From a cultural standpoint, our attitude towards our predecessors reflects on how we define ourselves. This has probably never been more true than for the groups of intellectuals, artists, and cultural elites that at the cross-over of what we now see as two different historical periods started to think of their age as a new era, distinct from the younger past, grounding this distinction on their renewed relationship with the more remote era of the ancient cultures of Rome and Greece. We have inherited from them this way of thinking about our history, albeit with several modifications. Nowadays this image of an abrupt break with a past of gloom and stagnation is under strong suspicion, like a myth; and just as all myths do, it unfolded and metamorphosed over the centuries that separate us from those ancestors into whose thought can be traced back the roots of this idea of Renaissance as a time of innovation and revival of learning, wisdom and art after a long period of decline.
The aim of this cross-disciplinary international symposium, to be held as the culmination of a year-long LE STUDIUM project at the CESR entitled “Middle Ages in Renaissance”, is to explore the early-modern perceived reality of the continuities and the disruptions between the two ages, in connection with but nevertheless besides their objective actuality.