The development of historical writing from the late Medieval period to the early Renaissance reveals changes in the purpose of historical memory. The shift from the philosophy of Aristotle in the Medieval period to the Renaissance Neoplatonic philosophy was the occasion for a shift both in the conception of memory and in the exact use of history. By exploring the contrasts in the writing styles concerning who and what is recorded, and how it is recorded, from various Florentine chronicles from the 13th to the 16th centuries, we can see how the development of history during this period involved new philosophies and new conceptions of memory. A close reading of primary historical and philosophical texts, from Dino Compagni to Machiavelli helps to expose this change and reveals its significance to our modern understanding of memory.
Joseph Rompala, ’01 Menomonie, WI
Sponsor: William Carroll