Studi Slavistici IX • 2012
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The Concept of Virtue in Ukrainian Neo-Latin Еncomiastic Literature (End of the 17th-Beginning of the 18th century)

Published February 13, 2013
How to Cite
Siedina, G. (2013). The Concept of Virtue in Ukrainian Neo-Latin Еncomiastic Literature (End of the 17th-Beginning of the 18th century). Studi Slavistici, 9(1), 243-271. https://doi.org/10.13128/Studi_Slavis-12241

Abstract

The present article illustrates the ways in which Latin literature is used to express the concept of virtue in Ukrainian Neo-Latin eulogistic poetry and prose devoted, respectively, to a representative of military-political power (hetman I. Mazepa) and of religious-ecclesiastical authority ( J. Krokovs’kyj). From the textual analysis, it emerges that moral virtues are given preeminence over military power and its victories. The texts analysed also stress the need for moral virtues (among which wisdom, sincere religious feeling, prudence, magnanimity) for all achievements, in the fields of religion, education and culture, as well as for conquering and exercising power. The author stresses quotations from Latin and Neo-Latin authors that poets and orators adduce to demonstrate the above-mentioned thesis. She also throws light on how literary reminiscences are used, on the one hand, to ‘validate’ what is being asserted, on the other, to demonstrate that the ‘truths’ expressed by the Classical authors cited have found living ‘incarnation’, as it were, in one’s own time and one’s own culture. Although the issue requires further in-depth analysis, the concept of virtue that emerges from the texts analysed seems to reflect a marked consonance, on the one hand, with that tendency of Renaissance philosophy that associated speculative wisdom with moral virtue and civic action, on the other with the Erasmian definition of virtue as virtus cum eruditione liberali coniuncta, which Rice defines as the “one idea of wisdom peculiarly characteristic of the Renaissance”.

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