Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2015.04.08
Tina Marshall (trans.), Coluccio Salutati: On the World and Religious Life. The I Tatti Renaissance Library, 62. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2014. Pp. xix, 391. ISBN 9780674055148. $29.95.
Reviewed by Martin Devecka, Yale University (martin.deveckaAT
Coluccio Salutati was an outstanding figure in the generation that came between Petrarch and the full flowering—with Lorenzo Valla, Poggio Bracciolini, and others—of what has conventionally been known as Renaissance humanism. As an independent scholar, he reassembled and circulated Cicero’s Epistulae ad familiares; as chancellor of Florence, he wrote a tract, De tyranno, which constitutes one of the first explicit defenses of civil or republican government. His treatise On the World and Religious Life (De seculo et religione), with its thoroughgoing rejection, not just of political, but of all worldly activity, is difficult to fit with this career. Hans Baron, in his classic Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance, called this text a “challenge for the student of Salutati:” something of an apparently medieval outlook, embedded in the matrix of early humanism.1 (#n1) […]
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BMCR 2015.04.08 (http://www.bmcreview.org/2015/04/20150408.html) on the BMCR blog