Exemplary Comparison from Homer to Petrarch

February 2008
422 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843840992
Format: Hardback
Library eBook

Exemplary Comparison from Homer to Petrarch

Olive Sayce

A magisterial survey, across the entire European literary tradition to the early fourteenth century, of exemplary figures in literary tradition.
The book is a study of comparison and identification with exemplary figures drawn from myth, history and historical legend, the Bible, the authorial canon, and literary tradition, from Homer to the interrelated branches of the medieval European vernacular lyric up to the end of the fourteenth century. The first half treats Homer, Virgil, Latin poets from Catullus to Ovid, and late and medieval Latin poets. The second half discusses the troubadour lyric, including Italian and Catalan poets who wrote in the language of the troubadours, the trouvère lyric, the German lyric, and the Sicilian and Italian lyric up to Petrarch. The languages covered are thus classical Greek, classical, post-classical and medieval Latin, Occitan/Old Provençal, Old French, and medieval German and Italian.Representative examples of comparison and identification are given in the original language, followed by translation and textual and literary analysis.

OLIVE SAYCE is Emeritus Fellow and Tutor in Modern Languages, Somerville College, Oxford.

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Table of Contents

Homer: The Iliad and the Odyssey
Virgil: The Aeneid
Latin Poets from Catullus to Ovid
Latin Poets from Antiquity to the Middle Ages
The Troubadour Poets
The Trouvère Poets
The German Poets
The Sicilian and Italian Poets
Glossary of Technical Terms
Index of Poets and Works
Index of Proper Names
General Index


The range of texts treated and the meticulous way in which these questions are pursued are impressive. MLR
A valuable contribution to the study of biblical and other exemplary characters. INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF BIBLICAL STUDIES