Lecture: "Roma Vrbi et Orbi: Reflections of a Senator in A.D. 306" - Piero Boitani


Location: Special Collections, Hesburgh Library

Piero Boitani
Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Rome "La Sapienza"

Boitani Lecture Poster

A Roman Senator is reading Plutarch in his study on the Sabine Hills. He starts meditating on the book and about events taking place in the City and the World. He pays special attention to the problems raised by Christians and barbarians, and thinks about the cultural tradition that has come down to him and what may follow in the future. He contemplates the network that ties Rome, the Vrbs, to the rest of the world, Orbis.

This is the first of two talks. The second one will be delivered in Rome in June, 2011, at the Rome Seminar, and will contain the Reflections of the same Senator around 330-340 AD.

Professor Boitani received his Laurea in Lettere from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” then went on to earn degrees from Wittenberg and Cambridge Universities. Currently professor of comparative literature at La Sapienza, Boitani has been a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Connecticut, Ohio State University and Keio University in Tokyo, and is a corresponding fellow of the British Academy.

Professor Boitani has authored a great number of books, including Chaucer and Boccaccio, English Medieval Narrative of the 13th and 14th Centuries, The Tragic and the Sublime in Medieval Literature, The Shadow of Ulysses: Figures of a Myth, The Bible and its Rewritings, and, with Notre Dame University Press, The Genius to Improve an Invention. His most recent books include Parole alate (Mondadori, 2004), The Cambridge Companion to Chaucer (Cambridge University Press, 2004), Winged Words: Flight in Poetry and History (The University of Chicago Press, 2007), Letteratura europea e Medioevo volgare (Il Mulino), and Il Vangelo secondo Shakespeare (Il Mulino).