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Guerra d'Attila

 Niccolò da Casola
La Guerra d’Attila


Writing in the later fourteenth century, the Bolognese poet and notary Nicholas of Casola drew upon the earlier Estoire d’Atile en Ytaire to present his vision of early medieval Italian history, inspired in part by the themes and styles of late medieval romance. Drawing on this genre, Nicholas reworked the events of the earlier Estoire into events and themes familiar to chivalric romance, beginning the birth of Attila, where King Ostrubal of Hungry organizes a tournament to find a knight worthy of his daughter Claire. Although she is poised to reluctantly marry the champion of this tournament, she is soon impregnated by a greyhound that shares her bed, leading her to give birth to her half-dog, half man son Attila. Attila's bestial qualities lead him to savagely wage war against Christianity until he is faced by King Gilio of Padua and Foresto, the legendary ancestor of the Este family, and who are Nicholas's patrons. This text is an example of late medieval courtly adaptions of history.


Modena, Biblioteca Estense, 2 vols., a.W.8.16-17 (mid 14th c. - 1367/68)

This manuscript has been digitized, but the files are very large: Part 1; Part 2.


Niccolò da Casola. La Guerra d’Attila: Poema franco-italiano. Edited by Guido Stendardo. Modena: Società tipografica modenese, 1941.

Secondary Literature

Barbieri, G. M. “Ancora una volta La Guerra d’Attila.” Rassegna Emiliana di Storia, Letteratura ed Arte 2:1 (1889),:485-90. 
Cort, Ernst. Attila – Flagellum Dei, Etzel, Atli. Trieste: Instituto di Filologia Germanica, 1984.  D’Ancona, Alessandro. “La leggenda d’Attila flagellum Dei in Italia,” in Studj di critica e storia letteraria. Bologna: Zanichelli, 1880. 
Hirdt, Willi. Studien zum epischen Prolog. Der Eingang in der erzählen Versdichtungs Italians. Munich: Fink, 1975. 
Leicht, P.S. “Noterelle friulane al Poema di Attila  di Niccolò di Casola.” Ce fastu? 26 (1950), 29-35. 
Limentani, Alberto. “Gli intarsi latini nell’Attila di Niccolò da Casola.” In Stylistique, rhétorique et poétique dans les langues romanes. Actes du XVIIe congrès international de linguistique et philology romanes, 249-63. Aix-en-Provence: Université de Provence, 1986. 
Ozoese Collodo, Sylvana. “Attila e le origini di Venezia nella cultura  veneta tardo-medievale,” Atti dell’Istituto Veneto di scienze, lettere ed arti. Classe di scienze morali, lettere ed arti  131 (1973), 531-567. 
Sole, Ercole, “Elisa: Episodio inedito dell’Attile di Nicolò di Casola.” Rassegna Emiliana di Storia, Letteratura ed Arte 2:1 (1889): 385-97.

See also Arlima.
See also FIOLA



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