1 THE BOOK OF THE COURTIER BY COUNT BALDESAR CASTIGLIONE () TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN BY LEONARD ECKSTEIN OPDYCKE. An insider’s view of court life and culture during the Renaissance, ‘The Book of the Courtier’ is the handiwork of a diplomat who was called upon to resolve the. LibraryThing Review. User Review – asukamaxwell – LibraryThing. This ” entertaining comedy of manners” might read like it’s entirely fiction, but in fact took place.

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On the surface Castiglione seems to present a virtue ethic, but only in an exhortatory sense that is, he recommends that a prince should have an education in virtuenot in a philosophically developed way. Four nights of dialogue amongst a coterie of early 16th cougtier Italian nobles and courtiers forms the strcuture of this debate over the characteristics and virtues of the “Ideal Courtier.

Social graces, from a good family, a good dancer, a good athlete, but never a skilled planner, a thoughtful or reflective nature, and definitely not someone who will tell the boss the ugly news.

The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione

It has lots of typos and some kind of coding problem. The fourth book is odd and it originally seemed a bit out of place until you realize that it is not sufficient to just describe the qualities of the perfect courtier, but you also have to discuss what he is supposed to be doing – or his “final cause”.

I had read Machiavelli and some sections of The Book of the Courtier, but Mantel’s novels got casriglione to revisit it to see how it guided her depiction of Cromwell. English Choose a language for shopping. Published May 2nd by Dover Publications first published The courtier must be sincere in everything he says and does.

University of Illinois Press. At one extreme an instruction manual for a vanished profession, on the other extreme, a window into a lost world of glitter and intrigue – and a philosophy of living that survives beyond mere history. Other books in this series.

Here the politically-active courtier achieves enough philosophical detachment to be free from the distractions of passionate love that characterise the initial stages of the castiglilne without having to abandon the affairs of the world, as those at the final stages must necessarily do. Without the context, the principles come across as a bit empty. This was a baaldassare style for non-fiction, from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century, but does feel a little odd to many modern readers.


Journal of Aesthetic Education. Various characters discuss what traits are most important for those who would comprise a prince’s court. There is also great deal of discussion of how to backstab with grace and style. I enjoy reading history, and this book gives a different and very interesting insight into the norms and practices of years ago at least of the “nobler” couryier. These two discussions have often been criticised in ways which neutralise their philosophical significance.

Read it in the summer but do read it. How can I find this book? This expresses the Renaissance ideal of perfect duality: There is a curiously high number of people on this site who claim to have read this work, yet who refrain from writing a review of it.

The Book of the Courtier

The four nights of fictional dialogue Castiglione recounts display the ceremonial politeness of the Urbino courtiers, their easy familiarity with classical authors, their repeated outbreaks of laughter, and the apparent frivolity of some of the topics they discuss; but if the conversation happens to adopt a mildly philosophical tone, as it does when one speaker begins to use Socratic cross-examination with his interlocutor, or when two others start a castiglone involving Aristotelian concepts of matter and form, then a senior lady of the court typically intervenes, seeking not always successfully to cut the exchange short.

So although it is true that a person who has reached the later stages of the ascent could not be an effective political actor, it is also true that only castgilione small number of people will ever reach this level. By applying ciurtier to his speech and everything else he does, the courtier appears to have grazia and impresses his audience, thereby achieving excellence and perfection.

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Full text of “The book of the courtier”

So, this was assigned reading for me, and yet I still liked it. This section may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. Lists with This Book. This chapter offers a window into the range of views about women at that time and also into the relations between aristocratic men and women.

The Aesthetics of Literacty in The Courtier. Another feature of rhetoric which Castiglione discusses is the role of written language and style. The Book of the Courtier is a book on courtly etiquette and romantic love. By continuing to browse the site with cookies enabled in your browser, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.


A great book to learn some life lessons. Mikael Agricola -palkinto For your average Joe, I imagine this would be less entertaining than Al Gore debating geology with your high school algebra teacher. Account Options Sign in. His experiences among the ruling parties of his day influenced the ideas and the spirit of the work.

Page – The essence of humanism consisted in a new and vital perception of the dignity of man as a rational being apart from theological determinations, and in the further perception that classic literature alone displayed human nature in the plenitude of intellectual and moral freedom.

I had set out for Italy with three books in my bag, one of which was this one. Through his set of Renaissance-era conversations in Book of the Courtier, Castiglione suggests an ideal – the one way to be a man, the one way to be a woman, imitation of man after man after man.

It instantly become required reading for courtiers in both of these North European countries. The edition I used had a series of good interpretive essays that go into the literature about this book. King Harald’s Saga Snorri Sturluson.

The answer is not straightforward, firstly because there is a large and usually unappreciated element of allegory in The Book of the Courtier. Federico responds to the Count’s assessment of the use of spoken language by posing the question as to what is the best language in which to write rhetoric. The bookmark I mentioned at the beginning was a leaflet I picked up when I visited the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche which is located in the Ducal Palace in Urbino where the conversations in this book took place.

Courtesy literature can be traced back to 13th century German and Italian writers. The chapter is heavily coloured by the values of chivalry and is perhaps the one which most reveals the gulf in values between Renaissance culture and our own. Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life.