The Constantinopolis of Ubertino Posculo: Translation and Commentary, Book 4

Bryan Alan Whitchurch, Fordham University


This doctoral dissertation on Book 4 of the Constantinopolis by Ubertino Posculo represents the first completed English translation of a book in an epic poem that has hitherto been only available in Latin, French, or Italian. The commentary also holds the distinction of being the first to systematically reach beyond historiographical questions with a specific interest in intertext and allusion, the foundation of literary aesthetic in the Renaissance. To this end, Posculo’s engagement with intertext and allusion is an active one, such that reference to a classical author is typically blended together with text or elements from another author along with Posculo’s own expression to fashion language that is unique to Posculo. Much like the city itself, Posculo’s epic stands at a crossroads between East and West, between Roman Catholicism and Greek Orthodoxy, between Christianity and Islam. Notwithstanding this confluence of differences, the poem maintains a certainty of whom to blame and whom to praise while betraying occasional fragility about these convictions. The tension resulting from the conflict between Posculo’s chosen subject matter and his heavy handed polemics along with his failure to embrace failure is part of what makes the Constantinopolis interesting to read. On occasion, he does produce some impressive passages that would attract the attention of most classicists. Representative examples include: 4.121-131, 4.255-270, 4.376-385, 4.472-486, and 4.1030-1074.

Subject Area

Classical literature|Classical Studies

Recommended Citation

Whitchurch, Bryan Alan, "The Constantinopolis of Ubertino Posculo: Translation and Commentary, Book 4" (2019). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI13879860.