Włoscy utopiści epoki nowożytnej (Machiavelli, Botero, Campanella) w polskich badaniach naukowych XX i przełomu XX i XXI wieku

  • Stefan Bielański Uniwersytet Pedagogiczne w Krakowie


The author of the article analyzes the place and importance of the works of Italian utopians
from the modern era (such as Niccolò Machiavelli, Tommaso Campanella and Giovanni Botero)
in Polish research from the range of the history of political thought from the 20th and the turn
of 20th and 21st centuries. The first works dedicated to the aforementioned political thinkers
from the 16th and 17th centuries by Bolesław Limanowski and Aleksander Świętochowski and
the publications from the interwar period were the starting point of the research. They were
presented much broader – also because of the appearance of the translations of the utopians
from the modern era in the 1940s and 1950s. Much interest – before 1956 – was attracted to
the concepts by Campanella, included in his famous work, City of the Sun. In the later times the
important place in the Polish research on the history of Italian political thought was taken by
the content and expression of Niccolò Machiavelli, especially those fragments of The Prince,
which show signs of utopian thought. Much interest was also brought to the works of Giovanni
Botero, the author who was the first to use the term “reason of state” and who also proposed
the utopia of “universal monarchy”. The final part is dedicated to the reflections on the
Italian utopians of the modern era (but also influencing the modern utopias and dystopias –
for example Orwell) by such Polish researchers as e.g. Jerzy Szacki, Janusz Tazbir, Leszek
Kołakowski, Bohdan Szlachta, Marcin Król, Monika Brzóstowicz-Klajn or Andrzej Dróżdż. In
the context of the reflections on the possible negative influence of the work of utopians, it is
worth to remind the significant observation by J. Baszkiewicz, who thought that “political
reflection is not always conducted innocently. Political ideas can bring socially beneficial
effects, but they also can become a cause for destructive actions and severe havoc”.
Key words: Italian utopians of the Renaissance, history of political thought, state of scientific