Yet fewscholarsinEuropewereawarethatBaronhad spentthelasttwenty years ofhis lifewriting a biographicalstudyof his hero. It was widelybelievedthatBaron’schiefpersecutor, Ludwig Bertalot,was using Baron as a way of gettingat his teachers, especiallyFriedrichMeinecke. The humanists, in contrast to the egalitarianism of the Italian commune, become champions of meritocracy. Machiavelli, famously, in the very first chapter of the Prince contrasted republics with principalities, as did many other Renaissance writers before and after him. Freedom, too, for Machiavelli was a word in need of redefinition. This,it shouldbe said,was one of Baron’smajor blindspots. This theme is mostly developed in their numerous treatises on true nobility, a genre almost synonymous with humanism Rabil,

He pointsouttheuglysideofBruni’sbehavior after the Medicicoupin Against this view, Baron argued — principally on the basis of his studies of Leonardo Bruni — that a central current of thought within the humanist movement, civic humanism, was in fact highly patriotic and committed to a republican ideal. Egoism is condemned;quoting Plato,Ubertosaysthatwe arenotbornforourselves alone,butforourfamilies,ourfriends, andourpatria. For Baron’s readingof the Florentine-Milanese rivalryin the contextof modem debates about the politicsof theKleinstaatand the Grossstaat,see Pecchioli citedabove, n. Bruni’s civic humanismchallengedAugustineby revivingan Aristotelian and Ciceroniananthropology whichsaw self-government and other”exter- nal goods” as necessaryto thedignityand perfection of humanity. For Burckhardt thisimplieda looseningof allegiancesto family, guild,state,and religion,a newwillingness to treattheselatternotas givens of traditionbut as Menschenwerke, plastic to the hands of theirhuman makers.

hankins the baron thesis

PhilipJones,PeterHerde,and implic- itly Nicolai Rubinstein tookBaronto taskforhis naiveview of republican politicsin medievaland Renaissancecity-states. For hhe human- ists, as for the ancient philosophers, freedom was not something natural to all men; it was an achieved character trait.

Much of whatViti says aboutthedateand attribution to Bruniof the VaticanMSS Urbinasgraecus33 and 34 was anticipated by EmestoBerti, baeon is elsewherecriticizedforacceptingtoo rashlythe attribution. Florence’svictoryin theViscontiwarsand thenewkindofhumanism it engendered had,forBaron,resultsof world-historical importance. How to explainSalutati’sfacileshifts,in his missive,backandforth betweenthe “new”republican ideologyandthe”old” Guelfideology?


Leonardo Bruni, the Medici, and the Florentine Histories.

Quid enimoptabiliusesse potestaut debet quam ab optimoprincipegubemariet regi,qui fidemafferat, iustitiam 30 confirmet, bella Cristianorum tollat,paci studeatet quieti,populorum infideliumconatuset opera maligna repellat. Moreover, politeia in Greek could be a neutral analytical term, but respublica in Latin was freighted with positive moral connotations.

Regrettably, Baron’sstudydoeslittleto improve ourunderstanding ofBruni’slifeandthought. He served the most populist of all Florentine regimes since the fourteenth century: Truepersonaldistinction in theciviclifehad to includea senseofdutyto one’s community.

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(PDF) The Baron Thesis after Forty Years | james hankins –

He thesls out,furthermore, thatthe contextof Bruni’sfamousLaudatio Florentinae urbiswas thedefenseof Florentine imperialism againstMilanesechargesof hypocrisy. This was a matterof more thanpurelyacademicinterest, as Burckhardt’s book had acquiredsomething of a cult-following amonghighly-educated butpoliticallypassiveGermans duringthes;theGeorge-Kreis forexampleadmiredthebook immoder- ately.

Whywas there so littlecommon ground between thecoollyrealistic ofpolicy discussions foundin the Consultee praticheduringthe s,and theoverheated rhetoric of Salutati’s publicletters? Similarly,despite”studirecenti” 64, ,thereis no evidence thatEugeneIV usedhis influence to keepBruniin officeas chancellor, overcoming thehostilityofCosimode’Medici.

hankins the baron thesis

Acceditquod DominatioTua ex omnibusunumJohannem utpote fidissimum seruumsuumunice diligebat,pre ceterisunumJohannem obseruabat,in uno deniqueJohannetanquamin iocundissimoquodam 20 portufluctibusprincipatusquandoque hankjns acquiescereuidebatur. It was widelybelievedthatBaron’schiefpersecutor, Ludwig Bertalot,was using Baron as a way of gettingat his teachers, especiallyFriedrichMeinecke.

See also Ronald G. Log In Sign Up. Machiavelli, famously, in the very first chapter of the Prince contrasted republics with principalities, as did many other Renaissance writers before and after him. Salutatiand Bruniwerealso humanbeingswith wives,children, andestateswhomadeeachhis thr with changing andprudently politicalrealities hidwhatever privateviewsthey hadonparty As mentheywereusefulrather politics.


Hans Baron – Wikipedia

Y 15 processit edd. If theFlorentine republicanismof Salutati’sand Bruni’sday had preservedmanyof the slogansof the popularcom- mune-“liberty,” “participation,””freespeech”-themeaningof those sloganshadchanged profoundly as theregimehaddeveloped from fitfully therelatively popularregimeof the sand ’90s intothestablepre- Mediceanoligarchy.

Il caso bolognesea confronto, Bologna aprileI: Rowe Toronto, arguingthat Baron greatly overstatesBruni’s independenceof his classical source,Aelius Aristides,in theLaudatio Florentinaeurbis. What was new was the idea of meritocracy, that virtuous character was not merely desirable in a ruler, but also a condition of exercising power for a whole class of men and women.

hankins the baron thesis

The Book of the Courtier, ed. Scaglione’s reviewof theCrisis citedabove, n. Find it on Scholar.

Hans Baron

Who is so dim as not to understand the utter shame- fulness, who is so wicked baorn not to blush to degenerate from the virtue of his ancestors? Notes on contributor James Hankins is Professor of History at Harvard University and the author of numerous books and articles on Italian humanism and Platonism.

In contrast to Burckhardt’s viewof theRenaissance as essentiallyrealisticandpost-ideologicalin its Baronpresented politics, thelatefourteenth andearlyfifteenthcenturyas a l5RobertoWeiss,Ilprimosecolo dell’umanesimo Rome, ; theworkofGiuseppe Billanovich and his school on “preumanesimo”is summarizedby Guido Billanovich, Rino Avesani,and Luciano Garganin Storia della culturaveneta,II Vicenza, ,and ,respectively. Forthesafetyofone’scountry embraces thesafetyofall itsinhabitants.

FollowingGordonGriffiths, he recognizesthatBruni’s descriptionofFlorentine politicsin hisGreektreatise On thePolityof the Florentines is markedly morewillingto disclosetheoligarchic element in Florentine government thanhis threeprevious writingson the LikeGriffiths subject.