Recreating Ancient History: Episodes from the Greek and Roman Past in the Arts and Literature of the Early Modern Period


This volume deals with the question: how did scholars and artists in the early modern period represent, or rather, recreate (Greek and Roman) history? It appears that ancient history was not just studied so as to reconstruct the past, it was used as a way of understanding and legitimizing the present.
Sixteen authors from various disciplines have studied the works of scholars and artists in different media so as to reveal how they used ancient history as a rich field of raw material, that could be used, recycled and adapted to new needs and purposes.
The studies in this volume are important for historians of the early modern period from all disciplines, and for all those interested in the reception of classical antiquity.

Contributors include: Maria Berbera, Jan Bloemendal, Anton Boschloo, Jeanine De Landtsheer, Jan L. de Jong, Karl Enenkel, Marc Laureys, Olga van Marion, Alicia Montoya, Mark Morford, Bettina Noak, Sjaak Onderdelinden, Paul Smith, Wilfried Stroh, Francesca Terrenato, Arnoud Visser, and Bart Westerweel.

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Biographical Note

Karl Enenkel teaches Latin and Neo-Latin literature in the Department of Classics, Leiden University. He is the author of Francesco Petrarca: De vita solitaria, Buch 1. Kritische Textausgabe und ideengeschichtlicher Kommentar (1990), of Kulturoptimismus und Kulturpessimismus in der Renaissance (1995), and of numerous articles on Italian and Dutch humanism. He is the editor of Lipsius in Leiden (1997) and Modelling the Individual Biography and Portrait in the Renaissance. Jan L. de Jong, Ph.D. (1987) in Art History, Leiden University, is Assistant Professor of Italian Renaissance Art at Groningen University, The Netherlands. He has published numerous articles on sixteenth century Italian history painting. Jeanine De Landtsheer, Ph.D. in Classical Languages (1993), Research Fellow at the Catholic University of Leuven, focuses on Neolatin studies and History of the Humanism, more particularly Justus Lipsius, his works and correspondence. Publications include Iusti Lipsi Epistolae, V-VII (1592-1594); VIII (1595)(Brepols), the first edition of Justus Lipsius’s Diva Virgo Lovaniensis (Leuven Univ. Press, 2001) and Desiderius Erasmus, Gesprekken. Ingeleid, vertaald en toegelicht (Querido, 2001).

Review Quote

“The volume will be useful to historians of all aspects of the early modern period, as well as historians of the classical tradition and cultural history”. Ian Macgregor Morris, University of Exeter. In: Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 93 (November 2003), p. 348. ' ...a new series providing a good appreciation of the relative weight of Plutarch in the classical tradition of the early modern period.' Joseph Geiger, Scripta Classica Israelica, 2002.

Table of contents

Preface 1. The Representation of History in Artistic Theory in the Early Modern Period, Anton Boschloo 2. Universals and Particulars. History Painting in the “Sala di Costantino” in the Vatican Palace, Jan L. de Jong 3. Theatrum Hodiernae Vitae: Lipsius, Vaenius and the Rebellion of Civilis, Mark Morford 4. Strange and Bewildering Antiquity: Lipsius’s Dialogue Saturnales sermones on Gladiatorial Games (1582), Karl Enenkel 5. Justus Lipsius’s De militia Romana: Polybius Revived or How an Ancient Historian was Turned into a Manual of Early Modern Warfare, Jeanine De Landtsheer 6. “The Grandeur that was Rome”: Scholarly Analysis and Pious Awe in Lipsius’s Admiranda, Marc Laureys 7. Civic Self-Offering: Some Renaissance Representations of Marcus Curtius, Maria Berbara 8. Montaigne, Plutarch and Historiography, Paul J. Smith 9. Plutarch’s Lives and Coriolanus: Shakespeare’s View of Roman History, Bart Westerweel 10. The Reception of Plutarch in the Netherlands: Octavia and Cleopatra in the Heroic Epistles of J.B. Wellekens (1710), Olga van Marion 11. The Reception of Plutarch in Friedrich Schiller’s Lectures on Solon and Lycurgus’s Legislation, Sjaak Onderdelinden 12. Marc Anton ironisch? Zu Form und Erfindung seiner Leichenrede in Shakespeares Julius Caesar, Wilfried Stroh 13. The Uses of Ancient History in the Emblems of Joannes Sambucus (1531–1584), Arnoud Visser 14. The Emperor Hadrian as an Artist in Karel van Mander’s Schilder-boeck, Francesca Terrenato 15. Tyrant or Stoic Hero? Marc-Antoine Muret’s Julius Caesar, Jan Bloemendal 16. Caesar the Father in Marie-Anne Barbier’s La mort de César (1709), Alicia Montoya 17. The Dutch Republic between Hauteur and Greed — Lambert van den Bosch and his Drama L. Catilina, Bettina Noak List of Illustrations Index List of Contributors


Historians of the early modern period from all disciplines, in particular cultural, literary and art history, and all those interested in classical antiquity and its reception.