From Byzantium to Italy

From Byzantium to Italy : Greek Studies in the Italian Renaissance

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Which famous poet treasured his copy of Homer, but could never learn Greek? What prompted diplomats to circulate a speech by Demosthenes - in Latin translation - when the Turks threatened to invade Europe? Why would enthusiastic Florentines crowd a lecture on the Roman Neoplatonist Plotinus, but underestimate the importance of Plato himself? Having all but disappeared during the Middle Ages, classical Greek would recover a position of importance - eventually equal to that of classical Latin - only after a series of surprising failures, chance encounters, and false starts.

This important study of the rediscovery and growing influence of classical Greek scholarship in Italy from the 14th to the early 16th centuries is brought up to date in a new edition that reflects on the recent developments in the field of classical reception studies, and contains fully up-to-date references to aid students and scholars. From a leading authority on Greek palaeography in the English-speaking world, here is a complete account of the historic rediscovery of Greek philosophy, language and literature during the Renaissance, brought up-to-date for a modern audience of classicists, historians, and students and scholars of reception studies and the Classical Tradition.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 17.78mm | 349g
  • Bloomsbury Academic
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 1474250475
  • 9781474250474
  • 622,195

Table of contents

Preface to the First Edition

1. The Beginnings
ii. Petrarch, Boccaccio and Pilato

2. Chrysoloras: methods of learning the language

3. Bruni and other early translators

4. Consolidation
i. A first glance at Venice
ii. The significance of the year 1423: Aurispa
iii. The second half of Bruni's career
iv. Traversari

5. Vittorino da Feltre

6. Guarino

7. Filelfo

8. Greek prelates in Italy
i. The Council of Florence (1439) and its consequences
ii. The Greek cardinal

9. Valla

10. Rome under Nicholas V and his successors

11. Florence in the second half of the century
i. Argyropoulos
ii. Ficino
iii. Scholar-printers: Chalcondyles and Janus Lascaris

12. Politian

13. Padua, Bologna, Ferrara and Messina

14. Venice
i. Ermolao Barbaro and Pietro Bembo
ii. The Aldine Publishing house , the Neakademia and Forteguerri's manifesto
iii. The publications of the first ten years
iv. Interruptions
v. Musurus

15. Conclusion

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Review quote

An essential introduction to the reception of classical Greek literature in humanist Italy ... It remains a pleasure and a thrill to read this book. Wilson's language is clear and concise. The author focuses on the essential but still enlivens the narrative with enjoyable and exciting anecdotes without ever losing the thread of his argument. He finds the right balance between sticking to facts and launching hypotheses on the basis of possible relations and links. In the age of companions and conference proceedings, this monograph particularly captivates thanks to the homogeneity of its contents and themes, as well as the sharpness of its focus. * Bryn Mawr Classical Review * This second edition of From Byzantium to Italy (the first appeared in 1992) stands as a welcome testament to this study's enduring relevance, and its updated notes evince attention to recent research concerning the most influential figures and texts ... All professional scholars and graduate students whose research relates to the classical tradition will find food for thought here. Similarly, advanced undergraduates, and particularly those writing theses, will profit from and enjoy this study. * New England Classical Journal * This elegant history is peppered with delights ... [A] learned and highly readable book. * Classics for All Reviews * From Byzantium to Italy remains one of the most remarkable studies on the survival of Greek culture in the West. It is an admirably concise and elegantly written book. Anyone interested in the reception of Antiquity in the Renaissance should read it. * Maude Vanhaelen, Associate Professor of Classics and Italian Studies, University of Warwick, UK * This is the most important account of how classical Greek literature was transferred om the Greek world to the Latin West during the Italian Renaissance. Written by an eminent authority on the history of classical scholarship, this updated edition provides a rich historical context and a wealth of concrete examples illustrating this key episode in the cultural history of Western civilization. * James Hankins, Professor of History, Harvard University, USA * This book, in its new paperback format, will undoubtedly be of use to scholars of translation and graduate students as a starting point for their work on particular translators or individual works. * Ancient History Bulletin * An indispensable reference for any scholar interested in studying the transmission, reception and import of ancient Greek texts in Renaissance Italy ... With this study, Wilson shares his impressive erudition and paleographical expertise offering an exemplary model for balancing concision with wealth of examples, for sketching the broader trends and introducing minute, yet relevant details. * Classical Journal *
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About N. G. Wilson

N. G. Wilson is Emeritus Fellow of Lincoln College, University of Oxford, UK. He has published widely on Greek palaeography, textual criticism and the history of classical scholarship including Scholars of Byzantium (1983), revised ed. (1996).
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Rating details

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