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Chivalric Literature in European Renaissance: Political Fictions. Land, enemies, alliances, authority, identity


Between Boiardo’s Inamoramento de Orlando (1483) and Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata (1575), the tradition of chivalric literature in Italy was the turning point of the inheritance and the subsequent spreading out of a larger European tradition (particularly French). The project aims to point out continuities and fractures in the history of this literary genre, within those chronological coordinates. In the second half of the 15th century, the chivalric poem in ottava rima, often anonymous, assumed a peculiar role in the process of political communication about the war against Muslims and the legitimation of power; it became also the place where those writers reprocessed societal fears about external enemies, the idea of the stranger, the need of alliances. These issues were crucial in chivalric literature due to the strong connection of poems with history and with the political aims of the ruling classes. Furthermore, the diffusion of those chivalric poems was strengthened by the spread of printing. After Boiardo’s Inamoramento the genre changed deeply, but the contents, goals and narrative topoi of the previous literature remained strong points of reference for any following writer. Until now, critics have focused on the main authors, and studies about chivalric literature between Boiardo and Ariosto, and between Ariosto and Tasso have been conducted without considering the 15th century experience. My research aims to: - discover which narrative topoi changed during 15th century and which ones continued to be perceived as important - pick out situations in which topoi abandoned for a while appeared again - account for fractures, continuities, re-emergence - test the possibility to extend the results about the matter of France to heroic poetry - display what changes when the author is a woman: how she employs the topoi and what communicative aims are thereby served.

Field of science

  • /humanities/history and archaeology/history
  • /humanities/languages and literature/literature studies/literary genres

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-IEF - Intra-European Fellowships (IEF)


Egham Hill University Of London
TW20 0EX Egham
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 172 618,80
Administrative Contact
Jenny Febry (Ms.)