[Review of the book Endymion au carrefour: La fortune littéraire et artistique du mythe d’Endymion à l’aube de l’ère moderne, by N. Agapiou]

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Book Review

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The Moon's love for the mortal Endymion is one of those myths that come down to us from the classical tradition but gain their fame from their articulations in later periods rather than from the forms they originally had in antiquity. In Endymion au carrefour, Natalia Agapiou (A.) examines the reception of the motif of Endymion and Selene in the Renaissance, when it became the focus of attention for both poets and painters. A. stresses that she is not interested in tracing the evolution of a literary myth, as George Steiner does in Antigones or Pierre Brunel in Pour Électre, but in exploring the "fortuna" of the figure of Endymion in the literature, art and philosophical thought of the Renaissance. This she does elegantly, taking her reader through a whirlwind tour of the multiple manifestations of Endymion and the Moon in Italy, France, and England during the period between 1501 and 1623. Because of its precisely delimited chronological scope, and its assumption that readers will easily understand 16th and 17th century poetry in the original French, Italian and English, the book will appeal mostly to Renaissance scholars, but classicists interested in the Nachleben of classical myths will find much of value in A.'s book.


Bryn Mawr College


Bryn Mawr, PA

Publication Information

Bryn Mawr Classical Review