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La Commedia all'antica

Sandro Bertelli

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by Sandro Bertelli

publication year: 2007
210x270 mm; 340 pp.
16 colour and 117 b&w illustrations

978-88-7461-092-1 Italian

The aim of this book is to “examine the Divine Comedy with the instruments and the eye of the codicologist and palaeographer”, investigating the work’s later tradition, which is often overlooked by the scholars of 14th-century Dantesque manuscripts. It focuses in particular on works distinguished by a specific graphic type, littera antiqua, that arose with the humanistic evolution of writing styles. Analysing a corpus of 86 codices preserved at Italian and foreign libraries and institutions (from the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence to the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, the British Library and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France), the book examines the manuscript production of the Divine Comedy between the late 15th century and the first half of the 16th century, the period in which humanistic script emerged and spread, and it underscores different textual and codicological aspects as well as specific writing and graphic elements. The catalogue of the manuscripts, divided into detailed descriptive entries, is richly illustrated. Sandro Bertelli, who graduated with a degree in Latin palaeography, earned his PhD in Dantesque philology. He has participated in palaeographic and codicological studies promoted by the Department of Studies on the Middle Ages and Renaissance of the University of Florence and by the palaeographic section of SISMEL, the International Society for the Study of the Latin Middle Ages. Bertelli currently teaches and conducts research at the University of Lausanne.