Capitolo—A.M. Salvini to Francesco Redi, 16—

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1848
Genre: translation


◦ Salvini, Anton Maria, “Capitolo del Sig. Abate Anton Maria Salvini Scritto di Villa al Sig. Francesco Redi”, in Difesa di Dante Alighieri. . . (1718), 81-88 .

Scholarly Commentary


Although this early translation has received virtually no scholarly attention, it is an important document for understanding DGR's lifelong pursuit of an art of ideas, and of course the relation of that pursuit to his lifelong commitment to Dante's life and work.

DGR's translation is an excerpt from the verse letter addressed by Anton Maria Salvini (1651-1729) to Francesco Redi (1626-1698). Both men were important Tuscan scholars who were active in the Medici court and the academies. Redi was a leading member of the Accademia del Cimeno and Salvini lectured at the Accademia degli Apatisti and the Accademia della Crusca.

It is apparent that Salvini casts his praise of Dante in a verse letter to Redi in order to align himself with the Dantean tradition that established poetry as the most powerful medium for investigating and promoting intellectual materials. Salvini of course does not presume to place himself alongside Dante, or even as the equal of Redi. But he does mean to show that he belongs in their company. Though a poem in praise of Dante's intellectual verse, it also has in mind the famous example of Redi's Bacco in Toscano (1685) , a learned and lively poem about the wines of Tuscany.

Like the original poem, DGR's translation is important for the explicit argument it makes that verse is the best medium for the exploration and expression of ideas. The entire project of DGR's translation work, and especially his translations of the early Italian poets, is grounded in this conviction.

Salvini's verse letter was first published in Giuseppe Bianchini's Difesa di Dante Alighieri (1718), 81-88 , which was the source of the excerpt translated by DGR—that is, the epistle's first sixty lines, which DGR freely renders into an equivalent set of sixty English lines.

Textual History: Composition

The date of the translation is given by WMR nor is there any reason to doubt it. No manuscript of the work has appeared.

Printing History

First published by WMR in his edition of 1886 (II. 407) and collected thereafter.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 10-1848.raw.xml