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Abstracts

Desiree Arbo (University of Warwick), Latin Epic and Platonism in the Jesuit Province of Paraguay: José Manuel Peramás and Re-Using the Classics in Eighteenth-Century Spanish America

Jesuit Latin culture between the seventeenth to the eighteenth centuries has been the subject of growing attention in recent decades. The Jesuits cultivated classical learning and the Latin humanism which was integral to their educational system on both sides of the Atlantic, but few scholars have studied one of the most famous theatres of their labours: the Guarani missions of Paraguay, or the Jesuit Province of Paraquaria. This presentation explores the different uses of Latin by José Manuel Peramás (1732-1793), a Spanish Jesuit who lived and worked at the Jesuit University of Córdoba (Argentina) and the mission of San Ignacio Miní before being exiled to Italy in 1767. His works cover a variety of genres, including biography, epic poetry and oratory. This presentation explores two works which illustrate his great facility in Latin and extensive reading of classical texts: an epic poem, De Invento Novo Orbe (1777), and a prose treatise comparing the Jesuit missions of Paraguay to the ideal state in Plato’s Republic: the De administratione Guaranica comparata ad rempublicam Platonis commentarius (1793). A study of these two works and the distinctive way in which both texts were presented by their author reveals not only the extent of classical learning in this corner of the world, but also how the use of the classics, combined with his knowledge and experience of colonial Spanish America, enabled José Manuel Peramás to produce unique and innovative works of Latin literature.


Prof. Giuliana Di Biase (Università G. d'Annunzio Chieti-Pescara Italy), Cicero’s Latin in Locke’s works. A case of misusing

Cicero’s influence on Locke’s philosophical thought, especially moral thought, is clearly apparent at least since the Quaestiones on the Law of Nature written by the latter in 1664. Perhaps, it is less clear how Locke sometimes misused Cicero’s Latin, in order to attribute a new meaning to terms which had become ambiguous in the language of his time. In particular, as is confirmed by a 1684 manuscript note, Locke distanced himself from the meaning Cicero attributed to the term prudentia in De Officiis, and in a 1687 manuscript note containing a classification of the sciences he remolded it by making it synonymous with Cicero’s notion of decorum. According to De Officiis, both prudentia and decorum are parts of honestum, though they refer to different sets of virtues; probably, in the eighties Locke began to feel the meaning Cicero attributed to prudentia (which was very near to the Thomistic-Aristotelian one) was too indeterminate, being not clearly distinguished from that of sapientia. As a matter of fact, the term prudentia had became ambiguous in Locke’s time: its moral signification was obscured by the strategic meaning conferred to it in some writings (especially B. Gracian’s Oraculo manual y arte de prudencia), hence the necessity Locke felt to remold the meaning of Cicero’s notion of prudentia was probably due to his desire to preserve the term from further corrosion.


William Barton (King’s College, London), Latin and the Vernacular in Early Modern Verona: Two Accounts of Trips to Monte Baldo

At the end of the 16th century two apothecaries undertook research trips to Monte Baldo, one of the Pre-Alpine peaks around Lake Garda. Their authors came from the same town, were employed in the same profession, were only one generation apart and – the point of interest for this paper – published their accounts in both Latin and Italian.

Francesco Calzolari published his Il Viaggio di Monte Baldo in 1566. It was followed by a Latin version in 1571, also published in Venice. Joannes Pona’s Plantae…quae in Baldo Monte…reperiuntur was first published in Latin in 1601 at Antwerp. It was followed 16 years later by an Italian translation printed in Venice.

These two accounts offer a neat case study of the relationship between Latin and the vernacular for Early Modern naturalists – they were written by near contemporaries with similar interests and about the same mountain, but one was published first in Italian, the other in Latin. They were both subsequently followed by translations.

This paper will look at the circumstances and motivations that Calzolari and Pona might have had for their choice of language for publication. I will first consider the more ordinary factors in such a choice, such as the audience envisaged for the works, the inclusion of the works in larger volumes or, indeed, the language skills of their authors. But I will conclude by offering some more suggestive and perhaps more interesting reasons that these two Early Modern authors might have had for choosing Latin or the vernacular for their works.


Giacomo Comiati (University of Warwick), Presence and use of Horatian Carmina in Sixteenth-century Venice

My paper aims to analyse the use of the Horatian Carmina the Venetian poet Celio Magno (1536-1602) does in his Book of Rhymes (published in 1600).

In sixteenth-century Italy the most usual and acknowledged way to write poetry was to follow the Petrarchan model. Despite this common literary trend, some authors decided to express their need for innovation within the poetical field by following, together with the example of Petrarch, that other canonised poets, mainly Latin authors (like Propertius, Tibullus and Horace).

In this paper I want to study the particular use Celio Magno does of the Carmina poems by Horace. The Italian poet is not only inspired by them, but he constructs his own book of rhymes according to a precise moral pathway, which is modelled mainly on Horatian precepts. Magno in his poems invites at first his readers to accept their doom of beings condemned to death (as Horace usually does in his Odes), then he invites them to consider two possible shelters with which to protect from the adversities of life: 1) the locus amoenus (pleasant place), where to retire with friends in order to forget worldly worries, and 2) poetry itself, which is the only protection for men from the tyranny of time and oblivion. Horace constantly develops both these topics in his Carmina and Magno revitalises them in his compositions.

The use of the Latin poet by the Italian one is almost unique and worth to be studied as a remarkable example of how early-modern authors used Classical poets to revitalise different literary traditions.


Rocco Di Dio (University of Warwick), Reading, Excerpting and Reusing Latin and Classical Texts: Marsilio Ficino and His Notebooks

The aim of this paper is to explore and focus on some manuscripts produced by Marsilio Ficino, the Renaissance scholar who was largely responsible for the revival of Platonism in western Europe.

Ficino’s manuscripts are evidence of a common practice among Renaissance scholars: whilst reading ancient texts, humanists selected and transcribed passages of special interest in notebooks. These intense close readings resulted in the creation of the so-called zibaldoni, repertoires of texts that compilers could recall and reuse, at a later stage, in their scholarly activity. Such manuscripts are the result of two impulses: the former is preservative and leads scholars to select, gather, and organise classical texts; the latter is creative: indeed, the textual material transcribed in these manuscripts, reduced to brief exceprts and sometimes assembled in sequences which are different from the original text, represents the basis of their writing new works. Through a process of reduction and rework, formulae, images, patterns of argument and models employed by the earlier tradition acquire a new meaning as they get selected and displayed into the textual repertoire and then get integrated into the new work.

Ficino’s anthologies, as textual basis for the composition of his Latin commentaries and philosophical treatises, represent a precious access key to the humanist’s scriptorium and, more generally, provide important information on a very common methodology in early modern culture. As a result of this process, passages and excerpts, such as the tesserae of a mosaic, got assembled and came to constitute a new original text.


Dr. John T. Gilmore (University of Warwick), Approaches to modern Latin poetry: Translating the Abbé Massieu’s Caffaeum, Carmen

First published in 1738, but perhaps written as early as the 1690s, the Caffaeum, Carmen of Guillaume Massieu (1665-1722) is a witty and entertaining Latin poem about the origins and benefits of coffee-drinking. Apparently the most successful of a number of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Latin poems celebrating the virtues of exotic drinks, it was reprinted in whole or in part on a number of occasions into the late nineteenth century. While it did not originate the story, it seems to have been responsible for popularising the aetiological myth of the Arab goatherd whose observations of the unusually frisky behaviour of his flock after they had consumed some strange berries led to the discovery of the properties of coffee.

While Massieu’s poem is a good example of its genre, for a modern researcher the question inevitably arises of how one can best convey its attractions to Anglophone readers who may well feel that the appeal of didactic poetry in Latin is something they can easily resist. This paper will argue that those of us who are interested in modern Latin need to convince those who cannot read Latin of its importance, and that this means providing translations. Massieu’s poem, existing translations, and the writer’s experience of creating a new translation will be used to provide a case study in the issues surrounding the translation of modern Latin poetry, and argue for the viability of verse translations.



Linda Grant (Birkbeck College), Imitatio, intertextuality and reception: re-writing classical Latin love elegy in sixteenth-century England


Imitatio, as we all know, was a fundamental poetic praxis in the Renaissance. But, too often, it is read by modern scholars either as a passive, derivative and mechanical process (e.g. lists of ‘allusions’ in the footnotes to scholarly editions of early modern texts), or in an overly linear form (e.g. Shakespeare’s use of Ovid, Spenser’s use of Virgil) which fails to take account of the way classical texts are mediated into the Renaissance period via a whole host of other texts and readings.

This paper suggests that Renaissance imitatio was a far more dynamic, rich and sophisticated practice, and that it draws on the way classical Latin texts situate themselves against prior Greek and other Roman models (e.g. the textual interactions between Ovid, Virgil and Homer) so that Latin texts provide not just a body of content to be re-worked and renewed, but serves itself as a paradigm of imitatio.

Drawing on modern theory, this paper reads Renaissance imitatio as a form of both intertextuality (Frow 1990, Hinds 1998, Edmunds 2001) and classical reception (Martindale 1993, 2006, 2013, Hardie 2013), both terms which capture the contingent and active nature of imitatio in the creation of poetry.

To illustrate the value of this approach, the second half of this paper will look at two examples of Renaissance imitatio and will explore how key words create intertextual conduits which link texts in revealing ways: candida in Catullus 68, Petrarch’s ‘Una cerva candida’ and Wyatt’s ‘Whoso List to Hunt’; and regna in Ovid’s Amores 3.7, Donne’s ‘To His Mistress Going to Bed’ and Thomas Nashe’s Choice of Valentines.


Sofia Guthrie (University of Warwick), A Protestant Palinurus: Virgilian sacrifice in Antoine Garissoles’ Adolphid

The Adolphid is a Latin epic published in France in 1649. Its author, Antoine Garissoles (1587-1650), was a Huguenot and a professor of Theology at the Protestant academy at Montauban. The subject of the poem is the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus (1594-1632), portrayed as a heroic defender of his fellow European Protestants in the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648).

It is well established (e.g. Gregory 1999) that in 16th- and 17th-century Europe the power generated by martyrdom was used to formulate a shared Protestant identity, and that martyrological elements appeared in a wide range of literary genres. My paper aims to investigate how Antoine Garissoles has employed a paradigm borrowed from ancient epic to depict the Swedish king as a Protestant martyr.

My analysis will focus on lines 11.510-667 of the Adolphid, in which a sustained allusion to the sacrifice of Palinurus related by the Roman poet Virgil in Aeneid 5.827-871 is woven around Gustavus Adolphus' death on the battle-field. This paper will suggest that Virgil's Aeneid is used as a cipher to elevate the status of the king's death, projecting it as the sacrifice of a guiltless victim for the Protestant cause, and that the use of the Latin language facilitates the effective transmission of this viewpoint.

Exploring the use of such an epic paradigm is not only important for providing insight into how Latin poetry reflected 17th-century religious and political ideas, but also for calling attention to the role Classics and the Latin language had in promoting international Protestantism.



Prof. Andrew Laird (University of Warwick), Latin and education of the native nobility in post-conquest Mexico

In the decades after the Spanish conquest of Mexico in 1521 Franciscan missionaries provided an advanced education in Latin to a select number of youths from the Nahua (or ‘Aztec’) elites of central Mexico. The paper will challenge conventional assumptions about the purpose of that education, in the light of some texts produced by the students themselves. It will be shown that the outcomes of the Nahuas' training were in some respects beneficial for the preservation of their languages and traditions, but detrimental in others.


Francesco Lucioli (University of Cambridge), The Advice of a Master: A Reading of Prospero Acrimato’s Pareneticum Carmen In Catonis Praecepta De Moribus

Prospero Acrimato, an Italian humanist known to us exclusively through his poetical work, published in 1539 a Pareneticum carmen in Catonis praecepta de moribus, an interesting example of rewriting of the Disticha Catonis. The Disticha Catonis were usually used as a scholarly text, to teach and learn Latin. This is also the aim of the first part of Acrimato’s work, dedicated to his pupil Paolo Nomentano: it contains a series of useful pedagogical advice, introduced by specific titles, on both good language and good manners. These advice are rewritten in the second part of the text, dedicated to a certain Niccolò Tifernate, where Acrimato offers a ‘iocosa palinodia’ of the same suggestions: preserving the same titles of the disticha, Acrimato writes a palinode of both the form and the moral meaning of the original texts. A detailed analysis of this collection has never been attempted before, but it will offer an interesting perspective on the use and the abuse of Latin in the Early Modern schools, as it will focus on humanistic education and the way scholars and masters dealt and played with Latin.


David Andrew Porter (University of Cambridge), The Prosody and Style of neo-Latin Satire in the 16th century

Classical Latin satire provided three poets, Horace, Juvenal and Persius, as generic models for neo-Latin satirists. These ancient poets provided the early modern poet with a set of metrical and stylistic features that distinguished the Latin genre. Yet, although the style and metre of model poets, such as Ovid and Virgil, were discussed in early modern poetic treatises, the discussion of satire focused on etymological and historical questions to the neglect of metrical concerns. This left the imitation of the unique style of ancient satire in the hands of individual neo-Latin poets. My paper will examine how a range of sixteenth-century neo-Latin satirical poets, such as Petrus Montanus, Thomas Naogeorg, Marc-Antoine Muret, George Buchanan and others, independently adopted the style of the classical genre in their own compositions. It will reveal the extent to which these poets were able to detect stylistic features outside of commentaries and poetic manuals and explore early modern approaches to Latin metre in satire, an aspect of classical imitation that is often neglected in contemporary scholarship. This in turn will help show how early modern poets and scholars adapted and appropriated from classical Latin to meet their own needs. My paper will use this information to address the question of the extent to which metrical and stylistic considerations reflect a development and improvement in understanding classical poets as the century progressed and show to what extent a consideration of metrical imitation evinces an understanding of how satire, and in consequence other genres, was theorised and understood.


Andrzej Probulski (Jagiellonian University, Cracow), A Council Divided: prudentia and anceps consilium in S. H. Lubomirski’s De vanitate consiliorum

The paper aims to discuss some of the lexical choices made by Stanisław Herakliusz Lubomirski (1642-1702) in his neolatin dialogue De vanitate consiliorum. Printed two years before his death, De vanitate consiliorum was one of the most famous works of Lubomirski among his contemporaries, and remains to be one of the most puzzling for the modern scholars. Was it a political testament of a disillusioned politician? A manifest of his philosophical scepticism? A mere display of his rhetorical prowess?

By making a connection between two seemingly detached Latin terms employed by Lubomirski – prudentia and consilium anceps – I attempt to propose a new perspective on De vanitate consiliorum. Situating the aforementioned terms in a broader rhetorical context of Lubomirki’s work, I present them as a kind of a metacommentary on his own use of two-fold arguments (disputatio in utramque partem): both as an useful tool for practical judgement and as an obstacle to consent.

My aim is to demonstrate the subtle way in which Lubomirski interweaves the less obvious meanings of Latin terms in his dialogue: while the political prudentia (being represented in Early Modern iconography as having two heads turned in two opposite directions) would allow for making right political decisions, the consilium anceps (lit. “two-headed council”) would at the same time be an institution inherently incapable of taking action.



Caroline Spearing (King’s College, London) Latin in Books 1–2 of Abraham Cowley’s Libri Plantarum Sex (1663)

What were the implications of publishing a Latin literary poem in Restoration England? While the didactic tradition was still flourishing on the Continent, English poets had for the most part followed the lead of Milton, who after the Poemata of 1645 wrote predominantly in the vernacular. But in 1663 Abraham Cowley published the first two books - over 2,500 lines - of his Plantarum, and in 1668 came the posthumous appearance of all six, the Libri Plantarum Sex. The vast majority of Cowley’s work is in English, and the Plantarum, with its apparatus of learned footnotes, has traditionally been viewed as the product of Cowley’s retirement, when political disfavour drove him to pursue botanical studies in the countryside.

This paper will focus on books 1-2, considering whether the choice of Latin as the vehicle for the Plantarum represents more than the preferred choice for a work of scientific study. Even in these first two books, conventionally regarded as the most straightforwardly didactic, we find close engagement both with classical intertexts (particularly Ovid and Virgil) and with contemporary politics. Cowley’s accommodation with the Realpolitik of the 1650s had backfired spectacularly, and I shall be asking whether in the Plantarum he drew on his long career as secret agent and cryptographer to create a text which contained messages accessible only to a highly-educated and essentially trustworthy minority.


Prof. Hugh Roberts (University of Exeter) and Dr. Annette Tomarken (Miami University of Ohio), Despauterius, Bruscambille, and the Comedy of Latin Grammar

Any educated sixteenth- or seventeenth-century Frenchman would sigh at the memory of learning Latin using the methods of the Flemish grammarian Jan van Spauteren (1460-1520), usually known as Despauterius or Despautère in French. The learned grammarian’s use of memorization, lists, special type-faces and even short poems as mnemonic teaching tools was to be prominent in the teaching of elementary French grammar in schools until well into the seventeenth century. Indeed, he was so well known that Bruscambille, talented prologueur at the Hôtel de Bourgogne in Paris, was able to include in his comic speeches a number of specific references to Despautère’s rules. But his purpose in using such references was to amuse and to establish a bond with his largely male audience rather than to educate. Often presenting himself as a much-maligned teacher or pedant, he made use of Despautère’s rules, particularly those concerning gender, to make sexist remarks and scatological puns. We propose to trace the background to Bruscambille’s recurrent interest in Despautère and to explore the ways in which his fascination with the grammarian/schoolmaster figure enabled him to develop aspects of his own theatrical persona, one constantly marked by erudition worn lightly.


Aaron Shapiro (Boston University), Neo-Latin Imitation As Emendation: William Gager’s Supplements to Seneca’s Hippolytus

William Gager’s supplements (1592) to Seneca’s Hippolytus command attention for their significance both to English theater history and to the history of classical scholarship. Gager’s epilogue—a spirited defense of academic stage-plays—sparked a controversy with John Reynolds that began in Latin and spilled over into English, and it deserves comparison with better-known vernacular defenses of poetry and theater. The additions as a whole should be understood as part of the wider practice of imaginative supplementation, the composition of Greek and Neo-Latin imitations to fill lacunae in classical texts. These imaginative interpolations belong to the larger phenomenon of the humanist supplementum, which served sometimes to complete partial texts and sometimes to surmount texts already complete (e.g., Maffeo Vegio’s composition of a thirteenth book for the Aeneid). Building upon the scholarship of J. W. Binns and Dana Sutton, I argue that Gager’s supplements, considered in this context, shed light both on the practices of other Renaissance editors (e.g., Ermolao Barbaro, Johannes Freinsheim) and on the motivations, stated and implicit, that led scholars paradoxically to honor classical texts by adulterating them with new material.


Dr. Paul White (University of Manchester), Teaching Latin in the Grammar Class on the cusp of the French Renaissance

‘Nobody, except the youngest pupils in the elementary class, should speak in the vernacular; moreover, to help the young ones learn, the more advanced pupils when talking to them should speak first in Latin, and then translate into the vernacular only what they have not understood.’ (Nemo nisi parvulus, idemque elementarius, vernacule loquatur: quinetiam ut ipsi parvuli discant, provectiores una cum his loquendo, prius Latine dicant, deinde vernaculo sermone interpretentur, siquid minus intellexerint.) The sixteenth-century statutes of the Collège de Guyenne suggest that in the humanist schools of the French Renaissance, Latin was everything. Latin was both the only subject and the only medium of instruction, and mastery of the language in both oral and written form was the expected outcome. This, at least, was the ideal. Françoise Waquet and others have highlighted how for much of its modern history, the reality of Latin education fell far short of the ideal. I intend to look in particular at the teaching practices of Jodocus Badius Ascensius, who had been a schoolmaster in a Lyon grammar school in the 1490s, and was in Paris a printer and author of grammar textbooks and commentaries that had a wide distribution and were used well into the sixteenth century. To judge from the vast expanses of Latin text that make up Badius’s ‘familiar’ (grammatical) commentaries, one might easily conclude that humanist teachers like Badius taught the reading of classical texts through total immersion in the Latin language from the beginning. But evidence to the contrary exists in the form of vernacular glosses in Latin commentaries, and bilingual grammar textbooks that Badius himself printed or collaborated on, which combined the Latin with explicatory text in English, Scots, French or Flemish.