Meeting 44


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DATE: Tuesday, November 2

TIME: 1 PM Princeton time (ET) / 7 PM Bucharest time (UTC+2)

PANEL: Plato in Italian Universities: Francesco Patrizi and the others

SPEAKERS: Luka Boršić (Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb) & Eva Del Soldato (University of Pennsylvania)


From Vimercato to Gaudenzi: Studying Aristotle with Plato in the Italian Renaissance

Eva Del Soldato

Until recently, scholarship has paid little attention to the presence of Plato and Platonism in Italian Renaissance Universities. In many cases the affaire Patrizi was used a hasty explanation for Plato’s scarce institutional role, and the short life of the few Platonic chairs was seen as proof of a marginal presence. Yet, limiting an investigation to the chairs of Platonism does not offer a full picture about the presence of Plato within university halls. Indeed, reportationes and other documents show that especially in the second half of the sixteenth century Plato became an important presence in university courses throughout the Italian peninsula, even if the curriculum was still focused on Aristotelian texts. Knowing Plato was perceived as a key to gain a better understanding of Aristotle and became a common pedagogical approach. This paper uses some case studies, from Francesco Vimercato to Paganino Gaudenzi, to highlight the presence of Plato in the university milieu.

Francesco Patrizi on Plato

Luka Boršić

My talk will be an overview of how Francesco Patrizi, one of the most renown Renaissance Platonist, related to Plato. In my talk I will cover three aspects of Patrizi’s approach to Plato’s philosophy. First, a few words will be said about Patrizi’s lectures on Platonic philosophy after Pope Clement VIII’s founded the chair for Plato’s philosophy at the Sapienza in Rome in 1591. In the second part of my talk, I will deal with the curious case that exactly this proclaimed Platonist only superficially touched upon Plato’s philosophy in his first most influential philosophical work, Discussiones peripateticae, whereas in his second most important work, Nova de universis philosophia, the most extensive discussion about Plato and his works can be found in three appended texts under the more general title “Mystica Aegyptiorum et Caldaeorum a Platone voce tradita, ab Aristotele excepta et conscripta philosophia” at the end of the voluminous book. Finally, I will end with some more general comments about Patrizi’s Platonism in distinction to Marsilio Ficino, on the one hand, and the “concordists” on the other.

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