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Émile Faguet

The Latins, Imitators of the Greeks. Epic Poets, Dramatic Poets. Golden Age: Virgil, Horace, Ovid. Silver Age: Prose Writers, Historians and Philosophers:—Titus-Livy, Tacitus, Seneca. Decadence Still Brilliant.

Middle Ages. Some Epic Narratives. Renaissance in the Seventeenth Century. Literature Imitative of the West in the Eighteenth Century. Original Literature in the Nineteenth Century.

Chansons de Geste: Song of Roland and Lyric Poetry. Popular Epopee: Romances of Renard. Popular Short Stories: Fables. Historians. The Allegorical Poem: Romance of the Rose. Drama.

At an Early Date Western Influence sufficiently Potent. Sixteenth Century Brilliant; Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries highly Cultured; Nineteenth Century Notably Original.

Literature in Latin, in Anglo-Saxon, and in French. The Ancestor of English Literature: Chaucer.

THE THREE LITERATURES.—In England, prior to the Norman invasion, that is before 1066, England possessed Saxon bards who sang of the prowess of forbears or contemporaries, and monks who wrote in Latin the lives of saints or even lay histories.

From 1066 must be distinguished in England three parallel literatures: the Latin literature of the cloister, the Anglo-Saxon literature, and the French literature of the conquerors.

Epic Poems: Nibelungen. Popular Poems. Very numerous Lyric Poems. Drama.

Troubadours of Southern Italy. Neapolitan and Sicilian Poets. Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio.

Epic Poems: Romanceros. Didactic Books, Romances of Chivalry

COMMENCEMENTS OF SPANISH LITERATURE.—Known Spanish literature does not go back beyond the twelfth century. Like that of the French it began with a chanson de geste, and if France has Roland, Spain has the Cid. The Poem of the Cid, or The Song of the Cid, dates from the commencement of the thirteenth century; in rude but expressive language it narrates the ripe years and old age of the famous captain.

First Portion of Sixteenth Century: Poets: Marot, Saint-Gelais; Prose Writers: Rabelais, Comines. Second Portion of Sixteenth Century: Poets: “The Pleiade”; Prose Writers: Amyot, Montaigne. First Portion of Seventeenth Century: Intellectual and Brilliant Poets: Malherbe, Corneille. Great Prose Writers: Balzac, Descartes. Second Portion of Seventeenth Century: Poets: Racine, Moliere, Boileau, La Fontaine; Prose Writers: Bossuet, Pascal, La Bruyere, Fenelon, etc.

Dramatists: Marlowe, Shakespeare. Prose Writers: Sidney, Francis Bacon, etc. Epic Poet: Milton. Comic Poets.

ELIZABETHAN AGE: SPENSER.—In England the Elizabethan Age is the period extending from the commencement of the reign of Elizabeth to the end of her successor, James I; that is, from 1558 to 1625. This was the golden age of English literature: the epoch in which, awakened or excited by the Renaissance, her genius gave forth all its development in fruits that were marvellous.

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