Starting from the analysis of Valentina Prosperi’s recent book Omero sconfitto. Ricerche sul mito di Troia dall’Antichità al Rinascimento (Roma 2013), the paper develops some considerations about the current state of research on the reception of the Trojan myth in Western culture. Four main contexts are outlined: the reflections on Greek identity by the intellectuals of the so-called Second Sophistic in the Roman imperial period (1st-3rd century); the cultural shift of Late Antique translators (4th-6th century), and the effects of their peculiar choices on the transmission of ancient texts; the renewed interest in the stories of Troy in the Western Middle Ages, especially in France and Italy, from the 12th to the 14th century; and, finally, the importance of ancient myth and epic poetry for the literary self-consciousness of Italian Renaissance humanists and writers of the Quattrocento and Cinquecento. The author stresses the long-lasting importance of the ancient literary accounts of the Trojan war in shaping the cultural identity of Western civilization, and especially their role as models for the two genres of historiography and fiction, often far more closely interrelated with one another than we expect.
|Publication status||Published - 2015|