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French translations of Plutarco’s ‘Parallel Vite’ before Amyot (1519-1559)


Triple Keywords
Life histories
Forms of literature
Form, Literary
Genre, Literary
Literary types (Genres)
Genre (Literature)
Genres of literature
Forms, Literary
Literary genetics
Literary genres
Literary forms
Genres, Literary
Literary form


Between the end of the xv and the beginning of the xvi century, France rediscovered the ancient biography as a literary genre, and the spread of many lives of illustrious men of the past. Among these it is worth mentioning the translation of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives by Jacques Amyot. This project of French vulgarization of Plutarch’s literary work is however preceded by some texts, preserved as anonymous manuscripts, unpublished and undated in Bibliothèque Nationale de France, which include some isolated translations of Plutarch’s Lives. This study provides an analysis, which can be considered introductory to the setting-up of a critical edition, of the corpus and its intertextual relationships with Amyot’s translation, and it deals with the issue about its attribution: that is to say, whether it could be ascribable to the great interpreter or it could be a set of independent works, used by Amyot himself as a source.

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