Francis also composed a musical accompaniment, and after his death the lauda became a common form of religious song used by the confraternities of lay people who gathered on holy days to sing the praises of God and the saints and to recall the life and Passion of Christ. The one real poet of the laude tradition was Jacopone da Todi, a Franciscan and a mystic. His laudi, in the form of ballads, were often concerned with the themes of spiritual poverty and the corruption of the church.
Literary vernacular prose began in the 13th century, though Latin continued to be used for writings on theology, philosophy, law, politics, and science. The founder of Italian artistic prose style, the Bolognese professor of rhetoric Guido Faba, illustrated his teaching with examples adapted from Latin. Though not yet completely at ease in vernacular prose, Dante combined simplicity with great delicacy and a poetic power that derived from the mysterious depth beneath certain key words.
The literature of 14th-century Italy dominated Europe for centuries to follow and may be regarded as the starting point of the Renaissance.
Three names stand out: Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. Dante Alighieri is one of the most important and influential names in all European literature, but it was only after his exile from his native Florence at age 37 that he set out to write more ambitious works. Both these works remained unfinished. In a later doctrinal work, also in Latin, De monarchia written c. The central allegory of the poem was essentially medieval, taking the form of a journey through the worlds beyond the grave, with, as guides, the Roman poet Virgil and the lady of the Vita nuova, Beatrice, who symbolize reason and faith, respectively.
The poem is divided into three cantiche, or narrative sections: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Each section contains 33 cantos, with the very first canto serving as an overall prologue. Dante, through his experiences and encounters on the journey, gains understanding of the gradations of damnation, expiation, and beatitude, and the climax of the poem is his momentary vision of God.
The greatness of the poem lies in its complex imaginative power of construction, inexhaustible wealth of poetry, and continuing significance of spiritual meanings. It was revived in the Romantic period, and his work continues to influence modern poets both inside and outside of Italy. He rejected medieval Scholasticism and took as his models the classical Latin authors and the Church Fathers. This convergence of interests is apparent in his ethical and religious works. Humanist ideals inspired his Latin poem Africa begun c. The Canzoniere—a collection of sonnets, songs, sestine, ballads, and madrigals, on which he worked indefatigably from until his death—gave these ideals poetic expression.
Although this collection of vernacular poems intended to tell the story of his love for Laura, it was in fact an analysis and evocation not of present love but of passion that he had overcome. The main element of this poetry was therefore in the elaboration of its art, even if it always reflected the genuine spiritual conflicts exposed in the Secretum.
His followers did not merely imitate but accepted his practice of strict literary discipline and his forms, including his preference for the sonnet—without which the European literary Renaissance would be unthinkable. His first prose work, Il filocolo c. Inability to write on an epic scale was evident in his two narrative poems in eight-line stanzas, Il filostrato c.
Its treatment of contemporary urban society ranged from the humorous to the tragic. Stylistically the most perfect example of Italian classical prose, it had enormous influence on Renaissance literature. As a disciple of Petrarch, Boccaccio shared the humanist interests of his age, as shown in his Latin epistles and encyclopedic treatises. An admirer of Dante, he also wrote a Trattatello in laude di Dante written c. The Life of Dante and a commentary on the first 17 cantos of the Inferno. During the second half of the 14th century, Florence remained a centre of culture, but its literature developed a more popular character.
The best-known representative of this development was bellman and town crier Antonio Pucci died , whose vast verse production included poems on local Florentine lore, as well as historical and legendary verse narratives. Florentine narrative literature was represented by the Pecorone c. The recasting of the Carolingian and Arthurian cycles continued along lines established during the 13th century.
Compilations in prose and verse became more common, and Franco-Venetian literature gained in literary value. Epic legends were turned into romantic stories, which appealed more to their illiterate audiences in town squares and other public places. Less polished, but of greater literary value, were the translations of Latin legends concerning St.
Vernacular historiography of this period could be described as popular literature, with Florence as its main centre. Compagni wrote his chronicle between and , after having taken part in the political struggles of his town; his dramatic account of the episodes and the liveliness of his prose made it the most original work of medieval Italian historiography.
His Chronicle was versified by fellow Florentine Antonio Pucci. The poetry that survives is popular in nature and written to be accompanied by music.
Giraldi, Giambattista Cinzio [WorldCat Identities]
The following period was to be characterized by critical and philological activity rather than by original creative work. The 15th century, devoid as it was of major poetic works, was nevertheless of very great importance because it was the century in which a new vision of human life, embracing a different conception of man, as well as more modern principles of ethics and politics, gradually found their expression.
This was the result, on the one hand, of political conditions quite different from those of previous centuries and, on the other, of the rediscovery of classical antiquity. With regard to the first point, nearly all Italian princes competed with each other in the 15th century to promote culture by patronizing research, offering hospitality and financial support to literary men of the time, and founding libraries.
As a consequence, their courts became centres of research and discussion, thus making possible the great cultural revival of the period. To return to the second point, the search for lost manuscripts of ancient authors, begun by Petrarch in the previous century, led to an extraordinary revival of interest in classical antiquity: By and large, the new culture of the 15th century was a revaluation of man. Humanism opposed the medieval view of man as a being with relatively little value and extolled him as the centre of the universe, the power of his soul as linking the temporal and the spiritual, and earthly life as a realm in which the soul applies its powers.
The humanist vision evolved during this period condemned many religious opinions of the Middle Ages still widely prevalent: Forthright though these attacks were, humanism was not essentially anti-Christian, for it generally remained faithful to Christian beliefs, and the papal court itself regarded humanism as a force to be assimilated rather than defeated.
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In the first half of the century the humanists, with their enthusiasm for Latin and Greek literature, had a disdain for the Italian vernacular. They wrote for the most part in Latin prose. Their poetic production, inspired by classical models and written mostly in Latin and later Greek, was abundant but at first of little value. Writing in a dead language and closely following a culture to which they had enslaved themselves, they rarely showed originality as poets. These poets succeeded in creating sincere poetry in which conventional and less conventional themes were expressed with new, original intimacy and fervour.
Toward the middle of the 15th century Italian began to vie with Latin as the literary language.
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The Certame Coronario, a public poetry competition held in Florence in with the intention of proving that the spoken Italian language was in no way inferior to Latin, marked a definite change. In the second half of the century there were a number of works of merit written in Italian and inspired either by the chivalric legends of the Middle Ages or by the new humanist culture. The new ideals of the humanists were most complete in Politian, Jacopo Sannazzaro, and Leon Battista Alberti, three outstanding figures who combined a wide knowledge of classical antiquity with a personal and often profound inspiration.
In this work, which was one of the first historical Italian grammars, Bembo demanded an Italian literary language based on 14th-century Tuscan models, particularly Petrarch and Boccaccio. During the first decades of the 16th century, treatises on poetry were still composed according to humanist ideas and the teachings of the Roman Augustan poet Horace. The traditional principle of imitation was now better analyzed, in the twofold sense of the imitation of classical authors and that of nature.
The three theatrical unities time, space, action were among the structural rules then reestablished, while much speculation was devoted to epic poetry. The classical conception of poetry as a product of imagination supported by reason was at the basis of 16th-century rhetoric, and it was this conception of poetry, revived in Italy, that triumphed in France, Spain, and England during the following century.
Political, historical, biographical, and moral literature. Machiavelli has been described as the founder of a new political science: Its description of a model ruler became a code for the wielding of absolute power throughout Europe for two centuries. Machiavelli also holds a place in the history of imaginative literature, above all for his play La Mandragola , one of the outstanding comedies of the century.
Although more of a realist or pessimist than Machiavelli, Francesco Guicciardini was the only 16th-century historian who could be placed within the framework of the political theories he constructed.
Giraldi, Giambattista Cinzio 1504-1573
Maxims and Reflections of a Renaissance Statesman , has a place among the most original political writings of the century. The autobiography of the sculptor and goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini written —66, published was remarkable for its vigorous spontaneity and its use of popular Florentine language. It became one of the most influential books of the century. Giovanni della Casa was the author of another famous treatise, the Galateo c. Lyric poetry in the 16th century was dominated by the model of Petrarch mainly because of the acceptance of the Renaissance theory of imitation and the teaching of Bembo.
Almost all the principal writers of the century wrote lyric poems in the manner of Petrarch. Also worthy of note are the passionate sonnets of the Paduan woman poet Gaspara Stampa and those of Michelangelo. The tradition of humorous and satirical verse also was kept alive during the 16th century. Outstanding among its practitioners was Francesco Berni, whose burlesque poems, mostly dealing with indecent or trivial subjects, showed his wit and stylistic skill.
Orlando Furioso , which incorporated many episodes derived from popular medieval and early Renaissance epics. Orlando furioso was the most perfect expression of the literary tendencies of the Italian Renaissance at this time, and it exercised enormous influence on later European Renaissance literature.
Ariosto also composed comedies that, by introducing imitation of Latin comedy, marked the beginning of Renaissance drama in the vernacular. Two burlesque medley forms of verse were invented during the century. Fidenziana poetry derives its name from a work by Camillo Scroffa, a poet who wrote Petrarchan parodies in a combination of Latin words and Italian form and syntax. Macaronic poetry, on the other hand, which refers to the Rabelaisian preoccupation of the characters with eating, especially macaroni, is a term given to verse consisting of Italian words used according to Latin form and syntax.
Teofilo Folengo, a Benedictine monk, was the best representative of macaronic literature, and his masterpiece was a poem in 20 books called Baldus The tendency to parody, ridiculing the impractical excesses of humanist literature, was present in both fidenziana and macaronic verse.
Torquato Tasso, son of the poet Bernardo Tasso, was the last great poet of the Italian Renaissance and one of the greatest of Italian literature. In his epic Gerusalemme liberata ; Jerusalem Delivered he summed up a literary tradition typical of the Renaissance: The subject of the poem is the First Crusade to recapture Jerusalem.
Its structure dramatizes the struggle to preserve a central purpose by dominating and holding in check centrifugal urges toward sensual and emotional indulgence. Its pathos lies in the enormous cost of self-control. Tasso also wrote shorter lyric verse throughout his life, including religious poems, while his prose dialogues show a style no longer exclusively dominated by classical models.
Toward the middle of the 16th century Giambattista Giraldi Cinzio reacted against imitation of Greek drama by proposing the Roman tragedian Seneca as a new model, and in nine tragedies and tragicomedies—written between and —he showed some independence from Aristotelian rules. He greatly influenced European drama, particularly the English theatre of the Elizabethan period. The Italian comedies of the century, inspired by Latin models but also by the tradition of the novella, possessed greater artistic value than the tragedies, and they reflected contemporary life more fully: Giordano Bruno, a great Italian philosopher who wrote dialogues in Italian on his new cosmology and antihumanist ideas, also wrote a comedy, Il candelaio ; The Candlemaker.
His works, often monologues written in a rural Paduan dialect, treat the problems of the oppressed peasant with realism and profound seriousness. Another dialect playwright of the same century, now also more widely appreciated, is the Venetian Andrea Calmo, who showed a nice gift for characterization in his comedies of complex amorous intrigue. The cleric and short-story writer Matteo Bandello started a new trend in 16th-century narrative with stories that were rich in dramatic and romantic elements while not aiming at classical dignity.
Far from being exhausted, indeed, this was an extremely vital period, so much so that in the last decades of the 20th century a new and more comprehensive understanding of the literature of the Italian Baroque has been formulated by scholars conversant with the changing attitude toward this phase of civilization in Germany, France, and England. The popularity of satire was a reaction against prevailing conditions.
Prominent in this genre was the Neapolitan Salvator Rosa, who attacked in seven satires the vices and shortcomings of the age. The Modenese Alessandro Tassoni acquired great fame with La secchia rapita ; The Rape of the Bucket , a mock-heroic poem that is both an epic and a personal satire.
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The most serious poet of the period was Tommaso Campanella, a Dominican friar, who spent most of his adult life in prison as a subversive. Marino derived inspiration from the poetry of the late 16th century, but his aim—typical of the age—was to excite wonder by novelty. His imitators were innumerable, and most 17th-century Italian poets were influenced by his work. Toward the end of the century a patriotic sonneteer, Vincenzo da Filicaia, and Alessandro Guidi, who wrote exalted odes, were hailed as major poets and reformers of the excesses of the Baroque. Giraldi was the first, Snuggs states, to make a significant plea in sixteenth-century critici.
Gli Ecatommiti by Giambattista Cinzio Giraldi Book 29 editions published between and in 4 languages and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Cleopatra tragedia by Giambattista Cinzio Giraldi Book 17 editions published between and in 3 languages and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Tragedia by Giambattista Cinzio Giraldi Book 42 editions published between and in Italian and English and held by 97 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.
Scritti critici by Giambattista Cinzio Giraldi Book 7 editions published in in Italian and Undetermined and held by 94 WorldCat member libraries worldwide. De' romanzi, delle comedie e delle tragedie by Giambattista Cinzio Giraldi Book 26 editions published between and in Italian and held by 92 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.
This item is held off-site and must be pre-ordered before your visit. Please use the link to the printed items catalogue below to request this item. See the Access and usage section below for further details. About In this collection. Crescimbeni, Giovanni Mario Additional creator s: Trevisani, Francesco Maria Other Publisher: Italian Size and medium: Description Second, much expanded edition. Access and usage Please note: What is an archive hierarchy? What is the Level?
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