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From Poliziano to Machiavelli: Florentine Humanism in the High Renaissance

Overview

Peter Godman presents the first intellectual history of Florentine humanism from the lifetime of Angelo Poliziano in the later fifteenth century to the death of Niccolò Machiavelli in 1527. Making use of unpublished and rare sources, Godman traces the development of philological and official humanism after the expulsion of the Medici in 1494 up to and beyond their restoration in 1512. He draws long overdue attention to the work of Marcello Virgilio Adriani--Poliziano's successor in his Chair at the Studio and ...

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Overview

Peter Godman presents the first intellectual history of Florentine humanism from the lifetime of Angelo Poliziano in the later fifteenth century to the death of Niccolò Machiavelli in 1527. Making use of unpublished and rare sources, Godman traces the development of philological and official humanism after the expulsion of the Medici in 1494 up to and beyond their restoration in 1512. He draws long overdue attention to the work of Marcello Virgilio Adriani--Poliziano's successor in his Chair at the Studio and Machiavelli's colleague at the Chancery of Florence. And he examines in depth the intellectual impact of Savonarola and the relationship between secular and religious and oral and print cultures.

Godman shows a complex reaction of rivalry and antagonism in Machiavelli's approach to Marcello Virgilio, who was the leading Florentine humanist of the day. But he also demonstrates that Florentine humanists shared a common culture, marked by a preference for secular over religious themes and by constant anxiety about surviving and prospering in the city's dangerous political climate. The book concludes with an appendix, drawn from previously inaccessible archives, about the censorship of Machiavelli by the Inquisition and the Index. From Poliziano to Machiavelli adds new depth to the intellectual history of Florence during this most dynamic period in its history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Winner of the 1999 Roland H. Bainton Book Prize, Literature of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference

"An essential work for students of this fascinating period of turmoil and originality."—George Holmes, The Times Higher Education Supplement

"This is a remarkable book whose full import will require many years to digest. Godman presents erudition over an astonishing range of subject matter in a clear and engaging style. . . . A remarkable achievement, not least for its stylish presentation and wit."—Peter Mack, The Classical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691017464
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1998
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Illustrations
Sigla and Abbreviations
I At Lorenzo's Deathbed 3
II The Prison of Antiquity 31
III The Angel from Heaven 80
IV The Eloquence of Socrates 134
V The Prince and the Plant 180
VI The Shadow of the Chancery 235
VII Physicians of the Intellect 292
App Machiavelli, the Inquisition, and the Index 303
Select Bibliography 335
Index 357
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