The book Alcibiades the Schoolboy was originally written in Italian, in , and then translated into French by, perhaps, Édouard Cléder. Due to the expense of. The book Alcibiades the Schoolboy was originally written in Italian, in , and then translated into French by, perhaps, Édouard Cléder. Results 1 – 8 of 8 Alcibiades the Schoolboy by Antonio; Rawnsley, J. C. (translator) Rocco and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available.

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Until now, the history of Alcibiades the Schoolboy in English began, and to all intents and purposes ended, on the back cover of another work of fiction with a similar theme, the Asbestos Diary by “Casimir Dukahz. The first time this little-known 17th century classic has appeared in English. In dialogue form, it is virtually a manual on how to seduce boys.

Eglinton, in his introduction, maintains that is also a deadly parody of the Machiavellian doctrine of expediency. Our edition includes the original Italian text, and a bibliographical appendix by Warren Johansson. Regrettably, the book never appeared.

It is not known who the translator was, although it is possible it was either “J.

Alcibiades The Schoolboy by Antonio Rocco

Breen himself, or Warren Johansson whose actual name was Joseph Wallfield. Nor is it known what happened to the translation, or if indeed it was ever finished. Presumably it was done from the Italian, which was to be printed dchoolboy the same volume. The present whereabouts of Breen’s introduction, if it has survived, are also unknown; it would be interesting to have seen his argument regarding the parody of Machiavelli.

About twenty years later another publisher, Global Academic Press, aclibiades announced an English translation as appearing shortly. This translation, also from the Italian, was by Brian Williams, M.

In the mids it was rumoured that it was finally to appear from still another publisher, Gay Alciibades Press, in London. The publishing history of Alcibiades the Schoolboy, or Alcibiade fanciullo a scola, as he was originally known, has been strange and tangled from the beginning.

Of the first edition of the work, apparently published in Venice in earlythere are no known surviving copies; evidence for this edition comes from contemporary letters. The oldest existing copies of the alcibiadee come from two editions, the title pages of which indicate they were from the printer Juan Wart, of Orange, France, inthe first an octavo of pages, the second a duodecimo of pages.

The sonnets by “M.

A new edition, still in Italian, appeared in Paris infrom the antiquarian scholar and publisher of erotica, Jules Gay. The edition was condemned by the Public Prosecutor in Paris inand again in Lille in This was but a provocation for Gay; he responded by publishing a French translation, which appeared from the safety of Brussels inand albeit even then with a false imprint of “Amsterdam, chez l’ancien Pierre Marteau” as well.

This translation was accompanied by a fifteen page schoolbboy by M. Two reprints of this edition, both illustrated, appeared in Brussels in the s, and it was reprinted again without illustrations in A final French edition was issued in Paris in by Marcel Seheur, with engravings.

All these French editions – especially those with illustrations – tne also extremely rare. It was not until a German edition ofa reprint of the Italian text inand a new translation in French inthat the schhoolboy became easily accessible.

Except, of course, in English. The authorship slcibiades Alcibiades is at schoolhoy as tangled as its publishing history. The earliest editions bore the attribution “D. A true Renaissance man, he was a painter, art critic, poet, playwright, religious biographer, epistler, gossip scgoolboy, political satirist and pornographer.

Called in his own time the “Divine Pietro” and “Scourge of Princes,” once he was safely dead he gained a further title, Prince of Blackmailers. He rose to fame in the mid’s with a series of lewd sonnets composed to accompany Guilio Romano’s infamous erotic “postures,” which had been engraved by Alccibiades Raimondi – a work which survives in only one copy, found in the 20th century after being believed totally lost for years.

A few years later Aretino expanded his fame in the field of erotica with his Ragionamenti “Dialogues Not just his pornographic works, but all the fruit of his pen proved wildly successful commercially, making Aretino the best-selling author of his day, and for a long period afterward. To create the impression that a text came from his hand – particularly an erotic text – was sdhoolboy smart advertising. But Alcibiades is almost tye century too late, and, despite Aretino’s being accused and acquitted of sodomy in a politically motivated prosecution shoolboy in his life, it just wasn’t his style.

Although the attribution was accepted by bibliographers for over two centuries, that was largely for the lack of alternatives. With the rise of scientific literary criticism in the 19th century a new candidate for authorship arrived, proposed by Gianbattista Baseggio in Baseggio’s candidate was Ferrante Pallavicinoa political pamphleteer and pornographer residing in Venice. Baseggio makes his attribution on the basis of stylistic comparisons of passages in Alcibiade with other works known to alcibjades by Pallavicino.


He was also undoubtedly active in the field of erotica, as his La retorica delle puttane Whore’s Rhetoric, – a dialogue on the best arguments for a whore to use in obtaining clients – makes clear.

Obviously, the format and general theme of how to persuade a reluctant party to engage in sexual activity is not worlds away from that of Alcibiade, and it is possible to see the latter as a homosexual pendant to the former. In his political writings, Pallavicino made the grave error of criticizing Pope Urban VIII and his family, the powerful Barberinis, and having made the still graver, indeed fatal mistake of travelling into territory loyal to them, he literally paid with his head in alcbiiades, at the age of He left behind friends and supporters in Venice, however, in the Academia degli Incogniti there, who could well have seen manuscripts he left behind into print in the early s.

It is his name, then, which beginning in appears as author on the new title page of the Thw translations published in Brussels although they also reproduce a facsimile of the Italian title page ofwith the “D. It still remains the entry under which the book is found in many bibliographical authorities to this day. The apparently true authorship is revealed in the same letters which refer to the now lost first, Venice, edition ofmentioned above.

Alcibiades the Schoolboy (book) – BoyWiki

These were brought to light by another Italian literary researcher, Achille Neri, in In a letter dated to January,Loredano, who clearly had a sense of irony, or knew his man, or both, writes, “I send you a Carnival booklet not so rude, I think, as to trouble the serenity of your spirit. He might have written it when he was much younger, and I have been holding it in manuscript form for 20 years.

While, in light of the age of Alcibiades in the story, that is an interesting thought, in practical terms that rules Pallavicino out as author. As Neri also noted, this suggests that Loredano, as the source of the manuscript, had at least some role in the publication of the book, if indeed he was not the actual publisher.

Antonio Rocco was also a priest, a man of letters, author of many studies on Aristotelian philosophy, and renowned philosophy teacher in Venice.

Alcibiades the Schoolboy (book)

These five documents, dated between andamong other things allege that he “does not celebrate any Mass, and lives as an atheist,” that he “is used to saying many things against the Catholic faith and religion,” that he believed that “our soul is not immortal in itself, but for the grace of God,” and that “one who behaves honestly will be saved, and also the Infidels will be saved according to Natural Law.

But more interesting is a denunciation quoted by Dall’Orto regarding schooboy No – on the contrary, she has done simply everything possible for us, both for our pleasure and for her own glorification. Not to use her gifts is to insult her, not to apply her inventions is to alienate oneself from her, to be in revolt against her, and to deserve in consequence to be deprived of life itself.

If she gives us pleasure, it is because she wishes it, and thus, by enjoying it, we render homage to the dearest, the wisest, the richest and the kindest of all alccibiades. For all his deviations, unlike Pallavicino, Rocco died at a ripe old age.

Dall’Orto argues that only “political reasons,” which included jurisdictional disputes, and Rocco’s distinguished position can explain his remaining unscathed. Whatever the case, he did not attach his name to this manuscript, although it is possible to see the alcibiaes. But until a candidate to whom more evidence points is found, Rocco’s name must be attached to it as the author. We now reach the most vexed, and vexing question of all regarding Alcibiades the Schoolboy: For what purpose was it intended?

Is it a satire on Machiavelli’s doctrine of expediency? An historical and philosophical dissertation in the form of a dialogue? A schoolbog for the seduction of boys?

Or is it merely a rude jest for Carnival, as Loredano implies? Asoka terms it “the first zchoolboy about pedophilia ever to appear. Gay, with or without quote marks?

For that matter, is it even a novel? At moments like these, one is pleased to have recourse to a postmodern portmanteau like “text. Several of these oppositions can be disposed of rather quickly. Without his arguments, it is hard to evaluate Breen’s proposal that it is a satire on Machiavelli, so that had best be set aside – and at best the “also” suggests this was not its main purpose.

But that main purpose – a “manual” or “lessons” in seducing boys – is also arrant nonsense. It is a conceit – in both the dictionary senses of the word – to believe that anyone, least of all an adolescent boy, is going to be persuaded to engage in sodomy on the basis of philosophical arguments – and even sillier to suppose that an adolescent is going to respond with such weighty counter-arguments. However serious the text may be as a compilation of philosophical arguments regarding sodomy, it is certainly of no practical use in seduction.


On the other hand, the argument of the two introductions that this text is a warning against sodomitical schoolmasters has something of the “redeeming social value” strategy about it – you can get any old piece of obscenity past a censor if you argue it must be widely known for a good social purpose, like keeping innocents from falling into the vices described – and indeed, the style of these introductions has more than a whiff of the sanctimonious air of feigned, breathless outrage of a British tabloid, salaciously wallowing in every shocking – SHOCKING!

At a rather higher level a presentation of the same argument, that the text is a critique of sodomy, can be found in a recent discussion of L’Alcibiade by Armando Maggi. Writing from a postmodern perspective, his basic paired themes are that the text is a sophisticated critique of the Biblical discourse of Sodom, “silenced” by Philotimes’ refusal to explicitly take it up despite Alcibiades’ reference to it pp.

Unquestionably satire is applied liberally, and the portrait of Philotimes in his infatuation as falling so far from the self-knowledge and moderation that are the ideal for a philosopher is but one example, though a major one. The “innocence” of Alcibiades, who can still almost best his master with sophisticated arguments, is another. But the outcome of the contest, and the “rightness” of Philotimes’ argument, is never in doubt; nor are the “warmth,” “passion” and “conviction” that dominate the book, which, as the Preface to the edition remarks, undermine any theory that the book is a work of irony.

Rocco was, after all, a philosopher and a “sodomite” himself, and while he is willing to use irony against himself, to tweak himself and his own kind, it is against human foibles and not the arguments themselves that his criticism is levelled. Rocco’s thesis there is that all “love” is actually self-interest: So Alcibiades is neither a manual for seduction nor an attack on it.

The other oppositions are, however, reconcilable. On its face, it is both an extensive, semi-serious compilation of philosophical arguments regarding sodomy, and, at the same time, given the mock-horror of the introduction, the fantastical conceit of a frisky pupil giving his wise old mentor a good run for his money – the intellectual equivalent, one might say, of Cardinal Pirelli’s pursuit of Chicklet around the cathedral in Firbank’s novel?

Now, whose arguments are these? Although the “gay” community has a persistent habit of seizing upon dead “pedophiles” and turning them into gay heros as but one telling example, Oscar Wilde, had he been convicted years later, would be on Britain’s “Pedophile Register” today while at the same moment joining in the general screech against “child molesters,” it is certainly going too far to suggest that this text can be accommodated in any way with the fundamental gay insistence on relationships in which the partners are equal in age and power.

The suggestion that it is a “pedophile” novel similarly can be dismissed: Even in – perhaps precisely in – the otherwise hyperbolic language about the attraction of boys “from nine to eighteen” p. Further, the whole argument is certainly incompatible with eroticism with prepubescent children irrespective of their sex, children qua children. With regard to the adjective “homosexual,” however, the ground is firmer. Perhaps the instructive parallel here is with the other word used to describe the book, the noun “novel.

Similarly, although fully acknowledging the differences, I would suggest that on the basis of two key characteristics Alcibiades can also, by backwards extension, be “homosexual.

Second, and to my mind just as indisputably, the book gives evidence – is evidence – of the consciousness, the identity which over the last two decades we have come to accept as the key characteristic of homosexuality.

This is not a description of same-sex behaviours embedded in another context, as in the case of the Satyricon, for instance, but a consistent, deliberate marshalling of arguments regarding male-male sexual behaviour, with no purpose aside from that – and that can only be the result of a consciousness and identity shared by the author and his audience.

Almost from the moment Foucault announced that such identity, and the sodality or sociability – in short, the culture or subculture – which went with it was the key to understanding the concept of homosexuality, and located its emergence in the late 19th century along with the emergence of the word itself, other authors have been busy discovering evidence of such identity and culture – or at least emerging identity and culture – earlier.