Seminar by Andrea Rizzi (University of Melbourne)

‘Authority and Translation in Early Renaissance Italy’, Dr Andrea Rizzi (University of Melbourne), August 7 2013, 5.30, Italian Institute of Culture, 233 Domain Rd, South Yarra

In ancient Rome, translation between languages was always free and aggressive. It was only with the translation of the Bible into Latin that the notion of faithful translation was introduced. Fifteenth-century Italian translators went back to the ancient Roman understanding of translation as aggressive appropriation of the source text and culture. As a result, early Renaissance translators such as Bruni, Poliziano and Filelfo saw translation as an opportunity to displace the Greek culture that was being rediscovered while at the same time imitating and surpassing the Latin culture of antiquity. Through an analysis of translators’ prefaces, this paper shows that Italian Renaissance scholars rewrote and displaced classical and medieval texts and effectively became the new authors of their past culture.