System on the complete works

Alberto Acquaro's studio


SSubjects treated in the chapters of De Vulgari Eloquentia

 

DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Cap.I - Explanation of the subject of the treatise: vernacular serves in general because it is natural; Latin, on the contrary, has complicated rules and so is not for everybody.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.II - Vernacular is man's natural form of communication; only man needs words: angels know things beforehand; animals do not have thoughts to communicate.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.III - To communicate with each other, men need words, which involves reason (to transmit concepts) and the senses, as the vehicle for transmission.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.IV - On the origin of speech, Dante believes that Eve was not the first to speak (Genesis), but Adam, in reply to God, who omnipotent, transmitted words to his creation.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.V - This is the gift of the word, from God to Adam, a gratuitous gift since God does not need word; as for where the gift was given, Dante does not say.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.VI - God also immediately gave language a "shape" ("grammar") , Hebrew, shared by all people until the Tower of Babel was built.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.VII - Because of the the wicked ways of the human race, the sacred language was reserved exclusively for the descendents of Sem, the son of Noah, or the people of Israel
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.VIII - After the Tower of Babel, different nations created different languages. One particular vernacular gave rise to three: in Provence, France and Italy.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.IX - Explanation of the useful function of the language common to three ("oc"/"oil"/"sė"), the stability of Latin allows transmission of classic culture.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.X - In turn, the three vernacular languages ("oc"/"oil"/"sė") underwent dialectal differentiation; the Italian region counted at least fourteen dialects.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.XI - All the most suitable Italic dialects partecipate in the birth of a new Italian vernacular. First, those dialects that cannot be proposed are excluded
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.XII - The Sicilian and Apulian dialects are considered; both elegant when at their best, but not without defecs as far as popular expressions are concerned.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.XIII - The Tuscan dialects, although of a certain dignity, cannot be considered as examples of fine vernacular, neither Genoese, due to excessive use of the letter "z".
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.XIV - The dialects of Romagna, beyond the Apennines, are too feminine; those of Brescia, Verona, of Vicenza and Padua are all too harsh; Venetian should also be avoided.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.XV - Of all the Italian dialects, the most balanced in sweetnes and harshness may be Bolognese, even though it does not meet the ideals of an illustrious Italian vernacular.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.XVI - After the futile search for a particular dialect to vote as the finest Italian vernacular the conclusion is that the best solution is a careful compendium of them all.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.XVII - Dante explains what he means by the attribute "illustrious" he gives to the desired Italian language; it must reflect the splendour of the work worthy of Italians.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Cap.XVIII - Our so desired "illustrious" Italian must also be "cardinal", since it is the pivot for local vernaculars. It could also be defined as "regal" and "courtly".
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Primus - Chap.XIX - Our illustrious, cardina,l regal, courtly vernacular will be the Italian language. His following books (Dante stops at the II) will lay down the rules for this.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Chap.I - The illustrious Italian will first be for poetry and then prose; it will also be "convenient" for men of talent and great knowledge to use.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Chap.II - The illustrious language be adequate for illustrious matters; survival of the vegetative soul; love for the sensitive soul; virtue for the rational soul.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Cap.III - Since the most illustrious vernacular must adapt to the highest, most noble subjects, so it must adapt to the highest forms of literature, poetry and song.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Chap.IV - There are three distinct styles of poetry: tragic, comic and elegiac; the tragic style needs: high talent, high subjects, illustrious language and form of song.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Chap.V - Concerning the nature of the verses, excluding (the least refined) parisyllables, the hen- decasyllable seems most able to embrace concepts, constructions and words.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Chap.VI - Apart from its nature, verse should be "pungent", "graceful", "sublime". As examples, Dante quotes the verse of several famous authors.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Chap.VII - The characteristics of words suitable for the illustrious vernacular are considered, and those to be avoided because of their sound, length in syllables and accent.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Chap.VIII - What is meant by the word "canzone" is explained. Par excellence, a song is the union of equal stanzas in tragic style, inspired by a single thought.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Chap.IX - After the brief treatment of the "stanza", its definition follows: it is a structure of lines and syllables with a fixed melody, that is repeated in a song.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Chap.X Considerations on the melody accompanying a song. It may be composed of more than one melodic phase (most often two), separated by a "diesis" (break).
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Chap.XI - The technique of composing a song lies in its "disposition", i.e. in the metrical structure of the stanzas and the relations between the rhymes.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Chap.XII - Description of the metrical structure of the stanza. Three lines are most frequent: the hendecasyllable (fitting for tragic style), seven-syllable and pentasyllable.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Chap.XIII - The relations between the rhymes in the stanza are discussed. In intermediate cases with no rhyme nor constancy, the aulic style should avoid some elements.
DE VULGARI ELOQUENTIA - Liber Secundus - Chap.XIV - The last chapter (but not according to Dante's original plans) alludes to the length of the stanza of a song in function of its subject.



"DANTE 2000" - Alberto Acquaro's studio [Map]

Web-site by Filarete S.r.l.