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11 - Leviathan, mythic history, and national historiography

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2010

Donald R. Kelley
Affiliation:
Rutgers University, New Jersey
David Harris Sacks
Affiliation:
Reed College, Oregon
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Summary

I have attempted (with what Successe I submit to the Reader) to collect out of Sundrie Authors the Philosophicall sense of these fables of Ouid, if I may call them his, when most of them are more antient then any extant Author, or perhaps then Letters themselves; before which, as they expressed their Conceptions in Hieroglyphics, so did they their Philosophic and Diuinite under the Fables and Parables: a way not un-trod by the sacred Pen-men; as by the prudent Law-giuers, in their reducing of the old World to ciuilitie, leauing behind a deeper impression, then can be made by the liuelesse precepts of Philosophie.

- George Sandys, preface to the reader to Ovid's Metamorphosis Englished, Mythologiz'd and Represented in Figures

HOBBES, SANDYS, DAVENANT, AND THE VIRGINIA COMPANY

The Virginia Company of London records in its official minutes that in 1623 George Sandys, newly appointed treasurer of that company, while crossing the Atlantic to take up his post, “amongst the rorering of the seas, the rustling of the Shroude, and the clamour of the sailors,” accomplished the translation of the first two books of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Once in Virginia he translated eight more, taking the completed manuscript with him on his return to England, where it was published in 1626 and republished in 1632. Believed to be the first work of poetry in the English language written in the Americas, the first edition is no longer extant, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., holding the only known copy of the second edition.

Type
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The Historical Imagination in Early Modern Britain
History, Rhetoric, and Fiction, 1500–1800
, pp. 267 - 297
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1997

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