Cambridge Translations of Renaissance Philosophical Texts. by Jill Kraye

By Jill Kraye

The Renaissance, identified basically for the artwork and literature that it produced, was once additionally a interval during which philosophical idea flourished. This two-volume anthology includes forty new translations of significant works on ethical and political philosophy written throughout the Renaissance and hitherto unavailable in English. The anthology is designed for use together with The Cambridge heritage of Renaissance Philosophy, during which all of those texts are mentioned. The works, initially written in Latin, Italian, French, Spanish, and Greek, conceal such issues as: strategies of guy, Aristotelian, Platonic, Stoic, and Epicurean ethics, scholastic political philosophy, theories of princely and republican executive in Italy and northern ecu political notion. each one textual content is provided with an advent and a advisor to extra reading.

• All texts are mentioned within the Cambridge background of Renaissance Philosophy, that are promoted along this anthology • forty new translations formerly untranslated into English • All texts annotated with introductions and courses to extra interpreting

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Sample text

They were forever imploring the popes for assistance in their hour of need: the help they could very easily have given themselves they 5 6 7 On the Misery of the Human Condition 21 sought of others, with the result that the disaster seems to have taken place not through chance but by divine judgement. 'But I must confess that however much they were at fault in the destruction of their city, the cruelty of the barbarians was truly deplorable. The terrible fall of such a city is to be taken very seriously, and I by no means make light of it.

It is her old game of making the mighty quake, raising up one man and casting down another, making a king of a slave and a slave of a king. The record of great cities being laid low is so common that it comes as no surprise when fortune aims her lightning bolts at the higher reaches and demolishes the topmost pinnacles. Constantinople is not alone in being taken and destroyed by enemies; we find many other mighty cities documented in history (as I shall later mention) which the enemy's savagery has wiped out in disasters even bloodier than hers.

We know that the highest positions — principalities, kingdoms and empires — are nothing more than the blandishments of fortune: the number of people who have been abandoned, mocked and ruined by them forms no small part of the record of human misery, as we read in books and have seen for ourselves. We should therefore think of those who try to root out these excessive desires from our minds, and teach us to have as little as possible to do with fortune's gifts, as making the greatest contribution to the two things which, rightly viewed, are to be preferred to all others: bodily peace and tranquillity of mind.

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