L’amore, le armi, le stelle : Basinio da Parma and the Humanists at Sigismondo Malatesta’s Court

deadline for submissions: 
November 4, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies

By the middle of the fifteenth century Rimini had become a major center of Italian humanism. The cultural patronage of the famouscondottiereSigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta (1417–1468), attracted numerous artists, writers, and scholars, who came to the city and created works for which Rimini is still widely known today. In spite of recently intensified research on this topic, various questions about the philosophical, literary and artistic output of this circle remain open. In particular, the historiography of Rimini itself leaves considerable room for new exploration, and this despite recent work on the architecture and pictural arts of the quattrocento city. In the philosophical and literary sphere, for example, the Aristotelian-Platonic milieu around Sigismondo has not yet received in depth study, and Valturio’s imaginative tract De Re Militaristill awaits a modern edition or commentary.

One of the authors who has received attention, and whose profile underlines the importance of the Renaissance in Rimini is the poet Basinio da Parma. Basinio was a prolific author in many literary genres: His mythological poem Meleagrisprovides a modernised version of the Calydonian pigsticking; his didactic poem Astronomicastudies the stars and the zodiac; while the Liber Isottaeusis an epistolary novel in elegiac couplets about the love between Sigismondo and Isotta degli Atti. 

An ongoing project at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Neo-Latin Studiesin Innsbruck (Austria), funded by the Austrian Science Fund(FWF), is currently working towards a digital edition of his epic poemHesperis, along with with a commentary and English translation. This poem was Basinio’s masterpiece and can only be understood against the wider backdrop of humanism in fifteenth century Northern Italy, and Rimini in particular. Not only do considerable historical and biographical details appear in the poem, the piece also reflects and discusses the most important cultural and literary debates of its time: philosophy, philology and education, art history and architecture etc.

The conference L’amore, le armi, le stelleintends to contextualize Basinio’s works and those of other humanists and artists within a broader framework. We invite interested speakers to propose conference papers of approx. 30 minutes with a focus on one of the following suggested (by no means exclusive) topics: 


  • The historiography of the Malatestian court and its interaction with contemporary cultural dynamics, more specifically with Basinio;
  • The literary culture of Rimini: inter- and intratextuality in Basinio’s oeuvre, its narrative strategies and links with the vernacular tradition;
  • The sculptural and pictorial arts, architecture of the Renaissance city, and manuscript illuminations within the wider context of northern Italian scriptoria;
  • Philosophical trends in Rimini and northern Italy;
  • Greek influences and the reflection of knowledge of this language, especially in Basinio’s Hesperis;
  • Intermediality in Basinio’s Hesperisas a reflection of Rimini’s artistic and architectural culture;
  • The reception of Basinio in his time and later periods;
  • ...

Proposals (max. 250 words) are welcome before 4thNovember 2019.


Venue: Rimini (Museo della Città, Sala del Giudizio and Palazzo Buonadrata)

Date: 14–16 May 2020

Languages: English, Italian

Key note speaker: John Monfasani (University at Albany, State University of New York)


Travel and hotel costs will be covered for all speakers

We plan to publish the papers after the conference in a peer-reviewed volume.


For any questions contact:

Anna Chisena: anna.chisena@neolatin.lbg.ac.at

Simon Smets: simon.smets@neolatin.lbg.ac.at

Florian Schaffenrath: florian.schaffenrath@neolatin.lbg.ac.at