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

By Carlo Caruso

During this special therapy of the parable of Adonis in post-Classical instances, Carlo Caruso offers an summary of the most texts, either literary and scholarly, in Latin and within the vernacular, which secured for the Adonis fantasy a different position within the Early glossy revival of Classical mythology. whereas aiming to supply this basic define of the myth's fortunes within the Early smooth age, the e-book additionally addresses 3 issues of fundamental curiosity, on which many of the unique learn integrated 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 good 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 fable in G.B. Marino's (1569-1625) Adone, released in Paris in 1623 to have fun the Bourbon dynasty and to help their legitimacy with reference to the throne of France.

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For if you say that Virgil inserted digressions in his poems, I shall reply that you, too, have many of them in your two books, which is perfectly acceptable – although a digression is one thing, and an utterly new tale [favola del tutto Adonis and the Renaissance idyll 27 nuova] quite another. Even Virgil, when he introduced the tale of Aristaeus [G. 315–558], did not devise it out of nothing but rather extracted and derived it from the ancient ones. Pindar cannot provide a good model for he is a poet of lyrics and dithyrambs …27 But the scathing comment was reserved for the only modern authority involved, which in his lost letter Fracastoro had evidently mentioned on a par with the two classical poets.

21 But in the 1520s, when Pontano had been dead for over twenty years and Bembo was deeply engaged in a violent debate that threatened his position as the most influential man of letters in Italy, there was very little time left for pleasantries. 22 The piece met with lukewarm reactions – more was evidently expected of a man of Bembo’s calibre. The assessment offered by Giraldi is once again illuminating, and the particular flavour of his account, with its nuances and aftertastes, can be fully relished against the fictional setting as well as the prolonged gestation of his text, for there one can distinctively perceive the changing trends and moods that characterized the Italian humanist world of the 1510s and 1520s.

Virg. 11 Naples was not alone in honouring the old vates in such a manner. 14 Pontano’s symbol appealed not only to Latin, but also to vernacular poets. 15 But more prominent than all others in his support of Pontano’s poetry was the Veronese physician and poet Girolamo Fracastoro. 16 Sannazaro’s fantasy about a garland woven from orange leaves had indeed become the ambition of many a fellow poet. The pitfalls of inventiveness How, one wonders, could a legacy of such scope be dissipated and eventually lost?

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