The Triumphs’ Golden Age: a comparison between three European translations of Ilicino’s Commentary


Abstract


During the last part of the fifteenth and the first decades of the sixteenth centuries, the dissemination of Petrarch’s Trionfi – the so-called ‘second wave’ of Petrarchism – was characterized by the extraordinary editorial success, in Italy as well as in the rest of Western Europe, of Bernardo Ilicino’s Commento on the Trionfi. By promoting an erudite, encyclopedic, and moralizing reading of Petrarch’s poem, Ilicino’s commentary effectively became a lens through which generations of European readers approached the text. Nonetheless, the dissemination of the commentary proved not to be immune from the influence of sixteenth-century lyrical Petrarchism, which started developing almost at the same time but would not reach peak until few years later. A comparative study of the three known translations of Ilicino’s Commento in Catalan, French and Spanish – even more so, vis à vis the translation of the poem without the commentary – allows us to identify similarities among these translations, as well as important differences. Some of these differences reveal that while the commentary was still sought after by early sixteenth-century readers of Petrarch’s poem, the general approach towards the poem was already starting to shift in the direction of Petrarchism. The three European translations of Ilicino’s Commentary, when organized chronologically, help shed light on how much the reception of the Triumphs was influenced at the time by the parallel development of European Petrarchism, which promoted a more direct, literary approach towards the poem.


Keywords


Petrarca; Trionfi; Triumphs ; Bernardo Ilicino; Bembo; Petrarchism; translations

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References


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