By Gilbert Tournoy

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Stotz, p. ’ Di recente è stata segnalata una forte convergenza tra la classificazione isidoriana e la concezione storiografica di Agostino da Müller, ‘Die spätantike Historiographie’, pp. 493-494: ‘Es ist offenkundig, daß Isidor beim Vier-Stadien-Schema des Lateinischen sich wieder ganz an Augustinus ausrichtete, indem er die lingua mixta als das degenerierende Endzeitlatein der letzen, der Niedergangsära, darstellte. Das Studium der spätantiken Historiographie führt nun zur Gewißheit weiter, daß Isidor auch seine Stufenkonzeption der quatuor linguae latinae vom augustinischen Schema der sechs aetates mundi abgeleitet hat’.

Thus the theme of Italian identity, central to the ideology of the Italia Illustrata, is complementary to that of the Middle Ages formulated in the Decades. Consequently the notion of a medieval age prevalent in the Decades is at the base of Biondo’s 32 ANGELO MAZZOCCO view of the origin and development of a modern Italian civilization in the fifteenth century. In reconstructing national Italian identity Biondo, according to Pontari, bears in mind the two fundamental elements of this social phenomenon: locutio and mores.

Nella fonte di Isidoro i Romani conquistano territorialmente e culturalmente l’orbe diffondendo la lingua latina tra tutte le genti sottomesse, mentre in Biondo i barbari fanno irruzione violentemente a Roma e corrompono con le loro parlate barbariche, cioè non latine, la lingua dei Romani fino a quel momento conservatasi intatta. Risulta chiaro quindi che Isidoro parla di un imbarbarimento del latino dell’Urbe dovuto al trasferimento di barbari romanizzati a Roma in epoca imperiale,9 laddove Biondo attribuisce la causa della graduale trasformazione del latino in volgare alle invasioni barbariche del V secolo.

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