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Author: Melinda Nielsen
The medieval Latin poem Speculum Humanae Salvationis (known in English as The Mirror of Human Salvation) was one of the most popular works of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries with preachers and laity alike. Utilizing a typological approach to interpretation, it combines Old Testament and New Testament events and figures to depict an integrated narrative of redemption. As such, the Speculum is not only an outstanding model of medieval biblical interpretation, but also a fascinating case study in allegorical reading habits and the interplay between text and image. This Scholars Initiative project comprises the first modern transcription and English translation of the full Latin Speculum, accompanied by annotations tracing the biblical references and detailed notes explaining the visual iconography.
Transmissions, Receptions, and Regional Contexts
Japan on the Jesuit Stage offers a comprehensive overview of the representations of Japan in early modern European Neo-Latin school theater. The chapters in the volume catalog and analyze representative plays which were produced in the hundreds all over Europe, from the Iberian Peninsula to present-day Croatia and Poland.

Taking full account of existing scholarship, but also introducing a large amount of previously unknown primary material, the contributions by European and Japanese researchers significantly expand the horizon of investigation on early modern European theatrical reception of East Asian elements and will be of particular interest to students of global history, Neo-Latin, and theater studies.
Imagination in Renaissance Art and Theory from Botticelli to Michelangelo
Did the Florentine philosopher Marsilio Ficino (1433-99) influence the art of his time? Art historians have been fiercely debating this question for decades. This book starts with Ficino’s views on the imagination as a faculty of the soul, and shows how these ideas were part of a long philosophical tradition and inspired fresh insights. This approach, combined with little known historical material, offers a new understanding of whether, how and why Ficino’s Platonic conceptions of the imagination may have been received in the art of the Italian Renaissance. The discussion explores Ficino’s possible influence on the work of Botticelli and Michelangelo, and examines the appropriation of Ficino’s ideas by early modern art theorists.
Widely read as school texts, the comedies by the Roman dramatist Terence have come down to us in hundreds of medieval copies. Fourteen of the manuscripts produced between 800 and 1200 were given some kind of illustration. In this volume, Beatrice Radden Keefe explores the semiotics of the imagery found in the earliest illustrated Terence manuscripts, and its relationship to the iconography of comedy and theatre from antiquity. She examines six further manuscripts to show how later illustrators abandoned this imagery to varying degrees, finding new emphases and creating new layers of meaning. Illustrators of Terence, it is demonstrated here, brought a range of interests to illustrating the comedies, clarifying their narrative, incorporating social commentary and moralisation, and linking them with Christian allegorical traditions.
The Intersection of Art, Science, and Nature in Ancient Literature and its Renaissance Reception
Editor: Guy Hedreen
The interplay between nature, science, and art in antiquity and the early modern period differs significantly from late modern expectations. In this book scholars from ancient studies as well as early modern studies, art history, literary criticism, philosophy, and the history of science, explore that interplay in several influential ancient texts and their reception in the Renaissance. The Natural History of Pliny, De Architectura of Vitruvius, De Rerum Natura of Lucretius, Automata of Hero, and Timaios of Plato among other texts reveal how fields of inquiry now considered distinct were originally understood as closely interrelated. In our choice of texts, we focus on materialistic theories of nature, knowledge, and art that remain underappreciated in ancient and early modern studies even today.
Carolingian, Byzantine and Romanesque Buildings (800–1200) as a Source for New All’Antica Architecture in Early Modern Europe (1400–1700)
In early modern times scholars and architects investigated age-old buildings in order to look for useful sources of inspiration. They too, occasionally misinterpreted younger buildings as proofs of majestic Roman or other ancient glory, such as the buildings of the Carolingian, Ottonian and Stauffer emperors. But even if the correct age of a certain building was known, buildings from c. 800–1200 were sometimes regarded as ‘Antique’ architecture, since the concept of ‘Antiquity’ was far more stretched than our modern periodisation allows. This was a Europe-wide phenomenon. The results are rather diverse in style, but they all share an intellectual and artistic strategy: a conscious revival of an ‘ancient’ architecture — whatever the date and origin of these models.

Contributors: Barbara Arciszewska, Lex Bosman, Ian Campbell, Eliana Carrara, Bianca de Divitiis, Krista De Jonge, Emanuela Ferretti, Emanuela Garofalo, Stefaan Grieten, Hubertus Günther, Stephan Hoppe, Sanne Maekelberg, Kristoffer Neville, Marco Rosario Nobile, Konrad Ottenheym, Stefano Piazza, and Richard Schofield.
Pictorial and Literary Transformations in Various Media, 1400–1800
This volume explores early modern recreations of myths from Ovid’s immensely popular Metamorphoses, focusing on the creative ingenium of artists and writers and on the peculiarities of the various media that were applied. The contributors try to tease out what (pictorial) devices, perspectives, and interpretative markers were used that do not occur in the original text of the Metamorphoses, what aspects were brought to the fore or emphasized, and how these are to be explained. Expounding the whatabouts of these differences, the contributors discuss the underlying literary and artistic problems, challenges, principles and techniques, the requirements of the various literary and artistic media, and the role of the cultural, ideological, religious, and gendered contexts in which these recreations were produced.

Contributors are: Noam Andrews, Claudia Cieri Via, Daniel Dornhofer, Leonie Drees-Drylie, Karl A.E. Enenkel, Daniel Fulco, Barbara Hryszko, Gerlinde Huber-Rebenich, Jan L. de Jong, Andrea Lozano-Vásquez, Sabine Lütkemeyer, Morgan J. Macey, Kerstin Maria Pahl, Susanne Scholz, Robert Seidel, and Patricia Zalamea.
Variations on Racinian Excuses
Author: Edward Forman
This comparative literary study re-evaluates the reciprocal relationship between tragic drama and current approaches to guilt and extenuation. Focussing on Racine but ranging widely, it sheds original light on tragic archetypes (Phaedra, Oedipus, Clytemnestra, Medea and others) through the lenses of performance theory and modern attitudes towards blame.
Tragic drama and legal systems both aim to evaluate the merits of excuses provided on behalf of perpetrators of catastrophic acts. Edward Forman wittily and provocatively explores modern judicial concepts – diminished responsibility, provocation, trauma, ignorance, scapegoating – through the responses of characters in tragedy. Attention is paid to the way in which classical plays (ancient Greek and seventeenth-century French) have been re-interpreted in performance in the light of modern perceptions of human responsibility and helplessness.
From the first Apologists to the end of the Quattrocento
Herakles Inside and Outside the Church: from the first Apologists to the Quattrocento explores the reception of the ancient Greek hero Herakles (the Roman Hercules) in the predominantly Christian cultures which succeeded classical antiquity in Europe. Each chapter takes a particular literary or visual incarnation, grappling with the question of the hero’s significance within the early Church, in less formal contexts, and beyond Christendom in his unexpected role as Buddha’s companion in Gandharan art.

The volume is one of four to be published in the Metaforms series examining the extraordinarily persistent role of Herakles-Hercules in western culture up to the present day, drawing together scholars from a range of disciplines to offer a unique insight into the hero’s perennial appeal.
Volume Editors: Valerie Mainz and Emma Stafford
The Exemplary Hercules explores the reception of the ancient Greek hero Herakles – the Roman Hercules – in European culture from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment and beyond. Each chapter considers a particular work or theme in detail, raising questions about the hero’s role as model of the princely ruler, and examining how the worthiness of this exemplary type came, in time, to be subverted. The volume is one of four to be published in the Metaforms series examining the extraordinarily persistent figuring of Herakles-Hercules in western culture up to the present day, drawing together scholars from a range of disciplines to offer a unique insight into the hero’s perennial, but changingly problematic, appeal.