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The Intellectual Struggle for FlorenceHumanists and the Beginnings of the Medici Regime, 1420-1440$
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Arthur Field

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791089

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198791089.001.0001

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Francesco Filelfo, Oligarchic Virtue, and Medicean Vice

Francesco Filelfo, Oligarchic Virtue, and Medicean Vice

(p.187) 5 Francesco Filelfo, Oligarchic Virtue, and Medicean Vice
The Intellectual Struggle for Florence

Arthur Field

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at how Francesco Filelfo, a non-Florentine, taught classics at the University of Florence during 1429–34, turning his classroom into a forum for oligarchic ideology. In the classroom and elsewhere, Filelfo viciously attacked the Medici and all intellectuals close to him (namely Carlo Marsuppini, Ambrogio Traversari, Niccolò Niccoli, and Poggio). The chapter analyzes Filelfo’s own works as well as those of his students, his closeness to Bruni, and his enmity with the Medici party and the Medicean humanists. Adhering to the traditionalists and their ideology, Filelfo argued that the Medici rule was based on violence and money. Filelfo’s classroom became so controversial than pro-Medici students began actively disrupting it. The chapter includes an overview of Filelfo’s major polemics after he was chased from Florence at the end of 1434.

Keywords:   Medici, Francesco Filelfo, Leonardo Bruni, Florence, Poggio, University of Florence

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