French and Italian | French Renaissance Prose
F620 | 13015 | Mac Phail, Eric

This course examines the intellectual history of early modern Europe
through a parallel reading of the _Discorsi sopra la prima deca di
Tito Livio_ of Niccolò Machiavelli and the _Essais_ of Michel de
Montaigne. Some of the problems that we will investigate are
recurrence and novelty in history, imitation and exemplarity in
literature, materialism and infinity, natural and revealed religion,
and the role of heresy and heterodoxy in the self-conception of the
Renaissance. We will also consider the generic affinities of
discourse and essay. Students are expected to be able to read either
French or Italian as well as English. Students will do an in-class
presentation and write a term paper on a subject chosen in
consultation with the professor.