From Venetian visitor to curial humanist: The development of Agostino Steuco’s `Counter’-Reformation thought.

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History and Philosophy


A knowledge of Counter-Reformation humanism allows historians to grasp the complex cultural factors which influenced the response to reform in pre-Tridentine Italy. Agostino Steuco (1497-1548) demonstrates how ties of patronage and specific political and social institutions shaped and changed a humanist's views on reform. While working in Venice, Steuco published 'Pro Religione Christiana Adversus Lutheranos' (1530); Venetian republican ideas and dominance of the city by the elite shaped his response to reform as he defended Catholic rituals and notions of the sacred. In 1547, while a member of the papal court in Rome, Steuco published 'Contra Laurentium Vallam, de Falsa Donatione Constantini, Libri Duo.' He rearticulated many of his earlier ideas but in a way that supported the monarchial claims of the papacy. [Article abstract]

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