Ad Hispaniae fines: The Iberian Translations of Quintus Curtius Rufus and Fifteenth-century Vernacular Humanism

Rosa María Rodríguez Porto, Clara Pascual-Argente

Publikation: Kapitel i bog/rapport/konference-proceedingKapitel i bogForskning


In 1438, Milanese humanist Pier Candido Decembrio finished the vernacular translation of Quintus Curtius’s Historiae Alexandre Magni, made at the request of his patron, Duke Filippo Maria Visconti of Milan, and accompanied it with a work of his own, the Comparatione di Cesare et d’Alexandro. Decembrio’s Istoria and Comparatione would go on to become widespread, undergoing multiple textual and linguistic transformations as they circulated far beyond the Duke’s court. Prominent among these transformations are the multiple fifteenth-century Iberian translations of the Istoria and the Comparatione: a translation into Castilian of the Comparatione by Martín de Ávila, made for renowned writer and bibliophile Íñigo López de Mendoza; an anonymous and widely copied Castilian version of the Istoria with the Comparatione, eventually printed in 1496, which was in turn translated into Portuguese; a different Castilian version by Aragonese nobleman Alfonso de Liñán; and a Catalan translation printed in 1481. These versions have yet to receive the sustained critical attention they deserve.


In this article, we will argue that the Iberian translations of Decembrio’s Alexandrine works are critical to our understanding of the cultural and political networks forged or strengthened through vernacular humanism—and thus, of vernacular humanism itself. We will examine not only the manuscripts and incunabula containing the Iberian translations of the Istoria and the Comparatione, but also those codices in the original Lombard that were linked to Iberian owners or copied in the Iberian Peninsula. The relationships and patterns of circulation revealed by these manuscripts will allow us to demonstrate the concurrent reception of the vernacular Quintus Curtius in Milan, Naples, and Iberia, as well as to establish the ways in which Iberian readers manipulated Decembrio’s texts. As we will contend, it was the existence of a shared cultural and political project, rooted in monarchic ideals and expressed through vernacular humanism, that linked the Milanese, Neapolitan, and Iberian courts, allowing for the triangular and simultaneous reception of the vernacular Quintus Curtius.

TitelPostérités européennes de Quinte-Curce : Transmissions et receptions, de l’Humanisme aux Lumières (XIVe-XVIIIe siècles)
RedaktørerCatherine Gaullier-Bougassas
ForlagBrepols Publishers
ISBN (Trykt)978-2-503-57825-5
StatusUdgivet - 2018
NavnAlexander Redivivus


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