In the second half of the fifteenth century, Venetian, Greek, Albanian, Dalmatian, and Jewish merchants settled in the Southern Italian region of Puglia. Here they played a major role in the organization of maritime networks and operating commerce along both the Adriatic and Eastern Mediterranean routes. In spite of the unstable political situation in the Aragonese Kingdom of Naples, the favorable economic conditions and the political protection of Venice triggered a flourishing of cultural activity on the Italian Adriatic coast, fueled by the rich intellectual exchange between local religious communities. Vibrant descriptions of this multicultural society are displayed in Hebrew and Italian poems composed by Jewish and Christian authors, and consecrated to two queens of Naples, Isabella Chiaromonte (ca. 1424-1465), and Isabella Del Balzo (1468-1533). In this talk, Fabrizio Lelli (Hebrew Language and Literature, University of Salento) illuminates the poetic trends shared by Southern Italian authors of different faiths and cultural traditions and shows how these poems allow us to better understand the multilayered society of early Renaissance Puglia.
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No fee. Limited seating. Self-pay parking in lots 2, 3, and 4. Parking information at https://main.transportation.ucla.edu/campus-parking/visitors
Funding for this lecture is provided by the Betty and Sanford Sigoloff Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies.