Borrowed Plumage: Literary Metamorphosis in George Buchanan's De Sphaera

Emma Ruth Grenville Gee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Scottish humanist George Buchanan (1506-82) partially completed, across the course of his career, an astronomical didactic poem, the 'De Sphaera', in which he drew on various Latin poets. I aim to explode the notion of Latin 'tags' beloved of Renaissance studies, and to show how quotations from Latin authors are not merely tags, but carry significance for the reading of the poem. I here concentrate on Ovid's 'Metamorphoses', showing how Buchanan's use of that poem creates a tension between change and immutability in his universe.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeorge Buchanan
Subtitle of host publicationPoet and Dramatist
EditorsPhilip Ford, Roger P.H. Green
PublisherClassical Press of Wales
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)978-1-905125-36-4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Buchanan
  • Neo-Latin
  • astronomy
  • Classics


Dive into the research topics of 'Borrowed Plumage: Literary Metamorphosis in George Buchanan's De Sphaera'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this