공동연구 : 르네상스 영국에서의 Tacitus와 타키투스주의

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저자명 : 이종숙(Jong Sook Lee)

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Tacitus was resurrected in the Renaissance from the dust of neglect and near oblivion which he had been buried under for centuries. Once having been resurrected, he flourished for a great while. In the fifteenth century he was taken up by such humanists as Leonardo Bruni, Flavio Biondo, and Lorenzo Valla, and in the early sixteenth century he was beginning to exert a profound influence on such political thinkers and historians as Vives, Machiavelli, and Guicciardini. The editio princeps of Tacitus appeared in 1575, and the following century saw a massive explosion of commentary, citation and exposition of him. The interest in Tacitus turned into a fashion, a craze, a movement. This was the movement which Peter Burke terms $quot;Tacitism,$quot; the English version of which this study examines. Among the reasons for the explosion of the interest in Tacitus were the preoccupations, particularly about politics, of England and Europe at large in this period, that is, the period of religious reform and monarchic absolutism. His warnings against arbitrary power, his analysis of the secret ways of tyranny, and his suspicion of political motives--all could turn him into a Machiavelli in a classical disguise. He taught to the age`s absolute rulers statecraft, the arts of manipulation and accommodation, and to their subjects, how difficult it was to avoid the strategies of tyrants. His work was at once a manual of statecraft for tyrants and a defense of the people`s right to resist tyrants. In 1591 Sir Henry Savile issued a translation of Tacitus`s Agricola and Historiae I-N, the first English Tacitus ever, opening the age of Tacitism in England. Tacitus provided a particularly suitable vehicle for expressing the concerns of the Elizabethan and the early Stuart England. It was, then, the political utility of Tacitus that determined the course of Tacitist movement in Renaissance England defenders of monarchic absolutism admired him for his mastery of statecraft, while their opponents found in him, with his detailed accounts of the techniques of political manipulation, an eloquent advocate of the right to resist monarchic tyranny. During the period between 1590 and 1649, especially, Tacitus was studied as a political text: Tacitist discourse was always politically oriented, and commentaries on Tacitus had a Machiavellian sub-text. There were to be found aspects of Tacitean influence in almost every cultural activity. From the study of Tacitus as much as from that of Machiavelli, evolved $quot;politic istory,$quot; the new form of historiography, which characteristically insisted on the search of human or political causes instead of divine or moral causes of all happenings. The Tacitean anxiety about the dangerous contiguity of absolute monarchy to tyranny is identifiable in many of the history plays of Shakespeare as well as in the classical plays written by Jonson, Massinger, and others. And as one can see from the fact that Tacitist discourse was employed by the persons involved in the Essex rebellion and later by the agitators and advocates of the English Civil War, Tacitus is an important part of the English tradition of resistance against political absolutism and thus has performed an active role in the shaping of early modern England. Tacitus owed his $quot;renaissance$quot; to the period`s urgent need to find answers to the problems of the present, to re-create the past in terms of the anxieties of the present. And as such Tacitus, or $quot;Tacitus;` in the Renaissance provides a model of the relations between politics and classical texts in the Renaissance, in particular, and of the erosion of the meaning of the past by the utility of the present, in general.

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