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This chapter argues that Milton’s Epitaphium Damonis, a neo-Latin pastoral lament on the death of Charles Diodati, is marked by the author's Petrarchan self-fashioning. This is achieved through intertextual engagement with Petrarch's Bucolicum Carmen (especially Ecls. 1 and 10). Milton as the wandering Thyrsis, undertaking a methaphorical and literal journey into the world of Italian humanism, appropriates and adapts the metaphorical departure from and return to a pastoral world now shattered by plague and death. Recourse to the quasi-Augustinian monasticism of Petrarchan neo-Latin pastoral facilitates the poem's crossing of a monastic limen via its subtle interaction with a hagiographic intertext, the Vita Sancti Deodati. Now pastoral saint and scholar become united in death and in subsequent apotheosis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Guide to Neo-Latin Literature
EditorsVictoria Moul
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


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