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Minotaurs & Geryons: The Symbolic Monsters of Violence and Fraud

Date & Time:
October 15, 2018 | 3:00 pm
CHE 212
Dr. Carlo Illuminati Porcari

Minotaur and Geryon are two fundamental characters of Dante’s Inferno, as the symbolic monsters of the most wicked and sinful habits: violence and fraud.

This lecture investigates the representation of these monsters in the tradition of the illuminated manuscripts of the Divine Comedy, with the aim  to survey the literary and iconic tradition of the Minotaur and Geryon, especially focusing on the inconsistencies and misinterpretations that arise when comparing the text and images with their sources.

Settimana Della Lingua Italiana

The "Settimana Della Lingua Italiana" (Week of Italian Language) is celebrated all over the world to honour Italian Language and Culture and is promoted by Ministero degli Affari Esteri and Accademia della Crusca. More information.

At the University of Calgary we have commemorated this important occasion by hosting international experts on Italian film, literature, theatre, and linguistics - guests such as Millicent Marcus, Simonetta Agnello Hornby, Maria Luisa Bigai, Herman Haller, Gian Mario Villalta, Domenico Pietropaolo, Antonella Fanella, and Rebecca West. 

Our guest this year is the independent Dante Scholar, Dr. Carlo Illuminati Porcari, who will lead us on a journey through the history of Italian language and literature. We will begin on October 15 with a talk on the concept of Fraud in the Divine Comedy, the masterpiece of the Medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri. We will continue on October 17 by exploring the legacy of the Italian Renaissance with a philosophical reflection on Petrarch's poetry and its influences. We will conclude our Italian Language week on October 19 with a lecture on the connection between love, pain and female heroines in Italian Romantic Opera.

Dr. Carlo Illuminati Porcari

Dr. Illuminati received his doctorate in Italian literature, maxima cum laude, Università Roma due “Tor Vergata”, dissertation: Giasone e la Sirena. La seduzione diabolica in Dante e nell’Europa medievale.

On the basis of his dissertation, he has composed a trilogy on the concept of fraud (cunning, hypocrisy, betrayal and devilish seduction) in Dante’s works and sources. His field of research is at the crossroads among literature, philosophy and the Bible in Dante and the culture of the Italian Trecento.

Dr. Illuminati is currently teaching at various East European universities, such as Mariupol State University (Ukraine), and previously lectured at the University of Calgary as a visiting professor in CIH and SLLLC. He is also a member of the scientific committee for the publication of the most important illuminated manuscripts of the Divine Comedy.