Adonis: The Myth of the Dying God in the Italian Renaissance by Carlo Caruso

By Carlo Caruso

During this particular therapy of the parable of Adonis in post-Classical occasions, Carlo Caruso offers an outline of the most texts, either literary and scholarly, in Latin and within the vernacular, which secured for the Adonis delusion a different position within the Early smooth revival of Classical mythology. whereas aiming to supply this basic define of the myth's fortunes within the Early glossy age, the e-book additionally addresses 3 issues of basic curiosity, on which many of the unique study incorporated within the paintings has been carried out. First, the myth's earliest major revival within the age of Italian Humanism, and especially within the poetry of the nice Latin poet and humanist Giovanni Pontano. Secondly, the diffusion of syncretistic interpretations of the Adonis fantasy by way of authoritative sixteenth-century mythological encyclopaedias. Thirdly, the allegorical/political use of the Adonis fantasy in G.B. Marino's (1569-1625) Adone, released in Paris in 1623 to have a good time the Bourbon dynasty and to aid their legitimacy in regards to the throne of France.

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3 Not until the appearance of Pietro Bembo’s authoritative Prose della volgar lingua (1525) did the Italian vernacular gain a status comparable to that enjoyed by the two classical languages. According to Bembo, this unprecedented advance could only be made through the adoption of strict rules that would ensure orthographic and morphologic regularity and absolute control in matters pertaining to lexical selection and style. 3). In other words, Bembo was proclaiming Petrarch and Boccaccio the new vernacular classics, while excluding Dante, whom he considered unsuitable for imitation.

7 The battle for Latin prose, on the other hand, could be said to have been won by Bembo as early as 1513, when Pope Leo X had given Ciceronian style the greatest institutional endorsement by appointing the two masters of Ciceronianism, Bembo himself and Iacopo Sadoleto, Secretaries of Papal Briefs. Latin poetry presented problems of a different kind. Up until the 1520s Latin verse had had an advantage over the younger language, still in the process of catching up. This explains why some of the foremost poets of Italy were intended to avail themselves of the Latin language for works that ought to represent their durable bequest to posterity.

85 Further textual resemblances suggest that the Ovidian transformation of the Heliades (Met. 333–66) was also drawn upon, no doubt to offer the knowledgeable reader another ably disguised but eventually recognizable source. As for the language, Pontano left hardly a single Ovidian expression untouched, brilliantly and perilously bordering on, yet never actually crossing over into, parody. 86 One passage in particular may help show this further aspect of his passion for the deliberate conflation of disparate sources.

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