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Sceve, Maurice

SCEVE, MAURICE (c. 1500-1564), French poet, was born at Lyons, where his father practised law. Besides following his father's profession he was a painter, architect, musician and poet. He was the centre of the Lyonnese coterie that elaborated the theory of spiritual love, derived partly from Plato and partly from Petrarch, which was enunciated in Antoine Heroet's Parfaicte Amye.

Sceve's chief works are Dklie, objet de plus haulte vertu (1544); two eclogues, Arion (1536) and La Saulsaye (1547); and Le Microcosme (1562), an encyclopaedic poem beginning with the fall of man. Delie consists of 450 dizaines and about 50 other poems in praise of his mistress. These poems, now little read, were even in Sceve's own day so obscure that his enthusiastic admirer Etienne Dolet confesses he could not understand them. Scfeve was a musician as well as a poet, and cared very much for the musical value of the words he used. In this and in his erudition he forms 'a link between the school of Marot and the P16iade Dttie (an anagram for I'idee) set the fashion of a series of poems addressed to a mistress real or imaginary, followed by Ronsard in Cassandre and by Du Bellay in Olive. The Lyonnese school of which Scfrve was the leader included his friend Claude de Taillemont and many women writers of verse, Jeanne Gaillarde placed by Marot on an equality with Christine de Pisan Pernette du Guillet, Cle'mence de Bourges and the poet's sisters, Claudine and Sibylle Scfrve. Scfeve died in 1564. See also LABE, LOUISE).

See E. Bourciez, La Literature polie et les nueurs de cour sous Henri II (.Paris, 1886); Pernetti, Recherches pour servir a I'histoire de Lyon (2 vols., Lyons, 1757), an d F. Brunettere, " Un Pre'curseur de la Plei'ade. Maurice Scfeve, ' in his Etudes critiques, vol. vi. (1899).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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