Scholarly Societies Project

Accademia degli Ottusi


Accademia degli Ottusi =
Academy of the Blunt Ones
Founding of the Society
Authority / Notes
This date is supported by their quinquecentenary volume Fausti (1977). In Chapter I (pp.3-12) of Fausti (1977), Fausti points to various problems surrounding the acceptance of 1477 as the founding date of the Accademia degli Ottusi. He concludes, however, on p.12, that, until the discovery of a reliable document, if that ever happens, the tradition of using 1477 appears to be reasonably acceptable; hence the Accademy continues to accept this date.

On p.13 of Fausti (1977), we learn that the documented history of the Accademia does not begin until a 1612 meeting of the Accademia to render hommage to Cardinale Maffeo Barberini is described.

From 1772 to 1802, the Academy underwent a period of relative inactivity (Fausti (1977), p.73, footnote 1), but went through a reorganization and revitalization in 1802 (Fausti (1977), p.77). During the period of activity from 1802 to 1823, the Società Agraria Spoletina was founded, in large part through the efforts of Pietro Fontana, Secretary of the Accademia degli Ottusi di Spoleto.

After 1823, the Accademia again became relatively dormant until 1846 (Fausti (1977), p.87). Fausti (1977), p.90, indicates that in 1846, Fontana wanted the Accademia degli Ottusi to dedicate their efforts to agrarian studies, and arranged for the latter to replace the Società Agraria Spoletina; funds previously set aside for the Società were diverted to the Accademia for the 1847 fiscal year. Up to this time, the Accademia seems to have been devoted primarily to literature.

Although the name Ottusi was abandoned at the beginning of the 20th century, the Accademia has retained its original heraldic device displaying a rhinoceros which is sharpening his blunt ("ottusa") horn against a stone (Fausti (1977), p.3), with the motto Exacuet (He sharpens).

Fausti (1977), p.111-112, relates a tale describing the choice of heraldic device. Evidently, one day the officials of the Accademia had invited the town gentry of Spoleto to the Accademia grounds where they had contrived to have a fat rhinoceros sharpening its blunted horn on a stone in the shade of some palm trees. It was announced that this scene would signify the new title of the Accademia, and that future members would be called the Ottusi (the Blunt Ones), not because they wanted to be thought of as a collection of people with dull understanding, but because they wanted to sharpen their talent, with the most noble goal of advancing literature.

Seat of the Society
Authority / Notes
This location is supported by the current name of the society.
Name of the Society
1477? - 1852? Accademia degli Ottusi =
Accademia degli Ottusi di Spoleto
According to p.13 of Fausti (1977), the Accademia had the name Accademia degli Ottusi in the 17th and 18th centuries, and no documented history before that. On the footnote to p.13 the name is given as Accademia degli Ottusi di Spoleto with the date 1612; the same name is given in TAV. XIV with the date 1852.
1853 - 1900 Accademia Spoletina degli Ottusi On p.91, footnote 4, of Fausti (1977), the title for the first volume (1853) of the Annuario is given as Annuario dell' Accademia Spoletina (Degli Ott.). On p.107, of Fausti (1977), it is made clear that the word Ottusi was officially suppressed from the name of the Accademia in late 1900 to take effect in 1901.
1901 - Accademia Spoletina On p.107, of Fausti (1977), it is made clear that the word Ottusi was officially suppressed from the name of the Accademia in late 1900 to take effect in 1901.
No website found, as of 2003, July 30.
Journals of the Society
Full Journal Title
1802? -1823?
Notiziario [dell'Accademia degli Ottusi di Spoleto]
On p.76, footnote a, of Fausti (1977), Fausti indicates that the proceedings of the meetings from 1802 to 1823 have been published in nearly unabridged form, beginning with the meeting of May 1, 1802, in a publication that he calls Notizario, which he describes as a quarterly of the Accademia. He further indicates that these proceedings are found in this periodical under a section entitled Dal passato dell'Academia.

We have not yet been able to find such a publication in a library catalogue.

Annuario dell'Accademia Spoletina
The record in the GBV German Union cat. gives the title as Annuario dell'Accademia Spoletina for the entire run.
On p.91, footnote 4, of Fausti (1977), the title for the first volume (1853) is given as Annuario dell' Accademia Spoletina (Degli Ott.). Then on p.96, footnote 4, the title for the 1860 volume is given simply as Annuario dell'Accademia Spoletina, with the remark that for the first time the name Ottusi has been omitted in the Annuario. Yet on p.105, footnote 1, of Fausti (1977), the title is given as Annuario Della Accademia Spoletina Degli Ottusi. The record in the GBV German Union cat. gives holdings only for the years 1853 - 1855, 1860, 1893/94; it is not clear whether the title was published in other years.
[GBV German Union cat.]
1897/1900 - 1923/26
(1917 - 1926)
Atti della Accademia Spoletina
[GBV German Union cat.]
1954 -
(t.1 - )
Spoletium : rivista di arte storia cultura
The imprint statement in the GBV German Union cat. record gives the Accademia Spoletina as publisher.
[GBV German Union cat.]


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