ISBN : 9780198807704
Classical mythology and its reception are at the heart of the European Renaissance, and mythographies-texts that collected and explained ancient myths-were considered indispensable companions to any reader of literature. This volume focuses on neglected English mythographies written between 1577 and 1647 by Stephen Batman, Abraham Fraunce, Francis Bacon, Henry Reynolds, and Alexander Ross, revealing a unique English take on the genre and also unfolding the significant role myth played in the broader culture of the English Renaissance.
Introduction; 1 Mythography in Europe, 1500-1567; 1.1. Renaissance Perspectives on Ancient and Medieval Mythographies; 1.2. Renewal from the Wellsprings of Universal Learning; 1.3. The New Mythographies; 2 Stephen Batman, Edmund Spenser, and Myth as an Art of Discernment; 2.1. The First English Mythography and its European Source; 2.2. A 'Strau[n]ge entermixed stratageme': Batman s Concept of Myth; 2.3. The Imagined Gods of the Catholics and the Family of Love; 2.4. The Images of the Ancient Gods; 2.5. Edmund Spenser and Mythological Discernment in the Bower of Bliss; 3 In memoriam Philip Sidney: Mythopoesis in Abraham Fraunce's Amintas Dale; 3.1. The Structure and Textual History of Fraunce's Mythography; 3.2. Fashionably Nebulous: Fraunce's Concept of Myth; 3.3. Making Sidney into Myth; 3.4. Lasting Images: Daphne's Story and the Ambiguity of Closure; 4 Truth Lost in the River of Time: Francis Bacon, Prima Philosophia, and the Greek Fables; 4.1. The Stem of the Tree of Knowledge; 4.2. Parabolic Poetry: Bacon's Concept of Myth and its Kinship with Prima Philosophia; 4.3. Allegory in De sapientia veterum; 4.4. Greek Myth and Prima Philosophia in the Revised Division of Learning; 4.5. Early English and European Readers of De sapientia veterum; 5 While the Winds Breathe, Adore Echo: Henry Reynolds between Neo-Platonic and Protestant Poetics of Myth; 5.1. Reynolds and 'the Forme and reall Essence of true Poesy'; 5.2. Golden Fictions i: 'rauisht, and inflamed with diuine fury'; 5.3. Golden Fictions ii: 'in a myste, blind and benighted'; 5.4. Henry Reynolds and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola; 5.5. Narcissus and the Divinity of Poetry; 5.6. Henry Reynolds, English Mythography, and the Divinity of Poetry; 6 Gods Save the King: Alexander Ross's Civil Mythography; 6.1. 'Shall not the very Gentiles condemn them?': Ross and the Church Robbers; 6.2. 'Apollo and a King parallel'd': Mel Heliconium to the Rescue; 6.3. Pansebeia and the Universal Function of Religion in a Commonwealth; 7 Conclusion; 7.1. Renaissance Theories of Myth?; 7.2. Alexander Ross's Mystagogus Poeticus and What Happened Next; Endmatter; References; Index