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Scholarly Polemic: Bartolomeo Fonzio’s Forgotten Commentary on Juvenal

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Chapter Summary

Bartolomeo Fonzio's Annotationes in Iuvenalem contains observations on the first six Satires of Juvenal. This chapter examines the characteristics of Fonzio's commentary, his methods of refutation and argumentation, and his philological achievements. Fonzio's Annotationes fits well into the Quattrocento's increased interest in Juvenal. From the middle of the century, new commentaries took the place of the earlier, mainly anonymous scholia, the earliest of which originated from a lost commentary from about 400. The Annotationes in Iuvenalem, dedicated to Lorenzo Strozzi, seems incomplete, as it contains observations only on the first six of the sixteen Satires of Juvenal. Fonzio quotes Horace and refers to Suetonius in explaining why Giorgio Valla could have Licinus in mind, and then he quotes Martial to identify this enriched barber as Cinnamus. Fonzio's Annotationes in Iuvenalem is a forgotten achievement of the rising interest in Juvenal at the end of the 15th century.

Keywords: Annotationes in Iuvenalem; Bartolomeo Fonzio; Giorgio Valla; Juvenal; Suetonius



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