On Whether It Is Better To Criticize, Or To Remain Silent

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The great Italian humanist Lorenzo Valla (1406-1457) took great pride in his constant need to attack his forebearers, as well as his contemporaries.  Few escaped the wrathful attentions of his pen.  Yet Valla saw himself as an upholder of the classical virtues, and for him, criticism was a form of moral duty.  He said in 1440 in one letter to Joan Serra:

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