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The Politics of Culture in Quattrocento EuropeRené of Anjou in Italy$
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Oren Margolis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198769323

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198769323.001.0001

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Janus Pannonius and the Politics of Humanist Literature

Janus Pannonius and the Politics of Humanist Literature

(p.68) 2 Janus Pannonius and the Politics of Humanist Literature
The Politics of Culture in Quattrocento Europe

Oren Margolis

Oxford University Press

When Hungarian humanist Janus Pannonius presented his Carmen pro pacanda Italia to Emperor Frederick III at Ferrara in 1452, he was offering a work rich in Angevin political impact. Yet this impact is missed if the poem is seen merely as propaganda. Its intended audience was the hyper-literate elite who would understand the real meaning of Pannonius’s text. A description of the circumstances in Ferrara and of the text itself leads to a discussion of the Carmen’s political context, the connections it brought to life by tapping into well-known cultural reserves (such as the Guelph cult of Scipio Africanus), and the patronage of René’s Venetian ally Jacopo Antonio Marcello. Discussions follow of the Carmen’s literary context, particularly a related panegyric of René, and social context, especially as relates to the network around the school of Guarino of Verona. These poems were political literature, but in a way that is distinct from the conventional meaning of that term.

Keywords:   humanism, Janus Pannonius, Guarino of Verona, Emperor Frederick III, Scipio Africanus, panegyric, Jacopo Antonio Marcello, Ferrara

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