Italian Readers of Ovid from the Origins to Petrarch

Responding to a Versatile Muse


The Latin poet Ovid continues to fascinate readers today. In Italian Readers of Ovid from the Origins to Petrarch, Julie Van Peteghem examines what drew medieval Italian writers to the Latin poet’s works, characters, and themes. While accounts of Ovid’s influence in Italy often start with Dante’s Divine Comedy, this book shows that mentions of Ovid are found in some of the earliest poems written in Italian, and remain a constant feature of Italian poetry over time. By situating the poetry of the Sicilians, Dante, Cino da Pistoia, and Petrarch within the rich and diverse history of reading, translating, and adapting Ovid’s works, Van Peteghem offers a novel account of the reception of Ovid in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Italy.

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Julie Van Peteghem, Ph.D. (2013), Columbia University, is Assistant Professor of Italian at Hunter College, CUNY. She studies and teaches medieval Italian literature, the reception of the classics, and reading practices in the Middle Ages and in the digital age.
All interested in Latin and medieval Italian literature, classical reception studies, and the history of reading in medieval and early modern Italy.