Francesco Patrizi

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Patrizi, Francesco


Born 1529, in Cherso; died February 1597, in Rome. Italian humanist and philosopher. Representative of Neoplatonism during the Renaissance.

Patrizi served in the Venetian Navy and studied in Padua. He taught philosophy at the University of Ferrara beginning in 1578 and at the University of Rome beginning in 1592. In his chief work, the New Philosophy of the World (1591), Patrizi developed a theory of the world as an infinity in the process of formation and as a hierarchically ordered, animated organic whole. The source of the bond and “kinship” of all things was the light that radiated from the divine all-embracing unity, permeating the entire world.

In his Poetics (1582), Patrizi, who disagreed with Aristotle’s idea of poetry as imitation, developed a concept of the artist as creator. He characterized the state of creation as possession by “divine madness,” or inspiration. Other works by Patrizi included treatises on rhetoric and historiography, and anti-Aristotelian polemics.


L’amorosa filosofia. Florence, 1963.
Della poetica, vols. 1–2. Florence, 1969.


Golenishchev-Kutuzov, I. N. Ital’ianskoe Vozrozhdenie i slavianskie literatury XV-XVI vv. Moscow, 1963.
Arcari, P. M. Il pensiero politico di F. Patrizio da Cherso. Rome, 1935.
Crespi, L. A. La vita e le opere di F. Patricio. Milan, 1941.
Saitta, A. Il pensiero italiano nell’umanesimo e nel rinascimento, vol. 2. Bologna, 1950. Pages 521–67.
Kristeller, P. O. Eight Philosophers of the Italian Renaissance. Stanford, Calif., 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Ryan, "The Panaugia of Franciscus Patricius: From the Light of Experience to the First Light"; Tomislav Petkovic, "Franciscus Patricius' Model of Thinking and Modern Cosmology"; Rosanna Gorris, "'Prudentia perpetuat': Vittorio Baldini, editore ferrarese di Francesco Patrizi"; Alessandra Fiocca, "Francesco Patrizi e la questione del Reno nella seconda meta del Cinquecento: tre lettere inedite"; Martin Schwarz, "Patrizi's World Seen Through the Eyes of Montaigne"; Bodo Nischan, "International Diplomacy in the Age of Patrizi: The German Heretic Who Got Caught"; and Anthony J.