Thursday, November 23, 2023

Tenure Fights

Anthony Grafton, Leon Battista Alberti: Master Builder of the Italian Renaissance (New York: Hill and Wang, 2008), p. 283:
Alberti, in other words, wrote his great book [On the Art of Building] as one of the numerous scholars who thronged the Vatican and the Castel Sant'Angelo in the late 1440s and early 1450s, studying the classics, bickering, and now and then engaging in fisticuffs, or sending a pair of murderers to deal with a rival (in those days, tenure fights were really deadly). Alberti not only did his research in this particular intellectual milieu, he also addressed himself to particular intellectuals who worked there, speaking to their overriding concerns.