ANTHONY D'ELIA: "The Renaissance of Bloody Sports in Fifteenth-Century Italy"
From elite tournaments and duels to boxing matches and bullfights, the spectacle of violent sport was a central part of the Renaissance. Greek athletic ideals reappeared in humanist treatises on education and noble virtues. Rulers were praised for their athleticism, wrestling, and dancing. The need for physical exercise became prominent in Renaissance medical, political, and moral treatises. Population increases and political instability also led to a democratization of sport as mass entertainment and a vehicle for social control. The Renaissance not only reintroduced classical sport into society but also gave birth to modern notions of sport. Drawing on the writing of such prominent humanists as Petrarch, Boccaccio, Vergerio, Castiglione, and Mercuriale, Prof. D'Elia recreates a little known chapter in the history of Renaissance literature and culture.
Anthony D'Elia is Professor of History and Classics at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. His research and teaching focuses on the intellectual and social history of the Italian Renaissance, specializing in humanism, the history of the classical tradition, neo-Latin literature, rhetoric, political propaganda, war, masculinity, gender, sexuality, and women. Educated at Harvard University, Trinity College (Dublin) and the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome), he is the author of several monographs on the Italian Renaissance, including most recently, Pagan Virtue in a Christian World: Sigismondo Malatesta and the Italian Renaissance and A Sudden Terror: The Plot to Murder the Pope in Renaissance Rome, both published by Harvard University Press.
Thursday, February 22 at 5:30pm
Stokes Hall, S461
Boston College, 59-107 College Road, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA