Bk 1. xxvii. 13-14 Orthography (cont)

  • ‘Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Theories of the Emotions’ – a page from Stamford University. [HERE]
  • A fine paper with excellent bibliography (see esp. content in fn 3) – Elina Gertsman, ‘The Facial Gesture: (mis)Reading Emotion in Gothic Art’, Journal of Medieval Religious Cultures, Vol. 36, No. 1 (2010) pp. 28-46. (JSTOR)
  • ‘Laetitia’ –  its form, late arrival in Roman imagery, and use in propaganda, by Thalia Took.  [HERE].

  • Cicero equates Latin laetitia with Greek hendone – though voluptas was the more usual Latin equivalent.
  • In medieval theology – the different forms of ‘joy’. [HERE]
  • St. Augustine’s concept of laetitia verges on the idea of self-indulgence, but for his mother it referred to a practice of escaping the heat of day and sharing a ritual feast in a space made within underground tombs.  In that sense, laetitia was equivalent to the Latin refrigerium – something which calms or cools – as we find in Augustine’s Confessions (6.2.2.).

  • When Augustine went to Milan, his deeply Christian mother went with him.  The locals objected so vehemently to her continuing the refrigium/laeitita that she was obliged to refrain.  The extract below from Severin Valentinov Kitanov,  Beatific Enjoyment in Medieval Scholastic DebatesThe Complex Legacy of Saint Augustine and Peter Lombard (2014) p.9.  (if the text is blurred when you open in a new tab, zoom the image below from your screen)

  • Treating  songs in Romance languages, John Dickinson Haines finds laetitia now used to convey a level of passion, emotional warmth and even -in a religious context – joy verging on the ecstatic.

  •  Personifications for ‘Laetitia’ appear in the very late phase of imperial Roman iconography, and used almost exclusively on coins of the 2nd-3rdC AD. e.g.: coins minted in Rome  for Gallienus [HERE]; – in London and in Camulodium for Carausius [HERE];  for Gordian III [HERE].
Laetitia on a coin made for Crispina Augusta (180-183 AD)









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