Latin–Greek Code-Switching in Vicente Mariner’s (ca. 1570– 1642) Correspondence with Andreas Schott (1552–1629): A Case-Study

  • William Michael Barton orcid logo (Universität Innsbruck)


As one of very few authors from seventeenth-century Spain who chose to write in Ancient Greek, the work of Valencian Vicente Mariner (c.1570–1642) offers unique perspectives on the attitudes towards the classical languages in contemporary Iberia. Aside from a handful of published volumes, Mariner’s extensive, multilingual œuvre has been preserved in manuscript form. Mariner’s activity as a translator and Neo-Latin poet has been of interest to scholars from a variety of disciplines since the mid-twentieth century. The author’s deliberations on Ancient Greek, Latin and the vernaculars (Castilian and Valencian/Catalan) have also received the attention of theorists interested in the historical relationships between the classical and modern languages. More recently, Mariner’s poetic production in Greek has become the object of interest within the context of a turn to “Neo-Ancient Greek” literature.
While earlier studies invariably reflect on the relationship between Greek and Latin in the author’s work and his attitudes towards them, Mariner’s bilingual correspondence with humanist friends and colleagues has yet to become the object of focused attention. As granular evidence the choices involved in Mariner’s use of Greek and Latin thanks to its numerous moments of code-switching, this paper offers a close-reading of a letter addressed by Mariner to prominent Belgian scholar André Schott (1552–1629) in April 1617. Alongside considerations of the communicative significance of the numerous switches between Latin and Greek in the document, this contribution also compares Mariner’s use of the languages in his letter with his theoretical reflections on Greek and Latin and their relationship in his poetry.

Keywords: Latin, Ancient Greek, Code-switching, Patristic scholarship, Spanish Humanism, Seventeenth century

How to Cite:

Barton, W. M., (2024) “Latin–Greek Code-Switching in Vicente Mariner’s (ca. 1570– 1642) Correspondence with Andreas Schott (1552–1629): A Case-Study”, Journal of Latin Cosmopolitanism and European Literatures 9. doi:

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Published on
31 Jan 2024
Peer Reviewed