2015: XVII

Fiçonomo – Polemone (di Laodicea): sotto mentite spoglie onomastiche

Pubblicato 2015-11-30

Parole chiave

  • Secretum secretorum,
  • physiognomy,
  • Polemon of Laodicea,
  • Fiçonomo,
  • false name,
  • eponymous,
  • ...Più


The short physiognomical treatise, part of the highly successful pseudo-Aristotelian encyclopedic summa known as Secretum secretorum, revolves around an intriguing onomastic crossing between reference auctoritas and fictional character, with the final replacement of the former (Polemon of Laodicea, I-II century A.D.) in favour of the latter (Fiçonomo,with its variants in Italian vernacularizations). This is bolstered by a «natural» identification guaranteed by a speaking name, no longer by virtue of its original cultural valence, but thanks to a false etymology attributing the name to the supposed eponymous founder of the discipline («bella et utile scientia et sottilissima, la quale si chiama fiçonomia, però che cului che la trovò, conpuose et ordinò ebbe nome Fiçonomo»).