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The Lost Italian Renaissance: Humanists, Historians, and Latin's Legacy Hardcover – April 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801878152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801878152
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,358,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A fine book that should help frame the debate about humanism in the Renaissance.Douglas Biow, American Historical Review



"There is no doubt that with this book Celenza has drawn attention to a body of work that deserves far more attention than it has received and that offers exciting new avenues for historical study." -- Bryn Mawr Classical Review



"This impressive volume offers a fresh interpretation of Italian Renaissance learned culture and vindicates that culture's abiding importance... Lucid in its exposition of complex philosophical and linguistic theories, whether from the 15th century or the 20th, this exceptional book will help us to advance constructively to the 21st." -- Choice



"An intelligent, learned, and well-written historical and critical account of how we have failed over the past century to meet the challenge of fully appreciating, and making relevant to our own time, the neo-Latin culture of Renaissance Italy... A fine book that should help frame the debate about humanism in the Renaissance." -- Douglas Biow, American Historical Review



"An important, thought-provoking book, one which at least suggests an approach to Italian Renaissance humanism that can allow a group of important authors to speak in such a way that they can, finally, take their rightful place in the history of Western philosophy." -- Craig Kallendorf, British Journal for the History of Philosophy



"An original, engaging, well-written book." -- Michael J. B. Allen, Renaissance Quarterly



"A superbly well-conceived, original, and authoritative work. Christopher Celenza knows the literature extremely well and writes in clear and precise prose. I found this one of the most interesting books I have read in a long time." -- Edward Muir, Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor in the Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University



Christopher S. Celenza is a professor of Romance languages at the Johns Hopkins University.



"A courageous book that aims at a broad audience and takes an orignal approach." -- Carol Quillen, Journal of Modern History



"Intellectually stimulating book." -- Charles G. Nauert, Sixteenth Century Journal



"For this sizable and important sector of academia, The Lost Italian Renaissance should be considered essential reading." -- Emily O'Brien, Erasmus of Rotterdam Society

From the Back Cover

In this groundbreaking work of intellectual history, Christopher Celenza argues that serious interest in the intellectual life of Renaissance Italy can be reinvigorated-and the nature of the Renaissance itself reconceived-by recovering a major part of its intellectual and cultural activity that has been largely ignored since the Renaissance was first "discovered": the vast body of works-literary, philosophical, poetic, and religious-written in Latin by major figures such as Leonardo Bruni, Lorenzo Valla, Marsilio Ficino, and Leon Battista Alberti, as well as minor but interesting thinkers like Lapo da Castiglionchio the Younger.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Certain Bibliophile on June 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
For some reason, I have lately been the lucky recipient of numerous academic catalogues, especially from university presses that are having sales with as much as 75% off. One of the more recent ones, from Johns Hopkins, had this in it, and for a mere five dollars. It might have been better-suited for someone more thoroughly steeped in the formal study of the Italian Renaissance than I can admit to being, but what it had to say about the current state of study in this area was interesting. It certainly couches many of the problems of contemporary Italian Renaissance studies in interesting ways, and makes the reader privy to a lot of "insider" information. In this book, Celenza is mostly concerned with the formation and current state of Renaissance studies, and particularly the effects that certain sources (or lack thereof) have wrought upon that study.

"The Lost Italian Renaissance" is more a series of interconnected essays on a group of related themes than it is a book with a continuous argument. The first essay argues that twentieth-century Italian Renaissance studies seriously suffers from a lack of sources that were originally written in Latin for a number of reasons, but mostly because scholars from the previous (that is, the nineteenth) century thought that non-vernacular languages were of at most secondary importance (mostly because of the rise of nationalist conceptions of history, like that of Herder). Because of this, many of the most important sources in Latin have still not been sourced, recorded, and critically edited for the sake of posterity.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By clarinetsarethebest on March 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As much as I like history, it's not often that I find it difficult to put down any book printed on an academic press. Christopher Celenza's The Lost Italian Renaissance, however, is one of the best books of any kind that I've read in recent years. Celenza's facility with and obvious passion for his topic are exceeded only by his skill as a writer. Though the subject matter of this book can, at times, be rather dense and difficult, the writing is always clear and engaging, sometimes conversational, and never at all condescending. Moreover, The Lost Italian Renaissance is completely fascinating strictly for its content - I'm sure I can't be the only person who finished it lamenting the fact that I don't read Latin. Celenza's enthusiasm for Renaissance intellectual history is catching and sure to win the subject the interest of anyone who reads this highly enjoyable book.
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