Anacreon was a Greek lyric poet, notable for his drinking songs and hymns. Greeks included him in the canonical list of nine lyric poets. Anacreon wrote all of his poetry in the ancient Ionic dialect. Like all early lyric poetry, it was composed to be sung or recited to the accompaniment of music the lyre. Anacreon's poetry touched on universal themes of love, disappointment, parties and the observations of everyday people and life. Anacreon was born in around 582 BC at an Ionian city on the coast of Asia Minor; the name and identity of his father is a matter of dispute, with different authorities naming four possibilities: Scythianus, Parthenius, or Aristocritus. It is that Anacreon fled into exile with most of his fellow-townsmen who sailed to Thrace when their homeland was attacked by the Persians. There they founded a colony at Abdera, rather than remaining behind to surrender their city to Harpagus, one of Cyrus the Great's generals. Cyrus was, at the time, besieging the Greek cities of Asia Minor.
Anacreon seems to have taken part in the fighting, in which, by his own admission, he did not distinguish himself. From Thrace he travelled to the court of Polycrates of Samos, he is said to have been a tutor of Polycrates. In return for his favour and protection, Anacreon wrote many complimentary odes about his patron. Like his fellow-lyric poet, one of his great admirers, in many respects a kindred spirit, Anacreon seems to have been made for the society of courts. John Addison, writing in 1735, relates. Having received a treasure of five gold talents from Polycrates, Anacreon couldn't sleep for two nights in a row, he returned it to his patron, saying: "However considerable the sum might be, it's not an equal price for the trouble of keeping it". On the death of Polycrates, in power at Athens and inherited the literary tastes of his father Peisistratus, sent a special embassy to fetch the popular poet to Athens in a galley of fifty oars. In Athens he became acquainted with the poet Simonides, other members of the brilliant circle which had gathered around Hipparchus.
When this circle was broken up by the assassination of Hipparchus, Anacreon seems to have returned to his native town of Teos, according to a metrical epitaph ascribed to his friend Simonides, he died and was buried. According to others, before returning to Teos, he accompanied Simonides to the court of Echecrates, a Thessalian dynast of the house of the Aleuadae. Lucian mentions Anacreon amongst his instances of the longevity of eminent men, as having completed eighty-five years. If an anecdote given by Pliny the Elder is correct, he was choked at last by a grape-stone, but the story has an air of mythical adaptation to the poet's habits, which makes it more to be apocryphal. For a long time, Anacreon was popular in Athens, where his statue was to be seen on the Acropolis, together with that of his friend Xanthippus, the father of Pericles. On several coins from Teos he is represented holding a lyre in his hand, sometimes sitting, sometimes standing. A marble statue found in 1835 in the Sabine district, now in the Galleria Borghese, is said to represent Anacreon.
Anacreon wrote all of his poetry in the ancient Ionic dialect. Like all early lyric poetry, it was composed to be sung or recited to the accompaniment of music the lyre. Anacreon's verses were in the form of monody rather than for a chorus. In keeping with Greek poetic tradition, his poetry relied on meter for its construction. Metrical poetry is a rhythmic form, deriving its structure from patterns of phonetic features within and between the lines of verse; the phonetic patterning in Anacreon's poetry, like all the Greek poetry of the day, is found in the structured alternation of "long" and "short" vowel sounds. The Ionic dialect had a tonal aspect to it that lends a natural melodic quality to the recitation. Anacreon's meters include the anacreonteus; the Greek language is well suited to this metrical style of poetry but the sound of the verses does not transfer to English. As a consequence, translators have tended to substitute rhyme, stress rhythms, stanzaic patterning and other devices for the style of the originals, with the primary, sometimes only, connection to the Greek verses being the subject matter.
More recent translators have tended to attempt a more spare translation which, though losing the sound of the originals, may be more true to their flavor. A sample of a translation in the English rhyming tradition is included below. Anacreon's poetry touched on universal themes of love, disappointment, parties and the observations of everyday people and life, it is the subject matter of Anacreon's poetry that helped to keep it familiar and enjoyable to generations of readers and listeners. His widespread popularity inspired countless imitators, which kept his name alive. Anacreon had a reputation as a composer of hymns, as well as of those bacchanalian and amatory lyrics which are associated with his name. Two short hymns to Artemis and Dionysus, consisting of eight and eleven lines stand first amongst his few undisputed remains, as printed by recent editors, but hymns when addressed to such deities as Aphrodite and Dionysus, are not so unlike what we call "Anacreontic" poetry as to make the contrast of style as great as the word might seem to imply.
The tone of Anacreon's lyric effusions has probab
The French Renaissance was the cultural and artistic movement in France between the 15th and early 17th centuries. The period is associated with the pan-European Renaissance, a word first used by the French historian Jules Michelet to define the artistic and cultural "rebirth" of Europe. Notable developments during the French Renaissance include the spread of humanism, early exploration of the "New World"; the French Renaissance traditionally extends from the French invasion of Italy in 1494 during the reign of Charles VIII until the death of Henry IV in 1610. This chronology notwithstanding, certain artistic, technological or literary developments associated with the Renaissance arrived in France earlier; the reigns of Francis I of France and his son Henry II are considered the apex of the French Renaissance. The word "Renaissance" is a French word, whose literal translation into English is "Rebirth"; the word Renaissance was first used and defined by French historian Jules Michelet, in his 1855 work, Histoire de France.
Jules Michelet defined the 16th-century Renaissance in France as a period in Europe's cultural history that represented a break from the Middle Ages, creating a modern understanding of humanity and its place in the world. As a French citizen and historian, Michelet claimed the Renaissance as a French movement, his work is at the origin of the use of the French word "Renaissance" in other languages. For a chronological list of French Renaissance artists, see List of French Renaissance artists. In the late 15th century, the French invasion of Italy and the proximity of the vibrant Burgundy court brought the French into contact with the goods and the creative spirit of the Northern and Italian Renaissance, the initial artistic changes in France were carried out by Italian and Flemish artists, such as Jean Clouet and his son François Clouet and the Italians Rosso Fiorentino, Francesco Primaticcio and Niccolò dell'Abbate of the first School of Fontainebleau. In 1516, Francis I of France invited Leonardo da Vinci to the Château d'Amboise and provided him with the Château du Clos Lucé called Château de Cloux, as a place to stay and work.
Leonardo, a famous painter and inventor, arrived with three of his paintings, namely the Mona Lisa, Sainte Anne, Saint Jean Baptiste, today owned by the Louvre museum of Paris. The art of the period from Francis I through Henry IV is inspired by late Italian pictorial and sculptural developments referred to as Mannerism, characterized by figures which are elongated and graceful and a reliance on visual rhetoric, including the elaborate use of allegory and mythology. There are a number of French artists of incredible talent in this period including the painter Jean Fouquet of Tours and the sculptors Jean Goujon and Germain Pilon. Late Mannerism and early Baroque. Henry IV invited the artists Toussaint Dubreuil, Martin Fréminet and Ambroise Dubois to work on the château of Fontainebleau and they are called the second School of Fontainebleau. Marie de Medici, Henry IV's queen, invited the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens to France, the artist painted a number of large-scale works for the queen's Luxembourg Palace in Paris.
Another Flemish artist working for the court was Frans Pourbus the younger. Outside France, working for the dukes of Lorraine, one finds a different late mannerist style in the artists Jacques Bellange, Claude Deruet and Jacques Callot. Having little contact with the French artists of the period, they developed a heightened and erotic mannerism, excellent skill in etching. One of the greatest accomplishments of the French Renaissance was the construction of the Châteaux of the Loire Valley: no longer conceived of as fortresses, these pleasure palaces took advantage of the richness of the rivers and lands of the Loire region and they show remarkable architectural skill; the old Louvre castle in Paris was rebuilt under the direction of Pierre Lescot and would become the core of a brand new Renaissance château. To the west of the Louvre, Catherine de Medici had built for her the Tuileries palace with extensive gardens and a grotte; the ascension of Henry IV of France to the throne brought a period of massive urban development in Paris, including construction on the Pont Neuf, the Place des Vosges, the Place Dauphine, parts of the Louvre.
French Renaissance gardens were characterized by symmetrical and geometric planting beds or parterres. They became an extension of the chateaux that they surrounded, were designed to illustrate the Renaissance ideals of measure and proportion. Burgundy, the French-speaking area unified with the Kingdom of France in 1477, was the musical center of Europe in the early and middl
17th-century French literature
17th-century French literature was written throughout the Grand Singer of France, spanning the reigns of Henry IV of France, the Regency of Marie de Medici, Louis XIII of France, the Regency of Anne of Austria and the reign of Louis XIV of France. The literature of this period is equated with the Classicism of Louis XIV's long reign, during which France led Europe in political and cultural development. In reality, 17th-century French literature encompasses far more than just the classicist masterpieces of Jean Racine and Madame de La Fayette. In Renaissance France, literature was the product of encyclopedic humanism, included works produced by an educated class of writers from religious and legal backgrounds. A new conception of nobility, modelled on the Italian Renaissance courts and their concept of the perfect courtier, was beginning to evolve through French literature. Throughout the 17th century this new concept transformed the image of the rude noble into an ideal of honnête homme or the bel esprit whose chief virtues included eloquent speech, skill at dance, refined manners, appreciation of the arts, intellectual curiosity, wit, a spiritual or platonic attitude towards love and the ability to write poetry.
Central to this transformation of literature were the salons and literary academies which flourished during the first decades of the 17th century. The production of literary works such as poems, works of criticism or moral reflection was considered a necessary practice by nobles, the creation of the arts served as a means of social advancement for both non- and marginalized noblemen. In the mid-17th century, there were an estimated 2,200 authors in France, writing for a reading public of just a few tens of thousands. Under Cardinal Richelieu, patronage of the arts and literary academies came under the control of the monarchy. Henry IV's court was considered by contemporaries a rude one, lacking the Italianate sophistication of the court of the Valois kings; the court lacked a queen, who traditionally served as a focus of a nation's authors and poets. Henry's literary tastes were limited to the chivalric novel Amadis of Gaul. In the absence of a national literary culture, private salons formed around upper-class women such as Marie de Medici and Marguerite de Valois, devoting themselves to discussions of literature and society.
In the 1620s, the most famous salon was held at the Hôtel de Rambouillet by Madame de Rambouillet. The word salon first appeared in French in 1664 from the Italian word sala, the large reception hall of a mansion. Before 1664, literary gatherings were called by the name of the room in which they occurred -- cabinet, réduit, alcôve, ruelle. For instance, the term ruelle derives from literary gatherings held in the bedroom, a practice popular with Louis XIV. Nobles, lying on their beds, would receive close friends and offer them seats on chairs or stools surrounding the bed. Ruelle refers to the wall in a bedroom. In the context of French scholastica, academies were scholarly societies which monitored and critiqued French culture. Academies first appeared in France during the Renaissance, when Jean-Antoine de Baïf created one devoted to poetry and music, inspired by the academy of Italian Marsilio Ficino; the first half of the 17th century was marked by a phenomenal growth in private academies, organised around a half-dozen or a dozen individuals who met regularly.
Academies were more formal and more focused on criticism and analysis than salons, which encouraged pleasurable discourse about society. However, certain salons were closer to the academic spirit. In the mid-17th century, academies came under government control and sponsorship and the number of private academies decreased; the first private academy to fall under governmental control was L'Académie française, which remains the most prestigious governmental academy in France. Founded in 1634 by Cardinal Richelieu, L'Académie française focuses on the French language. In certain instances, the values of 17th-century nobility played a major part in the literature of the era. Most notable of these values are the aristocratic obsession with majesty; the spectacle of power and luxury found in 17th-century literature may be distasteful or offensive. Corneille's heroes, for example, have been labeled by modern critics as vainglorious and prideful; the château of Versailles, court ballets, noble portraits, triumphal arches – all of these were representations of glory and prestige.
The notion of glory was not vanity or boastfulness or hubris, but rather a moral imperative for the aristocracy. Nobles were required to be generous, magnanimous and to perform great deeds disinterestedly, to master their own emotions. One's status in the world demanded appropriate externalisation ( or "conspicuous consump
An epic poem, epos, or epopee is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary men and women who, in dealings with the gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the moral universe that their descendants, the poet and his audience, must understand to understand themselves as a people or nation. Another type of epic poetry is epyllion, a brief narrative poem with a romantic or mythological theme; the term, which means "little epic", came into use in the nineteenth century. It refers to the erudite, shorter hexameter poems of the Hellenistic period and the similar works composed at Rome from the age of the neoterics; the most famous example of classical epyllion is Catullus 64. The English word epic comes from the Latin epicus, which itself comes from the Ancient Greek adjective ἐπικός, from ἔπος, "word, poem". Originating before the invention of writing, primary epics were composed by bards who used complex rhetorical and metrical schemes by which they could memorize the epic as received in tradition and add to the epic in their performances.
Hence aside from writers like Dante, Camões, Milton, Apollonius of Rhodes in his Argonautica and Virgil in Aeneid adopted and adapted Homer's style and subject matter, but used devices available only to those who write, in their works Nonnus' Dionysiaca and Tulsidas' Sri Ramacharit Manas used stylistic elements typical of epics. The oldest epic recognized is the Epic of Gilgamesh, recorded In ancient Sumer during the Neo-Sumerian Empire; the poem details the exploits of Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk. Although recognized as a historical figure, Gilgamesh, as represented in the epic, is a legendary or mythical figure; the longest epic written is the ancient Indian Mahabharata, which consists of 100,000 ślokas or over 200,000 verse lines, as well as long prose passages, so that at about 1.8 million words it is about four times the length of the Rāmāyaṇa, ten times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined. Famous examples of epic poetry include the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, the ancient Indian Mahabharata and Rāmāyaṇa, the Tamil Silappatikaram, the Persian Shahnameh, the Ancient Greek Odyssey and Iliad, Virgil's Aeneid, the Old English Beowulf, Dante's Divine Comedy, the Finnish Kalevala, the German Nibelungenlied, the French Song of Roland, the Spanish Cantar de mio Cid, the Portuguese Os Lusíadas, John Milton's Paradise Lost, Adam Mickiewicz's Pan Tadeusz.
The first epics were products of oral history poetic traditions. Oral tradition was used alongside written scriptures to communicate and facilitate the spread of culture. In these traditions, poetry is transmitted to the audience and from performer to performer by purely oral means. Early twentieth-century study of living oral epic traditions in the Balkans by Milman Parry and Albert Lord demonstrated the paratactic model used for composing these poems. What they demonstrated was that oral epics tend to be constructed in short episodes, each of equal status and importance; this facilitates memorization, as the poet is recalling each episode in turn and using the completed episodes to recreate the entire epic as he performs it. Parry and Lord contend that the most source for written texts of the epics of Homer was dictation from an oral performance. Milman Parry and Albert Lord have argued that the Homeric epics, the earliest works of Western literature, were fundamentally an oral poetic form.
These works form the basis of the epic genre in Western literature. Nearly all of Western epic self-consciously presents itself as a continuation of the tradition begun by these poems. Classical epic poetry employs a meter called dactylic hexameter and recounts a journey, either physical or mental or both. Epics tend to highlight cultural norms and to define or call into question cultural values as they pertain to heroism. In his work Poetics, Aristotle defines an epic as one of the forms of poetry, contrasted with lyric poetry and with drama in the form of tragedy and comedy. In A Handbook to Literature and Holman define an epic: Epic: a long narrative poem in elevated style presenting characters of high position in adventures forming an organic whole through their relation to a central heroic figure and through their development of episodes important to the history of a nation or race. An attempt to delineate ten main characteristics of an epic: Begins in medias res; the setting is vast, covering the world or the universe.
Begins with an invocation to a muse. Begins with a statement of the theme. Includes the use of epithets. Contains long called an epic catalogue. Features long and formal speeches. Shows divine intervention on human affairs. Features heroes that embody the values of the civilization. Features the tragic hero's descent into the underworld or hell; the hero participates in a cyclical journey or quest, faces adversaries that try to defeat him in his journey and returns home transformed by his journey. The epic hero illustrates traits, performs deeds, exemplifies certain morals that are valued by the society the epic originates from. Many epic heroes are recurring characters in the legends of their native culture. Conventions of epics: Proposition: Opens by stating the cause of the epic; this may take the form
18th-century French literature
18th-century French literature is French literature written between 1715, the year of the death of King Louis XIV of France, 1798, the year of the coup d'État of Bonaparte which brought the Consulate to power, concluded the French Revolution, began the modern era of French history. This century of enormous economic, social and political transformation produced two important literary and philosophical movements: during what became known as the Age of Enlightenment, the Philosophes questioned all existing institutions, including the church and state, applied rationalism and scientific analysis to society. In common with a similar movement in England at the same time, the writers of 18th century France were critical and innovative, their lasting contributions were the ideas of liberty, humanitarianism and progress, which became the ideals of modern western democracy. The 18th century saw the gradual weakening of the absolute monarchy constructed by Louis XIV, its power slipped away during the Regency of Philippe d'Orléans, the long regime of King Louis XV, when France lost the Seven Years' War with England, lost much of its empire in Canada and India.
France was forced to recognize the growing power of Prussia. The Monarchy ended with King Louis XVI, unable to understand or control the forces of the French Revolution; the end of the century saw the birth of the United States, with the help of French ideas and military forces. French society was hierarchal with the Clergy and Nobility at the top and The Third Estate who included everyone else. Members of the Third Estate the more wealthy and influential, began to challenge the cultural and social monopoly of the aristocracy; the Rise of the Third Estate was influential in the overthrow of the monarchy in the French Revolution in 1789. French thinking evolved thanks to major discoveries in science by Newton, Volta, Buffon and Monge, among others, their rapid diffusion throughout Europe through newspapers, scientific societies, theaters. Faith in science and progress was the driving force behind the first French Encyclopedia of Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert; the authority of the Catholic Church was weakened by the conflicts between high and low clergy by the conflict between the State and Jesuits, who were expelled from the Kingdom in 1764.
The Protestants achieved legal status in France in 1787. The church hierarchy was in continual battle with the Lumieres, having many of their works banned, causing French courts to sentence a Protestant, Jean Calas, to death in 1762 for blasphemy, an act, condemned by Voltaire; the explorations of the New World and the first encounters with American Indians brought a new theme into French and European Literature. The exchange of ideas with other countries increased. British ideas were important such ideas as constitutional monarchy and romanticism, which influenced French writers in the following century; the visual arts of the 18th century were decorative and oriented toward giving pleasure, as exemplified by the Regency Style and Louis XV Style, the paintings of François Boucher, Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Chardin, portrait painters Quentin de La Tour and Van Loo. Toward the end of the century, a more sober style appeared, aimed at illustrating scenery and moral values exemplified by Greuze, Hubert Robert and Claude Joseph Vernet.
The leading figures in French music were François Couperin et Jean-Philippe Rameau, but they were overshadowed by other European composers of the century, notably Vivaldi, Mozart Haendel and Haydn. For art and architecture in the 18th century, see French Rococo and Neoclassicism Continuing the work of the so-called "Libertines" of the 17th century, the critical spirit of such writers as Bayle and Fontenelle, the writers who were called the lumières denounced, in the name of reason and moral values, the social and political oppressions of their time, they challenged the idea of absolute monarchy and demanded a social contract as the new basis of political authority, demanded a more democratic organization of central power in a constitutional monarchy, with a separation of powers among the executive and judicial branches of government Voltaire fought against the abuses of power by the government, such as censorship and letters of cachet, which allowed imprisonment without trial, against the collusion of the church and monarchy, for an "enlightened despotism" where kings would be advised by philosophers.
These writers, others such as the Abbé Sieyès, one of the main authors of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, became known as the philosophes. They came from the wealthy upper class or Thir
Guillaume Desautels was a French poet of the sixteenth century associated with La Pléiade. He was born in 1529 in Burgundy; the exact place of birth is not formally known. Some sources gives Montcenis, Vernoble in a château of his father near Genouilly and Le Puley in "Les Hôtels" House, the second château of his family, he was the son of Anne de la Vesure. He died about 1599 in Lyon. Various sources give the years 1570, 1576, 1579 and 1581 as well as "after 1584". One source says, he was married in 1548 to Jeanne de Bruyere. Other researchers give the name of Jane de Salle, it is not known if there were any children from this marriage or if, in fact, there were two distinct marriages. His maternal grandmother named Anne, was the sister of Etienne de Tyard, father of Pontus de Tyard, one of the seven members of the group of French poets called the Pléiade. Guillaume's mother, Anne de la Vesure would thus have been the first cousin of Etienne; the family was prominent in Burgundy. Another Anne de la Vesure is recorded as the Abbess of an Ursuline convent in the capital city of Burgundy, Dijon.
Pontus Seigneur de Bissy became the Bishop of Chalon-sur-Saone in 1578 from where he was driven in 1590 and his chateau there plundered as a result of his support for Henry III of France against the Guise brothers who headed the Catholic League. As a youth, Guillaume studied under his governor, Jean Tullerius and at the college of Burgundy where he studied the humanities and philosophy until 1542. At the age of 15 he went to Lyon from 1544 to 1546 where he studied with Fontaine and Ancais at the school of Marat, he studied law at the university of Valence in Dauphiné from 1546 until 1549 under Coras. He never practiced the legal profession although he would have had need for it as Judge Magistrate at Cluny in years. While in Valence he made the acquaintance of Cardinal Berthelemy Des Places, Melin de St. Gelais and his own cousin, the aforementioned Pontus de Tyard among others, it was during this period he was married to Jeanne de Bruyere whom he left at Montcenis to stay with his father. Guillaume did not leave her.
The town of Bruyere is only about 50 miles from Montcenis. It is more than that she had many friends and family in the area while Guillaume was away studying. Lonely in Valence and only 20 years of age, he met a woman named Denise L'hoste and her husband Jean Chabert of the nearby town of Romans in Dauphine, he took up residence with them in October 1549 and lived there for seven months during which time he and Denise developed a platonic love affair. She referred to him as "Sainte", it would have been during this period that he met Michel de Nostredame, forever known to the world as Nostradamus. In 1547 Nostradamus lived at Salon-de-Provence, less than a hundred miles from Guillaumes' school at Valence. Nostradamus was quite familiar with Guillaumes' friend and fellow poet and was well known and celebrated in Lyon for his successful efforts to combat the plague in that same year. Guillaume returned to Montcenis in 1550 where he joined his wife and stayed until 1553, it was during this time that his father died and left him little but his good name.
The chateau and lands he inherited at Montcenis were "rather noble than rich". It cannot be left unsaid that it was in fief to the Barony of Montcenis since, in 1510 a man named Loys d'Orleans carried the title of "Seigneur de la Baronnaie de Montcenis"; the poverty of the estate was due to the loss of these lands by the now defunct Dukedom of Burgundy to the King of France in 1477, only about 75 years before Syacre's death. While maintaining the name now considered a family name of DesAutels it would seem that the loss of political and military value and connection to Burgundian Charolles and Montcenis had deprived the estate of its source of wealth and prestige, he moved to Paris in 1553 hoping to secure an appointment with the King. While there he befriended Cardinal de Guise, the source of his well-being during these six years in Paris which he left in April, 1559, he went to Spain in the hope of gaining the favor of the Burgundian-Habsburg rulers there. For whatever reason he sailed for Belgium, ruled by the same Burgundian-Habsburg house.
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and ruler of much of Europe until his abdication in 1555 was the grandson of Mary of Burgundy, sole heir to that house when her father was killed in battle in 1477 and France absorbed the province of Burgundy into the French realm. She married a Habsburg, thus uniting forever the houses of Habsburg; when Charles V abdicated his son Philip II of Spain became King and it was to him at Brussels that Guillaume set his gaze. He was there a mere two months when he was there only a few weeks, he was named Cartographer to the King for this short time and was so short a time because Philip II, unhappy at Brussels left permanently for residence in Spain. Guillaume was aided at Brussels by two "beau-freres" brothers-in-law named Diamantius. Since, not his wife's maiden name, it would appear that he had siblings — at lea
Jean Daurat was a French poet, scholar and a member of a group known as The Pléiade. He was born Joan Dinemandy in Limoges and was a member of a noble family. After studying at the College of Limoges, he came to Paris to be presented to King Francis I of France, who made him tutor to his pages, he gained an immense reputation as a classical scholar. As a private tutor in the house of Lazare de Baif, he had Jean-Antoine de Baif for his pupil, his son, showed great precocity and at the age of ten, translated into French verse one of his father's Latin pieces. His poems were published with his father's. Daurat became director of the College de Coqueret, where he had among his pupils Antoine de Baif, Pierre de Ronsard, Remy Belleau, Pontus de Tyard. Joachim du Bellay was added by Ronsard to this group, these five young poets, under the direction of Daurat, formed a society for the reformation of the French language and literature, they increased their number to seven by the initiation of the dramatist Étienne Jodelle, thereupon they named themselves La Pléiade, in emulation of the seven Greek poets of Alexandria.
The election of Daurat as their leader proved his personal influence, the value his pupils set on the learning to which he introduced them, but as a writer of French verse he is the least important of the seven. Meanwhile, he collected around him a sort of Academy, encouraged the students in a passionate study of Greek and Latin poetry, he himself wrote incessantly in both those languages, was styled "the modern Pindar". His influence extended beyond the bounds of his own country, he was famous as a scholar in England and Germany. In 1556 he was appointed professor of Greek at the Collège Royal. In 1567, he resigned the post in favour of his nephew, Nicolas Goulu. King Charles IX gave him the title of poeta regius, his prolific output was the wonder of his time. The best of these he published at Paris in 1586, he died at Paris, having survived all his illustrious pupils of the Pléiade, except Pontus de Tyard. The Œuvres poétiques in the vernacular of Jean Daurat were edited in 1875 with biographical notice and bibliography by Charles Marty-Laveaux in his Pléiade française.
Daurat has been credited with the development of the claque in the French theatre, in which professional applauders are paid to ensure the success of certain plays and actors. Daurat is described by Eduard Fraenkel as "the true initiator of the study of Greek poetry in France", his pupils, including Joseph Justus Scaliger, were responsible for circulating the numerous textual conjectures made by Daurat in Aeschylus' Agamemnon, which Daurat himself left unpublished