Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

“Tesoro” and “Convivio”: A study of the earliest Italian vernacular adaptations of Aristotle's “Nicomachean Ethics”, 1260–1308
by Ours Vitiello, Alice, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2009, 150; 3363700
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation focuses on two of the earliest known Italian vernacular adaptations of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics: Tesoro, the anonymous Italian translation of Brunetto Latini's French Trésor , and Dante Alighieri's Convivio. Although both texts make use of the Ethics, to different stated ends, the final presentation of Aristotelian content in each of these texts varies widely from that found in the Ethics itself, of which Moerbeke's complete revised copy was in circulation at the time of their composition. Because Tesoro and Convivio were two of the first Italian attempts to render the Ethics accessible to a vernacular readership, my objective in this inquiry is thus to identify these inconsistencies in order to gain a clearer understanding of the content that was attributed to the Ethics during this period and with this readership in mind.

I take two different methodological approaches, each tailored to the prevailing questions surrounding the Aristotelianism of Tesoro and Convivio, respectively. As Tesoro claims to provide a direct summation of Ethics, in the first half of this study I address Latini' s likely sources for the Aristotelian text, particularly the Summa Alexandrinorum of Hermannus Alemannus. As well, I provide a point-by-point analysis of the virtues and vices as attributed to Aristotle in Tesoro in contrast with their actual elaboration in Moerbeke's complete version of the Ethics. My approach to the Convivio addresses instead the matter of the Ethics as a pervasive source underpinning Dante's original theses, focusing primarily on the ways in which Dante manipulates, and thus at times misrepresents, Aristotle's ideas in support of his own.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brownlee, Kevin
Commitee:
School: University of Pennsylvania
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 70/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Comparative literature, Romance literature, Philosophy
Keywords: Aristotle, Convivio, Dante Alighieri, Italian, Latini, Brunetto, Nichomachean Ethics, Tesoro, Vernacular adaptations
Publication Number: 3363700
ISBN: 9781109232165
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