Renaissance and Reformation Cristoforo Landino
by
Craig Kallendorf
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 May 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195399301-0202

Introduction

Cristoforo Landino (b. 1424–d. 1498) is one of the more complicated figures among the Italian Renaissance humanists. He held the chair in rhetoric and poetics at the Florentine university for forty years, from which he lectured to the sons of the rich and famous and had easy access to the city’s Medici rulers and to the scholars and artists who gathered around them. His Dante commentary was presented to the city with great fanfare in a public ceremony in 1481, and his Virgil commentary was the filter through which two generations of readers interpreted the text. Yet when compared to some of the other scholars in his circle, he lacked the dazzling philological genius of Ambrogio Poliziano and the innovative philosophical boldness of Marsilio Ficino. By the 17th century, his star had faded; only toward the end of the 20th century did modern scholarship manage to appreciate his work on its own terms, as a dramatic synthesis of the classical and the vernacular around a vision of poetry, which the great writers like Virgil and Dante set forth in the same fundamental philosophical truths as Plato explained centuries earlier.

Life and Works

Foà 2004 and Kallendorf 1997 offer a brief narrative, with bibliography, of Landino’s life and works. Pasetto 1998 is somewhat unbalanced but presents a more detailed picture. Bandini 1747–1751 offers a great deal of information, more accurately than one might expect for reasons that are explained in Perosa 1940, while Lentzen 1981 focuses on organizing the secondary scholarship within a coherent analytical narrative. See also Lentzen 1971 (cited under Dante).

  • Bandini, Angelo Maria. Specimen literaturae Florentinae saeculi XV in quo dum Christophori Landini gesta enarrantur virorum ea aetate doctissimorum in literariam remp. 2 vols. Florence: Rigaccius, 1747–1751.

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    Prepared 250 years after Landino’s death, but based on documents collected from his family and still cited regularly by modern scholars.

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  • Foà, di Simona. “Landino, Cristoforo.” Dizionario biografico degli italiani 63 (2004): 428–433.

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    The best brief introduction to Landino’s life and works, offering an analysis of Landino’s teaching and writing within the context of the major events of his life.

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  • Kallendorf, Craig. “Landino, Cristoforo.” In Centuriae Latinae: Cent une figures humanistes de la Renaissance aux Lumières offertes à Jacques Chomarat. Edited by Colette Nativel, 477–483. Geneva, Switzerland: Droz, 1997.

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    A brief biography, followed by primary and secondary bibliography. A useful orientation.

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  • Lentzen, Manfred. “Zum gegenwärtigen Stand der Landino-Forschung.” Wolfenbütteler Renaissance Mitteilungen 5 (1981): 92–100.

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    An overview of Landino’s life and work with relevant bibliography cited in the footnotes. Useful both as a way to highlight important spheres of activity and for access to earlier scholarship.

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  • Pasetto, Francesco. I Landino, una famiglia di artisti vissuti fra Pratovecchio e Firenze nei secoli d’oro della storia toscana. Arezzo e i Suoi Grandi 1. Cortona, Italy: Calosci, 1998.

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    A study of Landino’s life and works by a local historian who places this material within the physical and cultural environment within which Landino lived, taught, and wrote. The closest we have to a modern intellectual biography.

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  • Perosa, Alessandro. “Una fonte secentesca dello Specimen del Bandini in un codice della Biblioteca marucelliana.” La bibliofilia 42 (1940): 229–256.

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    An analysis, based on textual material, of the Specimen as a historical source, concluding that Bandini based his work on documents that had been collected by a descendant of Landino’s.

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Texts

Motolese and Russo 2016 offers access to the manuscripts of Landino’s works, while Cardini 1974 and Lentzen 1974 present two collections of writings, in both Latin and Italian, in modern editions. Landino resisted making rigid distinctions on linguistic grounds, but it nevertheless remains convenient to organize his works on the basis of such a distinction.

  • Cardini, Roberto, ed. Scritti critici e teorici. 2 vols. Rome: Bulzoni, 1974.

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    A selection of speeches, in a critical edition, given as inaugural lectures and prefaces to commentaries, meticulously edited and with full commentaries to texts that contain many of Landino’s principal elaborations of his ideas about literature and its functions.

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  • Lentzen, Manfred, ed. Reden Cristoforo Landinos. Veröffentlichungen der Senatskommission für Humanismusforschung 1. Munich: Fink, 1974.

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    A modest collection of speeches delivered by Landino, in Latin and Italian, in a critical edition with commentary that places the speeches in their broader cultural context.

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  • Motolese, Matteo, and Emilio Russo. “Cristoforo Landino.” In Autografi dei letterati italiani. Edited by Matteo Motolese, Emilio Russo, Mauricio Campanelli, et al. Rome: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, 2016.

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    Offers digital access to twenty-seven of Landino’s autograph manuscripts, including his own works and copies of other books that he made for his personal use. A print version also exists: Francesco Bausi, Maurizio Campanelli, Sebastiano Gentile, and James Hankins, with paleographical assistance by Teresa De Robertis. Il Quattrocento I (Rome: Salerno Editrice, 2013). Available online.

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Latin Texts: Commentaries

As a university professor at the end of the 15th century, Landino did much of his teaching by commenting on classical texts, line by line. Bugada 2012 is the only modern edition of any of this material, although two important commentaries, Landino 1482 and Landino 1487–1488, were published in Landino’s lifetime. Landino’s “Commentaries to Juvenal and Persius” can be consulted in archived manuscripts. The prefaces to the commentaries to Horace and Virgil may be found in Cardini 1974 (cited under Texts).

  • Bugada, Gabriele, ed. Cristoforo Landino, In Quinti Horatii Flacci Artem poeticam ad Pisones interpretationes. Edizione nazionale dei commenti ai testi latini in età umanistica e rinascimentale 4. Florence: Sismel/Edizioni del Galluzzo, 2012.

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    A critical edition of part of Horace’s oeuvre, the commentary on the Ars poetica, accompanied by a critical apparatus and a second apparatus with parallel passages along with a lengthy introduction that identifies key themes from Landino’s poetics and organizes the glosses into categories. Also includes a second text, the notes taken by Bartolomeo Fonzio at the lectures in which Landino first worked through the Ars poetica.

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  • Landino, Cristoforo. “Commentaries to Juvenal and Persius.” Cod. J 26. Milan: Biblioteca Ambrosiana.

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    This manuscript contains Landino’s commentary to the Roman satirists Juvenal and Persius, complementary in many ways to his remarks on Horace.

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  • Landino, Cristoforo. “Commentary.” In Opera. Edited by Horace. Florence: Antonio di Bartolommeo Miscomini, 1482.

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    The first edition of Landino’s commentary to Horace. No digital version available, but a common early printed book, widely available in rare book libraries in the United States, Italy, and the United Kingdom (ISTC Nr. ih00447000; often reprinted).

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  • Landino, Cristoforo. “Commentary.” In Opera. Edited by Virgil. Florence: Printer of Vergilius (C 6061), 1487–1488.

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    The first edition of Landino’s commentary to Virgil, printed along with the ancient commentaries of Servius and Donatus. An important book for understanding Landino’s work as a scholar and critic. Digitalized copy available online (ISTC Nr. iv00183000; reprinted often).

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Latin Texts: Original Poetry and Prose

Unlike the commentaries, a good many of Landino’s original works can be read in modern editions. Garin 1949 offers a useful orientation. The philosophical works can be found in Landino 1915–1917, Lentzen 1970, and Lohe 1980, while the poetry can be read in Perosa 1939 and Wenzel 2010. Ecker, et al. 1998 presents a series of indexes for Landino’s works.

  • Ecker, Ute, Dorothea Gall, Peter Riemer, and Clemens Zintzen, eds. Cristoforo Landino: Index. Indices zur Lateinischen Literatur der Renaissance 2. Hildesheim, Germany: Georg Olms, 1998.

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    Indexes of names, concepts, places, and authors, keyed to the standard modern editions of Landino’s works. Useful for following an important item through Landino’s oeuvre.

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  • Garin, Eugenio. Testi inediti e rari di Cristoforo Landino e Francesco Filelfo. Testi e Documenti a Cura dell’Istituto di Studi Filosofici, Roma 1. Florence: Fussi, 1949.

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    Contains brief extracts from De nobilitate and the Disputationes Camaldulenses. Still widely cited, but less helpful than the full critical editions of these works described in this section.

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  • Landino, Cristoforo. De nobilitate animae: Dialogi de qua Carolus Marsuppinus, Landinus et Paullus quidam mathematicus invicem confabulantur. 3 vols. Edited by Alessandro Paoli and Giovanni Gentile. Annali delle Università Toscane 34–36. Pisa, Italy: Cav. Mariotti, 1915–1917.

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    Book 1 (1915), pp. 1–50; Book 2 (1916), ns 1, fasc. 2, pp. 1–138; Book 3 (1917), ns 2, fasc. 3, pp. 1–196. Not a critical edition and difficult to procure, but a serviceable text of one of Landino’s more important philosophical works.

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  • Lentzen, Manfred, ed. De vera nobilitate. Travaux d’Humanisme et Renaissance 109. Geneva, Switzerland: Droz, 1970.

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    A critical edition based on the surviving manuscript (Rome, Biblioteca corsiniana, Cod. Cors. 433), with a brief introduction and the notes necessary for an informed first reading concerning Landino’s dialogue on nobility.

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  • Lohe, Peter, ed. Disputationes Camaldulenses. Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento, Studi e Testi 6. Florence: Sansoni, 1980.

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    A critical edition, with brief introduction, of Landino’s treatise that first explores the nature of the active and contemplative lives, then applies this understanding to the elucidation of Virgil’s Aeneid.

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  • Perosa, Alessandro, ed. Carmina omnia. Nuova Collezione di Testi Umanistici Inediti or Rari 1. Florence: Olschki, 1939.

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    A critical edition, with lengthy introduction (in Latin), of Landino’s surviving Latin poetry. Includes both versions of the Xandra.

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  • Wenzel, Antonia. Die Xandra-Gedichte des Cristoforo Landino. Kalliope: Studien zur Griechischen und Lateinischen Poesie 10. Heidelberg, Germany: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2010.

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    A critical edition of the earlier version of Landino’s collection of Latin poems, with German translation, an extensive introduction, and a full commentary.

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Texts: Works in Italian

Access to Landino’s key works in Italian is more difficult than with the Latin works. The commentary for which he is best known, the one to Dante, finally appeared in a worthy critical edition at the beginning of the 21st century (Landino 2001). Two other key works, Landino 1485 and Pliny the Elder 1476, must still be read in early printed editions, but the digital versions that have recently appeared online have made these works much more accessible than they once were.

  • Landino, Cristoforo. Formulario di lettere e di orazioni in volgare. Bologna: U. Rugerius, 1485.

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    The first edition of Landino’s manual for secretarial writing. A very rare book, with only five recorded copies worldwide, fortunately available in a digitalized version online (ISTC Nr. il00037500; reprinted seven times before 1500).

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  • Landino, Cristoforo. Commento sopra la Comedia. Edited by Paolo Procaccioli. 4 vols. Edizione Nazionale dei Commenti Danteschi 28. Rome: Salerno, 2001.

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    A modern critical edition of Landino’s celebrated Dante commentary, along with information on the first edition and the speech Landino gave when that edition was presented publicly, reproductions of Baccio Baldini’s engravings, and extensive tables and indexes. A tour de force, also issued online.

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  • Pliny the Elder. Historia naturale. Translated by Cristoforo Landino. Venice: Nicolaus Jenson, 1476.

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    The first edition of Landino’s translation of Pliny the Elder’s Natural History, an encyclopedia of ancient knowledge about the natural world. A good many copies from the large press run survive; also available online (ISTC Nr. ip00801000).

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Translations

Unfortunately only a couple of Landino’s works have been translated into English. Landino 2008 is a good edition of his Latin poetry. Stahel 1968 contains an English translation of the last two books of the Disputationes Camaldulenses, but it continues to circulate only as a doctoral dissertation.

Florence and the Medici

As Lentzen 1985 shows, Landino was very much a Florentine, but during the 1980s an interesting debate developed over the exact nature of Landino’s relationship with the city’s Medici rulers. Field 1988 argues that Landino’s teaching was designed to be compatible with Medici interests, but Field 1983 warns against seeing the heavy hand of the ruler everywhere. Patterson 1987 suggests that at least on occasion Landino’s work offered a veiled critique of the Medici, while Cardini 1993 explores the Medici connection from a different perspective. See especially Pieper 2008 (cited under Xandra).

  • Cardini, Roberto. “Landino e Lorenzo.” Lettere italiane 3 (1993): 361–375.

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    Traces the connections between Lorenzo the poet and Landino, from whom many of his ideas about the nature and function of poetry derive.

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  • Field, Arthur. “The Studium Florentinum Controversy, 1455.” History of Universities 3 (1983): 31–59.

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    Examines the controversy over who would take the “universal” humanistic chair once held by Carlo Marsuppini at the Florentine university, arguing that Medici influence was minimal and that Landino and John Argyropoulos received university appointments jointly, as part of a compromise. Important for understanding Landino’s intellectual environment.

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  • Field, Arthur. “Cristoforo Landino and Platonic Poetry.” In The Origins of the Platonic Academy of Florence. Edited by Arthur Field, 231–268. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988.

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    Argues that through his university position, Landino institutionalizes Ficino’s Platonic studies, with the goal of discouraging his students from political ambitions that would run counter to Medici interests.

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  • Lentzen, Manfred. “Le lodi di Firenze di Cristoforo Landino: L’esaltazione del primato politico, culturale e linguistico della città sull’Arno nel Quattrocento.” Romanische Forschungen 97 (1985): 36–46.

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    A careful study of how and why Landino praised the city in which he lived and worked, dealing with poems from the Xandra, the prolusion on Petrarch, and the apology in which he defended Florence from its slanderers.

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  • Patterson, Annabel. “Virgil for the Medicis: Landino and Politian.” In Pastoral and Ideology, Virgil to Valéry. Edited by Annabel Patterson, 62–85. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.

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    Proposes an ideologically engaged interpretation of Landino’s work with Virgil’s Eclogues, arguing that what he had to say about this ancient text serves as a way to complicate Landino’s support for the Medici through indirect criticism.

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Scholarship and Teaching

For Landino, as for most humanists of his day, scholarship and teaching were inextricably entwined. Ricci 1941 argues that his talents lie here rather than as a poet, although Cardini 1986 suggests that the same skills were necessary in both areas. La Brasca 1989 and Lentzen 1969 concentrate on the inaugural lectures Landino gave at the beginning of his university courses in order to provide insight into what was important to him, while Stadeler 2015 offers a detailed study of how Landino interpreted one ancient poet, and Kallendorf 1994–1995 reminds us more generally that how we view Landino’s scholarship cannot be fully extricated from our own practices in this area. Baxandall 1972 marks an intriguing extension of the discussion into the visual arts.

  • Baxandall, Michael. Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy. Oxford: Clarendon, 1972.

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    Examines Landino’s critique of Quattrocento painters in the introduction to his Dante commentary, suggesting that Landino’s relationship to the visual arts deserves further study. See pp. 109–153.

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  • Cardini, Roberto. “‘Andare’ o ‘mandare in exercito’? Postilla landiniana (con un excursus su exercitus nell’Amphitruo di Plauto e un’appendice sulla lingua del Landino).” Interpres 6 (1986): 51–90.

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    A learned study that proposes an emendation to a passage in the prologues to Landino’s commentaries to Dante and Virgil. A small point, but one that reinforces the importance of individual word choice for Landino as a poet and commentator.

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  • Kallendorf, Craig. “Philology, the Reader, and the Nachleben of Classical Texts.” Modern Philology 92.2 (1994–1995): 137–156.

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    Demonstrates how Landino as a reader controlled the way in which the texts he worked with were processed, and how the modern understanding of his scholarship is conditioned by the practices and beliefs of our own age.

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  • la Brasca, Frank. “Scriptor in cathedra: Les cours inauguraux de Cristoforo Landino au ‘Studio’ de Florence (1458–1474).” In L’écrivain face à son public en France et en Italie à la Renaissance. Paper presented at an international conference, Tours, 4–6 December 1986. Edited by Charles Adelin Fiorato and Jean-Claude Margolin, 107–125. De Pétrarque à Descartes 53. Paris: J. Vrin, 1989.

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    Studies five inaugural lectures with which Landino began a course at the Florentine university, as a way of examining a genre in which a professor comes into direct contact with his public, a contact that was in many ways more complex than publication within the environment of Medici Florence.

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  • Lentzen, Manfred. “Cristoforo Landinos Antrittsvorlesung im Studio Fiorentino.” Romanische Forschungen 81 (1969): 60–88.

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    A discussion, including text, of the speech Landino gave when he took up the chair of rhetoric and poetry at the Florentine Studio in 1458, introducing many of the themes about the nature and function of poetry that would be developed further throughout his career.

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  • Ricci, Pier Giorgio. “Alla ricerca di Cristoforo Landino.” La Rinascita 4 (1941): 733–741.

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    Argues that Landino was more talented in commentary and exposition than in the composition of original poetry.

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  • Stadeler, Anja. Horazrezeption in der Renaissance: Strategien der Horazkommentierung bei Cristoforo Landino and Denis Lambin. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015.

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    A published German dissertation that analyzes Landino’s commentary on Horace through comparison with annotations of the 16th-century French humanist Denis Lambin, a strategy that clarifies both how Landino handled problematic aspects of the text (e.g., obscene passages and references to Epicurus) and how he understood the role and function of the commentator in general.

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Literary Criticism

Since the 1940s, generations of scholars have brought a renewed appreciation for Landino as a literary critic. Buck 1947 offered the foundation for this approach, while Cardini 1970, Fellina 2012, Nebes 2001, and Trinkaus 1995 discuss Landino’s literary criticism within a broad 15th-century framework. Di Cesare 1986 and Greenfield 1981 offer brief overviews of the key points, while Cardini 1973 remains the standard extensive discussion of Landino’s literary criticism.

  • Buck, August. “Dichtung und Dichter bei Cristoforo Landino: Ein Beitrag zur Dichtungslehre der italienischen Humanismus.” Romanische Forschungen 58–59 (1947): 233–246.

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    A pioneering article that explores Landino’s concept of poetry and the poet, suggesting that in breaking free of a strict philological humanism, Landino developed a more expansive vision that is not old-fashioned, as his detractors argued, but actually quite modern.

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  • Cardini, Roberto. “Il Landino e la poesia.” Rassegna della letteratura italiana 74 (1970): 273–297.

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    A richly documented, carefully nuanced study of Landino’s approach to poetry, stressing the importance of analyzing all the surviving evidence within the temporal evolution of Landino’s teaching and scholarship. Includes a text of the preface to Landino’s Virgil commentary.

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  • Cardini, Roberto. La critica del Landino. Florence: Sansoni, 1973.

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    A collection of essays, for the most part previously published, with relevant texts that explore various aspects of Lantino’s literary criticism, including his connections to Florentine Neoplatonism and to vernacular humanism. Remains the indispensable starting point for work in this area.

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  • di Cesare, Mario. “Cristoforo Landino on the Name and Nature of Poetry: The Critic as Hero.” Chaucer Review 21.2 (1986): 155–181.

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    Argues that Landino was primarily a poet, not a philosopher or allegorizer, and that he consequently saw the poet, along with those who commented on his work, as a sort of hero.

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  • Fellina, Simone. “Cristoforo Landino e le ragioni della poesia: Il dissenso con Marsilio Ficino sull’origine della ‘pia philosophia’.” In Nuovi maestri e antichi testi: Umanesimo e Rinascimento alle origini del pensiero modern; Proceedings of the Convegno internazionale di studi in onore di Cesare Vasoli, Mantua, 1–3 December 2010. Edited by Stefano Caroti and Vittoria Perrone Compagni, 199–222. Centro Studi L. B. Alberti, Ingenium 17. Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 2012.

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    Argues that Landino disagrees with Marsilio Ficino on the relationship between poetry and philosophy, since the value of poetry, according to Landino, does not consist in its being unveiled by means of a philosophical hermeneutics, but in its status as the only art that offers direct access to the divine.

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  • Greenfield, Concetta. Humanist and Scholastic Poetics, 1250–1500. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 1981.

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    A good summary in English of Landino’s key ideas about poetry, stressing that his elevation of the Platonic notion of poetical frenzy over the rhetorical perfection of poetry gives him an important place in the humanist history of literary criticism. See pp. 214–229.

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  • Nebes, Liane. Der “furor poeticus” im italienischen Renaissanceplatonismus: Studien zu Kommentar und Literaturtheorie bei Ficino, Landino und Patrizi. Edition Wissenschaft/Romanistik 20. Marburg, Germany: Tectum-Verlag, 2001.

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    A study of a key concept, divine frenzy, in Renaissance literary theory as it developed within the Platonizing works of Landino, Marsilio Ficino, and Francesco Patrizi da Cherso.

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  • Trinkaus, Charles. In Our Image and Likeness: Humanity and Divinity in Italian Humanist Thought. 2 vols. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995.

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    Argues that Landino is a key figure in the transformation of the idea that the poet is divinely inspired (theologia poetica) into the more specific fusion of that notion with Renaissance Platonism. See pp. 712–721. (Reprint of 1970 edition, Chicago: University of Chicago Press).

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Xandra

Landino’s collection of love poems remained neglected, compared to his more scholarly works, until fairly recently. Charlet 2005 presents a useful orientation to the issues raised by this collection, and Kofler and Novokhatko 2016 offers a useful overview of scholarly approaches. Blänsdorf 1984, Müller 2007, and Tonelli 1992 concentrate on locating the poems within literary history, while Pieper 2008, Pieper 2009, and Rombach 1996 take pains to place the Xandra within its political and ideological surroundings. Charlet 2007 analyzes one poem that represents several key themes within the collection.

  • Blänsdorf, Jürgen. “Landino—Campano—Poliziano—Pascoli: Neue Dichtung in antikem Gewande.” Gymnasium 91 (1984): 61–84.

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    A discussion of Xandra I, 25, as part of a comparative study ranging from the Renaissance to the 20th century that shows how Neo-Latin poetry recasts ancient material into something appropriate for later ages.

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  • Charlet, Jean-Louis. “État présent prospectif des rechereches sur les poèmes latins de C. Landino.” In Text—Interpretation—Vergleich: Festschrift für Manfred Lentzen. Edited by Joachim Leeker and Elisabeth Leeker, 151–168. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 2005.

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    A good overview of the issues raised by the Xandra, beginning with a description of some of the philological issues raised by the poems, moving to their historical and political context, and ending with some more properly literary conclusions.

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  • Charlet, Jean-Louis. “Une meditation poétique sur les ruines de Rome: Landino, Xandra II, 30.” In Lettere e arti nel Rinascimento: Atti del X Convegno Internazionale (Chianciano-Pienza, 20–23 luglio 1998). Edited by Luisa Rotondi Secchi Tarugi, 123–131. Florence: Franco Cesati, 2007.

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    Using Xandra II, 30, the author discusses the connections Landino draws between art and poetry in his discussion of a poem about Roman ruins.

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  • Kofler, Wolfgang, and Anna Novokhatko, eds. Cristoforo Landinos ‘Xandra’ und die Transformationen römischer Liebesdichtung im Florenz des Quattrocento. Neolatina 20. Tübingen, Germany: Narr Francke Attempto, 2016.

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    Responding to the increased interest in the Xandra at the beginning of the 21st century, this collection of essays attempts to identify Landino’s ancient and contemporary sources and to place his love poems into the social and cultural contexts of the Florentine Renaissance.

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  • Müller, Gernot Michael. “Zwischen Properz und Petrarca: Strategien der aemulatio im Xandra-Zyklus des Cristoforo Landino.” In Abgrenzung und Synthese: Lateinische Dichtung und volkssprachliche Traditionen in Renaissance und Barock. Edited by Marc Föcking and Gernot Michael Müller, 133–164. Heidelberg, Germany: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2007.

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    Positions Landino’s lyric poetry between Propertius, representing the ancient tradition that goes back to Callimachus, and Petrarca, whose Canzoniere reflects a more homegrown poetic approach.

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  • Pieper, Christoph. Elegos redolere Vergiliosque sapere: Cristoforo Landinos “Xandra” zwischen Liebe und Gesellschaft. Noctes Neolatinae 8. Hildesheim, Germany: Georg Olms Verlag, 2008.

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    A masterful reassessment of this collection, placing the poems and their connections to their ancient models within Landino’s effort to position himself as a prominent spokesperson for the glories of Medici Florence.

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  • Pieper, Christoph. “Genre Negotiations: Cristoforo Landino’s Xandra between Elegy and Epigram.” In The Neo-Latin Epigram: A Learned and Witty Genre. Edited by Susanna de Beer, Karl Enenkel, and David Rijser, 165–190. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press, 2009.

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    Argues that when the Xandra is read chronologically, we see a progression from poems about love to political poems that were designed to position Landino as a force for cultural renewal within Florence. This progression has implications for the generic definitions that were still being worked out by humanist poets.

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  • Rombach, Ursula. “L’idea della natura nella poesia di Cristoforo Landino.” In L’uomo e la natura nel Rinascimento. Edited by Luisa Rotondi Secchi Tarugi, 113–124. Mentis Itinerarium. Milan: Nuovi Orizzonti, 1996.

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    Focuses on two poems from the Xandra—A I, 25 and A II, 8—to show how Landino’s conception of nature changed as his vision of the collection evolved into something more politically oriented.

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  • Tonelli, Natascia. “La ‘Xandra’ e il codice elegiaco.” Giornale storico della letteratura italiana 119 (1992): 193–211.

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    Explores Landino’s Xandra as the subject of elegiac poetry in relation to Propertius’s Cynthia and Petrarch’s Laura.

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Disputationes Camaldulenses

The Disputationes Camaldulenses, a philosophical dialogue that opens into an allegory of Virgil’s Aeneid, is the most influential of Landino’s original compositions. Fubini 1996 and Lohe 1969 use the date when the work was written to place it within the key concerns of the day. McNair 1994 and Wadsworth 1952 unpack the dialogue by comparing it to other works on similar themes, while Weiss 1981 focuses more on the internal structure of the Disputationes Camaldulenses. Müller-Bochat 1968 in turn analyzes the Virgilian allegory in the last two books from an unexpected perspective, while Chance 2014 places that allegory into the broader evolution of mythological studies.

  • Chance, Jane. “Cristoforo Landino’s ‘Judgment of Aeneas’ in the Disputationes Camaldulenses (1475).” In Medieval Mythography. Vol. 3, The Emergence of Italian Humanism, 1321–1475. By Jane Chance, 396–419. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2014.

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    Argues that Landino uses the Ovidian myth of the Judgment of Paris as an overlay on his version of the Aeneas commentary in the Disputationes Camaldulenses, in a process that simultaneously marks the end of the medieval mythographical tradition and opens the door to a new era in English and Italian mythology.

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  • Fubini, Riccardo. “Cristoforo Landino, le Disputationes Camaldulenses e il volgarizzamento di Plinio: Questioni di cronologia e di interpretazione.” In Quattrocento fiorentino: Politica, diplomazia, cultura. Edited by Riccardo Fubini, 303–332. Pisa, Italy: Pacini, 1996.

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    Ostensibly an examination of the dating of the Disputationes Camaldulenses and the Pliny translation but, in fact, a much broader study of Landino’s work during the mid-1470s, when these books were completed.

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  • Lohe, Peter. “Die Datierung der ‘Disputationes Camaldulenses’ des Cristoforo Landino.” Rinascimento 9 (1969): 291–299.

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    Argues that the Disputationes Camaldulenses were composed between April and December of 1472, but while making this argument, Lohe offers broader insight into Landino’s work and professional relationships during this period.

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  • McNair, Bruce G. “Cristoforo Landino and Coluccio Salutati on the Best Life.” Renaissance Quarterly 47.4 (1994): 747–769.

    DOI: 10.2307/2863215Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that in the Disputationes Camaldulenses Landino follows Thomas Aquinas in his philosophical views about the best life, which aligns him more closely with civic humanism than most scholars have recognized, but also presents points of contact with Ficino and Pico.

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  • Müller-Bochat, Eberhard. Leon Battista Alberti und die Vergil-Deutung der Disputationes Camaldulenses: Zur allegorischen Dichter-Erklärung bei Cristoforo Landino. Schriften und Vorträge des Petrarca-Instituts Köln 21. Krefeld, West Germany: Scherpe, 1968.

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    A brief analysis of the Virgil allegory in the Disputationes Camaldulenses, with a focus on the relationship between the character of Leon Battista Alberti in the dialogue and the historical figure on which it was modeled. At forty pages, actually an article published separately, rather than a book, properly speaking.

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  • Wadsworth, James. “Landino’s Disputationes Camaldulenses, Ficino’s De felicitate, and L’altercazione of Lorenzo de’ Medici.” Modern Philology 50.1 (1952): 23–31.

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    Works out the relationship among three important texts, arguing that Landino inspired Lorenzo to write a poem on the nature of the highest philosophical good, which he did in part by turning to Ficino as a source.

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  • Weiss, Rainer. Cristoforo Landino: Das Metaphorische in den Disputationes Camaldulenses. Humanistische Bibliothek, Reihe 1.30. Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 1981.

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    A careful study of the Disputationes Camaldulenses, along with De anima, arguing that metaphor serves as a key feature of Landino’s work as a poet and a philosopher.

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Virgilian Scholarship

Landino was without question the most important Virgilian commentator of his day. Field 1978 and Field 1981 present newly discovered primary sources. Murrin 1980 and Wolf 1919 provide useful general accounts of Landino’s Virgilian allegory, while Zintzen 1985 exposes the earlier roots of that allegory. Zabughin 1921–1923 begins to suggest what is distinctive about Landino’s approach, with Kallendorf 1983 clarifying and expanding what is found there. Kallendorf 1989 places Landino’s Virgil criticism into the larger progression of his thought.

  • Field, Arthur. “A Manuscript of Cristoforo Landino’s First Lectures on Virgil.” Renaissance Quarterly 31.1 (1978): 17–20.

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    Announces the discovery of Landino’s commentary to the first seven books of the Aeneid, a transcription of notes based on the lectures he gave at the Florentine university during the 1462–1463 school year.

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  • Field, Arthur. “An Inaugural Oration by Cristoforo Landino in Praise of Virgil [From Codex ‘2,’ Casa Cavalli, Ravenna].” Rinascimento 2.21 (1981): 235–245.

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    Announces the discovery of a new oration given by Landino at the beginning of a course on Virgil, in which the theme of the poet’s universality is treated. Contains a text of the oration.

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  • Kallendorf, Craig. “Cristoforo Landino’s Aeneid and the Humanist Critical Tradition.” Renaissance Quarterly 36.4 (1983): 519–546.

    DOI: 10.2307/2860732Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that Landino was not the originator of every detail in his interpretation of the Aeneid, but that his achievement consists of being the first humanist to present a detailed, systematic interpretation of the poem according to the principles of moral philosophy.

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  • Kallendorf, Craig. “‘You Are My Master’: Dante and the Virgil Criticism of Cristoforo Landino.” In Praise of Aeneas: Virgil and Epideictic Rhetoric in the Early Italian Renaissance. Edited by Craig Kallendorf, 129–165. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1989.

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    Demonstrates that Landino’s approach to Virgil centered on the effort to place his poetry between that of Homer and Dante to create a sequence of great works that express the same basic truth, that poetry praises virtue and condemns vice.

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  • Murrin, Michael. The Allegorical Epic: Essays in Its Rise and Decline. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.

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    Explores the Platonic foundation of Landino’s Virgilian allegory, focusing on two key principles, that a person’s soul is imprisoned in the body and that there is a consequent need for the soul to escape through purgation. See pp. 27–50.

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  • Wolf, Eugen. “Die allegorische Vergilerklärung des Cristoforo Landino.” Neue Jahrbücher für das classische Altertum, Geschichte, und deutsche Literatur und für Pādagogik 43 (1919): 453–479.

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    The classic study of Landino’s Virgil allegory—still valuable, but to be used along with Kallendorf 1983.

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  • Zabughin, Vladimiro. Vergilio nel Rinascimento italiano da Dante a Torquato Tasso. 2 vols. Bologna, Italy: N. Zanichelli, 1921–1923.

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    Largely superseded by the work that followed, but valuable for sketching out concisely the distinctive aspects of Landino’s approach to Virgil. See Volume 1, pp. 194–202.

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  • Zintzen, Clemens. “Zur ‘Aeneis’-Interpretation des Cristoforo Landino.” Mittellateinishes Jahrbuch 20 (1985): 193–215.

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    Clarifies the connections between Landino’s Virgil allegory and the exegetical practices of Late Antiquity, also showing Landino’s debt to Plato and the Neoplatonists, Macrobius, Fulgentius, and Bernardus Silvestris.

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Other Latin Writings

Less has been written on Landino’s other Latin writings. Jorde 1995 and Tateo 1965–1966 discuss the treatise on nobility, while McNair 1992, Rüsch gen. Klaas 1993, and Fellina 2010 focus on his discussion of the soul. Rombach 1991 explores a more general theme, while di Benedetto 1985 approaches Landino’s exegetical writing through the eyes of one of his early readers.

  • di Benedetto, Filippo. “Fonzio e Landino su Orazio.” In Tradizione classica e letteratura umanistica: Per Alessandro Perosa. Vol. 2. Edited by Roberto Cardini, 437–453. Humanistica 4. Rome: Bulzoni, 1985.

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    An interesting study of the annotations that Bartolomeo Fonzio wrote in the copy of Landino 1482 (cited under Latin Texts: Commentaries; preserved in Florence, Biblioteca riccardiana, ER 368). These annotations show how Fonzio reacted to the philological and exegetical work of Landino.

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  • Fellina, Simone. “Cristoforo Landino e Marsilio Ficino sull’origine dell’anima.” Rinascimento ser. 2.50 (2010): 263–298.

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    Beginning with Marsilio Ficino’s ideas about the origin of the soul as they had developed within the environment of Florentine Neoplatonism, Fellna uses the writings of Landino to postulate a division within the Medicean circle of scholars in the approach to this topic.

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  • Jorde, Tilmann. Cristoforo Landinos de vera nobilitate: Ein Beitrag zur Nobilitas-Debatte im Quattrocento. Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 66. Stuttgart and Leipzig, Germany: Teubner, 1995.

    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-663-12003-2Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A German dissertation that places Landino’s treatise on nobility within the broader Renaissance discussions of the topic, allowing Landino’s contribution to emerge clearly.

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  • McNair, Bruce G. “Cristoforo Landino’s De anima and His Platonic Source.” Rinascimento 32 (1992): 227–245.

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    Shows that in De anima Landino relied primarily not on Ficino but on Cardinal Bessarion’s In calumniatorem Platonis, which suggests that at least prior to 1472, Ficino’s influence was less than is generally thought. Accompanied by lengthy extracts from both texts.

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  • Rombach, Ursula. Vita activa und vita contemplativa bei Cristoforo Landino. Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 17. Stuttgart, Germany: Teubner, 1991.

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    A German dissertation that examines a key theme in Landino’s Latin writings, the harmonization between the active and contemplative lives that emerges primarily, but not exclusively, from the Disputationes Camaldulenses.

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  • Rüsch gen. Klaas, Ute. Untersuchungen zu Cristoforo Landino, De anima. Beiträge zur Altertumskunde 41. Stuttgart, Germany: B. G. Teubner, 1993.

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    A German doctoral dissertation that works through Landino’s treatise on the soul, section by section and in great detail.

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  • Tateo, Francesco. “Cristoforo Landino e la fortuna del IV trattato del Convivio nel Quattrocento.” In Atti del Congresso internazionale di studi danteschi. Paper presented at a conference held in Florence, Verona, and Ravenna, 20–27 April 1965. Vol. 1. Edited by the Società dantesca italiana and the Associazione internazionale per gli studi di lingua e letteratura italiana, 307–313. Sette Centenario della Nascita di Dante 2.1. Florence: Sansoni, 1965–1966.

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    Provides a brief analysis of the influence of Dante’s Convivio on Landino’s De nobilitate, as part of the broader Renaissance debate over whether nobility referred to a character trait or a position within society.

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Vernacular Humanism

Santoro 1954 and Giannantonio 1971 sketch out the general parameters within which Landino extended his humanism from the classical authors that most of his contemporaries relied on to include the great writers in Italian as well. Bongrani 1986 and Comanducci 1992 discuss his translation of a contemporary historical work, while de Nichilo 2004 and Tanturli 1992 focus on Petrarca as a worthy model of humanistic study.

  • Bongrani, Paolo. “Gli storici sforzeschi e il volgarizzamento landiano dei ‘Commentarii’ del Simonetta.” Lingua nostra 47 (1986): 40–50.

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    A study of Landino’s Italian translation of Giovanni Simonetta’s Commentarii rerum gestarum Francisci Sfortiae, within the broader context of historical writing in Milan and with an eye on the development of the Italian language as illuminated in these works.

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  • Comanducci, Rita Maria. “Nota sulla versione landiniana della Sforziade di Giovanni Simonetta.” Interpres 12 (1992): 309–316.

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    Focuses on the dating of Landino’s translation of Giovanni Simonetta’s account of the deeds of the Milanese ruler Francesco Sforza, drawing attention along the way to one of Landino’s lesser-known works.

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  • de Nichilo, Mauro. “Petrarca, Salutati, Landino: Rvf 22 e 132.” Italianistica 33.2 (2004): 143–161.

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    A learned discussion of Landino’s efforts to raise the Canzoniere to the status of a vernacular classic, developed within a broader analysis of the reception of Petrarca’s Italian poetry in 15th-century Italy.

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  • Giannantonio, Pompeo. Cristoforo Landino e l’umanesimo volgare. Naples: Liguori, 1971.

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    Begins with a survey of vernacular humanism in Italian culture, then moves to Landino’s place within this tradition. The fullest treatment of this subject currently available.

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  • Santoro, Mario. “Cristoforo Landino e il volgare.” Giornale storico della letteratura italiana 131 (1954): 501–547.

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    A lengthy, pioneering article that shows how Landino used the classics as a stimulus for raising the status of the vernacular and guiding its development in the 15th century.

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  • Tanturli, Giuliano. “Proposta e risposta: La prolusione petrarchesca del Landino e il codice cavalcantiano di Antonio Manetti.” Rinascimento 32 (1992): 213–225.

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    Studies Landino’s introduction to his university course on the Canzoniere along with a new collection of the poems of Guido Cavalcanti as a way to understand the interaction between Latin and vernacular culture in 15th-century Florence.

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Dante

Landino was best known in his own day for his Dante commentary, which has also generated a good deal of modern scholarship. Cardini 1990 and la Brasca 1987 offer a good overview of the Dante commentary, while Lentzen 1971 and Procaccioli 1989 present more extensive, detailed analyses. Field 1986 suggests that Landino was seriously interested in Dante at an earlier point in his career than had previously been assumed, while Vallone 1966 and Parker 1993 place Landino’s work within the larger tradition of Dante commentaries, and Hamlin 2013 demonstrates the influence that Landino’s annotations had outside Italy.

  • Cardini, Roberto. “Landino e Dante.” Rinascimento 30 (1990): 175–190.

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    An overview of Landino’s commentary to Dante; without notes, but draws on a wide knowledge of the critical history of Dante studies and of Landino and his times.

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  • Fata, Frank. “Landino on Dante.” PhD diss., Johns Hopkins University, 1966.

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    A broad study that suggests, among other things, that when Landino approached the Divine Comedy as a humanist interested in the full development of inherent human abilities, he subtracted divine grace from a prominent place in the poem.

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  • Field, Arthur. “Cristoforo Landino’s First Lectures on Dante.” Renaissance Quarterly 39.1 (1986): 16–48.

    DOI: 10.2307/2861582Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues that Landino’s first lectures on Dante precede, by at least two decades, the publication of his 1481 commentary, making him one of the first Florentines to base a popularizing literary discussion on Neoplatonism. Includes relevant textual material.

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  • Hamlin, Cinthia M. “La configuración apologética del comentario de la Divina Comedia (1515): Fernández de Villegas y su reapropiación de las alusiones histórico-míticas del Comento de Landino.” Lemir: Revista electrónica sobre literatura española medieval y del renacimiento 17 (2013): 113–150.

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    Shows how the notes accompanying Fernández de Villegas’s translation of the Divine Comedy (1515) draw from Landino’s Dante commentary to define and spread a particular royal image that was compatible with the ideological demands of Ferdinand the Catholic’s court.

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  • la Brasca, Frank. “Du prototype à l’archétype: Lecture allégorique et réécriture de Dante dans et par le commentaire de Cristoforo Landino.” In Scritture di scritture: Testi, generi, modelli nel Rinascimento. Edited by Giancalo Mazzacurati and Michel Plaisance, 69–107. Rome: Bulzoni, 1987.

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    A detailed study of Landino’s Dante commentary, focusing on its allegorical character as a means of elevating the Divine Comedy to a text of fundamental cultural importance.

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  • Lentzen, Manfred. Studien zur Dante-Exegese Cristoforo Landinos, mit einem Ahnang bisher unveröffentlicher Briefe und Reden. Studi Italiani 12. Cologne: Böhlau, 1971.

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    A comprehensive study of Landino’s work on Dante, including an analysis of the 1481 edition of his commentary and the relationship of Landino’s work to Florentine Neoplatonism as well as the earlier commentary tradition. Includes nine source texts by Landino and an unusually full bibliography.

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  • Parker, Deborah. “Commentary as Social Act: Trifone Gabriele’s Critique of Landino.” In Commentary and Ideology: Dante in the Renaissance. Edited by Deborah Parker, 89–108. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1993.

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    An interesting analysis of Trifone Gabriele’s unpublished annotations to the Divine Comedy (c. 1526–1527), which offer a sustained critique of Landino’s Dante commentary that was developed in radically different social and institutional circumstances.

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  • Procaccioli, Paolo. Filologia ed esegesi dantesca nel Quattrocento: L’“Inferno” nel “Comento sopra la Comedia” di Cristoforo Landino. Archivium Romanicum 1.222. Florence: Olschki, 1989.

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    The fullest modern study of Landino’s work on Dante, discussing the text of his 1481 Dante edition and its commentary within the context of the Dante scholarship of his age.

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  • Vallone, Aldo. “La linea esegetica: Benvenuto, Landino, Vellutello.” In Atti del Congresso Internazionale di Studi Danteschi, Verone e Ravenna (20–27 aprile 1065). Vol. 2. Edited by the Società dantesca italiana and the Associazione internazionale per gli studi di lingua e letteratura italiana, 283–305. Florence: Sansoni, 1966.

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    Positions Landino’s observations on Dante, as a representative of the literary culture of Medici Florence, between two other decisive commentaries, that of Benvenuto da Imola, representing the views of Dante’s first readers, and that of Alessandro Vellutello, prepared when the late Renaissance was beginning to experience new ways of looking at the world.

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