Chapter

Introduction

Tobias Gregory

in From Many Gods to One

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780226307558
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226307565 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226307565.003.0001
Introduction

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This book focuses on the Renaissance reinvention of epic divine action. This reinvention involved the adapting of an originally polytheistic literary genre to a European culture that was officially monotheistic. This book also argues that the Mosaic distinction constitutes the single most important difference between classical and Renaissance epic. In the epic poetry of the Renaissance, the Mosaic distinction operates in conjunction with a range of political differences that combine in as many ways as there are poems. The syncretism of classical artistic models and Christian religious norms is addressed. The chapters in this book evaluate the classical polytheistic model and then five Renaissance epics, each of which illustrates a different approach to the problem of monotheistic divine action: Francesco Petrarch's Africa, Marco Girolamo Vida's Christiad, Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando furioso, Torquato Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata, and John Milton's Paradise Lost. Finally, an overview of each chapter is provided.

Keywords: Renaissance reinvention; Renaissance epics; monotheistic divine action; Francesco Petrarch; religious norms; Marco Girolamo Vida; Christiad; Ludovico Ariosto; Orlando furioso; Tasso

Chapter.  11892 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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