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16.2 João Rodrigues de Sá de Meneses: Liber de platano e o Humanismo italianizante em Portugal

Roger Friedlein
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
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Abstract
The Liber de platano, a compilation of three humanistic epistles by João Rodrigues de Sá de Meneses and Juan Fernández, reflects upon the existence of plane trees in 16th-century Portugal. The motif of the platanus is, in the first place, related to the antique literary dialogues of Plato und Cicero. The discussion of the two Portuguese scholars about the existence of these sterile and fruitless trees, associated with ancient luxury (as shown in Pietro Bembo's De Aetna), becomes therefore a debate on the existence of a certain, very special type of humanism, which was shaped in Italy and brought to Portugal by a group of humanistic sodales, and of which Sá de Meneses and his friend Miguel da Silva seem to be the key representants.


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