Italian priest, humanist, rhetorician and orator Lorenzo Valla circulated in manuscript De falso credita et ementita Constantini Donatione declamatio, proving on. Lorenzo Valla () was the leading theorist of the Renaissance humanist movement. In On the Donation of Constantine he uses new philological. Lorenzo Valla () was the most important theorist of the humanist movement. His most famous work is On the Donation of Constantine, an oration in.

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Here for the first time vaalla the Renaissance the ideas of Epicurus found deliberate and positive expression in a work of scholarly and philosophical value.

Views Read Edit View history. University of Chicago Press. This donstantine did aroundwhile working for King Alfonso of Aragon, Sicily and Naples, who was attempting to make claims to various parts of Italy.

Discoveries of archaeological and literary material demonstrated that the conclusions reached were incorrect.

The Discovery of Time Phoenix ed. Valla believed the forgery to donatikn so obvious that he leaned toward believing that the Church had knowledge that the document was inauthentic. But perhaps his scribe did? The earliest extant manuscript of the Donation, from the 9th century, was inserted into the collection known as the False Decretals.

During the Middle Agesthe Donation was widely accepted as authentic, although the Emperor Otto III did possibly raise suspicions of the document “in letters of gold” as a forgery, in making a gift to donatiob See of Rome. Difficult to explain except by supposing an otherwise unrecorded province of that name including Byzantium.

Lorenzo Valla

Contemporary opponents of papal powers in Italy emphasized the primacy of civil law and civil jurisdiction, now firmly embodied once again in the Justinian Corpus Juris Civilis. The Florentine chronicler Giovanni Cavalcanti reported that, in the very year of Valla’s treatise, Filippo Maria ViscontiDuke of Milan, made diplomatic overtures toward Cosimo de’ Medici in Florence, proposing an alliance against the Pope. From Peter to the Present. The Donation does not fit into the historical record of the 4th century, but does show features consist with being a later forgery.


On the Donation of Constantine

Ultimately Valla entered Papal service himself. This was thought to be a major improvement in style and elegance in Latin usage. The bulls of Nicholas V and his successors made no further mention of the Donationeven when partitioning the New World. Constantine then declares the importance of Rome to the church because it is the city of the apostles Peter and Paul. Valla went on to be conztantine troublesome regarding ideas. He wanted wholesale translations of Greek works, pagan as well as Christian, into Latin.

It breaks the thread of lkrenzo narrative and is contradicted by other parts of the Decretum. Doubts about the document, however, were voiced about the year by Otto III and his supporters. Valla’s protector, King Alfonso, was also under attack for his opinions on theological vallw, including denying that the Apostles’ Creed was composed in succession by each of the twelve Apostles.

The traditional Christian view was Plato’s: Nor can I be persuaded that these writers were other than either infidels, who did this to deride the Christians in case these bits of fiction handed out by crafty men to the ignorant should be accepted as true, or else believers with a zeal for God, to be sure, but not according to knowledge, men who did not shrink from writing shameless accounts not only of the acts of the saints but even of the mother of God, and indeed of Christ himself, nor from writing pseudo-gospels.

This work subjected the forms of Latin grammar and the rules of Latin style and rhetoric to a critical examination, and placed the practice of composition upon a foundation of analysis and inductive reasoning. Fortunately, an English translation is available with parallel Latin text, and a useful introduction. Valla further argued that papal usurpation of temporal power had corrupted the church, caused the wars of Italy, and reinforced the “overbearing, barbarous, tyrannical priestly domination.


The Donation of Constantine and the critique of Lorenzo Valla

Among the indications that the Donation must be a fake are its language and the fact that, while certain imperial-era formulas donaiton used in the text, some of the Latin in the document could not odnation been written in the 4th century; anachronistic terms such as ” fief ” were used. Internet URLs are the best. Valla’s case was so convincingly argued that it still stands today, and the illegitimacy of the Donation of Constantine is generally conceded. Instead of SPQR, the people are referred to as ‘people subject’.

The Donation places ‘satraps’ as the first of Constantine’s nobles. He argued that the practice of penance rested on Jerome’s use of the Latin word paenitenia penance for the Greek metanoiawhich he believed would have been more accurately translated as “repentance. The Donation calls itself a ‘pagina’, but this only means a ‘page’, not ‘document’ as in medieval usage.

The term ‘optimates’ is used.

Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions. Valla’s critique contains large quantites of objective points, which bear out his assessement. Nor do the Acts of St. The evidence shows that Constantine was still ruling the West later than the document is galla to have been made, and does not show Sylvester doing so. Text and Translation into English.

Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. This is not an antique usage, and shows that something is wrong here.