The vernacular translation of the Documenta antiquorum by Bartolomew of Santo Concordio represents a rare testimony of an auto-translation performed in Florence between the 13th and the 14th centuries. The very coincidence of the author and the translator in the same person reveals the programmatic character of the drafting of this text in vulgar, and the connection with the choice for an opening to the Tuscan vernacular of such a moral and edifying work, and as part of the project of diffusion and circulation of moral thought, intentionally undertaken by the mendicant Orders. Through a conceptual comparison with the contemporary political treaties by Remigio de’ Girolami and Tolomeo da Lucca, and the linguistic analysis of the translation choices in the semantic field of politics (compared with the vulgar translation of Sallustius and the works of the most important vulgar translators of the Duecento), the article observes that in the Ammaestramenti degli Antichi the main concern is towards actualization. The translation wants to display the classical world and the religious examples as a mirror of the Italian municipal society. To achieve this objective, the author needs to create a context that is readily intelligible and immediately recognizable by the reader, whether he is a cleric or a layman.
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