Alessio Panichi

Of the ruin of the «popular republics»: Campanella as a reader of Machiavelli

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Tommaso Campanella, Niccolò Machiavelli, Renaissance philosophy and political thought, Machiavellism

In an essay entitled "On the Rearming of Heaven: the Machiavellism of Tommaso Campanella", published in the "Journal of the History of Ideas" (xlix, 1988), J. M. Headley notes that after Aristotle «the greatest single intellectual antagonist of Campanella was Niccolò Machiavelli». This antagonism, even though it is undeniable, is just one of many aspects of the dialogue between the Calabrian friar and the Florentine secretary, since the former has learned some of the political lessons taught by the latter in his most important works. For example, the last pages of Campanella's Aforismi politici, dedicated to examining both the reasons why republics fall and the means to avoid them, are characterised by the presence of machiavellian themes which, when highlighted, enable to understand the complex and many-sided nature of the aformentioned dialogue.

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