There is little question that the Virgil criticism of early Italian humanism reached its zenith in the
Disputationes Camaldulensesof Cristoforo Landino. Professor of rhetoric and poetry at the Florentine Studiumfrom 1457 to 1497, Landino was active in the circle of philosophers, poets, and scholars associated with Marsilio Ficino and often referred to now as the Platonic Academy of Florence. The dialogue, written in 1472 and set a few years earlier in the monastery at Camaldoli, begins as an examination of the active and contemplative lives and the nature of the summum bonum(Books I and II). Since Landino believed that Virgil also described the summum bonumand the path by which we reach it, Books III and IV of the Disputationesturn to the Aeneidas a parallel source of philosophical truth.