Lias: Journal of Early Modern Intellectual Culture and Its Sources vol:39 issue:2 pages:143-162
Contemporaries and modern scholars alike have been unable to determine the position of Maarten van Dorp (1485-1525), lecturer of philosophy and later professor of theology at the University of Louvain, in the scholastic-humanist controversy. In this context, a number of Dorp’s writings have not received the scholarly attention they deserve. One of these is his Oratio in laudem Aristotelis, a Latin speech delivered at an academic gathering in Louvain on the third of December 1510, and published by Dirk Martens four years later. Rather than being a traditional praise of the Philosopher, the text acts as an attack on the Repastinatio dialectice et philosophie of the Italian humanist Lorenzo Valla, and is thus essential in determining Dorp’s allegiance to either the scholastic or the humanist camp. In an effort to accommodate a well-balanced interpretation of the oration, the present contribution offers the first English translation of the speech, preceded by an overview of Dorp’s somewhat bumpy career path and a contextual study focusing on academic oratory and the scholastic curriculum in Louvain.