Cover: History of the Florentine People, Volume 3: Books IX-XII. Memoirs, from Harvard University PressCover: History of the Florentine People, Volume 3 in HARDCOVER

The I Tatti Renaissance Library 27

History of the Florentine People, Volume 3

Books IX-XII. Memoirs

Leonardo Bruni

Edited and translated by James Hankins

Translated by D. J. W. Bradley

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$29.95 • £19.95 • €21.00

ISBN 9780674016828

Publication: November 2007


Bruni, in trying to demonstrate that Florence could trace its legitimate republican tradition back to deep antiquity, wrote a history of his city on the model of the ancient history of Rome by Livy. As he did so, he read Livy’s eloquent, stagy book in a very imaginative, critical way. From the ancient historian’s idealized account of virtuous Romans, Bruni reconstructed the virtuous and powerful world of their enemies, the Etruscans—from whom, he claimed, the modern Tuscans were descended. In Bruni’s historical imagination, Livy’s stories of Horatius, heroically defending the bridge across the Tiber, and Mucius Scaevola, thrusting his hand into the fire to show his contempt for death, metamorphosed into instances of Roman weakness, superstition and dishonesty.—Anthony T. Grafton, The New York Review of Books

[Thanks to Hankins’ text and translation] it is now possible, in a real sense for the first time, for a wide academic audience, ranging from Renaissance specialists to undergraduates, to confront the historian Leonardo Bruni, a fundamental figure in the birth of modern historiography. This volume, and the entire series of which it forms only a part, is a crucial contribution to the prosperity of Renaissance studies today. While Bruni’s history is an important source for understanding Bruni’s humanism, as well as Florentine humanism more generally in the fifteenth century, its complete translation should expand our understanding of Bruni’s importance in European intellectual history beyond the confines of the Baron thesis and the nature of Florentine civic humanism. He should play an equally important role in the history of modern historical writing, on a par with Machiavelli, Bodin and Gibbon. Elegantly translated and modestly priced, Hankins’ volume should go a long way to restoring Bruni to the historiographical prominence that he rightly enjoyed in his own time.—Mark Jurdjevic, Sixteenth Century Journal

The text of Bruni’s History that Hankins has given us is an excellent text that marks a notable advance on its predecessors and will allow the modern reader to draw the greatest profit from reading this work.Lettere Italiane