Eva Del Soldato

Eva del Soldato (Pisa)

Ancient masks, modern ideas: Plato against Aristotle in Early Modern Europe

Working on a translation of In calumniatorem Platonis by Cardinal Bessarion I developed a wider project, intended to place the book - a decisive turning point in Early Modern culture - in a larger context, where it appears in a history of the reciprocal relationship between Aristotelianism and Platonism and their interactions with religious and philosophical thought. The genre of the comparison between philosophers, and in particular Plato and Aristotle, became very popular during the Early Modern Period, but it assumed different meanings according to political or religious imperatives: Plato and Aristotle were sometimes taken seriously and sometimes used as polemical straw men, employed in battles that often had nothing to do with their philosophy. In these works the affirmation of the harmony or the irreconcilability between the two ancient visions of the world, became messages with an immediate impact, veiled underneath the names of Plato and Aristotle. A more complete reconstruction over the longue durée will demonstrate the persistence of these themes over time.