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Chapter 1 - Taming the Philosopher

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2020

Eugenio Refini
Affiliation:
New York University
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Summary

Chapter 1 proposes to read the anecdote of Aristotle mounted by the courtesan Phyllis as relevant to the interaction of Latin academic practices and vernacular culture. By building on the idea that the taming of the philosopher stages the conflict between the ‘artificial’ culture of academic learning and concurrent ideas about Nature, I argue that some versions of the story (e.g, the Lai d’Aristote) relate to the medieval reflection on the ethical worth of the mother tongue. To this end, I compare the iconography of the mounted Aristotle to the depiction of Grammar, whose ‘bilingual’ status mirrors the ambiguous place that the vernacular holds vis-à-vis Latin in the age of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio. The chapter then looks at other spaces (both textual and visual) for the translation of the philosophical ideals embodied by Aristotle. In different ways, both the novella tradition (e.g., Novellino and Decameron) and the visual display of civic values (e.g., the painted cycles of San Gimignano, Siena and Asciano) shed light on the ways in which the appropriation of Aristotle shaped the new vernacular societies while also being part of wider discussions about linguistic difference.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Vernacular Aristotle
Translation as Reception in Medieval and Renaissance Italy
, pp. 17 - 50
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Taming the Philosopher
  • Eugenio Refini, New York University
  • Book: The Vernacular Aristotle
  • Online publication: 10 February 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108693684.002
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  • Taming the Philosopher
  • Eugenio Refini, New York University
  • Book: The Vernacular Aristotle
  • Online publication: 10 February 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108693684.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Taming the Philosopher
  • Eugenio Refini, New York University
  • Book: The Vernacular Aristotle
  • Online publication: 10 February 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108693684.002
Available formats
×