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Lucian in the Renaissance: the Latin and Vernacular Traditions in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Italy and their Interactions with Desiderius Erasmus and Thomas More

Gattavari, Paolo; (2020) Lucian in the Renaissance: the Latin and Vernacular Traditions in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Italy and their Interactions with Desiderius Erasmus and Thomas More. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

My thesis explores the influence of Lucian of Samosata, a satirist and rhetorician of Syrian origin who lived in the second century A.D., on fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italian authors and on Northern authors who contributed to Lucian’s revival during the sixteenth century. Lucian’s corpus consists of about eighty texts, mostly dialogues, all composed in Greek. Though they were read widely in Byzantium, they remained unknown during the Latin Middle Ages. In 1397, Manuel Chrysoloras, a distinguished Byzantine scholar and diplomat, began to teach Greek in Florence and used Lucian’s writings, among other ancient works, as textbooks for this purpose. This moment represents the starting point of my thesis, which has three parts. The first, after having outlined the reception of Lucian in Quattrocento Italy, discusses the encounter between Lucian and his main fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century humanist admirers. By reviving the Lucianic dialogue, Leon Battista Alberti distanced himself from the Ciceronian model that he, like others, regarded as dominant in his age, opening thereby a new creative path in Renaissance literature. Giovanni Pontano, while taking aim at, for the most part, the same satirical targets as Alberti, sought to find a point of convergence between Lucianic and Ciceronian dialogue. By contrast, in Ferrara, humanists and authors writing mainly in the vernacular adapted Lucian’s sharp irony to the sensibility of a refined Renaissance court. The second part of my thesis analyses how, at the beginning of the Cinquecento, two Northern humanists, Desiderius Erasmus and Thomas More, gave Lucianic satire a new direction, by infusing it with theological meanings. The third and final part focuses on a group of sixteenth-century Italian writers usually known as poligrafi, among them Niccolò Franco, Ortensio Lando and Anton Francesco Doni. The defining trait of their satirical compositions is that they filtered their understanding and reinvention of Lucian through the Lucianic works of Erasmus and More.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Lucian in the Renaissance: the Latin and Vernacular Traditions in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Italy and their Interactions with Desiderius Erasmus and Thomas More
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10112881
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