Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Accademia degli Infiammati

  • Maria Teresa GirardiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_335-1


The Accademia degli Infiammati (Academy of the Burning Ones) was founded in Padua, on June 6, 1540, by Leone Orsini, in partnership with Florentine humanist Benedetto Varchi and Venetian humanist Daniele Barbaro, who drafted the academic statute. The choice of name stems from the impresa adopted by the Academy: the image of an inflamed Hercules on Mount Oeta, along with the motto “once burned, the mortal will go to heaven eternally,” which was meant to signify the search for immortality by means of devotion to scholarship. The head of the Academy was a prince, whose election occurred generally every 4 months and whose duty was to schedule lectures, which were usually held on Thursdays and Sundays.

The Academy remained active at least until May of 1542. Despite its brief existence, it is considered one of the most important sixteenth-century academies, because its influence on the culture of that century was ongoing and reached well beyond the Venetian area. This was primarily due to the fact that it absorbed the great philosophical-scientific tradition of the University of Padua; the influence of Pietro Pomponazzi’s mentorship, especially by means of his pupil Sperone Speroni; the heritage Pietro Bembo had bequeathed to that area; and the culture contributed by such eminent Tuscan figures such as Benedetto Varchi and Alessandro Piccolomini, who along with Speroni were the leading figures of the Academy. The Infiammati pursued a program inspired by a philosophically based system of knowledge that preferably hinged on ethics, rhetoric, and literature, a program to be divulged specifically through the use of the Italian vernacular language and culture. By actively working in order to extend the use of the vernacular to all aspects of knowledge, including philosophy and science, the Academy did not just adjust to new requirements for the dissemination of knowledge; it also set the foundation for a universal vernacular language.


Fellow Citizen Nicomachean Ethic Fellow Member Vernacular Language Lyric Poetry 
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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facoltà di Scienze Linguistiche e Letterature StraniereCatholic University of Sacred HeartMilanItaly