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Dissimulation and the Culture of Secrecy in Early Modern Europe - California Scholarship Online
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Dissimulation and the Culture of Secrecy in Early Modern Europe

Jon Snyder


“Larvatus prodeo,” announced René Descartes at the beginning of the seventeenth century: “I come forward, masked.” Deliberately disguising or silencing their most intimate thoughts and emotions, many early modern Europeans besides Descartes—princes, courtiers, aristocrats and commoners alike—chose to practice the shadowy art of dissimulation. For men and women who could not risk revealing their inner lives to those around them, this art of incommunicativity was crucial, both personally and politically. Many writers and intellectuals sought to explain, expose, justify, or condemn the emergence ... More

Keywords: dissimulation, secrecy, early modern Europe, Descartes, Italy, sixteenth century, seventeenth century, civility, moral philosophy, political theory

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780520228191
Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520228191.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jon Snyder, author