ITAL-4387 Love & Friendship in Medieval Ages

Course Description

This course traces the evolving meaning of the term “amistà” (“Friendship) in the Italian literature of 13th and 14th centuries. The notion of friendship allowed a certain degree of ambiguity since Classical Antiquity, signifying in Latin poetry alternatively an erotic relationship and a non-erotic, same-sex relationship. Christian poets such as Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch dramatize the notion of friendship in a way that exploits poetically the term’s ambiguity in an attempt to reconcile between divine love (Agape, or charity) and human love (Eros). Readings will include Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio. A portion of this course will be devoted to reading facsimile editions of 14th-century manuscripts, including Petrarch’s partially autograph copy of his Songbook (Vat. Lat. 3195) and Boccaccio’s autograph of the Decameron (Hamilton 90). Course conducted in Italian.