Sperone Speroni and the Debate over Sophistry in the Italian Renaissance
Teodoro Katinis (Ghent University)
In Sperone Speroni and the Debate over Sophistry in the Italian Renaissance Teodoro Katinis
mines a number of little or unstudied primary sources and offers the first book on the rebirth of ancient sophists in the Italian literature of the 15th and 16th century, from Leonardo Bruni to Jacopo Mazzoni, with a focus on the Italian writer and philosopher Sperone Speroni (1500-1588). Katinis convincingly proves that Speroni is a unique case of early modern thinker who explicitly rejected Plato’s demonization and defended the public role of the sophistic rhetoric, which enhanced the debate over the sophistic arts and scepticism in a variety of fields and anticipated some of the most revolutionary modern thoughts.