TRANSLATION AND RUINS: DU BELLAY,
SPENSER, AND THE
a) A brief history of ruins, with some equally brief meditations
b) Ruins and
c) Ruins and the English
d) Ruins, Poetry, City and Empire
e) Ruins and Language
In 1558 Joachim Du Bellay issued: Le premier livre des Antiquitez de Rome, contenant une generale description de sa grandeur, et comme une deploration de sa ruine: par Joach[im] Dubellay Ang[evin]. Plus un Songe ou vision sur le mesme subject, du mesme autheur. Edmund Spenser translated into blank verse an altered version of the Songe that had been made by Jan van der Noot for the latter’s A Theatre for Worldlings (1569) and then revised these translations, removing the four originals by van der Noot and replacing them with those sonnets the Flemish poet had omitted, for his Complaints (1591), where they appeared as the Visions of Bellay. The central text of the nine in Complaints is the Ruines of Rome – a translation of Du Bellay’s Antiquitez. There is at present no in-depth comparison of Spenser’s translation with the original; and close readings of the sonnets are a rarity indeed. This essay shall place both sequences in the context of three traditions – ruin poetry, the sonnet, and translation theory and practice – for the purpose of comparison.
It is a pleasure to write at length about Joachim Du Bellay. To be perfectly honest, any opportunity to escape the stifling air of the courtly labyrinth of Elizabethan England is grasped with grateful hands; but this poet is so much more than a necessary diversion. He is the greatest 16th-century exponent of the Petrarchian sonnet-form, and study of his sonnets, more than those of any other poet of this age, enables us to understand the workings of this form. We learn about structures and techniques, without this in any way lessening the intellectual challenge his sonnets present or vitiating their poetic value. He is also one of the most self-contradictory theorists on imitation and translation; this is testimony not to any absence of intellectual gifts or incapacity for logical expression, but to the complexity of the issues and the depth in which he examines them – or the depth in which his poetic and theoretical texts allow themselves to be examined.
However, before visiting
The looming presence of ruins demands some initial comment. Like Death, they humble man: they confront his wondering gaze with the superiority of ultimately victorious Nature, and impress with the shock of visible decay. This is not the rapidly spinning wheel of the Goddess Fortune, but the slow crumbling of Destiny, symbolising the life of man. Buildings are the covenant between Nature and Man; in the fact of ruin, Nature has reabsorbed Art, or, to adopt another perspective, art has become nature. Just as the city, the mark of civilisation, returns to nature, so will man and his works. Ruins arrest us through “the prospect of decaying grandeur,” with ‘prospect’ deserving emphasis: it is what lies before us, in space and in time. They are our past; our past is ruins, a heap of fragments awaiting reconstruction. The past is a ruined and buried memory, requiring excavation and interpretation; it is no surprise that Freud should have drawn an analogy between the unearthing of ruins and psychoanalysis: analysis is (re)construction from the remaining traces. A parallel with the act of translation suggests itself; and in translation, as in analysis, the traces point to something far larger, deeper and greater than the consciousness of the subject had realised: they are not traces of the source language, but foundations of language itself.
One striking feature of the psychology of
ruins is the immediacy of their impact. The
demonstrative adjective can be found at the beginning of Anglo-Saxon, Renaissance
Spanish and Neo-Latin meditations on the theme. In the Renaissance poems, we can envision a
pointing finger, and we hear the conversational, sharing tone of Antiquitez XVIII,
‘Ces grands monceaux pierreux, ces vieux murs que tu vois…’ There is no second visit as of that to
Tintern Abbey. It is important to point
out that this impact depends on an encounter with ruins – and therefore on the
presence of a traveller.
Associating inspiration with presence does suggest that inspiration, too, is subject to decay. Indeed, ruins inspire reflections on the nature and longevity of inspiration itself. They offer a concrete, visual confirmation of memory crumbling with time; and as they gradually disappear, so it becomes ever more difficult to reconstruct the original edifice in the eye of the imagination. Ruins provide a beginning, and they sanctify the new creation with the authority of age, while at the same time permitting sufficient freedom to satisfy a sense of independence. Perhaps we should modify this statement slightly by proposing a ‘critical point’ of decay, an extremely fine line, between a state eliciting the height of creative inspiration and one that requires too great an effort, a forcing of the will. There is a papyraceous boundary between Schöpfung and Erschöpfung.
To the post-Romantic mind, ruins afford the individual the opportunity to be alone with the past. The decay serves as confirmation of the building’s age; the visual evidence of its susceptibility to time grounds it in reality. There are no distractions, no sounds; no signs of present occupation. We do not enter the past and find ourselves overwhelmed by its foreignness. The ruin simply opens a door and allows us to look inside; it presents enough of the past to stimulate our imagination and to enable us to engage in creative communion with antiquity. It is chaos calmed by the order of entropy; we see the scars of destruction without having to witness the blows. Ruins enable the memory to see. The ruins of Imperial Rome, with their size and grandeur, are especially evocative; they half discover that which used to be.
They also provide an illusion of past perfection, prompting the mind to place an imaginary point on the graph of construction and decline. That perfection may not actually have existed, but we are at least able to project a golden past on to the time-worn remains, in an act of unconscious homage to the God of temporal precedence – that jealous pagan God who strives to frustrate the efforts of the translator. There is perhaps something unreal, or rather a fictive reality, about the vicarious experience of ruins. It is possible to empathise with them. For the first time, we are able to see inside the structure, and the process of dissolution gives rise to the impression that the artificial construct is actually an organic entity. This empathy requires imaginative association, and it is a feature of ruin-psychology that our mind seeks points of semblance: contrasting the present state of the building with its past condition leads to comparison of the observed with the observer. An analogous relationship – that of sign to signifier – is called into question, for the dissolution of ruins makes the mind ask: how long will the name attached to the ruined work last? And what meaning will the name actually bear? This goes to the heart of the ability of language to map the world. Ruins are changed by the archaeological act as a thought is changed in utterance; discovery is a threat to preservation.
The secret of their effect lies in
indirectness – the indirectness of the sign.
It is the same principle that operates when viewing the endless rows of
Enough of our first impressions: it is time for a brief history of the concept. As always, we begin by pausing at the word itself. ‘Ruins’ stems from the Latin ruit – ‘it falls.’ The word was originally associated primarily with a building, as was ‘archive’ (Greek αρχειον; an ordered repository). In the Western Canon tragedy contains a fall: from power, from glory, from a state of innocence. The connection between this and the Fall of Man was developed in the analogy of the body as a building: the decay of the one followed the same universal law as the fall of the other. The cognitive relation between architecture and anatomy dated back to Vitruvius’s De architectura: according to this text, the proportions of the components of buildings, and by extension of cities, should mirror the proportions of the parts of the human body. One scholar with firsthand knowledge of Vitruvius was the Parisian professor of anatomy, Charles Estienne: his anatomical treatise De dissectione partium corporis humani (1545) contains a woodcut in which a corpse is resting against a ruined building. It is holding its chest open with the intent to instruct the viewer in the assembly and the mechanism of the human body, in the same manner that ruined classical edifices provided architects with the skeletons and principals of construction. There is, as yet, no religious message such as we shall find in Donne’s Anatomy of the World. The first Anniversary, where he states: “Wee are borne ruinous” (l.95); this shall develop in the second half of the 16th-century.
To the ancient pagans, ruins had suggested:
“the destructiveness of time, the power of divine retribution, the need for
literary renown as a means of immortality, and the fragility of human
endeavour”. The first example was
Our modern reaction to ruins will
inescapably be tinged with the spirit of Romanticism: we may compare the
viewing of architectural remains to memory seeking a shadow in the night of the
past; they are a disappearing gateway to a fading world, a moon to agitate the
tides of memory. Ruins suggest a longing
for true being from which fragmented man has been torn away; the individual is
isolated, a mere shard of mankind, the victim of diasparactive specialisation
and an increasingly bureaucratic state organisation. The tragedy of the Romantic is his
incompleteness of soul; man is broken from his heritage and the possibilities
of the past. He is an eternal becoming
that never attains completion. To study the Renaissance, it is necessary to
attempt to clear our minds of Romantic influence – to essay to glimpse the past
that lies beyond our visible, felt past, and close our minds to the dead
It is true that 16th century
Spain substituted Carthage for Rome under the influence of Garcilaso de la
Vega’s ‘A Boscán desde la Goleta’ (1535); the greatest imperial power of this
century thus turned her attention to the ruins the Romans wrought. However, European ruin-poetry has, in
general, concentrated on the centre of the Roman Empire:
Renaissance Rome was the capital of ruins
and the centre of paradox, where novelty was exhumated antiques
– an irony on which Du Bellay’s Regrets CLXXXI is structured. At the heart of the Antiquitez de
Rome, we shall find the paradox of the deterioration and monumentality of
the ruins of
It is the scale, but especially the number,
the grandeur and the associated history of the Roman ruins that sets them
apart. They rise like the broken dreams
of fallen giants, a testament and an admonition to man. This scale means that the reaction to ruins is
closer to astonishment than regret: when Petrarca arrived in
Petrarca’s immediate successors were
creatively crippled by the discovery of the classical past, partly by its
achievement, but partly also by the fragmented nature of its survival: it
seemed that too much had been lost for the past to be recreated. This changed in the early 15th
century, and Leonardo Bruni, formerly one of the most fervent worshippers at
the altar of antiquity, is representative of the development. One of the major factors was the findings of
Poggio Bracciolini at the monastery of St. Gallen: among numerous other texts,
there was now a complete Quintilian.
In a letter of
Laments on the lost grandeur of
Archaeological interest began in earnest
with the patriot Cola di Rienzo (d.1354) and continued with Flavio Bondo,
author of Roma instaurata (1444-46), a topographical account of ancient
The Italian humanists learnt lessons about
the present and about their own lives, rather than about ancient
In the Renaissance, probing and restoration occurred simultaneously. Change came with Montaigne, who refused to conjecture, to subread: the true ruins are unreachable, unimaginable, and should be left alone. This had been the recommendation of Hildebert of Lavardin, although his reasoning was different: he wished the ruins to serve an admonitory function. In the late 16th century, there is the sense of the ruins being ever less visible (which was actually the case) – or of being hidden ever more behind an increasingly projected self. Ruins remind, but they do not remain.
Du Bellay, it has been remarked, saw the
“foundations of modernity” in ruins, whereas the Romantics saw ruins as
ruins, located in national tradition, and as an aesthetic sensation. The thought of creating ruins, of purposely
building a fragment, would never enter the mind of the Renaissance artist. Finally,
it must be mentioned that they were urban
ruins: a stone desert rather than a marble wilderness. Only after the Renaissance would
The love-affair with ruins was largely an 18th
century phenomenon, which reached its climax with the Romantics and found
expression through mock ruins in landscaped gardens and the imaginary
destruction of famous buildings by such artists as J.M. Gandy (1771-1845) and
especially Hubert Robert (“Robert des Ruines,” 1733-1808; Fig. 5). Grief at the ruination of perfect buildings
was followed by melancholy at the image of falling mortality that ruins
present; this in turn developed into sadness at the human destruction of ruined
buildings. For time demolishes only in small steps: Lamartine
wrote to Rome, “J’aime à sentir le temps, plus fort que ta mémoire, / Effacer
pas à pas les traces de ta gloire!” The hand of time is
destructive, but the hands of man demolish, at a far more rapid rate, both
obliterating and prematurely creating; with regard to
There is little point in pausing at the
present: the incongruity of modern reconstructions of the past, the trivialisation
of history, is exemplified in the artificial concrete ruins à la Greco-Roman
temple in the
c) Ruins and the English
Our attitude towards ruins is in part shaped
by our nationality.
The difference between Italian ruins and
English ruins must be stressed. In
The British interest in Roman ruins began a thousand years before Spenser, when the Anglo-Saxons discovered what seemed to their minds to be the work of giants. Their elegiac poetry includes ruins as a theme. However, it was the Dissolution of the Monasteries, more than any other single event, which gave birth to an awareness of the past and so fostered national consciousness. In the words of Rose Macaulay, this upheaval “did much to add the dimension of ruin to British life”; it also welded the dimension of religion to that of ruin. Consequently, the developing enthusiasm for the past that led to the founding of the first Society of Antiquaries around 1586 was attended with the association of antiquarian interests with recusancy: for example, the historian John Stow was accused of Catholic sympathies in 1568 and 1570.
The association of ruins with religion was
strengthened by the streams of visitors to the city that was both the centre of
religion and the capital of ruins:
In the Elizabethan age,
Pagan laments for ruined cities were
basically laments for fallen empires; the city itself was important not as a
civic entity but as a symbolic centre of power.
In the Renaissance, the idea of the city lay at the centre of nationhood
– and empire. The highest science with
which to govern a city, the strongest controlling influence and the root of
order, was language. Berners, in his
Froissart (1523-25), mentioned the power of “the monumentes of writynge” to
move men to build cities and formulate laws.
The poet and the city enjoy a symbiotic relationship: in an extension of
the human-building analogy, the decline of one is the fall of the other. Virgil provided the ultimate model, having
At this time, two of the most potent myths
were those of Orpheus and Amphion – poets, builders, and bringers of
civilisation. These two names appear in
the defences of poetry of Sidney and Lodge, where one would expect to hear them
called up as witnesses; however, the two magical singers also exist in a
non-literary context, appearing as characters in the mayoral pageants in Tudor
London. Both will be named in one of the
central sonnets in the Antiquitez de Rome, a sequence of
sonnets that has been described as the first
Spenser’s ruin poetry consists of three texts: two translations (Ruines of Rome, Visions of Bellay) and one imitation (Ruines of Time) from Joachim Du Bellay. Critical attention has tended to concentrate on the Ruines of Time, an elegy for the house of Dudley – Sidney and Leicester – set at the ruins of the Roman-British city Verulam, in the naïve belief that an imitation tells us more about an author’s personality than does a translation.
The mutual dependence of poetry and national
identity lies at the heart of Spenser’s poetry; Janowitz (1990) examined the role
of ruins in the linguistic formation of nationality. The national images of
However, the relationship with ruins is, in reality, extremely complex. They are characterised by anachronism and irony, for these ancient buildings suggest continuity but also past defeat; time is not the only invader. Furthermore, they question the sequential character of history and imply a cyclical movement of time. Du Bellay’s Antiquitez de Rome consists of several cycles, all revolving at the same time, each one taking its turn to move to the foreground; the fact that his sonnets are not numbered can be viewed as an implicit refusal to countenance sequentiality. We read the procession of unnumbered years – or rather, a series of processions, each one of which we can join at one of several points. Renaissance man discovered the distance of the past – or should we say, he chose to discover this distance by concentrating on the remote past of antiquity and scorning his recent, medieval past: a rejection of the Gothic exemplified in Vasari’s Vite. This rejection made a cyclical attitude towards time inevitable; the linear Christian view of the Middle Ages could not be continued by a period that consciously ignored its immediate predecessors. Medieval man simply did not possess the imperial or the linguistic prestige of the classical Roman world. This cyclical view gave hope to young nations, but it also brought tragedy in its wake; for it implied a shift of power. The notion of cyclical return was rejected. In the words of Sir Thomas Browne (1605-82): “the glory of one State depends upon the ruine of another.” Cycles are cycles of replacement: as David Lowenthal remarked, “What merely degenerated could not be regenerated…the old world had to be destroyed before it could be re-created.” We shall return to this point with reference to cycles of language.
e) Ruins and Language
My intention here is to apply the theme of ruins to language, with particular emphasis on the process of translation. A link between ruins and translation was recently made by one critic, in the sense that both designate a movement beyond spatial and temporal borders. Our concern is more linguistic, with the ruination and recreation of language, and less concerned with ‘enclosed spaces’; there are many overworked words in the plantation of 16th-century studies, and ‘enclosure’ is looking decidedly sun-stricken. It is true that ‘translation’ cannot escape its etymology; there is the unavoidable insinuation of something being moved, the change of location resulting in a change of state. Under the entry for ‘Translater. Translaté’ in his 1539 Dictionnaire francois-latin, Robert Estienne gives the phrase, “Estre tra[n]slate d’une cite en une autre, & perdre le droict de la premiere” (my italics). The numerous denials over the centuries of the ability of translations to capture the ‘essence,’ the ‘genius,’ the ‘spirit’ of the original almost bespeak a lurking fear that they will photograph the soul out of their sources; there is the apprehension that a translation will supplant its original, the doubt that both can co-exist, the almost geminiphobic suspicion of semblance, and the difficulty to admit equality. When equality is conceded to the translator, in the 17th century, then it soon becomes identity, and the metaphor of metempsychosis appears: it is seemingly impossible to accept sameness and difference. The concept of equal worth leads to an attitude of indifference – as the history of the words indifferent, indifférent and gleichgültig would seem to suggest. In addition to this suspicion of equality, there is the reluctance to accept the ‘second’. We wish for the consolation of stability, of continuance; change equals replacement, and so evokes fear of death. In many ways does this sentiment manifest itself: with a translation, with a cover version of a pop record, or with a new actor playing an established role in a soap opera, where the reader objects “That poem meant…”, the listener cries “That song sounded like…”, and the viewer protests “He looks and sounds wrong…”. This is not simply the breaking of expectations, it is the dissociation of a relationship that has formed, of an act of identification which has taken root; and the sundering of this relationship is akin to the separation of the word from the thing. We may illustrate two of the contentions made above with reference to myth: the fear of being supplanted by translation is, in essence, a fear of the future, and so of time; the translation is the future, like Saturn devouring its progenitor. The other point relates to geminiphobia: the inequality of human relationships in life is exemplified in the myth of Castor and Pollux, the one born immortal, the other born as mortal man; and this relationship is that most commonly imposed on a poem and its translation, with the caveat that seldom do the two texts enjoy a shared immortality after death (i.e. the death of the authors, and the death of the texts themselves in the act of completion). It is tempting to conflate Oriental relativism with the myth of Hercules in the attempt to gain equality for source text and target text: the original is half-immortal, containing the potential for immortality, but restricted; for no poem is perfect. The task – the impossible task – of translation is to attempt to burn away the imperfections and so distil the immortal quintessence of the poem. However, the mind is selective, and tends to carry elements, the limbs, of a poem in its memory rather than the entire body; and were the translation simply the quintessence, some of this would be lost by the reader. The imperfections which are concomitant in the act of translative reconstruction are a psychological necessity; and the end result is that the reader is faced with two half-immortal texts, which rise to a higher plane only when read together.
However, this essay concentrates on
displacement within one domain: of
In our section on Yong, we remarked that a translator carries the ruins of a poem in his mind, a deconstructed edifice oscillating between two languages, yet it is this very tension that makes creative reconstruction of the poem possible. A sequence, as we shall see, officially begins with the third poem; the comparative critic, the third man, initiates another sequence. That initiation is all the more suggestive if he is examining the third language: the language of translation.
In the domain of poetry, the task of the
translator is not to attempt to preserve the process of irresistible decay, to
create an edifice that will soon succumb to the patronising, offhand praise of
readers who examine its contours against detailed maps and plans of the original
work; it is to reconstruct, to build what could not have been erected without
the pattern of the original – and without the knowledge and talent of the
translator. The Renaissance, with its
exegetical rather than analytical approach to the written word grafted on to
its ingrained medieval reading habits, emphasised the discerptibility of a
poem. This tendency to fragmentalise is
evident in authors such as Puttenham, who illustrate figures of rhetoric with
passages of poetry rather than analysing a complete poem; and when poems are
given a gloss or an accompanying commentary, which occurs rarely outside
non-scriptural texts and Virgil, then analysis may be detailed, but it is
restricted to the occasional phrase or line, and it is discontinuous: each italicised
segment is treated separately. Poems
break when they enter another language; the image of burning, of the violet in
the crucible, is too eschatological and too dismissive of restoration. It is more practical to envisage a poem as a
body than an organic growth – a body whose bones are broken in the act of
comprehension, of translation into the understanding of the reader. The metaphors of Early Humanism are
appropriate here: the translator reassembles and remakes, as Aesculapius remade
Hippolytus and brought home a diasporised people, and as Lycurgus returned to
The translator may choose to repair the text – to make it ‘work’ in his language and culture – or to attempt to restore it to its original condition. Restoration is problematic, for it is unclear exactly what the text’s original condition is: does this refer to the source text, or to something beyond the source text? In fact, it is not only problematic, it is impossible; but it is a higher and nobler aim than reparation. It is only too easy to strive for mere accessibility, to forge a pedigree for our translations and ourselves, to create the delusion of linguistic continuity while we draw the curtains around the broken sleeps of language. Ultimately, of course, the translator has the freedom to choose, and probably a living to make, without being influenced by a critic with German Romantic inclinations. Yet mankind needs ideals: the self-sacrifice of the translator in the attempt to give his source a second immortality is a dignified enterprise. We find ourselves in the ambiguous position of deprecating those who patronise translators, while admiring those translators who patronise themselves. There is an old Arab proverb to the effect that ‘God is an escape from the word “I”’; translation also provides temporary release from the ego that dominates modern Western society and, to an increasing extent, the Oriental world.
But this is a modern view, and one inapplicable to the 16th-century, when restraint and modesty were rare commodities. We have roamed through ruins for long enough; it is time to move towards a complete and perfectly proportioned structure – the sonnet – and one of its finest architects.
 Ruin-literature is vast, and I have
browsed only a tiny percentage of the available texts on the subject. The
visual appeal of the subject means that much of this literature lies in the
affluent domain of Art History. Of
especial interest are: Aston (1973), Jacks (1993), Janowitz (1990), Lowenthal
(1985), Macaulay (1953 ), esp. 165-204 on
We may also, facetiously and gloomily,
mention the all-too-evocatively titled ‘The University in Ruins,’ a book by
Bill Readings, printed posthumously in 1996 (
 Wardropper (1964), p.295.
eighteenth-century view is suggested by William Gilpin: “A ruin is a sacred
thing. Rooted for ages in the soil; assimilated to it; and becoming, as it
were, part of it; we consider it as a work of nature, rather than of art.” –Observations
on…the Mountains and Lakes of
 Aston (1973), p.231.
 On several occasions, such as in The Aetiology of Hysteria (1896), in the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works, Gen. Ed. James Strachey, 24 vols. (London:1953-74), 3:192. Eugenio Donato ‘The Ruins of Memory: Archeological Fragments and Textual Artefacts,’ MLN 93 (1978), pp. 575-96 (575) cites another example in 23:259 (which he does not mention as being from ‘Constructions in Analysis’).
 Leslie brings attention to the use of “þæs” in The Ruin (1966, p.28); Wardropper notes that many of the Renaissance Spanish ruin poems begin with a form of ‘Este’ (1964, p.302, fn.20); and George Buchanan’s ‘In Romam’ begins: “Hi colles…”
 Tusculan Disputations, with a translation by J.E. King. Loeb edition (Cambridge: Harvard University
Press, 1960), p.289.
 Macaulay 1984, p.197; pp.188-9.
 Similitude is crucial to the art of persuasion, as Renaissance literary theorists realised – for example, Puttenham (1589), p.201. Tyndale remarked that a translation of the Bible is a similitude of Scripture, not Scripture itself: “For a similitude or an ensample doth paint a thing much deeper in the wits of a man than doth a plain speaking.”
 Clare Lyons, ‘Archives in Ruins: The Collections of the Getty Research Institute’ in Roth et al (1997), 79-91 (79).
 De architectura III:1, ‘The Planning of Temples.’ “Proportio” is a translation of the Greek “αναλογια.” It could also be given a narrow grammatical application, as in Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria I.vi.3-27.
 Vitruvius was discovered by Poggio Bracciolini (1380-1459) in the monastic library of St. Gallen in 1414.
 Michael Roth et al, Irresistible
Decay: Ruins Reclaimed (1997), p.2; Giovanni Ferrara, ‘Public Anatomy
Lessons and the Carnival: The Anatomy Theatre and
The title of Roth’s work, which was issued to accompany an exhibition of the same name, is from Walter Benjamin’s Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels. In his discussion of the Baroque Trauerspiel, Benjamin claimed that allegory is to thought what ruins are to things, and that history was a “Vorgang unaufhaltsamen Verfalls.” –Gesammelte Schriften, eds. Rolf Tiedemann and Hermann Schweppenhäuser (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1991), Vol. I.1, p.353.
 Smith (1977), p.511.
 Raymond Skyrme, ‘“Buscas en Roma a Roma”: Quevedo, Vitalis, and Janus Pannonius’, BHR 44:2 (1982), pp. 363-367 (363). Janus Vitalis was the Latin name of Giano Vitale de Palerme (c.1485-c.1560), a priest and poet of the papal court.
 Wardropper, (1964) p.296. With regard to French poets, we may mention Jean Régnier, George Chastelain, and François Villon.
 Thomas McFarland, Romanticism and the forms of ruin (Princeton University Press, 1981) develops the concept of diasparaction (‘tearing to pieces’). It is interesting that Wordsworth’s tendency for diasparactive writings is evident in his composition of sonnets to fill moments when he lacks the resolve to write anything of greater length (pp.20-1).
 Aquí donde el romano encendimiento
dond’ el fuego y la llama licenciosa
solo el nombre dexaron a Cartago… (ll.9-11)
This substitution seems historically
appropriate to the lament that only the name remains. In the 17th century, under the influence of Du Bellay and
Janus Vitalis, the focus shifted to
 Macaulay 1984, p.165.
 Paul Zanker, ‘Die römischen Ruinen und ihre Betrachter’ at http://www.kzu.ch/fach/as/aktuell/1999/ruinen/ruine.htm.
 Martin 1983, p.139.
 Daemmrich (1972), p.451.
 Weiss (1969), p.205.
 Dickinson (1960), p.101; Weiss (1969), p.100.
 Weiss (1969), pp.98-104. Many monuments were pulled down to make way for roads; these lines of spatial communication often seem to effect a temporal break.
 The quotation is from Claire Lyons in Roth et al (1997), 79-91 (82).
 It appeared, for example, on the frontispiece of Sebastiano Serlio’s Tutte l’opera d’architettura (1540) and on the title-page of his Terzo libro…nel qual si figurano, e descriuono le antiquita di Roma, e le altre che sono in Italia (Venice, 1544); and it was carved into the exterior façade of the Teatro di Sabbioneta (1588-90).
 His letter to Giovanni Colonna, dated The Ides of March 1337: Fam. II:14, transl. Aldo S. Bernardo (1975) p.113.
 Fam. VI:2: Bernardo pp.290-5. Bishop (1966) gives an excerpt of the same letter; his translation begins with a notable shift of emphasis.
 Burke (1969), pp.23-4.
 In his
letter to Quintilian dated
 Lowenthal (1985), pp.390-91.
 Giamatti (1982), p.9. The Venetian humanist Francesco Barbaro, writing to Poggio on July 6, 1417, praises him for “releasing the monuments of darkness into light” and states that he has revived many wise, illustrious men who were “dead for eternity.” –Giamatti (1982), p.12, p.13.
 Hildebert wrote two poems entitled ‘De Roma’: a 38-line elegy in hexameters, ‘Par tibi, Roma, nihil cum sis prope tota ruina’ and a similar poem in 36 lines, ‘Dum simulacra mihi, dum numina vana placerent.’ These poems are Nos. 36 and 38 respectively in A. Brian Scott’s revised Hildebertvs. Carmina minora (München/Leipzig: K.G. Saur Verlag, 2001).
 On Hildebert (c.1056-1133): Macaulay (1984) p.12, and especially Walter Rehm (1960), Chapter 1.
On Fazio degli Uberti (ca.1310-ca.1370): Macaulay, p.174. Two extracts from this poem, both describing England, were translated into blank verse by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (for once, not observing the external form of his original) for his Early Italian Poets in 1861; I am not aware of any other English translations of Fazio degli Uberti.
 Macaulay (1984), p.15.
 Weiss (1969) discusses Biondo (pp.63-6) and Poggio (pp.66-70).
 Other examples are the Nativities of Fra Filippo Lippi and Ghirlandaio. In the 17th century, with Monsù F. Desiderio (act. c. 1617-31) and Salvator Rosa (1615-73), ruins were to become a theme in themselves. –Paul Zucker, ‘Ruins – An Aesthetic Hybrid,’ Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 20:2 (1961), pp.119-130 (120).
portrayal of Christian conquest was perhaps most graphically evidenced in 1588
and 1589, when the columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius in Rome, depicting the
Emperors victorious over barbarians, were topped by stylite statues of the
Apostles Peter and Paul. –
 Macaulay (1984), p.15; Mortier (1974), pp.33-5.
 He also wrote a Latin elegy on the ruins of Cuma, ‘Ad ruinas Cumarum urbis vetustiss,’ described by Vianey (1909) as “une élégie d’une rare émotion” (p.325).
 Apart from Sannazaro and Castiglione, there had been little ruin-poetry in Italian (as opposed to Neo-Latin; Castiglione’s sonnet was immediately translated into Latin): Mortier (1974, pp. 42-43) mentions only one strambotto by Aretino (1512) and two stanzas from Orlando Furioso, Canto 33, which were later suppressed.
 Wardropper (1964), pp.297-8. Castiglione’s sonnet appeared, unnamed, in the 2nd Book of Rime diuerse di molti eccellentiss. auttori nuouamente raccolte (1547) edited by Lodovico Domenichi.
 Wardropper (1964), p.296. Perhaps we are at the other extreme and somehow unable to relate our knowledge of the past to the present; or we are more concerned with projecting ourselves on to the past, with ‘rewriting’ it, to use a vogue term.
 Joseph Rykwert ed., Alberti’s Ten Books on Architecture (London: A. Tiranti, 1955), p.v.
 Alfred Adler, ‘Du Bellay’s Antiquitez XXXI, Structure and Ideology,’ BHR 13 (1951), pp.191-95 (p.194).
 McGowan 2000, p.213.
 H. Naïs, ‘La Poétique du XVIe Siècle: Poétique ou Rhétorique?’ RLC 51 (1977), pp.158-164 (163).
 The four books on architecture, transl. by Robert Tavernor
and Richard Schofield (
 Jacks (1993), p.8.
 Cave (1979), pp.4-5, p.9.
 I distinguish the artist from the architect; Vasari casually
mentions a mock ruin in the Duke of Urbino’s park at
 Janowitz (1990), p.34.
 Canto 4, ll.267-9. Taken from the LION database.
 Allied to this pleasure is the belief that a ruin is more beautiful
than the original building. This is, for
example, expressed by E. Kellett (The Whirligig of Taste.
 Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869) was writing from the Colosseum’s denticated (my translation of
“dentelés”) walls; the poem is ‘La Liberté, ou une Nuit à
 Macaulay (1984), pp.201-3.
 Janowitz, 1990, p.1.
 Wardropper 1964, p.305. He traces the development of the ruin tradition from Garcilaso’s amatory plaints to the grim, grass-covered silence of baroque pessimism. He quotes entire texts, and all the poems are sonnets: he notes that their depth and brevity make them the ideal form. They serve as illustrative ‘plates’ (p.295, fn.1). This article is extremely suggestive; and so is its poetry.
 Joan Evans, A History of the Society of Antiquaries (Oxford: University Press, 1956), p.2.
 Evans (1956), pp.2-3.
 Aston (1973), p.231 (quotation), p.232, p.238. Perhaps we have never recovered from the bitterness and horror caused by World War II with its intent to extirpate races and bomb into oblivion the monuments of the past – to destroy a nation’s history.
 Aston 1973, pp.244-6. Bale’s complaint appears in The laboryouse
Journey and serche of Johan Leylande for Englandes Antiquitees (
 Macaulay 1984, p.17. It is the word ‘dimension’ that lends this phrase its evocative power: ruins seem to occupy their own space and time.
 Evans 1956, pp.8-10; p.5.
 Hoby’s (1530-66) journeys are described in his diary, A Booke of
the Travaile and Lief of Me, Thomas Hoby, wt Diverse Things Woorth
the Notinge (1547-64), which was edited by Edgar Powell and printed in ‘The
Camden Miscellany’ Third Series, Vol. IV(London, 1902). For the 1549 experience of
 p.60f. This scepticism, which strikes a modern note, is apparent when he refers the reader to the guide-books of Biondo, Lucias and Faunus and then remarks that they have guessed much that was uncertain (p.25); it also sounds when he denies the certainty of the location of Virgil’s tomb, “for there are dyverse opinions” (p.31). The Reformation was founded on the reinterpretation and rewriting of scripture; renewal, in this age, was a questioning appeal to the past, and interpretation was restoration. Yet this scepticism was apparent also in Boccaccio (Jacks 1993, pp.40-44) and, above all, in Lorenzo Valla.
 “olde”: pages 33, 41, 57, 60; “ancient” is used on p.45.
“sundrie”: pages 41, 49, 58.
 Orlando Furioso of Sir John Harington, ed. Robert McNulty (1972), p.117. The Latin is from Virgil, Eclogues I:67.
 In his commendatory sonnet to Il Pastor Fido (1602), addressed to Sir Edward Dymock, kinsman to the translator.
 Montaigne (1962), p.976. His
 The Ruines of Time imitates the Antiquitez and the Songe, especially at lines 1-175 and in the first series of ‘Visions’ that conclude this ungainly poem.
 Janowitz (1990), p.21; p.28. The relevant passages from the classical poets are: Horace, Odes III.xxx; Ovid, Amores I:X, 59-62, and Metamorphoses XV:871-9; and Propertius, Elegies III.i and III.ii.17-26.
 The phrase “procession of unnumbered years” is taken from David West’s (2000) translation of Horace’s Ode III:30, ll.4-5.
 Huppert (1965), p.52.
 Religio Medici (1643; the first, unauthorised, edition having appeared the previous year), in the Complete Works ed. Geoffrey Keynes (London: Faber & Faber,1928 . 4 vols.), I:27.
 Lowenthal (1985), p.85. He refers to Mircea Eliade’s ‘Cycles of replacement’ in his Myth and Reality (1964), p.52, which I have not had the opportunity to consult. Eliade is known in English through Willard R. Trask, translator also of Auerbach and Curtius.
 Dictionaire Francoislatin, contenant les motz & manieres de parler Francois, tournez en Latin (Paris: R.Estienne, 1539) p.496. Accessed via ‘Gallica.’
 This difficulty is reflected in the late 20th-century unease with language, which gave rise to such features as an increase in the copulative compound.
 The 13th-century Persian mystic Rumi wrote that truth is a mirror fallen from the hands of God and shattered all over the Earth; everyone who picks up a fragment believes that he is holding the whole truth. Language is truth.
 In the ‘Au Lecteur Apprentif’ to his Franciade (posthumous 1587 Œuvres): “Si tu trouves, apres tel desassemblement de la ruine du bastiment, de belles et excellentes paroles…qui te contraignent d’enlever ton esprit oultre le parler commun, pense que tels vers sont bons et dignes d’un excellent Poëte” (p.1025).
 The image of restoration is employed by André Lefevere, Translating Poetry. Catullus 64 (Assen/Amsterdam: Van Gorcum, 1975) in the sense of translation as retranslation, creation being “the translation of the interpretation of a theme into the conventions of the moment”: translation “restores the communication between author and reader” (p. 19).
 This is, of course, by no means the only purpose of translation; but the phrase “second immortality” will not leave my mind. It was used by Charles Whibley in the Cambridge History of English Literature (18 Vols. 1907-21, IV:4): he claimed that Sir Thomas North gave Plutarch’s Lives a “second immortality.” Thus ‘lives’ are immortalised by the writer, then immortalised again by the translator – or are they ‘reimmortalised’? Whibley had in mind the creation of concurrent immortality; yet there is also the sense of renewal, of eternity regained.