chapter  4
Pastoral Affiliations
Pages 18

This chapter examines Sannazaro's masterpiece as an act of cultural identity, and observe the motives involved in the author's choice to construct his rhetorical self in a distinctly religious language. More specifically, it explores the impact of Augustinian hermit Giles of Viterbo on the intellectual field of Naples at the end of the fifteenth century. The chapter argues that De partu Virginis inscribes a narrative of self-transformation that epitomizes the author's conversion from classical scholarship to theology. At the same time, it argues that this text marks the end of Pontano's legacy, which would have not survived its designated recipient if not in superficial and often misleading forms. The volcano Vesuvius, as Monfasani and Deramaix have persuasively argued, makes reference to secular interpreters of Aristotle based in Naples, and to Pontano's circle in particular. Monfasani is also the only one who translated the turris nebulosa of the Vulgate with the elegant 'cloud-shrouded tower', rather than the usual 'cloudy tower'.