Accademia Cosentina

The Accademia Cosentina ("Cosentian Academy" or "Telesian Academy" in English) was an Italian accademia or learned society in Cosenza, Italy. It was founded in 1511–12 by Aulo Giano Parrasio[1]:20 and has a long and complex history, with several changes of name.

Accademia Cosentina
The accademia, with the statue of Bernardino Telesio in front of it
Named afterCosenza
Purposelearned society
HeadquartersPiazza XV Marzo 7, Cosenza
Official language
Key people
Formerly called
  • Accademia Parrasiana
  • Accademia Telesiana
  • Accademia dei Costanti
  • Accademia dei Negligenti
  • Accademia dei Pescatori Cratilidi
  • Istituto Cosentina


The society was founded in Cosenza by Giovan Paolo Parisio ("Aulo Giano Parrasio") in late 1511 or early 1512, and was initially known as the "Accademia Parrasiana".[1]:20 As in other accademie of the time, the principal studies were of literature and philology.[2]

Following the death of Parrasio, which may have been in 1522[3] or in 1534,[1]:93 the academy came under the control of Bernardino Telesio, who gave it a more scientific and practical direction;[1]:62 it was known as the "Accademia Telesiana". In 1544 it was suppressed by the authorities.[2]

Not long before Telesio died in 1588, the society came under the direction of Sertorio Quattromani and was renamed the "Accademia Cosentina". It is not clear whether it had been active from the closure of 1544 to this time.[2]

The accademia was again closed down in about 1593. In 1608 Giovanni Battista Costanzo, the archbishop of Cosenza, re-opened the society as the Accademia dei Costanti, with a larger number of members from the church. It may have become inactive again after his death in 1617.[2]

Another archbishop, Giuseppe Sanfelice, founded the Accademia dei Negligenti in about 1649; it remained active until his death in 1660.[2]

The Accademia dei Costanti was revived by Pirro Schettini from 1668 until 1678, when he died.[2]

It was restarted under the name Accademia dei Pescatori Cratilidi by Gaetano Greco in 1756,[1]:177 but again became inactive in 1794.[2]

In 1811 the society was again revived, through the efforts of Matteo Galdi; it was called the Istituto Cosentina until 1817, when royal permission was obtained to change the name to Accademia Cosentina.[2]

On 11 June 1871 the Accademia Cosentina founded the Biblioteca Civica, the public library of Cosenza, which remained inactive until it was officially inaugurated on 4 March 1898.

In March 2012 the academy announced that it might have to cease all activity because of a total lack of funds; it had received €2000 in ministerial funding in 2008.[4]


  1. Pietro de Seta (1965). L'Accademia Cosentina: Analisi critica delle correnti filosofiche, letterarie, scientifiche, dal Cinquecento umanistico all'Ottocento romantico; e profili storico-critici dei massimi esponenti della cultura accademica di Calabria (in Italian). Cosenza: Editrice Casa del Libro Dott. Gustavo Brenner.
  2. Jim Parrott (ed.) ([n.d.]) Accademia Cosentina. Scholarly Societies Project of the University of Waterloo Library, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Accessed August 2015.
  3. Fausto Ghisalberti (1935). Parrasio, Aulo Giano (in Italian). Enciclopedia Italiana. Roma: Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana. Accessed August 2015.
  4. [s.n.] (30 March 2012). L'Accademia cosentina a rischio per mancanza di fondi Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine (in Italian). Il Quotidiano. Accessed August 2015.

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