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The "Baron Thesis" after Forty Years and Some Recent Studies of Leonardo Bruni

Author(s): James Hankins


Source: Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 56, No. 2 (Apr., 1995), pp. 309-338
Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2709840
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The "Baron Thesis"


afterForty
Yearsandsome
RecentStudiesofLeonardoBruni
JamesHankins
It was entirely
appropriate
thatthedeathof Hans Baronin Novemberof
1988 shouldhave becometheoccasionfora numberof tributes
to his work
and influenceas a Renaissancehistorian;and since PrincetonUniversity
Press,onlya fewmonthsearlier,had issueda collectionof his papersand
look at his contributions
to Renaissancestudieswas
articles,a retrospective
made all the more obligatory.'Amongthe more perceptiveaccountsof
Baron's workwas a review-essay
by JohnNajemy,whichmade some very
largeclaimsforthe importance
of Baron's work.2"It is by now commonwas to nineteenth-century
place," wroteNajemy,"thatwhat Burckhardt
Renaissancehistoriography,
Baron is to its twentieth-century
counterpart:
each providedhis century'smostinfluential,
and debatedintercompelling,
pretation
ofthesignificance
oftheculturaldevelopments
ofItalybetweenthe
end of the Middle Ages and the modemera." And again: "In recovering
Bruni and the civic humanismof the early fifteenth
century,Baron did
nothingless thanrecastthe entireRenaissancefromPetrarchto Machito quarrelwiththem,espeavelli." Large claimsindeed,yetit is difficult
Baronwas surelyone of
ciallycomingfroma scholarofNajemy'sauthority.
thethreeorfourmostinfluential
oftheRenaissancein thesecond
interpreters
A primitive
versionofthispaperwas discussedat a roundtableon Hans Baronheld in
Novemberof 1992 at theHarvardUniversity
CenterforItalianRenaissanceStudies(Villa
I Tatti).Thanksforhelpfulcriticismsto WilliamConnell,ArthurField, RiccardoFubini,
and particularlyRobert Black, and (for a later version) to AnthonyMolho, R. Burr
Litchfield,and otherparticipantsat the Workshopin Late Medieval and Early Modem
ItalianHistoryat BrownUniversity(spring1994).
1Hans Baron,In Search ofFlorentineCivicHumanism:Essays on theTransition
from
Medieval to ModernThought(2 vols.; Princeton,1988).
2 JohnM. Najemy,reviewessay of Baron's Essays,RenaissanceQuarterly,
45 (1992),
340-50.

309
oftheHistory
ofIdeas,Inc.
Copyright
1995byJournal

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310

JamesHankins

in Italy and America,and his


particularly
century,
half of the twentieth
in
sparkeda broadrevivalof interest
of republicanism
studiesof thehistory
humanthistopicamongstudentsof earlymodemhistory;theterm"civic
as of fifteenthism" is now as widelyused amongstudentsof eighteenthliterary
andphilosophical
century
politics.His lifelongcampaignto interpret
textsin theirhistoricalsetting-a methodstillunusualin Baron'syouth-is
today normalpractice(and rightlyso) among intellectualhistoriansand
historians
of politicalthought.
Whatis morecontroversial,
however,is anotherclaimmadeinNajemy's
Baron's view that
"Recentworkhas by and largeconfirmed
review-essay:
culturalprogramand
promoteda distinctive
civic humanismsuccessfully
redeRoman,and Italianhistory,
politicaloutlookthatreshapedFlorentine,
about
and creatednew expectations
and liberty,
finednotionsof citizenship
andeducationin society."It couldbe argued-as this
theroleofintellectuals
essay will argue-thatin factthe tendencyof recentstudiesof Florentine
studiesof LeonardoBruni,has been to
history,
and particularly
intellectual
of the
Baron'sview of thenatureand significance
reviseor evenundermine
he called "civic humanism."3
phenomenon
thegenesisand
torecapitulate
Itmaybe usefulforpurposesofexposition
chieffeaturesof whathas become knownas the "Baron thesis."Baron's
ofthe
interpretation
byhisownaccount,was Burckhardt's
pointofdeparture,
of RenaissanceItalRenaissance,especiallyhis view of the individualism
famouslysaw the Renaissanceas a period when men
ians.4Burckhardt
theiridentitiesin collectivitiesof various kinds and
ceased submerging
and
virtuous,
intobeautiful,
powerful,
soughtlikeartiststo shapethemselves
of
their
versions
Greco-Roman
as
models
idealized
wise individuals,
using
thisimplieda looseningof allegiancesto family,
forebears.
For Burckhardt
to treattheselatternotas givens
guild,state,and religion,a newwillingness
plastic to the hands of theirhuman
of traditionbut as Menschenwerke,
thatmade Renaissancemen "firstmakers.It was thismorethananything
ofcourse,thiswas
bornamongthesonsofmodernEurope."ForBurckhardt,
theindividualism
of theRenaissancecould
notan unqualifiedcompliment:
to thegood ofthecommuissuein an amoralegoism,indifferent
sometimes

3 Baron's "civic humanism"and the so-called "Baron thesis" firstgained wide


currencyafterthe publicationof his Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance: Civic
(Princeton,1955).
Humanismand RepublicanLibertyin an Age of Classicismand Tyranny
studiesrelatingto thesame themesappearedin thesame yearin Baron's HumanisFurther
tic and Political Literaturein Veniceand Florence at theBeginningof the Quattrocento
(Cambridge,Mass., 1955). A revisededitionin one volumeof theCrisiswas publishedby
revisionswas
Press in 1966; an Italianversionof Crisiswithfurther
PrincetonUniversity
published as La crisi del primo Rinascimentoitaliano. Umanesimocivile e liberta
repubblicanain un'eta di classicismoe di tirannide(Florence,1970).
4 Baron,Essays, II, ch. 16 and 17.

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Hans Baron

311

ofthemoralvaluesnecessaryto thesurvivalofcivilized
nityand destructive
society.'
As is now clearfromthebrilliantstudyof RiccardoFubini,Baronwas
theologian
a liberalProtestant
earlyin his lifea discipleof ErnstTroeltsch,
who (influencedby Dilthey)wished to rejectthe dogmatismand soteriits
insteadinterpreting
ological individualismof traditionalChristianity,
messageas a theologyof social action.In the 1920s Baronwas also a firm
of theWeimarRepublic,eagerto wean Germanyaway fromits
supporter
past.6He feltthatthenew era of democratic
and monarchical
chauvinistic
socialismdemandeda newkindofeducationand culturethatwouldproduce
political
He believedGermany'sunhealthy
citizenry.
an activeand informed
stressing
culture
university
had been aggravatedby an entrenched
tradition
philologyand overspecializedhistoricalstudies;the effectwas to distract
fromlargerhistoricalissues and thusto detachscholarshipfrom
attention
thattried
chauvinism
Moreover,againsttheprevailing
commitment.
political
to
contributions
to make "the GermanSpirit"the originof all worthwhile
thatGermanywas in factincivilization,he was anxiousto demonstrate
debtedforvaluedpartsofhercultureto otherlands;this,he felt,wouldhelp
past
makeeducatedGermansreadierto look abroadand in thenon-German
formodelsof a healthypoliticalculture.Finally,perhapsabove all, Baron
culturewas compatiblewithpoliticalcomwantedto provethathumanistic
of
identification
An
the
latter
aim was Burckhardt's
mitment. obstacleto
of theindividual.This was a matterof more
withthecultivation
humanism
book had acquiredsomething
as Burckhardt's
thanpurelyacademicinterest,
butpoliticallypassiveGermans
amonghighly-educated
of a cult-following
forexampleadmiredthebook immoderduringthe1920s;theGeorge-Kreis
greatbook, however,
ately.The Germaneliteswho admiredBurckhardt's
individualtendedto ignorehis messageaboutthedangersof untrammelled
liberated
fromthe
ismandto focusinsteadon his seductivepictureofgenius
and social convention.
claimsof traditional
morality
I See Felix Gilbert,
on Rankeand Burckhardt
History:Politicsor Culture?Reflections
politicswas less nuanced:see
(Princeton,1990), ch. 4. Baron's own view of Burckhardt's
his essay "Burckhardt'sCivilizationof theRenaissance a Centuryafterits Publication,"
RenaissanceNews, 13 (1960), 207-22, repr.in Essays, 155-81.
6 Riccardo Fubini,"RenaissanceHistorian:The Career of Hans Baron,"Journalof
ModernHistory,64 (1992), 541-74, publishedin Italian as Una carriera di storicodel
Rinascimento:Hans Baron (Naples, 1992). Sketchesof Baron's careerand theinfluences
upon him had been given earlierin G. Cervani,"II Rinascimentoitalianonell'opera di
Hans Baron," Nuova rivistastorica, 39 (1955), 492-503; AugustBuck, "Hans Baron's
to theLiteraryHistoryof theRenaissance,"in AnthonyMolho and JohnA.
Contribution
Tedeschi(eds.), RenaissanceStudiesin Honor ofHans Baron (Florence,1971), xxxi-lviii;
e la loro influenzafra
Eugenio Garin,"Le primericerchedi Hans Baron sul Quattrocento
le due guerre,"in ibid., lix-lxx; and, for modernpolitical context,Renzo Pecchioli,
"'Umanesimo civile' e interpretazione'civile' dell'umanesimo," Studi storici, 13
(1972), 3-33.

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312

JamesHankins

These concernspreparedthegroundforBaron's majordiscoveriesas a


Renaissancehistorian.
Sometimein thelate 1920sBaron'sresearchbeganto
disclosein fifteenth-century
Italy-supposedlythehomelandofthedetached
litof humanistic
on classicizingculture-a tradition
"individual"nurtured
and committed,
moreeraturethathad shownitselfpoliticallycommitted,
It was the expressionof civic-minded,
republican
over,to republicanism.7
culturesin Venice and Florencein whichcitizensand scholarshad worked
together
to servethebonumcommune-a farcryfromthecultureevokedby
wandering
amongthecourtsof
Burckhardt,
a worldof rootlessintellectuals
tradition
was for
illegitimate
tyrants.
This discoveryof a civic humanistic
Baron the germof his famous"thesis."As Baron himselfbelieved that
scholarshipshould serve the public good, it was importantfor him to
understandhow Italian intellectualshad made the transitionfroman
to a "this-worldly"
outlook,fromprivateto publiccommit"otherworldly"
ments,and froma world in which intellectualand moral effortaimed
primarily
at salvationin thenextlifeto a worldinwhichthecivilcommunity
becamethefontof value. He wantednotmerelyto describecivichumanism
butto explainhow it had comeabout,forto explainitsgenesiswouldbe to
to thestateand to whatwouldnow
explainthegenesisof modernattitudes
be called the "publicsphere."
Baron's researchesintothe originsof civic humanismat lengthtook
shape in his greatwork,The Crisisof theEarlyItalianRenaissance:Civic
Humanismand RepublicanLibertyin an Age ofClassicismand Tyranny.In
fortheappearanceofwhat
thisbookBaroneschewedinternalist
explanations
The civichumanism
ofQuattrocento
Florencewas
he calledcivichumanism.
of Trecentohumanismbut a new departure
to be
not a naturaloutgrowth
aroundtheyear 1402. Before
explainedin termsof new politicalconditions
their
1402 humanistshad generallylacked seriouspoliticalcommitments;
had servedlimited,personalgoals; theirphilosophy,
insofaras
scholarship
theiroutwardliveshad beenthatof
theyhad one,was Stoicor otherworldly;
or quietistcitizens.The Florentine
rootlesscourtiers
civic tradition,
on the
thehealthypoliticallifeofthethirteenthotherhand,whileithad preserved
thatmight
century
commune,stoodapartfromthelearnedculturaltraditions
have given it nurture.It was only the long strugglewith Giangaleazzo
thesetwotraditions
Viscontiin the1390sthathadbrought
together,
creating
BildungthatBaroncalled civic
thehybridcultureof politically-committed
humanism.In thecrisisof theMilaneseWars,whenFlorence'sveryexistence was threatened,
varietyseemed
privatescholarshipof the Petrarchan
to retainits relevance,wouldhave to
selfishand trivial.Classical learning,
subordinateitselfto the ideological and educationalneeds of the state.
of civic humanism-quickly
LeonardoBruni-for Baron the embodiment
7 The termBu7rgerhumanismus,
translatedas "civic humanism,"Baron firstused in
the introduction
to his Leonardo Bruni Aretino.Humanistisch-philosophische
Schriftenr
(Leipzig, 1928).

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Hans Baron

313

outgrewhis youthfulattractionto "pure classicism"-symbolized by


Niccolo Niccoli-and forgeda new kindof classicismwhose aim was to
inherited
of Florentinerepublicanism
nurtureand celebratethe traditions
fromthecommunalage.
it
Florence'svictoryin theViscontiwarsand thenewkindofhumanism
It meant,
importance.
engendered
had,forBaron,resultsof world-historical
butwould
firstof all, thatItalywouldnotbe unitedundera singletyranny
as a result,themedievalcommunaltraditions
becomea systemofcity-states;
ofFlorenceandVenicewouldsurvivetoinspirea laterage ofrepublicanism.8
Florence's
of civic humanists,
Even moreimportant,
thanksto thewritings
free speech,political
republicanvalues of independentself-government,
and equalityunderlaw would survive,in the earlymodem
participation,
in themarketperiod,to preventa monopolyof absolutistpoliticalthought
inpolitical
place ofideasandtopreparethegroundforthemodemrevolution
theriseof civichumanideas andpractice.Froman evenlongerperspective
of the
politicaltradition
ism struckanotherblow againstthe Augustinian
in thisworldwas,
MiddleAges. ForAugustinethevalue ofpoliticalactivity
it was literally
sub specie saeculi, mostlynegative;sub specie aeternitatis
nothing,since it did nothingdirectlyto promotethe healthof the soul.
Bruni's civic humanismchallengedAugustineby revivingan Aristotelian
and other"exterwhichsaw self-government
and Ciceroniananthropology
This in
of humanity.
nal goods" as necessaryto thedignityand perfection
it
that
new
of
was
no
coincidence
Bruni,
history:
turnentaileda
conception
thehistorian,
was thefirstto detachhistoricaleventsfromtheeconomyof
not salvation,thethemeof
divineprovidenceand to makepoliticalliberty,
to "reality"
his history.For Baronthiswas a turnfrom"otherworldliness"
and thisview led Baronto wonderwhetherthe
as theprincipleof history,
newrealismevidentin Quattrocento
visualartmightnothavehad something
of thehistorical
to do withtheatmosphere
crisishe had triedto describe.
Such,in brief,werethemainconclusionsof Baron's Crisis,finishedin
Univer1952 and eventually
publishedin twovolumesin 1955 byPrinceton
studieson the same themes
sityPress. A thirdvolumeof supplementary
of HarvardUniversity
Press in the same year
appearedunderthe imprint
8 As was pointed out by Niccolo Valeri ("An Americanand the Renaissance,"

Newberry
LibraryBulletin,4 [1956], 88-92),thiswas itselfa challengeto themonarchicalto uniteItaly
whichsaw GiangaleazzoVisconti'seffort
Fascisttraditionof historiography
centuryas a tragic failureto do what VittorioEmmanuele II had
in the fourteenth
succeeded in doing in the nineteenthcentury."One cannot doubt that Baron's keen
oppositionto the crude Machiavellism of an historicalschool inclined to recognize
political achievementonly insofaras it producespower-in isolationfromeveryother
motive,whetherideal or ethical-has sprung,like theoppositionof otherliberally-minded
students,froma reactionagainst Fascist and Nazi ideologies." Partlyfor this reason
GennaroSasso ("Florentinalibertase Rinascimentoitalianonell'opera di Hans Baron,"
Rivistastoricaitaliana,69 [1957], 250-76) arguedthatBaron's thesiswas internationalist
and ideologicalratherthannationalistand power-oriented.

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JamesHankins

entitledHumanisticand PoliticalLiteraturein Florenceand Veniceat the


The Crisisrapidlybecamea canonicalwork
BeginningoftheQuattrocento.
of Renaissancehistoryand was republishedin a condensed,one-volume
editionin 1966; it has remainedin printup to thepresentday.9In 1968 a
collectionof studies,mostlyrelatedto the"Baronthesis,"appearedwiththe
of Chicago Press.10TwentyyearslaterPrincetonpublishedthe
University
Baron's mostimportant
above containing
collectionmentioned
two-volume
timeofhisdeathBaron
At
the
reworked.
and
manyofthemenlarged
articles,
studyof LeonardoBruni,ofwhichmorewill
was workingon a biographical
be said in due course.
his writingswere never
Despite Baron's greatsuccess as a historian,
Even his firstbook,a usefulbutbadly-edited
freefromcontroversy.
entirely
came underattack.It becamea pawn in the
collectionof Bruni'swritings,
wagedduringthe'twentiesand
warbetweenphilologyand Geistesgeschichte
It was widelybelievedthatBaron'schiefpersecutor,
ofthecentury.
'thirties
Ludwig Bertalot,was using Baron as a way of gettingat his teachers,
especiallyFriedrichMeinecke.11The patterncontinuedwith the Crisis.
Readersof the Crisiswill recall
drewcriticism.
AgainBaron's scholarship
to dateand
withelaborateattempts
thatmuchofBaron'sbookis encumbered

9 For Baron's influenceon AmericanRenaissance scholarship,see the Festschrift


editedbyMolho and Tedeschi(cited,n. 6); Donald Flemingand BemardBailyn(eds.), The
IntellectualMigration:Europe and America 1930-1960 (Cambridge,Mass., 1969); and
Alberto Tenenti,"Etudes anglo-saxonnessur la renaissance florentine,"Annales, 25
(1970), 1394-99. ThroughJ. G. A. Pocock and his followersBaron's "civic humanism"
of earlymodemBritainand America;see The
has had a second lifein thehistoriography
MachiavellianMoment:FlorentinePolitical Thoughtand theAtlanticRepublicanTradiof Baron's ideas to the
tion(Princeton,1976), especiallychapters3 and 4. The penetration
level of thetextbookmay be seen in FrederickHartt'spopularHistoryof Italian Renaissance Art(New York, 19873), whereBruniis described(243) as "a sortof Quattrocento
Churchill."
10HansBaron,FromPetrarchtoLeonardoBruni:Studiesin Humanisticand Political
Literature(Chicago, 1968).
11BertalotreviewedBaron formallytwice, in "ForschungenuiberLeonardo Bruni
Aretino,"ArchivumRomanicum,15 (1931), 284-323, and in an untitledreview in
29 (1934), 385-400; two otherarticlesby Bertalotwere in
HistorischeVierteljahrschrift,
des LeonardoBruni
reviewsof Baron,"ZurBibliographiederUbersetzungen
effectfurther
Aretino,"Quellen und Forschungenaus ItalienischenArchivenund Bibliotheken,27
(1936-37), 178-95,and "Zur Bibliographiedes LeonardoBruniAretino,"ibid.,28 (193738), 268-85. Kristeller,in editingBertalot'scollectedpapers (Studienzum italienischen
unddeutschenHumanismus[Rome,1975]), censored,at Baron's request,themoreabusive
of P. 0. Kristeller).LudwigBertalot(1884remarksin Bertalot'sreviews(communication
studiedwithKonradBurdachand LudwigTraube
1960), a GermanofHuguenotextraction,
in Munichbut lived mostof his workinglife as an expatriatescholarand bookdealerin
Rome (1925-51) afterbeing expelled fromhis positionas a librarianat the Bayerische
BertalotdislikedBaron partlybecause he saw him as the darlingof the
Staatsbibliothek.
cattedraticiwhomhe himselfhated.Bertalot'spapersare conservedat theIstitutostorico
of HermannGoldbrunner).
germanicoin Rome (communication

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Hans Baron

315

redatecertainof Bruni'swritings.The methodemployedcombinedtradiwithwhatcan only


tionaltechniquesof historicaland philologicalcriticism
insisted
thatthedateof
Baron
connoisseurship:
be calleda kindofhistorian's
likeBruni'sLaudatioFlorentinaeurbisandDialogues could
certainwritings
the "mood" of thesewritings
withthe historical
be divinedby correlating
oftheirauthor.ManyofBaron'sdatingshavenotstoodup wellat
experience
ratherthan
thisdistanceof time,and his peculiarmethodshave diminished
of his largerconclusions.12
enhancedtheplausibility
of theBaronthesisthan
Therewere,of course,moreseriouscriticisms
oftheCrisiscastdoubton
academicquibblingoverdates.Severalreviewers
theidea thatthelargeculturalchangesBarondescribedcould be relatedin
any simple way to Florence's wars with the Viscontiand King Ladissearchformathematical
las-what Lucia GualdocalledBaron's"punctilious
texts."13
betweenmilitary
and politicaleventsand literary
correspondences
on theimportance
of
OtherreviewerscalledintoquestionBaron'sinsistence
formofculture
Florenceandthedateof 1402inthegenesisofthenewhybrid
14 Theirskepticism
was amply
andrepublican
ideology.
humanism
combining
vindicatedby subsequentresearch.Aftertheworkof RobertoWeiss,GiuQuentinSkinner,Ronald Witt,and
seppe Billanovich,Nicolai Rubinstein,
movement
are to be foundin
othersit is clearthattherootsof thehumanist
andearly
Arezzo,Bologna,andtheVeneto,andthatmanyofthesedictatores

12 QuestionsaboutBaron's datingswerefirst
raisedin a

reviewofBaron's Crisisby G.
Gelehrnte
Anzeigen,(1956), 35-63,republishedin idem,"Die
Seidlmayerin Gottingischer
Friih-Renaissance:
PolitischeAnlasseund geistigeElemente
Entwicklung
deritalienischen
des Humanismus,ed.
(Zu den Forschungenvon Hans Baron)," in Wegeund Wandlungen
H. Barion (G6ttingen,1965), 47-74. Baron's dismissivereactionis in From Petrarch,
criticizingBaron's datingsof Bruni's earlyworks,
108n. For a summaryof the literature
see myPlato in theItalian Renaissance(London, 1990), II, appendix1, and theforthcomBrunianum:A CriticalBibliographyofthe Writings
ing secondvolumeof myRepertorium
ofLeonardoBruni(Istitutostoricoitalianoper il Medio Evo, Nuovi studistorici;vol. 1 is
in press). As Nicolai Rubinsteinhas remarked("II Brunia Firenze:retoricae politica,"in
Paolo Viti [ed.], Leonardo Bruni cancellieredella Repubblica di Firenze, Convegnodi
to
Studi[Florence,1990], 15-28),Baron's redatingof Bruni'sworksare mostlyirrelevant
his largerconclusions.
13 Lucia Gualdo Rosa, "La struttura
dell'epistolariobrunianoe il significatopolitico," in Viti, Bruni cancelliere,372. She generallyfollowsBaron and Garin in her
betweenideologyand rhetoricin Bruni's work.
interpretation
of therelationship
14 See Sasso, "Florentinalibertas";Seidlmayer,
review of Crisis, cit., n. 12 above;
Aldo Scaglione, review of Crisis, in Romance Philology, 10 (1956), 129-37; Charles
Trinkaus,reviewof Baron,Crisis,in JHI, 17 (1956), 426-32; Wallace K. Ferguson,"The
of Hans Baron,"JHI, 19 (1958), 14of ItalianHumanism:The Contribution
Interpretation
An
25. Baron replied to Ferguson in "Moot Problemsof Renaissance Interpretation:
Answerto Wallace K. Ferguson,"JHI, 19 (1958), 26-34. David Quint,"Humanismand
of Bruni's Dialogues," Renaissance Quarterly,38 (1985),
Modernity:A Reconsideration
withBaron's readingoftheDialogi ad Petrum
423-45,pointsout someinternaldifficulties
Histrumand theirconnectionwiththe 1402 crisis.

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316

JamesHankins

had expressed
humanists
(a locution
surelypreferable
to "pre-humanists")
inclassicalgarb,Albertino
Mussato'sEccerinis
their
political
commitments
theonlyexample.15
thebestknownbuthardly
At thesame
beingperhaps
timeit has beenamplydemonstrated
by CharlesDavis,EmilioPanella,
folklore
of themedieval
QuentinSkinner,
and othersthattherepublican
before
overa century
Bruni,
commune
hadbeengivensometheoretical
heft,
writers
such as Remigiode'Girolami,
by scholasticand sub-scholastic
ofLucca.16Theexpression
ofthesevaluesis
Brunetto
Latini,andPtolemy
in Salutatiand
andmorehistorically-conscious
moresecular,
moremature,
contemBrunibuthardly
original
withthem.On theotherhand,Petrarch's
by Baronas typicalof
plativeandpolitically
quietist
attitudes,
presented
an
humanism
before1402,havecometo seemmoreandmoreexceptional,
thefallofthecommune
ofPaduain 1322
aberration
oftheperiodbetween
onthescene.17
and1400,whenthehumanists
ofBruni'sgeneration
appeared
had takenissuewithBaron'sattempt
to changethe
Otherhistorians
In contrast
to Burckhardt's
largerpicture
of Renaissance
politicalculture.
andpost-ideological
in its
as essentially
realistic
viewof theRenaissance
thelatefourteenth
andearlyfifteenth
Baronpresented
as a
century
politics,
l5RobertoWeiss,Ilprimosecolo dell'umanesimo(Rome, 1949); theworkofGiuseppe
Billanovich and his school on "preumanesimo"is summarizedby Guido Billanovich,
Rino Avesani,and Luciano Garganin Storia della culturaveneta,II (Vicenza, 1976), 19110, 111-41,and 172-70,respectively.See Rubinstein,"PoliticalTheoriesin the Renais(New York,
sance," in AndreChastel et al., The Renaissance: Essays in Interpretation
1982), 153-200, Skinner,"Ambrogio Lorenzetti:the artistas political philosopher,"
Proceedingsof theBritishAcademy,72 (1986), 1-56,and "Machiavelli'sDiscorsi and the
Pre-humanist
Originsof RepublicanIdeas" in Gisela Bock, QuentinSkinner,and Maurizio
Viroli (eds.), Machiavelli and Republicanism(Cambridge,1992), 121-41; Skinner'scrivol. 1: The
tiqueof Baronon thispointis in his FoundationsofModernPolitical Thought,
Renaissance (Cambridge,1978), chap. 4. See also Ronald G. Witt. "Medieval Italian
Cultureand the Originsof Humanismas a StylisticIdeal," in AlbertRabil, jr. (ed.),
RenaissanceHumanism:Foundations,Forms,Legacy (Philadelphia,1988), I, 29-70, and,
froma different
approach,AntonioSantosuosso,in "LeonardoBruniRevisited:A Reassessmentof Hans Baron's Thesis on the Influence of the Classics in the Laudatio
and Society:Essays Presented
FlorentineUrbis,"in AspectsofLate Medieval Government
to J. R. Lander, ed. J. G. Rowe (Toronto, 1986), 25-51, arguingthat Baron greatly
overstatesBruni's independenceof his classical source,Aelius Aristides,in theLaudatio
Florentinaeurbis.
16 CharlesTill Davis, Dante's Italyand OtherEssays. (Philadelphia,1984); Skinner,
Foundations,chap. 3; Emilio Panella, "Dal bene comune al bene del comune:I trattati
Memoriedomenicane,16
politicidi Remigiodei Girolaminella Firenzedei bianchi-neri,"
(1985), 1-198.
17 See Rubinstein,
"Political Theories." Salutati's shiftsbetweencivic and quietist
values are discussedin Witt,"The De tyrannoand Coluccio Salutati'sView of Politicsand
RomanHistory,"Nuova rivistastorica,53 (1969), 434-74, and (in a moreBaronianvein)
in Herculesat theCrossroads: TheLife,Workand Thoughtof Coluccio Salutati(Durham,
can be foundin Robert
N.C., 1983). A convincingexplanationforSalutati'sinconsistencies
Black, "The PoliticalThoughtof the FlorentineChancellors,"The HistoricalJournal,29
(1986), 991-1003.

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Hans Baron

317

betweenrepublicanism
and signory.The crisis
periodof ideologicalstruggle
emphasizing
secular
of 1402 forBarongenerateda new culturalmovement
to the community-a view which challenged
values and commitment
apartunderthepressure
societybreaking
Burckhardt's
pictureofa traditional
and illegitimate
power.Severalscholars,however,
of egoisticindividualism
PhilipJones,PeterHerde,and (implicrejectedthisattempt
at revisionism.
tookBaronto taskforhis naiveview of republican
itly)Nicolai Rubinstein
They arguedthatthese
politicsin medievaland Renaissancecity-states."8
societieswere in realitynot as devotedto libertyas theirtraditionsof
fullfreedom
was enjoyedonlyby
wouldsuggest;internally,
politicalfolklore
"property-owning
burgessesof local originand prolongedresidence,"while
ofsubjecttownswas limitedbytheimperialclaimsof
thefreedom
externally
the metropolis.Therehad always been "a strident
contradiction"
between
thisdid
therhetoric
of freedomand therealityof Renaissancegovernment;
In fact,Renaissancerepublicswere oligarnot changewiththehumanists.
chies and, froma democratic
pointof view,had notmuchbetterclaimsto
For Jonesand Herde,the "titanic
legitimacythanRenaissancetyrannies.
struggle"betweenmonarchicand republicanprinciplesBaron saw at the
in antiquedressof a
dawnof theRenaissancewas merelythecontinuation
similarformsof govcentury-long
propagandawarbetweentwoessentially
ernment.
Jones'sand Herde's view receivedfurther
supportin themid-1960sas
beganto be widely
theworkof P. 0. Kristelleron Renaissancehumanism
to turnKristeller'sinterpretation
of
Severalscholarsattempted
influential.
of
the
into
of
Kristeller's
view
humanism
saw
humanism a critique Baron.
to the
and drewattention
as a phase in thehistoryof rhetoric
phenomenon
forhimhumanism
couldnotbe
ofthehumanists;
professional
employments
context.It was notenough
understood
apartfromitssocial and institutional
livedin a republicor a court;one should
a humanist
simplyto say whether
look also at theprofessional
roleshe filled.One could onlymake sense of
ifone saw thatmostprofessional
humanists
(as opposed
literature
humanistic
professors
of literature,
to interested
amateurs)hadworkedas schoolmasters,
and chancellors,ambassadors,courtpoets,and highpoliticalsecretaries,

Philip Jones,"Communesand Despots: The City-Statein Late-MedievalItaly,"


Transactionsof the Royal HistoricalSociety,5th ser., 15 (1965), 71-96, and review of
Baron's Crisis(2nd ed.), in History,53 (1968), 410-13; PeterHerde,"PolitikundRhetorik
50 (1965), 141in Florenzam Vorabendder Renaissance,"Archivfar Kulturgeschichte,
220; idem, "Politische Verhaltensweiseder FlorentinerOligarchie, 1382-1402," in
Frankfurter
Festgabefur WalterSchlesinger(WiesGeschichteund Verfassungsgeftige:
and the Medici Ascenbaden, 1973); Nicolai Rubinstein,"FlorentineConstitutionalism
Century,"in Rubinstein(ed.), FlorentineStudies(Florence,1968).
dencyin the Fifteenth
of Salutati
RubinsteindefendsBaron againstHerde withrespectto Baron's interpretation
in idem, "Florentinalibertas,"Rinascimenton.s. 26 (1976), 3-26, some points made
earlierin Trinkaus'sreview(n. 14, above).
18

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318

JamesHankins

levelcivilservants.
Mostifnotall oftheseprofessions
an expert
required
of rhetoric.
couldin partbe exknowledge
Indeed,theriseof humanism
plainedby changesin the natureof theseprofessions
duringtheearly
Renaissance.19

viewofhumanism,
backedupbyhiscomprehensive
knowlKristeller's
raisednewquestions
aboutBaron's
edgeofmanuscript
sources,
inevitably
Weremensuchas Salutati
andBrunireallyas rootedin
"civichumanists."
oftheFlorentine
thevaluesandattitudes
classesas theyhadseemedto
ruling
wereas politically
committed
Baron?If thegreatFlorentine
chancellors
as
Baronrepresented
them,how had Salutatimanagedto survivein office
through
thepoliticalupheavalsof 1375-82?How had Brunisurvived
the
of theMedici?Whyhad Bruni,immediately
afterthe
exile and return
ofthewarwithLadislas,goneoffto
crisisof1402andinthemidst
supposed
servethesignoreofRomeandthePapalStates?Whydidhe admirepetty
tyrants
suchas CarloMalatestaand Braccioda Montone?
Whydid the
intothereggimento
Mediciparty
takethesupposed
firebrand
republican
after
of
1437?Whyhad Bruniremained
a lifelong
friend AntonioLoschi,the
defender
of Milanese"tyranny,"
twoworksto him?How to
dedicating
in his missive,
backandforth
between
the
explainSalutati'sfacileshifts,
"new"republican
ideologyandthe"old" Guelfideology?
Whywas there
thecoollyrealistic
ofpolicy
so littlecommon
between
discussions
ground
foundin the Consultee praticheduringthe 1390s,and theoverheated
rhetoric
of Salutati's
publicletters?
ofthe
Howto explainBruni'smissive
1430s,whichcontainletters
espousing
policiesBruniprivately
disagreed
bothpraising
and damning
theMedici,letters
the
with,letters
eulogizing
likethese,andbyextenEmperor
andtheDukeofMilan?Shouldwritings
sion Bruni'sLaudatioand Orationfor theFuneralofNanniStrozzi,notbe

seenas piecesofpolitical
theworkofprofessional
propaganda,
rhetoricians
forspecific
ofsincere
occasions
andnotunspotted
mirrors
writing
republican
conviction?

19 JerroldE. Seigel, "'Civic Humanism' or CiceronianRhetoric?The Cultureof

Petrarchand Bruni,"Past and Present,34 (1966), 3-48; idem,Philosophyand Rhetoricin


theItalian Renaissance (Princeton,1968); Herde,"Politicund Rhetorik,"and "Politische
Verhaltensweise."Baron's replyto Seigel appeared as "Leonardo Bruni: 'Professional
Rhetorician'or 'Civic Humanist'?"Past and Present, 16 (1968), 21-37. Kristellerhas
criticizedBaron's view of humanismin "FlorentinePlatonismand its Relations with
Humanismand Scholasticism,"ChurchHistory,8 (1939), 201-11, repr. in Studies in
RenaissanceThoughtand Letters,III (Rome, 1993), 38-48; "Humanismand Scholasticism
in the Italian Renaissance,"Byzantion,17 (1944-45), 346-74, repr.in Studies,I (Rome,
1956), 553-83; "The Activeand Contemplative
Life in RenaissanceHumanism,"in Brian
Vickers (ed.), Arbeit,Musse, Meditation,Betrachtungenzur 'Vita activa' und 'Vita
contemplativa'(Zurich, 1985), 141-42; "Humanism,"in Charles B. Schmitt(ed.), The
CambridgeHistoryof Renaissance Philosophy(Cambridge, 1988), 131; Renaissance
Thoughtand theArts(Princeton,1990), 46-47.

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Hans Baron

319

yearswe have begunto getanswersto someof these


In thelast fifteen
questions,thanksto a broadrevivalof Brunistudiesled by Lucia Gualdo
Rosa andPaolo Viti.Up untilabout1980therehadbeen,aside fromBaron's
own work,verylittlebasic studyof Bruni'slifeand works.Thereis even
ofhis works,no modemeditionofhis letters,
todayno reliablebibliography
studyof
andno calendarofhisstatepapers;andthemostseriousbiographical
or so
himwas thatofCesareVasoli.20Fewerthana dozenoftheseventy-five
edited.21
Scholarlyworkon Bruni,it
worksfromhispenhavebeencritically
in him.Yet
to Baron'sknowninterest
seems,was longputoffin deference
years
fewscholarsinEuropewereawarethatBaronhad spentthelasttwenty
his
of
hero.22
study
a biographical
ofhis lifewriting
butanotherin thelong
a biography
Thisunfinished
studyis notproperly
ofhis
thatBaronwrotein responseto criticisms
seriesofpiecesjustificatives
as a responsetotheissues
intended
thesis;inthiscase thebookwas primarily
is to
raisedby JerroldSeigel and PeterHerde.Baron's objectthroughout
but a "civic humanrhetorician"
show thatBruniwas not a "professional
politicalideologyshapedby his
witha consistent
Florentine
ist":a patriotic
inthecivicworldofearlyRenaissanceFlorence.So we aretaken
experiences
theperiodof the"crisis"once more,thistimefroma biographical
through
with
perspective.Many of the old datingissues are raisedagain,together
somenew ones,butthereis littlenew research.The rulingpassionis notto
describewhatsortof personBruniwas or to give a nuancedview of his
Baronwantsto showthatBruni'spoliticalthought
intellectual
development.
from1402to theendofhislife.
andpoliticalloyaltiesweretotallyconsistent
Henceinchapterone (muchofwhichwas publishedinarticleformin 1977)23
we are told whyBruni'sscholasticeducationdid not give hima medieval
worldview;the burdenof chaptertwo is to explainwhy,afterthe souleventsof 1402,Bruni,insteadof stayingin Florenceto servethe
shattering

Dizionario biograficodegli italiani(Rome, 1972), XIV, 618-33. I am preparinga


three-volumecriticalbibliographyof Bruni's writingsto be publishedby the Istituto
storicoper il Medio Evo in theseries"Nuovi studistorici"(see n. 12), and a biographyto
be publishedby CambridgeUniversityPress. A biographicalsketchof Bruni was also
JamesHankins,and David Thompson,The
to GordonGriffiths,
givenin the introduction
N.Y., 1987), 9-46.
HumanismofLeonardoBruni,SelectedTexts(Binghamton,
21 For criticaleditionsof Bruni's writings,
to my Repertorium
see the introduction
Brunianum,I (in press).
22For Baron's papers,see CatherineEpstein,A Past Renewed:A Catalog of Germanspeaking RefugeeHistorians in the UnitedStates after 1933 (Cambridge,1993), 34.
Archives.I was able to see
Baron's papershave now been depositedat theDuke University
the papers relativeto Baron's unfinishedbiographyof Brunithanksto the kindnessof
on depositat the
Baron's literaryexecutor,Ronald G. Witt.These papers are currently
BibliotecaBerenson,Villa I Tatti,in Florence.
23Hans Baron,"The Year of LeonardoBruni'sBirthand MethodsforDetermining
the
Ages of HumanistsBorn in the Trecento,"Speculum,52 (1977), 582-625.
20

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320

JamesHankins

three
tells
leftFlorence
toservethePopeinRome;chapter
bonum
commune,
inthePlatonic
ofthe
dialogues
andhishero-worship
us whyBruni'sinterest
shouldnotbe seenas inconsistyrant
CarloMalatesta
condottiere
andpetty
to
andso on.Whileitwouldofcoursebeunfair
tentwithhiscivichumanism,
state,inthiscaseitseems
condemn
a bookthatwasleftina veryunfinished
talents
was notthatofthe
safeto saythatamongBaron'smanyscholarly
an idealizedprojection
of
Baron'sBruniis a woodenpuppet,
biographer.
nota portrait
of a man.24
Thissometimes
leadsto mildly
Baronhimself,
as theOratio
as whenBarontriestoexplainsuchjeuxd'esprit
comicresults,
the
to the
by
Emperor
Elagabalus
speechgiven
Heliogabali,an imaginary
by
fallfrom
graceoccasioned
ofa temporary
prostitutes
ofRome,interms
Baron'sstudydoeslittleto improve
thewickedcurialmilieu.Regrettably,
ourunderstanding
ofBruni'slifeandthought.
inrecent
A newunderstanding
ofBrunihas,however,
begunto emerge
wassetoffwiththepublication
ofBrunistudies
years.In 1980a renaissance
by Lucia Gualdo Rosa of F. P. Luiso's Studisu l'Epistolariodi Leonardo

hadbeenutilized
Thiswork,
thefoundation
ofmodemBrunistudies,
Bruni.25
beforein hisLeonardo
byBaronhalfa century
(withLuiso'spermission)
(1928); butas Baron
BruniAretino:Humanistisch-philosophische
Schriften

himself
its curioushalf-existence
(in proofsince1904butnot
observed,
theprogress
of Brunistudies.26
until1980)did muchto inhibit
published
an interofLuiso'sStudi,GualdoRosaorganized
Following
thepublication
of Bruni'sEpistulae
tradition
nationalequipeto surveythemanuscript
ofthetext.A collaboraa critical
edition
witha viewtoproducing
familiares
widediffusion
of
becauseof theextraordinarily
tiveeffort
was necessary
Bruni's
century,
authorof thefifteenth
Bruni'sworks:as thebest-selling
and nearly200 incunaworkssurvivein about3200 literary
manuscripts
thesametimePaoloVitiorganized
another
bula.27Around
equipetocalendar
ofFlorence.
In 1987hiscollaborators,
as chancellor
Bruni'spublicwritings
of
andsomemembers
witha distinguished
groupofolderscholars
together
on Bruni'scareeras a public
theGualdoRosa equipe,helda conference
ofFlorence.
servant
andchancellor

24 The degree to which Baron identified


personallywith Bruni will be evidentto
anyone who peruses Baron's papers on Bruni,withtheirfrequentpassionateoutbursts
againstotherscholarswho criticizedBruni'sbehavior.
25 FrancescoPaolo Luiso, Studisu l'Epistolariodi LeonardoBruni,ed. Lucia Gualdo
Rosa, Istitutostoricoper il Medio Evo, Studistorici,fasc. 122-24 (Rome, 1980).
26 Hans Baron, "Progressin Bruni Scholarship.A propos of F. P. Luiso's Studi su
l'epistolariodi Leonardo Bruni,"Speculum,56 (1981), 831-39.
27 See Per il censimento
dei codici dell' Epistolariodi Leonardo Bruni,ed. Gualdo
Rosa and Paolo Viti (Rome, 1991). The firstvolume of the Censimentodei codici dell'
Epistolariodi LeonardoBruni,ed. Lucia GualdoRosa, has now appearedin theNuovi studi
storici,vol. 22, publishedby theIstitutostoricoitalianoper il Medio Evo (Rome, 1993).

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Hans Baron

321

At this conference,
the proceedingsof whichwere publishedby the
ItalianNationalInstitute
forRenaissanceStudiesin Florencein 1990,28due
honorwas paid to thecontribution
of Hans Baron;butHans Baron's Bruni
(save in the contribution
of EugenioGarin)was nowherein evidence.Instead,a numberof questionsfirstraisedby Nicolai Rubinsteinand Peter
Herdewerequietlytakenup and developed.Rubinstein
himselfpresented
a
Bruniwhoseidealizedpresentation
of Florentine
politicalidealsandpractice
contrastedsharplywiththe actual functioning
of politicsunderthe preMedicean oligarchy.29
He suggestedthatBrunihad come to identify
his
politicaloutlookwiththatof theMedicipartyby thelate 1430s.He pointed
out,furthermore,
thatthe contextof Bruni'sfamousLaudatio Florentinae
urbiswas thedefenseof Florentine
imperialism
againstMilanesechargesof
hypocrisy.Milanese propagandaarguedthatFlorencehad put down the
liberties
ofhersubjecttownsin Tuscanywhileclaimingto be thedefender
of
Italian libertiesagainstthe Milanese "tyrant"(a charge,in Rubinstein's
view,notwithout
justice).Bruni'sreply,followingSalutati,reformulated
the
in a waythatwas to proveofgreatimportance:
idea ofliberty
he arguedthat
in thecase of subjecttownswas notto be definedas self-government
liberty
butas sharingin the libertyof themetropolis
by iure vivere-by livingin
accordancewithjust laws freefromarbitrary
power.Thusin 1404 Brunihad
alreadydiscoveredthe classic oligarchicalmove of redefining
positiveliban appealto law.30
ertyas negativeliberty
through
in two articlesby Riccardo
This line of thought
was takenstillfurther
Fubiniand AnnaMaria Cabrini.31Botharticlesshowedhow muchintellectual historyhas benefitedfromthe work of social historiansof the last
on therelationships
betweenpower,social class, patronagenetgeneration
and politicalinstitutions
such as the publicdebt
works,marriagepatterns,
fundsofFlorence.Baronhad seentheFlorentine
republicofthelateTrecento
as preserving
and extendingthe values of the popularregimesof the late
28

Viti,Brunicancelliere,citedabove, n. 12.
Rubinstein,"II Brunia Firenze,"extendingthecriticismfirstvoiced in "Florentine
Constitutionalism"
but anticipated,albeit in an extremelycursoryway, in Augustin
Renaudet's review of Baron's Crisis in Bibliothequed'Humanismeet Renaissance, 18
(1956), 322-25: "La belle definitionque, en 1428, Bruni,dans l'Oraison funebrepour
Nanni Strozzi,donnaitdes libertesflorentines
et notammentde la 'libertasreipublicae
adeundae,'restaitillusoire."Cf. Scaglione's reviewof theCrisis(citedabove, n. 14), 134.
30 For an interesting
parallelwithclassical Athens,see MartinOstwald,FromPopular
Athens
Sovereignty
to theSovereignty
of Law: Law, Societyand Politics in Fifth-Century
(Berkeley,1986), especiallyPartIII.
31 RiccardoFubini,"La rivendicazione
di Firenzedella sovranitastatalee il contrib1uto
delle Historiae di Leonardo Bruni,"and Anna Maria Cabrini,"Le Historiae del Bruni:
risultatie ipotesidi una ricercasulle fonti,"bothin Viti,Brunicancelliere,29-63 and 247319, respectively,
continuing
the line of Fubini,"OsservazionisugliHistoriarumFlorentinipopuli Libri XII di Leonardo Bruni,"in Studi di storia medievalee modernaper
ErnestoSestan (Florence,1978), I, 403-48.
29

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322

JamesHankins

ofcivichumancontext
onthesociological
Duecento.
In hisvariousarticles
ofoligarchic
tendencies
in Florence
theexistence
ismBaronacknowledged
thattheCiompihad
theCiompiuprising
of1378,buthedeniedheatedly
after
class.32
In hisview
ofa closedandconservative
ruling
ledto theformation
failuresof the 1340s
theFlorentine
politicalclass afterthecommercial
andcivic-minded
anditbecame
character,
a moreopen,integrated,
acquired
inproperty
"a broadmiddle-class
status
andin
uniformity
stratum
ofrelative
The socialhistory
ofthelasttwo
socialandeconomicoutlook."
political,
decadeshasmadethisrosyviewoftheFlorentine
rulingclassmuchmore
Recent
work
has
thatFlorentine
to sustain.
difficult
arguedpowerfully
andfifteenth
centuries
was "nota bourgeois
societyin thelaterfourteenth
one whosevalueswerecloser,moreakin,to thoseof a
world,butrather
theclosedcharacter
and
society."It has emphasized
feudal,aristocratic
the
aristocratic
ethosof Florence'stinyrulingclassand largelydiscarded
inwhichworkmen
viewofFlorence
as anegalitarian
society
older,romantic
withmerchant
bankers
as socialequals.33
shoulders
rubbed
toreconsider
hasforced
the
scholars
society
ThenewviewofFlorentine
discourse.
Nowadaysit is clearthatthe
of Florence'srepublican
meaning
betweenthepoliticallanguageand symbolsof thecommune
relationship
ofpoweris farmorecomplexthanit
around1400andtheactualallocation
of Salutati'sand
seemedforty
republicanism
yearsago. If theFlorentine
Bruni'sday had preservedmanyof the slogansof the popularcom"freespeech"-themeaningof those
mune-"liberty,"
"participation,"
from
as theregimehaddeveloped
fitfully
profoundly
sloganshadchanged
therelatively
popularregimeof the 1280sand '90s intothestablepreBaronwas simply
Withrespectto politicalhistory,
Mediceanoligarchy.
of theMilanesewars.Theyhad notmade
wrongaboutthesignificance
intotheHighRenaissance;
theyhad
ofpopular
regimes
possiblethesurvival
on thereggimento
ofFlorence
by
thegripoftheoligarchy
infactsolidified
of
Withrespect
tothehistory
forpatronage.
itsopportunities
vastly
enlarging
ofBruni's"civic
Baronwasblindtothetruesignificance
political
thought,

32 See "The Historical


Backgroundof the FlorentineRenaissance,"History,n.s. 22
(1938), 315-27 (repr.in expandedformin Essays, I, 3-23); "A Sociological Interpretation
of the Early Renaissance in Florence," South AtlanticQuarterly,38 (1939), 427-48
(Essays, II, 40-54); "The Social Backgroundof Political Libertyin the Early Renaissance," ComparativeStudiesin Societyand History,n.s. 4 (1960), 440-51.
33 Cited fromAnthonyMolho, MarriageAlliance in Late Medieval Florence (Cambridge,Mass., 1994); and see his "AmericanHistoriansand the ItalianRenaissance:An
Overview,"Bulletinof the Societyfor Renaissance Studies,9 (1991), 10-23. The chief
dissentingvoice fromthe recent consensus is Richard Goldthwaite,The Building of
Renaissance Florence (Baltimore,1980), openingchaptersand conclusion;see also the
striking,
but ultimatelyinconclusiveevidenceamassed by David Herlihy,"The Rulersof
Florence, 1282-1530," in City States in Classical Antiquityand Medieval Italy, ed.
1991), 197-221.
AnthonyMolho, KurtRaaflaub,and JuliaEmlen (Stuttgart,

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Hans Baron

323

inoligarchic
terms
of
thatitwasinfacta subtlereinterpretation
humanism":
language.34
republican
Florence's
traditional
has been
of oligarchy
of Brunias a defender
Thisnewunderstanding
Theyshowindetailthe
byFubiniandCabrini.
brought
outwithgreatclarity
judgments:
andpolitical
Bruni'shistorical
informing
oligarchic
prejudices
forthecentral
oftheSignoria
(thechiefinstitutional
authority
hispreference
guilds
tothatofthepopularCouncils,
powerinFlorence)
toolofoligarchic
thesovereignty
ofthecommune
toassert
andufficialiforestieri;
histendency
ofthe
rivals,internal
andexternal,
thePapacy,andother
against
theEmpire,
(Balie) ofthe
commissions
hispraisefortheemergency
Florentine
oligarchy;
the
inordertopermit
popular
procedures
traditional
1390s,whichbypassed
for
his preference
oligarchsto act withspeedand secrecyin wartime;
knowledge
overthejudgment
men"andforexpert
"prudent
andexperienced
thattheir
to exilingnobleson thegrounds
of thevulgar;his opposition
his fulsome
to thecommonwealth;
experience
of affairswas necessary
hispreferoftheParteGuelfa,thatbastionoftheoligarchy;
championship
of meritoverthatof sortition
in choosingpublic
ence fortheprinciple
to assertthesoverfortheAlbizziregime'sattempts
officials;
his support
eigntyof Florenceagainstthe Empire;and his horrorof the populist
"Ciompi"revoltof 1378.
an aspectof Bruni'sHistoryignoredby
Fubinihas also emphasized
liberty,
butalsoof
notonlyofFlorentine
as a celebration,
Baron:itscharacter
imperialism.
This,it shouldbe said,was one of Baron'smajor
Florentine
is a
theimperial
anditscontradictions
democracy
blindspots.Ifnowadays
it was less so in Baron'sday;andBaron'sopen
familiar
objectof study,
thehomeofthebraveandthefree,against
of"littleFlorence,"
partisanship
reading
today.InfactFlorence
"thetyrant
ofMilan"makesforembarrassing
anditwasFlorence's
andMilanwere,as opponents,
pretty
evenlymatched;
of Arezzoin
theacquisition
in Tuscany,particularly
imperial
expansion
ofthe
1384,whichhadsetofftheSecondMilaneseWar;shetookadvantage
togobbleupPisa.Itwas
thedeathofGiangaleazzo
chaosinLombardy
after
in 1402,thatfirst
ofPisain 1406,notthedeathofGiangaleazzo
theconquest
a FlorentineHistory.35
gaveBrunitheideaofwriting
werepublished,
ofthe1987conference
theproceedings
Twoyearsafter
witha
onBrunitogether
ofhisownarticles
a collection
PaoloVitipublished
LeonardoBrunie Firenze:Studisulle letfewnewpieces.Thiscollection,
I Bruniis also treatedas an oligarchicthinker
in a perceptivearticleby RussellDees,
"Bruni, Aristotle,and the Mixed Regime in On the Constitutionof the Florentines,"
Medievalia et humanistica,n.s. 15 (1987), 1-23, and implicitlyby JohnNajemy, "The
Dialogue of Powerin FlorentinePolitics,"in CityStates (cited above, n. 33), 269-87.
35 Lorenzo Mehus (ed.), Leonardi Bruni ArretiniEpistolarumlibri VIII (Florence,
1741), I, 35-36 = Ep. II, 4 (Luiso II, 3). The Italianversionof Bruni'shistoryby Donato
Acciaiuoli frequentlycirculateswith Gino Capponi's Conquest of Pisa. For Baron's
rivalryin the contextof modem debates about the
readingof the Florentine-Milanese
politicsof theKleinstaatand the Grossstaat,see Pecchioli(citedabove, n. 6), 18f.

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324

JamesHankins

ofBruni'spublic
e private,36
thefirst
seriousstudy
constitutes
terepubbliche
on behalfof
he wroteas chancellor
the1800orso missive
correspondence,
ofwhichhadpreviously
been
theFlorentine
onlya smallnumber
Signoria,
context
immediate
historical
andtriesto
TheseVitiplacesintheir
published.
relatetotheworksBruniwroteunderhisownname.Viti'sstudyis particufromthemostinteresting
of
extensive
portions
larlyusefulas ittranscribes
tomaketheirownjudgment
aboutthem.
readers
themissive,
enabling
richnewarchivalmaterial
as well as many
contains
Viti'scollection
andpaleographical
repeats
data,butitalso,inevitably,
technical
philological
A moreserious
andcreatessomenewones(see appendix).
someolderrors
general
toadvanceanyconvincing
problem
withViti'svolumeis hisfailure
He has
and politicalthinker.
of Brunias a publicservant
interpretation
relativeto theforeign
and
new data aboutBruni'sactivities
unearthed
byhis ownriches;he
domestic
politicsof his daybutseemsembarrassed
theoldpicture
ofBruni,
tocriticize
research
effectively
failstousehisfresh
essay
earlyoninthelargesynthetic
stilllesstocreatea newone.He declares
thatheacceptswithsome
di Firenze")
whichbeginsthevolume("II primato
thatall the
viewofBruni:"Itthusappearsevident
reservations
theBaronian
is a
of Bruni,notjust his workon theHistories,
Florentine
experience
tothecity-subject,
tobe sure,tocertain
moments
constant
actofadhesion
from1405to 1415"
tohisdetachment
as papalsecretary
ofcrisisinaddition
thatBrunihas a strong
to
loyalty
ideological
(12). He assumesthroughout
is a highdegreeofcontinuitd
andthatthere
signory
republicanism
as against
beliefsandthebeliefshe wascalleduponto
idealebetween
Bruni'sprivate
the
Thisofcoursecreates
the
for
Florentine
as
Signoria.
express
spokesman
sincemanyletters
those
appearto contradict
of interpretation,
problems
theoverlordship
ofthepopeand
forexample,
letters
acknowledging
beliefs,
theDukeofMilan.Viti'ssolution
seemsto be
or letters
praising
emperor,
in(supposedly)
themes
whenever
Bruni'smissive
agreewithrepublican
that,
workssuchas theLaudatioortheOrationforNanniStrozzi,they
"private"
whenever
Bruni'spersonal
canbe construed
as expressing
they
convictions;
withtheopinions
areatvariance
theycanbe
expressed
byBruni,
"privately"
This solu"rhetorical,"
or "stereotyped."
"formulaic,"
takenas "empty,"
in Bruni'swritings
between
the
as itdoesa cleardistinction
tion,assuming
is lessthansatisfactherhetorical
andthepersonal,
publicandtheprivate,
tory.
muchlessnaivethanBaronabout
Ontheother
handVitiis,tohiscredit,
tolookat
andmuchmorewilling
therealities
ofpolitical
powerinFlorence
evidencewhichtellsagainstBaron'sroseateviewofBruni'scharacter
and
intothe
beliefs.He findsnewevidencenotonlythatBruniwas tempted
of thesignoreof thePapal States(thePope) between1405and
chancery
36 Paolo Viti, Leonardo Bruni e Firenze: Studi sulle letterepubbliche e private
(Florence,1992).

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Hans Baron

325

1415,butalsothathe triedtoprepare
theground
so as tobe takenintothe
serviceof thecondottieri
princesCarlo Malatestaand Giovanfrancesco
Vitinotes,
withMartin
V even
totakeservice
Gonzaga;hewasalsotempted,
Viti regardstheseacts as
afterhe had receivedFlorentine
citizenship.
trasgressioni
(369),blemishes
on Bruni'srecordas a republican.
He recognizesthatBrunicouldbe critical
ofcertain
aspectsofpopulargovernment,
suchas itsinstability
(28), itscumbersome
decision-making
processes
(39),
anditsanti-meritocratic
in
bias(73). He admits
thatBruniwasdisingenuous
foritsunprovoked
theextreme
aboutFlorence's
motives
attack
onitsfellowrepublic
Luccain 1429;ifitis in factthecase,as itwouldseemin lightof
Viti'snewevidence,
thattheDukeofMilansecretly
intheattack
acquiesced
onLucca(103),thenmuchofBruni's
forthewarturns
outtobe
justification
mendacious.
thejingoistic
positively
eleFollowing
Fubini,Vitirecognizes
mentin Bruni'swriting
aboutFlorence'sempireandquotessomestartling
ofFlorentines
to
passagesinwhichBrunitalksaboutthenatural
superiority
other
peoples(5-7).He pointsouttheuglysideofBruni'sbehavior
after
the
Medicicoupin 1434:themissivehecomposed
callingfortheextradition
and
ofhisformer
hiswillingness
toactas a republican
punishment
front
friends,
manfortheMediceanregime,
hissilenceabouttheundermining
ofrepublican institutions,
of
andhis lies to theCouncilof Basel aboutthenumber
ofthethreat
Florentine
exilesandtheseriousness
theypresented
to public
he recognizesthatBruni's
order(172-73).FollowingGordonGriffiths,
ofFlorentine
On thePolityof the
description
politicsin hisGreektreatise
Florentines(1439) is markedly
morewillingto disclosethe oligarchic
in Florentine
element
on the
thanhis threeprevious
government
writings
LikeGriffiths
beforehim),Vitiregards
thisshift
subject.37
(andRubinstein
as a signof Bruni'schanging
of
and his acceptance
politicalalignment
Mediceanrule.
The last pointrevealstheanachronism
in Viti's-and Baron's-apBruniinsomedegreeas a republican
proachtoBruni.Sincetheybothregard
inhisthought
ideologue,
theycanonlyexplaininconsistencies
andbehavior
in termsof thechronological
of his thought
or in termsof
development
ButifweadmitthatBruni'simpostazione
trasgressioni.
is primarily
thatofa
theproblem
rhetorician,
disappears.
TheLaudatioFlorentinaeurbisandthe
FuneralOrationfor NanniStrozziarebothexamples
ofepideictic
rhetoric.
In epideictic
as Brunihimself
to the
rhetoric,said withspecificreference
is nottruth
Laudatio,whatcounts
buttelling
whattheywantto
youraudience
A fewrhetorical
hear.38
insincerities
aboutFlorentines
notbeingsubjectto
37Griffiths,
Hankins,and Thompson,The Humanism,115.

38

See Bruni,Epistularumlibri VIII, ed. L. Mehus (Florence,1741), II, 111-12 (Ep.


VIII.4): "The orationwas writtenwhen I was young,freshout of Greekclass. It was a
boyishtrifle,a rhetorical
exercise.... The rhetorical
genre(fora criticshouldconsiderthis,
too) in panegyricsof this kind calls forboastfulnessand winningapplause. ... In civic
panegyricsthespeechis directedto thosewhomyou wishto praise;thegenredemandsan

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326

JamesHankins

to
record,
orbeingdelighted
military
a brilliant
thepowerofa few,orhaving
are excusable-justas
of a popularwar-effort,
paytheirtaxesin support
andvirtue,
justice,wisdom,
topraisekingsfortheir
itexcusable
Brunifound
Thetreatise
On thePolityof
andpubliccorrespondence.
bothinhisprivate
on
modelled
treatise
hand,wasa philosophical
ontheother
theFlorentines,
to an audiencethatwouldmostly
Politics(anddirected
partsofAristotle's
of
ofpopular
By Bruni'sowntheory
havebeencontemptuous
government).
treatise
and
thatitis thephilosophical
we mustconclude
genres,
rhetorical
viewof
whichrepresent
Bruni'sconsidered
orations
notthetwoepideictic
government.
ofFlorence's
thenature
thatmenlikeBruniand Salutati
If we do awaywiththeanachronism
to one
wereideologues
(in thesenseof havingan exclusivecommitment
we canmakebetter
senseofViti's
suchas republicanism),
ideology
political
standsin sharp
by Viti,muchof his newresearch
material.
As presented
If
beliefthatBruniwasa committed
republican.
tohisBaronian
contradiction
as presented
by SalutatiandBruni
we admitthatFlorentine
republicanism
witheither
in keeping
theirprivate
notnecessarily
artifact
was a rhetorical
ofthetime,we canat leastsavethemfrom
realities
beliefsorthepolitical
In factthe
someofthemoreseriouschargesagainsttheirmoralcharacter.
under-secretaries,
andBruniwas thatofpermanent
ofbothSalutati
attitude
outtothebestoftheir
thantotheregime
andcarrying
rather
loyaltoFlorence
Theywere
abilitiesthechanging
policiesof successivepoliticalmasters.
in themostbasicsenseofbeing
rhetoricians
professional
also,undeniably,
forthestate.Theyweremadebytheir
propaganda
paidsalariestoproduce
inconsisandspeechesthatweresometimes
towriteletters
masters
political
the
butno onethought
convictions,
tentwithorhostileto theirownprivate
worseofthemforthat.Salutatiand Bruniwerealso humanbeingswith
with
andestateswhomadeeachhis ownaccommodation
wives,children,
hidwhatever
andprudently
privateviewsthey
politicalrealities
changing
thanheroic;andiftheir
As mentheywereusefulrather
politics.
hadonparty
wouldlike,they
as somemodemhistorians
werenotas tender
consciences
amongtheir
hadmanyotherqualitieswe can admire.The inconsistencies
ofcircumstances,
do notmean
madeunderthepressure
variousutterances,

audience,and bringstogethera multitudeof people, not forthepurposeof hearinglegal


fromjudicial or deliberativeoratory,
cases or decidingon publicpolicy,[i.e., it is different
whichaccordingto ancienttheorywas obligedto respectthe truth],but in orderto reap
applauseand pleasurefromhearingitsownpraisessung.... Historyis one thing,panegyric
panegyricextollsmanythingsabove thetruth."The
another.Historymustfollowthetruth,
of theLaudatio is made patentwhenthispassage is comparedwitha passage
insincerity
fromtheLaudatio itself(Baron,FromPetrarch,249): "No doubta fewfoolswill suspect
thatI am tryingto capturesomepopularfavorfromthispanegyricof mine,and thatin the
towardsme as much
processofwinningyourgood will and disposingyourmindsfavorably
on thelimitsoftruth,
mixingfalsethingswithtrueforthesake
as possible,I am trespassing
Brunicontinuesto protestin thisvein foralmosta page.
of rhetoricalembellishment."

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Hans Baron

327

thattheyhad no core convictionsand values. But since theywereprofeshistorians


haveto workmuchharderto detectwhatthese
sionalrhetoricians,
the
were:theyhave to collecttheevidenceas fullyas possible,reconstruct
and,as RobertBlack suggests,be sensitiveto the
contextof each utterance,
in disciplinesno longer
training
acquiredfromprofessional
habitsofthought
and rhetoric.39
Men to whomwordscome easilyare
like grammar
familiar,
oftenable to reconcilepositionsthata strictlogicianmightfindincompatare insincereor without
ible, but thisdoes not mean thattheirutterances
of fewif anypoliticalthinkers
are perfectly
The writings
historicalinterest.
as
witheach other.Thisis whytheymustbe studiedbyhistorians
consistent
and
well as by politicalscientists philosophers.
Whydoes it matterthatBruni,in lightof recentstudies,seemsmuch
rhetorician"
thanhe does a "civic humanist"?There
morea "professional
are, in my view,two mainreasonswhyit matters.First,it showsthatthe
to conceal
disguisesofpoweremployedbytheMediciregime-theirattempt
theirruleunderthecloakofrepublican
thetruelocus ofpowerby exercising
ofthe
forms-werehardlyoriginalwiththem.SalutatiandBruni,as servants
oligarchicregimeof 1382-1434,had donepreciselythesamethingforhalfa
century,
providinga decentcoveringof populistrhetoricto conceal the
ofpowerin thehandsof a fewpadrini.Manipulation
growingconcentration
ofrepublicansymbolswas probablymoreconsciousandmorecynicalunder
Fromthisperspective,
theMediceans,butitwas notfundamentally
different.
in theMediciregimeshouldcome as no surprise.The
Bruni'sparticipation
transition
fromtheAlbizzianoligarchyto theMediceanregimewas neither
as
ideologicallynorpoliticallythe sharpbreakit is sometimesrepresented
being.
The secondreasonwhythenew pictureof Brunimattersis because it
means that the whole categoryof "civic humanism"needs to be reso as to stripit of itsexcluor redefined
discardedentirely
thought-either
sive links withrepublicanism.Bruni was always ExhibitA in Baron's
of civic humanism:the examplethatbecame forhim a kindof
definition
Weberianideal type.If we acceptthatBruni'sloyaltyto Florencewas not
primarilyideological-that the populist republicanismdepicted in the
his core beliefs-then
Laudatio and the Strozziorationdoes not represent
in Rome,Ferrara,
Brunibeginsto lookmuchmorelikehis fellowhumanists
Naples,and Milan,and muchless liketheexemplarof a separatespeciesof
Like his fellowhumanists,
Bruni's core politicalconvictions
humanist.40
39 See Black, "FlorentineChancellors."
40In thePrefaceto his translation
Hankins,and Thompson,
of thePolitics (Griffiths,

his remarksin the Strozzioration


The Humanism,159-61) Bruniseems to have forgotten
forherehe identifies
aboutpopularisstatusbeingtheonlylegitimateformof government,
popularisstatuswithAristotle'sdemocratiaand concludes,"thepopularstateis therefore
In thetexteditedby Baron as Epistola ad magnum
not a legitimatekindof government."
to
dated to 1413, and attributed
[recteMagnae, i.e., Germany]principemimperatorem,

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328

JamesHankins

wereaboutthevalueofvirtueandeloquence,andaboutthevalueofclassical
modelsofvirtueandeloquence.Thesewereuniversalantiquity
as providing
in anysortofregimeor constituistvalues,valuesthatcouldbe instantiated
tion;theyare thevaluesof a rulingcaste,nota local politicalideology.For
Brunias forAristotle,
signoricouldbe good rulers,rulingin theinterests
of
butpopulicouldalso be goodorbad.41
ortheycouldbe tyrants;
thegoverned,
frombad was nottheirconstitutions
Whatdistinguished
good governments
butthevirtuesof theirrulers.Bruni'sbeliefin thevalue of theactivelife,
wealth,military
valor,and thefamily-all beliefsBaronassociatedwithhis
"civic humanists"-can be documentedeverywherein Italian humanist
notjust in republicanwriters.
The change
of thefifteenth
writings
century,
Baron observedin the characterof humanismbetweenthe generations
of
Petrarch
and of Bruni-the move (or ratherthereturn)of humanism
to the
publicsphere-maybe foundnotonlyin Florenceand Venice,butthroughoutItaly,in signorialregimesas well as in republics.
theDe re publica of UbertoDecemConsider,by way of comparison,
brio.42
Decembriowas bornand educatedin Lombardy,servedas humanist
secretaryto GiangaleazzoVisconti'sson, GiovanniMaria, from1404 to
1410,andwas thefather
ofPierCandidoDecembrio,secretary
from1419to
1447 to Filippo Maria Visconti,Duke of Milan. The elder Decembrio's
treatisewas dedicatedin 1422 to Filippo Maria Visconti,the "tyrant"of
muchof the 1420sand '30s.
MilanwithwhomFlorencewas at warthrough
The workbeginswitha call to revivetheliberalartsof ancientLombardy,
those artsthathad nourishedthe noble intellectsof Virgiland Catullus,
Ambroseand Augustine.For Uberto,as fortheso-called"civichumanists,"
is a productof nature,arisingfrommutualneed,
theurbancommonwealth
and based uponjustice.Everyoneshouldbe treatedequallyunderthelaw.
arenotable bythemselves
Sinceciviccommunities
to supplyall theirneeds,
therenaturally
arisesa needformerchants
andformoney.Buyingandselling
are naturalto society;evenpawnshopsare necessaryto supplythewantsof

Bruni (see Baron, Humanisticand Political Literature,173-81), the authormistakenly


identifies
democratiaas thethirdof Aristotle'sgood formsof government,
and,translating
it as popularisstatus,declaresitto be theformof constitution
in use in Florence.The attributionof thisworkto Bruniis suspect,forreasonsI shallgive in vol. 2 of myRepertorium
Brunianum.
41 Bruni,as papal secretary,
ratherconvenientlywas able to condemnthe Roman
and lazy (Ep. I.4 and I.5, ed.
people in theirrevoltagainstthepope as perverse,drunken,
Mehus,I, 6-11).
42 Text unpublished;I use the autographMS, Milan, BibliotecaAmbrosianaB 123
sup.; cf.Kristeller,
IterItalicum,I, 328. The parallelsbetweenBruni'spoliticaltheoryand
thatof both Ubertoand Pier Candido Decembriowere observedby Kristellerin "Pier
Candido Decembrioand His UnpublishedTreatiseon the Immortality
of the Soul," in L.
Wallach (ed.), The Classical Tradition:Literaryand HistoricalStudiesin Honor ofHarry
Caplan (Ithaca,N.Y., 1966), 536-58, repr.in Kristeller'sStudies,II (Rome, 1985), 281300.

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Hans Baron

329

thepoor.Mercenaries,
too,are something
everydevelopedsocietyneeds;
warlike
virtue
a civicperspective.
hasa positive
function
from
Thesecretof
a happyrepublicconsistsin its prince,its leadingmen,and its citizens
theclassicalvirtues.
A humanist
possessingand exercising
education
is
necessary
toinculcate
thesevirtues.
Truenobility
liesinvirtue,
notdescent.
Eloquence
isproper
tomanandhasthefunction
ofspreading
thevirtue
ofthe
tohishearers.
speaker
LikeBruni,
Decembrio
ofAristotle,
is a follower
and
arguesthatmarriage
and thefamily
arenatural
institutions
whichare the
blocksofthecommonwealth
building
andnecessary
to itssurvival.
Egoism
is condemned;
quoting
Plato,Ubertosaysthatwe arenotbornforourselves
alone,butforourfamilies,
ourfriends,
andourpatria.
[In additionto ourdutyto worshipGod and honorreligion]
we
shouldalsodevoteourselves
withspeciallovetoourcountry
where
ourparents,
children,
wives,relatives,
andfriends
dwell;no good
maneverfeared
todieforhiscountry.
Forthesafety
ofone'scountry
embraces
thesafety
ofall itsinhabitants.
thencitesthe
[Decembrio
exampleofQuintus
theDecii,etc.]Fromthisitfollows
Curtius,
that
we shouldhonorwiththewarmest
lovethegovernor
andprinceof
our country,
whomwe call itspaterpatriae,underwhoserule
subjectpeoples are governedwithcalm and quietpeace. ... More-

over,everycitizenshouldtakecareto livewithhisfellowcitizens
witha senseofright
thatis fairandequal;he shouldneither
behave
ina servile
himself
andabjectmanner,
so thatheis heldincontempt,
norshouldhegetabovehimself
so thatheappearstooppress
others.
Also,he shoulddesireforhiscommonwealth
thosethings
thatare
andhonorable.
peaceful
heshouldso conduct
Finally,
himself
thathe
be reputed
a goodmananda fair-minded
[aequus]citizen
byeveryone. Let himbe a cultivator
of thevirtues,
especially
justiceand
moderation,
bothofwhichmostcausea goodmantofindapproval.
Lethimdiligently
observethemoresandcustoms
ofthecommonwealthandneverdepart
from
them....
Sucha manwastheYounger
Cato, [etc.]. (ff.93v-94r)

Thereis hardly
a sentence
ofDecembrio's
De republicawhichLeonardo
Bruniwouldhavequarrelled
with(on otherthanstylistic
grounds).
Indeed,
muchof thescholarship
on humanism
during
the1980s,focussing
on regionalhumanisms,
has pointedouttheuniversality
of thethemesBaron
connected
withthepolitical
experience
ofFlorence.43
Ifwe continue
to use
theterm
"civichumanist,"
itshouldbe clearly
recognized
thattheattempt
to
43 See JohnF. D'Amico, Renaissance Humanismin Papal Rome: Humanistsand
Churchmen
on theEve of theReformation
(Baltimore,1983); MargaretL. King, Venetian
Humanismin an Age of Patrician Dominance (Princeton,1986); and JerryH. Bentley,
Politicsand Culturein RenaissanceNaples (Princeton,1987), esp. 196-222.

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330

JamesHankins

in accordancewithancient
reformand revalorizethe life of the city-state
models-the great"civic humanist"
projectthatbeginswiththegeneration
of Bruni,Poggio Bracciolini,GuarinoVeronese,GasparinoBarzizza, Pier
Paolo Vergerio,and Niccolo Niccoli-was nevera projectconfinedto RenbutRoman.It is a
aissancerepublics."Civic humanism"is notFlorentine,
fromancientRome throughSallust,Livy,Virgil,
inherited
styleof thought
ofpoliticalcommunities
andaboveall Cicero.It aimsat thereform
generally
by improvingthe moral behaviorof theirrulingelites. It does this by
to theartsworthy
of a freeman,theliberal
exposingthemto "good letters,"
arts,theartswhichmakemennoble,wise and good.
Taken in thismoregeneralsense,it can be said thatBaron's idea of
"civic humanism"retainsa core of validity,and can standas an important
of theRenaissance.It is not
to theBurckhardtian
supplement
understanding
afterall, to say thatan age of egoism,illegitimate
reallya contradiction,
indifgovernment,
religiouscrisis,shallow-rooted
ideologies,and increasing
have
been an age wheneducators,
ferenceto communalvalues shouldalso
scholars,civil servants,and men of letterseverywhere
urgedupon their
and serviceto thecommongood.
audiencetheneedforsacrifice,
patriotism,
It is notsurprising
thatthemenof theRenaissanceshouldhave lookedfor
admiredtheindividualism
curesfortheirown diseasesof spirit.Burckhardt
it could
oftheRenaissance,buthe also recognizedthat,takento an extreme,
be destructiveof civilized society.If Burckhardtdrew attentionto the
diseases of the times,Baron was among the firstto show how the age
its own cure,througha formof Bildungthataimednot onlyat
attempted
butalso at inculcating
a senseofpublicdutyand social
personaldistinction,
Humanistic
like
formof
conscience.
educationis,
chivalry,an aristocratic
socializationthatlinksgood behaviorwithhonor.Thatis whatithas always
societiesofthelate
been;thatis whyitis in crisisin theradicallyegalitarian
Renaissancehumanists
twentieth
century.
taughtthattruehumanexcellence
consistedin wisdomand goodness;thatpowerunrestrained
by goodnesswas
in theciviclifehad to includea
theworstof evils.Truepersonaldistinction
If Baronwas wrongto readhishumanists
senseofdutyto one's community.
he was correctin seeingthathumanas fervent
partisansof republicanism,
ism,as a culturalprogram,
soughtmorethanthecultivation
oftheindividual.
It aimedalso tobringscholarship
andlearningto bearon thetaskofbuilding
thevirtuesnecessaryto thepreservation
of civilsociety.
HarvardUniversity.

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331

Hans Baron
Bibliography
Supplementary

reviewof Baron'sCrisis,RenaissanceNews,9
Bouwsma,W. J. Untitled
(1956),27-30.
Brown,Alison."Hans Baron's Renaissance,"The HistoricalJournal,33
(1990),441-48.
Cervelli,
I. ReviewofBaron'sCrisis,Rivistastoricaitaliana,79 (1967),23745.
News,8 (1955),
Vincenzo.ReviewofBaron'sCrisis,Renaissance
Cioffari,
203-6.
in andoutof Florence,"
in
Tradition,
Connell,WilliamJ."The Republican
andPoliticsinRenaissance
Florence,ed.
Girolamo
Savonarola:Piety,Prophecy
(Dallas,1994),95-105.
andV. R Hotchkiss
DonaldWeinstein
in
"HansBaron,"obituary
and G. Brucker.
G., P. 0. Kristeller,
Constable,
64 (1989),802.
Speculum,
Fubini,R. Reviewof Baron's Crisis,Giornalestoricodella letteratura
italiana,130(1958),631-38.
al Illumidi LeonardoBruni,"in Dal Rinascimento
Garin,E. "La retorica
nismo(Pisa,1970),21-42.
M. P. Reviewof Baron'sCrisis,American
HistoricalReview,61
Gilmore,
(1956),621-24.
in AnHistoriography,"
Hay,D. "The Place of HansBaronin Renaissance
StudiesinHonorofHans
thony
MolhoandJohnA. Tedeschi(eds.),Renaissance
1971),xi-xxix.
Baron(Florence,
TransofanUrbanIdeologyatFlorence,"
Holmes,George."TheEmergence
actionsoftheRoyalHistorical
Society,
23 (1973),111-34.
inHistory
andTheory,
9 (1970),
Kohl,B. J.ReviewofBaron,FromPetrarch,
121-27.
nel '400," Giornale
civilefiorentino
Radetti,
G. "Le originidell'umanesimo
criticodellaletteratura
italiana,38 (1959),98-122.
4 (1953),308-14.
Rinascimento,
Vasoli,C. ReviewofBaron'swork,
Attie Memorie
ricerche,"
. "LeonardoBrunialla lucedellepiurecenti
artie scienzediArezzo,50 (1988),3-26.
di lettere,
dellaAccademia
Petrarcha
Appendix
Paolo Viti's recentcollectionof studies,Leonardo Bruni e Firenze
to Brunistudies,but
(Rome: Bulzoni,1992), is a considerablecontribution
errorsand adds somenew ones whichit
he also repeatssomelong-standing
maybe usefulto correcthere.
published
(58-59) was previously
The textVitipublishesas an ineditum
in the Deutsche Reichtags-aktenunterAlbrechtII (ed. G. Beckmann
1925], 141-42,no. 92) as well as in E. Marteneand U. Durand's
[Stuttgart
historicorum,dogmaticorum,
Veterumscriptorumet monumentorum
moralium
amplissimacollectio([Paris,1724-33],I, 1578). The orationto the
fromSantiniwas previously
Emperor"Si laudes tuas" (55-56) transcribed
publishedby S. Baluze (Miscellaneanovo ordinedigesta,ed. J. D. Mansi
[Lucca, 1762], 150). The Oratio qua se defenditab accusationibus

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332

JamesHankins

orationof
imperatoris
(96, 109) is in facta missiva,not an independent
Bruni.IThe two lettersto theDoge of Venice and to theAnzianiof Lucca
of Latin missive;in
(110-11) are in fact anonymousItalian translations
MSS moreof
additionto thefourMSS listedby Viti,thereare twenty-four
The missivepublishedon pages
theformer
textand seventeenof thelatter.2
publishedin myPlato in theItalianRenaissance,II,
133-34was previously
to Bruniof the
405. Much of whatViti says aboutthedateand attribution
by EmestoBerti,
VaticanMSS Urbinasgraecus33 and 34 was anticipated
The
who is elsewherecriticizedforacceptingtoo rashlythe attribution.3
of Xenophon'sHellenicaand the
betweenBruni'scompendium
connection
intellectualexchanges at the Council of Florence was firstmade by
SebastianoGentilein Marsilio Ficino Lettere([Florence,1990], xix). In
ofBruni'shand(including
thepresentwriter)
all previousstudents
criticizing
in Section11.3("Preliminari
peruno studiosulla grafiadi LeonardoBruni"),
to entertain
thepossibilitythatBruni,like Poggio,
Viti seemsunwillingly
had one handfornotarialand chancery
Niccoli,and manyotherhumanists,
forhumanistic
andanother
documents
MSS; so convincedis he ofthisthathe
1 The textis foundin Florence,Archiviodi Stato,Signori,Missive,Ia Cancelleriavol.
inc Licet gravissimumsit mentibusnostris.The missivewas copied in a
33, ff.94r-97r,
e.g. Florence,BibliotecaLaurenzianaMS Plut.90, sup 34,
numberof literary
manuscripts,
ff.183v-189v;
VaticanLibrary,MS Barb. lat. 1927, ff.22v-25rand Chis JIV 119, ff.165v169v;Rome, BibliotecaAngelica MS 141, ff.91r-94r.The titleused by Viti (takenfrom
Schriften[Leipzig,
fromBaron, Leonardo Bruni Aretino,Humanitisch-philosophische
The texthas been published
1928], 174) comesfromtherubricoftheAngelicamanuscript.
severaltimes,by A. Fabroni,Magni CosmiMedicei Vita,II (Pisa, 1788), 51-55; C. Guasti,
Commissionidi Rinaldo degli Albizzi per il Comune di Firenze dal MCCCXCIX al
MCCCCXXXIII,Documentidi storiaitaliana,III (Florence,1873), 536-38; and H. Herre,
unterKaiser Sigmund,X, Teil 1 (Gotha, 1900), 495-98, n. 302.
DeutscheReichtagsakten
2 The letter
to theDoge of Venice (inc. Poiche per lo effectodelle opere) is foundin
Florence,BibliotecaNazionale Centrale,MS Panciatichi148, f. 73r; thatto theAnzianiof
This manuscript,
as is known,is a copy
Genoa (inc. Se si ricerchano)is in ibid.,ff.77V-78r.
of a volume missingfromthe archivalseries of Signori,Missive Ia Cancelleriain the
of theformerletterknown
Archiviodi Statoof Florence.To thefourliterary
manuscripts
seventeen:Florence,
to Viti (Ricc. 1193 shouldbe Ricc. 1133) may be added a further
BibliotecaLaurenzianaMS Redi 113, 143; FlorenceBibliotecaNazionale CentraleNaz.
11.1.71,Naz. 11.11.81,and Magl. VI.197; Florence,Biblioteca Riccardiana 1074, 2272,
2278, 2322, 2544; Lucca, BibliotecaGovemativaMS 1436; Paris,BibliothequeNationale
MS ital.593; Toledo,BibliotecaCapitular9,35; VaticanLibrary,Borg.lat.402, Ross. 784,
and Vat. lat. 3125 and 8088. The letterto the Anziani of Genoa is foundin twenty-four
in additionto the fourlistedby Viti: Florence,BibliotecaLaurenziana
othermanuscripts
Plut.43, 17 and 90 sup. 65, Redi 113, 143; Florence,BibliotecaNationaleCentraleMagl.
VI,189 and VIII, 1373, Naz . 11.1.71,11.11.81,II.IX.15, Nuovi acquisti 354; Florence,
BibliotecaRiccardiana1074, 2272, 2278, 2322, 2544; Lucca, BibliotecaGovemativaMS
1436; Naples, BibliotecaNazionale XIII G 35; Paris,BibliothequeNationaleital. 593, lat.
17888; Toledo, BibliotecaCapitular9,35; VaticanLibrary,Borg. lat. 402, Ross. 784, Vat.
lat. 3215; Venice,BibliotecaMarciana,Marc. lat. XIV 221 (4632).
3Ernesto Berti,"La traduzionedi LeonardoBrunidel Fedone di Platoneed un codice
della BibliotecaBodmeriana,"MuseumHelveticum,35 (1978), 125-48. Viti also ignores
of
thetextualevidenceamassedby a BertiassociatingBodmer136 withBruni'stranslation
thePhaedo.

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Appendix

333

dismissesthe evidenceof a colophonin Padua, BibliotecaUniversitaria


per me Leo1499, f. 40r, "Hec Demosthenesoracio translataest fideliter
sexto,
de mensenovembrismillesimoquadringentesimo
nardumAretinum
correcfails
to
the
seemingly
authorial
analyze
and
sede
vacante,"
apostolica
tions in the same MS. To the bibliographicalnotes to "Lettereper i
Malatesta" (365-78) should be added J. Hankins,"The Humanist,the
Letterof Cosimoand Lorenzo
An Unpublished
Banker,and theCondittiere:
de'Medici Written
by LeonardoBruni,"in RenaissanceSocietyand Culture:Essays inHonorofEugeneF. Rice,Jr.,ed. J.MonfasaniandR. Musto
"Deof Bruni'scorrespondant
(New York,1991), 59-70. The identification
metrius"withDemetrioScarano(336) was firstsuggestedby me in 1987.4
(397) is in
The textby BruniwhichViticalls De laudibusexercitiiarmorum
in a singleMS, of
Latintranslation,
surviving
factthetitleof an anonymous
whichsurBruni'svolgarespeech,theSermonedettaa Niccol6 Tolentino,
vives in about 90 MSS.5 On the same page Viti repeatstheerrorof C. C.
Bayley,whobelievedBruni'sDe militiato be concernedwiththeFlorentine
to findclassicalrootsforthe
communalmilitiawheninrealityitis an attempt
dignitdcavalleresca.6
contemporary
Viti's urgeto preservetheBaronianview of Brunileads himintosome
Forexample,he repeats(313, 337) thehighlyimplausible
strange
judgments.
on Bruniheld in
idea, firstadvancedby R. M. Zaccaria in the conference
chanceryintotwo officesin 1437
1987,thatthedivisionof theFlorentine
was a plotby theMediceansto striptheirpoliticalopponentBruniofpower
and thathe was compensatedby purely"ceremonial"positionson the
Priorateand theTen of War.7Quiteapartfromtheabsenceof evidencethat
Bruni ever opposed the Medici after1434 (and much evidencethathe

4G. Griffiths,
J.Hankins,and D. Thompson(eds.), TheHumanismofLeonardoBruni
N.Y., 1987), 370-71.
(Binghamton,
sThe Latin version,which is not by Bruni,is foundonly in BibliotecaApostolica
and in a seventeenthVaticana,Vat. lat. 1043 (inc. Omniumhumanorumexercitiorum)
seems
century
copyoftheVaticanMS in ParisBN Par. lat. 17888,97-102. Viti's reference
175.
to be based on theerrorin Baron,BruniSchriften,
6 C. C. Bayley, War and Society in Renaissance Florence: The "De Militia" of
Leonardo Bruni(Toronto,1961); on the defectsof thisstudysee Paul Oskar Kristeller's
view,popularized
reviewin Canadian HistoricalReview,44 (1963), 66-70. The traditional
and an advocateofcivicmilitias,
by Baronand Bayley,thatBruniwas hostileto condottieri
is questionedin R. Dees, "Bruni,Aristotle,and theMixed Regimein On theConstitution
of theFlorentines,"Medievalia et humanistica,n.s., 15 (1987), 1-23, and in my articles,
"The Latin Poetryof Leonardo Bruni,"HumanisticaLovaniensia,39 (1990), 1-39, and
citedin the textabove. The traditional
"The Humanist,the Bankerand the Condottiere,"
view is maintainedin Lucia Gualdo Rosa, "L'elogio delle letteree delle arminell'operadi
LeonardoBruni,"in L. Avellini(ed.), Sapere e/epotere. Il caso bolognesea confronto,
Bologna 13-15 aprile 1989, I: Forme e oggettidella disputadelle arti (Bologna, 1990),
103-13.
7 R. M. Zaccaria, "II Bruni cancellieree le istituzionidella Republica,"in P. Viti
(ed.), Leonardo Bruni cancellieredella Repubblicadi Firenze,Convegnodi Studi (Florence,1990), 97-116.

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334

JamesHankins

thecartbefore
thehorse:
is clearly
supported
them),
thisexplanation
putting
after1437(evenVespasiano
da
Bruniwas infacttakenintothereggimento
Bisticcisaid "gli dettano
lo stato";cf. his Vite.ed. A. Greco[Florence,
1970],I, 473).Thedivision
ofthechancery
wassurely
intended
torelieve
the
in
ofsomeofhisdutiesso as tofreehimtoparticipate
elderly
chancellor
fully
In his effort
to present
thesemostpowerful
of civicdignities.
Brunias a
Vitidescribes
thefollowing,
rather
from
covert
anti-Medicean
cool,sentence
ofthe"progressive
suffoBruni'sHistory
ofFlorenceas a "denunciation"
"In
cationofliberty"
aboutbytheMediceans:
(24-25)in Florence
brought
wasa drastic
Florence
alsoaboutthistimethere
changeinthecommonwealth
werebrought
andCosimode' Mediciandhisrelatives
back,havingbeen
rather
was
expelledtheprevious
year,whilea different
faction,
numerous,
sitsill withViti'saccurate
sentintoexile."Thisjudgment
statement
elsesensitive
where(336) thatBruniavoidedpolitically
topicsin hispublished
epistolary.
Similarly,
despite"studirecenti"
(64, 129),thereis no evidence
to keepBruniin officeas chancellor,
thatEugeneIV usedhis influence
ofCosimode'Medici.Themostplausible
of
overcoming
thehostility
reading
theevidence
wouldshowthatBruni,
likemostother
peopleinFlorence,
kept
hisheaddownduring
theparty
strife
of 1426-34.
in arguing(395-401)thattheOrationfor the
Viti is also mistaken
Bruniin thepiazza
FuneralofNanniStrozziwas delivered
by Chancellor
of
the
on
theendofthe
celebrations
16
as part
Signoria
May1428,marking
hisfuneral
oration
as
MilaneseWar.Inthefirst
place,Bruniclearly
presents
thispanegyric
itwere
"Weshallwrite
a literary
as though
fiction,
declaring:
rites"("itascribetur
a
an oratiobeingspokenat theveryendofhisfuneral
nobisquasiinipsofuneris
extremo
Brunispeaks
dicatur
oratio").Secondly,
of thewarwithMilanas stillin progress
("ita [NanniStrozzi]hoc bello
adversusMediolanensium
DucemcivitasnostraVenetiquenuncgerunt
In anycasethereis no evidence
thatLatinwaseverused
bellandointeriit").
on suchpublicoccasionsin Florence;thedozensof
by thechancellor
known
tothepresent
theQuattrocento
writer
areall in
diceriefrom
surviving
thevolgare.

The following
to Viti,suggests
unpublished
text,apparently
unknown
forStrozzi
thatBruni'soration
wasintended
atleastinpart,
forforeign
rather
The textseemsto be a letter
oftransmission
thandomestic
consumption.8
meantto accompany
a presentation
copyofBruni'sOratioforNiccoloIII
ofFerrara.
Therearetwocopiesofthetext,
bothinthe
d'Este,theMarquess
Bothcopiesareundated,
handofMatteoStrozzi.
buttheyappearina bound
twoother
volumeorganized
documents
datedrespectively
7
bydatebetween
tohavebeenwritten
Marchand9 June1428.Theletter
purports
byMatteodi
ofNanni.Butitwas almostcertainly
brother
SimoneStrozzi,
by
composed
Brunihimself.
thestyle,qui sapitAretini,
andthetwoclassical
Apartfrom
8

This textwas kindlybroughtto myattention


by ArthurField.

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Appendix

335

of Bruni,thereare no otherexamplesamongthe
quotations,
bothfavorites
extensivesurvivingwritingsof Matteo Strozziin the Carte Strozzianeof
of anykind.Bruniwas close to Matteoas well as Palla
Latincompositions
Strozziand would have been the obvious personto compose a letteron
Matteo'sbehalf.(Less thana yearlaterhe would composea similarletter,
thistimeto CarloMalatesta,on behalfof Cosimoand Lorenzode'Medici.)9
thattheMarquessshouldsuccourNanni'sorphaned
The themeof theletter,
withtheOratio,forattheendoftheprefacetothatspeech
sons,is continuous
educatione
Bruniwrites,"Sed de funeris
quidempublicihonorenatorumque
The letterand speech
et curaii qui possuntet debent,ut spero,providebunt."
areplainlylinkedcompositions,
by
probablypartof a campaignorchestrated
in a publicfuneral
theStrozzitohaveNanni'sservicescelebrated
andtohave
his sonslookedafterby Niccolo d'Este.
9 See my article,"The Humanist,the Bankerand the Condottiere,"
citedabove.

(copy
Florence,Archiviodi Stato,CarteStrozziane,Ser.III, 132,f.280r-v
of Matteodi Simone
A) and f. 283r-V
(copy B). Bothcopies are autographs
Strozzi.A titlehas beenaddedby SenatoreCarloStrozzi(s. XVII): Letteraal
Marchesedi Ferrarascrittasullamortedi NanniStrozzi.
Preclaraadmodum,magnifice
princeps,et rectegloriosanobisetiam
atque etiam cogitantibusmors fidelissimiserui tui Johannis,fratris
uiderosolet-pro patriaetenimetproDominatione
nostri,nonimmerito
Tua non dubitauitobcumbere-quo generemortisnullumcertealiud
angor 5
prestantius
cogitaripotest.Quocircaprimumequidemuehementer
eo fratre
orbatusqui mihiuitamea cariorerat,rursusuero,cumcogitoei
ei ullo
tandemaliquandomoriendum
fuissenec ullamclariorem
mortem
pacto potuisse contingere,paucorum annorumaccessionem parui
admodumfaciendamratusangorille, quo priusuehementer
angebar,
tumdemumob preclarum
genusmortisin dies pene 10
paulisperprimum,
euanescit.Hoc itaque modo me ipsumconsolansrursusiterumatque
iterumde flliisquos paruulosreliquitcogitatioquedampaulatimrepens
animumsubit.Ea cogitatioesthuiusmodi:filiossuos egregiaac nimirum
singulariindole preditosingensglorielumenet uelut iubarquoddam
diutiusin uitapermanere
elaturosfuisse,si ipsumparentem
contigisset.15
Nam preteregregiamindolemcum doctrinaet moribus,tumpaterna
fructus
adiutimirabiliesprofectout arbitror
peperisquoque imitatione
sent.Acceditquod DominatioTua ex omnibusunumJohannem
utpote
fidissimum
seruumsuumunice diligebat,pre ceterisunumJohannem
obseruabat,in uno deniqueJohannetanquamin iocundissimoquodam 20
portufluctibusprincipatusquandoque iactata acquiescereuidebatur.
tibi
Quamobremipsiusuiuentisaspectus,qui uel ex eo iocundissimus

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JamesHankins

336

fuisseuidebaturquod ungue(ut dicitur)latiusabs te ipsumabesse equo


Tuam
animopati non poteras,tantoperequodammodoDominationem
et largitate
ut liberossuos benignitate
tua singulariac pene
25 admonuisset
gradusextulisses.
incredibili
ergase suaqueet adiuuisseset ad dignitatis
Quod si fieret,non ambigo quin multofaciliusadmirabilesquosdam
effectusparerentquam si uel non adiutiuel destitutiessent.Quippe
est:
cuiusdamnonignobilispoeteuera,immouerissimasententia
30

35

40

45

50

55

illos quorumuirtutibus
obstat
haudfacileemergunt
res angustadomi.
angor commodorumad gloriam
Quare non parum inpresentiarum
amissionequa nepotesquondam,nuncuero filiimei una cum parente
amiserunt.
Proinde cogitantimihi quemadmodumhuiuscemodiad gloriam
commodarecuperaripossent,non ab re uisum est DominationiTue
orationemde servitui laudibusa Leonardo
quandamelegantissimam
Aretinouiroomniumetatisnostreeloquentissimo
nupereditammittere.
fidissimi
serui tui in mente
Quod ideo feci, non quia memoriam
DominationisTue insiderepenitusignorarem,neque eo quod illam
sed profecto
existimarem,
priusuita tua desituram
ip<s>am memoriam
cum ut Johannistui, Johannisinquam famulitui, assidua recordatio
ut fit,sopitaac hac
Tue magnitudinem
interdum,
propterDominationis
elegantissimaorationequandoque exsu<s>citatarecentiusreuiuescat,
munimentum
fidelissime
tumetiamutposteristuisquoddamperpetuum
Tuam seruitutis
semperappareat.Id proptereafeci
erga Dominationem
tibi
libentiusquia laudes semuitui non ingratasuel potiusgratissimas
cumnona laudatosolum,a quo Hectorille
presertim
futuras
arbitrabar,
uiroseruusille tuus
Neuianuslaudaricupiebat,sed certea laudatissimo
meritolaudetur.
ductoretprinceps,
te oroatqueobtestor
uthoc
magnifice
Quapropter,
sed sententiarum
uerborumque
pondere
opusculum,mole paruissimum
in bibliotheca
tuaclarissimaatqueceleberrima
certemaximum,
collocare
atqueapponeredigneris.Quod si feceris,non solummihi,sed uniuerse
monumentum
eritet posteristuisperpetuum
familienostregratissimum
nostris
et
te
seruitutis
gratum
extabit,quod posteris
tante tamfideerga
esse certissime
sentio.
admodumfuturum
A nimirums.s. B
22 tibi iocundissimusB
24 tanteMSS
13 egregriam
32 inpresentiarum
in marg.A 33 parente]patreB
30 emergereMSS
41 sua A
42 ut] tu B
39 memoriaB

30-31 Juv.Sat. III, 164-65

48-49 Cic. Fam. V, 12 (7).

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Appendix

337

Viti's book providesmanystrikingexamplesof Bruni's abilityas a


rhetorician
to manipulatethe languageof whatmightbe called "imperial
humanism."'0
The maintopicsin thissortofdiscoursearepraiseoftheHoly
Roman Emperoras the one authorityable to bringpeace and unityto
to settleinternal
Christendom,
quarrelsandto protectitfromtheinfidel.The
to his care;theyarehis loyalsons,he their
peoplesofEuropearecommitted
thevirtuesof Caesar,especiallyhis clemency.The text
father.He inherits
publishedforthe firsttimebelow gives yet anotherexampleof Bruni's
ambassafluencyin thisvein.It is a speechwritten
by BruniforFlorentine
ofFrederick
III as KingoftheRomansin
dorsattending
eitherthecoronation
1440orthecoronation
ofAlbrecht
III in 1438.I discoveredthenewtextsome
years ago in a MS in the Beinecke Libraryat Yale. Dr. MartinDavies
witnessof Aretine
subsequently
broughtto my noticeanothermanuscript
to
provenance,dated 1449, in theVaticanLibrary.11
It seemedworthwhile
Bruni's skill as an "imperial"
publishthe texthere to illustratefurther
The spellingfollowsthatof the VaticanMS; punctuation
and
rhetorician.
are mine.
capitalization
10 See

especially55-62.
11See my article,"BruniManuscriptsin NorthAmerica,"in L. Gualdo Rosa and P.
Viti (eds.), Per il Censimento
dei codici dell'Epistolariodi LeonardoBruni,Istitutostorico
per il Medio Evo, Nuovi studistorici,10 (Rome, 1991), 55-90, at p. 63.

C-Biblioteca Apostolica
Vaticana,MS Chis.J.IV.119,ff.289r-v(Arezzo,a.

1449)

Y-New Haven,Connecticut,
Yale University
Library,
MS Marston60, ff.

(s. XV 3/4)
129v-130r

LeonardiAretiniad imperatorem
oratiopropartecomunisFlorentie.
'Vidimusstellameius in orientee venimusadorareeum'. Verbasunt
MattheiEvangelistein capitulo<secundo>. Serenissimeatque gloriossime princeps:Non sine probabilirationesimilitudofacta est ab
Primumenim 5
antiquisinterfastigium
imperialeet astrain celo fulgentia.
ut in stellisest altitudoatquesublimitas
sic etiamimperialis
admiranda,
et altitudosupermortalesattollitur.
Ut stellafulgorem
fastigiisublimitas
habetet claritatem,
sic etiamimperialisdignitasserenitatem
et illustrain civitionemcontinet
et fulgorem
admirandum
lucemqueclarissimam
tatespopulosqueeffundit.
Utqueexortusstellarum
seu siderumaliquidin 10
futurum
significatet ostendit,sic etiam exortusmaximiprincipiset
hominibusfuturam
seculi felicitatem.
optimi,qualis tu es, repromittit
Que quidemomnia,ne nuncnovitera me repertaputes,audi quid dicat
Virgiliuspoetarumdoctissimus:

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JamesHankins

338
15

20

25

30

35

40

ecce DyoneiprocessitCesarisastrum
astrumquo segetesgauderent
frugibus
quoque
duceretapricisin collibusuva colorem.
voluitex Cesaris stella seu
Tranquillitatem
et pacem poeta significare
sidereproventuram,
idque significavit
per segeteset opera rusticorum
a bellis.Hanc igiturtranquillitatem
et pacemet
que maximedissipantur
tuussperat
devotissimus
quietamseculi felicitatem
populusFlorentinus
ex tuoexortutamquamex salutaristellaseu sidereperYtaliamac ceteras
mundi partes esse futuram.Itaque gaudens et exultanshac seculi
beatitudinenos oratores misit ad orandum et venerandumtuum
sanctissimum
ac fulgentissimum
iubar.Noli enimputare,prestantissime
Cesar, iam multisseculistantamletitiamfuissesusceptamex alicuius
principisasumptionequanta per universummundumsusceptaest ex
feliciista adsumptione
tua. Quid enimoptabiliusesse potestaut debet
quam ab optimoprincipegubemariet regi,qui fidemafferat,
iustitiam
bella Cristianorum
confirmet,
tollat,paci studeatet quieti,populorum
infideliumconatuset opera maligna repellat.Tue enim admirabiles
prestantissimeque
virtutes,tua fides et moderatio,tua fortitudoet
clementia,tua incorrupta
iustitia,tua admirabilissapientiaet altitudo
et populispollicetur.In
merito
hanc
consilii
spemoptimamcivitatibus
et in asumptione
hac populusFlorentinus
devotissimus
tuusconfidit
tua
mirabiligaudioexultavit
atqueexultat.Quod licetperliterasiampridem
tamenvivisquoque affatibus
/f.130r/
significavit,
pernos oratoressuos
demonstrariplenius voluit ac presentestuo culmini sublimissimo
se ipsumdevoteet
gratulari
prohac feliciadsumptione
tua,recomendans
humilitertue sacratissimeac invictissimemaiestati.Ceterum,serenissime princeps,non nulla seorsumexponerehabemus,que, cum
dabiturlocus et tempus,tuemaiestatiseriosiusexprimemus.
1 Leonardo Aretiniom. Y 2 eam Y 3 spatiumduodecimlitterarum
post
capituloCY 7 Ut] Et Y 12 alterumfuturam
post seculi canc. Y 15 processit
edd.] precessitC: preces sic Y 16 quoque CY] et quo edd. 17 apricis]apricibus
18 ex C ex corr.] e Y 19 sidere] sydera
C: a precibus Y 17 uva] una CY
Y 20 a om. Y et alterumom. Y 26-30, 31-32 sex litteraeex initio harum
linearumabscissae sunt in Y 30 paci] pati Y 36 licet om. Y 37 significarit
C
38 sublimissimiCY 41 exprimereY

2 Matt.2:2

15-17 Ecl. IX.47-49.

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