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IMC 2006: Sessions

Session 1322: Continuity and Change: Writers in 15th-Century Italy and Spain

Wednesday 12 July 2006, 16.30-18.00

Organiser:John B. Dillon, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Moderator/Chair:Christian Rohr, Fachbereich Geschichte, Universität Salzburg
Paper 1322-aMeliora habet aetas nostra: Biondo Flavio’s Evaluation of Sources in Italia illustrata
(Language: English)
Catherine J. Castner, Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures, University of South Carolina, Columbia
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Geography and Settlement Studies, Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Latin, Learning (The Classical Inheritance)
Paper 1322-bPrologue as Gesture: Change and Continuity in Latin Hagiographic Prefaces
(Language: English)
Alison Frazier, Department of History, University of Texas, Austin
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - Latin, Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Liturgy, Rhetoric
Paper 1322-cPeter Martyr of Anghiera: From the Old World to the New
(Language: English)
Geoffrey Eatough, Department of Classics, University of Wales, Lampeter
Index terms: Geography and Settlement Studies, Language and Literature - Latin, Learning (The Classical Inheritance)

Astract paper -a: The lack of exact historical-geographical models for Biondo Flavio's Italia illustrata complicates attempts to trace in it the transition from medieval to early modern Latin writing in Quattrocento Italy. In dating geographical events, or identifying ancient sites with their contemporary counterparts, Biondo weighs diverse evidence with the critical judgment that made him a pioneer in humanist historiographical method and the new science of archaeology: in many instances, however, he is in error. This paper examines Biondo’s variable privileging of literary, historical, cartographic, and documentary sources, and the argumentative strategies he employs in support of his conclusions regarding Italia illustrata’s historical and archaeological problems.

Abstract paper -b: In patristic, monastic, mendicant, and lay vitae, prefaces gesture to their texts, pointing out some features, shielding others. These proto-theoretical gesticulations are generally conservative: tropes and phrases recycle in a mannered intertextuality. Nevertheless, the recycling can occupy the full emotional range, from reverence to parody. Moreover, emphases do shift, and innovation does occur. This presentation draws on more than one hundred fifty hagiographic prologues and dedications from the Quattrocento - a period when the grounds of knowledge and proof were being re-calibrated yet again - to propose an explanatory model for the changing gestures of the medieval hagiographic preface.

Abstract paper -c: Peter Martyr of Anghiera, who at the end of the Quattrocento wrote the first extensive accounts of the discovery of America, and set the agenda for discussions of America, was a correspondent of Pomponio Leto and influenced Las Casas. He wrote in a basically simple Latin which could encompass the New World and the Old. A major concern of his was particularities. This concern is revealed in his Legatio Babylonica, which shows him on the antiquarian path of Cyriac of Ancona while travelling to Egypt on a political mission, and in its diptych, his De Orbe Nouo. This paper glances at the particularities and strategies of Martyr's engagement with America.