The Early Modern Cultures of Neo-Latin Drama

The Early Modern Cultures of Neo-Latin Drama

Philip FORD
Andrew TAYLOR
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Leuven University Press
Pages: 232
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qf0nj
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  • Book Info
    The Early Modern Cultures of Neo-Latin Drama
    Book Description:

    The essays in this collection all illustrate the vitality of Neo-Latin drama in early modern Europe, arising from its productive combination of classical models with deep-rooted vernacular traditions. While the plays were often composed in the context of a school or university setting, the dramatists seldom neglected the need to appeal to a broad audience, including non-Latinists. Yet the use of Latin, and the ambiguity of a plurivocal literary form, allowed the authors of these plays to introduce messages and ideas which could be subversive of the prevailing political and religious authorities. At the same time, humanist colleges, and their Jesuit successors, were quick to see the educational advantages to be derived from staging plays performed by pupils, which had the advantage of acting as powerful advertisements for the schools. Neo-Latin drama in all its forms offered a freedom of expression and form which is rare in other Renaissance literary genres.

    eISBN: 978-94-6166-128-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 7-18)
    Philip Ford and Andrew Taylor

    Unlike other literary genres that developed in the early modern period, neo-Latin drama had a relatively complicated and at times problematic relationship with the classical models that would ultimately come to dominate dramatic writing in the classical tradition. To a large extent, this can be explained through the more complex aims, history, and reception of drama in this period as compared with poetry, for example, where the use of classical models and forms was far more evident. In drama, especially drama designed for performance, the relationship with the audience is far more direct and immediate, and the rich tradition of...

  4. RAVISIUS TEXTOR’S SCHOOL DRAMA AND ITS LINKS TO PEDAGOGICAL LITERATURE IN EARLY MODERN FRANCE
    (pp. 19-40)
    Olivier Pédeflous

    It has been a long time since the question of school drama in Renaissance Paris has been studied, and in most critical studies extant the issue has often been reduced to the problem of historical data with links to vernacular drama, avoiding poetic and stylistic interests. There is no doubt that this field has also suffered from a kind of teleological search which has consisted in considering Renaissance drama as a first – still hesitant – step on the path to the Golden Age of French drama i.e., the seventeenth century, that of the sacrosanct triad of Corneille, Molière and...

  5. GEORGE BUCHANAN’S SACRED LATIN TRAGEDIES BAPTISTES AND IEPHTHES: WHAT PLACE FOR HUMANKIND IN THE UNIVERSE?
    (pp. 41-62)
    Carine Ferradou

    During the years 1540 to 1543, when George Buchanan was a Latin teacher in Bordeaux, the Collège de Guyenne asked him to create plays for his pupils, and he wrote two tragedies,Baptistes siue Calumnia,published in London only in 1577, and dedicated to his young royal pupil, James VI, and alsoIephthes siue Votum,published in Paris in 1554. Michel de Montaigne in hisEssais¹ wrote proudly that when he was young he acted in his Scottish master’s original dramas, but also in his Latin translations of Euripides’AlcestisandMedea, probably on a stage made in the college...

  6. LA TRADUCTION DE TRAGÉDIES GRECQUES: ALESSANDRO PAZZI DE’ MEDICI ET LES PROBLÈMES LIÉS À LA MÉTRIQUE
    (pp. 63-74)
    Elia Borza

    La traduction de tragédies grecques a sans nul doute été une activité importante tout au long de la Renaissance européenne, depuis Érasme jusqu’à Melanchthon et Buchanan. Une difficulté majeure dans ces travaux est constituée par la traduction en vers des tragédies grecques. Comme exemple de ces traductions, je vais examiner l’œuvre d’un humaniste peu connu réalisée dans les années 1525, Alessandro Pazzi de’ Medici.

    Son nom, tout d’abord, peut surprendre, car les familles Pazzi et Médicis étaient rivales, voire ennemies: il suffit de se rappeler la conspiration des Pazzi qui se termina par l’horrible meurtre de Giuliano de’ Medici à...

  7. JOHN FOXE’S APOCALYPTIC COMEDY, CHRISTUS TRIUMPHANS
    (pp. 75-84)
    Howard B. Norland

    When John Foxe wrote his second Neo-Latin comedy,Christus Triumphans, for the academic stage, his personal circumstances were much altered. In 1545, within a year of completingTitus et Gesippus,his first play, Foxe, refusing to take holy orders, resigned his fellowship at Magdalen College, Oxford, and two years later, in 1547, he married Agnes Randall and published a translation of a sermon by Martin Luther. However, it was meeting John Bale in 1548 that appears most clearly to have altered the direction of his life. Ordained a deacon in June 1550 by Nicholas Ridley, who became a celebrated martyr...

  8. LAMBERTUS SCHENCKELIUS’S TRAGOEDIA(E) SANCTAE CATHARINAE
    (pp. 85-94)
    Jeanine De Landtsheer

    In the summer of 1588 Melchior Moretus (1573-1634), the eldest living son of Johannes Moretus and Martine Plantin,¹ left Antwerp to obtain his degree ofbaccalaureus artiumat theCollegium Acquicinctinum(Collège d’Anchin) in Douai, which was run by the Jesuits.² Meanwhile his brother Balthasar (1574-1641), who was his junior by one year, continued his humanities at the chapter school of Our Lady’s cathedral in Antwerp (the so-calledPapenschool), where Melchior had probably studied as well.³ Balthasar had by then moved to theclassis tertiaorsyntaxis, in which he was initiated in prosody and metrics and was expected to...

  9. THE TERENTIUS CHRISTIANUS AT WORK: CORNELIUS SCHONAEUS AS A PLAYWRIGHT
    (pp. 95-106)
    Michiel Verweij

    Among the authors of school drama Cornelius Schonaeus stands out for various reasons. Where most schoolmasters wrote only one or two plays, he wrote seventeen, and where most school plays have come down in a single edition, his work knew a lasting success until the end of the 18thcentury, a success which is suggested by the honorary title of his collected plays:Terentius Christianus. In view of this situation it is to be wondered that the dramatic and literary aspects of his work have been neglected almost entirely.

    Cornelius Schonaeus was born in the small town of Gouda in...

  10. SCHOOL PROGYMNASMATA AND LATIN DRAMA: THESIS, REFUTATIO, CONFIRMATIO AND LAUS IN THE DIALOGUE ON THE CONCEPTION OF OUR LADY (1578) BY THE SPANISH JESUIT BARTHOLOMAEUS BRAVO (1553 or 1554–1607)
    (pp. 107-112)
    Joaquín Pascual Barea

    The Library of the Royal Academy of History at Madrid holds the single handwritten copy, unfortunately full of misreadings, of a dialogue on the Conception of Our Lady by Father Bravo.¹ This author has been identified as Bartholomaeus Bravo, who published more didactic books than any other Jesuit teacher ever.² The work also could have been written either by Johannes Bravo (1535–1594), who enrolled in the Society of Jesus in 1555; or by Petrus Bravo, a nephew of Bartholomaeus, or else by any other contemporary priest called Bravo. However, the following facts corroborate the attribution of the dialogue to...

  11. PERFORMING IN LATIN IN JESUIT-RUN COLLEGES IN MID- TO LATE-17TH-CENTURY FRANCE: WHY, AND WITH WHAT CONSEQUENCES?
    (pp. 113-140)
    Judi Loach

    In France the latter half of the seventeenth century was the period that witnessed greater production of Latin-language drama than any other. The purpose of this paper is to consider that drama within its contemporary context: why such drama proliferated there and then; its authors’ and producers’ intentions, and how these affected its character; how performances were experienced by actors and perceived by spectators. The paper will explain why Latin was employed so extensively for dramatic purposes, at the very moment when the conscious refinement of the French language had led to this vernacular language being deemed sufficiently elegant for...

  12. SIMILARITIES, DISSIMILARITIES AND POSSIBLE RELATIONS BETWEEN EARLY MODERN LATIN DRAMA AND DRAMA IN THE VERNACULAR
    (pp. 141-158)
    Jan Bloemendal

    At first sight we might have the impression that early modern Latin drama and vernacular drama are separate entities.¹ They use different languages, have different audiences, different structures, different intentions, and different developments. They belong to different literary fields. So it is not surprising that literary history often treats them separately, at least in the Netherlands. For this paper, I will confine myself to drama in the Netherlands, but for other countries one can arguemutatis mutandis— even though perhapsmulta mutanda sunt— the same.

    At one point the situation in the Netherlands differed from that of other...

  13. AN IGNORAMUS ABOUT LATIN? THE IMPORTANCE OF LATIN LITERATURES TO GEORGE RUGGLE’S IGNORAMUS
    (pp. 159-174)
    Cressida Ryan

    George Ruggle’sIgnoramusis probably the best-known of the 150 Neo-Latin plays written in England between 1550 and 1650 to survive.² The play premiered on 8 March 1615 at Trinity College, Cambridge, to entertain James I. It drew an audience of two thousand and lasted six hours; James enjoyed it so much that he ordered an immediate revival, and the play was performed regularly until 1794.³ Since John Hawkins’s 1787 edition, however, there has been no modern edition of the play, apart from Dana Sutton’s on-line 2000 one, which largely repeats Hawkins. It has also received very little treatment from...

  14. ‘ET SPES ET RATIO STUDIORUM IN CAESARE TANTUM’: ROBERT BURTON AND PATRONAGE
    (pp. 175-188)
    Sarah Knight

    InThe Anatomy of Melancholy(first published in 1621), Robert Burton, Christ Church scholar and Latin playwright, described his monarch’s behaviour at the Bodleian Library during a progress to Oxford in late August 1605:

    KingJames 1605, when he came to see our University ofOxford, and amongst other Ædifices, now went to view that famous Library, renued by SrThomas Bodley, in imitation ofAlexander, at his departure brake out into that noble speech, If I were not a King, I would be an University man.¹

    Burton took his anecdote of James’s self-presentation here as philosopherking from the official account...

  15. SIMON RETTENPACHER’S COMEDY VOTORUM DISCORDIA
    (pp. 189-202)
    Veronika Coroleu Oberparleiter

    The Benedictine monk Simon Rettenpacher is today often claimed as a literary figurehead of theOrdensdramaproduced in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Salzburg at the old Benedictine University. Born in 1634 in Salzburg, he attended school in his hometown and then studied in Salzburg, but also in Siena, Padua, and Rome, first law and philosophy, then theology and Romance and Oriental languages.² In the 1670s Rettenpacher worked for some years as a university professor of ethics and history at the Benedictine University of Salzburg. He was given the position ofPater comicus, which means that he was entrusted with the leadership...

  16. ‘THE UNACKNOWLEDGED LEGISLATORS OF MANKIND’: GREEK PLAYWRIGHTS AS MORAL GUIDANCE TO HUGO GROTIUS’S SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY
    (pp. 203-218)
    Arthur Eyffinger

    Allegations of the incompatibility of the legal and literary spheres, and of the incongruous nature oflettréand lawyer are ubiquitous and of all times. For all it seems, the inspired poet and level-headed attorney are worlds apart, embodying the poles of heart and head, emotion and reason, commitment and detachment. Ovid, typically, sadly recalls his failure at the bar: ‘quidquid … tentabam dicere, versus erat’.¹ In one of Dorothy Sayers’s mystery novels, Lord Peter Wimsey, rudely interrupted in his study of a fourteenth-century manuscript by an untimely call from his solicitor, and crossed by an unfeeling remark of the...

  17. INDEX NOMINUM
    (pp. 219-224)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 225-232)