Leonardo Bruni’s “History of the Florentine People”

Leonardo Bruni’s “History of the Florentine People”

Scholars have concluded that Leonardo Bruni’s History of the Florentine People was written to serve as protagonist of humanist thought, to educate a readership on the study of the humanities, to share the virtue of civic humanism, to define political ideas, to urge acceptance of republican ideology, to rekindle classical scholarship, to endorse consensus politics and religion, and to continue his work as official historian. While this kaleidoscope of perspectives defines aspects of Bruni’s work, two of the most prominent themes in the History—the greatness of the Florentine people and the glory of the Republic of Florence—are often not addressed in the discussion of Bruni’s authorial intent. Together, these two themes form the foundation of the doctrine of magnificence in Bruni’s History.