Olympia Morata

in The Complete Writings of an Italian Heretic

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780226536682
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226536712 | DOI:

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This chapter shows that nearly all of Olympia Fulvia Morata's literary works were lost in the burning of Schweinfurt. Caelius Secundus Curio had preserved her juvenalia, and she copied out some poems for him on her deathbed (Letter Seventy One). Poem Five is not found in the contemporary sources and comes from a collection of 1715. Other works may yet be found. Few of the poems, therefore, can be dated with precision. Three certainly come from Morata's early years at court. Poem One, on her studies, is best placed during her early years of study at Ferrara. “On True Virginity” is a satiric epigram on nuns and supposed celibacy. Though anticlerical themes were common to Catholic and Protestant alike, Morata's language is very close to that of Curio in a letter to her father. The elegant poem on the death of the great Venetian humanist Pietro Bembo must date soon thereafter.

Keywords: Olympia Fulvia Morata; Schweinfurt; Caelius Secundus Curio; juvenilia; poems; On True Virginity; satiric epigram; celibacy; Pietro Bembo

Chapter.  1788 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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