Machiavelli e la lezione di Lucrezio
Machiavelli’s knowledge of Lucretius’ text had been proven thanks to a very relevant discovery by Sergio Bertelli, who in 1961 published an article in which he recognized Machiavelli’s handwriting in the Vatican codex Rossianus 884. This paper analyses the possible repercussions of De rerum natura with respect to the political potential that Lucretius’ thought could had transmitted to Machiavelli, in view of his return to the vita activa. In particular, the notes posted by Machiavelli in the marginalia of the Lucretius’ text he transcribed, prove his reflection on the “clinamen theory”. In the various profiles of the world generated by the vital trigger that the clinamen causes, lies a possibility for us of having a libera mens: the possibility of intercepting and correcting, by our own virtue, the twists and turns of Fate, opposes the individual liberty to the whims of Fortuna, but also to the idea of an ineffable Divine Providence with its mysterious and intractable designs.
Keywords: Florentine Renaissance • Lucretius • Clinamen • Machiavelli • Fortuna