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Marko Antun de Dominis vs. Faust Vrančić: From Logica (1608) to Logica nova (1616)

Ivica Martinović ; Dubrovnik, Hrvatska


To his edition of Logica nova (1616) Faust Vrančić added a special supplement entitled “Contra logicam R. D. Episcopi C[h]anadiensis ab amico amice observata.” It contains the objections of archbishop “against the logic of the bishop of Csanad friendly observed from the friend,” but also the bishop’s responses. The author of Logica is Bishop Faust Vrančić, whilst its reviewer is Archbishop Marko Antun de Dominis. The launching theme of the dispute between the Arbensis and the Sibenicensis is Vrančić’s idea to offer, within ‘logic minor,’ a model on how to shape logic by its own instruments as an independent discipline, although de Dominis’ objections place Vrančić’s attempt within a broader context – by questioning the role of logic in the development of philosophy and science in Galileo’s epoch. Considering that intellectual biographies of these two major figures have not been compiled, it was necessary to provide the groundwork, or more precisely, prepare a reference system for the study and evaluation of the philosophical debate between Faust Vrančić and Marko Antun de Dominis over the understanding of logic, method, science and philosophy in the first two decades of the seventeenth century. As a result, this contribution to the intellectual biography of Faust Vrančić describes the last three periods of his life: Roman, Barnabite and Venetian, that is, from the beginning of 1604 until his death.
According to the hitherto known sources and based on the conducted research, the genesis of the logic production by Faust Vrančić is described by the following findings:
1. In the academic year 1569‒1570, while student of logic at the University of Padua, Vrančić attended the lectures of Bernardino Petrella, who, at the time, was at the beginning of his long Paduan professorship in primo loco.
2. According to Faust Vrančić’s autobiography, composed in the third person on 15 March 1608, and included in the report of the exam of a candidate for the Barnabite order, by that date Vrančić had already published a »compendium«, most presumably no other but the compedium of logic, therefore Logica suis ipsius instrumentis formata (1608). Vrančić completed his first work in logic in Rome and printed it in Venice during his six-month Barnabite probation, which ended on 5 April 1608, as on 8 June 1608 he joined the Barnabite order.
3. According to the testimony of Alberto Fortis, Vrančić received two reviews of his Logica (1608): one was written by the Dominican Tommaso Campanella, and the other by Archbishop Marko Antun de Dominis. Fortis failed to note the date of these reviews, although he had them in his hands.
4. Vrančić parted from his fellow-citizen Ivan Tomko Mrnavić in Venice a day after he had drafted his will at the earliest, and at the latest, which may be considered most probable, at the beginning of August 1615, because Mrnavić officially filed Vrančić’s will in Šibenik on 28 August 1615.
5. According to Mrnavić’s testimony, by the end of July 1615 Vrančić had completed all preparations for the publishing of his Machinae novae. From that moment on, Vrančić was able to concentrate on his philosophical works only, notably on his Logica, which does not exclude that he may have occasionally returned to these texts at some earlier point.
6. Confronted with de Dominis’ objections, Vrančić composed two new works of logic. In the dialogue “Contra logicam R. D. Episcopi C[h]anadiensis ab amico amice observata” he compiled de Dominis’ objections and his own responses; moreover, significantly influenced by de Dominis’ objections, Vrančić thoroughly revised the text of his Logica (1608) and composed Logica nova (1616), in that the new text constitutes approximately 37 per cent of the complete text of Logica nova.
7. Upon de Dominis’ flight from Venice to England on 20 September 1616, the Sacred Congregation of the Index included two of his works in the Index librorum prohibitorum on 12 November 1616, and the Inquisition of Venice conducted a comprehensive interrogation of de Dominis’ hosts, friends and acquaintances in Venice, yet failed to interrogate Faust Vrančić.
8. When Vrančić’s Logica nova was published, it also contained the supplement “Contra logicam R. D. Episcopi C[h]anadiensis ab amico amice observata.” The identity of the reviewer Vrančić did not disclose, but introduced him as “archbishop.” This may lead to the conclusion that Logica nova was most probably published after de Dominis’ flight from Venice to England. Three dates from 1616 may serve as corroborating evidence: on 20 September de Dominis fled from Venice, while the investigation carried out by the Inquisition of Venice concerning de Dominis lasted from 17 November to 3 December 1616.
9. Five days before his death, on 15 January 1617 Vrančić dictated a codicil to his will, in which he twice mentioned his New predicaments: (a) he wished that the copies of four of his published works be laid down beside him in the coffin; (b) in the text of the epitaph to be inscribed into the tomb stone.
In addition to the research into the genesis of Vrančić’s production in logic, painstaiking efforts have been made to trace and study the sources that illuminate the epoch from the perspective of the two Croatian major figures, of course, with emphasis on Faust Vrančić because it proved that the available standard forms of Vrančić’s biography make no note of some of the pivotal events in his life, let alone provide an accurate description of the circumstances surrounding the writing of Faust Vrančić’s three works of logic. The studied sources form the following chronological order:
1. speech of Ivan Tomko Mrnavić at the funeral of Faust Vrančić on 22 February 1617;
2. testimony of Alberto Fortis on the existence of two reviews of Vrančić’s Logica (1608) within his travelogue Viaggio in Dalmazia I (1774);
3. inventory of the legacy of Faust Vrančić at the Széchényi Library in Budapest according to the written account of Martin Juraj Kovačić (1798);
4. the first biography of Faust Vrančić written by Juraj Đureković, published with the new edition of his five-language dictionary Dictionarium pentaglottum (1834);
5. privilege issued by Cosimo II Medici for the Machinae novae and the inventions of Faust Vrančić dated 16 June 1615, in the transcription by Vincenzo Miagostovich (1898);
6. three letters of thanks addressed to Faust Vrančić in 1616 for the delivered copies of his Machinae novae, in the transcription by Hugo Horwitz (1927);
7. Barnabite documents from 1608, notably Vrančić’s autobiography within Gabuzio’s report dated 15 March 1608, all documents in the transcription by Giuseppe Boffito (1937);
8. codicil attached to the will of Faust Vrančić, in the transcription by Lovorka Čoralić (1999);
9. the will of Faust Vrančić, in the transcription by Iva Kurelac (2013).
The bulk of most essential information pertaining to the period 1604‒1615 has been supplied by a source generally considered unworthy of attention – Mrnavić’s speech at the funeral of Faust Vrančić. What strikes as particularly valuable is that Mrnavić’s information corresponds with the later sources, with Kovačić’s inventory of Vrančić’s legacy and Boffito’s transcriptions of the Barnabite documents; moreover, the mentioned three sources support each other, yet each of them provides new details. Đureković and Horwitz follow in the footsteps of Kovačić, in that Đureković conceals his source, whereas Boffito, regretably, had no knowledge of Kovačić’s inventory.
Apart from Mrnavić’s speech, the autobiography of Faust Vrančić also stands out among valuable sources, written on 15 March 1608 and included in the report of the Barnabite Giovanni Antonio Gabuzio on the exam of the candidate Vrančić, which only Umberto Forti had used for research purposes before me. Vrančić’s autobiography reveals that his Logica was published before 15 March 1608 when that autobiography was recorded for official purposes. The publishing of Logica, without imprimatur, belongs to the period of Vrančić’s Barnabite probation, after which, albeit for a short while, he managed to attain his new religious identity – that of the Barnabite.
The mentioned sources help complete the mosaic of the last three periods in the life of Faust Vrančić: Roman period (1604‒1614) with the exception of the Barnabite noviciate; Barnabite period (1608‒1609), and Venetian period (1614 or 1615‒1617). On the basis of these data, it was possible to come forward with new proofs and assumptions regarding the dating of the the three works of logic of Faust Vrančić.
This has enabled a new approach to the study of the dispute between de Dominis and Faust Vrančić, in terms of both commentary to the transcription of the polemic “Contra logicam R. D. Episcopi C[h]anadiensis ab amico amice observata,” as well as the article “On de Dominis’ objections to Faust Vrančić’s Logica (1608),” which I am preparing. The new research starting-point owes much to the fact that the views of de Dominis and Vrančić ought to be evaluated with regard to two logic traditions of the Late Renaissance: Jesuit, represented by Pedro da Fonseca, Francisco de Toledo and Francisco Suárez, and Paduan, represented by Jacopo Zabarella and Bernardino Petrella. Even more sharply, our attention is caught by de Dominis’ attitude towards logical works of Francisco de Toledo on the one hand, because on his desk in Venice lay a work of logic written by that Spanish logician, and on the other hand, Vrančić’s attitude towards Bernardino Petrella, his professor of logic at the Paduan University

Ključne riječi

Faust Vrančić / Faustus Verantius, Marko Antun de Dominis / Marcus Antonius de Dominis, Bernardino Petrella, Pedro da Fonseca, Francisco de Toledo, Ivan Tomko Mrnavić, Alberto Fortis, Martin Juraj Kovačić, Juraj Đureković, Vincenzo Miagostovich, Hugo Horwitz, Giuseppe Boffito, intellectual biography, logic

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