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"Abraham, Planter of Mathematics"

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Author Topic: "Abraham, Planter of Mathematics"  (Read 462 times)
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« on: October 14, 2008, 10:21:59 pm »

Vergil launched an extremely cautious challenge: he stated that astrology was extremely venerable, not revealed, and expressed doubts regarding its utility.16 The other response to Pico lacked any moderation. It came from another individual of immaculate humanist pedigree and possessed of a firm respect for and constant attention to Josephus. However, the Dominican Giovanni Nanni, otherwise known as Annius of Viterbo, was not possessed of a scrupulous moral fiber. Rather, he was blessed with a fanatical conviction that the ancient Romans had derived from Etruscan stock, a belief he bulwarked through a series of forgeries and planted archaeological finds.17 [End Page 93]

Annius believed that the ancient Greeks had been inveterate liars, given to taking credit for arts and practices they did not invent, and guilty of corrupting arts as they inherited them. To uncover their lies, he sketched genealogies of all peoples from the Creation onward, focusing on the aftermath of the Flood. Within these he traced the histories of various arts, showing that the sciences that the Greeks claimed to have pioneered had actually been stolen from Chaldeans, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Italians, Franks, and Jews. Annius concocted these claims in the form of commentaries on a set of ancient documents that he allegedly discovered, publishing the entire package in 1498 as Vetustissimi Auctores. . . . Though the texts were denounced as shams within a decade of their publication, for the next century and more scholars treated them as providing legitimate insight into the ancient world.
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

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