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Poliziano's Lamia In Context

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Chapter Summary

The year 1492 saw the composition of Angelo Poliziano's Lamia, a praelectio, or preliminary oration, which he delivered in the fall of that year to open the course he was teaching on Aristotle's Prior Analytics at the Florentine university. To understand the Lamia, it is necessary to set it in the context of Poliziano's teaching career, before moving on to an analysis of the text. For Poliziano, the philologist was the true philosopher, since only the philologist could examine all evidence, be unimprisoned by disciplinary shackles, and go on to pass dispassionate judgment on the problems life presents. Poliziano made this case in a social context of give and take among humanists, from his interactions with his friend Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and their epistolary exchanges with Ermolao Barbaro to the more immediate circumstances of conflict at the Florentine university.

Keywords: Angelo Poliziano; Aristotle; Giovanni Pico della Mirandola; Lamia



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