Charles de Brosses (1709-1777) is the first French traveler who visits Herculaneum after the discovery of its ruins. He first announces to the French a world was found under the deep lava curtain dating back to 79 A.D. During his age an important cultural debate focuses on the credibility of Antique history. The French author reaches Naples during his long studies on Sallustio and in particular during his translation of the Latin historian. In fact his interests for Sallustio leads him to Rome as well as his love and curiosity for ancient arts invite him to visit Herculaneum. This is the main reason why he reaches Naples, a town he does not like. The present work tends to demonstrate how his visit makes de Brosses’s Grand Tour more interesting by associating his love for arts and culture with his curiosity for the region of Campania. It intends to show how the underworld descent reveals something new which has been hidden miraculously for centuries. De Brosses speaks about a singular event which can astonish and amuse as well. In fact his long detailed descriptions, often scientific, help his letters’ addressee, and in general every single reader, get a glimpse of what is going to be revealed. This work tends to analyze his letters which not only contain a list of archeological discoveries from the excavation of Herculaneum, but also they include some ancient inscriptions in the Oscan language which make them more appreciated. Thanks to this cultivated French traveler, considered one of the best known among the Grand Tour writers, France learns what is happening all around Naples. In 1750 he publishes Lettres sur l’état actuel de la ville d’Herculée, where he focuses, in an academic way, his great interest for archeology and what he will insert in his two letters consecrated to Herculaneum (Letters XXXII and XXXV taken from Lettres familières). Besides the present work tends to demonstrate how his letters renew the genre inaugurated by the previous travelers who have inspired him. Finally the research intends to discuss the singular relationship between de Brosses and the city of Herculaneum which does not arouse the interest for Antiquity yet which is said to be the reason why scholars in the 18th century re-discover antiquity.

La visite d’un érudit français sur le chantier des fouilles d’Herculanum

PELLEGRINO, ROSARIO
2015

Abstract

Charles de Brosses (1709-1777) is the first French traveler who visits Herculaneum after the discovery of its ruins. He first announces to the French a world was found under the deep lava curtain dating back to 79 A.D. During his age an important cultural debate focuses on the credibility of Antique history. The French author reaches Naples during his long studies on Sallustio and in particular during his translation of the Latin historian. In fact his interests for Sallustio leads him to Rome as well as his love and curiosity for ancient arts invite him to visit Herculaneum. This is the main reason why he reaches Naples, a town he does not like. The present work tends to demonstrate how his visit makes de Brosses’s Grand Tour more interesting by associating his love for arts and culture with his curiosity for the region of Campania. It intends to show how the underworld descent reveals something new which has been hidden miraculously for centuries. De Brosses speaks about a singular event which can astonish and amuse as well. In fact his long detailed descriptions, often scientific, help his letters’ addressee, and in general every single reader, get a glimpse of what is going to be revealed. This work tends to analyze his letters which not only contain a list of archeological discoveries from the excavation of Herculaneum, but also they include some ancient inscriptions in the Oscan language which make them more appreciated. Thanks to this cultivated French traveler, considered one of the best known among the Grand Tour writers, France learns what is happening all around Naples. In 1750 he publishes Lettres sur l’état actuel de la ville d’Herculée, where he focuses, in an academic way, his great interest for archeology and what he will insert in his two letters consecrated to Herculaneum (Letters XXXII and XXXV taken from Lettres familières). Besides the present work tends to demonstrate how his letters renew the genre inaugurated by the previous travelers who have inspired him. Finally the research intends to discuss the singular relationship between de Brosses and the city of Herculaneum which does not arouse the interest for Antiquity yet which is said to be the reason why scholars in the 18th century re-discover antiquity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4656867
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