Inter-cultural Transmission of Intellectual Traditions in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. A comparative perspective


Elżbieta Chrulska

participant photo
Pietas humanistica and its ancient sources in the view of neo-Latin religious poetry in the Renaissance.

The subject of my contribution is not a neglected topic it research, but there still lacks a synthesizing elaboration which would describe not only single examples but rather general direction (or directions) of this cultural transfer. In my opinion, what is especially interesting is not only the formal influence, but the phenomenon of actualization: inserting new contents into old forms or rather transformation of old forms. The neo-Latin religious poetry provides many examples of intertextual treatments. On the one hand it was dictated by Italian humanism and the return to the ancient auctoritas, and on the other hand by the Reformation movement, which also contributed to the ideological content of religious poems. It is worth noting that  pietas humanistica became an important element of education, especially in Protestant schools. The Protestant (as well as Catholic) poetry was not only a medium of humanist thought, but also doctrinal differences. Finally, one should not forget about mystical poetry, which was making use of ancient and medieval literary forms of expression for personal, even intimate, relationship with God. To sum up, it is worth to look at the cultural context to better understand the literature itself and creative potential of tradition.

Elżbieta Chrulska is a Polish and Classical Philologist, presently a PhD student at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, interested in neo-Latin religious poetry of the 16th and 17th century (of Protestant authors in particular), reception of ancient culture in Polish literature, and classical theatre. Currently she is working on the issue of the Protestant religious poetry of Toruń in the late 16th century (dissertation about religious poetry of Ulric Schober) – it terms of cultural studies and the influence of ancient literature in the protestant poetry.