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date: 12 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter begins with early French humanism in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, as French writers reacted to Italian influences and sought to create their own neo-Latin identities. It focuses on Guillaume Budé as the exemplary neo-Latin French writer of this period, whose work played an important role in shaping French humanism. From Budé can be traced the elements of legal humanism, philology, and the study of Greek that would become such prominent strengths of France’s contribution to the world of scholarship. In the domain of poetry, Jean Salmon Macrin fashioned himself as the first major French neo-Latin poet. Du Bellay’s poetry in Latin provides an informative case-study, and opens up perspectives on the language debates raging in the middle of the sixteenth century. Finally, the chapter considers the continued use of Latin in Jesuit writing and in the scientific and philosophical writing of the seventeenth century.

Keywords: Guillaume Budé, legal humanism, Hellenism, Jean Salmon Macrin, Neo-Catullan poetry, Joachim Du Bellay, language debates, Descartes

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