Potestas Essendi

A Virtual Space for Thoughts on the Middle Ages, by Nicola Polloni


The nineteenth century is over. The heroic phase of German philologists – such as Wilamowitz, Reitzenstein, or Jäger – working on almost every aspect of a shared paideia, as well as the solemnly marvellous project of the Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters are no more. The scholarly ideal of an omnivorous and voracious approach to the knowledge of any aspect of the Geisteswissenschaften has been superseded by the simple admission that… all this is impossible, at least nowadays! A new ideal arose from the grey rooms of ministries and governments, billowing up to the top of the ivory tower: you all have to share and disseminate, collaborate and publish (and publish, and publish…). And surprisingly, it works! And quite good, actually! 
Jokes aside, I have the pleasure and honour to collaborate with some intriguing research projects and working groups: awesome experiences and fruitful collaborations that are leading to excellent results. Here you can find some more information regarding all that.

Research Groups

Aquinas and the Arabs
The Aquinas and the Arabs International Working Group (AAIWG) has become the worldwide reference for the study of the influence Arabic philosophy had on Thomas Aquinas’s thought and, in general, on the thirteenth-century philosophical debate. Meeting regularly twice per year in different location around the world, the group is brilliantly directed by Richard Taylor and gathers the best scholars in the field. AAIWG also organises multimedia research seminars, one of which has been dedicated to Dominicus Gundissalinus.

Hermenéutica patrística y medieval
Based in Pamplona and directed by Maria Jesús Soto Bruna, the research group Hermenéutica patrística y medieval analyses some fundamental metaphysical  and theological themes, such as the causality of the One, the concept of Logos, and the ontological difference between God and creatures, discussed through the long Middle Ages. The group counts many brilliant scholar from Europe and Latin America, and its outcomes will soon be published on a dedicated volume.

Rogerius Bacon
Directed by Cecilia Panti, the research group Rogerius Bacon: The Philosopher’s Workshop is focused on the shared reading and discussion of Bacon’s works. Based at the SISMEL in Florence, the group organises seminars since 2009: the first one was centred on Roger Bacon’s Communia naturalium, while the current seminar is focused on his Moralis philosophia. The group also started a multimedia dissemination project aimed at sharing accurate knowledge on this pivotal medieval figure beyond the scholarly circle.

DB Roger Bacon
DB Roger Bacon is an extremely interesting project based at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona and directed by Oscar De la Cruz. The aim of this project is an overall critical recensio of the extant manuscripts preserving works by Roger Bacon: a crucial task, since Bacon’s actual philosophical production is still debated, and many of the critical editions are often unreliable.

Editorial Projects

Revista Española de Filosofía Medieval
Since March 2017, I am Associate Editor of the Revista Española de Filosofía Medieval. REFIME is an yearly scholarly publication, which is indexed and peer-reviewed, and distributed by the University of Zaragoza’s Publication Service. The Revista is the official journal of SOFIME, a Society mainly gathering scholars from Spain, Portugal, and South America, but also from the rest of Europe and North America. Its official venue is the University of Zaragoza. The Revista is continuously published since 1993, with scientific contributions in Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese, and Italian. The submitted articles must be original contributions to the discussion on medieval thought and the transmission of knowledge (from the Middle Ages up to the Early-Modern Period), with a special interest on authors and texts of the Iberian Peninsula, even though also contributions related to the intellectual tradition of Late Antiquity are welcomed.