8 Chapter SixThe Editorial and Ideological Project of Lodovico Dolce’s L’Achille et l’Enea

Elizabeth Tavella

Lodovico Dolce (1508–68) stands out as an exemplar of the ideal poligrafo, a well-rounded man in the field of human letters. He worked as an author, an editor, a translator, and a critic, and dedicated himself to the voluminous production of an extremely versatile number of literary works.[1] Although his contemporaries praised him highly, his fame has considerably decreased and he has not received as much attention from scholars in the last century, who have mainly focused on studying his theatrical production.[2] During his life, he collaborated with several Venetian printers, but the most prolific part of his intense activity was carried out with Gabriele Giolito de’ Ferrari, one of the most important editors of the Cinquecento, with the main purpose to promulgate humanistic culture to a non-specialized public.

L’Achille et l’Enea, a unique example in its genre, was published posthumously by Gabriele Giolito de’ Ferrari in 1570. It was followed two years later by a second edition to which an oration composed by Andrea Menechini, Sopra le lodi della Poesia, et de’ Fautori delle Virtù, was bound immediately after Dolce’s text. In L’Achille et l’Enea, the poems of Homer and Virgil are originally condensed into one poem composed of fifty-five canti, of which the first twenty-seven are dedicated to the Iliad while the rest cover the plot of the Aeneid. Each canto is introduced by an argomento, a rhymed octave that summarizes the content of the chapter, followed by a rectangular woodcut that reflects the exegetic itinerary suggested by the allegoria, which provides an interpretation of various actions and characters, taking into consideration their virtues and vices. Dolce chose to use ottava rima to translate the dactylic hexameter of his sources, a meter that was first introduced by Boccaccio for his Teseida, Ninfale Fiesolano and Filostrato, but whose origin may be rooted in the cantari tradition.

The paratextual and intertextual features that characterize this particular work are the result of a specific editorial strategy. In fact, Dolce’s ideological and editorial program represents the arrival point of a critical debate between chivalric romances and epic poetry that began with Ludovico Ariosto’s publication of the Orlando Furioso. The author also deliberately elaborates a precise promotional move that can be traced in his particular translation/rewriting process. Not only did the production of his “pastiche” represent an attempt to adapt to the audience’s taste, but at the same time it was meant to respond and react to this critical and historical debate regarding literary genres. In order to understand and examine the project that shaped L’Achille et l’Enea, it is necessary to retrace the sequence of events preceding its publication, starting from the editorial success of the Orlando Furioso and Dolce’s role in the creation of this famous editorial case.


The Orlando Furioso and the Successful

Promulgation of its Mise en Page

In the sixteenth century, Ariosto’s masterpiece underwent a process of canonization, which resulted in the establishment of a modern classic that equaled the greatest ancient heroic poems.[3] Despite the controversies among scholars concerning the superiority of classical Greek and Roman authors over contemporary writers, the Orlando Furioso managed to reach such a wide audience that it became possible to claim that “se oggi fusse perduto il Furioso del tutto, non mancherebbero le schiere degli uomini che lo serbano a mente da capo a piede di parola in parola.”[4]

Gabriele Giolito was indeed the central figure that allowed the consolidation of its prestige since he was responsible for having created the first illustrated edition of the Furioso and for introducing two different book sizes, quarto and octavo editions, in order to reach two categories of readers: the aristocrats, and the middle and lower classes, which included students and artisans.[5] He also contributed actively to its success beyond the Alps through the dedicatory letter in his first Italian edition, addressed to the Dauphin of France, along with the publication of a Spanish translation in 1553. In order to elevate the Furioso to a classic, he adopted a specific format that was previously utilized for the canonical ancient works, and also for the Three Crowns (Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio).[6] Giolito’s editorial strategy proved to be the key to his supremacy over other Italian editors and especially to the production of a renowned best-seller.

Lodovico Dolce was one of Ariosto’s first defenders and took part in several of the literary and poetic polemics that permeated the Cinquecento. His interest in literary criticism was already perceptible in the preface to his translation of Horace’s Ars Poetica, in which he insists on the importance of considering the nature of the present time and the diversity of languages, and on a poet’s duty to adjust to these variations.

The most significant act in the delineation of his position in this lively critical debate must be identified with his Apologia contra i detrattori dell’Ariosto, which he wrote in 1535, just three years after Ariosto’s death. [7] This apology represents an important document for Ariostan reception, since Dolce praised Ariosto’s variety in response to the diffusion of Aristotelian poetics and the contestations made by the exponents of neoclassical orthodoxy.[8]

Dolce also collaborated on many editions and supplementary Venetian reprintings of the Furioso, demonstrating his philological and linguistic interest towards this text. He composed argomenti, introductory letters, commentary, tables of names and places, indexes, and proverbs that accompanied the text and shaped its exegesis.[9] In line with Giolito’s claim of the Furioso’s didactic usefulness, stated in the dedicatory letter to the Dauphin of France, Dolce sought to reveal the moralizing and edifying character of the text through the combination of allegories at the head of each canto and the iconographic cycle of images that frame the text. This particular mise en page, resulting from Giolito and Dolce’s close collaboration, achieved great success, to the point that between the years 1542 and 1560 their Furioso was reprinted twenty-seven times.

Dolce’s admiration towards Ariosto resurfaced in 1536 with his own poetic contribution, the Primo Libro di Sacripante, a sequel to the Orlando Furioso, and again when he ventured in the composition of an epic experiment, Le prime imprese di Conte Orlando, published only in 1572. In this original attempt to contribute to the genre of chivalric romances, the woodblocks of the Furioso were recycled and reused to accompany the text, a practice that reveals not only economic implications but also, more than anything, an ideological link between the two texts.[10]

The paratextual features established and rigidly fixed in the editions of the Furioso were again employed for Dolce’s translation of the Metamorphoses commissioned by Giolito. Ovid’s poem was conformed to the Ariostan model, not only in terms of meter, the ottava rima, but most especially in its editorial format. This was chosen to construct and consequently orient a new perception of the text adapted to a modern context. It was not by chance that Dolce’s Trasformationi, first published in 1553, was characterized by the same layout as that of the Furioso.[11] Both works included, for instance, the incipit of the chapters on the right page, engravings in the exact same size, summaries of the canti, historiated initials on the first line of each chapter, and the text distributed into two columns.[12] These features were meant to direct the readers in a specific direction, promoting the model of chivalric romance through a visual assimilation between the two works, presuming that the potential readers would have been the same ones for both editions. The multiplicity and variety of the poems’ narratives facilitated the association between the two texts, which consequently allowed both texts to reproduce the same recognizable typographical elements on the page.

Dolce’s attention toward the audience is clearly underlined in the advertisement to the readers, where he stresses the importance of satisfying various audience types without disregarding the importance of pleasure:

Col disiderio di giovar passando ne i fertili giardini quando l’uno et quando d’un altro poeta, mi posi a tradurre dalla favela Romana nel volgare Thoscano i quindici libri delle Trasformationi d’Ovidio: parendomi di poter per cotal via, quasi col far nostre le piante nate dal terreno altrui, apportare a quelli, che cognition non’hanno del sermone latino cibi non meno utili e soavi, che cari et piacevoli all’intelletto.[13]

It is clear that Giolito and Dolce intentionally promoted a specific book layout in order to visually organize these stories under the same physical and theoretical criteria. This commercial standardization has economic repercussions that reveal the publishing logistics that led to it. However, it also highlights important cultural significance, since the organization of a unitary format evidently implies ideological consequences. In fact, the specific format through which a literary work is transmitted holds the power to forge the interpretation of the reader.

The exact same structure that was used for the Orlando Furioso and the other aforementioned poems was also incorporated into Dolce’s last translations into the vernacular: an adaptation of the Odyssey, a complete translation of the Aeneid, and L’Achille et l’Enea that will be the focus of the upcoming analysis.


L’achille et L’enea: Lodovico Dolce’s

“Bella Infedele” and its Affiliation with

the Orlando Furioso

Dolce’s rewriting does not classify as a word-by-word reproduction of the original text in a new language. Instead, the linguistic aspect of his rifacimento retrieves the etymological acceptation of traductio, which must be intended as a transfer of structures, concepts, and forms into a new system. Dolce also clearly evokes the distinction between orator and interpres proposed by Cicero in his De optimo genere oratorum, which has been applied to the theoretical systematization of translation. His rewriting can be defined as a “bella infedele,”[14] a translation that distances itself from the original. Dolce in fact refuses the “ufficio di semplice traduttore[15] while preferring to adapt his work to Renaissance standards through precise translation choices.

Andrea Menechini’s oration on poetry explains and justifies Dolce’s liberty in modifying the original text:

Il Dolce merita ogni lode, in aver seguito la strada de’ Moderni, ponendovi per entro alcune coselle di suo, per farla parer più vaga senza obligarsi alle parole, non avendo in pensiero, come egli stesso afferma in principio del Libro, di far una semplice traduttione, essendo malagevol cosa il ridurre una Lingua in un’altra di parola in parola, senza accrescimento, o diminutione.[16]

The tragic conclusion of the Aeneid, for example, is eliminated following the common Cinquecento preference of interrupting the narrative of the Aeneid at its apotheosis. The last two canti of L’Achille et l’Enea are in fact dedicated to Aeneas’ marriage with Lavinia and to his ascent to the Latin throne. Dolce also chooses to simplify the Aeneid’s original ekphrastic elements as well as Virgil’s use of rhetorical figures, and to reduce the length of the poem, although this affects the pathos and flattens the linguistic and rhythmic structures.[17] If Dolce seems to abridge the content of the poem in the name of utilità, he also cultivates the second segment of the Horatian ideal, diletto. He does so in part by reworking Virgil’s brevitas through amplification and addition of linguistic adornments, which evoke a typical baroque style that stresses artificial, non-mimetic sentences.

For the section of the text dedicated to the translation of the Iliad, Dolce must have worked on a Latin translation since, given the available biographical information, he was likely not fluent in Greek.[18] In the dedicatory letter to Francesco Lomellino, Giolito stresses the predominance of Achilles’ virtues of the soul over the strengths of his body, again promoting a moral reading of the text, as had already been done with the Orlando Furioso. The title of the poem itself, which shifts its reference from Ilion to the main character, as can be observed in the title of the Aeneid, significantly moves the attention to the center of the modernized narration: the two heroes.

Moreover, the typographical layout and format of LAchille et l’Enea are indistinguishable from those of Dolce and Giolito’s earlier works, previously discussed in this paper. The mise en page is carefully reproduced, from the two columns of octaves on each page, to the sequence of argument, allegory, woodcut, and historiated initial.

The work even contains another exceptional analogy, the borrowing of the sentenze, a list of aphorisms listed in alphabetical order that were originally planned by Dolce for the Orlando Furioso. Dolce also imitates Ariosto’s technique of ending each canto with an address to the audience, as if they were listening to a rhapsodic recitation of the poem: “Nel’altro canto ad ascoltar v’aspetto; Con piacer vostro io qui finisco il canto; Et io per dar men noia a chi m’ascolta, differisco a cantarlo un’atra volta; Ritorni, se gli è grado, un’altra volta, chi questa historia volentieri ascolta.”[19]

Given the lack of information on the process of publication of this work, it is not possible to define Dolce’s role in establishing these paratextual features with certainty, especially since L’Achille et l’Enea was published after his death. Yet there is one piece of evidence that may refer to an earlier stage of the text’s development. In a letter that Giolito wrote to Antoine Perrenot in 1557, in which he was trying to obtain a privilege from King Philip II for a list of books, there is listed a certain “Achille del Dolce.” This information may actually cast light on the chronology of the composition of this work, and it could perhaps indicate that the format of the book was already planned by that date.


Translations of Greek and Latin classics underwent a period of exceptional flourishing due to the revival of epic poetry and the impressive success gained by the Furioso.[20] They were considered the equal of the new classics written in the vernacular and represented a vehicle of transmission for works written in languages unknown to the general public, allowing a much broader pool of potential readers.

Dolce’s main concern was precisely to reach the reader in the most efficient and unambiguous way and, in order to do so, he consciously intervened and modified the original text. He in fact states that

Non dee mai il poeta dire oscuramente il suo concetto, in guise, che ‘l lettore sia sospeso, e massimamente in un Poema narrativo e continuato: ove la narratione dee esser lucida e chiara.[21]

The combination of intertextual and paratextual elements demonstrate Dolce’s, as well as Giolito’s, determination to elevate the classic epic poems to the success achieved by the chivalric romance. With L’Achille et l’Enea, Dolce responded to the desire of giving a modern and Renaissance “look” to the Virgilian and Homeric poems, assembled together in this peculiar vernacularization in a way that violates the unity of the epic fabula and which contradicts the Aristotelian principle of mimesis.

Since the beginning of his career as an editor, Dolce had always been careful to notice changes in readers’ diverse tastes, and to cleverly adapt to them. At the same time, he was also able to direct their choices with extremely innovative and intelligent editorial decisions. Through the organization of standardized formatting rules and literary and linguistic approaches, Dolce established a code that connected writer, editor, and reader. L’Achille et l’Enea became a book that enclosed a wealth of visual and textual memory that was inaugurated by the serial production of the Furioso and that stimulated a trend to publish ancient epics in ottava rima.

After the Furioso was elevated to the level of the ancient authors, and the text and format fixed in the mind of readers through decades of editorially-identical editions, the fortunate Giolito-Dolce team reversed this process. They made the ancient authors imitate the Furioso, producing them in a distinctive historical, philological, and literary tradition. The reuse of the allegorical framework and the recycling of the illustrations created a unique narrative and visual affiliation between all the texts that respected the same format.

Unfortunately, Dolce’s compendium never achieved the same success of its model, since it disappeared completely after being reprinted only twice. Attempts to produce similar translations with other great poems of antiquity failed miserably, most likely due to the later popularization of blank verse, which eventually prevailed thanks to its use in Annibale Caro’s translation of the Aeneid. This would also be the favored meter for translations of the Iliad for which, in order to have a complete blank verse translation, one had to wait until the year 1723.

Dolce’s massive rewriting of the ancient epic poems will, however, echo in another artistic context. L’Achille et l’Enea would go on to be appropriated by Claudio Monteverdi, who likely relied upon the Virgilian portion of the text as a mediator for the libretto of his Nozze di Enea.[22]


Keywords: Dante, allegory, Lodovico Ariosto, Aristotle, Giovanni Boccaccio, canon, Annibale Caro, Cicero, Dauphin of France, dedicatory epistles, Luca Degl’Innocenti, Lodovico Dolce, engravings, Gabriele Giolito de’Ferrari, France, genre, epic genre, Greek, Horace, illustration, imitation, interpretation, Italian, Italy, Florence, Rome, Latin, Francesco Lomellino, Andrea Menechini, mise en page, Claudio Monteverdi, Ovid, metamorphoses, paratext, argomenti, commentary, dedicatory epistles, prefatory material, Antoine Perrenot, Petrarch, King Philip II, philology, Spanish, Tuscan (dialect), typography, vernacular,Virgil, Aeneid, woodblocks, woodcuts



Alfano, Giancarlo. “Una forma per tutti gli usi: l’ottava rima.” In Atlante della letteratura italiana, edited by Sergio Luzzatto and Gabriele Pedullà, 31–57. Turin: Einaudi, 2011

Aretino, Pietro. Della letteratura veneziana libri otto. Edited by Marco Foscarini. Padua: Stamperia del Seminario, 1752.

Bolzoni, Lina. La stanza della memoria: modelli letterari e iconografici nell’età della stampa. Turin: Einaudi Editore, 1995.

—. “Parole e immagini per il ritratto di un nuovo Ulisse: l’invenzione dell’Aldrovandi per la sua villa di campagna.” In Documentary Culture: Florence and Rome from Grand-Duke Ferdinand I to Pope Alexander VII, 317–48. Bologna: Nuova Alfa Editoriale, 1992.

Borsetto, Luciana. L’Eneida tradotta. Riscritture poetiche del testo di Virgilio nel XVI secolo. Milan: Edizioni Unicopli, 1989.

—. “Riscrivere l’Historia. Riscrivere lo Stile: Il poema di Virgilio nelle Riduzioni Cinquecentesche di Lodovico Dolce.” In Il Furto di Prometeo: Imitazione, Scrittura, Riscrittura nel Rinascimento, 223–55. Alessandria: Edizioni dell’Orso, 1990.

Cicogna, Emmanuele Antonio. “Memorie intorno la vita e gli scritti di Messer Lodovico Dolce letterato veneziano del secolo XVI.” In Memorie dell’I.R. Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, 93–200. Venice: Segreteria dell’I. R. Istituto, 1863.

De Caprio, Chiara, “Volgarizzare e tradurre i grandi poemi dell’antichità (XIV–XXI secolo).” In Atlante della Letteratura Italiana, edited by Sergio Luzzatto and Gabriele Pedullà, 56–73. Vol. 3, Dal Risorgimento a oggi, edited by Domenico Scarpa. Turin: Einaudi, 2012.

Degl’Innocenti, Luca. “Ex pictura poesis”: invenzione narrativa
e tradizione figurativa ariostesca
nelle prime imprese del Conte Orlando di Lodovico Dolce.” In “Tra mille carte vive ancora”: Ricezione del Furioso tra immagini e parole, edited by Lina Bolzoni, Serena Pezzini, and Giovanna Rizzarelli, 303–20. Lucca: Pacini Fazzi, 2010.

Dolce, Lodovico, trans. Didone. Edited by Stefano Tomassini. Parma: Edizioni Zara, 1996.

—. Il Primo Libro delle Trasformationi d’Ovidio da M. Lodovico Dolce in volgare tradotto. Venice: Francesco Bindone et Mapheo Pasini, 1538.

—. L’Achille et l’Enea di Messer Lodovico Dolce. Dove egli tessendo l’historia della Iliade d’Homero a quella dell’Eneide di Vergilio, ambedue l’ha divinamente ridotte in ottava rima. Con argomenti, et allegorie per ogni canto: et due tavole: l’una delle Sentenze; l’altra dei Nomi, & delle cose più notabili. Venice: Gabriel Giolito de’ Ferrari, 1572.

—, trans. Medea. Edited by Ottavio Saviano. Turin: Res, 2010.

—. Modi affigurati e voci scelte ed eleganti della volgar lingua, con un discorso sopra ai mutamenti e diversi ornamenti dell’Ariosto. Venice: Giovan Battista e Marchio Sessa Fratelli, 1564.

—, trans. Tieste. Edited by Stefano Giazzon. Turin: Res, 2010.

Gambara, Veronica. Rime e lettere di Veronica Gambara. Edited by Felice Rizzardi. Brescia: G. Rizzardi, 1759.

Giazzon, Stefano. Venezia in coturno. Lodovico Dolce tragediografo (1543–1557). Rome: Aracne Editrice, 2011.

Glénisson-Delannée, François. “Illustration, traduction et glose dans les Trasformationi de Ludovico Dolce (1553): Un palimpseste des Métamorphoses,” in Le livre illustré italien au XVIe siècle: Texte/Image, edited by Michel Plaisance, 119–50. Klincksieck: Presses de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, 1999.

Guidi, Ulisse. Annali delle Edizioni e delle Versioni dell’Orlando Furioso e d’altri lavori al poema relativi. Bologna: Tipografia in Via Poggiale n. 715, 1861.

Javitch, Daniel. “The Assimilation of Aristotle’s Poetics in Sixteenth-Century Italy.” In The Renaissance, edited by Glyn P. Norton, 53–65. Vol. 3, The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

—. Proclaiming a Classic: The Canonization of Orlando Furioso. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991.

—. “Gabriele Giolito’s ‘packaging’ of Ariosto, Boccaccio and Petrarch in the Mid-Cinquecento.” In Studies for Dante: Essays in Honor of Dante Della Terza, edited by Franco Fido, Pamela Stewart, and Rena A. Syska-Lamparska, 123–33. Fiesole: Edizioni Cadmo, 1998.

Malatesta, Giuseppe. Della nuova poesia o vero delle difese del Furioso del Signor Giuseppe Malatesta. Verona: Delle Donne, 1589.

Marrone, Gaetana. Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies. 2 vols. New York: Routledge, 2007.

Mattioli, Emilio. “Introduzione al problema di tradurre.” Il Verri 19 (1965): 107–28.

Montorfani, Pietro. “Giocasta, un volgarizzamento euripideo di Lodovico Dolce (1549).” Aevum 80, no. 3, (2006): 717­–39.

Nardelli, Franca Petrucci. La lettera e l’immagine: Le iniziali parlanti nella tipografia italiana (secc. XVI–XVIII). Florence: Olschki, 1991.

Parodi, Ernesto Giacomo. “L’Achille ed Enea di Lodovico Dolce.” In Studi di Filologia Romanza, vol. 2, edited by Ernesto Monaci, Turin: Ermanno Loescher, 1887. 270–73.

Rosand, Ellen. Monteverdi’s last operas: A Venetian Trilogy. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.

Sberlati, Francesco. Il Genere e la Disputa: La Poetica tra Ariosto e Tasso. Rome: Bulzoni Editore, 2001.

Terpening, Ronnie H. Lodovico Dolce: Renaissance Man of Letters. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997.

  1. For detailed biographical information, see Emmanuele Antonio Cicogna, Memorie intorno la vita e gli scritti di Messer Lodovico Dolce letterato veneziano del secolo XVI (Venice, Segreteria dell'I. R. Istituto, 1863), 93–200; Ronnie H. Terpening, Lodovico Dolce, Renaissance Man of Letters (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), 3–24. A complete list of Dolce’s works can be found in Gaetana Marrone, Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies, vol. 1 (New York: Routledge, 2007), 639–40.
  2. Pietro Aretino, one of his closest friends wrote of him: “era in facoltà sua il divenire sommo, ovunque egli si fosse preposto di mettere stabilmente la propria industria” (he had the talent to become the greatest, in any work he did steadily) in Della letteratura veneziana libri otto, ed. Marco Foscarini (Padua: Stamperia del Seminario, 1752), 450. Veronica Gambara, in a letter to Pietro Aretino wrote “è un de li principali ornamenti di questa nostra età” (he is one of the main ornaments of our time) in Rime e lettere di Veronica Gambara, ed. by Felice Rizzardi (Brescia: G. Rizzardi, 1759), 292. Contemporary editions of Dolce’s tragedies include: Lodovico Dolce, Tieste, ed. Stefano Giazzon (Turin: Res, 2010); Medea, ed. Ottavio Saviano (Turin: Res, 2010); Didone, ed. Stefano Tomassini (Parma: Edizioni Zara, 1996). Ernesto Giacomo Parodi affirmed that “merita l’oblio ch’ebbe in sorte” (he deserves to be forgotten), in Studi di Filologia Romanza, vol. 2 (Turin: Ermanno Loescher, 1887), 272. All translations from Italian are my own.
  3. Daniel Javitch, Proclaiming a Classic. The Canonization of Orlando Furioso (Princeton: Princeton University Press), 1991.
  4. “Even if today the Furioso were to be completely lost, there would still be people who could recite it word by word.” Giuseppe Malatesta, Della nuova poesia o vero delle difese del Furioso del Signor Giuseppe Malatesta (Verona: Delle Donne, 1589), 139. For general information regarding the controversy between ancients and moderns see Emilio Mattioli, “Introduzione al problema di tradurre,” Il Verri 19 (1965): 107–28; Francesco Sberlati, Il Genere e la Disputa. La Poetica tra Ariosto e Tasso (Roma: Bulzoni Editore, 2001).
  5. For a list of the editions of the Furioso see Ulisse Guidi, Annali delle Edizioni e delle Versioni dell’Orlando Furioso e d’altri lavori al poema relativi (Bologna: Tipografia in Via Poggiale n. 715, 1861). A series of tables that include percentages regarding the different editors and editions of the Furioso starting from the princeps in 1516 can be found in Giancarlo Alfano, “Una forma per tutti gli usi: l’ottava rima,” in Atlante della letteratura italiana, ed. Sergio Luzzatto and Gabriele Pedullà (Turin: Einaudi, 2011), 31–57.
  6. Daniel Javitch, “Gabriele Giolito’s ‘packaging’of Ariosto, Boccaccio and Petrarch in the Mid-Cinquecento,” in Studies for Dante: Essays in Honor of Dante Della Terza, ed. Franco Fido, Pamela Stewart, and Rena A. Syska-Lamparska (Fiesole: Edizioni Cadmo, 1998), 123–33.
  7. This text was first published with the Orlando Furioso (Venice: Pasini e Bindoni) in 1535, just three years after Ariosto’s death. It is reproduced entirely in Sberlati, Il Genere e la Disputa, 32–34.
  8. Daniel Javitch, “The Assimilation of Aristotle’s Poetics in sixteenth-century Italy,” in The Renaissance, ed. Glyn P. Norton, The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 53–65.
  9. To name but a few, he wrote the octaves of argomento for the 1604 edition by Nicolò Misserino and edited the 1568 edition printed by Giovanni Varisco.
  10. Luca Degl’Innocenti, “‘Ex pictura poesis”: invenzione narrativa e tradizione figurativa ariostesca nelle prime imprese del Conte Orlando di Lodovico Dolce,” in “Tra mille carte vive ancora”: Ricezione del Furioso tra immagini e parole, ed. Lina Bolzoni, Serena Pezzini, and Giovanna Rizzarelli (Lucca: Pacini Fazzi, 2010), 303–320.
  11. For a study of the iconographic cycle, see François Glénisson-Delannée, “Illustration, traduction et glose dans les Trasformationi de Ludovico Dolce (1553): un palimpseste des Métamorphoses,” in Le livre illustré italien au XVIe siècle: Texte/Image, ed. Michel Plaisance (Klincksieck: Presses de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, 1999), 119–150.
  12. Franca Petrucci Nardelli, La lettera e l’immagine. Le iniziali parlanti (secc. XVI–XVIII), (Florence: Olschki, 1991), 17–33.
  13. “Having the desire to delight, walking through the fertile gardens of different poets, I decided to translate from Latin into Tuscan dialect the fifteen books of Ovid’s Trasformationi: in order to give, as if taking possession of those plants that were born elsewhere, to those who are not familiar with the Latin language, useful and pleasant, as much as dear and delightful, food for the intellect.” Lodovico Dolce, Il Primo Libro delle Trasformationi d’Ovidio da M. Lodovico Dolce in volgare tradotto (Venice, Francesco Bindone et Mapheo Pasini, 1538), iir–v.
  14. “beautiful and unfaithful”
  15. “the obligation of simple translator”
  16. “Dolce deserves to be praised, for having followed the road of the Moderns, since he added his own touch, not wanting to, as he himself affirms at the beginning of the book, to do a simple translation, for it is a wrong thing to translate from a Language into another one word by word, without adding, nor diminishing.” Andrea Menechini, Delle lodi della poesia d’Omero, et di Virgilio, in Lodovico Dolce, L’Achille et l’Enea di Messer Lodovico Dolce. Dove egli tessendo l’historia della Iliade d'Homero a quella dell’Eneide di Vergilio, ambedue l’ha divinamente ridotte in ottava rima. Con argomenti, et allegorie per ogni canto: et due tavole: l’una delle Sentenze; l’altra dei Nomi, & delle cose più notabili (Venice, Gabriel Giolito de' Ferrari, 1572), 42.
  17. For some textual comparisons between Virgil’s Aeneid and Dolce’s two adaptations (Eneide and Achille e Enea), see Luciana Borsetto, “Riscrivere l’Historia. Riscrivere lo Stile. Il poema di Virgilio nelle Riduzioni Cinquecentesche di Lodovico Dolce,” in Il Furto di Prometeo. Imitazione, Scrittura, Riscrittura nel Rinascimento (Alessandria: Edizioni dell’Orso, 1990), 223–255. For other examples of translations of the Aeneid in the sixteenth century, see by the same author, L’Eneida tradotta. Riscritture poetiche del testo di Virgilio nel XVI secolo (Milan: Edizioni Unicopli, 1989).
  18. For his translation of Euripides’ Giocasta, we are certain that he used a Latin intermediary. See Pietro Montorfani, “Giocasta, un volgarizzamento euripideo di Lodovico Dolce (1549),” in Aevum 80 (2006): 717­–39.
  19. “In the next canto I will wait for you who listen”(10); “With your permission I will end the canto here”(20); “And in order to avoid boring whoever is listening, I will abstain from singing it again”(40); “May whoever listens to this story with pleasure, return, once again”(534). Dolce, L'Achille et l'Enea.
  20. For a series of tables with percentages of translations and editions into Italian of Latin and Greek classics, see Chiara De Caprio, “Volgarizzare e tradurre i grandi poemi dell’antichità (XIV–XXI secolo),” in Atlante della Letteratura Italiana, ed. Sergio Luzzatto and Gabriele Pedullà, vol. 3, Dal Risorgimento a oggi, ed. Domenico Scarpa, (Turin: Einaudi, 2012).
  21. “Never must a poet say a concept obscurely, so that the reader is kept suspended, and especially in a narrative and continuous Poem: where the narration must especially be clear and transparent.” Lodovico Dolce, Modi affigurati e voci scelte ed eleganti della volgar lingua, con un discorso sopra ai mutamenti e diversi ornamenti dell’Ariosto (Venice: Giovan Battista e Marchio Sessa Fratelli, 1564), 304r.
  22. Ellen Rosand, Monteverdi’s Last Opera:.A Venetian Trilogy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007), 143–149. The illustrations of Dolce's Ulisse will also be used as a model by Ulisse Aldovrandi in 1585 to decorate the walls of a fresco cycle in his villa. He was probably inspired by the synthesis of the poem and the great example of visual translation. See Lina Bolzoni, “Parole e immagini per il ritratto di un nuovo Ulisse: l’invenzione dell’Aldrovandi per la sua villa di campagna,” in Documentary Culture: Florence and Rome from Grand-Duke Ferdinand I to Pope Alexander VII (Bologna: Nuova Alfa Editoriale, 1992), 317–348.


Homer Among the Moderns Copyright © by Elizabeth Tavella. All Rights Reserved.

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