Date: December 2010
Creator: Cassella, Dean Marcel
Description: This dissertation presents a previously unedited text by one of the most distinguished- yet neglected-Latin writers of the Italian Renaissance, Ercole Strozzi (1471-1508), a poet and administrator in the court of Ferrara. Under the Este Dukes, Ferrara became a major center of literary and artistic patronage. The Latin literary output of the court, however, has received insufficient scholarly scrutiny. The text is a verse funeral elegy of Eleonora of Aragon (1450-1493), the first Duchess of Ferrara. Eleonora was a remarkable woman whose talents and indefatigable efforts on behalf of her husband, her children, and her state, won her accolades both at home and abroad. She also served as a prototype for the remarkable careers of her two daughters, Isabella d'Este, and Beatrice d'Este, who are celebrated for their erudition and patronage of arts and letters. The text is a mirror of the Estense court and reveals to us how its members no doubt saw themselves, at the very peak of its temporal power and the height of its prestige as a center of cultural creativity. It is also important for the striking portrait it presents of Eleonora. Ercole Strozzi chose to call his poem an epicedium, an ancient minor literary ...
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