Neo-Latin Epic

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:
Neo-Latin Epic

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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This chapter investigates two Latin epics of the Renaissance: Africa by Francesco Petrarch and Christiad by Marco Girolamo Vida. Christiad is committed to the Virgilian form and orthodox Catholic theology that create the problem of divine action. Africa suffers from the unqualified perfection of its hero. Petrarch also hoped to reconcile Athens and Jerusalem in Rome. Christiad is a retelling of the Passion in six books of Virgilian hexameters. Christ's suitability as an epic hero is complicated by his two natures, mortal and divine. The military-dictatorship picture of heaven that comes through in Christiad is in no way idiosyncratic, but is a natural imaginative extrapolation of the view of the atonement prevalent on both sides of the Reformation divide in the nineteenth century.

Keywords: Francesco Petrarch; Africa; Marco Girolamo Vida; Christiad; orthodox Catholic theology; divine action; Christ; Reformation divide

Chapter.  17919 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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