June 20, 2017 - June 22, 2017

The dynamics of the relationship with the more recent past in early-modern Europe:

between rejection and acknowledgement

From a cultural standpoint, our attitude towards our predecessors reflects on how we define ourselves. This has probably never been more true than for the groups of intellectuals, artists, and cultural elites that at the cross-over of what we now see as two different historical periods started to think of their age as a new era, distinct from the younger past, grounding this distinction on their renewed relationship with the more remote era of the ancient cultures of Rome and Greece. We have inherited from them this way of thinking about our history, albeit with several modifications. Nowadays this image of an abrupt break with a past of gloom and stagnation is under strong suspicion, like a myth; and just as all myths do, it unfolded and metamorphosed over the centuries that separate us from those ancestors into whose thought can be traced back the roots of this idea of Renaissance as a time of innovation and revival of learning, wisdom and art after a long period of decline.

The aim of this cross-disciplinary international symposium, to be held as the culmination of a year-long LE STUDIUM project at the CESR entitled “Middle Ages in Renaissance”, is to explore the early-modern perceived reality of the continuities and the disruptions between the two ages, in connection with but nevertheless besides their objective actuality. Examining the numerous aspects and fields in which this conception of a time that had interposed between the antiquity and its renewed admirers manifests itself, the symposium will provide an all-round view of the different renaissant perspectives towards it, thus contributing to a better comprehension of our perception of our history.

The languages of the symposium are English and French.


  • Dr Maria Clotilde Camboni
    Le Studium – Marie Slodowska Curie Research Fellow, in residence at CESR (Centre d'Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance - UMR 7323 CNRS - University François-Rabelais of Tours), FR.
    From Département des Langues et Littératures - Domaine Italien, University of Fribourg, CH
  • Pr Chiara Lastraioli
    CESR (Centre d'Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance - UMR 7323 CNRS - University François-Rabelais Tours), FR
    MSH (Maison des Sciences de l'Homme Val de Loire  - USR 3501, Director)

Main topics

Middle Ages  ; Renaissance ; Medieval influence on Renaissance humanism ; Renaissance view of the Middle Ages ; Renaissance Studies ; Renaissance Arts ; Renaissance History ; Renaissance Literature ; Renaissance Philosophy


Preliminary programme

Mardi 20 juin 2017    

  • 14H30    Ouverture
Session 1 : Forms/Formes    
  • 14H45    Pr Yves Pauwels - CESR de Tours, France
    Les racines médiévales de l’architecture de la Renaissance en France    
  • 15H30    Pause café
  • 16h00    Pr Pietro Roccasecca - Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma, Italie
    The literary viewpoint towards the “ancient , “non ancient”  and  modern time in Leon Battista Alberti’s De pictura    
  • 16H45    Dr Sandra Toffolo - CESR de Tours, France
    From Troy to Venice: Appropriation of a legendary past in early modern literature on the city of Venice    
  • 17H30    Intervention Cellule Europe - Géraldine Leonard
  • 18H30    Lecture (Conférence grand public de vulgarisation scientifique) - Bibliothèque Municipale
    Pr Bruno Laurioux - Université de Tours, France
    Quand a-t-on cessé de manger « comme au Moyen Âge » ?

Mercredi 21 juin 2017    

Session 2 : Objects/Objets
  • 09H00    Pr Paola Degni - University of Bologna, Italie
    Manuscripts and printed books in book collections between the XVth and XVIth Centuries    
  • 09H45    Dr Valentina Sebastiani - Herzog August Bibliothek, Allemagne
    Visual Reception of Medieval Books Printed in Renaissance Basel 1480-1540    
  • 10H30    Pause café
  • 11H15    Dr Giada Damen - The Morgan Library & Museum - New York, USA
    Collecting the Past in Early Modern Venice    
  • 12H00    Déjeuner (La Table du Grand Marché)
Session 3 : Texts/textes    
  • 14H00    Pr Simon Gilson - University of Warwick, Grande-Bretagne
    Petrarch Commentary and Exegesis in Renaissance Italy, c. 1350–c. 1650    
  • 14H45    Pr Johannes Bartuschat - Universität Zürich, Suisse*
    Filippo Villani’s Famous Florentines: a new look to medieval history and culture from a humanist standpoint    
  • 15H30    Pause café
  • 16H00    Dr Maria-Clotilde Camboni - CESR de Tours, France
    Between rediscovery and recreation: shifting views of the Medieval lyrical tradition during the Italian Renaissance     
  • 16H45    Dr Laura Banella - Duke University, USA
    "A Forgotten Petrarchist and Dantist: Jacopo Antonio Benaglio from Treviso, Poet and Copyist"    
  • 18H00    Visite guidée du centre ville de Tours
  • 20H00    Dîner de gala (L'Atelier Lebeau)

Jeudi 22 juin 2017

Session 4 : Ideas/Idées
  • 09H00    Dr François Loget - Université de Limoges, France
    Le double héritage des mathématiciens de la Renaissance    
  • 09H45    Pr Fosca Mariani Zini - Université de Lille, France
    Despoiling the medieval philosophy: What the humanists do, without saying it.    
  • 10H30    Pause café
  • 11H15    Pr Concetta Pennuto - Université de Tours, France
    Could "barbarian" medicine be used during the Renaissance? Looking for health in medieval tradition    
  • 12H00    Conclusion


Public institutions 75 EUR
Students & PhD scholars 50 EUR

Partners of the event