Writing History in Renaissance Sicily: Tommaso Fazello and the Discovery of the Past
Giuseppe Marcellino holds a PhD in Classical Philology, Linguistics, and History from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. From 2017 to 2021, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung and at the Gerda Henkel Stiftung. His most notable publications include a critical edition of Favonius Eulogius’ Disputatio de Somnio Scipionis (D’Auria 2012), a volume titled Il latino e il ‘volgare’ nell’antica Roma (Edizioni della Normale 2015, with Giulia Ammannati) and Latin editions with Italian translation and commentary for Giannozzo Manetti’s De dignitate et excellentia hominis (Bompiani 2018) and for Leonardo Bruni’s Oratio Heliogabali ad meretrices (Nino Aragno 2020).
This project aims to present the first comprehensive and detailed study of Tommaso Fazello's De rebus Siculis decades duae (Palermo 1558), a monumental work widely recognized as the most salient product of Sicilian Humanism. The project will specifically focus on Fazello’s contributions to the development of historiography and archaeology, as well as the political and cultural factors which led him to propagandistically reinterpret the island's cultural heritage against Islamic incursion at a crucial moment in European history. In particular, the project will analyze the formation of Fazello's Decades by paying specific attention to a selection of important but barely known passages in which he implicitly employs the works most representative of historiographers active in Sicily during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Furthermore, the project will focus on Fazello's cultural background through an examination of his unpublished lectures on Philosophy and Aristotle in addition to other manuscript material related to his religious activity as a consultant of the Holy Office. Finally, research on the cultural facies of Sicily during the fifteenth and sixteenth century will pay attention both to the movement of scholars between this island and Spain (e.g. Lucio Marineo Siculo, Cristóbal de Escobar), as well as the arrival of the Spanish Inquisition in Palermo (1487) and its control over printing from 1543 onward.