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Syllabus

1. Imitation and Translation (Francesco Petrarch and His Letter to ‘Homer’): how the first humanists envisaged the limits of engaging with ancient authors without knowledge of the languages and how they sought to remedy to this issue

2. Detecting Forgeries (Lorenzo Valla and the Donation of Constantine): this lecture will explore how humanism gave rise to a new critical and philological attitude towards ancient texts, leading to a reassessment of what was ‘authentic’ and what was not;

3. Imitation and the Art of Deception (Annius of Viterbo and his Antiquities): this lecture explores the circumstance in which a Renaissance humanist passed off his own work as a genuine ancient treatise, before being proven a charlatan by another humanist.

4. Imitation and Orthodoxy (from Marsilio Ficino to Giordano Bruno): this lecture explores the way in which the use of ancient models confronts Renaissance humanists with religious orthodoxy

5. Imitation and Parody (The Pantheon and the Laocoon): this lecture explores the way in which Renaissance artists sought to imitate and parody famous ancient art.

6. Reading Week

7. Imitation, Originality, and The Status of Language (The 1512 Dispute over Imitatio and Style between GF Pico and Pietro Bembo)

8. Imitation and Originality in Renaissance Literature (Torquato Tasso’s Discourses on the Heroic Poem): this lecture explores the way in which Renaissance authors sought to justify their departure from ancient models

9. Imitation and Authority (Erasmus’ Ciceronianus and Giulio Camillo Delminio’s Della imitazione)

10. Conclusion

The exam paper code for this module is IT3P1Y