which has not been carried over. See G. Vico,
La Scienza nuova. Le tre edizioni
cit., p. 486) So, while Vico kept to the key role of childhood, both in its actual
and metaphorical states, in the 1744 version, he expunged the references to
pregnancy and childbirth.
While it could not be argued that these changes (and others) materially al-
ter the overall picture, what they have in common is their pointedness and
definitiveness, and thus may reflect, among other things, Vico’s growing self-
confidence and self-assurance in his theoretical framework.
Ruggiero has shown how seemingly minor wording changes/edits be-
tween the 1730 and 1744 versions provide a window into Vico’s thinking. His
study involves the historically contentious § 873, where Vico takes «the mid-
dle ground (
per la metà
)» on the question of Homer’s “existence”; while the
textual changes do not revise the overall line of argumentation, and thus are
not necessarily critical or radical, they are still helpful for clarification (Id.,
cit., pp. 236-244). Ruggiero’s conclusions will be relevant to
our own discussion of § 873 below.
La Scienza nuova. Le tre edizioni,
cit., p. 486; the identical state-
ment is also in the 1744 version, at the end of § 338.
Unless Vico meant to highlight the 20-year period as such, as relative
or free-floating, without relating its end point specifically to the 1730 edition,
as in an absolute chronology; in that case, he could have had in mind the two
decades prior to
(1725), or even prior to
(1721/1722), thus taking us as far back as the time of the early
This latter timeline could be in line with Ruggiero’s observation: «Tra il
1721 e il 1722 intanto, per la prima volta, Vico comincia a riflettere sulla figura
di Omero, e il ruolo di Omero appare subito sistematicamente così rilevante
da meritare chiose e incrementi tali che finirono col produrre una lunga nota
[…] nel terzo volume del
(Meanwhile, between 1721 and
1722, Vico for the first time begins to reflect on the figure of Homer, and the
role of Homer quickly appears as so relevant systematically as to merit expla-
nations and additional comments that, in the end, resulted in a lengthy note
[…] in the third volume of
Nova Scientia Tentatur
, cit., p.
See B. A. Haddock,
Vico’s “Discovery of the True Homer
”, cit., p. 588; M.
Vico on Roman Law
, cit., pp. 7-8. Since the
Scienza nuova in forma nega-
and the so-called Venetian
are no longer extant, no other
major works are available for consideration relative to his treatment of Homer
prior to the 1725 version.
Vico’s placement of his pivotal methodological excursus only after pre-
senting three-quarters of the entire rest of the work first (i.e. Books I, II, IV,