How did medieval readers understand and imagine the classical authors?
By Riccardo Macchioro In today’s world, people are pretty much accustomed to the concepts of “fake news” and “propaganda” (albeit, we might say,…
Medieval monasteries cared about the way in which they presented themselves to the world no less than todays’ celebrities and businesses do.
Medieval scribes, the producers of the manuscripts that are for us such crucial and fascinating sources, are mostly shrouded in mystery, especially when we travel back further in time.
Why do people write, read and share texts that are connected to famous authorities but probably not written by them?
Three episodes will lead us from the Classical Age to Late Antiquity, and then to the Middle Ages, illustrating the powers that can steer the success of a literary piece, and, sometimes, determine its fate.
How to gain an audience and influence readers? No one actually knows for sure. People have been struggling to understand the mechanics behind a text’s success since the very emergence of writing systems, trying to elaborate an arsenal of means to enhance the popularity of a written work, secure its widespread dissemination, and make it more influential.