Lorenzo Valla

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Valla, Lorenzo


Born 1405 or 1407, in Rome; died there on Aug. 1, 1457. Italian humanist. From 1445 secretary of the Papal Court.

Valla proved the counterfeit nature of The Donation of Constantine; thus, he was one of the forerunners of historical textual criticism. In the treatise On Pleasure as the True Good (1431) he defended the philosophy and ethics of Epicurus, which he contrasted with Christian asceticism and Stoic ethics. Valla sharply attacked medieval Scholastic logic and dialectics (in his Dialectic Refutations, 1439; published in 1499); he also subjected monasticism to sharp criticism. He strove for a revival of classical Latin (The Elegance of the Latin Language, books 1-6, 1471).


Scritti filosofici e religiosi. Florence, 1953.
“O naslazhdenii” (excerpt). In Istoriia estetiki, vol. 1. Moscow, 1962. Pages 485-97.


Korelin, M. S. “Eticheskii traktat L. Vally Ob udovol’stvii i ob istinnom blage,’” Vopr. filosofii i psikhologii, 1895, books 29 and 30.
Khometovskaia, A. I. Lorentso Valla—velikii ital’ianskii gumanist. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
Gaeta, F. Lorenzo Valla. Naples, 1955.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hughes's impressively comprehensive essay, "Spenser's Acrasia and the Circe of the Renaissance." As Hughes points out, some rebellious minds in the Renaissance such as Niccolo Machiavelli and Laurentius Valla found truth and a cynical wisdom in Gryllus's arguments, but the vast majority of humanists during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries were appalled at the notion that beasts shared a capacity generally (and religiously) regarded as peculiar to humankind.