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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys the scholarly and poetic engagement with the poems of Hesiod during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, focusing on editions, translations, and philosophical and literary interpretations produced in northern Europe and England in the century and a half after the Protestant Reformation. The first part discusses the most influential early printed editions and Latin translations of Hesiod’s poems, as well as their scholia and other paratexts. The second and third parts examine the interpretive traditions that prevailed among Italian humanists and their northern counterparts, the latter focusing on Erasmus and Melanchthon. The fourth and fifth parts focus on the French and English Renaissance, examining the most significant editions of Hesiod produced in these nations as well as the incorporation of Hesiodic myths and motifs by major poets such as Ronsard and Spenser. The final section examines Paradise Lost’s complex imitation of Hesiodic cosmogony.

Keywords: humanism, Protestant Reformation, Desiderius Erasmus, Edmund Spenser, George Chapman, John Milton, cosmogony, theogony

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