Gower Bibliography

Capa Furrata and Nuda Iura: Vox Clamantis, 4.601-2

Ronnick, Michele Valerie. "Capa Furrata and Nuda Iura: Vox Clamantis, 4.601-2." Notes and Queries 237 (1992), pp. 444-445.


In Vox Clamantis 4.601-2, Gower describes the visits of Genius to the nuns of the cloister: "Sit licet in capa furrata, dum docet ipse, / Nuda tamen valde iura ministrat eis" (trans. Stockton, p. 180: "Although he may be in a fur-lined cape while he is giving instructions, he nevertheless ministers his naked authority to them forcefully"). The "capa furrata" refers to the "fur-lined gown of an educated layman or cleric," according to Ronnick, and echoes other examples of the deceptiveness of attire in VC. The "nuda iura," while obviously referring to the method of Genius' instruction, also recalls an actual legal term found in both Justinian and Bracton, referring to ownership by mere possession rather than by right. But hasn't Ronnick missed another anatomical pun in the "furred cape"? The very next line describes the nuns as being "stoned" without being injured; on this passage, see Stockton's note, p. 420. [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society. JGN 12.2]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Language and Word Studies
Vox Clamantis

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