Jodocus Badius and the Lyon Terence: The Earliest Illustrated incunabulum of the Six Comedies

A paper by Andrew Turner for the Ancient World Seminar at 1:00 on Monday 1 May in the North Theatre, Old Arts.

The 1490s saw the first early printed editions (incunabula) of Terence’s plays incorporating an illustrative cycle found in manuscripts which had its origins in late antiquity; the earliest and most complete of these was published in Lyon, where it was edited by the Flemish classical scholar Jodocus Badius Ascensius.  Although the pictures appear to be a late addition to another edition and commentary on Terence, written by Guy Jouenneaux, behind them lies a large amount of careful scholarship by Badius.  Only two years earlier he published a major edition of the ancient commentary by Donatus on Terence, rediscovered in the 1440s, and had studied the classics extensively in Renaissance Ferrara at the precise time that the first dramatic revivals of Roman comedy were taking place on stage there.  This paper looks in more detail at the relationship of text, image and performance in one of the key works for the reception of Terence in the later Renaissance.

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