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Pietro Bembo on Etna: The Ascent of a Venetian Humanist

The Ascent of a Venetian Humanist

Gareth D. Williams

Pietro Bembo on Etna: The Ascent of a Venetian Humanist

Pietro Bembo on Etna: The Ascent of a Venetian Humanist

The Ascent of a Venetian Humanist

Pietro Bembo on Etna: The Ascent of a Venetian Humanist

 

This book is centered on the Venetian humanist Pietro Bembo (1470-1547), on his ascent of Mount Etna in 1493, and above all on the striking artistic originality of the elegant Latin work that he wrote about his climb after his return to Venice in 1494: his De Aetna, published at the Aldine press in Venice in 1496.


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Beschrijving Pietro Bembo on Etna: The Ascent of a Venetian Humanist

This book is centered on the Venetian humanist Pietro Bembo (1470-1547), on his two-year stay in Sicily in 1492-4 to study the ancient Greek language under one of its most distinguished contemporary teachers, the Byzantine émigré Constantine Lascaris, and above all on his ascent of Mount Etna in 1493. The more particular focus of this study is on the imaginative capacities that crucially shape Bembo's elegantly crafted account, in Latin, of his Etna
adventure in his so-called De Aetna, published at the Aldine press in Venice in 1496. This work is cast in the form of a dialogue that takes place between the young Bembo and his father Bernardo (himself a prominent Venetian statesman with strong humanist involvements) after Pietro's return to Venice from Sicily in
1494. But De Aetna offers much more than a one-dimensional account of the facts, sights and findings of Pietro's climb. Far more important in the present study is his eye for creative elaboration, or for transforming his literal experience on the mountain into a meditation on his coming-of-age at a remove from the conventional career-path expected of one of his station within the Venetian patriciate. Three mutually informing features that are critical to the artistic originality of
De Aetna receive detailed treatment in this study: (i) the stimulus that Pietro drew from the complex history of Mount Etna as treated in the Greco-Roman literary tradition from Pindar onwards; (ii) the striking novelty of De Aetna's status as the first Latin text produced at the nascent Aldine press in the
prototype of what modern typography knows as Bembo typeface; and (iii) Pietro's ingenious deployment of Etna as a powerful, multivalent symbol that simultaneously reflects the diverse characterizations of, and the generational differences between, father and son in the course of their dialogical exchanges within De Aetna.


ISBN
9780197603185
Pagina's
440
Verschenen
NUR
654
Druk
1
Uitvoering
Paperback / softback
Taal
Engels
Uitgever
OUP USA

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