Philosophers vs. Eloquence

Petrarch, de sua ipsius et multorum ignorantia:

They do not, then, envy my knowledge or eloquence, the first of which they claim I do not possess. As for eloquence, if I possess any, it is condemned by them in their fashionably modern philosophical way and rejected as something unworthy of literate men. Thus, the only thing which is in honor among them is the philosopher’s inability to speak, his perplexed babbling, and the yawning wisdom relying upon the motion of the brow (as Cicero calls it). Nor does Plato, the most eloquent man, come into their mind, nor (if I may pass over the rest) does sweet and charming Aristotle, who has become scabrous at their hands. Thus, they detach themselves or wander away from their guide, as they consider the eloquence of Isocrates (which he thought to be an ornament to philosophy and sought to join the two because he was moved by the glory of the orator) to be an impediment and a fault in him.

Image result for aristotle woodcut

Non denique scientiam aut eloquentiam, quarum primam penitus nullam michi esse confirmant; altera, siqua esset, apud illos hoc moderno philosophico more contemnitur et quasi literatis viris indigna respuitur. Sic iam sola philosophantis infantia et perplexa balbuties, uni nitens supercilio atque oscitans, ut Cicero vocat, sapientia, in honore est, nec redit ad memoriam Plato eloquentissimus hominum, nec, ut sileam reliquos, dulcis ac suavis sed ab his scaber factus Aristotiles. Sic a suo desciscunt seu deerrant duce, ut eloquentiam, quam ille philosophie ornamentum ingens ratus ei studuit adiungere, Ysocratis, ut perhibent, oratoris gloria permotus, hanc isti impedimentum probrumque extiment

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