Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


DASSIER, Jean: England, ca.1733, Bronze, 43 mm
Obv: Bust of Milton    IOANNES MILTON
Rev: Adam and Eve in front of tree laden with apples, with a serpent winding around tree. Wolves are devouring a flock of sheep and birds of prey are diving from sky. Lightening flashes signal the entrance of the Furies into Paradise (scene from Paradise Lost)    DIRA DULCE CANIT ALTER HOMERUS. (A Second Homer Sweetly Sings Direful Events)
Signed:  I.D.
From Jean Dassier's Series, The British Worthies.
Ref: M.I., i 564/229; Eimer, 52/254; Eisler I, 284/5a; Thompson 41/04;  Weiss BW385

John Milton (1608-1674) ranks second only to Shakespeare among English poets. He is best known for Paradise Lost, which is generally regarded as the greatest epic poem in the English language. Milton was born in London, attended St. Paul's School, London, and in 1625 entered Christ's College, Cambridge, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1629 and his Master of Arts in 1632. He then retired to his father's house at Harnmersmith and to the country estate near Windsor, where he laid the foundation of his liberal thinking. In 1638 Milton set off on a visit to Italy. He stayed chiefly in Florence, Rome, and Naples. Milton was cordially welcomed among men of letters and patrons and their academies during this visit. He returned to England in 1639, settled in a house in London and prepared to take in pupils. His prose works written at this time are the essential introduction to Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes. The poet's final 16 years of life, during which these three works were composed or finished, were peaceful, although he had greatly diminished resources and suffered from blindness and gout. Apart from the publication of books, the chief events of these years were Milton's marriage in 1663 to a third wife, the young and amiable Elizabeth Minshull, who survived him, and the removal, during the plague of 1665, to a house at Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire. The reverse of the Milton medals refers to the opening passage of Paradise Lost published in 1667. (from Thompson, p. 41)

LINK to life of John Milton (from luminarium.org)