Classical studies

As Coluccio Salutati (one of the forerunners of the new dedication to the intellectual life), wrote, in order to understand the Patristic authors, one needed a knowledge of the classics – and this was something which the scholastic period had lacked. Therefore classical studies had also to be re-enlivened. The Badia’s holdings focus on ancient history rather than  ancient literature. In this way the reader was introduced to ancient Roman history and customs, politics and society, and read the biographies of important personalities. The following three texts were considered standard for a humanist education.

Livy - Decades -front (Fies 182)

Livy - Decades
Livy was a Roman 1st century historian, whose Decades became one of the pillars of Renaissance knowledge on the ancient Roman past, concerning customs and politics.
(Fiesolano 182)

Plutarch - Vita Alexandri (Fies 185)

Plutarch - Vita Alexandri & alie vite
Alexander the Great was considered as one of the exemplary leaders of ancient Rome (Fiesolano 185)

Sallust - Catilino (Fies 181) front

Sallust - Bellum Catilinae
Sallust wrote as a Roman historian and politician several works on the politics of his time, among these the conspiracy of Catiline. This work on the moral decline of Rome was of deep interest to humanist and statesmen and their moral and political education (Fiesolano 181)

Pliny - Natural History (Fies 181)

Pliny – Epitoma Plini Secundi in historia naturali abbreviatum per dominum Ludovicum de Guastis ad illustrem principem Paulum Guinisium (Fiesole 181)
Pliny the Elder's Natural History on the set up of the natural world and its culture in an abbreviated form.