Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Comparetti. Vergil in the Middle Ages

Today's free book is Vergil in the Middle Ages by Domenico Comparetti, translated by E.F.M. Benecke. For the table of contents, check at the bottom of this post below the image.

The book is available at Internet Archive, Hathi Trust, and Google Books.


PART I: The Vergil of Literary Tradition

Chapter I.—Importance for Vergil's reputation of the Aeneid. Predilection of the Romans for Epic Poetry. National character
of the Aeneid, and its connection with the Roman sentiment. First impressions produced by the Poem

Chapter II.—Value of the grammatical, rhetorical and erudite elements in the Poem, and importance of these features from the
contemporary point of view. Nature of the earliest critical works on Vergil, and character of the first judgments passed on him

Chapter III.—Proofs of the Poet's popularity in the best days of the Empire. Vergil in the schools and the grammatical treatises

Chapter IV.—Vergil in the rhetorical schools. Reaction in favour of the earlier writers; effect of this upon Vergil; Fronto and his
followers, Aulus Gellius. Veneration felt for Vergil; the Sortes Vergilianae

Chapter V.—The Time of the Decadence. Popularity of Vergil. The Centos. The Commentators, Aelius, Donatus and Servius.
Philosophical interpretations. Exaggerations of the historical allegory in the Bucolics. Vergil regarded as a rhetorician; the rhetorical commentary of Tib. Cl. Donatus. Macrobius, the idea of Vergil's omniscience and infallibility. Vergil as an authority on grammar; Donatus and Priscian. Nature of
Vergil's reputation at the downfall of the Empire

Chapter VI.—Christianity and the Middle Ages. Survival of the ancient scholastic traditions; the limits of this. Vergil as the
incarnation of grammar. Position of Vergil and the other classical pagan writers in the midst of the enthusiasm for Christianity

Chapter VII.—Vergil as prophet of Christ

Chapter VIII.—Tbe philosophical allegory. Nature and causes of the allegorical interpretation of Vergil; Fulgentius; Bernard de Chartres; John of Salisbury; Dante

Chapter IX.—Grammatical and rhetorical studies in the Middle Ages; use made of Vergil in these

Chapter X.—The Vergilian biography; its vicissitudes; literary legends as to his life; distinction between these and the popular
legends. Rhetorical exercises in verse on Vergilian themes

Chapter XI.—Medieval Latin poetry in classical form. Small success of the monks in this kind of poetry. Rhythmical poetry

Chapter XII.—Clerical conception of antiquity in the Middle Ages. Vergil's position in this conception

Chapter XIII.—The causes that led to the Renaissance. The reawakening of the Laity. Popular literature. The features in this peculiar to Italy

Chapter XIV.—Dante. Character and tendency of his intellectual activity. Limits of his classical culture. The points in this where he approaches the medieval monks and where he differs from them. Consideration of the degree to which he was a forerunner of the Renaissance. His feeling for classical poetry. The ancient Roman Empire and Dante's Italian patriotism. Reason of the sympathy between Dante and Vergil. The bello stile of Dante and Vergil

Chapter XV.—Vergil in the Divina Commedia. Historical and symbolical reasons for his appearance there. Why Vergil, and not Aristotle, is Dante's guide. Points of difference between Dante's type of Vergil and that usual in the Middle Ages. Elimination of certain features, idealisation of others. Vergil and Christianity in Dante's poem. The nature of Vergil's omniscience there. The prophecy of Christ. The relation between Vergil and Statius. Vergil and Dante's ideal Empire

Chapter XVI.—Vergil in the Dolopathos. The merging of the scholastic tradition in the popular

PART II: The Vergil of Popular Legend

Chapter I.—Relation of romantic literature to the classical tradition. Classical antiquity romanticised. The Romance of Aeneas. The Dolopathns. The Magician and the Sage in medieval works of the imagination. Italy and the romances. Legend of Vergil as magician originates among the common people at Naples. It invades romantic and erudite literature

Chapter II.—The legend at Naples in the Twelfth Century. Conrad von Querfurt, Gervasius of Tilbury, Alexander Neckam

Chapter III.—Nature and causes of the Neapolitan legend. The legend at Montevergine. Its relation to the historical tradition

Chapter IV.—Spread of the legend outside Italy

Chapter V.—The seat of Vergil's legendary activity transferred to Rome. The Salvatio Romae

Chapter VI.—Development of the legend during the Thirteenth Century. Image da Monde, Roman des Sept Sages, Cleomadis, Renart Contrefait, Gesta Romanorum, Jans Enenkel

Chapter VII.—Combination of the idea of Vergil as prophet of Christ with that of Vergil as magician. Vergil and the Sibyl in the mysteries. Vergil as prophet of Christ and the Salvatio Romae; Roman de Vespasien. legends relative to Vergil's magic book. Abstract expression of the idea of Vergil as magician in the Philosophia of Pseudo-Virgilius Cordubensis. The idea of magician completed with biographical particulars. Sporadic portions of the legend

Chapter VIII.—Vergil and Women. The story of the chest. The Bocca delta Verita

Chapter IX.—Fate of the legend in Italy; Cronica di Partenope, Ruggieri Pugliese, Boccaccio, Cino da Pistoia, Antonio Pucci. The legend at Rome. The legend at Mantua. Buonamente Aliprandi. Relation of the legends to the ancient biography

Chapter X.—Collections of the legends relative to Vergil. Les Faits merveilleux de Virgile. The Fleur des histoires of Jean d'Outremeuse. Romance de Virgilio. Gradual disappearance of the legends from literature after the Sixteenth Century. Their survival among the common people in the south of Italy up to the present day

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