Home » RENAISSANCE POLITICAL THEORY IN TRANSLATION: JOHN FLORIO AN THE BASILIKON DORON

RENAISSANCE POLITICAL THEORY IN TRANSLATION: JOHN FLORIO AN THE BASILIKON DORON

by Resolute John Florio

FLORIO’S TRANSLATION WORKED AS BOTH LINGUISTIC EXERCISE AND A MEDITATION ON POLITICS

When  King James VI of Scotland ascended to the throne of England in 1603, John Florio (1553-1625), well known as one of the most outstanding interpreters of Italian humanistic culture in Elizabethan England, and the celebrated translator of Montaigne’s Essais into English (1603), chose out of James’s numerous works to translate the Basilikon Doron into Italian. This work represents a lesser known and seemingly less relevant chapter in the history of translation than the Essays, and yet it is particularly interesting for its relevance to both political theory and linguistic practices of the time.

This essay will discuss this most unusual case study of early modern translation, aiming to suggest that Florio’s translation worked as both linguistic exercise and a meditation on politics, and to establish some measure of the influence exercised by  a major player of Italian culture in Elizabethan England on the political lexicon of early-modern England.

Donatella Montini (Associate Professor in English Language and Translation at Sapienza University of Rome) graduated from Sapienza University of Rome in 1982. She holds an MA in Modern Philology (1988) and a Ph.D. in English Literature, which was awarded in 1995 by the Universities of Pisa and Florence. She has taught English Language and Translation at the University of Rome Sapienza since 2005. She teaches History of English, Stylistics, Political Discourse (undergraduate, MA, PhD students). Chief Editor of Memoria di Shakespeare A Journal of Shakespearean Studies. She is a member of the editorial board of Fictions. Her research interests and areas of specialization follow three main lines of develop-ment: -stylistics and narratology (The Language of Fiction, Roma, 2007; La stilistica contemporanea. Teorie, metodi e prospettive, Roma, in corso di stampa); -Shakespearean and early modern studies (she has edited –with I.Plescia, Elizabeth I in Writing. Language, Power and Representation in Early Modern England, Palgrave, 2018; I discorsi dei re, Bari 1999; Le lettere di Shakespeare, Roma 1993; she has also published extensively on the Elizabethan linguist, lexicographer and translator John Florio); -political discourse in a synchronic and diachronic perspective (Visione politica e strategie linguistiche, Rub-bettino, 2010).

Source: Stable URL: http://www.intralinea.org/archive/article/2353.

inTRAlinea [ISSN 1827-000X] is the online translation journal of the Department of Interpreting and Translation (DIT) of the University of Bologna, Italy. ©inTRAlinea & Donatella Montini (2019).

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