Renaissance Fables

Renaissance Fables

Renaissance Fables

Renaissance Fables

Synopsis

"Based on recent critical editions, Renaissance Fables offers the first English versions of fables by Alberti, Scala, and Baldi, as well as a new translation of Leonardo's fables. While the fables themselves are often epigrammatically short, they engage large issues of human society and morality by means of symbols and situations borrowed from the world of nature. Extensive textual notes identify the authors' literary and scientific sources and provide cross-references that aid in our understanding of these often enigmatic works. Readers with an interest in Renaissance allegory, emblems, and philosophy, or in artists like Alberti and Leonardo, will find connections with their own disciplines." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

The history of the Aesopic fable from antiquity to the Renaissance is notoriously complex. Unlike other Greek texts, Aesop was not rediscovered by Western humanists during the Italian Renaissance, for there was a continuous Latin tradition of prose compilations such as Romulus, Aesopus moralizatus, and Anonymus Neveleti, as well as the poems of Avianus. But when Greek codices of Aesop arrived in Italy in the early fifteenth century, new texts sparked a revival of interest in Aesopic literature that was soon accelerated by the introduction of printing. The revival began with new Latin translations of Greek texts made by various humanists: Guarino

On the ancient tradition, see B. E. Perry, Studies in the Text History of the Life and
Fables of Aesop (Haverford, PA: American Philological Association, 1936); Morten Nøjgaard,
La fable antique, 2 vols. (Copenhagen: A. Busck, 1964–1967); Francisco Rodríguez Adrados,
Historia de la Tábula greco-latina, 2 vols, in 3 (Madrid: Universidad Complutense, 1979–
1987); idem, ed., La fable. Entretiens de la Fondation Hardt sur l'Antiquité Classique 30
(Geneva: Fondation Hardt, 1984); Stefano Jedrkiewicz, Sapere e paradosso nell'Antichità:
Esopo e la favola (Rome: Ateneo, 1989); and Niklas Holzberg, Die antike Tabel: Eine Ein
führung (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1993; repr. 2001). On the medieval
tradition, see Léopold Hervieux, Les fabulistes latins depuis le siècle d'Auguste jusqu'à la fin
du moyen? ge, 5 vols. (Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1888–1899), and Georg Thiele, ed., Der
Lateinische Asop des Romulus, und die Prosa-Tassungen des Phādrus. Kritischer Text mit
Kommentar und einleitenden Untersuchungen (Heidelberg: Winter, 1910; repr. Hildesheim:
Olms, 1985). In citing Aesop's Greek fables, I use Ésope, Fables, ed. Émile Chambry (Paris:
Le Belles Lettres, 1927); and the English translation of it in Aesop, The Complete Fables,
trans. Olivia and Robert Temple (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1998).

See Carlo Filosa, La favola e la letteratura esopiana in Italia dal Medio Evo ai nostri
giorni (Milan: Vallardi, 1952); Paul Thoen, “Aesopus Dorpii. Essai sur l'Ésope latin des
temps modernes,” Humanistica Lovaniensia 19 (1970):241–316; idem, “Les grands recueils
ésopiques des XV et XVI siècles et leur importance pour les litératures des temps mod
ernes,” Acta Conventus Neo-Latini Lovaniensis; Proceedings of the First International Congress
of Neo-Latin Studies, Louvain 23–28 August 1971, ed. J. Ijsewijn and E. Kessler (Louvain and
Munich: Leuven University Press, 1971), 659–77.

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