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Durham University

Department of English Studies


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Publication details for Dr Robert Carver

Carver, Robert H. F. (2018). 'Bologna as Hypata: Annotation, Transformation, and Transl(oc)ation in the Circles of Filippo Beroaldo and Francesco Colonna'. In Cultural Crossroads in the Ancient Novel. Futre Pinheiro, Marília P. Konstan, David & MacQueen, Bruce Duncan Berlin: De Gruyter. 221-238.

Author(s) from Durham


Beroaldo’s commentary on the Asinus aureus (Bologna, 1500) and the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili attributed to Francesco Colonna (Venice, 1499) are two of the richest legacies of the Renaissance reception of Apuleius. The enterprise of editing, annotating, reading, and imitating Classical authors such as Apuleius involved, for Beroaldo and his circle, a degree of cognitive (and moral) realignment: Lucius’ metamorphosis from a donkey into a disciple of Isis serves as a metaphor for the transforming effects of the studia humanitatis. And the physical space of the folio page (commentary enveloping text) becomes a cultural locus, a site of personal and social, as well as critical and creative negotiation. Conversely, while creating an extravagant fiction of an Apuleian hero (Poliphilo) obsessed with the erotic embodiment of Antiquity (Polia), Colonna also invites his readers to re-enact the processes of Renaissance humanists as they try to reassemble the scattered fragments of the past and allow the dead to speak.

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