Explore Italy through its literary history as we travel through space and time and approach the many sites the same way their artists did: through their texts. We would begin:
I. Classical Rome
- Martial, The Book of Spectacles – a series of 30+ short epigraphs that capture the opening day festivities at the Flavian Amphitheatre, 80 CE.
- Ovid, the Ars Amatoria – selections. The colosseum and the Circus Maximus as Roman dating sites!
- Catullus, Love Elegies - selections
- Vitruvius, On Architecture
The Roman Forum
- Cicero, Defense speeches (delivered on the rostra and/or in the Curia. Pro Archia & II Philippic (scandalous accusations against Marc Antony, that led to Cicero’s execution)
- Cicero, On Rhetoric (selections) Basic principles of composition, including how people like Vergil and Ovid constructed “memory palaces” to allow them to deliver their works orally.
The Capitoline Museum
- Vergil, The Aeneid – the mythic history of Rome’s founding. Selections that form the basis for artworks (Aeneas carries Anchises)
- Ovid, the Metamorphoses – after the Bible, the second most influential book on the visual arts. Selected episodes that form the basis for the artworks.
- Ovid, the Metamorphoses – selected episodes
- Roman Wall-Painting
II: RENAISSANCE FLORENCE
The Rediscovery of the Classical Past
- Dante's "Vita Nuova" - Love as a transcendent force
- Petrach's "Canzoniere" - the Love sonnet
- Boccaccio's Decameron - the Lustiness of Love
III. EARLY MODERN MERCANTILE VENICE