The New World mythology in Italian epic poetry: 1492-1650

Aloè, Carla (2016). The New World mythology in Italian epic poetry: 1492-1650. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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My thesis explores the construction of the New World mythology as it appears in early modern Italian epic poems. It focuses on how Italian writers engage with and contribute to this process of myth-creation; how the newly created mythology relates to the political, social and cultural context of the time; and investigates extent to which it was affected by the personal agendas of the poets. By analysing three New World myths (Brazilian Amazons, Patagonian giants and Canadian pygmies), it provides insights into the perception that Italians had of the newly discovered lands in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, as well as providing a greater understanding of the role that early modern Italy had in the ‘invention’ of the Americas. Italian epic poets domesticated New World myths for their own purposes, using written, visual and material sources as an anchor for their agendas. The study of these myths changes, in some cases completely, our reading of the poems. New World myths are at once an exercise in ekphrasis of the maps, cartouches, engravings and collectible objects they derived from, and a record of the impact the Americas had on the early modern Italians.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council, Other
Other Funders: The University of Birmingham
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DG Italy
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures


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