Storia e finzione nella letteratura cavalleresca italiana di materia carolingia
History and Fiction in Carolingian-Themed Italian Chivalric Literature
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Descrizione del progetto
The aim of the proposed project is to investigate the historical and political significance of Carolingian-themed chivalric literature for the Italian public of the late Middle Ages and the early modern age. In the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, some noble families exploited Carolingian legends for their dynastical purposes and some chroniclers considered them so trustworthy as to quote those legends in their works, indicating how seriously they took them. I especially refer to Giovanni da Nono, Galvano Fiamma and Jacopo da Acqui’s chronicles, that were written in the first half of the fourteenth century, in the same years in which the early Franco-Italian poems on Carolingian themes appeared. Studying these chronicles, which have so far been quite neglected by Italian scholars, will enable further understanding of the value and importance the upper-class and cultivated public gave to Carolingian legends in the late Middle Ages, and will also allow better understanding of Boiardo’s Inamoramento d’Orlando and Ariosto’s Orlando furioso, in which fiction, history and politics are equally interwoven. The proposed research will start by examining the medieval chronicles that incorporate Carolingian legends and history and will then proceed to a study of the dynastical excursuses of Boiardo and Ariosto’s poems. Finally, the research will ask how Ariosto and Boiardo managed to reconcile history (the genealogy of the Este) and fiction and how this combination influences the interpretation of the texts.