Emanuele Tesauro

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Il cannocchiale aristotelico ( 1670 )

Emanuele Tesauro (* 1592 in Turin ; † 1675 there ) was an Italian rhetorician , writer , historian and playwright .


Emmanule Tesauro was born in Turin in 1592 to wealthy noblemen. At the age of twenty he entered the Jesuit community . After obtaining the first degree, he worked between 1618 and 1621 as a professor of rhetoric in Cremona and Milan , where he appeared, among other things, as a much-admired preacher . During this time, Tesaurus made his first steps as a writer; he wrote epigrams, which were only published posthumously, as well as his first play, the Hermengildus . In Naples he did theological studies; here there were conflicts with other members of the order. In 1623 he moved to Milan to complete his studies; it was there that the Idea delle perfette imprese and the Giudicio were created . After a scientific dispute, Tesauro left the Jesuits in 1634, but retained his priesthood. Tesauro spent some time in Flanders as the educator of the children of the Duke of Savoy . In 1670 he initiated the first complete edition of his works at Zavatto in Turin; the Latin plays were translated into Italian.


Il cannochiale aristotelico - The Aristotelian telescope

Il cannochiale aristotelico (first edition 1654, expanded new edition 1670), is regarded , alongside the art of acumen by Baltasar Gracián, as the most important theoretical work of conceptism and the baroque in the broader sense (e.g. Gustav René Hocke). The telescope is not only the first great theory of metaphor , but of all figured speech in general that can be traced back to the anthropological phenomenon of ingenuity (Latin argutia , it. Argutezza ): Because people naturally enjoy knowing connections in the If he has nature, he can create such connections himself in art by virtue of his argutia . The "argutezza" is a means of expression, an instrument that aims to convey content not in a trivial, utilitarian way, but in an ingeniously attractive way. With constant consideration of the rhetoric of Aristotle , Tesauro derives all manifestations of human life from the need for metaphorical language. His particular intention is to give the revolution in poetic language that began with Marino a theoretical foundation.

Other works

Some of the lesser-known writings of Tesaurus include:

  • Ermenegildo, Edippo, Ippolito (1621) - Classicist tragedies in Latin .
  • L'Idea delle perfette imprese (1622) - a theory of arms award , which the later Cannochiale is adopted
  • Il Giudicio (1625) - also a preliminary work for the Canocchiale
  • Panegirici sacri (1633, published 1659) - sacred and profane poetry
  • Inscriptiones (published 1670) - Latin epigrams from his time in Milan
  • Filosofia morale (1670) - much-noticed system of moral philosophy
  • I Campeggiamenti (1674) - History of the War of the Piedmontese against Spain
  • L'arte delle lettere missive (1674) - treatise on the art of letter writing
  • History of Turin , which he cannot continue and which is therefore brought to an end by Ferrero (1679).



  • Emmanuele Tesauro: Il Cannocchiale Aristotelico . Edited by August Buck . Bad Homburg, Berlin and Zurich 1968.

further reading

  • Giovanni Baffetti: Retorica e Scienza. Cultura gesuitica e seicento italiano . Bologna 1997.
  • Eugenio Donato: Tesauro's Poetics: Through the Looking Glass . In: Modern Language Notes vol. 78.Baltimore 1963.
  • Gustav René Hocke : Mannerism in Literature. Language alchemy and esoteric combination art. Hamburg 1959.
  • Klaus-Peter Lange: Theorist of literary mannerism. Tesaurus and Pellegrini's doctrine of "Acutezza" or the power of language . Munich 1968.
  • Thomas Neukirchen : "Ad aeternam auctoris celebritatem." Time claims and scholarship of the courtly-solennen 'Inscriptiones' Emanuele Tesauros. In: Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft 24: Art as an aesthetic event. (1997), pp. 191-199.
  • Thomas Neukirchen: "Inscriptio". Rhetoric and Poetics of the Shrewd Inscription in the Baroque Age. Tübingen 1999 (Studies on German Literature, 152).

Individual evidence

Web links