|Dimensions||24.5 × 29 cm|
198 in colour and b/w
SenecaBooks, Studies and Classical
una vicenda testuale
edited by T. De Robertis and G. Resta
Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, 2 April-2 July 2004
Published under the auspices of the Italian National Committee for the celebrations of the bimillenary of Lucius Annaeus Seneca’s birth, this volume explores the textual history of the writings handed down to us under the name of the famous Latin dramatist and philosopher, studying the relationship between the various branches of tradition as well as the many commentaries and translations carried out during medieval and humanistic times.
“A systematic inventory of the manuscript and printed tradition of the Senecan corpus,” writes Gianvito Resta, President of the Committee, “carried out from the usual philological, codicological and bibliographical perspective, but with the added benefits of an historical and cultural approach, not only provides the rigorous framework required for the often attempted critical and historical reconstruction of Seneca’s unbroken and influential presence throughout the literature and culture of medieval and modern Europe; also, it becomes per se a history of the reception of that corpus, invaluable in assessing and understanding the feelings and behaviours of readers and schools in the transition from medieval to humanistic times – its first route of transmission, and a very much biassed one on account of its unquestioned acceptance of the time-honoured topos of a ‘Christian Seneca’. On the one hand, this permits a fuller and more adequate investigation of the intricacies of what has become known as the Senecan corpus (which includes spurious and problematic works), and on the other hand it makes possible a more up-to-date and informed assessment of medieval and humanistic literature, where the influence of Senecan models made itself felt to such an extent that it brought about new literary genres or radically renovated existing ones.”
The exhibition “Seneca: una vicenda testuale. Mostra di manoscritti ed edizioni” (Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, 2 April-2 July 2004) features about 90 manuscripts and early printed books from the collections of Florentine (Medicea Laurenziana, Nazionale Centrale and Riccardiana) and European libraries (Barcelona, Bologna, Milan, Naples, Padua, Paris, Parma, Pistoia, Rome, Rovigo, Sankt Gallen, Siena, Vatican City). Essays and item descriptions in the catalogue are not limited to the pieces on display, but extend to manuscripts and books in libraries throughout the world. Such an exhaustive treatment of the tradition and later history of the Senecan corpus not only represents a reliable and much awaited working tool, but also constitutes an important milestone in the centuries-long intellectual and critical adventure that it set out to investigate.
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