Representing The Enemy: Historical Evidence and its Ambiguities


Nineteenth Annual Darwin College Lecture Series 2004

Lecture 1   :   January 16th 2004

Carlo Ginzburg

Franklin D. Murphy Professor of Italian Renaissance Studies at UCLA


My lecture will explore the ambiguities of historical evidence focusing on a book published anonymously in Brussels in 1864: DIALOGUE AUX ENFERS ENTRE MACHIAVEL ET MONTESQUIEU (DIALOGUE IN HELL BETWEEN MACHIAVELLI AND MONTESQUIEU). Joly's book had an unpredictable aftermath, since some sections of it were plagiarized in the PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION, the twentieth century antisemitic best-seller. After the discovery of the plagiarism, the DIALOGUE IN HELL has been often reprinted and translated into several languages; but so far, I will argue, its originality has not been adequately recognized.


Carlo Ginzburg, born in Torino 1939,is currently Franklin D. Murphy Professor of Italian Renaissance Studies at UCLA. His several books include "The Night Battles"; "The Cheese and the Worms"; "The Enigma of Piero"; "Myths, Emblems, Clues"; "Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath"; "History, Rhetoric, and Proof"; "Wooden Eyes"; "No Island is an Island". 

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