By Frances Amelia Yates
This ebook examines the pictures and symbolism of eu monarchy within the sixteenth century. The accession of Charles V, along with his huge dominions in either the outdated and new worlds, was once the get together for a renewal of the parable of Empire within the West. The topic was once echoed within the pageants and ballets of the declining Valois dynasty in France and, particularly, within the glorification of Elizabeth I. This ebook makes an attempt to light up reader's realizing of the Renaissance monarchies as they struggled with the darkish undertow of reformation and counter-reformation.
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Extra info for Astraea: The Imperial Theme in the Sixteenth Century
W ith his increased knowledge o f classical civilization, the humanist is unable to regard this as having continued unbroken up to the present (his present). He thinks o f it as having come to an end with the destruction o f ancient civilization b y the barbarians, whereupon there set in a period o f darkness which has lasted up to his ow n time, but which it is the mission o f the humanist to dissipate b y discovering and studying anew the literary and other monuments o f the ancient world. This should bring about a renewal, a rebirth, a new period o f classical light dispersing the barbarous darkness extending from the fall o f the ancient world, through the Middle Ages, to the present.
W hat ‘loves’ did these names express? Over Pandora as a name for Elizabeth w e shall not linger, but the Virgin Queen as Astraea is the subject o f this essay. Astraea: Classical and Christian Interpretations There is a famous description in die first book o f O vid’s Metamorphoses o f 1 z T . Dekker, Works, London, 18 73 , , p. 83. 29 THE T U D O R IM PE R IA L REFORM the four ages. In that first golden age, under the rule o f Saturn, men gathered their food without labour in an everlasting spring, all were virtuous by nature, and peace universal reigned.
9 See the discussion in F. D ger, Antike und Christentum, Munster, 1929, , pp. , on the worship o f the Carthaginian Virgo Caelestis in imperial times. Virgo Caelestis was assimilated to Juno and made patroness o f the Roman people. a The just virgin is thus a complex character, fertile and barren at the same time; orderly and righteous, yet tinged with oriental moon-ecstasies. It is to Virgil that she owes her greatest fame. Together with the Cumaean Sybil, the virgin o f the golden age stands at the beginning o f the famous Fourth Eclogue.
Astraea: The Imperial Theme in the Sixteenth Century by Frances Amelia Yates