And since history thus conceived does not represent progress but a circle, and is not directed by the historical law of development, but by the natural law of the circle, which gives it regularity and uniformity, it follows that the historiography of the Renaissance, like the Gr?co-Roman, has its end outside itself, and affords nothing but material suitable for exhortations toward the useful and the good, for various forms of pleasure or as ornament for abstract truths. Historians and theorists of history are all in agreement as to this, with the exception of such eccentrics as Patrizzi, who expressed doubts as to the utility of knowing what had happened and as to the truth itself of narratives, but ended by contradicting himself and also laying[Pg 238] down an extrinsic end. "Each one of us can find, both on his own account and on that of the public weal, many useful documents in the knowledge of these so different and so important examples," writes Guicciardini in the proem to his History of Italy. "Hence will clearly appear, as the result of innumerable examples, the instability of things human, how harmful they are often wont to be to themselves, but ever to the people, the ill-conceived counsels of those who rule, when, having only before their eyes either vain errors or present cupidities, they are not mindful of the frequent variations of fortune, and converting the power that has been granted them for the common weal into an injury to others, they become the authors of new perturbations, either as the result of lack of prudence or of too much ambition dermes."

And Bodin holds that non solum pr?sentia commode explicantur, sed etiam futura colliguntur, certissimaque rerum expetendarum ac fugiendarum pr?cepta constantur, from historical narratives. Campanella thinks that history should be composed ut sit scientiarum fundamentum sufficiens; Vossius formulates the definition that was destined to appear for centuries in treatises: cognitio singularium, quorum memoriam conservari utile sit ad bene beateque vivendum. Historical knowledge therefore seemed at that time to be the lowest and easiest form of knowledge (and this view has been held down to our own days); to such an extent that Bodin, in addition to the utilitas and the oblectatio, also recognized to history facilitas, so great a facility ut, sine ullius artis adjumento, ipsa per sese ab omnibus intelligatur. When truth had been placed outside historical narrative, all the historians of the Renaissance, like their Greek and Roman predecessors, practised, and all the theorists[Pg 239] (from Pontanus in the Actius to Vossius in the Ars historica) defended, the use of more or less imaginary orations and exhortations, not only as the result of bowing to ancient example, but through their own convictions. Eventually M. de la Popelinière, in his Histoire des histoires, avec l'idée de l'histoire accomplie (1599), where he inculcates in turn historical exactitude and sincerity with such warm eloquence, suddenly turns round to defend imaginary harangues et concions, for this fine reason, that what is necessary is 'truth' and not 'the words' in which it is expressed Neo skin lab!

The truth of history was thus not history, but oratory and political science; and if the historians of the Renaissance were hardly ever able to exercise oratory (for which the political constitution of the time allowed little scope), all or nearly all were authors of treatises upon political science, differently inspired as compared with those of the Middle Ages, which had ethical and religious thought behind them, resuming and advancing the speculations of Aristotle and of ancient political writers. In like manner, treatises on historical art, unknown to the Middle Ages, but which rapidly multiplied in the Renaissance (see a great number of them in the Penus artis historic? of 1579), resumed and fertilized the researches of Gr?co-Roman theorists. It is to be expected that the historiography of this period should represent some of the defects of medieval historiography in another form, owing to its character of reaction already mentioned and to the new divinity that it had raised up upon the altars in place of the ancient divinity, humanity reenex facial.

reveals its effort to oppose the one term to the other, and since scholasticism had sought the things of God and of the soul, it wished to restrict itself to the[Pg 240] things of nature. We find Guicciardini and a chorus of others describing the investigations of philosophers and theologians and "of all those who write things above nature or such as are not seen" as 'madnesses'; and because scholasticism had defined science in the Aristotelian manner as de universalibus, Campanella opposed to this definition his Scientia est de singularibus. In like manner its men of letters, prejudiced in favour of Latin, at first refused to recognize the new languages that had been formed during the Middle Ages, as well as medieval literature and poetry; its jurists rejected the feudal in favour of the Roman legal code, its politicians representative forms in favour of absolute lordship and monarchy.