Oscar Kuhns here endeavors to give a connected storyof the development of Italian literature from its origin down to thepresent.
native poets, in the manner and--a phenomenon worthy of note--in the language itself of the Provencal poets. This is due to the relationship between the dialects of Northern Italy and the Provencal, and also to the fact that at that time the latter tongue was far more elegant and cultivated than the other Romance languages. This north Italian poetry is always included in the Provencal collections and the writers are known as troubadours in spite of their Italian nationality. Among the most famous are Bartolomeo Zorzi of Venice, Bonifaccio Calvo of Genoa, and especially Sordello of Mantua, praised by Dante in a famous passage of the Purgatory, and the subject of Browning's well-known poem.
We see, then, that the above poets belong rather to the history of Provencal than that of Italian literature. To find the first springs of national poetry in Italy, we must traverse the whole length of the peninsula and arrive at the court of Frederick II. (1194-1250) in Sicily, which at this time was far ahead of the