French

The second half of the sixteenth century represents the high point in the assimilation of Homer into French humanist culture. Unlike England—where no edition of Homer was published until the 1591 Greek edition of the Iliad by George Bishop—France, and particularly Paris, quickly followed Italy’s example to provide its own Homeric texts. For instance, we can mention printers like Chrétien Wechel in the 1530s and Gillaume Morel in the 1560s. This trend was particularly strong after the founding of the Còllege de Lecteurs Royaux by François I in 1530. This institution was established to teach the three ancient languages—Greek, Latin, and Hebrew—and to provide its students with editions and commentaries of ancient texts. Moreover, French translations also contributed to the awareness of the Homeric epics. The first successful version in modern French verse was made by Hugues Salel who translated the first ten books of the Iliad, published in 1545. It was followed by the translation of the other 13 books by Amadis Jamyn, published in 1577. The entire Iliad in French was ultimately published in this 1580 edition, including the translation of the first two books of the Odyssey, which had previously appeared as part of the OEuvres poetiques by Jacques Peletier du Mans in 1547.

Les XXIIIΙ. Livres de l’Iliade d’Homere, Prince des Poëtes Grecs. Traduicts du Grec en vers François. Les XI. Premiers par M. Hugues Salel, Abbé de Sainct Cheron, et Les XIII. Derniers par Amadis Iamyn….Le premier et second de l’Odyssee d’Homere, par Iaques Peletier du Mans.

Les XXIIIΙ. Livres de l’Iliade d’Homere, Prince des Poëtes Grecs. Traduicts du Grec en vers François. Les XI. Premiers par M. Hugues Salel, Abbé de Sainct Cheron, et Les XIII. Derniers par Amadis Iamyn….Le premier et second de l’Odyssee d’Homere, par Iaques Peletier du Mans.
Paris: Lucas Breyer, 1580.

Les XXIIIΙ. Livres de l’Iliade d’Homere, Prince des Poëtes Grecs. Traduicts du Grec en vers François. Les XI. Premiers par M. Hugues Salel, Abbé de Sainct Cheron, et Les XIII. Derniers par Amadis Iamyn….Le premier et second de l’Odyssee d’Homere, par Iaques Peletier du Mans.

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