A Caltech Library Service

Versions of Imitation in the Renaissance

Pigman, George W. III (1979) Versions of Imitation in the Renaissance. Humanities Working Paper, 37. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


From Petrarch's sonnets to Milton's epics a major characteristic of Renaissance literature is the imitation of earlier texts, and the Renaissance contains a vast and perplexing array of writings on the theory and practice of imitation. Although these writings often exhaust themselves in vindictive and ferocious ad hominem polemics -- one need only recall Julius Caesar Scaliger's Orationes against Erasmus and dwell at length over what now appears to many a sterile and fruitless debate whether or not Cicero should be the only model for Latin prose, these treatises on imitation can offer considerable guidance for the interpretation of Renaissance literature. The theories of imitation help structure one's expectations as to the types of relations between text and model which one is likely to find, although they also amount to a strong warning against the difficulties of discovering and analyzing these relations.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Contact Email
Additional Information:Forthcoming in the Renaissance Quarterly
Group:Humanities Working Papers
Series Name:Humanities Working Paper
Issue or Number:37
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130722-093615613
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Pigman, George W., III. Versions of Imitation in the Renaissance. Pasadena, CA: California Institute of Technology, 1979. Humanities Working Paper, No. 37.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:39490
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:22 Jul 2013 21:11
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 05:07

Repository Staff Only: item control page