Translation: Unity professor’s work enlightens
Humanities professor translates book-length 14th-century medieval treatise on nature.
A Unity College professor has published a book-length translation of observations based on 14th-century science, some of which were once considered heretical.
Unity College Professor of Humanities Diane Murphy’s translation of the Acerba by Cecco d’Ascoli has been published by Capponi Editore, an Italian publisher.
The Bitter Age, which is the title in English, “provides insights about the way students in medieval universities were trained to understand cosmology, ethics and the workings of nature,” Murphy said. “This Italian encyclopedic poem also reflects debates that were current in the 14th century concerning faith and science, at least science as it was practiced at the time.”
The book is a scholarly edition, with an introduction offering historical background on Cecco’s condemnation as a heretic, as well as explanatory footnotes.
Murphy said she also enjoyed the opportunity to give two public presentations on the work while in Italy. Murphy’s book signing took place in Ascoli Piceno, Italy, in March.
Murphy also is donating a copy of the book to the Dorothy Webb Quimby Library.