Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 


 
Writers of Franco-Italian

 

The community of Franco-Italian writers found its physical center in the north of what is now the Italian peninsula. A community of Franco-Italian writers and scribes flourished in Venice and the nearby region of the Veneto, where members of the nobility and other leading members of the community read, received, and circulated Franco-Italian texts among themselves as well as with other readers and writers of French. These included French-speaking communities in Outremer and in Angevin Southern Italy, as well as in the areas now considered modern-day France. 

Franco-Italian works were also produced in Lombardy, at the noble courts of Milan, Ferrara, Bologna, and other cities nearby. Franco-Italian works were aslo patronized by expatriated Italian lawyers and notaries living and working there. Much of the evidence for literary activity within this community comes from library catalogs of wealthy aristocratic households, including those from the Gonzaga, Visconti, Este and Sforza families. 
 
The copus, which includes both original Franco-Italian works and translations of French texts, into Franco-Italian, can be divided into two different groups:
 
A Note on Terminology:
There has been much discussion about the status of Franco-Italian (or Franco-Venetian, or Franco-Lombard) as separate from what is considered "standard" French. Although there is a clear difference among all the various forms, manuscript evidence suggests that many readers of Franco-Italian and its variations could also understand French. Franco-Italian was written rather than conversational, although many Franco-Italian works, and the epic romances in particular, were probably read aloud. One prevailing theory of the development of Franco-Italian is that it was created to help Italian listeners understand the popular romance stories that came to Italy in French texts. Occitan texts were also produced and circulated within this community, starting as early as the twelfth century, but the lingua d'Oc was employed in more restricted terms in the Italian context, both generically and over time, and so is considered only briefly in this website.

Secondary MaterialBabbi, Anna Maria. “Dal franco-italiano al veneto: un esercizio di autotraduzione?” Quaderni di Lingue e Letterature 18 (1993): 41-58
  
Bertoni, Guilio. “Lettori di romanzi francesi nel quattrocento alla corte estense.” Romania 113 (1918-1919): 289-319. 

Castronovo, Simonetta, and Ada Quazza. “La circulazione dei romanzi cavallereschi fra il XIII e l’inizio del XV secolo tra Savoia e area padana.” in Le Stanze di Artu. Gli afresh di Rigmarole e l’immaginario cavalleresco nell’autunno del Medioevo, 91-106. Milan: Electa, 1999.
 
Cigni, Fabrizio. “Manoscritti di prose cortesi compilati in Italia (secc. XIII-XIV): stato della questione e prospettive di ricerca.” in La filologia romanza e I codici, vol. 2, 419-41. Edited by Saverio Guida and Fortunata Latella. Messina: Sicania, 1993.  

Folena, Gianfranco. “La cultura volgare e l’‘Umanesimo Cavalleresco’ nel Veneto.” In Culture e lingue nel Veneto medievale. Edited by Gianfranco Folena, 377-394. Padua: Editoriale Programma, 1990.

———.“Tradizione e cultura trobadorica nelle corti e nelle città venete.” In Culture e lingue nel Veneto medievale. Edited by Gianfranco Folena,1-37. Padua: Editoriale Programma, 1990.  

Holtus, Günter. “Aspects linguistiques du franco-italien.” In Essor et fortune de la chanson de geste dans l’Europe et l’Orient latin. Actes du IXe congrès international de la Société Rencesvals pour l’etude de l’épopée romane, Padoue-Venise, 29 août-4 septembre 1982, vol. 2,. 802-806. Modena: Mucchi Editore, 1984.
  
Lazzarini, Lino.“La Cultura Venete nel trecento e i poeti di corte.” In Storia della Cultura Veneta, vol. 2, Il Trecento. Edited by Gianfranco Folena, 477-516. Vicenza: Neri Pozzi, 1976.  

Lomazzi, Anna. “Francoveneta, letteratura.” In Dizionario Critico della Letteratura Italiana, vol. 2. Edited by Vittore Branca, 125-132. Turin: Unione tipografico-editrice torinese, 1986.  

Monteverdi, Angelo. “Lingua e letteratura a Venezia nel secolo di Marco Polo.” In Civiltà veneziana del secolo diMarco Polo. Edited by RiccardoBicchelli, 19-35. Florence: Sansoni, 1955. 

Novati, Francesco. “I codici francesi de’ Gonzaga secondo nuovi documenti.” Romania 19 (1890): 161-200. 

Rajna, Pio. “Ricordi di codici francesi posseduti dagli Estensi nel secolo XV.” Romania 2 (1873): 49-58.  

Rienzi, Lorenzo. “Il Francesi come lingua letteraria e il Franco-Lombardo. L'epica carolingia nel Veneto.” In Storia della Cultura Veneta, vol. 1, 563-588. Vicenze: Neri Pozza, 1976. 

Roncaglia, S. “La letteratura franco-veneta.” In Storia della letteratura italiana, vol. 2, Il Trecento. Edited by. E. Cecci and N. Sapengo,727-59. Milan: Garzanti, 1965.

Segre, Cesare. “La Letteratura Franco Veneta.” In Storia della letteratura italiana, vol. 1, Dalle Origini a Dante. Edited by Enrico Malata, 631- 647. Rome: SalernoEditrice,1995. 

———. Vogarizzamenti del Due e Trecento. Turin: Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese, 1964; Reprint: Turin :Tipografia Icardi, 1969.  

Thomas, Antoine. “Les Manuscrits français et provençaux des ducs de Milan au château de Pavie.” Romania 40 (1911), 571-609. 

Vitullo, Juliann. The Chivalric Epic in Medieval Italy. Gainesville: Univeristy Press of Florida, 2000.

 

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