The essays in this collection approach the reception of the Roman poet Virgil in early modern Europe from the perspective of two areas at the center of current scholarly work in the humanities: book history and the history of reading. The first group of essays uses Virgil's place in post-classical culture to raise questions of broad scholarly interest: How, exactly, does modern reception theory challenge traditional notions of literary practice and value? How do the marginal comments of early readers provide insight into their character and mind? How does rhetoric help shape literary criticism? The second group of essays begins from the premise that the material form in which early modern readers encountered this most important of Latin poets played a key role in how they understood what they read. Thus title pages and illustrations help shape interpretation, with the results of that interpretation in turn becoming the comments that early modern readers regularly entered into the margins of their books. The volume concludes with four more specialized studies that show how these larger issues play out in specific neo-Latin works of the early modern period.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Philology, the reader and the nachleben of classical texts; Marginalia and the rise of early modern subjectivity; The rhetorical criticism of literature in early Italian humanism from Boccaccio to Landino; Virgil's post-classical legacy; Proverbs, censors and schools: neo-Latin studies and book history; The Virgilian title page as interpretive frame; or, through the looking glass; The Aeneid transformed: illustration as interpretation from the renaissance to the present; In search of a patron: Anguillara's vernacular Virgil and the print culture of renaissance Italy; In the margins of Virgil: Venetian renaissance books in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana and their early readers; Cristoforo Landino, Andrea Tordi and the reading practices of renaissance humanism; Virgil, Dante and empire in Italian thought, 1300-1500; Inclyta Aeneis: a 16th-century neo-Latin tragicomedy; Ascensius, Landino and Virgil: continuity and transformation in renaissance commentary; Aeneas and the 'new world': Stella's Columbeis and Virgilian pessimism; Indexes.
’... the author has assembled a fascinating body of knowledge that we can add to the numerous books in this field [...] turning this variorum edition into an item of wider interest to students, researchers, and experts.’ Library Review