The chapter examines aspects of the history and theory of commentary, and places Badius’s own commentary practice within these contexts. It focuses in particular of the tradition of grammatica associated with the grammarians of Late Antiquity: Servius, Donatus, Diomedes. The chapter distinguishes between the designations used for different types of humanist commentary in the Renaissance, and narrows the focus to Badius’s own ‘familiar commentary’ (familiaris interpretatio). In his commentaries, on medieval and religious texts as well as on humanist and classical authors, Badius maintained an identifiably ‘humanist’ approach which was nevertheless firmly grounded in a long tradition of pedagogical commentary, bringing out the moral meanings of a text through a close examination of grammar and style. The chapter examines the defining features of this type of commentary, its composition and uses, and analyses the figurative language Badius used to characterize his commentary text.
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