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Irene Papadaki, “Love’s Labour and the Angelic Beloved: Voices from Cypriot Renaissance Poetry”

April 13 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Poetry lecture

“Love’s Labour and the Angelic Beloved: Voices from Cypriot Renaissance Poetry”

Lecture by

Irene Papadaki

University of Cyprus

on the occasion of National Poetry Month


With exclusive poetry readings by singer-songwriter, Alkinoos Ioannidis


April 13, 2024


RSVP: https://bit.ly/3Hw5duK

Opening remarks by
Her Excellency, Ekaterini Nassika,
Ambassador of Greece to the United States
His Excellency, Evangelos Savva,
Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the United States

The reception of Italian lyrical poetry in Cyprus during the time of Venetian rule (1489-1571) bore rich fruits. The unique collection of Cypriot love poems, preserved in a unique manuscript at the Marciana Library in Venice, is a mature expression of Renaissance reflections and artistic sensitivity. Simultaneously, it reveals a convergence of the island’s intellectual milieu with the vibrant life of the Italian peninsula. Themes such as the superiority of the beloved and her parallelism with the sun, the lover’s attraction to the sublime, his obsession with her idealized image, communication through the gaze, conflicting feelings, melancholy, and the tendency for isolation, the experience of a endless death, the loss of self, or the exchange of souls if love is reciprocal—all reflect not only in poetry but also in the philosophy of the Italian Renaissance. The identity of the lyricist or lyricists who composed this high-quality poetry remains a mystery to this day, despite scholars’ interest since the late 19th century in the authorship of the collection. The recent discovery of a musical score of one of the Cypriot love poems and its Italian prototype, has opened new research horizons. The score is the work of the Calabrian composer Giandomenico Martoretta, who visited Cyprus in the mid-16th century and dedicated his works to members of noble families on the island. This event attests to the existence of a circle with literary and artistic interests, within which we could place, if not the composition itself, at least an aspect of the reception of Cypriot Renaissance love poems.

Irene Papadaki is Associate Professor of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Cyprus. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Crete and she was previusly a Research Fellow at the Greek Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice. She has participated in various research projects of the Hellenic Institute in Venice, the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation, the A.G. Leventis Foundation, and the University of Cyprus. Her numerous publications focus on early modern Greek literature and culture and on cultural and literary exchanges between Greek-speaking regions and Italy.

This event is held under the auspices of the Deputy Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Cyprus, the Embassy of Greece in the USA, the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus to the USA, the Consulate General of Greece in Los Angeles, and the Honorary Consul General of Cyprus in Los Angeles. It is organized by the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture and it is cosponsored the CMRS Center for Early Global Studies, the UCLA Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies, and Thesaurus Linguae Graecae®. This program is made possible thanks to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).


April 13
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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