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Durham University

Department of English Studies


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Publication details for Dr Venetia Bridges

Bridges, Venetia (2016). ‘Antique Authorities? Classicizing Poetry of the 1180s’. Interfaces: A Journal of Medieval European Literature 3: 143-161.

Author(s) from Durham


The ‘twelfth-century Renaissance’ was based on the rediscovery of classical texts
and traditions, and inspired new works based on these well-known materials.
However, the nature of many of these new works, often described as ‘classicizing
poetry,’ has not been closely studied. This article considers two connected Latin
poems – the Alexandreis and the Anticlaudianus – composed in the 1180s in northern
France, in terms of their relationships with the classics and also with each other.
Taking as its starting point the idea that classical reception could be a debated
phenomenon (Mora), the essay argues that this is indeed the case, and that for
these poems this debate concerns hermeneutic traditions rather than the classics
directly. It concludes that the wide variety of poetic and interpretative techniques
in the poems is an implicit sign of passionate interest and disagreement in the poetics
of translatio studii during this period.

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