Vol. 11 (2022): Works and Traditions: Early Modern Encounters
Part One - Introduction

‘The Present of thinges Past’: Notes on Tradition

Donatella Pallotti
University of Florence

Published 2022-03-31


  • Textual Mobility,
  • Tradition,
  • Transmission,
  • Transformation

How to Cite

Pallotti, D. (2022). ‘The Present of thinges Past’: Notes on Tradition. Journal of Early Modern Studies, 11, XV-XXV. https://doi.org/10.13128/jems-2279-7149-13439


The article revisits some influential arguments about tradition; its aim is to highlight the dynamic nature of tradition, one that allows for change and transformation. In contrast with an idea of tradition as a fixed and formalized set of normative practices handed down by repetition, the article favours an understanding of tradition that is closely attentive to the continuous construction and reinterpretation of the past. In the process of its transmission, tradition is reformulated and reshaped in response to altering cultural needs; its continuity relies on successive reconfigurations.