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I sei volumi di questa serie, che nel loro insieme compongono un manuale unitario, delineano il quadro completo della storia della letteratura italiana dalle origini ai giorni nostri. Indice: I. Le origini della nuova lingua e della nuova letteratura. Le grandi aree della prima letteratura italiana. La poesia in Toscana. Il dolce stil novo. La prosa dal Duecento al Trecento.

Dante Alighieri. Francesco Petrarca. Esperienze poetiche del Trecento.

Giovanni Boccaccio. La prosa del Trecento. Get A Copy.

The thirteenth century (il ducento)

Paperback , pages. More Details Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Storia della letteratura italiana. I , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Storia della letteratura italiana. From the seventh century onwards, we begin to find traces in extant documents, from various parts of Italy, of the use of the vernacular, in the shape of forms that are more or less Italian inserted into the corrupt Latin of the epoch.

Italian familiar names of men and Italian names of places rapidly appear; and, in a document of in the Archives of Montecassino, a whole sentence, four times repeated, is practically Italian: Sao ko kelle terre, per kelle fini que ki contene, trenta anni le possette parte sancti Benedicti I know that those lands, within these boundaries that are here contained, the party of St. Benedict has possessed them thirty years.

A confessio, or formula of confession, from an abbey near Norcia, probably of the end of the eleventh century, shows passages still nearer to the Italian of to-day. Fifty years later we meet literary composition in the vernacular. The inscription formerly on the cathedral of Ferrara, of , consists of two rhyming couplets of Italian verse.

Four lines, known as the "Cantilena Bellunese", also in rhymed couplets, inserted in a fragment of a chronicle, allude to the taking of Casteldardo by the people of Belluno in In a contrasto a dialogue in verse between lover and lady by Raimbaut de Vaqueiras c. The "Ritmo Laurenziano", a cantilena in praise of a bishop by a Tuscan, and the "Ritmo Cassinese", an obscure allegorical poem in the Apulian dialect, are both probably of the end of the twelfth century.

To the same epoch belongs a series of twenty-two sermons in a northern Italian dialect mixed with French, published by Wendelin Foerster, which are the earliest extant specimens of vernacular preaching in Italy.

Full text of "Studies in Intellectual History"

The Italians naturally regarded the language and traditions of Rome as their own, and still clung to the use of Latin while a vernacular literature was already flourishing in France and Provence. Italian literature, strictly speaking, begins with the early years of the thirteenth century. Among the influences at work in its formation must first be mentioned the religious revival wrought by St. Francis of Assisi and his followers bearing lyrical fruit in the Lauda, the popular sacred song, especially in Central Italy. Francis himself composed one of the earliest Italian poems, the famous "Cantica del Sole", or "Laudes Creaturarum" , a "sublime improvisation" as Paschal Robinson well calls it rather than a strictly literary production.

The growing self-consciousness of the individual states and cities later gave rise to the chronicles and local histories. Equally influential with the Franciscan movement, though in a totally different spirit, was the impulse given to letters by the highly cultured, but immoral and irreligious court of the Emperor Frederick II and his son Manfred, whose Kingdom of Sicily included not only that island, but also Naples and all the south of the peninsula.

Dante wrote: "From the fact that the royal throne was in Sicily, it came to pass that whatever our predecessors wrote in the vulgar tongue was called Sicilian" V. The writers of this Sicilian school were drawn from all parts of Italy.


They did not normally use the Sicilian dialect, but wrote in a vernacular practically identical with what became the literary language of the whole nation. Their productions are almost exclusively love poems derived from those of Provence. Frederick himself died and his chancellor, Pier delle Vigne died , wrote in this fashion. Many of these poets, like Ruggiero de Amicis died , Arrigo Testa died , and Percivalle Doria died , were of high social position, notable in the history of the epoch, dying on the scaffold or the battlefield; but their lyrics are lacking in individuality, conventional, and artificial in sentiment and treatment.

Noteworthy poets of this school are Giacomo da Lentino, "Il Notaro", who was one of the emperor's notaries in ; Rinaldo d'Aquino, a kinsman of St. Thomas, whose lament of a girl whose lover had gone on the Crusade was probably written in ; Giacomo Pugliese da Morra, in whom we find a trace of popular realism; and Cielo dal Camo, or d'Alcamo, whose contrasto, "Rosa fresca aulentissima", now held to have heen written after , is strongly tinged with the local dialect of Sicily.

A more personal note is struck in the pathetic poem of King Enzo of Sardinia died , "S'eo trovasse", written from his prison at Bologna, which brings the Sicilian epoch to a dramatic close. The last poet of the Sicilian school is Guido delle Colonne died after , who also wrote the "Historia Trojana" in Latin prose, and is mentioned with praise by both Dante and Chaucer.

But from the outset the Tuscans did not restrict themselves to erotic poetry, but sang of religious, satirical, and political themes as well. He is also the author of a collection of letters, one of the earliest achievements of Italian prose. The overthrow of the Suabian monarchy in the South, by the victory of Charles of Anjou , shifted the centre of culture to Bologna and Florence. A number of disciples of Guittone now appear, of whom Chiaro Davanzati date uncertain , of Florence, and Bonaggiunta Urbicciani, of Lucca died after , are the most noticeable.

Of a far higher order is the poet who inaugurated the dolce stil nuovo, the "sweet new style", of which Dante speaks - Guido Guinizelli of Bologna died Guido wrote of the noblest love in a spirit that anticipates the "Vita Nuova", and thereby founded a school to which the poets of the last decade of the century belonged, even as their predecessors had adhered to that of Guittone.

The chief of these is Guido Cavalcanti died , the chosen friend of Dante.


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He composed an elaborate canzone on the philosophy of love, in which poetry is smothered by metaphysics; but m his minor lyrics, original in motive and personal in sentiment, he brought the ballata and the sonnet to a degree of perfection previously unattained. With him and Dante is associated another Florentine poet, Lapo Gianni died , whose work belongs to this epoch although he outlived it. In another vein, we have the humorous and satirical pieces of Rustico di Filippo died circa and the "Tesoretto" of Brunetto Latini died , an allegorical didactic poem which influenced the external form of the "Divina Commedia".

The religious poetry of Umbria, developing under Franciscan influence, culminates in the mystical laudi of Jacopone da Todi died , one of the most truly inspired sacred poets that the world has seen. In comparison with the poetry, the Italian prose literature of this century is insignificant.

Many of the literary productions formerly assigned to this are now known to belong to a later epoch, and it is impossible to say with certainty whether those that are authentic should be placed at the end of the thirteenth or at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Among these are the "Cento Novelle Antiche", a collection of short stories drawn from various sources, and the "Tavola Ritonda", an Italian version of the romance of Tristram.

Fra Ristoro of Arezzo, in , completed an elaborate treatise on cosmography, "Della Composizione del Mondo". Most of the prose of this epoch is simply translated from the Latin or French. Through the triumph of the Guelphs, the chief place in Italian culture is now held by Florence instead of Sicily.

The philosophical glory of St. Thomas causes even belles lettres to be deeply tinged with scholasticism; while the growing antagonism to the political actions of the popes, particularly during the Babylonian Captivity of Avignon, gives an anti-clerical tone to much of the poetry and prose of the century. At the close of the epoch the revival of classical studies begins to make itself felt. In the hands of three great Tuscan writers - Dante Alighieri , Francesco Petrarca , and Giovanni Boccaccio - the national literature and the national language appear in full maturity and artistic perfection.

In his "Vita Nuova" c. His "Rime", more particularly his canzoni, develop the lyrical forms of his predecessors, while investing them with fresh passion and with philosophical authority.

videolezione Dante e Boccaccio

With his "Convivio" circa - unfinished, but the earliest monumental work of Italian prose he intended to bring down the scholastic learning of his age to the understanding of the general reader. The "Divina Commedia" , the noblest expression of the Italian spirit in poetry and a landmark in the history of man, sums up the intellectual gain and the spiritual progress of the nine centuries since the fall of the Roman Empire, while faithfully depicting the highest aspirations and whole moral atmosphere of the poet's own epoch.

In spiritual insight, dramatic intensity, sureness of touch, and terseness of expression, it has never been surpassed. In it modern Europe first produced a masterpiece to rival those of the classical world. Petrarca brings the canzone and the sonnet to their ultimate technical perfection in his lyrical poems, the "Canzoniere" or "Rime", a series of miniature paintings of all the varying moods of the soul passing through earthly love and patriotic enthusiasm to find its rest in religion.

His "Trionfi", a poem in terza rima, in ten cantos, deal with the same matter in allegorical fashion, giving a symbolical representation of his own life. In his voluminous Latin writings - letters, treatises, and poems - he appears as the first of the Humanists, the precursor of the Renaissance. The worshipper of Dante and intimate friend of Petrarca, Boccaccio, in his "Filostrato" and "Teseide", established ottava rima previously only used in popular verse as the normal measure for Italian narrative poetry.