Moving on to Renaissance Latin

This past week we visited the Amphitheater of Maecenas, two Benedictine Monostaries, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Villa Borghese. We also took a day-trip to Florence where we went on a walking tour of the city, including the Palazzo Vecchio and the Duomo. That afternoon we broke up into different groups to visit different sites. I chose to go to the Uffizi. Afterwards, we all met back up at another Benedictine monastery for Vespers in Latin. Throughout our visits, we stopped to read Latin inscriptions where we found them. At the museums, our teachers also continued to give us tours in spoken Latin.

To get ready for our visit to Florence, we started studying and reading more Medieval and Renaissance Latin this week, including accounts of St. Benedict and St. Francis, the Donation of Constantine, and writings by Poggio Bracciolini and Lorenzo Valla. We discussed some of the differences between them and classical Latin and how some Renaissance men attempted to return to classical Latin. We particularly focused on the Donation of Constantine for this and how Lorenzo Valla disproved its claims by examining it philologically and showing that the Latin used did not match the period in which it claimed to have been written.

This coming week, we’re going to continue working on Renaissance Latin, before we return to Classical Latin for the last week.