The beginning of Reformation after the «History of Italy» of Francesco Guicciardini

Youssim, M. A.
Nachalo Reformatsii po «Istorii Italii» F. Gvichchardini [The beginning of Reformation after the «History of Italy» of Francesco Guicciardini], in: Proslogion: Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Social History and Culture. 2017. Vol. 3 (2). P. 109124.

Mark Arkav’evich Youssim, doctor of History, scientific researcher, Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Department of the Western European Middle Ages and Early New Age (119334, Moskva, Rossiya, Leninsky Prospekt, 32a)

Language: Russian

In this article the chapters from the «History of Italy» of Francesco Guicciardini dealing with the initial stage of Reformation are considered. The attitude of the Florentine historian and politician toward the appearance of Luther and toward his followers was ambivalent. Just as N. Machiavelli, Guicciardini regarded the observance of religious cult as one of pillars of society and a condition for maintaining moral health in it, but in the matter of faith revealed skepticism. Notwithstanding to his years-long service for the pope Guicciardini is extremely critical in his judgements on the Roman Curia. The propagation of Lutheran doctrine he explains in purely political reasons: weakening of supreme power and a pause in Italian Wars which distracted peoples from corresponding cares. The author of «History of Italy» blames the Pope’s shortsightedness and awkward policy which did not permit to suppress the distress in the bud. The main fault for the diffusion of the heresy he puts on German princes who took advantage of it. Guicciardini, like other figures of the late Renaissance, for example, cardinal G. Contarini, sympathizes with the ideas of renovation expressed by Luther. However, for Italians the universal Catholic Church was at the same time national, that’s why they refused every reform implying rejecting and diminishing the power of Rome.

Key Words: Guicciardini, «History of Italy», Luther, Reformation, Renaissance, papacy, Savonarola, G. Contarini


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