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Vico’s Ring


state that «Spinoza […] not only ruled out Moses as the author of the



, but attributed its composition to the entire Hebrew people […]. In a

similar vein Vico claimed that the


and the


were not written hy

Homer himself, who in fact had never even existed […]» (Id.,

The Rehabiliation

of Myth

, cit., p. 219).


Vico makes two other explicit refences to Moses in

Scienza nuova


in § 465: «[…] St. Jerome holds […] that the Book of Job, which is older than

the books of Moses, was composed in heroic verse […]»; in § 585: «Moreover,

Homer himself, as often as he mentions the heroes by name in his two po-

ems, adds the fixed epithet “king”. In striking harmony with this is the golden

passage in


in which Moses, enumerating the descendents of Esau, calls

them all kings […]». In both instances, the great antiquity of the Pentateuch is

affirmed, as corollary to the great antiquity of the Homeric material. In all

three paragraphs, however, mention of Moses has merely an incidental char-

acter from which no conclusions can be drawn with respect to analogies be-

tween Homer and Moses either in terms of authorship or existence. L. Amo-

roso commented: «[…] a parte un paio di confronti di carattere occasionale e

marginale fra Omero e Mosè [§§ 464 (465), 585, 794], non si parla di

quest’ultimo come sublime poeta […] ([…] apart from a couple of compari-

sons of an incidental and marginal character, the latter is not spoken of as a

sublime poet […])» (Id.,

Mosè fu un poeta teologo?


cit., p. 217; see


, pp. 213-

217, for Vico’s earlier preoccupation with Moses). Amoroso also speaks of

Vico, in

Scienza nuova

1744, in terms of «un arretramento di Vico di fronte alla

possibilità di applicare alla Bibbia l’ermeneutica da lui elaborata per la mitolo-

gia greco-romana (a distancing by Vico from the possibility of applying to the

Bible, the hermeneutics that he developed for Greek-Roman mythology)»



, p. 218). On the more general subject of “Vico and the Bible”, see G.


The New Map of the World

, cit., pp. 234-255.


The mere juxtaposition of Homer and Moses, in itself, therefore, does

not imply a more fundamental commonality, such as Lucci reads into it:

«L’accostamento fra i poemi omerici e il


è esplicito in


, III, 794.

[…] La congruenza tra i presupposti della

Scienza nuova

e quelli delle opere

spinoziane, va al di là dell’esplicita presa di distanza da parte di Vico (The

Homeric poems and the


are explicitly brought together in


, III,

794. […] The congruence of the presuppositions of

Scienza nuova

with those of

Spinoza’s works supersedes the explicit distancing on Vico’s part)» (Id.,


lettore e interprete dei poemi omerici nella Scienza nuova (1744)

, cit., p. 46, footnote 1).


G. Mazzotta,

The New Map of the World

, cit., p. 159.