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Homer and the politics of authority in Renaissance France [electronic resource] /
Marc Bizer.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, c2011.
description
xii, 245 p. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
019973156X, 9780199731565
format(s)
Book
More Details
author
series title
series title
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, c2011.
isbn
019973156X
9780199731565
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Introduction -- Making Homer French, 1530-1560. Guillaume Bude: instituting a Homeric French king -- Jean Dorat: toward an official French Homeric idiom -- Royal mythography and its discontents: Joachim du Bellay and Etienne de la Boetie -- Homer and the problem of authority during the wars of religion (1560-1592). Homer and the war of words -- Reading Homer across the religious divide: Guillaume Paquelin & Jean de Sponde -- Trojan-French chaos: Garnier's La Troade, Homer, and raison d'etat -- Montaigne, La Boetie, Homer: from parliament to parley -- Conclusion.
catalogue key
8500684
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Humanist readers of Homer saw his epic works as important sources of wisdom. Marc Bizer's compelling study focuses on Homer's political messages on some of the main issues in Renaissance France: the legitimacy of monarchy, nationalism, political propaganda. The result is an original and fruitful approach to the reception of Homer." --Philip Ford, University of Cambridge "Marc Bizer's learned and original book weaves a fascinating story: that of Homer's central role in political debate during the French Renaissance and Wars of Religion. His interdisciplinary analysis sheds a brilliant new light on the ways in which scholars and statesmen, poets and artists, Catholics and Huguenots used, appropriated and finally tried to free themselves from the creator of epic poetry. No one has written more insightfully about the politics of the classical tradition in the first modern heyday of European classicism." --Anthony Grafton, Princeton University "Bizer's great virtue lies in how he sees interpretative cruxes and engagement with Homer's texts as actively participating in a wider conversation regarding forms of governance. His reading of the much scrutinized interplay around questions of governance between Montaigne's Essays and the work of his dead friend, La Bo tie, makes an entirely original and compelling contribution to understanding their famously connected writings." --George Hoffmann, University of Michigan
"To put it most broadly, the subtlety and sophistication of Bizer's analysis of Homer in the French Renaissance make the humanist ideal of imitatio come well and truly alive. That is a rare accomplishment." --H-France Review "Humanist readers of Homer saw his epic works as important sources of wisdom. Marc Bizer's compelling study focuses on Homer's political messages on some of the main issues in Renaissance France: the legitimacy of monarchy, nationalism, political propaganda. The result is an original and fruitful approach to the reception of Homer." --Philip Ford, University of Cambridge "Marc Bizer's learned and original book weaves a fascinating story: that of Homer's central role in political debate during the French Renaissance and Wars of Religion. His interdisciplinary analysis sheds a brilliant new light on the ways in which scholars and statesmen, poets and artists, Catholics and Huguenots used, appropriated and finally tried to free themselves from the creator of epic poetry. No one has written more insightfully about the politics of the classical tradition in the first modern heyday of European classicism." --Anthony Grafton, Princeton University "Bizer's great virtue lies in how he sees interpretative cruxes and engagement with Homer's texts as actively participating in a wider conversation regarding forms of governance. His reading of the much scrutinized interplay around questions of governance between Montaigne's Essays and the work of his dead friend, La Boétie, makes an entirely original and compelling contribution to understanding their famously connected writings." --George Hoffmann, University of Michigan "A compelling argument regarding the reception of Homer in sixteenth-century France...an important contribution to the field of Classical reception studies as part of a dialogue with specialists...overall the book is informative and offers a thought-provoking take on the capacity of Homer to exert influence on political action in sixteenth-century France."--Classical Journal
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This text disputes the notion that humanists in 16th-century France were ivory-tower academics detached from the world. Through their interpretations of Homer, they participated in national debates about sovereignty and contributed to the development of a French national consciousness.
Main Description
At a time when the French monarchy traced its origins back to ancient Troy, Homeric epic was fated to play a significant political role. Homer came to Renaissance France packaged with an ancient interpretive tradition that made him an authority on all matters but also distinctly separate from Virgil and the Aeneid , rival Italy's foundational myth. Thus, once French humanists learned to read Homer in Greek, they quickly began putting him in the service of their king in order to teach him prudence and amplify his authority. Homer and the Politics of Authority in Renaissance France provides a stimulating perspective on how Homeric authority went from being used by humanists in the role of royal counselors to being exploited by both monarchical and anti-monarchical forces in the service of ideologies, most especially in the Wars of Religion (1562-1598). In turn, French writers of the period transitioned from being monarchical advisors to stirring crowds as actors on the larger political stage. In this study, Marc Bizer not only analyzes a number of works by key authors and humanists-including Michel de Montaigne, Joachim du Bellay, Guillaume Bud , and Jean Dorat, among others- but also examines their poetry, art, pamphlets, and plays. Although there have been several studies of the Homeric legacy in western literature and even in early modern French literature, none has analyzed the political role that Homer played in sixteenth-century France for this circle of important writers. The captivating results of this approach to the post-classical usage of Homer will appeal not only to historians and literary scholars, but also to political scientists, classicists, and art historians.
Main Description
At a time when the French monarchy traced its origins back to ancient Troy, Homeric epic was fated to play a significant political role. Homer came to Renaissance France packaged with an ancient interpretive tradition that made him an authority on all matters but also distinctly separate from Virgil and theAeneid, rival Italy's foundational myth. Thus, once French humanists learned to read Homer in Greek, they quickly began putting him in the service of their king in order to teach him prudence and amplify his authority.Homer and the Politics of Authority in Renaissance Franceprovides a stimulating perspective on how Homeric authority went from being used by humanists in the role of royal counselors to being exploited by both monarchical and anti-monarchical forces in the service of ideologies, most especially in the Wars of Religion (1562-1598). In turn, French writers of the period transitioned from being monarchical advisors to stirring crowds as actors on the larger political stage. In this study, Marc Bizer not only analyzes a number of works by key authors and humanists-including Michel de Montaigne, Joachim du Bellay, Guillaume Budé, and Jean Dorat, among others- but also examines their poetry, art, pamphlets, and plays. Although there have been several studies of the Homeric legacy in western literature and even in early modern French literature, none has analyzed the political role that Homer played in sixteenth-century France for this circle of important writers. The captivating results of this approach to the post-classical usage of Homer will appeal not only to historians and literary scholars, but also to political scientists, classicists, and art historians.
Main Description
At a time when the French monarchy traced its origins back to ancient Troy, Homeric epic was fated to play a significant political role. Homer came to Renaissance France packaged with an ancient interpretive tradition that made him an authority on all matters but also distinctly separate from Virgil and the Aeneid, rival Italy's foundational myth. Thus, once French humanists learned to read Homer in Greek, they quickly set to putting him in the service of their king, in order to teach him prudence and amplify his authority. Homer and the Politics of Authority in Renaissance France provides a stimulating perspective on how Homeric authority went from being used by humanists in the role of royal counselors to being exploited by both monarchical and anti-monarchical forces in the service of ideologies, most especially in the Wars of Religion (1562-1598). In turn, French writers of the period transitioned from being monarchical advisors to stirring crowds as actors on the larger political stage. In this study, Marc Bizer not only analyzes a number of works by key authors and humanists -including Michel de Montaigne, Joachim du Bellay, Guillaume Bud , and Jean Dorat, among others- but also examines their poetry, art, pamphlets, and plays. Although there have been several studies of the Homeric legacy in western literature and even in early modern French literature, none has analyzed the political role that Homer played in sixteenth-century France for this circle of important writers. The captivating results of this approach to the post-classical usage of Homer will appeal not only to historians and literary scholars, but also to political scientists, classicists, and art historians.
Main Description
In Renaissance France, at a time when the French monarchy traced its origins back to ancient Troy, Homeric epic was destined to play an important political role. When Homer, who was traditionally considered an authority on all subjects, including politics, was used to embellish and even justify French sovereignty, the Greek bard became a site for questions concerning the king's authority. Coming at the intersection of three established areas of study: humanist education, humanist exemplarity, and the period's preoccupation with what Michel Foucault termed "governmentality," this book traces the history of the involvement of sixteenth-century French humanists in national debates on sovereignty through their uses of Homer in their commentaries, poetry, art, essays, pamphlets, and plays. In Guillaume Bud 's and Jean Dorat's work, Homer initially served to construct the image of the French king, but already in the 1550s, through their readings of Homer, Joachim Du Bellay expressed unease with the centralizing tendencies of the monarchy, whereas Etienne de la Bo tie contested its authority outright and thereby the humanistic practices underlying French royal iconography. After the outbreak of the Wars of Religion, Homer was called into service to buttress very different points of view on sovereignty: references to the Greek poet appear in pamphlets and treatises, but also in Robert Garnier's tragedy, in Jean de Sponde's commentary on Homer, and finally in Montaigne. During the Religious Wars, then, this study examines not only the different hermeneutic practices of Catholics and Protestants but also their contributions to controversies about sovereignty and ultimately to the development of a French national consciousness. Homer's decline at the end of the century parallels the rise of political absolutism.
Main Description
The texts, ideas, images, and material culture of ancient Greece and Rome have always been crucial to attempts to appropriate the past in order to authenticate the present, They underlie the mapping of change and the assertion and challenging of values and identities, old and new. Classical Presences brings the latest scholarship to bear on the contexts, theory, and practice of such use, and abuse, of the classical past. Book jacket.
Main Description
This book disputes the notion that humanists, classical scholars in sixteenth-century France, were ivory-tower academics detached from the world around them. Through their interpretations of Homer, they not only played the role of counselor to the king, but participated actively in national debates in their poetry, their art, their pamphlets, their plays. Because Homer was considered an authority on all subjects, including politics, he became a locus for authority issues surrounding the king. This study shows how Homer was initially used to construct the image of a monarchy which traced its origins back to Troy, but later, after the outbreak of the Wars of Religion, the Greek poet is cited in discussions critical of the monarchy. It examines not only the different hermeneutic practices of Catholics and Protestants but also their contributions to debates about sovereignty and ultimately to the development of a French national consciousness. Homer's demise at the end of the century parallels the rise of political absolutism.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 3
Making Homer French, 1530-1560
Guillaume Budé: Instituting a Homeric French Kingp. 17
Jean Dorat: Toward an Official French Homeric Idiomp. 59
Royal Mythography and Its Discontents: Joachim Du Bellay and Etienne de la Boétiep. 81
Homer and The Problem of Authority during The Wars of Religion (1560-1592)
Homer and the War ofWordsp. 121
Reading Homer across the Religious Divide: Guillaume Paquelin and Jean de Spondep. 155
Trojan/French Chaos: Garnier's La Troade, Homer, and Raison d'Étatp. 181
Montaigne, La Boétie, Homer: From Parlement to Parleyp. 197
Conclusionp. 215
Works Citedp. 221
Indexp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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