Renaissance

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By Carlo Caruso

During this special therapy of the parable of Adonis in post-Classical occasions, Carlo Caruso offers an summary of the most texts, either literary and scholarly, in Latin and within the vernacular, which secured for the Adonis fable a distinct position within the Early smooth revival of Classical mythology. whereas aiming to supply this basic define of the myth's fortunes within the Early sleek age, the ebook additionally addresses 3 issues of fundamental curiosity, on which many of the unique study integrated within the paintings has been performed. 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 delusion by way of authoritative sixteenth-century mythological encyclopaedias. Thirdly, the allegorical/political use of the Adonis fable in G.B. Marino's (1569-1625) Adone, released in Paris in 1623 to have a good time the Bourbon dynasty and to help their legitimacy in regards to the throne of France.

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39) No other comment illustrates with comparable elegance and efficacy the ambitions and achievements of the three masters of Latin verse: the late Pontano, naturally and unquestionably the greatest; Sadoleto, potentially his competitor, but only on a very limited scale, as his excellent but sporadic attempts at Latin poetry showed; and finally Bembo, of the three arguably the most motivated and eager to excel and undeniably skilled, but skilled in speaking through the voice of his models rather than his own voice.

Another was the increasingly widespread perception of his achievement as unique and even, in many respects, idiosyncratic. A third obstacle was represented by the changing conception of imitation itself, which induced a much more rigid codification of literary genres. This last factor in particular proved to be a lethal blow to the prestige enjoyed by Pontano’s poetics. The gradual distancing of Italian literary culture from Pontano’s achievement deserves to be examined at closer range, because it indirectly came to bear upon the perception of the Adonis myth in sixteenth-century literary culture.

For while it was simple to characterize Pontano as ‘divine’ (579), as Bembo’s good friend Aldo Manuzio had done over twenty years before, that epithet is in fact restricted to the Meteororum liber (583–6) and Urania (587–9). There is no mention of the Horti Hesperidum, which together with the other two poems formed the celebrated Manutian edition of Pontano’s didactic verse (1505), and which by then had become the most frequently and enthusiastically imitated piece of the three. 39 The principal aim of this long digression has been to explain Bembo’s rejection of Pontano’s Horti Hesperidum and the imitative practice the poem represented in the general perception of early sixteenth-century readers.

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