Pierre de Ronsard: La Franciade

(2523 words)

The Franciade is an unfinished epic by Pierre de Ronsard. Its first four books, published in 1572, tell the story of Francus, the supposed son of Hector and a survivor of the Trojan War. Although Francus had died in Homer’s Iliad, where he is called Astyanax and Skamandrios, Ronsard saves him and makes him the ancestor of the French monarchy. As one of the text’s liminary Latin praise poems states “As Astyanax fell from a tower in Troy, Jupiter saved him with a decoy in order to hide him”, a gesture compared to Ronsard’s own poetic enterprise: “All the glory of the house of Astyanax might have perished yet again, although it had then been saved by Jupiter, had you, Ronsard, not …

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Usher, Phillip John. "La Franciade". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 January 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=31708, accessed 30 May 2015.]