Horst Steinke, Vico’s Ring. Notes on the“Scienza nuova”, its Structure, and the Hermeneutics of Homer’s Works
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Horst Steinke


Spinoza, and Vico

, in

Giambattista Vico’s Science of Humanity,

ed. by G. Tagliacoz-

zo and D. Ph. Verene, Baltimore-London, Johns Hopkins University Press,

1976, pp. 187-212; G. Bedani,

Vico Revisited: Orthodoxy, Naturalism and Science in

the “Scienza nuova

”, Oxford-Hamburg-Munich, Berg, 1989, p. 88; A. Tucker,

Platone e Vico. Una reinterpretazione platonica di Vico

, tr. it. di D. Rotoli, in «Bollet-

tino del Centro di Studi Vichiani»

(henceforth referred to as «BCSV»), XXIV-

XXV, 1994-1995, pp. 97-115 (online at

Portale Vico




under tab



E. Nuzzo,

I caratteri dei popoli nella nuova scienza delle nazioni di

Vico. Tra causalità sacra, causalità storica, causalità naturale,


Razionalità e modernità

in Vico

, cit., pp. 129-178, pp. 141-144; O. Remaud,

Vico lector de Espinosa (Sobre

la reprensión de la Etica, II, 7 en la Scienza nuova [1744], § 238)

, trans. by M. F.

Pérez-Alors and J. A. Martin-Casanova, in «CsV»,

7-8, 1997, pp. 191-206; S.


Vico versus Spinoza. Zwei Typen von Metaphysik vor dem Problem “zeitlicher


, in

Pensar para un nuevo siglo

, vol. II, cit., pp. 497-512; V. Vitiello,

Vico nel suo tempo

, saggio introduttivo in G. Vico,

La Scienza nuova. Le tre edizioni

del 1725, 1730 e 1744

, ed. by M. Sanna and V. Vitiello, Milan, Bompiani, 2012-

2013, pp. V-CLXXII, pp. LIX-CXVIII.


A. R. Caponigri,

Time and Idea: The Theory of History in Giambattista Vico,

Notre Dame, Indiana-London, University of Notre Dame Press, 1953, p. 191.


As P. Cristofolini wrote that «la questione è stata a un certo punto posta

da Vico come fondamentale, e dunque collocata al centro dell’opera (the que-

stion [of Homer] is posed by Vico at a certain point as fundamental and there-

fore placed in the middle of the work)» (Id.,

La Scienza nuova

di Vico: introduzio-

ne alla lettura

, Rome, La Nuova Italia Scientifica, 1995, p. 135).


Since it is the third out of five books, Mazzotta calls it «literally the nu-

merical centerpiece» (Id.,

The New Map of the World,

cit., p.

140). While our es-

say examines

Scienza nuova

mainly from the perspective of classical

literary tech-


, to put it mundanely, A. Fletcher has called attention to a different

source of inspiration – not that these two aspects were mutually exclusive – ,

namely ancient «numerology». He observed: «Thus, while the infrastructure of


New Science

is based on an ordering of numerous “sets” or “cells” of triadic

cultural development, the whole Book is given its “external” form by the

number 5. […] The pentad is often modulated, in number symbolism, into

what might be called “the beginnings of a circle” – […] the pentad is con-

ceived as “perfectly” closing off an extended action. Vico achieves this same

“five-act” closure by dividing his 1744

New Science

into a pentad of triads, all

of which reflect or interact with various initial binary oppositions» (Id.,

On the

Syncretic Allegory of the

New Science, in «NVS», 4, 1986, pp. 25-42, p. 32). See

also A. Battistini,

On the Encyclopedic Structure of the New Science

, cit., p. 21. While

the context is not directly related to the present subject, Sanna’s comment on