Gower Bibliography

Studies in the Sources of Gower. I. The Latin and French Versions of 'Barlaam and Jospahat,' and of the 'Legendary History of Alexander the Great.'

Hamilton, George L. "Studies in the Sources of Gower. I. The Latin and French Versions of 'Barlaam and Jospahat,' and of the 'Legendary History of Alexander the Great.'." Journal of English and Germanic Philology 26 (1927), pp. 491-520.

Review

Hamilton begins by arguing that Gower's account of Hercules is "a dovetailing of phrases from the Latin and French versions of Barlaam [and Josaphat], the enlarged Roman de Troie [see Hamilton's 1905 article for this hypothetical source], and maybe, from the Historia Trojana" (496). He then adds that some details – in particular, the number of Hercules' "merveiles" – are borrowed from redaction J2 (not Macaulay's J3) of the Historia de Preliis of Archypresbyter Leo. Lastly, Gower's emphasis on the contrast between Hercules' ignominious death (borrowed from the first set of sources) and Hercules' great deeds (borrowed from the Historia de Preliis), may be indebted to a passage from Walter Map's Dissuasio Valerii ad Ruffinum Philosophum ne Uxorem Ducat where the fatal gift of Deianira becomes Hercules's thirteenth labour. Lastly, Gower's comments on "Fortitudo" are borrowed from the Poetarius of Albericus of London. Hamilton then provides a brief discussion of the concept of fortitude in Gower's works, before moving on to an examination of the sources of the story of Nectanabus in Book 6 of the CA. Here too the Historia de Preliis is used to supply additional information, such as the idea that Nectanabus was king of Egypt. Other sources or analogues Hamilton mentions include the Roman de la Rose, Brunetto Latini's Tresor, and the Anglo-Norman Roman de Toute Chevalerie of Thomas of Kent. Hamilton dedicates special attention to the source of Gower's reference to the pillars of Hercules. [CvD]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Confessio Amantis

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