Renaissance and Reformation Eugenio Garin
by
Rocco Rubini
  • LAST MODIFIED: 31 March 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195399301-0319

Introduction

Eugenio Garin (b. 1909–d. 2004) was an Italian philosopher, intellectual historian, and one of the foremost Renaissance scholars of his generation. Omnivorous in his reading and versatile in his publications, Garin pursued a career inflected by the desire to order and explain the Italian intellectual tradition. As he often repeated, the life he lived and the historical context that he experienced directed his studies. Raised in the so-called positivist school in Italy, Garin began his career as a student of the British enlightenment and its moral philosophy. Foreign thought and ethics had little purchase in the neo-Hegelian mainstream that his teachers, including Ludovico Limentani, sought to combat. Eventually critical of the Fascist ventennio that he had witnessed as a young man, Garin turned to Renaissance sources to describe and exalt the civic virtues of 15th-century Italian humanists. It is for his characterization of Renaissance humanism, a movement that had previously been denigrated as pedantic and politically inconsequential, that he is best known. Garin redescribed its philological rigor and historiographical bent as an important turning point in Western thought. Garin’s interpretation of humanism as an enduring and still viable “philosophy,” an interpretation that in the American academy allied him with Hans Baron and put him at odds with Paul Oskar Kristeller, rested on his understanding of Italy’s many intellectual revolutions, from the Italian Enlightenment associated with Giambattista Vico to the 19th-century Risorgimento, the postunification period and the hegemony of idealism associated with eminent figures such as Giovanni Gentile and Benedetto Croce, an understanding that he attained in his formative years. Early on, Garin gained and reciprocated Gentile’s esteem, a circumstance that led him to pursue peace and reconciliation among Italy’s many schools of thought. He found support for this pursuit in the ideas of Antonio Gramsci, who was a great source of inspiration once his works began surfacing in the post–World War II period.

General Overviews

In the early 21st century, intellectual historians have turned to the life and work of Eugenio Garin, a critical eyewitness of 20th-century Italian intellectual vicissitudes, for answers to questions about how to interpret Italy’s not-so-distant past. Ciliberto 2011 emphasizes that to contextualize Garin’s scholarship properly would necessitate a wider reconstruction of his generation: those who were born in the first decade of the 20th century, were raised during the Fascist ventennio, and came of age in the immediate post–World War II period. If this is a collaborative challenge that will take many years to fulfill, we now have enough to orient ourselves in the vast sea of Garin’s publications, starting with the Bibliografia degli scritti di Eugenio Garin, a complete bibliography that covers his seventy-year career (and his 1,366 publications!). Catanorchi and Lepri 2011, with Torrini 2009, provides an introduction to the many sources and intellectual conversations attending to Garin’s ideas as a Renaissance scholar, while Audisio and Savorelli 2003 and Cambi 1992 introduce Garin’s methodology and the historiographical legacy he left behind. Meanwhile Celenza 2004 and Rubini 2014 address the difficulty of “culturally translating” Garin for an anglophone readership. Celenza 2004, which is concerned with accounting for the origins of the field of Renaissance studies and assessing the difficulties facing it in the early 21st century, offers an insightful comparison of Garin and his main rival, Paul Oskar Kristeller, a German Jewish émigré and doyen of Renaissance studies in the United States. Rubini 2014 relies on Garin’s scholarship to reconstruct the path of Italian thought since the 19th century, reintegrating Garin into that story as the last thinker in a tradition that self-consciously and continually looked to the Renaissance for inspiration.

  • Audisio, Felicita, and Alessandro Savorelli, eds. Eugenio Garin: Il percorso storiografico di un maestro del Novecento; Giornata di studio, Prato, Biblioteca Roncioniana, 4 maggio 2002. Florence: Le Lettere, 2003.

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    A number of authoritative Italian scholars assess Garin’s methodology and varied contributions to intellectual history.

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  • Bibliografia degli scritti di Eugenio Garin: 1929–1999. Rome: Laterza, 1999.

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    Indispensable tool for navigating Garin’s 1,366 publications, including hundreds of important book reviews that would merit being collected in a single volume.

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  • Cambi, Franco, ed. Tra scienza e storia: Percorsi del neostoricismo italiano; Eugenio Garin, Paolo Rossi e Sergio Moravia. Testi e Studi 101. Milan: Edizioni Unicopli, 1992.

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    This book reviews Garin’s work and method as representing the beginning of a new school of historiography in the Italian academy.

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  • Catanorchi, Olivia, and Valentina Lepri, eds. Eugenio Garin: Dal Rinascimento all’Illuminismo; Atti del convegno, Firenze, 6–8 marzo 2009. Papers presented at a conference held on 6–8 March 2009 in Florence. Storia e Letteratura 269. Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2011.

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    Collects twenty-two proceedings of a conference held in Florence in 2009 on the 100th anniversary of Garin’s birth. The most comprehensive survey of Garin’s work to date, it includes assessments of Garin’s analyses of favorite sources (Leon Battista Alberti, Marsilio Ficino, Giordana Bruno, Galileo Galilei, René Descartes, Giambattista Vico, and others) and his relationships to his intellectual models (e.g., Jacob Burckhardt, Wilhelm Dilthey, Konrad Burdach, Benedetto Croce, Antonio Gramsci, Étienne Gilson).

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  • Celenza, Christopher S. The Lost Italian Renaissance: Humanists, Historians, and Latin’s Legacy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.

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    Chapter 2 of this book provides a contextualization and comparative assessment of Garin’s Renaissance scholarship vis-à-vis that of his main rival in the field, Paul Oskar Kristeller.

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  • Ciliberto, Michele. Eugenio Garin: Un intellettuale del Novecento. Biblioteca di Cultura Moderna 1213. Rome: Laterza, 2011.

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    Ciliberto reviews Garin’s long career, arguing that an existential religiosity lay at the heart of Garin’s scholarly approach in his earlier years.

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  • Rubini, Rocco. The Other Renaissance: Italian Humanism between Hegel and Heidegger. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014.

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    Chapter 4 of this book introduces Garin as the last Italian philosopher in a tradition that self-consciously harks back to the Risorgimento and from there, via identification, to the Renaissance period.

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  • Torrini, Maurizio, ed. Special Issue: Garin e il Novecento. Giornale Critico della Filosofia Italiana 88.2 (2009).

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    A special issue devoted to Garin, who was editor in chief of the Giornale Critico between 1980 and 2004. The issue includes articles on Garin’s interpretation of fascism, Croce, Giovanni Gentile, and Ernst Cassirer.

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Edited Volumes

Eugenio Garin took pride in the activity that occupied him for most of his life: recovering, editing, translating, and commenting on quattrocento sources. These efforts, an integral part of Garin’s scholarly deontology, have unfortunately received far less attention than his extraordinary output of original research; what is worse, they have often been taken for granted. Garin produced reliable editions of his beloved sources in the original Latin, including De hominis dignitate; Heptaplus; De ente et uno; E scritti vari, an anthology of works by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Pico della Mirandola 1942), and De nobilitate legum et medicinae: De verecundia, an important work by Coluccio Salutati (Salutati 1947). What excited him was the chance to popularize these austere-seeming sources. He put out a trilogy of thick anthologies of quattrocento humanistic “literature,” with facing Italian translation; then and now these are little read except by specialists. Filosofi italiani del Quattrocento (Garin 2012), as the title suggests, was meant to counter the tendency to view 15th-century humanists as mere literati, at best, or as downright pedants, and not as original thinkers in their own right. Starting with the introduction to this anthology, Garin insisted that the humanist attempt to reconnect thought and life, far from being a sterile and incompetent attack on pure philosophy, was in fact the hallmark of a new mentality. Prosatori latini del Quattrocento (Garin 1952) is another anthology collecting a copious sample of works by, largely, the same group of 15th-century thinkers, while La disputa delle arti nel Quattrocento (Garin 1947) provides exemplary, though perhaps more technical, analyses of the humanist’s professional self-consciousness and of the division of faculties and sciences. In wanting to popularize the work of the early Renaissance humanists, Garin followed in the footsteps of an earlier generation of intellectuals who sought to promote the Renaissance heritage. First among them was Giovanni Gentile, who as early as in 1902 received the commission to write the first complete history of Italian philosophy since the Renaissance. While young Gentile happily accepted, his intellectual and political ambitions kept him from bringing the work to conclusion until, some forty years later, he nominated Garin as the only person who could take on the job. Garin would always feel indebted to Gentile for this recognition, and later he would go on to collect Gentile’s scattered works on the Italian intellectual tradition in Storia della filosofia italiana (Gentile 1969) as well as Gentile’s theoretical works in Opere filosofiche (Gentile 1991).

  • Garin, Eugenio, ed. La disputa delle arti nel Quattrocento. Edizione Nazionale dei Classici del Pensiero Italiano 9. Florence: Vallecchi, 1947.

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    An anthology, with facing translations in Italian, of literature on the rivalry between different faculties and sciences in Renaissance universities.

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  • Garin, Eugenio, ed. Prosatori latini del Quattrocento. Milan: Ricciardi, 1952.

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    A pioneering anthology of 15th-century humanistic literature, with facing translations in Italian. It includes letters and works by Coluccio Salutati, Leonardo Bruni, Francesco Barbaro, Poggio Bracciolini, Leon Battista Alberti, Pius II, Cristoforo Landino, Giovanni Pontano, and others.

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  • Garin, Eugenio, ed. Filosofi italiani del Quattrocento. Temi e Testi 95. Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2012.

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    Originally published in 1942, this may very well be the first (and to this day rare if not last) comprehensive anthology of well-selected texts by 15th-century Italian “philosophers,” with facing Italian translation. Includes works by Salutati, Bruni, Bracciolini, Francesco Filelfo, Lorenzo Valla, Giannozzo Manetti, Alberti, Matteo Palmieri, Marsilio Ficino, Angelo Poliziano, and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, among others.

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  • Gentile, Giovanni. Storia della filosofia italiana. 2 vols. Edited by Eugenio Garin. Florence: Sansoni, 1969.

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    Garin collects, connects, and thoroughly introduces Gentile’s scattered works on Italian philosophy from the Renaissance to his own day. Usefully reviews in one place Gentile’s studies on the Renaissance, which went on to influence a later generation of scholars, including Garin.

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  • Gentile, Giovanni. Opere filosofiche. Edited by Eugenio Garin. Saggi Blu. Milan: Garzanti, 1991.

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    Garin’s tribute to one of the thinkers most influential to his career, a thoroughly introduced collection of Gentile’s philosophical works, arranged to highlight the evolution of his thought. It includes Gentile’s major theoretical work, A General Theory of Spirit as Pure Act, first published in 1916 (pp. 455–682).

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  • Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni. De hominis dignitate; Heptaplus; De ente et uno; E scritti vari. Edited by Eugenio Garin. Edizione Nazionale dei Classici del Pensiero Italiano 1. Florence: Vallecchi, 1942.

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    Commissioned by Enrico Castelli for a national edition of prominent Italian thinkers, this is the first installment in a projected edition of the complete works of Pico to accompany Garin’s monograph (published in 1937) on the same thinker.

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  • Salutati, Coluccio. De nobilitate legum et medicinae: De verecundia. Edited by Eugenio Garin. Edizione Nazionale dei Classici del Pensiero Italiano 8. Florence: Vallecchi, 1947.

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    Another volume commissioned by Enrico Castelli for a national edition of Italian thinkers. Salutati, the chancellor of Florence, was best suited in the immediate postwar period to ring in a new, republican era in Italian history.

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Published Archival Materials and Interviews

Garin’s Nachlass at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa contains hundreds of correspondences that shed light on Italian intellectual life of the 20th century. With the expectation that more of these materials will be published in future years, for now there is Ludovico Limentani a Eugenio Garin (Torrini 2007), an edition of the letters between a young Garin and his beloved teacher and mentor, Limentani, a late positivist who, as Garin saw it, sustained the legacy and philological rigor of late-19th-century Renaissance scholars such as Felice Tocco, Pasquale Villari, and Francesco Fiorentino at the University of Florence, as a counter to the philosophical trends and ambitions of the neo-idealist wave led by Benedetto Croce and Giovanni Gentile. Yet, the hallmark of Garin’s scholarship and career was that he renegotiated the terms by which philology (positivism) and philosophy (idealism) could coexist; this was eventually appreciated by Gentile, whose correspondence with a young Garin was published in Bassi 2013, which also contains Garin’s correspondence with Giovanni Papini, who directed the Centro Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento and its mouthpiece journal, La Rinascita, to which Garin contributed. Garin’s contribution to the difficult work of salvaging and contextualizing the idealist legacy in the post–World War II period is documented in Garin and Spirito 2014, an edition of correspondence with Ugo Spirito, arguably Gentile’s most beloved student and his earliest and most incisive critic. (Spirito also preceded Garin as editor in chief of the Giornale Critico della Filosofia Italiana, the journal founded by Gentile in 1920 after terminating a long-lasting intellectual collaboration and partnership with Benedetto Croce on La Critica.) The stance and self-prescribed mission of many younger intellectuals who came of age in the immediate postwar period reflected their assimilation or rejection of the “culture” they were exposed to during the Fascist regime, a stance on which Garin reflects in Colloqui con Eugenio Garin (Cassigoli 2000) and Intervista sull’intellettuale (Garin 1997). Whether such a “culture” existed is what is at stake in the private (and public) debate between Garin and another towering intellectual of his generation, Norberto Bobbio, a sample of which is now collected in Bobbio and Garin 2011.

  • Bassi, Simonetta, ed. Immagini del Rinascimento: Garin, Gentile, Papini. Storia e Letteratura 284. Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2013.

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    Garin’s correspondence with two leading intellectuals of the time, who occasionally served as mentors. Documents Garin’s first steps as a Renaissance scholar.

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  • Bobbio, Norberto, and Eugenio Garin. Della stessa leva: Lettere (1942–1999). Edited by Tiziana Provvidera and Oreste Trabucco. Biblioteca Aragno. Savigliano, Italy: Aragno, 2011.

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    The correspondence between two major Italian intellectuals of their generation (they share the same birth and death years), careful critics of the 20th-century intellectual life to which they belonged, including fascism. Includes articles and reviews that each devoted to the other’s work.

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  • Cassigoli, Renzo, ed. Colloqui con Eugenio Garin: Un intellettuale del Novecento. Contrappunto 9. Florence: Le Lettere, 2000.

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    In this interview Garin provides his eyewitness account of the many intellectual evolutions of the 20th century.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Intervista sull’intellettuale. Edited by Mario Ajello. Saggi Tascabili Laterza 208. Rome: Laterza, 1997.

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    Another interview in which Garin reviews and contextualizes his achievements within the intellectual world he was surrounded by and helped bring into being.

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  • Garin, Eugenio, and Ugo Spirito. Carteggio 1942–1978. Edited by Michele Lodone. Carteggi 1. Pisa, Italy: Edizioni della Normale, 2014.

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    A generation older than Garin, Spirito was one of Gentile’s most beloved students and managed Gentile’s legacy after World War II alongside Garin.

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  • Torrini, Maurizio, ed. Ludovico Limentani a Eugenio Garin: Lettere di Ludovico, Adele Limentani e altri a Eugenio e Maria Garin. Naples, Italy: Bibliopolis, 2007.

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    Collects the letters that Garin received from his most beloved teacher and mentor, Ludovico Limentani.

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Renaissance and the Enlightenment

The Renaissance and the Enlightenment were epochal events of the kind that most attracted Eugenio Garin. Outside Italy, Garin is principally known as a Renaissance scholar, but in fact he began his career as a student of the English Enlightenment. He “converted” (the expression is his) to Renaissance studies after finding in the English Enlightenment traces of Renaissance Platonism. The intellectual affinity (not necessarily a progressive continuity) that Garin posited between the two epochs in, for example, Dal Rinascimento all’Illuminismo (Garin 1993) and Rinascite e rivoluzioni: Movimenti culturali dal XIV and XVIII secolo (Garin 2007), was already in place in his first book, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola: Vita e dottrina (Garin 2011), a groundbreaking monograph on Pico that appeared alongside several studies of the British moralists, collected in Garin 1942. In both cases Garin draws attention to a kind of thought that does not see itself as definitive at any given time and that is not detached from worldly concerns. In the studies collected in La cultura filosofica del Rinascimento italiano (Garin 2001) and L’educazione in Europa: 1400/1600 (Garin 1976), Garin’s “humanism” clearly emerges as an enduring philosophical movement marked by philological, historiographical, pedagogical, and civic interests, and as being grounded in an alternative historical mentality that stands in contrast to rigorous but sterile and often-pedantic scholarship. Garin 2009, a two-volume collection of essays from different phases in his career, amply documents Garin’s coherent but by no means tidy development as a Renaissance scholar, from his early existentialism to the spirited Gramscianism informing his scholarship in the post–World War II period.

  • Garin, Eugenio. L’illuminismo inglese: I moralisti. Storia Universale della Filosofia 51. Milan: Fratelli Bocca, 1942.

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    Few know that Garin began his academic career as a student of the English Enlightenment. This book revises and collects Garin’s many publications on the subject in the years 1929–1938. It includes chapters on Lord Shaftesbury, Francis Hutcheson, Samuel Clarke, Bernard Mandeville, Joseph Butler, and others.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. L’educazione in Europa: 1400/1600; Problemi e programmi. Universale Laterza 359. Bari, Italy: Laterza, 1976.

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    Originally published in 1957, a pioneering study of Renaissance education and universities.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Dal Rinascimento all’Illuminismo: Studi e ricerche. 2d ed. Florence: Le Lettere, 1993.

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    Originally published in 1970 (Pisa, Italy: Nistri-Lischi), collects previously published studies on the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, highlighting their affinities rather than arguing for an artificial continuity between the two epochs.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. La cultura filosofica del Rinascimento italiano: Ricerche e documenti. 2d ed. Tascabili Bompiani 34. Milan: Bompiani, 2001.

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    Originally published in 1961 (Florence: Sansoni), an important collection of miscellaneous works on quattrocento culture and its distinguished protagonists, such as Coluccio Salutati, Bartolomeo Scala, Enea Silvio Piccolomini, and Marsilio Ficino’s circle.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Rinascite e rivoluzioni: Movimenti culturali dal XIV al XVIII secolo. New ed. Biblioteca Universale Laterza 604. Rome: Laterza, 2007.

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    Originally published in 1975, another collection of previously published studies on the Renaissance and its legacy in succeeding epochs.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Interpretazioni del Rinascimento. 2 vols. Edited by Michele Ciliberto. Storia e Letteratura 250. Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2009.

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    Brings together previously uncollected seminal essays on the Renaissance, divided into three periods (1938–1947, 1950–1965, 1970–1990) to enable readers to follow the development of Garin’s thought and scholarship “existentially.”

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Giovanni Pico della Mirandola: Vita e dottrina. Uomini e Dottrine 5. Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2011.

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    Originally published in 1937 (Florence: Le Monnier), this book is one of the first comprehensive monographs on Pico, and Garin’s first publication on a Renaissance subject. It put a young Garin on the map, drawing the attention of such distinguished readers as Ernst Cassirer and Giovanni Gentile.

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Renaissance in English Translation

Internationally, Eugenio Garin owes his fame to his Renaissance scholarship, and most of the few translations of his work are in this field, starting with Italian Humanism (Garin 1965), perhaps his best-known work. Ostensibly a survey of Renaissance Latin culture, commissioned by his friend and colleague Ernesto Grassi for a German audience, this was Garin’s manifesto for a civic and philosophical interpretation of Italian Renaissance humanism, an argument he also articulated in “Humanism and Civic Life” (Garin 2014a) Italian Humanism was first published in Germany in 1947 to accompany another momentous publication, Martin Heidegger’s Letter on “Humanism,” and was intended by Grassi to promote “existential humanism,” or an existential reading of that movement. Furthermore, as Garin explains in “Which ‘Humanism’? (Historical Digressions)” (Garin 2014b), his work contradicted the antihumanistic stance of Heidegger and, in its later Italian and English versions, was read as a rejoinder to Paul Oskar Kristeller, whose manifesto on humanism, “Humanism and Scholasticism in the Italian Renaissance,” had been published in 1946. The intellectual history that is emerging will help illuminate Garin’s discrete studies of other topics, such as the broader Renaissance, Renaissance astrology, and the lives of the early humanists, to be found, respectively, in Garin 1969, Garin 1983, and Garin 1972.

  • Garin, Eugenio. Italian Humanism: Philosophy and Civic Life in the Renaissance. Translated by Peter Munz. New York: Harper & Row, 1965.

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    The English translation of a commissioned survey of quattrocento thought, first published in German translation in 1947 as Der italienische Humanismus. It is Garin’s best-known work and is usually read as a manifesto of his beliefs about the “civic” and “philosophical” value of 15th-century humanism.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Science and Civic Life in the Italian Renaissance. Translated by Peter Munz. Doubleday Anchor Books A647. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1969.

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    Translates and collects chapters from works published in 1961 and 1965, including “Interpretations of the Renaissance” (pp. 1–20) and essays on Leonardo and Galileo.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Portraits from the Quattrocento. Translated by Victor A. Velen and Elizabeth Velen. New York: Harper & Row, 1972.

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    Brings together nine “portraits” of Coluccio Salutati, Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, Donato Acciaiuoli, Paolo Toscanelli, Marsilio Ficino, Savonarola, and others, drawn from various public addresses originally collected as Ritratti di umanisti (Florence: Sansoni, 1967).

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Astrology in the Renaissance: The Zodiac of Life. Translated by Carolyn Jackson and June Allen. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983.

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    Translates Lo zodiaco della vita: La polemica sull’astrologia dal Trecento al Cinquecento, a collection of lectures given at the Collège de France concerning the Renaissance debate about astrology. Figures treated include Gemistus Pletho, Ficino, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, and Pietro Pomponazzi.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. “Humanism and Civic Life.” In The Renaissance from an Italian Perspective: An Anthology of Essays, 1860–1968. Edited by Rocco Rubini, 201–214. Translated by Delia Casa. Portico 166. Ravenna, Italy: Longo Editore, 2014a.

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    Translation of “Umanesimo e vita civile,” a programmatic essay originally published in 1947. At a time when Italy was turning toward democracy, Garin directed his philological rigor toward little-known quattrocento sources in order to emphasize the “civic” principles at their core.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. “Which ‘Humanism’? (Historical Digressions).” In The Renaissance from an Italian Perspective: An Anthology of Essays, 1860–1968. Edited by Rocco Rubini, 225–234. Translated by Miriam Aloisio and Elizabeth Webber Porretto. Portico 166. Ravenna, Italy: Longo Editore, 2014b.

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    Originally published in French in 1968, at the height of student protests in Europe, “Quel ‘humanisme’? (Variations historiques)” is Garin’s eyewitness account of the arrival of modern theory and the “antihumanism” that accompanied it, a circumstance he traces back to the debate over “humanism” between Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger.

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Modern Italian Intellectual History and Histories of Philosophy

Internationally known as one of the foremost scholars of Renaissance thought and culture of the 20th century, in Italy Garin stands equally tall for his studies of 19th- and 20th-century Italian intellectual life, including, for example, La cultura italiana tra ’800 e ’900 (Garin 1976), Intellettuali italiani del XX secolo (Garin 1987), and Editori italiani tra ’800 e ’900 (Garin 1991). Having been a young but precocious eyewitness to the interwar period, Garin was arguably the first to tackle the philosophical and intellectual legacy of the early 20th century in a systematic way, linking it back to the Risorgimento and to the postunification culture of the 19th century as well as to the Fascist ventennio that led into World War II. Garin’s distinctive contribution when he turned to the then-recent past as an object of study in the immediate postwar period (that is, in times of reckoning) was to eschew historiographical oversimplification and facile adjudication. This is most evident in Garin’s controversial Cronache di filosofia italiana (Garin 1997a), probably his best-known work in Italy, which set out to “chronicle” the then-recent past and offer students and younger generations of scholars some guideposts for the huge quantity of names and books that would inevitably come to populate the true histories of the future. In this sense, Garin was never the disinterested historian, nor did he pose as one; rather, as attested by his most if not only theoretical work, La filosofia come sapere storico (Garin 1990), his scholarship was often self-consciously “autobiographical” and promoted a kind of methodological empathy on the historian’s behalf. As the studies collected in Garin 1997b reveal, Antonio Gramsci, whose writings were uncovered piecemeal starting in 1947, strongly influenced Garin’s attempt to rewrite then-recent intellectual history in such a way that the voices of perceived “losers” would be heard alongside those of the mainstream. A staple of Garin’s methodology, finally, was to contextualize issues across the long term, a tactic he honed early on when he was commissioned to produce two comprehensive, multivolume histories of thought. Anglophone readers have often read Garin’s life and scholarship out of historical and bio-bibliographical context, but the reprint of Storia della filosofia (Garin 2011) and, especially, the translation of his massive History of Italian Philosophy (Garin 2008) goes some way toward filling that gap.

  • Garin, Eugenio. La cultura italiana tra ’800 e ’900. Universale Laterza 374. Rome: Laterza, 1976.

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    Collects studies on the legacy of 19th-century (or Risorgimento) culture for subsequent epochs in Italian intellectual history.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Intellettuali italiani del XX secolo. New ed. Nuova Biblioteca di Cultura 285. Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1987.

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    Collects previously published assessments of major 20th-century Italian intellectuals: Benedetto Croce, Guido De Ruggiero, Ernesto Codignola, Delio Cantimori, Antonio Gramsci, and others.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. La filosofia come sapere storico: Con un saggio autobiografico. Saggittari Laterza 37. Rome: Laterza, 1990.

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    Originally published in 1959, collects Garin’s few but important “theoretical” essays, on the task of the history of philosophy and the nature of philosophy itself. This edition includes an important autobiographical essay.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Editori italiani tra ’800 e ’900. Biblioteca di Cultura Moderna 1000. Rome: Laterza, 1991.

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    Collects Garin’s essays on the Italian publishing industry from the Renaissance to the 20th century, including Laterza.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Cronache di filosofia italiana: 1900–1960. 2 vols. Economica Laterza 101. Bari, Italy: Laterza, 1997a.

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    Garin’s pioneering, controversial, and still-unmatched survey (originally published in 1955) of Italian intellectual life in the first half of the 20th century.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Con Gramsci. Nuova Biblioteca di Cultura. Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1997b.

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    Usefully collects Garin’s many writings on one of his intellectual heroes, Antonio Gramsci. It includes the revised version of the keynote speech that Palmiro Togliatti invited Garin to give at the first postwar conference dedicated to Gramsci.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. History of Italian Philosophy. 2 vols. Edited and translated by Giorgio Pinton. Values in Italian Philosophy 191. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2008.

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    English translation of Storia della filosofia italiana, a massive history commissioned by Giovanni Gentile (who could not himself attend to it), first published in 1947 and expanded in 1966 and 1978. This edition includes an introduction by Leon Pompa that attempts to culturally translate Garin for an anglophone readership, and an extra chapter, penned by the editor, that contextualizes Garin’s work within modern Italian philosophy.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Storia della filosofia. New ed. Letture di Pensiero e d’Arte 18. Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2011.

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    Commissioned by editor Enrico Vallecchi for a wider acculturation of the Italian people, and originally published in 1945 (Florence: Vallecchi Editore), this study surveys the history of philosophy from the Presocratics to the early 21st century. The last two chapters, dedicated to Italian philosophy and to existentialism, respectively, are particularly important for an assessment of the young Garin’s philosophical inspirations.

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