Part charlatan, part wunderkind, and part learned scholastic, Fernando of Cordova burst upon the European scene in 1444-1446 when he traveled to different parts of Europe. He astounded audiences by his command of the subject matter in all univ. subjects, his mastery of oriental languages, his skill in painting, music, and instrument making, and his expertise in knightly warfare. After disappearing in 1446, he reappeared in 1466 as a Roman curialist active in several controversies. He died in 1486. Fernando's philosophical, (...) theological, and scientific writings cover a wide range of topics important to his age, and his biography has a special value because of what he did and whom he impressed in his travels in the cities, courts, and universities of Europe. (shrink)
The twelve essays in this new collection by John Monfasani examine how, in particular cases, Greek émigrés, Italian humanists, and Latin scholastics reacted with each other in surprising and important ways. After an opening assessment of Greek migration to Renaissance Italy, the essays range from the Averroism of John Argyropoulos and the capacity of Nicholas of Cusa to translate Greek, to Marsilio Ficino's position in the Plato-Aristotle controversy and the absence of Ockhamists in Renaissance Italy. Theodore Gaza receives special attention (...) in his roles as translator, teacher, and philosopher, as does Lorenzo Valla for his philosophy, theology, and historical ideas. Finally, the life and writings of a protégé of Cardinal Bessarion, the Dominican friar Giovanni Gatti, come in for their first extensive study. (shrink)
[Fifteen scholars examine the life and thought of Paul Oskar Kristeller (1905-1999) to uncover the relationship between the man and his interpretation of Renaissance humanism and its relation to intellectual and cultural life]"--Provided by publisher.
The most striking aspect of Dr. Demetracopoulos’ contribution is the evidence for how unoriginal was Scholarios’ Aristotelian scholarship. The chief source of Scholarios’ commentary on the Parva naturalia was Theodore Metochites, whose ultimate source in turn was Michael of Ephesus. So once the Aldine Press had published the text of Michael of Ephesus’ commentary in 1527 and once Conrad Gesner’s Latin translation of Michael of Ephesus’s commentary was printed in 1541 and Gentian Hervet’s translation of Theodore Metochites’ commentary in 1559, (...) the Renaissance had rendered Scholarios’ commentary otiose. (shrink)
In his long scholarly career, Paul Oskar Kristeller produced an extraordinary number of seminal books and articles, one of which was the 1967 monograph Le Thomisme et la pensée italienne de la Renaissance, which presented the evidence for the intellectual vitality of Thomism in the Italian Renaissance. In 2017, on the fiftieth anniversary of Kristeller's book, the collection of articles under review was presented originally as papers at the Chicago meeting of the Renaissance Society of America and brought together for (...) publication in record time by Alison Frazier. The articles pay tribute to Kristeller by offering fresh contributions on Renaissance Thomism. Paul Richard Blum, at the start, and Kent Emery... (shrink)
In a recently discovered set of philosophical fragments, the late Byzantine Aristotelian George Amiroutze argues against the transmigration of souls because of necessity metempsychosis would be grounded in moral evil. If souls were of the same nature , then metempsychosis entails like exploiting and killing like. If one attempts to escape the moral dilemma through vegetarianism, then one falls into another moral dilemma, namely, the view that nature and the author of nature are evil since the order of nature requires (...) that organisms exploit and devour other organisms. Amiroutzes bases much of his argument on the criterion of “common notions”; he is clearly seeking in this fragment to rebut Plotinus. (shrink)
This volume cannot but call to mind The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy published twenty years ago under the editorship of Charles B. Schmitt and Quentin Skinner. The Cambridge Companion fares well in the comparison. The Cambridge History contained some weak or irrelevant articles, as well as articles that flatly contradicted each other, but its largest flaw was its artificial division of Renaissance philosophy, in almost cookie-cutter fashion, into synthetic themes that tended to obscure rather than illuminate historical developments and (...) connections. Far more successful was what has, up to now, been unquestionably the best survey of Renaissance philosophy available, Schmitt’s and Brian Copenhaver’s Renaissance Philosophy that appeared in 1992, where the chapters are organized by schools of thought , and thinkers are presented in diachronic succession within each chapter. The Cambridge Companion combines many of the virtues of both volumes and, of course, brings the reader up to speed on the literature that has appeared in the last two decades. (shrink)
Trained by some of the most notable philosophers and scholars in Germany before World War II, Paul Oskar Kristeller was one of the great scholars of the twentieth century. He spent his whole career in America in the Philosophy Department of Columbia University, where he became the internationally recognized authority on Renaissance thought. Yet he failed to establish Renaissance philosophy as an ordinary subject of study in American philosophy departments. His publications in philosophy were wide-ranging and influential, but it was (...) his writings in many other fields that confirmed his pre-eminent scholarly status. This essay explores his relationship with the American philosophical establishment and discusses his various works in the history of philosophy and on the relationship between history and philosophy. (shrink)
In 1976 I denied the correctness of the commonly held date of 1452 for Pletho's death. I argued instead for 1454. The difference of two years meant not only that Pletho lived to see the fall of Constantinople in 1453, but also that a whole series of works in the Plato-Aristotle controversy had to be redated. The basis for the 1452 date is a notice found amid other notes by an unknown hand on the last folio of the fifteenth-century manuscript (...) M. 15 in the University Library in Salamanca and in another series of notes in the hand of Pletho's disciple and admirer Demetrius Raoul Kabakes on f. 50v of Gr. 495 of the Bayerisches Staatsbibliothek, Munich. With only trivial variation, both notes state that Master Gemistus died on the first hour of Monday, 26 June in the fifteenth Indiction. Since the only year in this period in which 26 June falls on a Monday in the fifteenth Indiction is 1452, Pletho's date of death seems well established. Though Kabakes was a bizarre character whose trademark was, in Bidez's phrase, an orthographe fantasiste, the fact that he wrote the notice in Munich Gr. 495 might be viewed as strenghtening its credibility. Futhermore, since Dositheus, Metropolitan of Monembasia seems to have died on 1 September 1452 and on blank folios in MS Venice, Bibl. Marc., Zan. Gr. 333 Bessarion wrote his memorial verses on Pletho and then his memorial verses on Dositheus, one can argue that in the summer of 1452 Bessarion first heard of Pletho's death and then a few months later of Dositheus'. Nonetheless, the death notice is certainly wrong. (shrink)
Always an essential component in histories of philosophy, Epicureanism has taken on a special importance of late because some scholars have seen its doctrines as triggering modernity. Certainly, Greenblatt can be accused of historical malpractice. Robert, in the book under review, calls Gleenblatt's work a "bon roman" ; see also my July 2012 review in Reviews in History, reviews.history.ac.uk/review/1283, and...