Chapter

Lorenzo Bonincontri’s reception of Manilius’ chapter on comets (<i>Astr.</i> 1.809–926)

Stephan Heilen

in Forgotten Stars

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586462
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724961 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586462.003.0017
Lorenzo Bonincontri’s reception of Manilius’ chapter on comets (Astr. 1.809–926)

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This comparison of Bonincontri’s De rebus naturalibus et divinis I.1.474-591 with Astr. 1.809-926 includes Bonincontri’s respective commentaries on both poems. While our humanist imitated Manilius at multiple levels, there are also differen­ces regarding the autobio­graphical dimension of his chapter on comets and the way how he incorporated Manilius’ doxography of ancient explanations of their origin and significance (1.817-75) into his own world view, giving one inconspicuous Hermetic element (Astr. 1.874-5) prominence in his own Christian version. Structural analysis indicates that Bonincontri originally treated only the comet of 1456 and added lines 547-52 and 588-91 later, after the appearance of the comet of 1472. The appendix contains Bonincontri’s Latin passage with a line-by-line commentary, which draws on various early modern sources and on up-to-date technical data such as the orbital parameters of the comets of 1456 and 1472 and the seismological assessment of the Neapolitan earthquake of 1456.

Keywords: Alfonso I of Naples; Lorenzo Bonincontri; comets; comet of 1456; comet of 1472; earthquake of 1456 Naples; Hermetism; Lorenzo de’ Medici; Manilius

Chapter.  14168 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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