Ludovico Ariosto, Latin Poetry

  • Dennis Looney

The I Tatti Renaissance Library 84

Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univeristy Press, 2018

Ludovico Ariosto (1474–1533), one of Italy’s greatest poets, was a leading figure of sixteenth-century Italian humanism. After some years working in the household of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, to whom he dedicated his dazzling romance epic Orlando Furioso (1516), Ariosto settled in Ferrara under the patronage of Ippolito’s brother Alfonso. He continued to write throughout his life, publishing 214 letters, five plays, seven satires in verse, and dozens of lyric poems in Italian and Latin. Ariosto’s Latin poems, translated into English for the first time in this volume, are remarkable for their erudition, technical virtuosity, and playfulness. This edition provides a new Latin text, the first to be based on a collation of the autograph manuscript and editio princeps, and offers a unique insight into the Latin formation of one of the Renaissance’s foremost vernacular writers.

Dennis Looney is Director of Programs and Director of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages at the Modern Language Association after many years as Professor of French and Italian at the University of Pittsburgh.

D. Mark Possanza is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Classics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Table of Contents


The Life of Ludovico Ariosto
Ariosto the Humanist
Ariosto the Vernacular Humanist
The Carmina of Ludovico Ariosto in the Sixteenth Century

Latin Poetry

Poems of Ludovico Ariosto
Poems of Uncertain Attribution
Apocryphal Poems

Note on the Text and Its Textual History
Notes to the Text
Notes to the Translation
Index of First Lines
General Index