Inside Cristoforo Landino’s Philosophical Laboratory
Antonino Antonazzo received his PhD in Ancient and Modern Philology from the University of Messina, where he also held two post-doctoral fellowships within the national project “New frontiers in Petrarchan research.” His research activity goes from the legacy of Greek and Latin classics, between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, to the humanists’ literature and philology – with a focus on Florentine Humanism. His publications include essays about Giovanni Boccaccio’s Epistles and a monograph on Cristoforo Landino’s vernacular translation of Pliny’s Naturalis historia (Il volgarizzamento pliniano di Cristoforo Landino, Centro Internazionale di Studi Umanistici, 2018).
Research on Cristoforo Landino (1425-98) has seen remarkable developments over the last twenty years: his work as an exegete of classics, as a poet, and as a translator has been increasingly studied. However, in these new critical perspectives rather marginal attention has been paid to his work as a philosopher. In fact, almost all his writings are pervaded by Platonism, not just as a latent influence, but as an ideology which shapes, in different ways, Landino’s entire cultural production. This emerges from his poetry (especially from the poems dedicated to Bernardo Bembo), from his exegesis on both Latin and vernacular texts (based on the theory called “theologia poetica”), and even from his vernacularizations (as the dedicatory letter of his Plinian translation shows). The aim of this project is to investigate Landino’s philosophical laboratory: starting from his surviving library, now held at the Biblioteca Riccardiana in Florence, the research will trace the humanist’s method and technique of using these sources to build his own works, i.e. De anima (1471), Disputationes Camaldulenses (1474), De vera nobilitate (after 1487). This analysis will uncover and illustrate Landino’s philosophical reflection and, furthermore, will reconstruct the substantial role he played in spreading the Platonic and Ficinian doctrine by examining the most significant stages in the reception of his philosophical works.