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Erasmus and the French Humanists

Grant number: 15/12517-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): September 14, 2015
Effective date (End): December 13, 2015
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Classical Literatures
Principal Investigator:Elaine Cristine Sartorelli
Grantee:Elaine Cristine Sartorelli
Host Investigator: Olivier Devillers
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France  


This Project aims to research the reception of the Ciceronian by Erasmus in France. Although that satirical treatise had been published in response to the Italian litterati, the most exalted reactions towards it arose in the French intellectual community, and the consequences and developments of it illustrate, as we intend to demonstrate, a point of inflection not only for the so-called Ciceronian controversy but for the entire Rhetoric of that period. Therefore, we will analyze the proposals contained in the Ciceronian and the way they were received in that environment, in which the translation into vernacular languages was already a reality and in which the tensions that resulted in the religious wars were already perceptible.We will also demonstrate the influence of Erasmus on the one who was, in a vernacular language, the most perfect example of the method Erasmus had prescribed for the imitator in Latin: Montaigne.Accordingly, this Project is divided into three parts. The first intends to reaffirm the prominence of Erasmus. He was the one who, in debates against the "barbarian" Scholastics as much as against the "Ciceronians", redefined notions such as uarietas, copia, decorum, imitation, etc in the early Modern Age. By dealing with subjects such as Latin as a universal language and the relationship between Rhetoric and Christianity, the Ciceronian is also a true testimony of the literary craft in a moment of crisis as in the 16th century, having as a backdrop the irreversible volgarizzamento.Then we will study the influence of Erasmus on French humanists such as Budé, Rabelais and Marot. But above all we will critially examine the vehement rejection towards the Ciceronian as seen in the virulent attack by Scaliger and in the defense of the Ciceronian imitation against Erasmus by Dolet.Finally, we will investigate the presence of Erasmus in the Essays of Montaigne, the author who made the Erasmian ideal come true: an orator totally faithful to his genius, attent to singularity and to variety. Key-words: Rhetoric; 16th century; Erasmus; imitatio; French humanism.

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