Francesco Guicciardini

(redirected from F. Giucciardini)
Francesco Guicciardini
Birthday
BirthplaceFlorence, Republic of Florence
Died
Occupation
Historian, statesman

Guicciardini, Francesco

 

Born Mar. 6, 1483, in Florence; died May 22, 1540, in Arcetri. Italian historian, humanist philosopher, and statesman. From 1511 to 1514 ambassador of Florence in Spain and from 1516 to 1534 successively papal governor in Modena, Romagna, and Bologna.

In the History of Italy (written in 1537-40), Guicciardini presented the history not of the separate Italian states but of the entire country as a whole, and he advocated the national and state unification of Italy. The basic propellant of history he held to be the selfish motivations of individuals. Being an ideologist of the early bourgeoisie, he developed an ethical doctrine of advantage as the basis of mutual utility; believing in the necessity of adapting to circumstances, he considered the use of any means entirely admissible for the attainment of political ends, and he was guided by this principle in his actions. Guicciardini was a partisan of oligarchic-republican rule and an adversary of popular participation in government (Dialogue on the Governing of Florence, written in 1525). He argued for the comprehensive development of the individual, who, as he saw it, found himself surrounded by constant cyclical social change. He was an opponent of astrology; in his works he criticized monastic hypocrisy, the papacy, and the church and offered a scheme for replacing religion with mutual relations of neighborly advantage (Political and Civil Notes, written in 1525-29, carefully concealed by him, and published in 1576).

WORKS

Opere. Milan-Naples [1953].
Carteggi … , vols. 1-13. Milan, 1938-68.
In Russian translation:
Soch. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934.

REFERENCES

Samarkin, V. V. “K voprosu o formirovanii politicheskikh vzgliadov F. Gvichchardini.” Vestnik Moscovskogo un-ta, 1960, no. 5, series 9, Iistoricheskie nauki.
Rutenburg, V. I. “Gvichchardini.” In the collection Ital’ianskoe Vozrozhdenie. [Leningrad] 1966.

V. I. RUTENBURG