Ragionamenti della lingua toscana, dove si parla del perfetto oratore, et poeta volgari,… divisi in tre libri. Nel primo si pruova la philosophia esser necessaria allo acquistamento della rhetorica et poetica. Nel secondo si ragiona de i precetti dell’oratore. Et nel terzo, delle leggi appartenenti al poeta, et al bene scrivere, si nella prosa, come nel verso.

Autore TOMITANO, Bernardino (1517-1576).
Tipografo Giovanni Farri & fratelli
Dati tipografici Venezia, 
Prezzo Venduto/Sold
Ragionamenti della lingua toscana

8vo (152x102 mm). 439, (5) pp. With the printer's device on the title-page. Recent stiff vellum, lettering-piece on spine, inked title on lower edge. Provenance: on the title-page ownership's inscription of the humanist Alfonso Cambi Importuni (Naples, 1535-1570). Cambi collaborated with Lucantonio Ridolfi to the edition of Petrarch's Canzoniere published in Lyons in 1558; is the dedicatee of Galeazzo Florimonte's Ragionamenti sopra l'Etica di Aristotile (Venice, 1567, see below in this catalogue); was a correspondant of Annibal Caro; figures as an interlocutor in the dialogue Il Rota, ovvero Dialogo delle Imprese by Scipione Ammirato (Naples, 1562) (cf. C. Mutini, Cambi, Alfonso, in: “Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani”, vol. 17, 1974, s.v.). Some light foxing, small stain and pen tests on last leaf verso, a fresh and genuine copy.

FIRST EDITION. Bernardino Tomitano was a 24-year-old philosopher, when in 1541 he attended the ceremony during which his teacher, the famous scholar Sperone Speroni, was crowned prince of the Accademia degli Infiammati of Padua. In the two days following this event, scholars, academics, and poetry connoisseurs met at Speroni's house to discuss about literature and language. Four years later, in 1545, Tomitano published a detailed account of those literary conversations on poetics and rhetorics in his Ragionamenti della lingua Toscana (cf. M.T. Girardi, Il sapere e le lettere in Bernardino Tomitano, Milan, 1995, pp. 3-5).

“The Ragionamenti della lingua toscana of Bernardino Tomitano (1545) represents the first nearly complete ‘art of poetry' in the present series of Platonic treatises; it also represents the most eclectic and in a sense the most typical studied thus far. If one were to read the three books of the Ragionamenti in reverse order, one would find in the third all the detailed treatment of the more particular aspects of the art, a treatment resting largely on Horace's Ars poetica and on their rhetoricians but deriving certain essential ideas from Aristotle. The second book deals largely with oratory, but even here the application of oratorical principles to poetry is constantly traced and all the examples are taken from poets; once again, the classical rhetoricians provide the distinctions and the rules. But in the first book, where Tomitano wishes to lay the philosophical foundations for all the art of writing, his source his Plato. And it is Plato appealed to on a much broader basis than was done by most of Tomitano's contemporaries. For rather than begin with one of the favorite dicta…, he takes as his starting point Plato's general concept of Ideas. Like the painter, the poet and the orator attempt to represent in the medium of the arts some perfect concept or Idea… If the poet is to succeed as a poet, he must therefore be something of a philosopher so that he may know the truths which he is going to imitate. The relationship of poetry to philosophy is indeed a complicated one. The business of philosophy is the discovery of truth; the business of poetry is the imitation of truth through the medium of fictions. But poetry does not imitate all truth, nor does it serve its ultimate ends in every part of its imitation. Of its two ends, pleasure and utility, it is the latter which involves philosophy. For the utility is both moral and intellectual in character, and it is found in moral and intellectual precepts scattered throughout the work” (B. Weinberg, A History of Literary Criticism in the Italian Renaissance, Chicago, IL, 1961, pp. 264-265).

"I Ragionamenti della lingua toscana di Tomitano, [furono] pubblicati nel 1545 a Venezia. I Ragionamenti furono ristampati l'anno successivo, sostanzialmente immutati sesi eccettua l'aggiunta di una cinquantina di pagine contenenti unconfronto tra la retorica di Aristotele e quella di Cicerone. L'opera,come si dirà, sarà poi rimaneggiata molti anni dopo e pubblicatacon il titolo di Quattro libri della lingua thoscana. Si tratta in sostanzadi un trattato in forma dialogica dove si riferiscono i discorsi degliaccademici Infiammati su questioni di poetica, retorica e linguain occasione dell'elezione di Speroni. Stando ai Ragionamenti, ilnuovo principe impresse all'accademia un indirizzo piú marcatamenteumanistico: abolí le lezioni su diritto e teologia, lasciandoin vita solo quelle di filosofia, e focalizzò gli studi sulla poesia involgare, bandendo l'esegesi di testi classici” (M. Colombo, Bernardino Tomitano e i ‘Quattro libri della lingua thoscana, in: “Momenti del Petrarchismo veneto: cultura volgare e cultura classica tra Feltre e Belluno nei secoli XV-XVI, Atti del convegno di studi, Belluno-Feltre, 15-16 ottobre 2004”, P. Pellegrini, ed., Rome, 2005, p. 114; see also A. Daniele, Bernardino Tomitano: dai ‘Ragionamenti', 1545-1546 ai ‘Quattro libri della lingua thoscana, in: “Museum Patavinum”, 1/1, 1983, pp. 67-85).

Tomitano's treatise is also important for the history of music, since he tried hard to forge a link between language and sound, what possibly led to an emergent consciousness of rhetorical issues in music among Venetian musicians of the time (cf. M. Feldman, City Culture and the Madrigal at Venice, Berkeley, CA, 1995, pp. 157-158).

Bernardino Tomitano studied philosphy and medicine at the University of Padua, his hometown. In 1539 he was appointed as reader of Aristotle's Organon at the university. From then on until 1563 he always taught, but never achieved to become ordinary professor. He was a member of the Accademia degli Infiammati (cf. A. Daniele, Sperone Speroni, Bernardino Tomitano e l'Accademia degli Infiammati di Padova, in: “Filologia Veneta”, 1989, pp. 1-53) and was in close relationship with Sperone Speroni, Pietro Bembo, Jacopo Sadoleto, Paolo Giovio, Bernardo Navagero, Girolamo Fracastoro, and Aldo Manuzio, with whom he shared the same view on poetics and rhetorics. He also wrote on mathematics and cosmography. In 1563 he left Padua and moved to Venice, where he worked as doctor and published the treatise De morbo gallico (cf. M.R. Davi, Bernardino Tomitano filosofo, medico, letterato, 1517-1576, profilo biografico e critico, Trieste, 1995, passim).

Edit 16, CNCE39253; Universal STC, 859345.

  • Ragionamenti della lingua toscana
  • Ragionamenti della lingua toscana
  • Ragionamenti della lingua toscana