[Milton-L] a Milton query

Ralph Lieberman rlieberm at williams.edu
Tue Dec 9 09:44:16 EST 2008


  Happy Milton's Birthday one and all.

In Samuel Johnson's Life ... we read of Milton in his youth that "he 
was at this time eminently skilled in the Latin tongue; and he 
himself by annexing the dates to his first compositions, a boast of 
which the learned Politian had given him an example, seems to commend 
the earliness of his own proficiency to the notice of posterity ...."

I would be very grateful to know how Dr. Johnson knew that. Where in 
Milton's writings is there evidence that the idea of dating his early 
works came from Politian, and from which Politian work?

With many thanks,

         Ralph Lieberman
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