From ‘Auctor’ to ‘Author’: Dante and the Invention of Vernacular Authorship
Albert Russell Ascoli, Northwestern University
This course explored Dante’s creation of an authoritative status for the vernacular language at a time when antiquity, nobility, ecclesiastical orders, and above all, Latinity were the prerequisites for intellectual and cultural auctoritas. By fusing the prestige of Latin culture with the vitality and accessibility of the vernacular, Dante discovered a new figure, the “autore,” at a mid-point between the classical auctor and the early modern, personal “author.”
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