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11 Are Cranes Republicans? A Short Chapter in Political Ornithology

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Chapter Summary

Ludovico Zuccolo was most renowned for his political writings, consisting in three utopian texts and the treatise on reason of state. In the Considerationi politiche, Zuccolo advocated that political theory should be considered a science, a concept which exerted influence even on geographically distant political philosophers, such as Henning Arnisaeus and Hermann Conring. Zuccolo's hypothesis of the democratic inclination of the cranes seems to rely heavily on natural philosophy, since he put forward: 'it is not the case that a stork reigns over the other storks, or that a lion rules the other lions, or even that a dolphin commands the other dolphins'. In political ornithology, as well as in the genre of fables, cranes and storks seem to have been interchangeable. Ulisse Aldrovandi's compilation of an enormously wide range of information on cranes might also have provided the basis for Zuccolo's assertion that cranes were genuinely devoted to republicanism.

Keywords: Henning Arnisaeus; Hermann Conring; Ludovico Zuccolo; political ornithology; Ulisse Aldrovandi's compilation; utopian texts

10.1163/9789004279179_013
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