Tracking Titan from Boccaccio to Milton: Euhemerism and Tyrannomachy in the Renaissance

Syrithe Pugh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The tale of Titan and the broken pact is a striking revision of the Hesiodic Titanomachy, a myth whose importance for assertions of monarchical authority across the ages is well documented. Giovanni Boccaccio’s genealogy is quite literal, and serves as a constant reminder of the work’s fundamental euhemerism and its concern with politics. Boccaccio and John Milton are also comparable in the way they represent their authorship and authority, using tropes which resonate with our topic. Responding to the political euhemerism of Boccaccio, Raoul Lefevre provides a wealth of justification for such resistance. Where modern scholarship on the Renaissance tends to view euhemerism through the lenses of Christian dogma, rationalization, or euergetistic appreciation of the cultural achievements of the ancients, we need to recognize also its power and prevalence as a polemical tool in contemporary ideological debates.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuhemerism and Its Uses
Subtitle of host publicationThe Mortal Gods
EditorsSyrithe Pugh
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9781000356588, 9781003094760
ISBN (Print)9780367556990
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2021


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