- John D. Lyons
‘The last Roman, “cannibals”, giants, and heroines of modern life: antiquity and renewal’ looks at the impact of the Renaissance on French cultural identity. The work of Du Bellay may be seen as an early expression of France's struggle to maintain its identity. Following such models as Ovid, Horace, and Catullus, each of the major writers in verse created for himself or herself a distinct character or persona. Montaigne's Essays, with their first-person character, provide a model for an early-modern personality, and Rabelais succeeded in creating protagonists deeply rooted in French geography, customs, and language.