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Readers of

Scienza nuova


at times refer to Book III (“Dis-

covery of the True Homer”) as its center even without consider-

ation or thought of its overall structure of the particular kind that

is here hypothesized. The impression of centrality is based on in-

ternal evidence which we also take as its most valid and crucial

justification. In fact, by virtue of its contents, the centrality of

Book III would even remain the case if it had been placed

somewhere else in the work. For example, by way of a “thought

experiment”, one could envision it even as an appendix to the

work, and it would not take anything away from, or change the

thrust of, the rest of the work. Considering the contents of

Books I, II, IV, and V, and certain interconnections that we at-

tempted to elucidate in our (selective) commentary, the distinc-

tive, stand-alone nature of the material in Book III arguably

might have been well suited for the appendix genre


. We con-

sider it therefore significant that Vico chose to place this material

in the literal or physical middle of the work, where it, in effect,

interrupts the “natural” arc from Book II to Book IV; this move

thus can be seen as accomplishing a twofold objective, that of

finalizing the ring structure, and, at the same time, making use of

the structural properties themselves to imbue this material with

an aura of special importance, all the more effective because it is

done indirectly



The idiosyncratic nature of Book III comes to the fore also

when it is compared with related material in

Scienza nuova


Throughout this so-called

First New Science

, there are not only

numerous mentions of Homer, but, in fact, reflections and ar-