Angelo Poliziano's Lamia

Text, Translation, and Introductory Studies


In 1492, Angelo Poliziano published his Lamia, a praelectio, or opening oration to a course he would teach that academic year on Aristotle’s Prior Analytics at the Florentine university. Having heard murmurings that he was not philosopher enough to teach the Aristotelian text, Poliziano strikes back, offering in effect a fable-tinted history of philosophy. More than a repudiation of local gossip, the text represents a rethinking of the mission of philosophy. This volume offers the first English translation, an edition of the Latin text, and four studies that set this rich example of humanist Latin writing in context.

Brill's Texts and Sources in Intellectual History, vol. 7.


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EUR € 123.00USD $ 152.00


Christopher S. Celenza, Dr.Phil. (2001), Classics, University of Hamburg and Ph.D. (1995), History, Duke University, is a professor of post-classical Latin in the Department of German and Romance Languages at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of The Lost Italian Renaissance (The John Hopkins University Press, 2004) and Piety and Pythagoras in Renaissance Florence (Brill, 2001).


"In the introduction, the editor remarks that the purpose of this book is to render Poliziano’s Lamia accessibly, and in the judgment of this reviewer, this standard has easily been met. The inclusion of an English translation and interpretive essays makes it an important complement to Wesseling’s earlier volume, whose detailed line-by-line commentary could conceivably be a cold plunge for some first-time students."
M.V. Dougherty, Ohio Dominican University. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (Spring 2011), pp. 162-163.

‘’Thanks to Celenza and the contributors to this volume, all kinds of historians regardless of their skill in Latin, have a fascinating newly accessible text to use in their studies.’’
Brian Jeffrey Maxson, East Tennessee State University. In: Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. 44, No. 1 (Spring 2013), pp. 179-180.

‘’Felicitazioni a C. Celenza e agli autori tutti per l’uscita di questo bel volume, che costituisce un eccellente complemento all’ed. Wesseling: questa nuova edizione della Lamia sara apprezzata da studiosi e docenti di filologia umanistica e di letteratura neolatina, e risultera di indubbio interesse anche per chi si occupa della storia degli studi greci nel XV secolo.’’
Luigi Silvano, Sapienza University of Rome. In: MEG, 11 (2011), p. 288.



Poliziano’s Lamia in Context, Christopher S. Celenza
On the Shoulders of Grammatica: John of Salisbury’s Metalogicon and Poliziano’s Lamia, Francesco Caruso
The Role of the Philosopher in Late Quattrocento Florence: Poliziano’s Lamia and the Legacy of the Pico-Barbaro Epistolary Controversy, Igor Candido
Angelo Poliziano’s Lamia: Neoplatonic Commentaries and the Plotinian Dichotomy between the Philologist and the Philosopher, Denis J.-J. Robichaud
Angelo Poliziano, Lamia: Latin text, Edited by Christopher S. Celenza
Angelo Poliziano, Lamia: English translation, Translated by Christopher S. Celenza



All those interested in the intellectual history of the Italian Renaissance and more broadly in the history of western philosophy.

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