’amore, Venice, G.Giolito, 1561. 1.140 Francesco da Diacceto, Opera omnia, Basel, H.Petri and P.Perna, 1563. 1.141 Francesco da Diacceto, De pulcbro libri III, accedant opuscula inedita et dispersa necnon testimonia quaedam ad eundem pertinentia, ed. S. Matton, Pisa, Scuola normale superiore di Pisa, 1986. 1.142 Gassendi, Pierre, Syntagma philosophicum, in P.Gassendi, Opera omnia, Lyons, L.Anisson, vol. 1, 1658; reprinted, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Friedrich Frommann, 1964. 1.143 Giorgi, Francesco, De harmonia mundi totius cantica tria, Venice, Bernardinus de Vitalibus, 1525. 1.144 Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Philosophische Schriften: 1663–1672, Sämtliche Schriften and Briefe VI.2, Berlin, Akademie Verlag, 1966. 1.145 Nicholas of Cusa, De docta ignorantia, ed. E.Hoffmann and R.Klibansky, Leipzig, F.Meiner, 1932. 1.146 Nizolio, Mario, De veris principiis et vera ratione philosophandi contra pseudophilosophos libri IV, ed. Q.Breen, Rome, Fratelli Boca, 2 vols, 1956. 1.147 Patrizi, Francesco, Discussionum peripateticarum tomi IV, Basel, P.Perna, 1581. 1.148 Patrizi, Francesco, Nova de universis philosophia, Ferrara, Benedictus Mammarellus, 1591. 1.149 Patrizi, Francesco, L’amorosa filosofia, ed. J.C.Nelson, Florence, Le Monnier, 1963. 1.150 Patrizi, Francesco, Lettere ed opuscoli inediti, ed. D.Aguzzi Barbagli, Florence, Istituto nazionale di studi sul Rinascimento, 1975. 1.151 Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola, Opera omnia, Basel, Heinrich Petri, 1573; reprinted, Hildesheim, Olms, 1969. 1.152 Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Opera omnia, Basel, Heinrich Petri, 1557; reprinted, C.Vasoli (ed.), Hildesheim, Olms, 1969. 1.153 Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Disputationes adversus astrologiam divinatricem, ed. and trans. E.Garin, Florence, Vallecchi, 2 vols, 1946–52 (Latin and Italian). 1.154 Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Conclusiones sive theses DCCC Romae anno 1486 publice disputandae, sed non admissae, ed. B.Kieszkowski, Geneva, Droz, 1973. 1.155 Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, De hominis dignitate; Heptaplus; De ente et uno; e scritti vari, ed. and trans. E. Garin, Florence, Vallecchi, 1942 (Latin and Italian). 1.156 Steuco, Agostino, De perenni philosophia libri X, Leiden, S.Gryphius, 1540; reprinted, C.B.Schmitt (ed.), New York and London, Johnson, 1972. 1.157 Telesio, Bernardino, De rerum natura iuxta propria principia, ed. and trans. L.de Franco, Cosenza and Florence, Casa del Libro and La Nuova Italia, 3 vols, 1965–76 (Latin and Italian). 1.158 Telesio, Bernardino, Varii de naturalibus rebus libelli, ed. and trans. L.de Franco, Florence, La Nuova Italia, 1981. 1.159 Valla, Lorenzo, Repastinatio dialectice et philosophie, ed. G.Zippel, Padua, Antenore, 2 vols, 1982. 1.160 de’Vieri, Francesco, Vere conclusioni di Platone conformi alla dottrina christiana et a quella d’Aristotile, Florence, G.Marescotti, 1590. English translations 1.161 Bruno, Giordano, The Heroic Frenzies, trans. P.E.Memmo, Jr, Chapel Hill, N.C., University of North Carolina Press, 1964. 1.162 Bruno, Giordano, The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast, trans. A.D.Imerti, New Brunswick, N.J., Rutgers University Press, 1964. 1.163 Bruno, Giordano, On the Infinite Universe and Worlds, in D.Singer, Giordano Bruno: His Life and Thought, London, Constable, 1950, 225–378. 1.164 Bruno, Giordano, Concerning the Cause, Principle and One, in S.Greenberg, The Infinite in Giordano Bruno, New York, King’s Crown Press, 1950, 76–173. 1.165 Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, On the Dignity of Man; On Being and the One; Heptaplus, trans. C.G.Wellis, et al., Indianapolis, Ind., and New York, Bobbs Merrill, 1965. 1.166 Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, ‘On the Conflict of Philosophy and Rhetoric’, ed. Q.Breen, Journal of the History of Ideas 13 (1952) 384–412. Secondary literature 1.167 Antonaci, A. Ricerche sul neoplatonismo del Rinascimento: Francesco Patrizi da Cherso, Galatina, Editrice Salentina, vol. 1, 1984. 1.168 Badaloni, N. Giordano Bruno: tra cosmologia ed etica, Bari and Rome, De Donato, 1988. 1.169 Blum, P.R. Aristoteles bei Giordano Bruno: Studien zur philosophischen Rezeption, Munich, Fink, 1980. 1.170 Brickman, B. An Introduction to Francesco Patrizi’s Nova de universis philosophia, PhD dissertation, Columbia University, New York, 1941. 1.171 Camporeale, S. Lorenzo Valla: umanesimo e teologia, Florence, Istituto nazionale di studi sul Rinascimento, 1972. 1.172 Crociata, M. Umanesimo e teologia in Agostino Steuco. Neoplatonismo eteologia della creazione nel ‘De perenni philosophia’, Rome, Città Nuova, 1987. 1.173 Deregibus, A. Bruno e Spinoza, Turin, Giappichelli, 2 vols, 1981. 1.174 Fiorentino, F. Bernardino Telesio ossia studi storici su l’idea della natura nel risorgimento italiano, Florence, Le Monnier, 2 vols, 1872–4. 1.175 Garin, E. Giovanni Pico delta Mirandola: Vita e dottrina, Florence, Le Monnier, 1937. 1.176 Giachetti Assenza, V. ‘Bernardino Telesio: il migliore dei moderni. I riferimenti a Telesio negli scritti di Francesco Bacone’, Rivista critica di storia della filosofia 35 (1980) 41–78. 1.177 Henry, J. ‘Francesco Patrizi da Cherso’s Concept of Space and Its Later Influence’ , Annals of Science 36 (1979) 549–73. 1.178 Kibre, P. The Library of Pico della Mirandola, New York, Columbia University Press, 1936. 1.179 Koyré, A. From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe, Baltimore, Md., Johns Hopkins University Press, 1957. 1.180 Kraye, J. ‘The Pseudo-Aristotelian Theology in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Europe’, in Pseudo-Aristotle in the Middle Ages, ed. J.Kraye et al., London, Warburg Institute, 1986, 265–86. 1.181 Kraye, J. ‘Aristotle’s God and the Authenticity of De mundo: An Early Modern Controversy’, Journal of the History of Philosophy 29 (1990) 339–58. 1.182 Kristeller, P.O. ‘Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and His Sources’, in L’opera e il pensiero di Giovanni Pico della Mirandola nella storia dell’umanesimo. Convegno internazionale (Mirandola…1963), Florence, Istituto nazionale di studi sul Rinascimento, vol. 1, 1965, 35–142. 1.183 Kristeller, P.O. ‘Stoic and Neoplatonic Sources of Spinoza’s Ethics’, History of European Ideas 5 (1984) 1–15. 1.184 Michel, P.H. 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