Gower Bibliography

Livy in Gower's and Chaucer's Lucrece Stories

Harder, Henry L. "Livy in Gower's and Chaucer's Lucrece Stories." Publications of the Missouri Philological Association.2 (1977), pp. 1-7.


Harder argues that Gower's tale of Lucrece makes eclectic use of both Livy and Ovid's versions of the story. In particular, from Livy Gower borrows specifics about the siege of Ardea, the kinship of Collatine and Arrons, the mention of a companion for Arrons on the journey to Lucrece's house, and the bearing of Lucrece's body to the market place or forum. Gower's use of two different sources (likely open by his side as he composed) is also the reason why Gower mistakenly treats Collatia as both a section and gate of Rome. The only detail that neither source explains concerns Gower's naming of the rapist as Arrons rather than Sextus. Harder wonders whether the political context of the 1390's may have some bearing on the change, but ultimately admits that he has "yet no solution" (5). Harder concludes with some observations about Chaucer's use of Livy, Augustine, and Ovid. [CvD]

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

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