Milton's Hellenism

Evans, Tomos (2024). Milton's Hellenism. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis investigates the Hellenism of the English poet John Milton from his student writings at Cambridge through to Paradise Lost. It explores Milton’s engagement with classical, Hellenistic, Byzantine, and Early Modern Greek texts and it considers Milton’s reading of Greek scholarship and interactions with Greek scholars and Hellenic scholarship. Chapter 1, ‘Milton’s Cambridge Greek’, consists of two sections: ‘Protestant Hellenism at Milton’s Cambridge: A Case Study of James Duport’s Greek Paraphrase of the Book of Job, Threnothriambos (1637)’ and ‘Greek and the “Lady of Christ’s College”: Latin–Greek Code-Switching in Milton ‘Prolusion VI’’. Chapter 2, ‘Milton Among the Hellenists in England and Italy’ considers the role that Greek played in Milton’s correspondence and poetic exchanges with Charles Diodati and Lucas Holstenius; it also considers the nature of Milton’s own Hellenic research at libraries in Rome and Florence during his travels in Italy from 1638–39. Chapter 3 considers the political and polemical roles that Greek texts played for Milton from the mid-1640s to 1660 and consists of three sections: ‘Marshall’s Ignorant Hand: Milton’s Greek Epigram and the 1645 Poems Frontispiece and the First Edition of Langbaine’s Longinus (1636)’; ‘O Soul of Sir John Cheek: Milton and the Legacy of Sixteenth-Century Greek Humanism’; and ‘John Milton, Leonard Philaras, and Early Modern Advocacy for Greece’s Liberation from the Ottoman Empire’. The final, fourth chapter explores the influence of Greek texts—ranging from the Homeric epics and the fragmentary Epic Cycle through to Byzantine and Early Modern Greek texts—upon Milton’s design of Books 1 and 2 of Paradise Lost.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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