Lor. Valla begins by criticizing his contemporaries for operating outside of the auspices of historical context. For the infinite motion of temporal things imitates the immediate present of his changeless life and, since it cannot reproduce or equal life, it sinks from immobility to motion and declines from the simplicity of the present into the infinite duration of future and past. Constancy within this historical framework, outside that of change over time, was predicated on the infinite quality (as opposed to the quantity of moments expressed by Leibniz and Newton’s differential calculus) of moments existing within two finite points as best represented by the textual record of human language.  Nauert, Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe, pp. Initially Antonio claims that Lorenzo is simply bringing him back to his initial confusion on the issue of free will. "I wish that death had spared me until your library had been complete", "Avoid, however, as you would Scylla or Charybdis, the imputation of hypocrisy; guard against all ostentation, either in your conduct or your discourse; affect not austerity, nor even appear too serious", "Endeavour therefore to alleviate the burthen of your early dignity by the regularity of your life and by your perseverance in those studies which are suitable to your profession", "To these difficulties you ought to oppose yourself with the greater firmness, as there is at present less virtue amongst your brethren", "Endeavour to live with regularity, and gradually to bring your expenses within those bounds which in a new establishment cannot perhaps be expected", "Where sovereign beauty joins with cruel disdain there lodges living death - but I take comfort: some day your beauty will begin to wane", "On this your first visit to Rome, it will however be more advisable for you to listen to others than to speak much yourself", "Youth is sweet and well, But doth speed away!, Let who will be gay, Tomorrow none can tell", "Desire matched what nature's will decreed: It did not spurn but relished what it had", "The more she is denied to him, the more desire inflames and stings his smitten heart", "All things are transient here below and frail. Since, then, every judgment comprehends the subjects presented to it according to its own nature, and since God lives in the eternal present, His knowledge transcends all movement of time and abides in the simplicity of its immediate present. Lorenzo Valla; Major Projects … Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, first ed. He argues that God has given each person certain characteristics, and that we are free to decide how we use those attributes. An, “opinion,” therefore, functions as a subjective starting point from which to begin the process of critical inquiry. That is good advice. The Treatise of Lorenzo Valla on the Donation of Constantine, Michiko Kakutani's Gift Guide Book Recommendations. Thus, if you will think about the foreknowledge by which God distinguishes all things, you will rightly consider it to be not a foreknowledge of future events, but knowledge of a never changing present. I repeatedly inquire about it, by myself and with others, and have not so far been able to find any way out of its ambiguity. The work of Lorenzo Valla (1406-57) has enjoyed renewed attention in recent years, as have new critical editions of his texts. But do you call it an insult to have a true opinion about another or to interpret his obscure statements more clearly? Nay but, O man, who art though that repliest against God? Were those men ignorant and weaponless? Antonio and Lorenzo go on to agree on the terms of the concepts of free will and predestination. For this reason, divine knowledge is called providence, rather than prevision, because it resides above all inferior things and looks out on all things from their summit (p. 115-16).” “Then, if we may aptly compare God’s present vision with man’s, He sees all things in his eternal present as you see some things in your temporal present. Will you not commit this debate which we have had between us to writing and make a report of it so that you may have others share this good?”. In addition, Lorenzo has warned, “those that do not realize…” of the inherent danger of man’s prideful nature in his quest for knowledge and truth. The new Florentine ruler wasted little time in stamping his mark as he reformed state institutions to give himself more power and the people less political freedom, essentially he became a despot, albeit a benevolent despot who cared for and made sure he took good care of his people. Discoveries of archaeological and literary material demonstrated that the conclusions reached were incorrect. Many philosophers of the time argued that if humans' lives are in fact predetermined by God, than in reality the concept of free will is simply an illusion. This passage demonstrates Valla’s use of the inductive method of argumentation by example. This constituted a new perspective for defining reality and represents a major cultural shift toward modernity through the symbolic construction and use of language.  This, of course, is a matter of opinion. We do not know the cause of this matter; of what consequence is it?