Don isaac abravanel and leonardo bruni: A literary and philosophical confrontation

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Don Isaac Abravanel (1437-1508) was one of the first Jewish thinkers to express republican positions, yet very little is known about his knowledge of humanistic republican conceptions. Had he read Leonardo Brunis republican writings? Had he even heard of them? In this essay I attempt to address this philological gap by comparing Abravanels republican commentary on 1 Samuel 8 with Brunis Laudatio florentinae Urbis, especially the motif of the plea to God to authorize a political regime. This comparison is particularly useful for illuminating their respective positions on republicanism, their shared interests and conceptions, as well as their divergent attitudes to their own political and historical environment. This divergence, I argue, sheds light on the early modern Christian and Jewish receptions of ancient republicanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-512
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Legacy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 4 Jul 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Philosophy


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