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The Role Of The Philosopher In Late Quattrocento Florence: Poliziano's Lamia And The Legacy Of The Pico-Barbaro Epistolary Controversy

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Chapter Summary

Angelo Poliziano opens his Lamia with a fable, drawn from Plutarch, describing the lamias. Doing so, Poliziano aims at provoking a polemic with his opponents at the Florentine Studio. The polemic's contents can be inferred by Poliziano's confutation of his opponents' arguments within his apologue of the lamias. After the pars destruens, there follows the pars construens: a treatise on the nature of philosophy and the role of the philosopher in Greek tradition from its origins up to Aristotle. This chapter focuses on the subtle rhetorical and dialectical strategies that frame these two intertwined parts. It also proposes a reading of Poliziano's account of the ways rhetoric and dialectic must serve philosophy. Finally the chapter demonstrates that Poliziano's investigation concerning philosophy and the nature of the philosopher also aims to reopen the Pico-Barbaro epistolary controversy of 1485.

Keywords: Angelo Poliziano; Florentine Studio; Lamia; philosopher; Pico-Barbaro epistolary controversy



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