Ludovico Ariosto

Dennis Looney

in Renaissance and Reformation

ISBN: 9780195399301
Published online August 2011 | | DOI:
Ludovico Ariosto

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy


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Ludovico Ariosto (b. 1474–d. 1533), whose work links 15th-century humanism with the vernacular classicism that burgeoned later in the 16th century, is a crucial figure in the development of Italian Renaissance literary culture. An accomplished Neo-Latin poet whose earliest letter is a request for books on Platonism from the Venetian publisher Aldus Manutius (1498), Ariosto used his considerable knowledge of classical Latin literature to forge a literary corpus that blends ancient literary models with medieval ones to create an impressive example of vernacular classicism. No less than his contemporary Michelangelo Buonarroti did for art, Ariosto took the literary revival of Antiquity to new heights. Accordingly, Ariosto can be seen as a forerunner of Miguel de Cervantes and other vernacular prose artists whose critical recapitulations of medieval chivalric fiction under the influence of classical works and classicizing authors like Ariosto eventually led to the birth of the novel. For modern readers who are accustomed to the conventions of modern fiction, at times Ariosto sounds strangely familiar and even postmodern.

Article.  7617 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

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