Marvellous Works: The Poetry of Wonder in Baroque Naples

Yasmin Annabel Haskell

in Loyola's Bees

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262849
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734588 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs

Marvellous Works: The Poetry of Wonder in Baroque Naples

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This chapter examines how the French Jesuits influenced the didactic poetic practice of their Italian counterparts. It discusses Niccolò ‘Parthenius’ Giannettasio, an Italian Jesuit who, in spite of his admiration of Rapin, Fracastoro, and other French Jesuit contemporaries, opted to write Latin didactic poetry in a Neopolitan setting. The chapter also discusses Tommaso Strozzi, another Neopolitan Jesuit, who took inspiration from Girolamo Fracastoro's Syphlis. Fracastoro, who was the most famous Renaissance successor of Pontano, had a profound influence on the georgic poetry of his Tommaso, particularly his Praedium rusticum. The chapter also discusses Francesco Eulalio Savastano, a Neopolitan Jesuit didactic poet. His poems were a hybrid of French Jesuit and native Italian strains of neo-Latin georgic. Compared to Rapin and his Neopolitan colleagues, Savastano produced a didactic poem of more ambitious scientific pretensions. His Botanicorium, seu Institutionum rei herbariae libri iv sought to surpass the didactic poetry of Rapin. His Botanicorium was the harbinger of the more self-consciously difficult scientific poetry of the Jesuits working in Rome. It looks not only to Lucretius, Fracastoro, and Virgil but also to rivals such as Giannettasio and, above all, Rapin. This attempt to produce a scholarly difficult poetry was an opportunity for poetic, as well as competitive, display.

Keywords: French Jesuits; didactic poetic practice; Niccolò Parthenius Giannettasio; Italian Jesuit; Rapin; Fracastoro; Latin didactic poetry; Tommaso Strozzi; Neopolitan Jesuit; Francesco Eulalio Savastano

Chapter.  21351 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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