Guglielmo Califano

Lucretia, Don Juan, Machiavelli. Metamorphosis of Honestum and Political Theology

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This article traces the genealogy of the female characters of the myth of Don Juan, highlighting their conceptual significance. I argue that the female characters of Don Juan have their origin in the model of the story of Lucretia. By following the re-elaboration of the story of Lucretia in Machiavelli and the Jesuits, I will establish a connection between these re-elaborations and two important moments in modern political thought. First, Machiavelli’s break with the ancient Platonic-Ciceronian model of reason that was at the basis of the Christian conception of politics – that is, a model of reason as a principle that naturally tends towards social harmony. Second, Jesuits’ polemics against Machiavelli’s innovation that attempts to reaffirm a theology-subservient politics. In conclusion, I claim that, in the case of the intertwined myths of Lucretia and Don Juan, there is a conflict between political theology and politics, rather than a secularization of theological concepts


  • Political Theology
  • Don Juan
  • Lucretia
  • Machiavelli
  • Honestum


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