Sententiae Recentiores: Coluccio Salutati, de Laboribus Herculis 1.7.11

“The investigations of any science would quickly dry up if posterity had accepted each field’s principles with such simplicity that it thought nothing therein worth inquiring after but what the original thinkers either could or would make known. Indeed, our sciences have grown mature by successive and continual gradations; and, by the force of new and daily considerations, many things have been discovered which not only could escape, but in fact did escape the notice of the first thinkers.”

Nimis etenim arida foret cuiuslibet artis speculatio si que ex arte dicta sunt adeo simpliciter posteritas recepisset quod nichil in eis duceret speculandum nisi quod inventores ipsi potuerint vel voluerint declarare. Adoleverunt equidem artes successivis et continuis incrementis, et novis in dies considerationibus multa sunt deprehensa que priscos illos nedum latere potuerunt sed sine dubio latuerunt.

 

NOTE: Salutati was the Chancellor of Florence during the late 14th century, in addition to being a rather active man of letters in the early Renaissance by publishing his own works, corresponding with notable figures like Petrarch, and encouraging other scholars who later became central to the revival of learning. As is true of most authors of his time, much of his work bears a deep stamp of Classical learning, and you can therefore expect to see more of this sort of thing on the site!

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