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15 - Early Reception until 1481

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 December 2018

Zygmunt G. Barański
Affiliation:
University of Notre Dame, Indiana
Simon Gilson
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
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Summary

Abstract: This chapter will explore the reception of Dante’s Commedia from its earliest dissemination in the second decade of the fourteenth century through to 1481, the date that marks the publication of the most important Renaissance commentary by Cristoforo Landino. The process of canonization of the poem will be outlined through a survey of its commentary tradition and of its editorial history, one in which Giovanni Boccaccio plays a major role. The analysis of the unalloyed celebration and political exploitation of the poem in Medici’s Florence is complemented by an investigation of contestations and resistance, most notably by Petrarch and by humanists such as Leonardo Bruni. Few works in Western literature have influenced such a broad range of readers as the Commedia. Alongside learned response, I shall constantly highlight the dynamics of transmission, dissemination and reception of the poem across an exceptionally large and diversified audience, through different media. Substantial attention will be paid to the visualizations of the poem in manuscripts and in monumental works of art.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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