Polydore Vergil Criticism - Essay

Denys Hay (essay date 1952)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Hay, Denys. Introduction to Polydore Vergil: Renaissance Historian and Man of Letters, pp. vii-xiii. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952.

[In the following excerpt, Hay argues that several of Vergil's works, notably his Anglica historia and De Inventoribus rerum, have had an influence on a large body of literature and thought.]

[Polydore Vergil's] importance in the development of English historiography has been evident since C. L. Kingsford's English Historical Literature in the Fifteenth Century was published in 1913. The basic authority of the Anglica Historia for the events of Henry VII's reign was established by W. Busch in the first...

(The entire section is 1717 words.)

Alison Hanham (essay date 1975)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Hanham, Alison. “Polydore Vergil, the Second Italian.” In Richard III and His Early Historians, 1483-1535, pp. 125-47. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975.

[In this essay, Hanham analyzes Vergil's description of the reign of Richard III in Anglica historia to show what sources most influenced Vergil's writing, how the author subtly expressed his own political views, and why Vergil, and not Thomas More, should be credited with writing the first English literary history.]


Polydore Vergil was already a scholar of international standing when he came to England in 1502. With the encouragement of Henry VII he undertook to write a...

(The entire section is 9282 words.)

Bruno Weiss and Louis C. Pérez (essay date 1997)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Weiss, Bruno, and Louis C. Pérez. “Introduction: Polydore's Life and Works.” In Beginnings and Discoveries: Polydore Vergil's De Inventoribus rerum, pp. 5-25. Nieuwkoop, Netherlands: De Graaf Publishers, 1997.

[In the excerpt below, Weiss and Pérez discuss the diversity of topics found in De inventoribus rerum, which for many years had been considered Vergil's greatest achievement.]

Polydore Vergil was born around 1470, most likely in the Castle of Fermignano where his father owned land and property. Fermignano was located near the city of Urbino with which the Vergili family had a long connection. We come to the conclusion that 1470 was the year...

(The entire section is 7405 words.)