Lorenzo Valla

Picture of Lorenzo Valla

Date of Birth: 1407

Age: 50

Citizenship: Italy


Here he creates a treatise on the true and false welfare (De vero falsoque bono), published under the title On the pleasure (De voluptate). In 1433 Valla criticized contemporary jurisprudence, which led to violent attacks on themselves, as a result of which was forced to leave Pavia.

Unsuccessfully trying to find a place in various cities in Italy, Valla in 1435 moved to Naples, where he became secretary of King Alfonso of Aragon. Courtyard King was famous as the fact that it was visited by famous thinkers of the time, and the fact that there reigned reaching to promiscuity freedom of manners. Subsequently Vallat noted that his way of life at that time was not morally perfect. Nevertheless, in these years, he creates most polemical works that brought him fame: About free will (De libero arbitrio, 1439), devoted to criticism of medieval views on free will and the role of Providence; Dialectics (Dialecticae disputationes, 1439), which have been criticized scholastic logic and dialectics, based on the teachings of Aristotle, and attempted purification by Latin barbarisms; ends of elegance (of the beauty of the Latin language, De elegantia linguae latinae, 1442), laid the foundations of the scientific history of the Latin language. During these years he wrote a sharp anti-clerical work - About vows (De professione religiosorum, 1442, published only in 1869), which criticizes the monk, iRassuzhdeniya of spuriousness so-called Endowment letters Constantine (Declamazioine contro la donazione di Constantino, 1440) . Philological analysis of this famous document, lying as it was considered the basis of the temporal power of the Pope, gave Bilhah to conclude its spuriousness. Critical views of Bilhah gave rise to the charge of heresy. In 1444 he began the procedure of bringing to justice of the Inquisition, and only the intercession of the King of Naples Alfonso of Aragon freed him from liability. As written in 1445 Apology, addressed to Pope Eugene IV, (Apologia ad Eugenio IV) Valla develops his views on monasticism and ecclesiastical authority. By this time, and the final version of the dialogue on the true and false goods (1447), in which the debate over the Stoic, Epicurean and Christian Valla gives his view of the highest good, which is a synthesis of the prepared epicurean teachings and Christianity. Soon Valla create a story of King Ferdinand of Aragon (Historiae Ferdinandi regis Aragoniae, 1445-1446).

In 1448, after the election of Pope Nicholas the V, a fan of Renaissance culture and a patron of humanists, Valla moved to Rome, where he received the post of first scribe, and soon the apostolic secretary. On the instructions of the Pope Valla translating from Greek a number of classical authors. At the same time he teaches rhetoric, the comments of ancient authors and works on writing critical textual commentary on the New Testament (In novum Testamentum ex diversorum in utriusque linguae codicum collatione adnotationes). Valla wrote several theological works, creates a private school of rhetoric, teaches at the University of Rome.

His critical works Valla made a significant contribution to the rethinking of the medieval world and the creation of prerequisites for the new European knowledge and consciousness. In his works, he embodied the ideal of a free thinker, whose main authority is its own intelligence, creativity and stimulus - curiosity restless mind. Criticism of Bilhah was an expression of his inner dignity and autonomy of the spirit. For this he had to pay a high price. Neither conservatives church traditions or humanistic circle makers do not forgive him militant intellectual non-conformism. Most likely, Valla was indeed audacious, arrogant, arrogant, and Italian humanist Bartolomeo Fazio (the author of essays about famous people, d. 1457) and Poggio Bracciolini (writer and collector of ancient manuscripts, 1380-1459), not too exaggerated, reproaching it at that. However, from the works of the Valley, especially of Apology, it clearly follows that it is not his own person, and the truth and the only truth is excited him more than anything, and in the search for truth, in the education of young people and educating those to whom it is possible to reach, seen Valla their duty and mission in life.

Valla is a true representative of the age of Humanism. Philology proves he is not just a subject of scientific studies, but also a powerful research method. It is thanks to philological analysis is critical semantic reconstruction of the text, he was able to advance in the understanding of classical legal texts, and understanding of the New Testament, and in the analysis of the urgent philosophical, social, philosophical and logical problems.

Much of the credit Bilhah consisted in the rehabilitation of the name and teachings of Epicurus. It was not the first to make a step towards the return of Epicureanism in the range of philosophical discussion, but his contribution was fundamental. Based on the teachings of Epicurus, Valla formulated the criterion of morality, clearly linking it with the good of the individual. Everyone should own good; individual task is to properly understand what his true good. The good man is a life free from suffering and anxiety, and a source of enjoyment is the love of others. Virtue is the ability to properly understand their human interest and to carry out a proper choice between smaller and larger good. Although pleasure is love, love affair in the interpretation of Bilhah turn into mutually beneficial relationships. So, based on the ideas of Epicurus and criticizing the views of Aristotle and the Stoics, but indirectly and Christianity, Valla approves new ethics - ethics of self-interest.