Niccolò in Context

Vivian Nutton


Niccolò da Reggio, who was active in the first half of the fourteenth century at the Angevin court of Naples, is renowned for the accuracy of his versions, which often allows the reconstruction of his original Greek. But less is known about his context, as a doctor and teacher as well as translator.

This overview looks at his (and other translators) role at the court, in the context of a deliberate royal cultural programme. It considers briefly the relation of his versions to earlier translators and to his Greek sources. His translations were created in a bilingual environment, and use formulations more intelligible to South Italians than to northern scholars. They were warmly received at first, but their hellenised language, together with the marginality to the medical curriculum of most of the works translated, may account for a general lack of interest among later-medieval doctors, trained in a more arabised Latin. 

Key words: Niccolò da Reggio - Latin translations - Angevin court of Naples

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