The Renaissance: Why? - Italian Studies Seminar

Eric Haywood, UCD
Feb 01 2016 Posted: 16:34 CST

Wednesday 10th February, 5pm, G011 Hardiman Research Building

Eric Haywood, UCD

Why is it you are a Fascist if you admire Fascist art but a person of discernment if you admire Renaissance art? Is it because Italians, as claimed by a former mayor of Rome, do not know how to deal with the greatness of the past? Or is it because none of us know how to do so? And in any case how “great” and worthy of celebration is the past? In an attempt to elucidate these questions – with reference to the Italian Renaissance, and in the year that marks the 500th anniversary of what is considered to be one of the greatest of Italian masterpieces (Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso) – Eric Haywood will try and get answers from the man who “invented” the Renaissance, the Swiss would-be banker and pastor Jacob Burckhardt, and his The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, first published on the eve of Italian unification.

Eric Haywood. Born and brought up in Switzerland, Eric Haywood is a graduate of Cambridge and Edinburgh universities, who also studied at the European University Institute in Florence. A former President of the Association of Teachers of Italian, he taught Italian language and literature at UCD for close on 40 years, specializing in the culture of the Renaissance. His research has focused mainly on Renaissance geography and descriptions of Ireland, the culture of Renaissance Naples, and Machiavelli’s comedy Mandragola. Currently he is working on: female humour in Mandragola, Petrarch’s rewriting of the last tale of Boccaccio’s Decameron (Griselda), the birth of the myth of Arcadia, the Irish in Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, and dreams of Hellenism in the writings of Antonio De Ferrariis Galateo (died 1517). In 2014 he was knighted (Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia) by the President of Italy.