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Title: The dissolution of constitutions : Aristotle in Italian political thought from Niccolò Machiavelli to Giovanni Botero
Author: Stone Villani, Nicolas
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 7054
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis studies the reception of Aristotle's political thought in sixteenth-century Italy. It focuses on Aristotle's discussion of the dissolution of constitutions in Book 5 of the Politics and aims to show how Aristotle's political thought remained central to late Renaissance political discourse. No comprehensive study of the topic exists. Modern historiography on Renaissance political thought generally downplays the importance of Aristotle in the history of sixteenth-century Italian political thought and emphasises the Roman tradition over the Greek. This research aims to fill the gap in modern scholarship and revise modern interpretation of Renaissance political theory. This thesis is essentially divided into three parts, each part containing two chapters. Part I is largely introductory. Chapter 1 offers a historiographical review of modern scholarship on the reception of Aristotle in the Renaissance and early-modern political thought. Chapter 2 explores the revival of Greek studies in the fifteenth century and the changing perception of Aristotle's Politics in the Renaissance. Part II focuses on Aristotle and Machiavelli. Chapter 3 examines the similarities between Aristotle's analysis of the means of preserving tyranny and Machiavelli's discussion of how to mantenere lo stato in The Prince. Chapter 4 explores the effects that these similarities between Aristotle and Machiavelli had on the reception of Aristotle in Renaissance political thought. Part III centres on Aristotle in the republican and vernacular traditions. Chapter 5 explains the importance of Aristotle's discussion of the dissolution of constitutions to Renaissance republican political thought. Chapter 6 underlines the continuous relevance of Aristotle's Politics in the second half of the sixteenth century. The conclusion sums up the central argument of each chapter and invites us to explore the influence of Aristotle on reason of state literature.
Supervisor: Davidson, Nicholas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy ; Renaissance ; Political science--Italy--History--16th century ; Italy--History--1559-1789 ; Italy--Intellectual life