IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1319: Describing and Praising Cities

Wednesday 11 July 2007, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Karin Schlapbach, King's College, University of London / Universität Zürich
Paper 1319-aParis-Paradise: Poetics of translatio emperii and studii in 14th-Century France
(Language: English)
Anne-Hélène Miller, Division of French & Italian Studies, University of Washington
Index terms: Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Language and Literature - Latin, Philosophy, Political Thought
Paper 1319-bNicaea in Theodore II Lascaris's Words: Between Realistic and Imaginary
(Language: English)
Ilias Giarenis, Department of History, Ionian University, Corfu
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Language and Literature - Greek, Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Literacy and Orality
Paper 1319-cThe Praise and Description of the City in Portuguese Medieval Latin Literature
(Language: English)
António Manuel Ribeiro Rebelo, Instituto de Estudos Clássicos & Humanísticos, Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Coimbra
Index terms: Language and Literature - Latin, Language and Literature - Spanish or Portuguese, Learning (The Classical Inheritance), Rhetoric

Paper a: Absent from the twelfth-century ideologies of Translatio Studii and Emperii, Paris becomes the mythical center of French power in the later Middle Ages, and the analogy is developed between Paris and Paradise, a common place for poets and intellectuals. Thanks to the Seine River, Paris is shown as benefiting from a mild climate, and a fecundity of thought in its university where knowledge and wisdom “run”. The royal city is also the location of the relics in the Sainte Chapelle; it is a fertile terrestrial paradise and its people are God’s chosen. The image of the Seine which epitomizes the Parisian encounter of peripatetic thoughts with the History of Salvation – a reenactment of Translatio Studii and Emperii- seems reconciled with other fourteenth-century poetic images of the city as mercantile, labyrinthine, and subtle.
Paper b: In this paper we examine in brief the image of Nicaea, city of northwestern Asia Minor, given by the Byzantine scholar and emperor Theodore II Ducas Lascaris (1222-1254).
Theodore II, emperor of the so-called ’empire of Nicaea’ and a scholar with a great concern about the classical heritage in the form of both texts and monuments, provides us a very interesting rhetorical text (Ekphrasis) on Nicaea, capital of his state, which functioned as a Byzantine ’empire in exile’. In this rhetorical work the city of Nicaea is presented in a condition perceived in a way ranging between realistic and imaginary.
Paper c: The way Portuguese medieval Latin authors describe and praise medieval cities has been largely influenced by ancient Greek and Latin literature. The ways cities were founded or, by some reason or (un)known circumstances, were moved to another place followed the same principles inherited from the ancient classical and Christian world up to the Middle Ages. It influenced ancient toponymy, where the Christian church and their saints, the new heroes, played also an important role.