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Vico, Giambattista

Index: El tiempo circular, Historia de la eternidad, OC,Obras completas. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1974. 395. La forma de la espada, Artificios, Ficciones, OC,Obras completas. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1974. 497. El inmortal, El Aleph, OC,Obras completas. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1974. 542, 543. Veit Valentin: Weltgeschichte, Albert de Lange, BS,Borges en Sur 1931-1980. Buenos Aires: Emecé, 1999. 209. Domingo F. Sarmiento: Facundo,P,Prólogos. Buenos Aires: Torres Agüero, 1975. 134. 27 de noviembre de 1936, Biografía Sintética, Benedetto Croce, TC,Textos cautivos. Barcelona: Tusquets, 1986. 51.

Italian philosopher and historian, 1668-1744, author of Principii d'una scienza nuova and numerous other works

Fishburn and Hughes: An Italian philosopher and historian who propounded a cyclical theory of the history of mankind. In Scienza Nuova (1725), he envisages human societies as passing through periods of growth and decay: from the age of the beasts to the age of the Gods, from the age of heroes to that of men. The Theme of the Traitor and the Hero): in Vice's 'morphology' certain dominant constants of the human mind reappear both in the origin and in the regeneration of societies; they relate to religious customs and to the ambivalence between the animal and the angelic aspects of human nature. Goethe, who was greatly influenced by Vico, visualised the process of man's spiritual evolution in the light of his prophetic insight. The Inmortal: Vico set out his ideas on the 'Homeric question' in 'The Discovery of the True Homer' in the third book of Scienza Nuova (para. 803/90). Remembering Aristotle's definition of Homer's characters, Vico describes them as universal symbols, 'imaginative universals', to which the Greeks attached particulars proper to their specific 'genus': 'to Achilles the properties of heroic valour and all the feelings and customs arising from these natural properties'; 'to Ulysses all the feelings and customs of heroic wisdom'. Homer himself, according to Vico, is but the symbol of different authors to whom, with time, people have attached different characteristics proper to the wandering poet: he was poor, he was blind and he moved from one town square to another singing his epics. We do not know for sure where Homer was born, but we accept that he wrote poems whose geographical settings are far apart; we are told that he never went to Egypt, yet we accept his description of the land and its customs; we do not know when he lived, and explain the differences between the Iliad and the Odyssey by saying that the first was written in his youth and the second in his maturity, although, in fact, centuries lie between the two works. 'The Greek people were... Homer,' concludes Vico. 'Lost in the crowds of Greek peoples', he 'is justified for having made men of Gods and Gods of men.' The Theme of the Traitor and the Hero; The Inmortal