Franco Trabattoni

Leopardi and Georgios Gemistos Plethon’s Religion

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Leopardi; Pletho; Paganism; Christian Religion; Happiness; Soul; Immortality.

The article deals with Giacomo Leopardi’s translation (equipped by an introductory discourse) of the funeral oration written by the Byzantine philosopher and theologian Georgios Gemistos Plethon in honor of Queen Elena Paleologina. In the first part, through a collection and updating of all available data, the biographical and editorial circumstances relating to the drafting and publication of this work are reconstructed. The second part deals instead with the reasons that may have led Leopardi to take an interest in Plethon. It is suggested that Leopardi may have appreciated in Plethon the ideal image of a philosophy/religion which on the one hand affirms the immortality of the soul, and therefore takes into account the human aspiration to infinity (what materialist philosophies was incapable to do), on the other hand shows a strong appreciation of earthly happiness, pleasure, physical health and material goods, against the asceticism and mortification of the flesh suggested by the Christian religion.

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