Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Tyard, Pontus de

Born: 1521/1522, Bissy-sur-Fley
Died: 1605, Bragny
  • Anne-Pascale Pouey-MounouEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_314-1

Abstract

Pontus de Tyard, a scholar of encyclopedic learning and a bishop (Chalon-sur-Saône), was a Petrarchist and Platonizing poet, associated with the “Lyon School” and the “Pléiade,” and a theoretician of poetry, music, and the sciences. He was, like Peletier du Mans, particularly interested in mathematics and in the potential of French as a literary and scholarly language.

In his poetry, Tyard successively sings the praises of two mysterious muses, linking human to divine love [Erreurs amoureuses (1549–1555), Vers liriques (1552–1555), Nouvell’œuvres poetiques (1573), Douze fables de fleuves ou fontaines (1585)]. In his scientific work, he investigated a series of knowledge areas and their applicability to issues of faith, the philosophy of language, and political thinking. He translated Judah Abrabanel’s Dialoghi d’amore (Leone Ebreo, 1551) and composed six Discours philosophiques (1552–1558), the Solitaire premier (on poetic frenzy), the Solitaire second (on music), the Discours du temps, de l’an et de ses parties (on time), L’Univers (Premier and Second Curieux, on cosmology), and Mantice (on astrological divination), and later he wrote some more treatises on science, faith, onomastics, and political writings.

He was an active member of two academies – the Académie de poésie et de musique presided by Baïf (under Charles IX) and the Académie du Palais (under Henry III). He contributed to contemporary debates around music and its primacy, the legitimacy of human curiosity, and the conception of language, in an allusive, dialogic way.

Keywords

Extra Dimension Active Member Vast Range Political Thinking Contemporary Debate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Biography

Born into the Burgundian aristocracy, Pontus de Tyard, a scholar of encyclopedic learning, entered the priesthood (Bishop of Chalon-sur-Saône). He was a Petrarchist and Platonizing poet, associated with the “Lyon School” and the “Pléiade”, (Saulnier 1948, Kushner et al. 2008) and a theoretician of poetry, music, and the sciences.

In addition to his links with the great poets of his time, Tyard was, like Peletier, interested in the sciences, particularly mathematics, and in the potential of French as a literary and scholarly language (Kushner 2001). In his religious functions, he was independent during the Counter-Reformation, as a Gallican and a shrewd politician, for example, when the League seized power in Chalon after the assassination of the Duke of Guise. Following a polemic with some Jesuits (Father Charles Suger), he resigned his office in 1593, devoting the rest of his days to study (Kushner 2001).

In his Petrarchist and Platonizing poetry, Tyard sings the praises of a mysterious Pasithée and then later extols a different muse, probably Claude-Catherine de Retz. His poetic oeuvre includes the three books of the Erreurs amoureuses (1549–1555), the Vers liriques (1552–1555), the Nouvell’œuvres poetiques (1573), the Douze fables de fleuves ou fontaines (1585, Marek 2006), and occasional verse in Latin. His motto, Amour immortelle [“Immortal Love”], links human to divine love.

Tyard translated Judah Abrabanel’s Dialoghi d’amore (Leone Ebreo 1551) and composed six Discours philosophiques (1552–1558): the Solitaire premier (on poetic frenzy, Baridon 1950); the Solitaire second (on music, Yandell 1980); the Discours du temps, de l’an et de ses parties (on time); L’Univers, comprising the Premier and Second Curieux (on cosmology, Lapp 1950) and Mantice (on astrological divination, Bokdam 1997); later he wrote Ephemerides octavae spherae (1562), De coelestibus asterismis poematium (1573), some Homilies (1585–1586), a treatise on onomastics (De recta nominum impositione, 1603), some Annotationes in libros Philonis Judaei, and some political writings (1604). He thus investigated a series of knowledge areas and their applicability to issues of faith, the philosophy of language, and political thinking (Roudaut 2008, Bokdam 2003).

Tyard was an active member of two academies – the Académie de poésie et de musique presided by Baïf (under Charles IX) and the Académie du Palais (under Henry III) – and his contributions to contemporary debates drew on a vast range of ancient and modern sources, including Boetius, Gafurio, Glarean, Alessandro, Champier, Pico della Mirandola and Ficino, Plotinus, Lucian, Peucer, Origen, Melanchthon, and Cardano, as well as exegetical, ecclesiastical, and lexicographical works (Kushner et al. 2004–).

The Solitaires discusses the theurgic effects of music, the workings of the universe as musical harmony, and the primacy of music within the hierarchy of knowledge. The Universe and Mantice examine human curiosity, its legitimacy, and modes of operation. Tyard’s work, which throughout displays a humanist confidence in humankind, is varied, allusive, and dialogic, making it difficult to circumscribe. He brings an extra dimension to contemporary debates by juxtaposing different systems – for example, the debate in Mantice on divination conflicts with his own Premier Curieux, which affirms man’s vocation for knowledge (Bokdam 1997). Lastly, in his conception of language, he espouses a “second Cratylism” (Kushner et al. 2004–), which is closer to Plato’s Socrates than to Cratylus himself.

Cross-References

References

Primary Literature

  1. Baridon SF (ed) (1950) Solitaire premier. Droz, Geneva-LilleGoogle Scholar
  2. Bokdam S (ed) (1997) Mantice., Droz, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  3. [Juda Abravanel] Leone Ebreo (2006) Dialogues d’Amour (trad. de Tyard P (1551), eds Dagron T, Ansaldi S). Vrin, ParisGoogle Scholar
  4. Kushner E et al. (eds) (2004–) Œuvres complètes. Champion, ParisGoogle Scholar
  5. Lapp JL (ed) (1950) The Universe of Pontus de Tyard. Cornell University Press, IthacaGoogle Scholar
  6. Yandell CM (ed) (1980) Solitaire second. Droz, GenevaGoogle Scholar

Secondary Literature

  1. Bokdam S (ed) (2003) Pontus de Tyard, poète, philosophe, théologien. Champion, ParisGoogle Scholar
  2. Kushner E (2001) Pontus de Tyard et son œuvre poétique. Champion, ParisGoogle Scholar
  3. Kushner E, Haverkamp CP, Rouget F (eds) (2008) Pontus de Tyard: errances et enracinement. Champion, ParisGoogle Scholar
  4. Marek H (2006) Le Mythe antique dans l’œuvre de Pontus de Tyard. Champion, ParisGoogle Scholar
  5. Roudaut F (2008) La Bibliothèque de Pontus de Tyard. Champion, ParisGoogle Scholar
  6. Saulnier VL (1948) Maurice Scève (ca. 1500–1560). Paris, re-ed. slathine, Geneva-Paris, 1981Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Charles-de-Gaulle – Lille 3Villeneuve d’Ascq CedexFrance