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Essays

Essays topics will explore the reasons Latin survived as a medium for literature and other kinds of writing when it was no longer a spoken language, and the idea of humanism.

Essay Deadlines: 6 December 2016 and 8 March 2017

Essay Titles for Term 1:

1. To what extent can we say that Petrach is the 'father of humanism', but not a humanist?

2. Why was Bruni's theory of translation so revolutionary?

3. What is the cultural context behind Bruni's views on Latin language?

4. Are humanistic translations of ancient texts as perfect as the De recta interpretatione claims them to be?

5. To what extent can one say that the Donation of Constantine could only have be written by a humanist?

6. Was the humanistic revival of Antiquity faithful to Antiquity?

7. What role did the Church play in the revival of Antiquity in the Renaissance?

8. To what extent can we say that imitation matters more than originality for Renaissance humanists?

Essay Titles for Term 2:

1. Did women have a Renaissance?

2. To what extent can we say that Sannazaro's imitation of Horace is original? Discuss with close reference to Horace's and Sannazaro's texts.

3. Compare the ways in which Ficino and Pico viewed the renewal of Antiquity.

4. To what extent can we say that the humanists' attitude towards authority did not change that much in practice when compared to the Middle Ages?

5. Compare Landino's and Sannazaro's use of ancient poetry.

6. To what extent is Isotta Nogarola's letter to Jacopo Antonio Marcello a successful imitation of classical models?

7. Giovanni Pico della Mirandola's Oration on the Dignity of Man is a celebration of human freedom. Discuss with reference to the primary text and the various interpretations of the text in modern scholarship.