Renæssanceforum 6 • 2010

Philip Ford
The Symbiotic Muse: The Case of Neo-Latin and Vernacular Poetry in Renaissance France

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This article explores the various ways in which translation and imitation between Latin and the vernacular functioned in sixteenth-century France. In the literary climate of Lyon, Italian models, notably Petrarch, were influential in introducing certain erotic themes into neo-Latin compositions which, in their turn, found their way into French vernacular poetry. Later, in the middle of the century, the Pléiade worked in both directions, Latin to French and French to Latin, often with the aim of establishing their credentials as important, 'classical' writers. In either case, there is a mutual enriching of poetic texts rather than a one-way traffic.