‘Maffeo Vegio’s Virgils: Refiguring Virgil’s poetry in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy, Scotland and wider Europe’

Mottram, Brett (2022) ‘Maffeo Vegio’s Virgils: Refiguring Virgil’s poetry in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy, Scotland and wider Europe’. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis analyses the varied allusive employments of Virgil’s poetry in the literary corpus of the Italian humanist Maffeo Vegio (1407 – 1458). Across his lifetime, Vegio’s uses of Virgil ranged from the stylistic to the moralistic, and the antiquarian to the devotional, with his attitudes in these usages spanning the faithful to the irreverent. Genre, a hitherto-overlooked factor, is consistently seen to determine this diversity of response. The study is structured chronologically, grouping Vegio’s Virgilinfluenced works by the periods in Vegio’s life in which they were written. It therefore adopts a comparative methodology to objects and images as well as to texts: by studying the works of Vegio’s contemporaries in the locales and networks within which he worked at specific moments in his life, more historically contextualised suggestions can be made as to how his individual works can be interpreted. Again, this approach demonstrates the vitality of genre in Vegio’s Virgilian allusions, yet it also facilitates a greater re-situation of Vegio within his cultural moment, in which he was praised above all for his ability to imitate Virgilian style. This perception survived into the following century, as his works were printed, commented-upon, illustrated and translated across Europe. A survey of this posthumous reception follows the analyses of Vegio’s works themselves, showing how Vegio’s responses to Virgil were by turns preserved and adapted by subsequent thinkers. The final chapter then applies the forensic comparative-textual methodology advocated by the entire study to one particular artefact of this Vegian reception, Gavin Douglas’ 1513 Scots translation of Vegio’s Supplementum, revealing new influences, valences, interpretations and contexts for that work. Altogether, this study reclaims Vegio’s central place in the extraordinarily varied Renaissance European reception of Virgil, while advancing studies of literary theories, practices and networks, cultural history, classical reception, and approaches to interdisciplinary historical enquiry.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing (former - to 2011)
Depositing User: Kitty Laine
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 12:59
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2022 12:59
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/90001

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