Hrvatksi (different text)
rancesco Patrizi (in Italian) and
Frane Petrić (in Croatian) signed his name as Francesco Patricio. The
data on his life can be found in his
autobiographical letter to Baccio
Valori, written in Ferrara on January 12, 1587.(1)
He is also known as Patritius, Patritio, Patricius, Patrici, Patrizzi, Patricijus, Franciscus de Petris, and even Petrišević which is a total corruption of his name. He was born on the island of Cres (Cherso) on April 25, 1529 during the rule of the Venetian Empire.
philosopher and polihistor
born in Cherso
Patrizi was the son of the town judge Francesco and Maria Lupetina who
was Matthias Flacius' cousin.(2).
Francesco's father had been accused of subversive activities against the
Venetian authorities and of supporting the Protestants for which he was
sentenced to banishment and died in exile. Francesco, the son, used his
inheritance to finance his studies, although - as son of a banned
heretic - he had to litigate over it for most of his life.
After studying in his native city with Petruccio da Bologna, he quit school and left the island of Cres in 1538 as a crew-member on his uncle's ship. It is then that the tumultuos period of his life began. He went on many voyages (he served in the Venetian navy under the command of Andrea Doria and went in combat near Novigrad) and changed many jobs (book and cotton trade, publishing - he published G. C. Delminio's and B. Cotrugli's works). He went to trade school in Venice, and studied grammar under a priest, Andrea Fiorentino, who worked as a proofreader for the Giunti publishing company. As Flacius' protégé he went to Ingolstadt where he studied Greek. Petrić remained there until the war that Charles V led against the Protestants. He went on to study medicine in Padua in 1547, but soon left it for studies in philosophy and mathematics.
Patrizi studied the Classical philosophical and literary texts, especially Plato's and Aristotle's philosophy, the rich tradition of Peripateticism, the speculative profuseness and diversity of the most ancient traditions of thinking and syncretistic religions, the mystical, Chaldaic, Arab and Hebrew traditions, Hermetic writings (Patrizi claimed that there was more philosophy in a single Hermetic treatise than in entire body of works by Aristotle) and neo-Platonic philosophy (important for Francesco's concepts of light, the One, first principles, the first efficient cause). Petric' studied the works of the most interesting Neo-Platonic thinkers, such as M. Ficino, particularly his Theologia Platonica and his doctrine of the renewal of "prisca theologia / sapientia"(3), a philosophical project of renewal of Christianity, also important in Patrizi's philosophy, and Pico della Mirandola who was known as "princeps concordiae" and whose concept of philosophy of truth undoubtedly influenced the formation and development of Patrizi's model of thought.
After his father's death in 1551, Patrizi sold his books on medicine. He then went to Ancona and on short trips to Venice (where he became a member of the Accademia della Fama), Bologna, Verona, Vicenza, Mantova, Modena and Ferrara. In 1553 he published a collection of essays: Citta' felice, Dialogo dell'Honore, Il Bargnani, Discorso sulla diversita' dei furori poetici and Lettere sopra un sonetto di Petrarca. Two years later, perhaps following the example of Nicolo' Machiavelli (1469-1527), he addressed a completely different problem in his Milizia Romana di Polibio, di Tito Livio e di Dionigi di Alicarnasso.
While the work of Patrizi embraces literature, art, criticism, history, science, military science, and philosophy, he was also a poet, albeit an unsuccessful one. He tried to be innovative and in 1558 published Eridano, written in heroic verses of thirteen syllables. In 1560 appeared his ten dialogues, On History, followed in 1562 by an additional ten dialogues, On Rhetoric.
In 1571 he was in Cyprus when the island fell to the assault of the Turks. He worked there as the supervisor of the estates of Count Contarini-Zaffo and the Cyprus archbishop F. Mocenigo. Petrić also worked on melioration projects. He traveled to Spain and sold a collection of seventy-five Greek philosophical, theological, scientific and musical codexes he had brought from Cyprus to the Spanish king Philip II for his Escorial library (twenty-seven survived, the rest were destroyed in a fire in 1671).
In 1578 he was called to the University of Ferrara where he taught Plato's philosophy. He took up hydraulic works and presented a study for separating the waters of the Rhine from those of the Po. During the same time he enriched the study of music theory; Zenatti recognized him in his work Francesco Patrizi, Horace, Ariosto, and Torquato Tasso where, in respect to Greek music, he said that Patrizi wrote "better than Galileo, Gaffuri, or Valgurio".
During his stay in Padua, Patrizi became a member of the Dalmatian Students Club, and its senator for two terms.(4). He was also a member of the "Congregation of St. Jerome" as well as a member of many academies, Accademia della Crusca among others. In 1581, he published Discussini peripatetiche, then in 1585 An Opinion in Defense of Ludovico Ariosto, and the following year he returned to poetry, publishing Della Poetica - La Deca historiale and Della Poetica - La Deca disputata.
He explored all of the paths of knowledge, eager to examine the ones less well known. He sought to reform philosophy and mathematics, poetry and history, botany, physics, and the art of war. He made important contributions to the study of natural phenomena and he was credited with having made his observations with a penetrating originality. He is considered an innovator in the study of light, in the ebb and flow of water, in the theory of the movement of the earth, and in the research of the reproductive systems of plants.
His most significant philosophical work, Nova de Universis Philosophia (1591) was written to combat Aristotelianism and scholasticism and to affirm Platonism in all its fullness. When it was published, Nova was hailed as the work of a genius but was condemned by the Church. This work, with its grandiose architecture, tormented and idiosyncratic, is divided into four parts: Panaugia (Of Light), Panarchia (Of the Beginning of Matter), Pampsychia (Of the Soul), and Pancosmia (Of the World).
In 1592, he was invited to Rome by Cardinal Aldobrandini (who later became Pope Clement VIII) to assume the chair of philosophy at La Sapienza. Two years later he published another of his mportant works, the Military Parallels (1594).
Francesco died in Rome on February 7 (or 6?), 1597 and was buried in the church of Sant'Onofrio in the same tomb as Torquato Tasso.
1553. In Utopisti e Riformatori sociali del cinquecento. Bologna. N. Zanichelli. 1941.
4to (195 x 145 mm), pp [viii] 227 [5, including blank leaf F3], with woodcut printer's device on title, woodcut device of an obelisk on colophon, and several woodcut diagrams in text; small portion of blank margin of title repaired, at one time resewn and recased in old vellum (possibly its original binding but impossible to determine). £5000
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