Author

Becker

Date of Award

12-2002

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. James Palmitessa

Second Advisor

Dr. Larry Simon

Third Advisor

Dr. Rand Johnson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

This study examines Antoninus of Florence’s Chronicles for the presence of a "sense of the past.” Through the careful examination of those sections of the Chronicles that are original to Antoninus and the utilization of important scholarly works on medieval and Renaissance Italian literature, it is shown that the Chronicles is characteristic of both a history written in the traditional "medieval” style and the increasingly modem style of historical writing that was coming into vogue during the later part of his life in mid-fifteenth century Florence. By defining a "sense of history” as containing, and organizing the three body chapters according to, “awareness of evidence,” "interest in causation,” and "sense of anachronism,” the results of this examination show that the Summa Historialis, although evincing an organization and style that might lead scholars to characterize it as fitting the traditional mode, nevertheless possesses some “sense of the past.” This offers a revision to those scholarly studies that were content to dismiss Antoninus’ work as being little more than a continuation of the traditional method of historical writing. Also, the thesis concludes that this ambivalence found in the Summa Historialis was the result of the combination of the author’s monastic intellectual and spiritual training in the Dominican style and his involvement in the secular world in which he was forced to participate as the archbishop of Florence.

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