Le riflessioni di Albertino Mussato sulla poesia nelle Epistole scientifico-erudite
Among the twenty metric Epistles ascribable to Albertino Mussato, a line of scientific texts can be recognised, arising from the occasion of curious natural events that had caught the erudite interest of the Paduan poet or some of his contemporary interlocutors. These five epistles, although drawing inspiration from unusual physical-natural or astronomical phenomena and starting from an occasional pretext, very often open to topics other than the main one: these simple curiosities, as a matter of fact, are the starting point for digressions around the themes that were most traditionally dear to humanistic disputes on poetry, triggering metaliterary considerations by the poet, who exposes and defends his own conception of poetic art on the basis of the model of the ancient poets, of whom he aims to retrace the footsteps with humanistic fidelity. Thus, it may happen to find arguments traditionally developed in the epistles in defence of the veracity of poetry even among the unsuspected zoological ruminations to which the epistle on the birth of a lioness, intended for the Venetian grammar master Giovanni Cassio, is dedicated, or to find programmatic declarations of poetics within an epistle on astronomical questions solicited by a curious Dominican friar from the convent of Sant’Agostino in Padua.
Keywords: Science. Poetry. Humanistic disputes. Dante. Venice. Padua.
Language: itSubmitted: Aug. 4, 2020