Introduction (Critical Survey of Poetry: Topical Essays)
Poetry and literature in the Italian vernacular, the common language that sprang from the ashes of Latin, arose in Italy around the beginning of the thirteenth century and soon displayed itself in literary works of major importance. This linguistic success is so extraordinary that one wonders how it was possible that such a literary phenomenon could take place in a language whose written tradition is so recent. The spoken language, however, had a long history, which is represented by the development of Latin into several vernaculars. The heritage and cultured structures of Italian have roots that are deep and extensive, developing from the culture and literature of the medieval period, the time from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the beginning of the thirteenth century.
(The entire section is 127 words.)
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