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Thus Spoke the “Wise Fitagora”: Fishing and Humanist “Conversations”

Morana Čale ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 196 Kb

str. 17-39

preuzimanja: 446



On a long list of mystifying advice for wise living dispensed by the fisherman Paskoj in Ribanje i ribarsko prigovaranje (Fishing and Fishermen’s Talk) and contributed verbatim to Pythagoras (cf. Ribanje …, 1045-1064), Nestor Petrovski in 1901 discerns the so-called Pythagorean symbols taken from Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius. The humanist knowledge of the simple fictional fishermen typifies an ingenious device that Hektorović uses to ascribe to the characters of simple folks a manner of speech resounding with erudite quotations, as was established in literary history by Petrovski and Johanna Teutschmann (1971). In the article that idiosyncrasy of the text is considered in the context of the habitual tendency of Hektorović’s scholars, disputed by Tomislav Bogdan (2015, 2017), to consider Fishing as a realistic travelogue, citing the famous part of the epistle to Pelegrinović in which Hektorović claims that all words in his work are truthful. Rather, the essay proposed that Hektorović’s concept of truthfulness be understood as the admission of citationality, and the epic poem as a puzzle of sorts for the reader. In the remainder, it is considered how Fishing manifests great admiration for the aforementioned symbols among Italian and European humanists and an emphatic tendency towards paremiology and gnomic forms in general, thus expanding on the insights by Petrovski and Teutschmann. Special consideration is given to Hektorović’s pointing to humanist virtues, above all mediocritas and concinnitas. Among the works by his many predecessors who delved into Pythagoras’s symbols and the Pythagorean tradition, the article aligns Hektorović’s text with those of the composition Convelata from the collection Intercoenales by Leon Battista Alberti, Alberti’s dialogues De familia and De iciarichia and his dissertation De re aedificatoria, as well as Erasmus’s Adagia. It is finally proposed that in the construction of his text, its plot and characters, Hektorović relied on yet another Pythagorean apocrypha, Carmina aurea (The Golden Verses), circulated in Europe thanks to Aurispa’s translation (in 1447) of the commentaries of the aforementioned composition created in the 5th c. by the neo-Platonist Hierocles of Alexandria.

Ključne riječi

Petar Hektorović; Ribanje i ribarsko prigovaranje (Fishing and Fishermen’s Talk); Pythagoras and the Pythagorean tradition; neo-Platonism; Pythagorean symbols (akousmata); Carmina aurea (The Golden Verses); citation; Leon Battista Alberti; Erasmus of Rotterdam; mediocritas; concinnitas

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