1st Edition

Albertino Mussato: The Making of a Poet Laureate A Political and Intellectual Portrait

By Aislinn McCabe Copyright 2022
    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the life and political career of Albertino Mussato (1261–1329), a Paduan poet, historian and politician. Mussato was one of the first writers of the late medieval period to begin reviving classical Latin in his works. His classical style tragic drama Ecerinis, inspired by the writings of Seneca, paved the way for him to be crowned as the first poet laureate since antiquity. This work outlines how Mussato depicted the course of his own career, from being an impoverished teenager of insignificant birth to becoming a celebrated poet and scholar, as well as an influential political figure. It looks specifically at the years leading up to Mussato’s public coronation, on 3rd December 1315, as poet laureate for his city. His writings are a key component of his political manoeuvres as he tried to navigate through the troubled waters of northern Italian politics. The book demonstrates how the sources pertaining to Mussato’s life and career are part of an exercise in self-promotion and self-fashioning, intended to secure his position within factional politics, but rooted in a philosophical approach derived from his early classical studies. Accordingly, this book acts as a fully-fledged account of the interaction between Mussato’s writings and his political career, and how this contributed to his rise to fame.


    Escaping Dante’s Shadow

    Chapter One: Mussato’s World

    The Classical Revival in Late Medieval Padua

    Chapter Two: Mussato the Poet

    Philosophy and Politics in the Early Writings

    Chapter Three: Mussato the Historian

    Imperial History at the Court of Emperor Henry VII

    Chapter Four: Mussato the Statesman

    Self-Promotion in Political Turmoil

    Chapter Five: Mussato the Dramatist

    The Making of Padua’s New Antichrist


    Aislinn McCabe completed her doctoral studies in the Department of History and Centre for Neo-Latin Studies at University College Cork, Ireland. Her work has been presented at several conferences including the Social History Society Annual Conference (Lincoln, 2019), the Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies (Regina, 2018), and the Annual Neo-Latin Symposium (Cork, 2017). Aislinn was the recipient of the Irish Research Council's "Government of Ireland Fellowship" in 2015.