Nicolò Bettegazzi

Nicolò BettegazziProfile

Lecturer in Latin and Greek language and culture
Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen

Nicolò Bettegazzi is currently employed as a lecturer in Latin and Greek language and culture at the University of Groningen. His main research interest lies in Neo-Latin literature and reception studies. He is completing a PhD project dealing with the cultural history of Latin in Fascist Italy (1922-1943), with a specific focus on the original Latin texts produced during that period, as well as on the ideas that circulated at that time about the Latin language itself.

“In 2018 I started my PhD project ‘Ideologies of Latin in Fascist Italy’, an investigation on the uses and meanings of the Latin language in Fascist Italy, where Latin came to be seen as a specifically national heritage that Italians had a privileged relationship with. The main objective of this project was to reveal in what ways this sort of ideas interacted with notions about the language held by an institution that a very strong grip on Italian society at that time, the Catholic Church. What particularly interested me was the tension between nationalist ideas about the language on the one hand, and the notion of Latin being a supranational language, the symbol and instrument of the Church’s self-proclaimed universal mission. In fact, for most people involved in the study and use of Latin in Fascist Italy, nationalist/Fascist and Catholic ideas about the language were not mutually exclusive, but on the contrary reinforced each other and legitimised the idea that Italy had a specific duty with regards to spreading civilization, being the seat of a nation but also of a supranational religion.

Having finished this project, I would like to investigate the modern cultural history of Latin (especially in the nineteenth century) beyond a specific national context, looking more broadly at the supranational or ‘cosmopolitan’ dimension of the language. RELICS offers me the opportunity to delve deeper into the question of how the Latin language was used to conciliate (or otherwise) notions of inclusion and exclusion to a constructed form of ‘civilization’. RELICS’s viewpoint also emphasizes the important role of the educational context in these dynamics, and I believe this is indeed a crucial aspect for understanding the modern cultural history of Latin.”

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