Graduate Student Invitation Series Lecture: Professor Eugenio Refini (NYU), “Whose Aristotle? Latinate Knowledge and Vernacular Translation in Medieval Italy”

A famous tale from the Novellino (one of the most prominent collections of novelle before Boccaccio’s Decameron) ridicules a philosopher who endeavors to translate science and philosophy into the vernacular. By staging the anxieties connected with the vulgarization of knowledge, the novella seizes upon a phenomenon—vernacular—whose significance to Medieval and Renaissance culture can hardly be overstated. While the “philosopher” in the story is unnamed, his fate resonates with the dynamics that informed the vernacular reception of the “Philosopher” par excellence: Aristotle. By exploring the ways in which the “Master of those who know” was appropriated by vernacular translators and their readers between the age of Dante and the dawn of Humanism, this talk argues that translation offered a productive—yet not uncontested—space of interaction for competing linguistic traditions and cultural agendas. This event was recorded on April 21, 2022.

Eugenio Refini, New York University

For more information visit the event website.

Medieval Institute

April 21, 2022

Art and HistoryAristotleBoccaccioDigest151Digest170Medieval Institutetranslation

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