Brill’s Encyclopaedia of the Neo-Latin World

Get access Subject: History
Edited by: Philip Ford (†), Jan Bloemendal and Charles Fantazzi

With its striking range and penetrating depth, Brill’s Encyclopaedia of the Neo-Latin World traces the enduring history and wide-ranging cultural influence of Neo-Latin, the form of Latin that originated in the Italian Renaissance and persists to the modern era. Featuring original contributions by a host of distinguished international scholars, this comprehensive reference work explores every aspect of the civilized world from literature and law to philosophy and the sciences.


Neo-Latin and Renaissance Schools

(4,151 words)

Author(s): Mack, Peter
¶ Since there were no native speakers of Latin in the Renaissance, grammar school education was needed to train both the writers of Neo-Latin and their audiences. As in the Middle Ages, the main goal o…

Neo-Latin and the Plastic Arts in Northern Europe

(9,170 words)

Author(s): Nativel, Colette
¶ Neo-Latin literature on art, the first expression of which can be found in Italy (Alberti, De pictura, Landino)—if one does not consider as literature on art the mediaeval ‘books of recipes’, like the famous De diversis artibus, writte…

Neo-Latin and the Vernacular: Methodological Issues

(7,554 words)

Author(s): Deneire, Tom
¶ This chapter was conceived within the context of the NWO-project Dynamics of Neo-Latin and the Vernacular. The Role of Self-Representation, Self-Presentation and Imaging in the Field of Cultural Transmission, …

Neo-Latin and the Vernacular: Poetry

(8,444 words)

Author(s): Thurn, Nikolaus
Introduction ¶ Side by side with classical antiquity, Neo-Latin poetry has long been cited to explain the development of the vernacular poetic culture of the early modern era. The impact of the vernacul…

Neo-Latin and the Visual Arts in Italy

(10,061 words)

Author(s): Gahtan, Maia Wellington
¶ When Horace wrote his famous simile, ‘ut pictura poesis’, he was not addressing the visual arts, but clarifying the criteria for judging epic poetry. Although known in the Middle Ages,1 it was not until the Neo-Latin critics of …

Neo-Latin and Vernacular Influences in Prose Writing

(1,225 words)

Author(s): Deneire, Tom
¶ The history of Neo-Latin prose style basically reads as a debate between Ciceronianism and Anti-Ciceronianism, from the Ciceronian controversies of Quattrocento Italy, to the complicated seventeenth-…

Neo-Latin Book Series

(669 words)

Author(s): Verbeke, Demmy
¶ Several series of publications are specifically dedicated to or are otherwise relevant for Neo-Latin studies. Most of these provide editions (with or without translations into a modern vernacular) of…

Neo-Latin: Character and Development*

(10,212 words)

Author(s): Ramminger, Johann
Introduction Definition of Neo-Latin ¶ * I am grateful to Minna Skafte Jensen and Marianne Pade for reading this chapter and suggesting improvements. The word Neo-Latin is both a chronological and a stylistic term.1 Chronologically i…

Neo-Latin Drama

(7,257 words)

Author(s): Bloemendal, Jan
Introduction ¶ In Italy around 1300 and in Germany around 1500 a new genre arose that would flourish for centuries: Neo-Latin drama.1 It was a pan-European genre—even stretching to the colonies!—that was written by both R…

Neo-Latin Erotic and Pornographic Literature (c. 1400–c. 1700)

(9,031 words)

Author(s): Enenkel, Karl A. E.
¶ What one regards as ‘erotic’ and ‘pornographic’ depends on cultural, social, religious, and intellectual discourses, and those of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries certainly differ f…

Neo-Latin ‘Essays’: An Absent Genre that is Omnipresent

(7,602 words)

Author(s): Papy, Jan
¶ Authors such as Montaigne, Francis Bacon, Voltaire, and Oscar Wilde are notorious for having made sharp observations in a typically concise style. The literary genre they considered most suitable for…

Neo-Latin Fiction

(8,555 words)

Author(s): Morrish, Jennifer
¶ The subject of this article is the Neo-Latin novel, a genre whose texts are far less well-known today than either their contents or their literary achievement merit. Such was not the case in the long…

Neo-Latin Forgeries

(2,304 words)

Author(s): Olds, Katrina B.
¶ It might seem counterintuitive to assert that the height of neo-Latin scholarship in the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries was also a golden age of historical forgeries. After all, this was the…

Neo-Latin Grammars—Guarino da Verona’s Regulae grammaticales

(1,078 words)

Author(s): Pade, Marianne
¶ Guarino (1374–1460) composed his Latin textbook, the Regulae grammaticales ( Rules of Grammar), around 1418, but he may well have revised the work later, in the light of experiences collected during his long teaching career.1 It was …

Neo-Latin Grammars—Niccolò Perotti’s Rudimenta grammatices

(1,102 words)

Author(s): Pade, Marianne
¶ Though not a highly original work, Niccolò Perotti’s (1430–1480) Rudimenta grammatices (Elementary Grammar, 1468) is a milestone in Latin grammar and became the most widely diffused humanist Latin grammar of t…

Neo-Latin in North America

(11,043 words)

Author(s): Blair, Ann M.
¶ I am grateful to many scholars for their generous help: Kevin Chang, Anthony Grafton, Jaap Jacobs, Thomas Keeline, Donna LaRue, Stuart McManus, John Pollack, Michele Valerie Ronnick, Peter Schineller…

Neo-Latin Journals

(575 words)

Author(s): Verbeke, Demmy
¶ Only two journals are explicitly and exclusively devoted to Neo-Latin studies. The first is Humanistica Lovaniensia (HL), which was originally founded as a series of monographs concerning Renaissance humanism in th…

Neo-Latin Literary Genres and the Classical Tradition: Adaptation and Inventions

(3,670 words)

Author(s): Bloemendal, Jan
¶ Much of Neo-Latin bonae litterae is oriented towards classical literature. In the various genres, as they are traditionally called, this literary production looked back to Latin—and to a lesser extent Gr…

Neo-Latin Literature—Bohemia

(2,189 words)

Author(s): Juríková, Erika
¶ The Latin language was used by Bohemian cosmopolitan authors until the early nineteenth century. Many Bohemian scholars studied and worked in academic positions at prestigious European universities, …

Neo-Latin Literature—France: The Seventeenth and Later Centuries: Contexts

(833 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
¶ Although Neo-Latin has no definite starting point, introduced into Europe and the New World through the humanist reforms initiated in the Renaissance and gradually developed alongside the continuing …

Neo-Latin Literature—France: The Seventeenth and Later Centuries: Literature

(1,923 words)

Author(s): De Smet, Ingrid A. R.
¶ In sixteenth-century France, the position of Latin was prejudiced ever since the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts (1539) had prescribed the use of French instead of Latin in official state documents. I…

Neo-Latin Literature—France: The Sixteenth Century: Contexts

(1,294 words)

Author(s): Balserak, Jon
¶ Monumental achievements distinguished the sixteenth century as enormously important in the history of European literature, and this was particularly true of French literature. Although giants such as…

Neo-Latin Literature—France: The Sixteenth Century: Literature

(1,782 words)

Author(s): Ferrand, Mathieu
¶ The Latin literature of the French Renaissance stands out for its great diversity of inspiration and form; it enriched, in many respects, the vernacular literature with which it maintained continuous…

Neo-Latin Literature—Hungary: The Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

(1,742 words)

Author(s): Rees, Valery
¶ Neo-Latin writing in Hungary can be said to appear soon after the very first introduction of humanist thought, in the middle of the fifteenth century, rather earlier than in other countries outside o…

Neo-Latin Literature—Hungary: The Seventeenth Century and Beyond

(1,495 words)

Author(s): Rees, Valery
¶ In the kingdom of Hungary, Latin continued to be the dominant language in education from the seventeenth century through to the nineteenth, even while literature was developing in the vernacular. Its…

Neo-Latin Literature—Italy: Fascism (1922–1943)

(3,146 words)

Author(s): Lamers, Han | Reitz-Joosse, Bettina L. | Sacré, Dirk
¶ ‘Much of what was the immortal spirit of Rome is reborn in fascism: the lictor is Roman, our organisation of combat is Roman, our pride and our courage are Roman: Civis Romanus sum.’1 Just months before his seizure of power, Benito…

Neo-Latin Literature—Italy: The Age of Petrarch

(1,249 words)

Author(s): Kallendorf, Craig
¶ That medieval Latin is followed by Neo-Latin is clear; what is less clear is when the transition from the former to the latter took place. The simple answer is, with Francesco Petrarca, or Petrarch (…

Neo-Latin Literature—Italy: The Cinquecento

(1,818 words)

Author(s): Fantazzi, Charles
¶ Latin letters continued to flourish throughout the Cinquecento in Italy, although at the time there was also an increase of literature written in the vernacular, due to its legitimation by Bembo in his Prose della volgar lingua (1525).…

Neo-Latin Literature—Italy: The Quattrocento

(1,223 words)

Author(s): Kallendorf, Craig
¶ At the beginning of the Quattrocento, Neo-Latin literature in Italy was centred in Florence, where the aging chancellor, Coluccio Salutati, preserved the Christian humanism of Petrarch. While importa…

Neo-Latin Literature—Poland

(2,053 words)

Author(s): Urbański, Piotr
¶ In the first half of the sixteenth century in Poland (and in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Regnum Poloniae Magnusque Ducatus Lithuaniae after 1569), approximately 320 books were published in Latin and only 100 in…

Neo-Latin Literature—Portugal

(1,609 words)

Author(s): da Cunha Lima, Ricardo
¶ The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries represent the heyday of Portugal in the European geopolitical setting. One of the first regions of the continent to be organised as a nation state, Portugal led …

Neo-Latin Literature—Slovakia

(1,881 words)

Author(s): Juríková, Erika
¶ The mediaeval period in the Hungarian Kingdom, which included the territory of present-day Slovakia, finally ended with the disastrous defeat of the Hungarian army at Mohács in 1526. The Hungarian ar…

Neo-Latin Literature—Spain: The Long Sixteenth Century

(1,378 words)

Author(s): Coroleu, Alejandro
¶ Like the rest of European, teachers and professors in Spain wrote much on Latin grammar, rhetoric, and eloquence. Of these figures, perhaps the most famous is Antonio de Nebrija (1444–1522), who taug…

Neo-Latin Literature—Spain: The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

(1,354 words)

Author(s): Coroleu, Alejandro
¶ Since the first half of the sixteenth century Latin was invaluable to the ruling circles of the Spanish monarchy, as it was employed to frame the image of the Empire during the period of expansion an…

Neo-Latin Literature—The Balkans (Croatia)

(1,614 words)

Author(s): Stepanić, Gorana
¶ During the early modern Period, Latin learning and Neo-Latin literature in the Balkans were limited to its Catholic regions and, to a much lesser extent, to centres of Protestantism (mostly present-d…

Neo-Latin Literature—The British Isles: Later Centuries

(1,297 words)

Author(s): Porter, David A.
¶ The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries boast some of the finest works of Neo-Latin literature from the British Isles. In England, the two universities, Oxford and Cambridge, as well as the great pu…

Neo-Latin Literature—The British Isles: The Long Sixteenth Century

(1,377 words)

Author(s): Porter, David A.
¶ Although fifteenth-century humanism exerted an influence on some Englishmen, such as Thomas Chaundler (1418–1490), who did much to promote an interest in humanistic Latinity in Oxford during the 1460…

Neo-Latin Literature—The German Regions

(2,081 words)

Author(s): Thurn, Nikolaus
¶ When Christian Klotz published his Carmina omnia in Latin in 1762 and 1766, the critics were not vicious, but they complained that he had written in a ‘tote Sprache’ (dead language). Adelbert von Chamisso …

Neo-Latin Literature—The Low Countries

(1,432 words)

Author(s): Deneire, Tom
¶ The term ‘Low Countries’ represents several regions rather than one homogeneous country, which include current Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxemburg, and parts of Northern France and Western Germany. T…

Neo-Latin Literature—The Nordic Countries

(1,985 words)

Author(s): Jensen, Minna Skafte
¶ The Sixteenth Century In the Nordic countries, the period c. 1500–1800 was characterised by competition for supremacy, often in the form of open war, between the two dominating powers, Denmark with Norway and…

Neo-Latin Literature—The Ottoman Empire

(1,082 words)

Author(s): von Martels, Zweder
¶ It is hard to imagine how Neo-Latin literature and scholarship could have developed without the treasures of Greek manuscripts stored in Byzantium and brought to Europe by exiles from and learned vis…

Neo-Latin Lyric Poetry in the Renaissance

(8,391 words)

Author(s): Revard, Stella P.
¶ Neo-Latin poets of the Renaissance modelled their odes and lyrics on the Latin and Greek poetry of the classical era. Horace was the leading model for the ode and Catullus for the lyric until Greek l…

Neo-Latin Mathematics

(8,424 words)

Author(s): Oosterhoff, Richard J.
Introduction ¶ The article ‘Mathématique’ in the Encyclopédie of Diderot and d’Alembert (1751–1772) explicitly cited only one other work, and it was in Latin: the Elementa matheseos universae (1st ed., 1713–15) by Christian Wol…

Neo-Latin Online

(627 words)

Author(s): Verbeke, Demmy
¶ Perhaps the most important use made by Neo-Latin scholars of the Internet so far is for the publication of Neo-Latin texts, either in the form of a digital reproduction of the original imprint or in …

Neo-Latin Prose in the Twilight Years (1700-Present)

(15,774 words)

Author(s): Sacré, Dirk
¶ Although Neo-Latin studies have flourished over the last half century, we may safely say that up to the present, Neo-Latin prose written after 1650–1700 has not received much attention from the schol…

Neo-Latin Prose Satire

(7,971 words)

Author(s): Porter, David A.
Introduction ¶ Neo-Latin prose satire enjoys a special status in the history of literature, as it embraces the only two Neo-Latin works that general readers are ever likely to pick up and read by their own volition, Erasmus’s Moriae encom…

Neo-Latin Prose Style (from Petrarch to c. 1650)

(3,863 words)

Author(s): Tunberg, Terence
¶ By the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century the Italian humanists developed their own type of Latin prose which is readily distinguishable from writings of other late medieval authors because …

Neo-Latin Prosody and Versification

(7,138 words)

Author(s): Ford, Philip J.
¶ The composition of Latin verse from the early modern period onwards is intimately linked with the values and aims of humanism. Unlike other forms of writing, poetry already had a long and vigorous tr…

Neo-Latin Rhetoric 1380–1620

(6,007 words)

Author(s): Mack, Peter
¶ Rhetoric, a training in writing speeches and analysing texts and speech situations,1 was a fundamental part of renaissance culture. It was one of the principal academic subjects in the renaissance both in the s…

Neo-Latin Societies

(503 words)

Author(s): Verbeke, Demmy
¶ In 1973, the International Association for Neo-Latin Studies (IANLS) was founded at an international conference of Neo-Latin scholars in Amsterdam. The founding officers of IANLS were Jozef IJsewijn (1932–1…
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