The History of Italy

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Princeton University Press, 1984 - History - 457 pages
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In 1537 Francesco Guicciardini, adviser and confidant to three popes, governor of several central Italian states, ambassador, administrator, military captain--and persona non grata with the ruling Medici after the siege of Florence--retired to his villa to write a history of his times. His Storia d'Italia became the classic history of Italy--both a brilliant portrayal of the Renaissance and a penetrating vision into the tragedy and comedy of human history in general. Sidney Alexander's readable translation and abridgment of Guicciardini's four-volume work earned the prestigious 1970 P.E.N. Club translation award. His perceptive introduction and notes add much to the understanding of Guicciardini's masterpiece.

  

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Contents

BOOK 1
3
BOOK 2
76
BOOK 3
110
BOOK 4
132
BOOK 5
156
BOOK 6
165
BOOK 7
189
BOOK 8
191
BOOK 12
279
BOOK 13
294
BOOK 14
326
BOOK 15
332
BOOK 16
346
BOOK 17
369
BOOK 18
376
BOOK 19
405

BOOK 9
208
BOOK 10
230
BOOK 11
253
BOOK 20
425
INDEX
445
Copyright

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Page xxviii - If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter, — we never need read of another. One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications...
Page xxvi - THIRD EDITION, diligently revised, with restitution of a Digression towards the end of the fourth Booke, which had been formerly effaced out of the Italian and Latine copies in all the late Editions.
Page xxvii - Guicciardini never writes other than crystalclear merely betray thereby their ignorance of the text.) Great monuments are not marred by scratches, even Homer nods (or makes us), and Guicciardini's marvelous rhetoric is not without its faults of overelaboration, density, impenetrable thickets. The true translator must only clear up as much of this Sargasso Sea as is absolutely necessary to make for passage. But to clarify what was ambiguous in the original is not translation but explication. The job...
Page xxvii - ... translatese, leaps to the other extreme and gives us Romans of antiquity who talk pure Hemingwayese. But I should say that a true translation, while rendering available to the modern reader the speech of another time and culture, will also preserve the savor of that speech, the flavor of that time. A pinch of antiquity must be added. A good translation of a sixteenth-century text should be redolent of its period. It should bring us back there; we should not only understand it, we should be permeated...

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