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By E. Ostenfeld

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38 Witt, “Medieval Italian Culture,” 44–50, describes the nature of this French influence and its effect on various aspects of Italian intellectual life, including grammatical studies. 18 chapter one sive history of Latin culture in medieval Italy, leading into a study of the early development of Italian humanism. The project involved two volumes, the first filling out the narrative that I have sketched above from the Carolingian conquest to about 1250 and the second dealing with the evolution of humanism from 1250 to about 1420.

Philadelphia, 1988), 1:42. Because commentaries on ancient authors were intimately connected with the formal teaching of their work, the popularity of a particular author can be gauged by the number of surviving commentaries and accessus to his work. B. Munk Olsen, L’Etude des auteurs classiques latins aux IXe et XIIe siècles, 3 vols. in 4 (Paris, 1982–89), devotes the first two volumes of his study to an inventory of Latin manuscripts of most of the literary writings of ancient Latin authors, along with commentaries and accessus to their work, copied in various areas of western Europe between 800 and 1200 and currently found in European and American libraries.

Projected 46 The phrase “cultural alternative” is borrowed from Thomas M. Greene, The Light in Troy: Imitation and Discovery in Renaissance Poetry (New Haven and London, 1982), 90. 47 The early humanists’ desire to imitate the ancients also effected intellectual and attitudinal changes in the humanists themselves. Concerned with the transformative influence of the direct encounter with the ancients, Kenneth Gouwens has highlighted the importance of the dialogue with antiquity in the construction of a new sense of historical perspective as well as a new kind of self-awareness.

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