Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi


  • John SellarsEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_239-1


The ancient philosophy of Stoicism found both admirers and critics during the Renaissance. Early humanists such as Petrarch and Coluccio Salutati admired many aspects of Stoic philosophy, based on their reading of Cicero and Seneca. Seneca attracted much humanist attention and was the subject of biographies and commentaries. However Stoicism also had its critics, from Lorenzo Valla, adopting an Epicurean point of view, to Marsilio Ficino, defending his own Platonic position. The recovery and translation of Greek authors such as Diogenes Laertius and Epictetus expanded knowledge of the Stoa. Whereas early humanists associated Stoicism with Cicero and Seneca, later generations returned Zeno and Chrysippus to center stage. Seneca remained important, even after the correspondence with St Paul was dismissed as spurious, and attracted the attention of Erasmus, Jean Calvin, and Justus Lipsius. It was with Lipsius that the fortunes of Stoicism changed dramatically. His De constantia founded what has come to be called Neostoicism, while his two Stoic handbooks published in 1604 brought together for the first time more or less all the surviving evidence for Stoic philosophy. His contemporaries Michel de Montaigne and Guillaume Du Vair presented Stoic ideas in the vernacular and reemphasized the practical orientation of Stoicism. The early seventeenth century saw a flurry of scholarly studies by Adam Bursius, Caspar Scioppius, and Isaac Casaubon alongside those of Lipsius. Throughout the period, a continual theme was the compatibility of Stoicism with Christianity; by the end of the period, they were firmly disconnected, paving the way for eighteenth-century presentations of Stoicism as a form of materialism and atheism.


External Good Greek Text Christian Doctrine Christian Teaching Latin Source 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


Primary Literature

  1. Barzizza, Gasparino. 1977a. Commentaria super Epistolas Senece: Vita Senecae. Appendix II in Panizza 1977. Traditio 33: 342–350.Google Scholar
  2. Barzizza, Gasparino. 1977b. Comentarii in Epistolas Senece: Prohemium. Appendix III to Panizza 1977. Traditio 33: 350–357.Google Scholar
  3. Boccaccio, Giovanni. 2009. Boccaccio’s expositions on Dante’s Comedy. Trans. Michael Papio. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bramhall, John, and Thomas Hobbes. 1656. The questions concerning liberty, necessity, and chance. London: Andrew Crook.Google Scholar
  5. Bursius, Adam. 1604. Dialectica Ciceronis, quae disperse in scriptis reliquit, maxime ex Stoicorum sententia. Zamosc: Martin Lenscius.Google Scholar
  6. Calvin, Jean. 1539. Institutio Christianae religionis. Strasbourg: Wendelinum Rihelium.Google Scholar
  7. Calvin, Jean. 1552. Opuscula omnia in unum volumen collecta. Geneva: Jean Girard.Google Scholar
  8. Calvin, Jean. 1961. Institutes of the Christian religion. Trans. Ford Lewis Battles. 2 vols. London: SCM Press.Google Scholar
  9. Calvin, Jean. 1969. Calvin’s commentary on Seneca’s De Clementia. Ed. and trans. Ford Lewis Battles and André Malan Hugo. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  10. Casaubon, I. 1605. Auli Persi Flacci Satirarum Liber. Paris: Ambrosium & Hieronymum Drovart.Google Scholar
  11. Du Vair, Guillaume. 1945. De la sainte philosophie, Philoosphie morale des Stoïques, ed. G. Michaut. Paris: Vrin.Google Scholar
  12. Erasmus, Desiderius. 1906–58. Opus Epistolarum. Ed. P. S. Allen et al. 12 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  13. Erasmus, Desiderius. 1979. Opera omnia, IV:3 Moriae encomium, ed. Clarence H. Miller. Amsterdam: Huygens Instituut and Brill.Google Scholar
  14. Ficino, Marsilio. 2001–6. Platonic theology, ed. James Hankins. Trans. Michael J. B. Allen. 6 vols. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Filelfo, Francesco. 2013. On exile, ed. Jeroen De Keyser. Trans. W. Scott Blanchard. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Garin, Eugenio. 1952. Prosatori latini del Quattrocento. Milan: Riccardo Ricciardi Editore.Google Scholar
  17. Heinsius, Daniel. 1612. Orationes. Leiden: Ludovic Elzevir.Google Scholar
  18. Kraye, Jill. 1997. Cambridge translations of Renaissance philosophical texts, I: Moral philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lipsius, Justus. 1584. De constantia libri duo. Leiden: Christopher Plantin.Google Scholar
  20. Lipsius, Justus. 1604a. Manuductionis ad Stoicam philosophiam libri tres. Antwerp: Plantin-Moretus.Google Scholar
  21. Lipsius, Justus. 1604b. Physiologiae Stoicorum libri tres. Antwerp: Plantin-Moretus.Google Scholar
  22. Manetti, Giannozzo. 2003. Biographical writings. Ed. and trans. Stefano U. Baldassarri and Rolf Bagemihl. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  23. de Montaigne, Michel. 1962. Oeuvres complètes, ed. Albert Thibaudet and Maurice Rat. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  24. Petrarch. 1554. Opera quae extant omnia. Basel: Henrichus Petrus.Google Scholar
  25. Petrarch. 1991. Petrarch’s remedies for fortune fair and foul. Trans. Conrad H. Rawski. 5 vols. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Petrarch. 2003. Invectives. Ed. and trans. David Marsh. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Petrarch. 2005. Letters on familiar matters. Trans. Aldo S. Bernardo. 3 vols. New York: Italica Press.Google Scholar
  28. Petrarch. 2016. My secret book. Ed. and trans. Nicholas Mann. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Poggio Bracciolini, G. F. 2002. De vera nobilitate, ed. Davide Canfora. Rome: Edizioni de Storia e Letteratura.Google Scholar
  30. Pomponazzi, Pietro. 2004. Il fato, il libero arbitrio e la predestinazione. Ed. and trans. Vittoria Perrone Compagni. 2 vols. Turin: Nino Aragno Editore.Google Scholar
  31. Pomponazzi, Pietro. 2012. Traité de l’immortalitéde l’âme – Tractatus de immortalite animae. Ed. and trans. Thierry Gontier. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.Google Scholar
  32. Salutati, Coluccio. 1891–1911. Epistolario, ed. Francesco Novati. Rome: Forzani.Google Scholar
  33. Salutati, Coluccio. 1951. De laboribus Herculis, ed. B.L. Ullman. Zürich: Thesaurus Mundi.Google Scholar
  34. Scala, Bartolomeo. 2008. Essays and dialogues. Ed. and trans. Renée Neu Watkins. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Scioppius, Caspar. 1606. Elementa philosophiae Stoicae moralis. Mainz: Ioannis Albini.Google Scholar
  36. Valla, Lorenzo. 1977. On pleasure, De voluptate. Ed. and trans. A. Kent Hieatt and Maristella Lorch. New York: Abaris Books.Google Scholar
  37. Valla, Lorenzo. 2012. Dialectical disputations. Ed. and trans. Brian P. Copenhaver and Lodi Nauta. 2 vols. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Vico, Giambattista. 1744. Principi di scienza nuova. 3rd ed. Naples: Nella Stamperia Muziana.Google Scholar

Secondary Literature

  1. Brooke, Christopher. 2012. Philosophic pride: Stoicism and political thought from Lipsius to Rousseau. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Gay, Peter. 1966. The Enlightenment, an interpretation: The rise of modern paganism. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  3. Goff, F.R. 1964. Incunabula in American libraries: A third census of fifteenth-century books recorded in North American collections. New York: The Bibliographical Society of America.Google Scholar
  4. Hogg, C. R. 1997. Ethica secundum Stoicos: An edition, translation, and critical essay. PhD Thesis. Indiana University.Google Scholar
  5. Ker, James. 2009. The deaths of Seneca. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kircher, Timothy. 2012. Living well in Renaissance Italy: The virtue of humanism and the irony of Leon Battista Alberti. Tempe: ACMRS.Google Scholar
  7. Kraye, Jill. 2008. Teaching Stoic moral philosophy: Kaspar Schoppe’s Elementa philosophiae Stoiciae moralis (1606). In Scholarly knowledge: Textbooks in early modern Europe, ed. E. Campi et al., 249–283. Geneva: Droz.Google Scholar
  8. Kraye, Jill. 2016. Stoicism in the philosophy of the Italian Renaissance. In The Routledge handbook of the Stoic tradition, ed. John Sellars, 133–144. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Lagrée, Jacqueline. 2010. Le néostoïcisme. Paris: Vrin.Google Scholar
  10. McClure, George W. 1991. Sorrow and consolation in Italian Humanism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Morford, Mark. 1991. Stoics and neostoics: Rubens and the circle of Lipsius. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Oestreich, Gerhard. 1982. Neostoicism and the early modern state. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Oliver, Revilo Penleton. 1954. Niccolo Perotti’s version of The Enchiridion of Epictetus. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  14. Panizza, Letizia A. 1977. Gasparino Barzizza’s commentaries on Seneca’s letters. Traditio 33: 297–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Panizza, Letizia A. 1984. Biography in Italy from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance: Seneca, pagan or Christian? Nouvelles de la Republique des Lettres 2: 47–98.Google Scholar
  16. Panizza, Letizia A. 1991. Stoic psychotherapy in the Middle Ages and Renaissance: Petrarch’s De remediis. In Atoms, pneuma, and tranquillity: Epicurean and Stoic themes in European thought, ed. M.J. Osler, 39–65. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Santinello, Giovanni. 1993. Models of the history of philosophy: From its origins in the Renaissance to the ‘Historia philosophiica’. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  18. Saunders, Jason Lewis. 1955. Justus Lipsius: The philosophy of Renaissance Stoicism. New York: The Liberal Arts Press.Google Scholar
  19. Schöndube, Matthias. 2011. Leon Battista Alberti, Della tranquillità dell’animo: Eine Interpretation auf dem Hintergrund der antiken Quellen. Berlin: De Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sellars, John. 2014. Stoic fate in Justus Lipsius’s De constantia and Physiologia Stoicorum. Journal of the History of Philosophy 52: 653–674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ullman, Berthold L. 1963. The humanism of Coluccio Salutati. Padua: Editrice Antenore.Google Scholar
  22. Witt, Ronald G. 1983. Hercules at the crossroads: The life, works, and thought of Coluccio Salutati. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyKing’s College LondonLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jill Kraye
    • 1