EuroCult, a three-year research project to be developed at the universities and research centers of Toronto and Turin, will study the wide-ranging networks of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (1404-1464), one of the most important humanists of early fifteenth-century Europe. Piccolomini was a man of many talents who inhabited multiple spheres: as a layman he was present at the Council of Basel, secretary to the antipope and the Emperor, then become bishop, cardinal and eventually pope himself. During his life he wrote many dialogues, historical works, and hundreds of letters, making himself the hub of an extensive European literary and political web. This research aims to demonstrate that Piccolomini, who played a significant role in practical political affairs both locally and internationally as the emperor’s legate and as pope, can be viewed as an important contributor to shifting cultural approaches at a European level. He had a rich and vibrant personal and professional network of intellectual contacts with whom he exchanged ideas and books, received informal feedback on his work, and discussed cultural, religious and political questions. EuroCult will reconstruct the cultural, political and religious spheres of which he was a part, investigating his networks and communities of learning, and his role as cultural model in the use of Latin in early Renaissance Europe and later.
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