THE I TATTI RENAISSANCE LIBRARY
Cover: Humanist Tragedies, from Harvard University PressCover: Humanist Tragedies in HARDCOVER

The I Tatti Renaissance Library 45

Humanist Tragedies

Translated by Gary R. Grund

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$29.95 • £19.95 • €21.00

ISBN 9780674057258

Publication Date: 02/15/2011

Short

384 pages

5-1/4 x 8 inches

The I Tatti Renaissance Library

World

Humanist Tragedies, like its companion volume Humanist Comedies (ITRL 19), contains a representative sampling of Latin drama written during the Tre- and Quattrocento. The five tragedies included in this volume—Albertino Mussato’s Ecerinis (1314), Antonio Loschi’s Achilleis (ca. 1387), Gregorio Corraro’s Progne (ca. 1429), Leonardo Dati’s Hyempsal (ca. 1442), and Marcellino Verardi’s Fernandus Servatus (1493)—were nourished by a potent amalgam of classical, medieval, and pre-humanist sources.

Just as Latin humanist comedy depended heavily upon Plautus and Terence, humanist tragedy drew its inspiration primarily from the nine plays of Seneca. Dramatists also used ancient legends or contemporary history as source material, dramatizing them as Seneca might have done. Some even attempted to outdo Seneca, exaggerating the bloody sensationalism, the bombastic rhetoric, and the insistence on retributive justice for which he was famous.

Unlike comedy, which drew its narratives from ordinary life and from love, sex, money, and manners, tragedy was not concerned with human foibles but with distant tragic heroes. The impossible choices faced by larger-than-life men and women whose heroic destinies hung in the balance gave tragedy a considerably shorter shelf-life than comedies. While comedy stayed relevant, tragedy became problematic, evolving into the hybrid genre of tragicomedy by the end of the Quattrocento. Humanist tragedy testifies to the momentous changes in literary and cultural conventions that occurred during the Renaissance.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy, by James Hankins, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with James Hankins, author of Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy

With Virtue Politics, James Hankins has delivered a bold, revisionist account of the political thought of the Italian Renaissance—from Petrarch to Machiavelli—that reveals the all-important role of character in shaping society, both in citizens and in their leaders. We spoke to him about the importance of virtue to leadership in Renaissance Italy—and its relevance to our own time.

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.