Salutati Attacks Aristotelian Impostors

(1.) I do not think that it will be irrelevant, since all of our education is wrapped up with those things which the poets have sung about the deeds of Hercules, to preface by saying a bit about poesy. For I see that not only the vulgar mob, but even those who in our time boast that they are philosophers, will sometimes consider poetry of little value, and sometimes even condemn it entirely. Nor does the authority of their own teacher (since they consider themselves Aristotelians), whom they read – or, to speak more truly, whom they are capable of reading – move them to make use of the various poets not on fleeting occasions but at all times in the most refined studies.

(2.) But indeed, I do not wonder at them; rather, I am indgnant, and I grieve. For, although they typically brag that they fly about through the loftiest summits of logic (or, loyce, as they call it in their own corrupt way) and philosophy, and they are prepared to discourse on all subjects with disputatious loquacity, they neither understand the texts of Aristotle, nor do they even read them, but instead they seek out I know not what tracts from the “British, divided from the whole world[1]”, as if our own country were not sufficiently stocked with erudition. They seize upon these works during long lamp-lit nights and learn, without books and without the assistance of textual witnesses, dialectic, physics, and whatever else transcendental speculation can disclose; or perhaps I should say that they boast that they have learned something, now that the traditions of their master have been abandoned.

[1] Vergil, Eclouges 1.66: At nos hinc alii sitientis ibimus Afros,
pars Scythiam et rapidum cretae veniemus Oaxen               65
et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos.

File:Aristotle. Woodcut by T. Stimmer (?), 1589. Wellcome V0000204EL.jpg

(1.) Non ab re futurum arbitror, cum omnis institutio nostra versetur circa ea que poete de rebus Herculis cecinerunt, aliquid de poetica prelibare. Hanc enim video non solum profanum vulgus sed etiam qui se philosophos nostro tempore gloriantur tum parvi pendere, tum damnare. Nec movet istos etiam sui magistri (cum se Aristotelicos profiteantur) autoritas, quem legunt, sive, ut verius loquar, legere possunt, non semel sed ubique varios poetas etiam in rebus subtilissimis allegare.

(2.) Verum ipsos non admiror, potius autem indignor et doleo. Nam cum per logices, imo (ut corrupto vocabulo dicunt) loyce, et philosophie cacumina volitare se iactent et de cunctis disputatione garrula discutere sint parati (proh pudor!), textus Aristotelicos nec intelligunt nec legunt sed nescio quos tractatus apud <<toto divisos orbe Britannos>>, quasi noster eruditioni non sufficiat situs, querunt. Quos totis lucubrationibus amplectentes sine libris et sine testium adminiculis et dialeticam et physicam et quicquid transcendens speculatio rimatur ediscunt, sive potius edidicisse relicitis sui magistri traditionibus gloriantur.

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