Paolo Sarpi (3265 words)

Nicla Riverso (University of Washington)
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Paolo Sarpi, one of the foremost intellectuals of his age, is best known as a historian through the international popularity of his work, Storia del Concilio di Trento [History of the Council of Trent] (1619). Sarpi played different roles in his life – friar, politician, philosopher, canon law adviser, natural philosopher, theologian, historian – and for centuries scholars have attempted to define the true nature of his thinking, a subject of bitter controversy. Sarpi himself was opaque on the issue, writing to a friend, “Ego eius ingenii sum, ut, velut Chamalaeon, […] personam coactus fero” (“My character is such that, like a chameleon, […] I am compelled to wear a mask&…

Citation: Riverso, Nicla. "Paolo Sarpi". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 January 2017 [https://staging.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=13838, accessed 14 December 2019.]

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