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Horst Steinke


and V) is reminiscent of Spinoza’s placement of the methodological Chapter

VII of


, about which M. Walther remarked: «Damit folgt Spinoza auch

hier der […] Einsicht, dass die Methode, wenn sie ihrem Gegenstand gerecht

werden will, kein abstract von aussen an einen Gegenstand herangetragenes

Regelwerk sein kann, sondern nur die reflexiv gewordene Einsicht in den er-

kannten Sachverhalt selber ist; dass die Methode als “idea ideae” immer die

Einsicht in den Sachverhalt selber voraussetzt bzw. sich erst in der dem Ge-

genstand gewidmeten Gedankenarbeit als angemessen herausbildet und

bewährt (Thus, Spinoza applies here, too, the insight that the method, if it is

to do justice to its subject matter, cannot be a set of rules that is abstractly

brought to bear on the subject from the outside, but is the reflexive insight in

the epistemic state of affairs; that the method as “idea ideae” always presup-

poses insight in the subject matter itself, or, respectively, develops and proves

itself as adequate and valid only in the course of the thought process devoted

to the subject)» (Id.,

Biblische Hermeneutik und historische Erklärung. Lodewijk Mey-

er und Benedikt de Spinoza über Norm, Methode und Ergebnis wissenschaftlicher Bibel-


, in «Studia Spinozana», 11, 1995, pp. 227-300, p. 263).



Haddock who wrote: «It must be borne in mind that Vico’s Ho-

meric studies were always subsidiary to the elaboration of the principles of

interpretation which had “cost” him “the persistent research of almost all” his

“literary life”» (Id.,

Vico’s “Discovery of the True Homer

”, cit., p. 588). Our por-

trayal is also at variance with Caponigri: «they [the Homeric poems] provide

the supreme testing ground for this theory of poetry and, consequently, for

the entire movement of the “New Science”» (Id.,

Time and Idea

, cit., p. 191). In

our reading, instead, Homer is the source of Vico’s hermeneutics, and it is his-

toriography that is to be exercised in the light of it, not the other way around.


See M. H. Fisch,

Vico on Roman Law

, cit., p. 8: «Gradually he came to

see in the fragments, except for later interpolations, the vestiges of the culture

of a still barbarous people».



, pp. 8-9.


Cacciatore expressed it succinctly: «Ed Omero rappresenta innanzitutto

la “sapienza poetica”, cioè la “prima sapienza del mondo per gli gentili” (And

Homer represents first of all the “poetic wisdom”, that is, the “first wisdom

of the world for the gentiles”)» (Id.,

Vico: Narrazione storica e narrazione fantasti-


, cit., p. 119; Id.,

Vico: Narración histórica y narración fantástica

, trans. by J.

Sánchez Espillaque, in «CsV», 23, 2009, pp. 15-31, p. 17; also Id.,


moderna di certezza

, cit., p. 187; quoting from § 6).


§ 853 (Book III, Section I, Chapter VI, Proof XIV): «[…] the differ-

ence we can observe between the styles of the two poems is infinite». See B.