Authority, Innovation and Early Modern Epistemology: Essays in Honour of Hilary Gatti

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Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), who died at the stake, is one of the best-known symbols of anti-establishment thought. The theme of this volume, which is offered as a collection of essays to honour the distinguished Bruno scholar Hilary Gatti, reflects her constant concern for the principles of cultural freedom and independent thinking. Several essays deal with Bruno himself, including an analysis of the Eroici furori, a study of his reception in relation to the group known as the Novatores, and discussions of several important aspects of his stay in England. The authors and texts discussed here are linked by a relentless interest in the question of authority and originality, and they range from literary figures such as Alberti (1404-72), Vasari (1511-74) and the proponents of quantitative verse in sixteenth-century England to controversial philosophers who, like Bruno, were condemned by the Church, such as Tommaso Campanella (1568-1639) and Giulio Cesare Vanini (1585-1619). Taken together, these chapters show how much that was new and revolutionary in early modern culture came from its confrontation with the past. Martin McLaughlin is Agnelli-Serena Professor of Italian at Oxford. Elisabetta Tarantino is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Italian at the University of Warwick.