Petrarch was not only the imitator of Virgil, who had been the leading name in Latin letters throughout the middle ages; it was the influence of Petrarch that gave a new prominence to Cicero.
But the new creative effort in language was accompanied by considerable crudeness of execution, and the novel word-formations and varieties of inflexion introduced by Pacuvius exposed him to the ridicule of the satirist Lucilius, and, long afterwards, to that of his imitator Persius.
In 1720 King John V., an imitator of Louis XIV., established the academy of history.
Johan Paulinus Liljenstedt (1655-1732), a Finn, was a graceful imitator of Ronsard and Guarini.
Though phrases and even sentences from many classical authors are inwoven here and there, the narrative flows easily, with no trace of the jolts and jerks which offend us in almost every line of an imitator of the classics like Sidonius.
He also encouraged the transcription of Latin MSS., which became models of style to Widukind of Corvey, the imitator of Sallust and Livy.
The Theban legend, which reached its fullest development in the Thebais of Statius and in Seneca, reappeared in the Roman de Thebes (the work of an unknown imitator of Benoit de Sainte-More).
As has been said above, the tone of many portions of the Heliand is that of a man who was no mere imitator of the ancient epic, but who had himself been accustomed to sing of heroic themes.
His imitator and superintendent, Fouquet, the Maecenas of the future Augustus, concealed this gambling policy beneath the lustre of the arts and the glamour of a literature remarkable for elevation of thought ana vigour of style, and further characterized by the proud though somewhat restricted freedom conceded to men like Corneille, Descartes and Pascal, but soon to disappear.
Each wrote copiously in verse, but Johan (1640-1684), who was professor of poetry at Upsala, almost entirely in Latin, while Samuel (1642-1679), especially in his Odae sveticae, showed himself an apt and fervid imitator of the Swedish hexameters of Stjernhjelm, to whom he was at one time secretary, and whose Hercules he dramatized.