Gower Bibliography

Medea a la 'Nigromantesa': A Propósito de los Hechos de Medea en Rojas y Gower.

Cortijo Ocaña, Antonio. "Medea a la 'Nigromantesa': A Propósito de los Hechos de Medea en Rojas y Gower." Revista de Literature Medieval 20 (2008), pp. 31-58. ISSN 1130-3611


This article explores the appellative "nigromantesa" [necromanceress] given to Medea in "La Celestina" (1499) against the background of other Peninsular texts which mention the Greek character and magical issues in the fifteenth century. Antonio Cortijo, undoubtedly inspired by Lida de Malkiel, pays special attention to two Spanish works, Juan de Mena's "Laberinto de Fortuna" (c. 1444) and its extensive commentary made by Hernán Núñez de Toledo, the "Glosa a las Treszientas" (1499). Cortijo Ocaña provides the text of Toledo's glosses to the terms "magos" [magicians] and to Medea the "inútil nigromantesa"--as Mena names her--an outstanding example of the vast humanist knowledge of the commentator, known as "el Comendador Griego" [Greek commander]. Although the "Glosa a las Treszientas" was published the same year as "La Celestina," Cortijo suggests that Rojas could have known the text before it was printed--certainly, Núñez de Toledo was a prominent scholar when he returned from Bologna in 1498, though he spent the subsequent years as a private tutor in Granada. Cortijo adds another pair of works to the panorama of late medieval Iberian stories of Medea, the Portuguese and Spanish translations of "Confessio Amantis," where Gower had given his own approach to the Ovidian myth. Thanks to Cortijo's parallel edition of the English, Portuguese, and Spanish versions of this passage, we have an excellent example of how the Medean legend was transferred to the two peninsular languages. His annotation of the modifications by the translators helps to complete the literary background for Rojas' reference to Medea the enchantress and opens up the possibility of exploring the readership, dissemination and possible impact of the Gowerian poem on Iberian literature. [AS-H.] [Copyright. The John Gower Society. JGN 29.2.2]

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

Gower Bibliography Editors Only: edit metadata