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Virtue Politics

Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy

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$27.95 • £24.95 • €25.95

ISBN 9780674278738

Publication Date: 01/10/2023

Academic Trade

768 pages

6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches

Belknap Press


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ISBN 9780674237551

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  • Preface
  • 1. A Civilization in Crisis
    • A New “Paideuma” and the Birth of the Humanities
    • The Causes of the Crisis
    • The Reform of Christian Culture
    • The Humanist Movement Takes Shape
  • 2. Virtue Politics
    • Obedience and Legitimacy
    • Virtue Politics
    • Classical Sources of Virtue Politics
    • How Not to Reform a Republic
    • Eloquence and the “Virtuous Environment”
    • A New Way of Thinking about Politics
  • 3. What Was a Republic in the Renaissance?
    • The Renaissance Concept of the State
    • What Is the Meaning of Respublica in the Italian Renaissance?
    • Respublica Romana
    • Respublica in Medieval Scholasticism
    • Leonardo Bruni and Respublica in the Fifteenth Century
    • Respublica: An Idealization of Ancient Government
    • Is Civic Humanism Found Only in Non-monarchical Republics?
  • 4. Taming the Tyrant
    • Tyranny in Greek Philosophy
    • Cicero’s Understanding of Caesar’s Tyranny as Violation of Ius
    • Bartolus of Sassoferrato and Baldo Degli Ubaldi
    • Petrarch on Living with Tyrants
    • Was Caesar a Tyrant?
    • Petrarch, Salutati, Guarino, Poggio
    • Poggio on Tyranny and the “Problem of Counsel”
    • Pier Candido Decembrio on the Virtues of a Tyrant
    • The Recovery of Ancient Greek Sources on Tyranny
  • 5. The Triumph of Virtue: Petrarch’s Political Thought
    • Petrarch’s Politics of Virtue
    • Cola di Rienzo: Populism and Its Limits
    • Petrarch’s New Realism
  • 6. Should a Good Man Participate in a Corrupt Government? Petrarch on the Solitary Life
    • The De Vita Solitaria: An Ideal of Private Life for Literary Men
    • The Defense of Private Life
    • Seneca versus Augustine: Political Obligation and Political Autonomy
  • 7. Boccaccio on the Perils of Wealth and Status
    • Boccaccio’s Political Experience
    • The Need to Reform the Materia Prima of Politics: Human Nature
    • Virtue, Education, and Tyranny
    • Boccaccio and the Humanist Debate about Private Wealth and Economic Injustice
    • Boccaccio and Virtue Politics
  • 8. Leonardo Bruni and the Virtuous Hegemon
    • Why Florence Deserves to Be the Heir of Rome: The Panegyric of the City of Florence
    • Political Liberty as a Source of Virtue
    • The Etruscan Model: Leadership in a Federal Republic
    • Dante and Bruni on the Legitimation of Empire
  • 9. War and Military Service in the Virtuous Republic
    • Late Medieval Civic Knighthood and the Context of Leonardo Bruni’s De Militia
    • Excursus: The Humanists and Partisan Politics
    • Bruni’s De Militia: A New Interpretation
    • Excursus on the “Virtuous Environment”: Donatello and the Representation of Classical Military Virtue
    • Do Humanist Teachings on Warfare Anticipate Machiavelli?
    • Virtue in Military Life
    • Roberto Valturio on the Education of Soldiers
  • 10. A Mirror for Statesmen: Leonardo Bruni’s History of the Florentine People
    • History as Political Theory
    • Virtue in the Service of the Republic’s Glory
    • The Primacy of the Popolo and the Suppression of Factions
    • Moderation in Politics as the Key to Social Concord
  • 11. Biondo Flavio: What Made the Romans Great
    • The Roma Triumphans and the Revival of Roman Civilization
    • What Was the Respublica Romana for Biondo?
    • Biondo’s Virtue Politics, Republicanism, and the Greatness of Rome
    • A Cosmopolitan Papalist
  • 12. Cyriac of Ancona on Democracy and Empire
    • A Short History of the Term Democratia
    • Cyriac of Ancona’s Attempted Rehabilitation of the Term Democratia
    • Cyriac the Caesarian
  • 13. Leon Battista Alberti on Corrupt Princes and Virtuous Oligarchs
    • Why Virtue Is Incompatible with Court Life
    • Who Should Constitute the Political Elite?
    • The De Iciarchia and the Regime of Virtuous “House-Princes”
  • 14. George of Trebizond on Cosmopolitanism and Liberty
    • George’s Attack on Nativism and Defense of Cosmopolitanism
    • A Renaissance Libertarian?
  • 15. Francesco Filelfo and the Spartan Republic
    • Filelfo and the Recovery of the Spartan Tradition
    • Filelfo and Humanist Adaptations of the Myth of Sparta
  • 16. Greek Constitutional Theory in the Quattrocento
    • The “Second Wave” of Greek Constitutional Theory
    • Legitimation and the Republican Regime
    • Francesco Patrizi on Republican Constitutions
    • Delegitimation: Bruni and the Chivalric Ideal
    • Substitution: Platonizing Venice’s Constitution
    • Mario Salamonio Compares Florence to Athens
  • 17. Francesco Patrizi and Humanist Absolutism
    • The Recovery of Ancient Greek Monarchical Theory
    • Patrizi and His Project in the De Regno
    • Virtuous Royal Legitimacy and Humanist Absolutism
    • The Argument for Monarchy
    • Can Monarchical Power Be Virtuous?
    • How the King May Become Virtuous
  • 18. Machiavelli: Reviving the Military Republic
    • The Calamità d’Italia
    • Machiavelli and Humanist Literary Culture
    • Machiavelli’s Political Education and The Art of War
    • Why Princes and Republics Should Follow the Ancient Way of Warfare
  • 19. Machiavelli: From Virtue to Virtù
    • Machiavelli’s Prince and Renaissance Conceptions of Tyranny
    • The Machiavellian Revolution in Political Thought
    • Machiavelli’s Virtù
  • 20. Two Cures for Hyperpartisanship: Bruni versus Machiavelli
    • Two Competing Narratives of Florentine History
    • The Ordinances of Justice
    • Walter of Brienne and the Instability of Tyranny
    • The Restoration of Popular Institutions in 1343
    • Two Cures for Hyperpartisanship
  • 21. Conclusion: Ex Oriente Lux
  • Appendixes
    • A. Petrarch on Political Obligations: De vita solitaria 2.9.19–22 (Chapter 6)
    • B. Speech of Rinaldo Gianfigliazzi before the Florentine Priors, 1399, from Leonardo Bruni’s History of the Florentine People, 11.75–78 (Chapter 10)
    • C. Renaissance Editions, Translations, and Compendia of Francesco Patrizi of Siena’s Political Works (Chapter 16)
  • Notes
    • Note on Sources and Translations
    • Abbreviations
  • Bibliography
    • Texts and Translations
    • Secondary Literature
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index of Manuscripts and Archival Documents
  • General Index

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