Friar, Reformer and Renaissance Scholar: Life and Work of Giles of Viterbo, 1469-1532

In the past thirty years Giles of Viterbo has become a familiar name to scholars from a variety of disciplines researching the culture of Rome and the Church during the High Renaissance. Giles is a special source for understanding certain aspects of the Renaissance. The reasons are several. He played many roles - orator at the papal court, reforming prior general of the Augustinians, synthesizer of certain strains of Renaissance culture. He was in significant ways a child of the Renaissance, but medieval influences on him sometimes seem stronger. He knew the mainstream of Ficinian Neo-Platonism and Paduan Aristotelianism, but also ardently pursued esoterica. Perhaps most important of all, he left behind a large corpus, in which we find a curious mix ranging from practical directives as superior general of an important religious order to the most abstruse speculation on theological, historical, and other subjects. Almost every literary genre is represented - correspondence, orations and sermons, translation, poetry, official registers, commentaries and treatises.