Document Type


Publication Date

October 2010


Leonardo Bruni published one of his most widely copied translations, Xenophon's pro-monarchical Hiero, shortly before he penned his more famous original works, his Dialogues and Panegyric to the City of Florence. Scholars have traditionally focused on the political ideas present in these original treatises; yet, despite the centrality of political ideas to the Hiero, its temporal proximity to these works, and its enormous popularity (the work exists in 200 fifteenth-century manuscripts), scholars have neglected to offer a full assessment of Bruni's translation in the context of these works. Bruni's translation of Xenophon's Hiero fit into a debate in early fifteenth-century Florence about Julius Caesar and the Florentine poet Dante. The two major thinkers in the debate, Bruni and Coluccio Salutati, agreed that a distinction had to be made between kings and tyrants based on legal claim and quality of rule. The Hiero reinforced this assumption. The two men disagreed, however, about which category applied to Julius Caesar and what this meant for the reputation of Dante.

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© 2009 The AuthorJournal compilation © 2009 The Society for Renaissance Studies, Blackwell Publishing Ltd