It is well known in a general way that sixteenth-century French literature looked for its models towards Greece and Rome, but the topic is usually left there. This book begins with a reassessment of the original meaning and use of the work of Roman rhetoricians. It also identifies certain specific values or canons implicit in the actual texture of Latin poetry, and shows how these transformed French rhetorical theory and inaugurated the line of French poetry from Sceve to Valery. Mrs Coleman examines, both in general and in the work of Sceve, Ronsard, Du Bellay and Montaigne, in particular, the way in which Roman values were recreated in the new language and the new literary forms. Scholars interested in the survival or prolongation of the classical tradition will be interested, and so, of course, will specialists in French and Renaissance literary studies.