Renæssanceforum 9 • 2015

Trine Johanne Arlund Hass
Pastoral Conventions in Martino Filetico's Vita Theocriti

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Martino Filetico (1430–1490) recounts the life of Theocritus in De Vita Theocriti, a brief text of thirty verses. In the traditional description of Renaissance pastoral poetry, Virgil is considered the primary model and the best example, and the authoritative commentators praise his qualities by comparing them to Theocritus': Servius describes Theocritus' style as plain and simple, whereas Virgil has added an allegorical layer to the bucolic verses, which makes his poetry more complex. This paper examines how Filetico describes Theocritus' status and poetry, and how these descriptions relate to normative views on bucolic poetry in general, and on Theocritus.