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Author Topic: THE RENAISSANCE  (Read 4147 times)
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« Reply #90 on: October 17, 2008, 08:28:45 pm »

The intricate relationship between the clauses and the setting up and resolving of suspense ("unless . . . I would rather . . . because") are both hallmarks of what Michael Baxandall has called
"one of [humanists'] most anti-popular interests."16

Regiomontanus was clearly aiming to impress his audience with his oratorical prowess.

Of course, the oration itself is a genre that is closely associated with humanism, and Regiomontanus's oration, praising the mathematical arts [End Page 45] and their practitioners, falls firmly into that most humanist genre of oration, epideictic.17 Indeed, it is a member of a specific sub-category of epideictic rhetoric, the oration in praise of the arts (or an art).

A number of such orations survive, and many of them were given on the same occasion on which Regiomontanus gives his: the inauguration of a course of lectures.18

The conventions that Regiomontanus follows in praising mathematicians are largely those followed by his contemporaries. For example, Lorenzo Valla in his encomium of St. Thomas Aquinas compares Thomas to St. Dominic:   
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