The Accademia Pontaniana

A Model of a Humanist Network


The Accademia Pontaniana : A Model of a Humanist Network is an exploration of the vast intellectual networks which developed around the fifteenth century humanist Pontano. It includes the densely knit network which emerged in Naples, the Accademia Pontaniana, as well as the loosely knit networks which developed between the members of this academy and other humanists and academies outside of Naples. Shulamit Furstenberg-Levi points to the links between the Accademia Pontaniana and other sodalities in Southern Italy, and to the lineage between fifteenth century informal academies and sixteenth century institutional Academies. In this study recent sociological theory is applied to understand Renaissance academies and the vertical and horizontal links between them.
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Biographical Note

Shulamit Furstenberg-Levi (Ph.D. 2001, Hebrew University of Jerusalem) teaches Renaissance Philosophy and Jewish History at Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence. She has published articles on Humanist Academies, on converts to Catholicism during the Counter Reformation and on Italian Pilgrimage Itineraries.

Review Quotes

“The great merit of this book is that it explores the vast intellectual networks that Pontano developed in the late Quattrocento, as well as the links between the other great cities and their intellectuals and humanists. It doesn’t leave any figure aside and presents a global vision of the actors of the time.”
Florence Bistagne, Université d’Avignon / Institut universitaire de France. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (Winter 2017), pp. 1466-1467.

“I numerosi spunti di riflessione sviluppati dalla lettura dei due brillanti saggi pubblicati da Brill potranno aprire un dibattito da estendere in future ricerche, che dovranno tenere conto anche di altri aspetti significativi del lascito intellettuale ebraico italiano meridionale in età rinascimentale, ad esempio nel mondo veneziano e ottomano, centri di accoglienza di esuli ebrei regnicoli, che continuarono a sviluppare per buona parte del Cinquecento temi e tradizioni oggetto di studio della Napoli aragonese.”
Fabrizio Lelli, University of Salento, in Sefer yuḥasin 2017-5, pp 159-169 (ISSN 2281-6062)

Table of contents


Chapter 1: “Il Gran Pontano”: A Portrait Gallery .

Chapter 2: The Group: The Accademia Pontaniana: Members, Space, Time and Ceremony

Chapter 3: Networks: Horizontal and Vertical Links with Rome and Florence

Chapter 4: The Memory of Pontano’s Academy in Naples and Southern Italy

Epilogue: The Humanist Fabric

Appendix I: Girolamo Carbone’s Elegy to Agostino Nifo

Appendix II: Glossary of Humanists Mentioned in the Book





All interested in Renaissance Humanism, networks of humanists and Early Modern Academies. Students and scholars of Aragonese Naples, of Humanism in Naples and Southern Italy and of Pontano .