Giambattista Vico – poetic wisdom



Considerations on the book “New Science”

“(Vico) Early times of the world. Silence makes you sleepless, it generates explosive children of silence, metaphor, onomatopoeia. The giant cuts its legs in order to reach the man.” (Murilo MENDES, “Delphic Text Sector”, Polyhedron).

“without escaping the way of being, above the mystery of fables.”

(Carlos DRUMMOND de Andrade, “The dance and the soul”, Pocket Viola).

Vico, Naples and the reception of Cartesian rationalism

For nine years, between 1786 and 1795, Vico worked as tutor to a young aristocrat, son of the Marquis Domenico Rocca, in Vatolla (Cilento), south of Salerno. Being able to read practically all the classics in the palace library, which gave him solid erudition, in addition to improvement in Greek and Latin. In this way, he redid the circuit of the study humanitatis, invented by Cicero and taken up by Renaissance humanists since Petrarch. However, he focused his interest on Platonic philosophy, especially on Cratyl.

Philosopher, historian, jurist, pedagogue, poet, orator, Vico was the author of extensive and complex work. Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University Federico II of Naples, in 1684, he became professor of rhetoric, after failing in competition for the chair of law, both at the same University. For the competition for the chair he wrote Il Diritto Universale (From one universi iuris principle et fine one), published in 1720, considered the first work of his intellectual maturity.[I] The following year he published By Constantia Iurisprudentis, which complements the previous work. In fact, in the works Vico advocates the defense of natural law, from universal principles derived from concrete historical experience, to distance itself from the “nature of things”, if considered as immutable, as in Spinoza and Leibniz, based on a perfect and finished order , either by substance or by monad.

Naples,[ii] hometown of Vico, locus of his dense intellectual life, at the time when Italy had lost its status philosophical and artistic period of Renaissance humanism, was marked by the change of domain from the Spaniards to the Austrians, with the Inquisition forgetting the benefit of renunciation, and under the flagrant impact of the Method Discourse, of Descartes. In fact, after Galileo, no other thinker or scientist with his intellectual stature, in view of the development of European civilization, migrated to France and England. Naples still reeked of the vapors of the renewed scholasticism of Suarez, exhaled from the XNUMXth century,[iii] vapors, now without force. However, in a movement towards scientific and philosophical updating, at the time of Vico, Neapolitan intellectuals (still) sought to assimilate the writings of Giordano Bruno, Telesio, Mersenne, Pascal, the physics of Gassendi and Boyle, the notions of law by Grotius and of Selden, the astronomies of Kepler and Galileo. A wave of self-proclaimed scholars novice, led by Leonardo de Capua and Pietro Giannone, included Marsílio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, Bacon, Espinosa in the list of authors to be assimilated. To keep up with the dynamism of new developments, many academies were created along the lines of those in France.[iv] This is the contradictory situation: a conservative city open to new times. Under this tension, Vico would forge his complex philosophy from the finest steel, in the broth of Baroque, Enlightenment and anti-Enlightenment culture. Perhaps an expression of ongoing contradictions, above all for understanding, in advance, that progress could be synonymous with civilizational decay.[v]

According to Lima, in Naples, “one of the first to read the works of Descartes (in Naples) was Tommasso Cornelio,[vi] around 1646, followed by Lucantonio Porzio. Cornelio is considered the promoter of Cartesian philosophy along with the Neapolitan scholars, whose culture expanded until the XNUMXth century. On the first pages of Autobiography, Vico attests to having known the work of Descartes and expresses his divergence, which developed over time, in relation to Cartesian thought. Hence, he writes: 'We are not pretending here what [Descartes] astutely pretended around the […] method of his studies, to elevate his philosophy into athematics and ground all other studies that carry out divine erudition (LIMA, 2012, p . 225).”

Vico had risen as an intellectual and received his first public recognition when he was admitted to L'Accademia Palatine, at the end of 1698, presenting a brief report entitled “Cene sumtuose de' romani” (Sumptuous suppers of the Romans), read in 1699, little commented on, as it is not mentioned in the Autobiography vikian. However, in the oratory piece, Vico encourages interest in History, from its apparently irrelevant aspects, opening the door to the investigation of Antiquity.

Modernity under suspicion

It would be an affront to Cartesian philosophy to treat it without recognizing its relevance in the framework of Modernity. For, as Hegel wants, roughly, philosophy is the philosophy of its time. Thus, Descartes is the expression of the crisis inherited from the previous century and continued into the seventeenth century, and of the novelty of scientific research. However, the superiority of natural science at that time resided in the fact that all scientists were also philosophers: Bacon, Galileo, Descartes. Vico, in the XNUMXth century, may be the tip of the crisis's bare thread.[vii]

For Vico, Modernity, inaugurated and guided by Cartesian philosophy, pointed to the entry into the philosophical scene – from the XNUMXth century stage – of an excessive rationalism, by despising History and the humanities, founded on fables, myths, poetry, as fruits of imagination, fantasy and ingenuity, fashionably created by the first men, seen as magnets, ferocious. If those men invented three languages ​​and their writings, they also created the “aesthetic dimension (before la lettre) of poetic wisdom” in order to overcome primordial barbarism and to provide the basic elements of civil nations.[viii] Embedded in the Viquian philosophy, there is the prediction of the horizon of possible future barbarism, in view of the cooling of human creativity by the force of reason, reduced to the planes of ultra white light (of reason), on the one hand, above all, by the method of analysis and the geometrization of space, and, on the other hand, by the mathematization of the science of nature, from the Cartesian conception of a Mathesis Universalis.[ix] Complementary to each other.

However, for Vico, these would be the ingredients of barbarism projected to contemporary times, experienced outside the center of the world, in the city of Naples. Sequenced, his prediction, if extended to the present times, would fulfill the destiny traced by the adventitious line of Cartesianism and the inauguration of a new axial time, based on theoretical knowledge, distant, practically, from all the mythical, fabulous, poetic tradition and under another conception of History, linked to the incipient ideal of progress. The rupture that occurred would have been fatal, except for the rescue and preservation of poetry, based on the model of Homer's poetry, followed by Virgil and Dante.

After all, Vico seems to prophesy what the present time and civilization in crisis may actually lack: poets of the same stature as those vates, thinking in capital letters about humanity and history, beyond the reduction to means of scientific and technological progress, without the necessary interrogation about the ends. Well, today we live, in a more serious way, a time of wisdom without erudition, compared to what Vico experienced, who moved through reform knowledge Cartesian (LIMA, 2012, pp. 233-250). In addition to the need to resume the founding spirit of civil nations, which for Vico is one of the results of the human project of civilization.

However, a careful reading of the New Science, it is possible to infer that the natural law of the Gentiles, based on customs, has risen since the amalgamation of the invention of three basic institutions of civilization: religion, marriage and burial of the dead. But, as Vico wanted, the novelty of Modernity would have occurred, in part, in the passage of the “right” considered “true”, based on the peculiar ballast of common sense, and not of speculative heights, created extra customs via theoretical models distant from everyday life. common and communitarian, in search of a “truth” engendered from outside life, that is, lived. Perhaps, under echoes of the viquian analysis, in a convergent tuning fork movement, Nietzsche, in § 110, of The Gay Science, recorded: “The intellect, through immense stretches of time, has engendered nothing but errors; some of them turned out to be useful and conservative of the species… Only very late did those who denied and questioned such propositions come along – only very late did the truth come in, as the weakest form of knowledge (NIETZSCHE, 1979, p. 200).[X]

Goethe, the first German to know Vico and to divulge it together with Hamann and Herder, recorded in his travel diary in Italy, on March 1787, XNUMX: “The knight (Filangieri)[xi] then he introduced me to an ancient writer in whose unfathomable depths these justice-loving young Italians find encouragement and instruction; his name is Giovan Battista Vico, and they prefer him to Montesquieu. A quick reading of the book, which was passed on to me as if it were a sacred relic, gave me the impression of having found there Sibylline previews of the good and just that one day will come, or should come, previews based on the rigorous contemplation of tradition. and of life. It is very beautiful for a people to have such a man as an ancestor; one day, Hamann will become such a codex for the Germans (GOETHE, 1999, p. 229).”

Perhaps the Viquiian position contains precedents, because, if Machiavelli had invented the principle of “verità effetuale della che alla inmaginazione di epsa” (effective truth of the thing than to the imagination of it),[xii] as recorded in Chapter XV, of The Prince, in order to establish the foundation of part of the “method” of knowledge of political action and purify it from the “facts” of politics and not from idealizations;[xiii] Vico incorporated two Latin aphorisms, complementary to each other, for the mediation of basic, everyday knowledge and beyond everyday life as the foundation of a certain tradition up to the novelty of Cartesianism. The ancient Latin aphorisms incorporated and assimilated by Vico in a New Science they are: "Verum et factum conversion” (the true and the already done convert each other) and “verum ipsum factum” (the truth is the deed itself). For the maximumverum ipsum factum”, emblematic expression of viquian philosophy, Mondolfo identifies its early appropriation in the philosophy of Philo of Alexandria, of the writing Quod Deus sit immutabilis (That God is an unchanging being).[xiv]

The Viquian onto anthropology, as Lima wants, registers that “Men who do not know the true of things try to cling to what is right, because, not being able to satisfy the intellect with science, unless the will rests on the conscience [§ 137].”[xv] Vico goes on to state that “Men first feel without warning (prima sentono senz'avvertire), then they warn with a troubled and moved spirit, finally they reflect with a pure mind [§ 218].” § 218 adds the following: “[219] This dignity (Degnità) is the principle of poetic sentences, which are formed with feelings of passions and affections, unlike philosophical sentences, which are formed from reflection with the reasoning: hence the latter approach the truer the higher they rise to universals, and the former are all the more certain the more they are applied to particulars.”

Vico illustrates and extends the meaning of § 219 when he records: “as the first men of gentilism had very singular minds, little less than those of animals, to which each new sensation erases, in fact, the old one (which is the reason why they could not combine and discuss), should therefore be all sentences singled out by those who felt them.” (VICO, Book Two – Poetic Wisdom, [Section Seven – Poetic Physics], “Corollary of heroic sentences”, §703). And he complements the record with the reflection contained in § 825 and § 826, by excluding Homer from such vicissitudes (VICO, Livro Third – On the Discovery of the True Homer, “Chapter Five “Philosophical Proofs for the Discovery of the True Homer”, § 825 and § 826).[xvi]

In contrast, for Vico Cartesianism, against the grain of Roman aphorisms, operated an attitude in the field of knowledge, which can be identified with the concept of pseudomorphosis, borrowed from mineralogists.[xvii] If human invention derived from imagination, fantasy, poetry and ingenuity, in a short exercise, someone could recall the image of a valley with natural geological attributes, present since time immemorial. However, after a natural or provoked accident, such as the displacement of earth and stones from the top of the mountain that surrounds it, the original configuration seems to be lost, as it was buried, and a new form appears as a new landscape, as if the first never existed.

Thus, Cartesianism and its derivations seem – from a Viquiian point of view – to have provoked the same devastating effect, while demolishing every conception of knowledge built since the most remote Antiquity, founded on the mythical, poetic, theological, philological and philosophical tradition, by placing under suspicion the knowledge of History, Literature, Theology, Arts – the Humanities, in general. Vico was the first to understand the demolishing effect of Cartesianism and its complementary pair, the mathematization of nature and the geometrization of space, by founding a new standard of knowledge beyond traditional roots.

However, if in New Science Vico bases true knowledge, that of the science of History, with a method different from that of the natural sciences, against the grain of the Cartesian departure, it will be with the letters read duringsolonne inauguration of the regia Università del Regno di Napoli”, on October 18, 1708, whose title is a paraphrase of a Ratio Studiorum, of the Jesuits, which will present a systematic critique of Cartesian philosophy, and the proposition of a new method of studies and its advantage over Descartes'. In fact, it is the work The Method of Studying Our Time (Prolusione tenuta alla gioventù studiosa delle Lettere il ottobre 18 1708 in occasione della solene inaugurazione della Regia Università del Regno di Napoli indi accresciuta) (VICO, 2007, pp. 87-215).

A New Science is considered the encyclopedia of drama baroque, written and rewritten in three moments until the definitive form, reached in 1744. In the work, Vico presents himself as a philosopher of History, preceded by Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), author of a universal and philosophical history, entitled in The Prolegomena (Muqaddimah). New Science also corresponds to novum organum of Francis Bacon, with difference between the conceptions of science. Bacon's devoted to the scientific knowledge of nature and, by extension, the technical applicability of such knowledge acquisition, and Vico's, to History.

In fact, Vico seems to recover, without naming or making present, the history of philosophy rehearsed by Augustine of Hippo, in De Civitate Dei, without the appeal to human salvation of a religious nature. However, for Vico divine providence[xviii] it is always ready to guide and, in a certain way, to correct the historical-political paths of civil nations. In the “Ideia da Obra”, in which he explains the Frontispiece, Vico describes: the “luminous triangle that has within itself a seeing eye is God, under the aspect of his providence, an aspect by which, in an ecstatic attitude, metaphysics it contemplates on the order of natural things, order in which until now the philosophers have contemplated it; because she, in this work, rising higher, contemplates in God the world of human minds, which is the metaphysical world, to demonstrate his providence over the world of human souls, which is the civil world, that is, the world of nations (VICO, 2005, § 2).”[xx]

As a hypothesis, Vico seems to anticipate the contemporary saying “progress is decay”. Because, according to Croce, “whether in miniature or in germ”, Vico anticipated, philosophically, what would become the panorama of the XNUMXth century. – Root and antenna of your time.

Three ages, three languages

Vico works with a triad, similar to the one created by Gioacchino da Fiore (1135-1202), as Hegel (1770-1831) would later do. In “The Idea of ​​the Work”, by New Science, Vico presents and comments on each of the icons on the “Frontispice”,[xx] with the subtitle “Explanation of the preposed painting (proposal) on the frontispiece that serves as the introduction to the work”. In the text, Vico anticipates reflections about poets and poetry, in accordance with the three ages of the world, which have elapsed: “- the age of the gods, in which gentile men believed to live under divine governments and through oracles, which are the most old things of profane history; – the age of heroes, in which everywhere they reigned in aristocratic republics, owing to a certain difference in nature which they considered superior to that of their commoners; – and, finally, the age of men, in which all recognized themselves to be equal in human nature and, therefore, first popular republics were celebrated, and finally monarchies, which are both forms of human governments (VICO, § 31).”[xxx]

For Napolitano, historically, the three ages of humanity, if considered in a spiral key, are the ages of gods, heroes and humans. Under the historical spiral, men have ascended from gentleness to civility, shown by the founding and maintenance of civil nations. Thus, if the three recorded ages are arranged according to three types of nature and governments, demarcating the field of politics, along with the Viquiian finding pointing out the links between politics and language, the complementary pair of the three ages has three types of languages.

Vico argues that “– the first, in the time of families, when Gentile men had recently welcomed themselves to humanity; which is proved to have been a mute language, by signs or objects which had natural relations to the ideas which they intended to signify; – the second was spoken through heroic emblems, that is, through similarities, comparisons, images, metaphors and natural descriptions, which form the larger body of the heroic language, which proves to have been spoken in the time when heroes reigned; – the third was the human language through words agreed upon by the peoples, of which the peoples are absolute masters, the language of popular republics and monarchical States, so that the peoples give meaning to the laws, which must obey both the plebs and the the nobles; Therefore, in all nations, once the laws have been put into common languages, the knowledge of laws escapes from the hand of the nobles, laws by which, previously, as a sacred thing, in all it is proved that a secret language was preserved by the nobles. , who, also everywhere, proves to have been priests: which is the natural reason for the secrecy of the laws among the Roman patricians, until popular freedom arose (VICO, § 32).”[xxiii]

Vico interconnects history with ontoanthropology, the three ages, the three languages, the politics invented by civil nations, but this novelty presents itself framed, primarily, by the measure of the poetic wisdom of the Gentiles, merging true knowledge, derived from sensation and feelings. senses, and poetry understood as production in all human areas, as will be seen in the item related to “poetic wisdom”.

For, for Vico, the “principle of such origins of languages ​​and letters is proven to be the fact that the first peoples of gentility, by a demonstrated necessity of nature, were poets and spoke in poetic characters;[xxiii] this discovery, which is the master key of this Science, [...], since, with our civilized natures, such a poetic nature of these first men is, in fact, impossible to imagine and with much difficulty we are allowed to understand (VICO, 2006, § 34).” He goes on to argue that such “poetic characters are proved to have been certain fantastic genres (that is, images, in most cases of animate substances or of gods or of heroes, formed by their fancy), to which they reduced all species or all particulars belonging to each genre; precisely as the fables of human times, which are those of the last comedy, are the intelligible genres, that is, reflected by moral philosophy, from which the comic poets form fantastic genres (which are no longer the optimal ideas of men in each of the their genres), who are the characters of comedies (VICO, 2006, § 34).”

The Napolitano concludes that “these aforementioned divine or heroic characters prove to have been fables, that is, true speeches; and the allegories are discovered, containing meanings that are no longer analogous, but univocal, not philosophical, but historical from those times of the peoples of Greece. Moreover, since such genres (which are, in their essence, fables) were formed by very robust fantasies, as if by men of very weak reasoning, one discovers in them the true poetic sentences, which must be feelings clothed in very great passions. and therefore full of sublimity and arousing admiration. It proves, moreover, that the sources of all poetic locution of explaining and making oneself understood; from which comes the evidence of heroic speech, which immediately succeeded the mute speeches by gestures or objects that had natural relations with the ideas that were intended to signify, which, in divine times, was spoken (VICO), 2006, § 34).

However, if Vico deals little with how history moves through course e appeal, since at the first movement civil nations would prosper, at the second, they could be rescued by providence when under threat of regression to barbarism, as shown at the end of the New Science: “if the peoples rot in that last civil malaise, which neither a native monarch consents to within, nor better nations arrive from outside to conquer and conserve them, then Providence, to this extreme evil of itss, applies this extreme remedy (VICO, 2005, § 1106).”[xxv]

Vico goes on to state that “– once such peoples, like animals, had become accustomed to thinking of nothing but their own particular interests, and each had reached the height of comfort or, better to say, pride , in the manner of beasts that, when even slightly contradicted, resent and rage, and thus, in their greatest celebrity or body madness, lived like magnetized animals in a supreme solitude of minds and wills, ending up not being able to put two accordingly, each of the two following their own pleasure or whim – for all this, with the most obstinate factions and desperate civil wars, they proceed to make the cities jungles and the jungles dens of men; and thus, over the course of several centuries of barbarism, the gross subtleties of the malicious devices, which had made them more immanent beasts with the barbarism of reflection than they had been with the first barbarism of meaning, rusted (VICO, 2005 , § 1106).” Which means that the action of divine providence will cause there to be a return – from the immanent erring –, in order to give rise to a new civilization. For Vico, the paths of “not thinking” could be realigned by civil nations, which remained firm in their principles, with the help of providence.

Certainly, supported by § 1106, Bosi updates Viqui's reflection: “The fall into a 'renewed barbarism' appears, in more than one step of the New Science, as a negative effect of the excess of material refinement of civilizations that had already reached the rational and civil age, but which abandoned the practice of justice and simple and virtuous customs. Drowning in luxury and corruption, men's minds became arid, losing the gift of memory and poetic fantasy. A purely cerebral, ahistorical and geometric pedagogy is part of the 'barbarism of reflection'” (BOSI, 2010, p. 52).

However, from these three languages ​​“the mental vocabulary is composed, which gives the meanings proper to all the different articulated languages ​​(VICO, 2005, § 35).” In another passage, Vico alludes to the “mental dictionary” (§ 145), which he completes by stating the need “that there should exist in the nature of human things a mental language common to all nations, which uniformly understands the substance of the things that are feasible in life. social human nature, and explain it in the many different modifications and in the many different aspects these things may present,” as seen in proverbs, “which are maxims of common wisdom, and are substantially the same in all nations, ancient and modern, expressed in so many different ways, however many they may be (VICO, 2005, § 161)”.

flood and giants[xxiv]

In the “Chronological Table” II, Vico records that the universal deluge occurred in the years of the world 1656, before the Christian Era, since the table “presents the world of ancient nations, which since the universal deluge has been turning, from the Hebrews, passing through the Chaldeans, Scythians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans until his second Carthaginian war (VICO, 2005, § 43).” Napolitano goes on to state that “it took so long for the earth, desiccated from the moisture of the universal deluge, to be able to send the dry exhalations into the air in order to generate lightning, due to which men, stunned and frightened, abandoned the false religions of so many Jupiters, [...] and gave themselves over to a kind of divination to predict the future through thunder, lightning and the flights of eagles, which they believed to be birds of Jupiter (VICO, 2005, § 62) .”

So much time is two hundred years, since from the year of the world 1856, the year in which the confusion of languages ​​among the Chaldeans is recorded, (VICO, 2005, IX), and also the appearance of Iapetus, from which the giants descend, one of them , Prometheus (VICO, 2005, VIII and X). The Napolitano devotes a chapter to analyzing the universal flood and the emergence of giants. It describes the physique of the gigantibus, in addition to confirming the existence of the patagones, near the Strait of Magellan (VICO, 2005, § 369),” as recorded by modern travelers.

Considering that the giants spread across the earth, after the flood, to give authenticity to the “fact”, Vico makes use of arguments from Latin philologists and the fabulous history of the Greeks, when identifying the giants as autochthonous, indigenous. However, the designation came to mean noble men, and finally, it meant that man linked to the liberal arts, in the old sense of the expression. On the move, these men began to take care of public sacrifices to purge the citizens' guilt (VICO, 2005, § 370 and § 371).”[xxv]

In a bold step, using mytho-poetic language, Vico shows that with the sacred washings that propitiated the sacrifices, the “such cleansing of the bodies and with the fear of the gods and the fathers, [...] it happened that the giants became lower until our just statures (VICO, 2005, § 371).” – “The giant cuts his legs to be able to reach the man”. – It remains to be seen who or what will break the legs of the technological giants, of these times of regression.

However, the “completion of such a debasement must have lasted until the human times of nations (VICO, 2005, § 372).” However, these first bestial and senseless men “created things from their ideas”, demarcated by “an infinite difference in relation to God's own creation: because God, in his purest understanding, knows and, knowing them, creates things ”. While the first men “due to their robust ignorance, they did it by virtue of a very corpulent fantasy and, because it was very corpulent, they did it with an astonishing sublimity, such and such that it excessively disturbed those same ones who, pretending to create them, at least who were called 'poets', which in Greek means the same as 'creators' (VICO, 2005, § 376).”

Once great poetry depends on “finding sublime fables appropriate to the popular understanding and disturbing (to the maximum), to achieve the end, which it proposed, of teaching the vulgar to act virtuously, as they taught themselves. (VICO, 2005, § 376).” Thus, “from this nature of human things there has been left an eternal property, explained with noble expression by Tacitus: where do men go scared 'fingunt simul creduntque' (pretending, they pretend to believe) (VICO, 2005, § 376).” – The poet is a pretender... since Plato.

The first authors of gentile humanity would have possessed such a nature, two hundred years after the deluge, time necessary for the earth to become dry and “to emit dry exhalations, […] inflamed matter, into the air, when lightning is generated” (VICO, 2005, § 377)”, the sky finally “lightned, thundered with very frightful lightning and thunder” (VICO, 2005, § 377). At this time, a few stalwart giants, “who were scattered through the woods on top of the hills, like the most stalwart beasts . . . […] screaming, roaring, they expressed their very violent passions, they pretended to be theirs a great animated body, which, for that reason, they called Jupiter, the first god of the so-called 'greater' people, who with the hiss of lightning and with the roar of thunder wanted to tell him something; and thus began to celebrate natural curiosity, which is the daughter of ignorance and the mother of science, which generates admiration by producing the openness of man's mind (VICO, 2005, § 377).”[xxviii]

Even if it is impossible to penetrate the minds of those first men, “whose minds were in no way abstract, in nothing subtle, in nothing spiritualized, because they were immersed in the senses, all repressed by the passions, all buried in the bodies: [...] one can understand, not being able to fully imagine, how the first men, who founded gentile humanity, would have thought (VICO, 2005, § 378).” However, it was in this way that the “first theological poets feigned the first divine fable, the greatest of which ever afterwards feigned, that is, Jupiter, king and father of men and gods, and in the attitude of a fulminator, so popular, disturbing and didactic, that they themselves, who pretended to believe in him and with appalling religions [...] feared, revered and respected him (VICO, 2005, § 379).” What became the motto of civil history: “…full iovi omnia” (All things are in Jupiter),[xxviii] but for the theological poets, “Jupiter was not higher than the top of the mountains (VICO, 2005, § 379).”

For Vico, the “first science that one must learn is mythology, that is, the interpretation of fables” is “the gentile stories have fabulous principles (VICO, 2005, § 51).” And the first great fable was the message coming from the heavens through lightning and thunder. After all, as Jorge Luis Borges meditates: “Mythology is not a vanity of dictionaries; is an eternal habit of souls”, in the poem “La Jonction”, by Atlas (BORGES, 1984, p. 73).

Contemporary echoes of Vician creativity can be found in the work of James Joyce (1882-1941), who was inspired by the New Science for the cycles of Finnegans Wake.[xxix] On the first page of fragment 1 of Finnegans Wake the reproduction of “the voice of thunder” appears, which symbolizes the end of the last phase (the chaotic one) of the Vico cycle and the restart of the first one (the theocratic one)” (CAMPOS In JOYCE, 1971, p. 82).” Here it is: “[bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!] (JOYCE, 1, 1971, pp. 34-35).”[xxx]

poetic wisdom

“Poetic locution was born, by necessity of human nature, before prosaic (prima della prosaica); how by necessity of human nature these fables, fantastic universals, were born before the reflected universals, that is, philosophical ones, which were born through these prosaic speeches. For, before, the poets having begun to form poetic speech with the composition of particular ideas [...], from this came the peoples to form the speeches of prose, by contracting in each of the words, as in a genre, the parts that had composed the poetic speech.” (VICO, New Science, II, Second Section, chap. V, § 460).

Poetic wisdom is founded on metaphysics, sublime science, "who apportions his fair affairs to all the subaltern sciences." Thus, one must “start poetic wisdom from a gross metaphysics, from which, as from a trunk, logic, morals, economics and politics, all poetic, spread through one branch; and on the other hand, all also poetic, physics, which will have been the mother of his cosmography and, therefore, of astronomy, which will assure us of his two daughters, which are chronology and geography (VICO, 2005, § 367 ).”[xxxii]

In fact, Viquian poetic wisdom mirrors the “original experience of the first men, whether as wisdom of the senses (sensitivity, sensation: aisthesis), or how to do creative (production: poiesis) (LIMA, 2012, p. 464).” Because for Vivo, “the founders of gentile humanity with their natural theology (that is, metaphysics) imagined the gods, with their logic inventing languages, with morality they generated heroes, with economy they founded families, with politics cities; just as with physics they established the principles of all divine things, with the particular physics of man they generated themselves in a certain way, with their cosmography they pretended to have a universe of their own full of gods, with astronomy they took the gods from earth to heaven. Planets and constellations, with chronology, began time, and with geography the Greeks, to give an example, described the world within their Greece (VICO, 2005, § 367).” Napolitano concludes that, in this way, “this (New) Science becomes at once a history of ideas, customs and facts of the human race” (VICO, 2005, §367).

The exposition of poetic wisdom is preceded by that of general wisdom. The Second Book, from New Science, deals only with “Poetic Wisdom”, from the initial consideration about “general wisdom”, as if to pave the paths of poetic wisdom. For Vico, “wisdom” is “the faculty that commands all disciplines (discipline), by which all the sciences and arts are learned, which fulfill (I compion) the humanity." Vico refers to Plato, who “defines wisdom as being 'the perfecter of man'”. To which he adds: “man is nothing else, in the very being of man (in the properly human sense), but mind and soul […], intellect and will.” Thus, wisdom “must fulfill both these parts in man, and the second following on from the first, so that, from the enlightened mind, with the knowledge of the highest things, the spirit (will) is led to the choice of things great.” For, the "highest things in this universe are those that are understood (s'intendono) and are reflected (if regional) God's." Since “the best things are those that concern the good of the whole genus (genes) human: those are called 'divine things' and these 'human'. Therefore, true wisdom must teach the knowledge of divine things to lead human things to the highest good (VICO, II, § 364).” – In a New Science, Vico declares that his thought is inspired by Platonic philosophy, the history of Tacitus, the modernity of Bacon and the natural law of Grotius.[xxxi] Elsewhere he declares himself to be Augustine of Hippo "il mio particularolare protetore".[xxxii]

For Vico, “wisdom among the gentiles began with the muse”, which had been defined “by Homer, in a golden stretch of the Odyssey, such as the 'science of good and evil', which was later called 'divination' [...]. So that the muse, first, must have been properly science in divinity of auspices; which […] it was the common wisdom of all nations to behold God by the attribute of his providence, by which, from 'divine', his essence was called 'divinity'”. To which he concludes that “of such wisdom… the theologian poets have been wise,[xxxv] which certainly founded the humanity of Greece (VICO, II, § 365).”

From this point, Vico deduces that “three kinds of theologies must be made, […]: one, poetic theology, that of the theological poets, which was the civil theology of all Gentile nations; another, natural theology, which is that of metaphysicians; […] by third species our Christian theology, blended of civil and natural and the highest revealed theology, and all three united by the contemplation of divine providence (VICO, § 366)” Vico clarifies that divine providence “conducts the human things in such a way that, from poetic theology, which regulated them by certain sensible signs, considered divine warnings sent to men by the gods, through natural theology, which demonstrates providence for eternal reasons that do not fall within the domain of the senses, the nations were willing to receive the theology revealed by virtue of a supernatural faith, superior not only to the senses, but to these human reasons (VICO, II, § 366).”

For the Neapolitan, “the language (the poetic favela), as by virtue of poetic logic [...], elapses for such a long period within historical time, as the great and fast rivers spill a lot into the sea and keep sweet the waters carried away with the violence of their course (VICO, 2005, § 412).” Just as “in the brackish waters of History the sweet taste of myth and poetry has not yet been lost” (BOSI, 2000, p. 257).

By chance, revived echoes of Viquian poetic wisdom migrated in time to transport (metaphor), in Joyce's wave, to the beautiful contemporary verses: “Because the phrase, the concept, the plot, the verse / (And, without a doubt, above all the verse ) / It is what can launch worlds in the world”.

(Caetano VELOSO, song “Livros”).[xxxiv]

Or in Fernando Pessoa's prose, taken from the Book of Disquiet, I, “by Bernardo Soares, assistant bookkeeper in the city of Lisbon”: “I like to say. I'll say it better: I like to talk. Words are for me touchable bodies, visible sirens, embodied sensualities. […] My desire was transmuted into what in me creates verbal rhytmos, or hears them from others. I shudder if they say it well. […] I have no political or social feelings. I have, however, in a sense, a high patriotic feeling. My homeland is my language. (PESSOA, 1982, [4 – 5 E 6, dact.] § 15, pp. 15 and 17).”[xxxiv] time was. Caetano Veloso appropriated the spirit from Pessoa’s poetic reflections and paraphrased it in the verses of the song “Língua” (VELOSO, 1984).

After all, maybe Vico had a considerable effect on understanding History, from the invention of institutional modes by the first men, at the time of the so-called prehistory, to a first relevant synthesis, from poetic language. Following these steps or not, with broad poetic license and some even remote probability, it is a bet that for Paul Celan the true big Bang, that of metaphors, which in Greek means transposition/transpositions, yielding to the temptation of overcoming the effects of excess rationality through poetic derivation, in regressed times - times of barbarism -, to generate a new conception of a dice throw to the beginning of the human universe:

"A bang: a

own truth

arose between


in full

whirlwind of metaphors"

(CELAN, Paul, “A Bang”)”.[xxxviii]

Giambattista Vico, for his philosophy and for his inventive conception of poetic wisdom, can be considered the root and critical antenna of Modernity. If it is true that there are anachronisms that insist on returning.

*Antonio Jose Romera Valverde is a professor at the Graduate Program in Philosophy at PUC-SP.

Ciência Nova – Vico, Giambattista – January 2017 – Portuguese Edition (

Article originally published on Barricades – Journal of Philosophy and Interdisciplinarity, v. 1., no. 1, UFMA


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[I] Both were published under the title of Il Diritto Universale. By the way, check out “Sinopsis de “El Derecho Universal”, In VICO, G., Universal Law, Latin translation and notes Francisco J. Navarro Gómez, Barcelona / Mexico, Anthopos / Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, 2009, pp. 735-754.

[ii] Practically one hundred and fifty years before, Campanella had recorded in the city of the sun, from 1602, that the “solaris”, inhabitants of the utopian city, had better luck than the Neapolitans. For Campanella, the Solaris “do not have the sordid habit of having servants, their own work being enough and often even excessive. Among us, unfortunately, we see the opposite. Naples has a population of seventy thousand people, but only fifteen thousand work and are soon annihilated by excessive fatigue. The rest are ruined by idleness, laziness, avarice, illness, lust, usury, etc., and, to greater misfortune, contaminate and corrupt an infinite number of men, subjecting them to serve, to flatter, to participate in their own vices, with serious damage to public functions. The fields, the militia, the arts, are either despised or, with enormous sacrifices, poorly cultivated by some (CAMPANELLA, 1978, p. 257).” – Under the cultural roof of the Baroque, a time of centralized power.

[iii] “It is within a philosophical orientation based on the Italian tradition hostile to scholastic Aristotelianism and open to influences from the new horizons of European thought, due to the contact of some Neapolitan scholars (Di Capua, Valetta, among others), or with the Royal Society of London, than with the Académie des Sciences of Paris, that one can understand the reflection undertaken by Vico on the paths taken by knowledge in Modernity. A response to the risks that affected the culture and experience of individuals in civilian life: a time of crisis of Ratio Studiorum and the old arrangement of disciplines, faculties and methods in the system of knowledge. This justifies the orientation of the viquian philosophical project of restoring the unity of knowledge, in which Rhetoric assumed a decisive role (LIMA, 2012, p. 2014).”

[iv] Nicolini lists the Neapolitan academies, inspired by the model of the Institut de France, as a relevant cultural movement, which emerged after the end of the epidemic resulting from the 1656 plague: L'Accademia Palatina; L'Accademia delle Scienze di Monsignor Celestino Galiani; La Regia Accademia Ercolanense; La Reale Accademia di Scienze e Belle Lettere (Ferdinando IV Institute); L'Istituto Nazionale; La Prima Società Reale; La Società Reale borbonica; La Società Reale di Napoli e La Società Nazionale di Scienze, Lettere e Arti (NICOLINI, 1974, pp. 7-76). In addition to L'Accademina degli Investiganti, “based on the English Royal Society (1660) and the Academia di Cimento (1657-1667). […] You investigative, in addition to following Descartes, Galileo and Gassendi, also adopted Cornelio's (Tomasso Cornelio) orientation, of relating the new philosophy to the tradition of the country itself: 'to the naturalism and vitalism of the southern philosophers Bruno, Telesio, Campanella, to Neoplatonic humanism and to Tuscan linguistic purism'. As for antiquity, investigative they took up Plato, Democritus, Epicurus and Lucretius. They became aware of the work of moderns such as Cuiacio, Grotius, Selden and Punfendorf, and, at the same time, got to know the thinking of Pascal, Spinoza, the English physicist Rob Boyle, Hobbes, Newton, Locke and P. Bayle. This explains the diversity of orientations of the academy of investigative and the Neapolitan culture of the 2012th and 221th centuries: rationalism, experimentalism, skepticism, libertinism. (LIMA, 222, pp. XNUMX-XNUMX).

[v] According to Lima, “the Neapolitan cultural turn that occurred at the end of the 2006th century: a time when Naples became the most important center of Italian cultural renewal, after the post-Renaissance inertia, when Italy definitively lost the role of guide of European culture . Thus, a new orientation of thought emerged, marked by an eclecticism that sometimes led to atheistic conclusions (LIMA, 213, pp. 214-XNUMX).” For details of Vico's place in the face of the new humanism of the XNUMXth century, see BATTISTINI, A., “Vico e il nuovo umanesimo del Settecento”, In Eugene Garin: dal Rinascimento all'Illuminismo, a cura di Olivia CATANORCHI and Valentina LEPRI, Roma-Firenze, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura / Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento, September 2011, pp. 229-248.

[vi] “…with the return of Tommaso Cornelio from his journey of cultural modernization in Europe […] he brought with him new books: works by Italian and foreign naturalists, by new French and English philosophers: Descartes, Gassendi, Hobbes, Newton and Leibniz. […] In your Discourse dell'eclissi, of 1652, Cornelio presents the program of beginners: '1) break with scholasticism; 2) superiority of the moderns over the ancients (…); 3) evolutionary conception of nature and truth; 4) controversial choice of language vulgar; 5) rejection of alchemy and astrology (…); 6) equivalence of celestial and earth physics'. Vico and other scholars, before elaborating their own thought, confronted themselves within this sphere of scientific questions. Despite the diversity of orientations regarding studies, something united the numerous participants: a common faith in critical reason and the methodological validity of the experimental (LIMA, 2012, pp. 220-221).”

[vii] By the way, check out “Anti-Cartesianism: a) Vico”, In COLLINGWOOD, RG, The Idea of ​​History, 1972, pp. 88-96. Collingwood (1889-1943), an intellectual who brought Vico's work to the field of history, preceded by Croce (1866-1952), who brought it to the field of philosophy, particularly to the level of aesthetics.

[viii] See item “6.3 The aesthetic dimension of 'poetic wisdom': an experience originating from the senses” (LIMA, 2012, pp. 458-472).

[ix] Regarding “Mathesis Universalis”, see PATY, M., “Mathesis Universalis and the intelligibility of Descartes”, translation Maria Aparecida Corrêa-Paty, History and Philosophy of Science Notebooks, Series 3, vol. 8, Campinas, 1998 (n°1, Jan.-June), 9-57. (Accessed via link,M_1998c-MathIntelDesc.pdf, on November 20, 2017). See also VITIELO, V., “1. The fondazione della mathesis universalis of rome”; “II. La lingua della Scienza nuova. Check it out Mathesis universalis and “III. prospezioni vichiane", In VICO, Giambattista La Scienza Nuova. The three editions of 1725, 1730, 1745, the cure di Manuella Sanna and Vincenzo Vitiello, Milano, Bompiani, 2012, pp. CXIX-CLXXII. For Vitielo, Vico in a New Science he also intends to found a Mathesis Universalis, however, from History.

[X] Complementing: “[…] Such erroneous articles of belief, which were always bequeathed later and finally became almost the spoils and the common fund of humanity, are, for example, these: that there are things that last, that there are things the same, that there are things, matter, bodies, that a thing is as it always appears, that our will is free, that what is good for me is also good in and for itself. Only very late came those who denied and questioned such propositions – only very late did the truth come in, as the weakest form of knowledge. It seemed that you couldn't live with her, our organism was made for the opposite of her; all the higher functions, the perceptions of the senses and all kinds of sensation in general cooperated with those very old fundamental errors incorporated. Even more: those propositions became, even within knowledge, the norms according to which 'truth' and 'untruth' were measured – even in the most remote regions of pure logic. Therefore: the power of knowledge is not in its degree of truth, but in its age, its incorporation, its character as a condition of life. Where living and knowing seemed to contradict each other, it was never seriously fought; there denial and doubt were taken as foolishness (NIETZSCHE, The Gay Science, Book III, aphorism 110, 1979, p. 200).”

[xi] Gaetano Filangieri (1752-1788), Neapolitan jurist, author of The Science of Legislation, published between 1781 and 1788, in Naples, in eight volumes.

[xii] Machiavelli, us Discorsi blows Tito Livio's prima decade, similarly, he recorded: “per lo eventos della cosa”, II, 22; and even “per il Sucesso della cosa”, III, 45. Prince, chap. XVIII, “with the event della cosa.”

[xiii] Part of the method, because for Zanzi the Machiavellian method contains a “naturalistic-storic” substrate, combining knowledge of nature from medicine, and History, the teacher of men. What he would end up progressively founding a method of a philosophical nature. (ZANZI, 2013).

[xiv] By the way, see “Una anticipación de Vico en Filón de Alejandria”, In MONDOLFO, R., Moments of Thoughts Griego and Cristiano, version Oberdan Caletti, Buenos Aires, Paidós, 1964, pp. 66-73.

[xv] The content of the paragraph is explained and complemented in the following: VICO, 2005, §138; §144; §321 and §322; §324 and §325.

[xvi]See also, VICO, “[From Homer and his two poems] In Perpetuo Perfection del Chapter XII, Parte II” (VICO, Libro Segundo, IV, § 1 to § 79, 2009, pp. 548-570). However, the extensive analysis of Vico's Homer is for another task.

[xvii] "pseudomorphosis. In a rock, crystals of a mineral are embedded. Openings are produced. Water falls and washes the crystals in such a way that only their cavities remain; later, volcanic phenomena supervene that break the mountain; incandescent masses rush into it, solidify, crystallizing in turn, but not in their proper form; they have to fill the forms that those cavities offer them and, thus, hybrid forms result, crystals whose interior structure differs from the external construction, mineral species that take alien forms: mineralogists call this pseudomorphosis (pseudoform) (TRAGTENBERG, 2009, p 168)”.

[xviii]The notion of divine providence travels in historical, theological-philosophical time. But withDiscours sur l'histoire Universelle. Monseigneur le Dauphin, by the Bishop of Meaux, Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (1623-1704), published in 1681, under direct inspiration of civitas dei, by Augustine, the Christian notion of divine providence was linked to the political field of French absolutism, guiding and justifying what had happened in History, both past and contemporary. By the way, see MENEZES, E., “Universal History and Providence in Bossuet” (MENEZES, 2006, pp. 53-76). See also BOSSUET, “Sermon on Providence”, translated by E. Menezes, In op cit, pp. 29-49. Truly, Bossuetbaptizesthe modern notion of divine providence.In the “Preface”, Grespan writes: “But Bossuet left his mark on Enlightenment thought by stating that 'each people has a role and a destiny' in history, preparing the idea, later developed by Voltaire and Herder , of the 'people' as an elementary unit of the evolution of the spirit of man, as a basic figure of the historical succession, whose position and articulation within this order constitute it as a whole (GRESPAN, Op.Cit., P. 10).” It was up to Vico to secularize the notion of divine providence.

[xx] Risério questions Vico's recourse to divine Providence, which could be a rhetorical motive to support the argument, as it could have followed the Cartesian artifice of disguising the “truths” discovered and announced in his works. See RISÉRIO, A., “A Via Vico”, USP Magazine, n. 23, 1994, pp. 1-14. (accessed January 20, 2018, link

[xx] With regard to the “Frontispiece” of Vico’s work, see the excellent and meticulous study by Daniel Eid Tucci, “Science Nuova: a pictorial analysis”, In TUCCI, DE, Vico, the Imagination of Imagination: the imagination of knowledge, Saarbrücken, New Academic Editions, 2015, pp. 12-71.

[xxx] With regard to ages, see also § 52, § 54 to § 59, § 69, § 79 and § 80.

[xxiii] See also § 928 to § 931.

[xxiii] Check out “On poetic-heroic characters”, In SAMMER, R. The Poetic Characters of Giambattista Vico – philosophy and philology in New Science, doctoral thesis in History, PUC-RJ, 2016, pp. 123-151,

[xxv] By the way, Vico argues: “Because this one discovered a generous ferocity, from which others could defend themselves, or save themselves, or avoid; but the former, with vile ferocity, with flattery and embraces, lays snares for the lives and fortunes of her confidants and friends. For this reason, the peoples of that reflexive malice, thus stunned and stupid with this last remedy applied by providence, are no longer sensitive to supplies, comforts, pleasures and pomp, but only to the utilities necessary for life; and, with the few men left at last, and the abundance of the necessaries of life, they naturally become decorous; and, by the returned first simplicity of the first world of peoples, they will be religious, true and loyal; and thus piety, faith, truth will return among them, which are the natural foundations of justice and are graces and beauties of God's eternal order (VICO, 2005, § 1106).”

[xxiv] About the mythology of the giants, apoud VICO, “Mythology of the Giants” (VICO, Libro Segundo, III, § 1 to §18, 2009, pp. 545-548).

[xxv] Of the Giants, Vico does not refer to verses 151-162, of Metamorphoses, by Ovid, inspired by the Theogony, by Hesiod. Here they are:

“Were the high aether not safer than the earth, / it is said that the Giants sought the ethereal kingdom / and crowded mountain upon mountain to the stars. / Then the omnipotent father hurled his thunderbolt, shattered Olympus / and shook the Pelius that supported Ossa.* / As the ferocious bodies lay under the heap they heaped, / it is said that the earth became damp, flooded with the much blood / of his children and to hot blood he gave life. And, to preserve / a testimony of his lineage, he transformed him into beings / with a human face. But this race also became violent, greedy for the horrors of carnage and despised the gods. / It was seen that it was the blood that gave rise to it (OVID, I, 2017, verses 151-162).”

*Ossa is one of the names of Thessaly, as well as Olympus and Pelion.

[xxviii]A giant survived, at least in the prose of Guimarães Rosa. “Pedro Orósio: young man, well-shaped nape, thick waist; and markedly erect: not even five centimeters short of having the size of a giant, capable of engulfing a pole of mastic in any terrain, of snapping the bones of the head of a marruás in fours, with a blow in its hair, and lifting a harnessed donkey off the ground [...], and without even slackening the breath of air that God lends to everyone (GUIMARÃES ROSA, 1960, p. 239).”

[xxviii] Augustine of Hippo had written: “the world is pregnant with God”.

[xxix] Here is the opening paragraph of finnegans Wake, fragment 1: “riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from serve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs bay, returns us by a recirculating comodius vicus back to Howth Castle Ecercanias) (JOYCE, 1, 1971, pp. 34-35).” Augusto and Haroldo de Campos inform that: “In the 1st paragraph, the male and female principle, Adam and Eve (in this case, also, the Church of 'Adam and Eve', on the banks of the River Liffey, in Dublin) and the theme of Vico's 'ricorso', in a vicious circle – a commodius vicus of recurrence – vicus meaning 'street', but at the same time evoking Giambattista Vico and Dublin's Vico Road; commodity alluding to Emperor Commodus, of decaying Rome (diu: lat., a long time ago)… (FIELDS In JOYCE, 1971, p. 81).”

[xxx] About the third paragraph of fragment 1, by finnegans Wake, in which the primal scream appears, Augusto and Haroldo Campos explain: “The fall of Finnegan, associated with that of Humpty Dumpty (O Homem-Ovo de Alice in the Looking Glass) of the wall, registered by an immense polylingual word, which will reappear in polysyllabic variants of a hundred letters, in other points of the book, for more than nine times [...]. It is the “voice of thunder”, which symbolizes the end of the last phase (the chaotic one) of the Vico cycle and the restart of the first one (theocratic one). The 'disjecta membra' of the fallen giant are scattered across Dublin's topography: the head, on the hill of Howth, the feet, in Castle Knock, in a Phoenix cemetery Park, where the remains of the orangemen, invaders of Ireland (CAMPOS In JOYCE, 1971, p. 82).”

[xxxii] Poetic Wisdom is subdivided into the following sections of the Second Book, from New Science (1744): “[First Section – On Poetic Metaphysics]”, (§ 374 to § 399); “[Section Two – On Poetic Logic]”, (§ 400 to § 501); “[Section Three – On Poetic Morals]”, (§ 502-519); “[Fourth Section – On Poetic Economy]”, (§ 520-581); “On Poetic Politics” (§ 582-678); “On Poetic History” (§ 679-686); “On Poetic Physics” (§ 687-709); “On Poetic Cosmography” (§ 710-725); “On Poetic Astronomy” (§ 726-731); “On Poetic Chronology” (§ 732-735) and “On Poetic Geography” (§ 741-778).

[xxxi] vico read “Aristotle and all the Greeks, St. Augustine and St. Thomas, Gassendi and Locke, Descartes and Spinoza, Malebranche and Leibniz, being nobody's slave and content with the choice of four models: Plato; Tacit; Bacon, who saw'that the human and divine sciences need to carry their investigations further and that the little already discovered by them still needs to be corrected'; Grotius, that'brought together all philosophy in a universal system of law and based its theology on the history of facts, whether fabulous or certain, and on that of the three languages: Hebrew, Greek and Latin, the only cultured languages ​​of our antiquity that were transmitted by Christian religion…'. But these geniuses never acted on him to the point of renouncing the recasting of the elements of knowledge. Vico is painfully and magnificently himself (HAZARD, 1948, p. 317.

[xxxii]There is another reference, of a personal nature, which is not present in the Autobiography. This reference is part of a series of reflections that Vico compiled after the publication of the second version of the New Science, that of 1730. This material was published in the edition of Laterza, a cura de Fausto Nicolini, with the title of  Correzioni, miglioramenti and aggiunti terze. The mention precedes a series of corrections to the “Tabula Chronológica” and gives the impression of being a religious pause experienced by Vico, before or after the work of revising the New Science, de 1730. Vico recorded: “Terminata la vigil de Santo Agostinho (August 27), mio ​​particolare protettore, l'anno 1731 (VICO, Works, 5:377, the cure of Fausto Nicolini).

[xxxv] The expression appears in Book Eighteenth, Chapter XIV, "The Theological Poets", In SAINT AUGUSTINE, The City of God (Against the Pagans), Part II, translation by Oscar Paes Leme, Petrópolis, Vozes, 1990, p. 328.

[xxxiv] VELOSO, Caetano, song “Livros”, album Books, 1997, second track.

[xxxiv] maintained at spelling original. – Message to Reviewers: please keep the spelling of Pessoa's words, as they are in his text, now reproduced.

[xxxviii] In the original: [EIN DRÖHNEN] “Ein Dröhnen: es ist die Wahrheit selbst unter die Menschen getreten, mitten ins Metapherngestöber”, FONSECA, Celso Fraga, “Poemas de Paul Celan (1920-1950)”, In Literature in Translation Notebooks at the. 4, p. 17, (access link, on October 19, 2017).

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