to rack his brains over its difficult text; it was sent back to Lodi and lost there forever; since A.D. 1428, nothing been known about its fate. The European philologists deplore the loss even today12."
Another example is that of Suetonius' De vita Caesarum (Lives of the Caesars), which is only available in much later transcripts. The original of the only "antique manuscript" was allegedly possessed by the Frankish historian Einhard, who is also known as the author of Vita Karoli Magni (Life of Charles the Great). It is believed that Ernhard in ca. A.D. 818 carefully reproduced the assumingly biographical stories of Suetonius13. This oldest manuscript of Suetonius, which is supposed to be that of the 9th century, became known only in the 16th century, while the other copies are dated not earlier than the 11th century.
The basis for dating of the "ancient" manuscripts, which was accomplished during the 14th-16th century, remains till this day a mystery. For instance, the book of the Roman architect and engineer Marcus Vitruvius' — De architectura, was discovered only in 1497. It is amazing that in the astronomical part of his book, Vitruvius lists the precise sidereal periods of the major planets14. It seems that Vitruvius, who allegedly lived in the 1st-2nd century A.D., had a better knowledge of astronomy than Copernicus. His period of Saturn differs from the today's known value by only 0.0007, for Mars the error is only 0.006, while for Jupiter his error is 0.00315. Let us point out that there are strong parallels connecting Vitruvius' book to Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) — Italian Humanist, architect, and principal initiator of Renaissance art theory16. Like Vitruvius, Alberti became famous as the greatest Italian architect of his time. He is also the author of an architectural theory which is comparable, in smallest details, to a similar theory of Vitruvius17. Just like Vitruvius he was also educated in mathematics, optics, and mechanics. For a long time it is well known to specialists that some passages of Alberti's and Vitruvius' works coincide verbatim!). This strange coincidence is explain today by the assumption that Alberti modeled his own treatise on Vitruvius' work18.
Thus, we can state with confidence that the book of Vitruvius (as well as that of Alberti) fit perfectly the ideological atmosphere the 15th century. In fact the overwhelming majority of the designed by Alberti buildings were in "antique style." So, it appears that the leading architect of the Italian Renaissance fills the cities with antique buildings. Nowadays, they are regarded as "imitations of antiquity," but they could be not at all seen as such in the 15th century. It is possible that the architects of the 14th-15th century did not consider their work as an "imitation of antiquity," but simply created it.
Let us discuss the case of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, who is assumed to be the founder of the philosophical system — platonism. His teachings, initially forgotten, were revived by famous neoplatonist Plotin, allegedly living in 205-270 A.D. As we can expect, the similarities between the names Plato and Plotin are purely coincidental. Then neoplatonism vanishes for many centuries, just to be revived again in the 15th century by another famous platonist — Gemisto Plethon. In this case, the fact that Plethon's name is almost identical to his precursor, is again a sheer coincidence. It was exactly the epoch of Plethon when the manuscripts of Platon were unearthed and it turned out that Gemisto Plathon became an avid advocate of the "ancient" Plato. He founded "Plethon's Academy" in Florence in the image of the "ancient" Plato's Academy, writes his own Utopia and a treatise on the Laws, which he was unable to complete. So many coincidences in this story give us reasons to question the real identity of Plato.
The oldest biography of Aristotle — "ancient" Greek philosopher and scientist, is dated 1300 A.D., while presumably, "the best Greek codices of Aristotle's works belong to the 10-12 centuries." It is interesting that the "ancient" argument between Plato and Aristotle was "re-enacted" in the
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The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.