Bruni, Leonardo


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Bruni, Leonardo

 

(also Aretino). Born 1370 or 1374, in Arezzo; died Mar. 8, 1444, in Florence. Italian humanist, writer, and historian.

At the basis of Bruni’s world view was faith in the infinite creative potential of man and in his agelong striving for the good. In his moral-philosophical and pedagogical treatises he upheld the idea of the development of the personality in all its aspects and condemned asceticism. Though Bruni highly valued classical Latin, he came to the defense of Italian as the language of learning and literature. He wrote a number of works in the Italian vernacular: The Life of Dante, The Life of Petrarch, and the novella entitled The Story of Antiochus, Son of Seleucus. Bruni’s Latin works include the comedy Polyxena and The Speech of Heliogabalus. Bruni translated the works of Plato and Aristotle into Latin. His essay On Correct Translation is one of the first attempts to create a theory of translation. In his political pamphlets Bruni attacked tyranny and defended the republican order. In his works of history (for example, The History of Florence and Notes on the Events of My Times) Bruni approached his sources critically and attempted to reveal the causes of historical events and phenomena. Stressing the importance of civil liberties in the history of Florence, Bruni regarded the city as the heir to the republican traditions of ancient Rome, called upon to defend these liberties in the struggle with the tyrants of Milan.

WORKS

Humanistisch-philosophische Schriften. Edited by H. Baron. Leipzig, 1928.
Historiarum lorentini populi. [Bologna] 1926.
Commentarius rerum suo tempore gestarum. Bologna, 1926.

REFERENCES

Korelin, M. Rannii ital’ianskii gumanizm i ego istoriografiia, vol. 4. St. Petersburg, 1914. Pages 22-138.
Rossi, V. Il quattrocento. [Milan] 1949.
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