Catullus and His Renaissance Readers
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Catullus and His Renaissance Readers

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This is the first general study of the fortunes of Catullus in the Renaissance. After a brief introduction tracing the transmission of the poet from antiquity to the middle of the fifteenth century, the book follows his reception and interpretation by editors, commentators, university lecturers, and poets from the first edition (1472) through the sixteenth century. The focus is on Catullus but also on his Renaissance readers. Their text and interpretations not only
influenced the ways in which later generations (including our own) would read the poet, but also provide windows into their own intellectual and historical worlds, which include Poliziano's Florence, Rome under the Medici Pope Leo X and his puritanical successor Adrian VI, the Paris of Ronsard and
Marc-Antoine de Muret, post-Tridentine Rome, and sixteenth-century Leiden - as well as fifteenth-century Verona, where Catullus was an object of patriotic veneration, and Pontano's Naples, where poets learned to read and imitate him through Martial's imitations.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 460 pages
  • 144 x 223 x 31mm | 726g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • halftones
  • 0198148828
  • 9780198148821

Back cover copy

This is the first general study of the fortunes of Catullus in the Renaissance. After a brief introduction tracing the transmission of the poet from antiquity to the middle of the fifteenth century, the book follows his reception and interpretation by editors, commentators, university lecturers, and poets from the first edition (1472) through the sixteenth century. The focus is on Catullus but also on his Renaissance readers. Their text and interpretations not only influenced the ways in which later generations (including our own) would read the poet, but also provide windows into their own intellectual and historical worlds - which include Poliziano's Florence, Rome under the Medici Pope Leo X and his puritanical successor Adrian VI, the Paris of Ronsard and Marc-Antoine de Muret, post-Tridentine Rome, and sixteenth-century Leiden - as well as fifteenth-century Verona, where Catullus was an object of patriotic veneration, and Pontano's Naples, where poets learned to read and imitate him through Martial's imitations.
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Table of contents

Preface; Selective chronology; Introduction; Emendatio; Interpretatio; Prelectio; Commentarius; Imitatio; Parodia; Conclusion; Appendix; Bibliography.
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Review quote

Gaisser has written a book which must be the first to focus in such meticulous detail on the publishing history and commentary tradition of an ancient author in the Renaissance ... She takes us deftly through a maze of textual errors and emendations, tracing the legacy of both in successive editions ... not only a discriminating guide ... She is also a profoundly knowledgeable commentator. * Renaissance Studies, vol 8, No 3 * 'richly documented, carefully arranged and well-written monograph'
M. van der Poel, Mnemosyne, XLVII, Fasc.1 'This is an orderly and intelligent book, which the student of Catullus will certainly wish to read... all students of Catullus will want this book.'
J. K. Newman, Urbana, Journal of Roman Studies '... the book is elegantly and sensibly arranged: In every chapter, Gaisser succeeds at the very difficult task of characterization of the commentaries and other reader-responses, and she forestalls by her expert knowledge and good critical sense the natural deire of this reader for vehement criticism in the Renaissance mode. Given the standards of book production today, this is a remarkably accurate volume, a pleaseure to read and reliable in its every
detail. It needs no emendation or interpretation; it removes difficulties without creating new ones. ... worthy not only of reading but of imitation.
Seventeenth-Century News/Spring-Summer, 1994 'most readable of scholarly studies ... The thoroughness of her researches is here attested by 125 pages of notes, rendered particularly useful by generous quotation from many inaccessible Renaissance Latin works. This leaves her text splendidly uncluttered and approachable. Throughout she displays full control of her material. She also makes a major contribution to the study of the classical tradition in the Renaissance.'
Ceri Davies, University College of Swansea, The Classical Review, Vol. XLIV, No. 1, 1994 'as a historical account of the work of the editors, commentators, and imitators, who constitute her 'Renaissance readers', there is not much left to be desired, and some of the textual and bibliographical research is very impressive'
Stuart Gillespie, University of Glasgow, Notes and Queries, June 1994 '"There is no general study that treats the reception of Catullus after the first edition, or follows his fortunes through the Renaissance," says Gaisser. She has richly filled that lacuna.'
Choice, November 1993 'Hats off to a work of old-fashioned scholarship! How pleasant, and how comforting, to find a bibliography that is not only up to date on contemporaries, but that also gives room - lots of room - to the scholars of the past ... the best and most provocative book on Catullus in many years ... useful, important, and delightful book.'
Paul Pascal, University of Washington, Bryn Mawr Clasical Review 4.5 (1993)
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