What is Vernacular? How Dante invented Italian

Oct 27, 2015 1534

Date: Thursday, October 29, 2015

Time: 6:30 PM.

Location: IIC (Opera Plaza, 601 Van Ness Avenue, Suite F, San Francisco)

Organized by: Leonardo da Vinci Society, IIC

Professor Ascoli will read and comment on verses from the Divina Commedia and the Convivio. The lecture will be followed by a Q & A session, and is a companion to the Humanities West Program,
October 23, 24. When Dante wrote the Divine Comedy, he certainly knew that he was writing the most ambitious work of literature in the Western tradition, and, what's more, that he was writing it in the despised "vulgar tongue," the miscellaneous language of the late medieval hoi polloi. What's more he had already written an unprecedented treatise, On Eloquence in the Vernacular, theorizing the superiority of the vernacular, i.e. the spoken language(s) of the people who inhabited Italy, to Latin, the language of the great classical authors and of the omnipresent Catholic Church.

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Source: http://www.iicsanfrancisco.esteri.it/

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