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Chapter 7 - A Politico-Communal Reading of the Rose

The Fiore Attributed to Dante Alighieri

from Part II - Natural Law, Politics, and Society

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 June 2020

Jonathan Morton
Affiliation:
Tulane University, Louisiana
Marco Nievergelt
Affiliation:
University of Warwick
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Summary

This chapter considers the late thirteenth-century Italian reception of the Rose, especially the Fiore, attributed to Dante. I suggest a work that is both a synthesis and a new approach to the question by re-inserting the Tuscan reworking into its Florentine politico-cultural context. The Fiore brings out the link, already present in the French poem, between Jean de Meun and the city-states of the peninsula and is thus situated at the intersection of two generations of Italian intellectuals (between that of Brunetto and that of Dante). Meanwhile, the socio-political context of the city of Florence explains several of the translator’s choices in transforming the Fiore into a veritable epic of Florentine socio-political practices. Anti-Franciscan polemic is decisive here: it produces the myth of Falsembiante (False Appearance/Faux Semblant), which becomes in turn crucial for successive literary generations. I would like, thus, to propose a general interpretation of the poem, paying particular attention to the politico-rhetorical rereading of the French text offered in the Italian translation-reworking.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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