Renæssanceforum 7 • 2011

Karsten Friis-Jensen
Perotti's epistolary treatises on metrics

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In 1453 Perotti wrote a pair of small treatises on metrics whose titles vary in the textual transmission. In the version known to us, the two treatises are in epistolary form: the De generibus metrorum is addressed to Niccolò Perotti's old schoolmate Iacopo Schioppo, and the De metris Horatii et Boethii to Perotti's brother Elio. The two texts normally accompany each other in manuscripts and printed editions. Perotti's treatises became immensely popular, and manuscripts and printed editions abound. The popularity in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries of Perotti's treatises on metrics is a clear sign that they have supplied a demand for metrical instruction. On the other hand, this popularity does not say anything definite about the quality and originality of Perotti's texts. This paper gives a short survey of recent research done on Perotti's treatises on metrics.