Emperors and Imperial Discourse in Italy, c. 1300-1500
From 11/05/2018 to 11/07/2018
Emperors and Imperial Discourse in Italy, 1300-1500. New Perspectives
Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medioevo
Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut Rome (KNIR)
École française de Rome
Org. Anne Huijbers (EFR / Université Radboud de Nijmegen)
Describing the Holy Roman Empire after the death of Frederick II as an empty formula in a changed world, historians have long obscured the impact of the imperial presence in late medieval Italy. However, orations, histories, treatises, and letters show that many Italian intellectuals, including important humanists, remained fascinated by the medieval continuation of the Roman empire. The contemporary Holy Roman Emperor was still generally considered as the lawful leader of the Christian world and the supreme defender of peace. Contrary to what is commonly thought, humanists added to the imperial myth by applying a classicizing vocabulary to the Holy Roman Emperor.
This conference sheds light on contemporary discourses on the imperial presence in Italy in a period that saw the breakthrough of the humanist movement: 1300-1500. It aims to increase our understanding of the perception of the contemporary Holy Roman Emperors in Italy and pays special attention to humanists who imitated a classical vocabulary. The imitation of Roman emperors is both a sign of the Renaissance and a central aspect in medieval political thought. The two came together when the German rex Romanorum descended into Italy for his imperial coronation. How is this described by contemporaries, especially by those with humanist tastes? To what extent did they break with medieval modes of imperial representation?
Download the programme here.