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ENAV - Edizione Nazionale degli Antichi Volgarizzamenti dei testi latini nei volgari italiani
Home » The Project

The Project

immagine
Udine,
Biblioteca Arcivescovile,
ms. Bartolini 83, c. 6r (Aesop,
Fables translated into the vernacular
“per uno da Siena” (by someone from Siena))
This Project tries to conduct, for the first time in an organised form and based on updated scientific criteria of a codicological, philological and historical-linguistic character, a full survey of the manuscript and printed tradition and the critical edition of translations of Latin classics into Italian vernaculars (from the origins to the 16th century).
Surprising as it many sound, general information on a valuable legacy that directly concerns the Medieval success of Virgil and Cicero, of Ovid and Livy, is scarce. A deep understanding of the evidence is an essential prerequisite to outline the history of the survival and success of Latin classics in the Italian vernacular tradition, with clear and important repercussions of a historical-cultural, historical-literary, philological, historical-linguistic, lexicographic and etymological as well as codicological nature, as well as repercussions on the history of the circulation of printed texts. Starting from “municipal” propagation, mainly in late 13th-century Tuscany, taking inspiration from the French, then moving on to the 14th century that brought it closer to the middle classes, through to the later revival of the 15th and 16th centuries, in the merchant and courtly classes, where they were used as digests and allegories. Who translated the texts into the vernacular, who copied and who read the texts translated into the vernacular? In what geo-linguistic and at what chronological level did such texts attract most interest when composed or reproduced or copied as manuscripts or printed? The purpose of this project is to answer these questions through a first-hand survey of the available materials and by editing a corpus of such vernacular translations.
The “state of the art” involves extremely uncertain information on the nature and spreading of each vulgarisation; an incomplete picture of the traditions; more often than not, a lack of reliable critical editions that fulfil the canons of modern philology and the history of Italian language. More often than not, some occasional, praiseworthy examples of modern editions based on accurate recensiones of tradition unfortunately go hand in hand with 19th-century editions, which often tried to recover “texts written in different languages” and were uninterested in their contents or historical-cultural implications; which were usually poorly reliable in terms of texts and languages. The purpose of the Project is to accomplish the following steps over a ten years’ period: 1. Systematic preliminary census of vernacular translations, and attendant manuscript and printed traditions; 2. Systematic description of the tradition of each vernacular translation; 3. Development of a real digital archive (microfilms, photocopies and other sources) of materials and information; 4. Critical edition of a selection of surveyed vernacular translations based on all the traditions surveyed and described.

The Project, which “Edizione Nazionale degli Antichi volgarizzamenti dei testi latini nei volgari italiani” (National Edition of Ancient Translations of Latin Texts into Italian Vernaculars) is committed to accomplishing, ultimately aims at creating an digital databank and publishing a collection of critical editions of the most important vernacular translations of ancient authors, through to Boetius.

immagine
Udine,
Biblioteca Arcivescovile,
ms. Bartolini 83, c. 6r (Aesop,
Fables translated into the vernacular
“per uno da Siena” (by someone from Siena))

Databank

The creation of a digital Databank of the vernacular translations of Latin texts into Italian vernaculars is the result of a systematic research aimed to take the widest possible census based on manuscript inventories and printed catalogues of manuscript evidence and catalogues and repertoires of ancient and modern printed texts. Criteria for filing the manuscripts and printed editions have been established in agreement with the other Edizioni Nazionali participating in the The Return of classics to Humanism Project, more in the attempt to collect exhaustive information than finding detailed descriptions (a task the editors of the critical editions of the texts of this Collection are in charge of). The time interval for such census ranges from the Antiquity to Boetius (inclusive) as to the age of the translated authors, and from the Origins to the end of the XV century as to the age in which such vernacular translations were drawn up. The translated authors covered by this Project mainly include the Latin classics and the Fathers, plus the occasional Greeks that were known in the 13th and 14th centuries through the mediation of Latin and that were essential for the development of Medieval and Humanistic culture in the vernacular (let’s just mention, in different respects, Aristotle and Aesop).

The results of the census can be consulted online in the ENAV Databank section of this website, containing all the manuscript and printed tradition of the ancient translations of Latin texts (through to Boetius) into Italian vernaculars (note that the CASVI Project is very similar to this one). The repertoire is completed by two parallel databases accessible from the websites of the Edizioni Nazionali participating in the Return of classics to Humanism Project, so that the manuscript and printed tradition of the Translations of Greek texts in the Humanistic and Renaissance age, of the Comments to Latin texts of the Humanistic and Renaissance age, and the Texts of Humanistic Historiography, can be consulted online.

immagine
Udine,
Biblioteca Arcivescovile,
ms. Bartolini 83, c. 6r (Aesop,
Fables translated into the vernacular
“per uno da Siena” (by someone from Siena))

The Collection

The Collection The Return of classics to Humanism involves the creation of a “Collana della Edizione Nazionale degli Antichi Volgarizzamenti dei testi latini nei volgari italiani” (Collection of National Edition of Ancient Translations of Latin Texts into Italian Vernaculars), which will include thirty-eight volumes, plus an Addendum with another six volumes containing vernacular translations that are important for some reason or other, and, outside the Collection, a volume with the results of the census of manuscripts and printed texts.

The selection of works to be published must meet the following criteria:
1. Cultural relevance and representative character of vernacular translations in terms of language and translation technique.
2. Relevance to the “The return of classics” project in terms of methods and timelines in which the classic texts were spread in the vernacular culture.
3. Lack of scientifically-reliable editions of the texts.

The publishing project

Apuleius, Metamorphoseon transl. by Matteo Maria Boiardo
Cicero, De inventione transl. by Brunetto Latini (Rettorica)
Cicero, Pro Marcello, Pro Ligario, Pro rege Deiotaro transl. by Brunetto Latini
Cicero, Pro Marcello transl. attr. to Leonardo Bruni
Cicero, I Catilinaria transl. by an Anonymous author (reworking attr. to Latini; non-reworked vernacular translation)
Cicero, IV Catilinaria transl. by a 14th-century Florentine Anonymous author
Cicero, De Amicitia transl. by a 14th-century Anonymous author
Cicero, De senectute transl. by a 14th-century Anonymous author
Cicero, Somnium Scipionis transl. by Zanobi da Strada
Cicero, Somnium Scipionis transl. by an Anonymous author (Giovanni delle Celle?)
Lucanus, Pharsalia transl. by a Milanese Anonymous author
Lucanus, Pharsalia transl. by a Tuscan Anonymous author
Orosius, Historiae adversus paganos transl. by Bono Giamboni
Ovid, Metamorphoseon transl. by Arrigo Simintendi
Ovid, Heroides transl. by Filippo Ceffi
Ovid, Ars amandi and De remedia amoris transl. by 14th-century Anonymous authors
Palladius Rutilius Taurus Aemilianus, De agricultura transl. by a 14th-century Anonymous author (1st and 2nd edition)
Gaius Plinius Secundus (the Elderly), Naturalis Historia transl. by Giovanni Brancati
Gaius Plinius Secundus (the Elderly), Naturalis Historia transl. by Cristoforo Landino
Pseudo-Quintilianus, Declamationes transl. by an Anonymous author
Sallust, Bellum Iugurthinum transl. by Bartolomeo da San Concordio
Sallust, Catilina transl. by Bartolomeo da San Concordio
Seneca, Epistulae moralia ad Lucilium transl. by Andrea Lancia
Seneca, Epistulae moralia ad Lucilium transl. by a Tuscan Anonymous author
Seneca, De ira transl. by Francesco Serdonati
Seneca, Tragedies transl. by a 14th-century Anonymous author
Solinus, Collectanea rerum memorabilium transl. by Giovan Marco Cinico (“Epithoma del sito del mondo”)
Suetonius, De vita Caesarum (?) transl. by an Anonymous author (?)
Titus Livy, Ab urbe condita transl. by an Anonymous author (first Decade, 1st and 2nd edition)
Titus Livy, Ab urbe condita transl. by an Anonymous author (third and fourth Decades)
Valerius Maximus, Memorable Doings and Sayings, transl. by Accurso di Cremona
Valerius Maximus, Memorable Doings and Sayings, transl. by an Anonymous author (1st, 2nd and 3rd edition), with anonymous annotations
Vegetius, Epitoma rei militaris transl. by Bono Giamboni
Vegetius, Mulomedicina transl. by Giovanni Brancati
Virgil, Bucolics transl. by Bernardo Pulci and Evangelista Fossa da Cremona
Virgil, Aeneid transl. by Ciampolo di Meo Ugurgieri
Virgil, Aeneid, digest transl. by Andrea Lancia, with a Sicilian version by Angilu di Capua
Virgil, Aeneid, digest transl. by Mazzeo Bellebuoni

Aristotle, Ethica Nicomachea transl. by a Tuscan Anonymous author
Aristotle, De meteoris transl. by a 14th-century Florentine Anonymous author
ps. Aristotle, Secretum Secretorum transl. by an Anonymous author
Aesop, transl. by 14th-century authors

Facta Romanorum, transl. by a Florentine Anonymous author
Anonymous author, Historia Apollonii regis Tyrii transl. by an Anonymous author
Boetius, Consolatio Philosophiae transl. by Alberto della Piagentina