Early Modern Mythological Texts: Troia Britanica I, Notes

Thomas Heywood.  Troia Britanica (1609)

Notes to CANTO I

Ed. Frédéric DELORD


Arg. 1 

The year … line: Heywood’s chronology is borrowed from Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle [See “Heywood’s Library”], which uses a system of double dating: events are situated in time according to two scales, one starting with the creation of the world, the other moving backwards or forwards from the birth of Christ. In F, the first date is presented above a horizontal line, the second one under; in this edition, a slash separates the year after the creation and the year before or after Christ, which comes second.

Sibyl: F, Sybil or Sybill, throughout. Raoul Le Fèvre calls Saturn’s wife Cybelle [i. e. Cybele]. Caxton translates the name as Cybell. In Albion’s England, William Warner calls her Cybella or Cybell according to the necessities of scansion. Thomas Heywood chose to understand Sibyl, a name he kept for Saturn’s wife in The Golden Age, although he perfectly knew the difference between Sibyls as prophetesses (to whom he devotes a chapter in Gynaikeion) and the goddess Cybele, whom he calls first “Cibilla” then “Cibell” in his endnotes to canto I in Troia Britanica, a sign of some fluctuation.

Hies: hastens, speeds. Back to text


 Arg. 2

Alpha: “A”, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, hence canto I. Cantos I to XI of Troia Britanica are numbered with the appropriate letter of the Greek alphabet, from alpha (canto I) to lambda (canto XI). Cantos XII to XVII, however, are not assigned a Greek letter. In the first eleven cantos, Heywood imitates Chapman’s Seven Books of the Iliads of Homer (1598), numbered from alpha (I) to eta (VII), each book being introduced by an “Argument”, itself followed by “Another argument” in the form of a rhymed tetrameter couplet transformed by Heywood into a rhymed pentameter couplet. Similarly, Jean de Sponde’s edition of Homeri quae extant omnia (Basel: Eusebius Episcopus, 1583) offers a prose Argumentum followed by a second, brief argumentum or “inscriptio”, with the 24 books of the Iliad and of the Odyssey numbered from alpha (I) to omega (XXIV), as was the common use in editions of the Greek text. Heywood was thus symbolically inscribing his Troia Britanica in the prestigious lineage of Homeric epic. Back to text



Thales Milesius: F, Thales Milesi. Heywood borrows the beginning of canto I from Polydore Vergil’s De Rerum Inventoribus abridged and translated into English by Thomas Langley in 1546 (STC 24654): “Thales, one of the seven wise men of Greece, holds opinion that water was matter of all things”, fol. 4v). Polydore Vergil’s information in this section derives from Plutarch’s Moralia, I, ii.

Heraclitus: F, Haraclitus. “Contrariwise Heraclitus, an Ephesian, and Hippasus, suppose all to be procreated of fire” (Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 4v).

Hippasus: F, Hyppasus.

Anaximenes: F, Anaxamines. From Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, “Anaximenes thinks all things to have their beginning of the air” (fol. 4v).

Empedocles: “Empedocles saith the four elements were the causes of things as Lucretius writes” (Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 4v).

Metrodorus: Metrodorus of Chios. F, Metordorus. “Metrodorus affirmeth the universal world to be eternal without beginning or end” (Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 4v).

Atoms: F, Atom’s.

Epicurus: “Epicurus, one of Democritus’ disciples, putteth two causes, atoms or motes, and vacuity or emptiness, of these he saith the four elements come” (Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 4v). Back to text



Diodorus: Heywood’s source for stanza 2 is Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, “The most famous writers of natural histories, as Diodorus recordeth, speak of two sundry manners of birth and first stock of mankind. For they which contend that the world was ungenerate and without any danger of corruption, say also that man hath been in a certain perpetuity without beginning” (fol. 5r-v) and “… as Diodorus sayeth, it is probable that those under the Meridional Equator should be the ancientest of all. For seeing the heat of the sun dryeth up the moisture of the earth…” (fol. 6v). Back to text



Empedocles: Stanza 3 continues to versify Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, where Heywood found that “Anaximander taught that men first sprang of water and earth warmed with lively heat. Empedocles, in a manner, confirmeth the same, where he writeth that every particular member was generally made and proportioned of the earth (as a mother) and so to have been compacted and conglutinated by heat and moisture into the perfect figure and shape of man” (fol. 6v).

Anaximander: see preceding note. 

Democritus: see preceding note on Empedocles.

Zeno: Zeno of Citium. Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, “Zeno judgeth the cause of mankind to have proceeded of the new world. And men to be only begotten by the aid and comfort of the divine fire, that is the providence of God” (fols. 6v-7r). Heywood understood  Polydore Vergils’ “new world” as “a former world”. Back to text



Moses: F, Moyses. “…as Moses and Josephus record, the scripture concludeth that God made all things of nothing in the beginning…” (Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 4v). Back to text



Damask: “For God, when he had finished the world, did create the first man, Adam, of the earth in the field of Damask, as some think” (Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 7r). This detail about the place where Adam was created is not given by Polydore Vergil in his Latin edition of 1521 but added by Langley. A widespread tradition located Adam’s creation in the Damascene field, or field of Damask.

Evah: Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil (fol. 7r) does not mention Eve being created from Adam’ rib. Geneva Bible, Genesis, 2: 22: “And the rybbe which the Lord God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brogt her to the man”; Genesis 3: 20: “And the man called his wives name Hevah, because she was the mother of all living.”

confined: F, confinde; was limited, ended. Back to text



Jove’s seed: F, Ihoues seede. The phrase, as used by Heywood in Troia Britanica or by Chapman in his translations from Homer, may refer to any of Jupiter’s offspring. Here, Heywood may mean Apollo, god of poetry or Calliope, Muse of epic poetry. See Troia Britanica, IV, 65: “O you, Jove’s daughters, born of heavenly seed”, i. e. the Muses.

Hippocrene: “a fountain on Mount Helicon, sacred to the Muses; hence used allusively in reference to poetic or literary inspiration” (OED).

besprinkle: F; besprinke. Back to text



James: King James I of England.

Jove-starred: F, Ioves-star’d. Born under Jupiter’s influence and protection; also applied to Perseus, Troia Britanica, VI, 39. Back to text



destined: F, desceined, a probable misprint for desteined or desteyned.

stones: precious or medicinal stones. Back to text



Hesiod, in Operibus et Diebus: or Opera et Dies, Hesiod’s Works and Days. Heywood probably borrows the reference to Hesiod from Natale Conti’s Mythologia II, ii, “De Saturno” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 79). But while Conti’s quotation from Hesiod focuses on a happy, workless world, Heywood’s description of a luxuriant nature is actually inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, I, 89-112. The earth “Of her own nature yielding plants and sprays” echoes Ovid’s “per se dabat omnia tellus” (Metamorphoses, I, 102).

’is: his. Back to text



12: F, 2.

Pherecrates: Heywood refers to an excerpt from Pherecrates’ Metalles (The Miners) describing an age of plenty as quoted in Natale Conti’s Mythologia, II, ii, “De Saturno” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 78).

Trismegistus: F, Tremegistus. Hermes Trismegistus. Natale Conti mentions Trismegistus two lines above Marsilio Ficino in a paragraph dealing with the institution of laws, Mythologia, II, ii, “De Saturno” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 77).

Marsilius Ficinus: Marsilio Ficino. F, Marcil. Ficinns. The reference to Ficino appears just after Trismegistus in Conti, right in the following sentence. Conti writes that, according to Ficino quoting Charondas, Saturn was the author of the Carthaginian laws. Back to text



13: F, 3.

Tibullus: The reference to Tibullus’ description of a world without wars in Elegy I, iii, 35-48 is borrowed from Natale Conri’s Mythologia, II, ii, “De Saturno” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 77).

bands: a play on words between “band”, a troop of armed men and “band” as a synonym of “bond”. Back to text



14: F, 4.

Uranus: In this and the following stanzas, Heywood borrows the genealogy of Saturn and the story of his wars with Titan from Caxton’s Recuyell of the Historyes of Troy

1954/2009: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 11 r-v: “Hiberius, the son of Jubal, governed the Spaniards, of whom they were called Hiberi. About this time, Ninus of Assyria made war upon Oxyartes, king of the Bactrians, which as the Cretans say, did first invent magical arts and considered the course of the stars and nature of planets. Mogus the son of Samotes, reigned among the Gauls, who builded many towns”. Heywood makes these events contemporary with Uranus’ reign; Uranus is not mentioned in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, which, however, situates the first king of Crete, Cres (corresponding to Uranus’ son, Saturn) in 1995/1963, a generation later. See notes to stanzas 15 and 49 below. Back to text



15: F, 5.

Uranus called also Crete: The identification of Uranus with “Crete”, results from the conflation of information from Caxton’s Recuyell  (where Uranus is described as the first notable inhabitant of Crete and Saturn, his son, as the first king of Crete) and from Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, where Cres is described as the first king of Crete a generation later (fol. 12r). See notes to stanzas 14 above and 49 below.

Sibylla: F, Sibila. Caxton calls her Cybell (Cybele).

Out of her beauty’s choice, and purest store: hendiadys: Out of the purest store of her choice of beauties. Back to text



16: F, 6.

eared: ploughed. Back to text



17: F, 7.

trow: believe. Back to text



18: F, 8. Back to text



19: F, 9. Back to text



20: F, 10.

Pliny: The following stanzas are adapted from Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, I, xii, “Who found out metals, smiths’ tools, fire, candles and bellows”. “Cadmus, as Pliny affirms, found it the Mount Pangeus in Thrace, or as some think, it was Thoas and Eaclis that invented it in Panchaia. Silver Erichtonius [Erichthonius] of Athens or Ceacus [Aeacus] found out” (fol. 58r). The reference to Pliny is to Natural History, VII, 57.

Aeaclis: F, Eaclis, after Langley’s spelling (see preceding note); but spelt Aeaclis in Heywood’s endnotes, below. 

Herodotus: “I think they report that gold was found in Pangeus, because there is great plenty in that hill, as Herodotus doth write”, Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 58r. The reference is to Herodotus’ Histories, VII, 112.

Aeacus: F, Ceacus, following Langley’s Abridgement, itself modeled on the spelling of Polydore Vergil’s 1521 edition of De Rerum Inventoribus, fol. 23v. Back to text



21: F, 11.

Idaei Dactyli: F, Idei Dactyli, from Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 58 r: “The five brethren named Idei [Idaei] Dactyli found iron in Crete”. The Idaean Dactyls first invented how to work metal, according to Pliny, Natural History, VII, 57 and Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History, V, lxiv, 5.

Cyprus: F, Cipres.

Clement: “Notwithstanding Clement sayeth that Selmentes and Damnameneus, two Jews, found iron first in Cyprus and the Pannonians, brass”, Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 58r.  Clement of Alexandria’s version is slightly different from what Polydore Vergil reports; according to Clement, “Celmis and Damnaneus, Idaean Dactyli, first discovered iron in Cyprus. Another Idaean discovered the tempering of brass; according to Hesiod, a Scythian”, Stromata, I, xvi. The name of Selmentes may derive from a distorsion of Celmis.

Aristotle: “Aristotle holdeth opinion that Lydus, a Scythian, taught to melt and work brass”, Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 58r-v. From a misconstruction of Pliny, who writes that “Aristotle supposes that Scythes, the Lydian, was the first to fuse and temper copper”, Natural History, VII, 57, in Bostock and Riley’s translation.

Delas: F, Delos, a probable misprint as Langley, Polydore Vergil and Pliny all read Delas: see following note.

Theophrastus: “Theophrast thinketh it was Delas, a Phrygian”, Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 58v, from Pliny, Natural History, VII, 57. Back to text



22: F, 12.

Midacritus: Heywood reorders Langley’s text, which mentions Midacritus between “Idei Dactyli” and “Selmentes and Damnameneus”. “Midacritus fet [fetched] lead out of the islands against Spain called Cassiterides, as Strabo declareth”, Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 58r. The reference to Strabo does not appear in this context in Polydore Vergil’s Latin 1521 edition (fols. 23v-24r). It may have been added by Langley in reference to Strabo’s description of the Cassiterides islands (from the Greek kassiteros, “tin”), as famous for their mines of tin and lead (Geography, III, v, 11). The name of Midacritus comes from Pliny’s Natural History, VII, 57. In his 1685 edition of Pliny, Jean Hardouin suggested that it might be a deformation of Midas Phrygius, who was identified as the discoverer of lead by Hyginus (Fabulae, 274) and of brass by Cassiodorus (Variae Epistulae, III, 5).

Tubal-cain: F, Tuball-Caine. “For the use of all such metal was perceived in the beginning of the world by Tubal-cain which was son to Lamech and occupied smith craft”, Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 58v. See Genesis 4: 22, where Tubal-cain “wrought cunningly every craft of brass and of iron” (Geneva Bible). Back to text

Polychronicon: F, Polycron., placed opposite the first line of stanza 23. But neither Cyniras or Pyrodes are mentioned in Ranulf Higden’s Polychronicon. The marginal note, probably misplaced by the printer, seems to refer, more appropriately, to Tubal-Cain: Ranulf Higden mentions “Tubalcain, that was a smith working with hammer”, specifies that “Tubalcain found first smith’s craft”, and reports that “Tuba [Tubal] had great liking to hear the hammers sound, and he found proportion and accord of melody by weight of the hammers”, Polychronicon (Westminster: Caxton, 1482, II, iv, fol. 177r). According to The Cronycles of Englonde (London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1528, fol. 3v),  “Tubal found first the craft to work gold and silver and iron. And was the first graver that ever was.”

Glaucus: Glaucus of Chios discovered how to weld iron according to Herodotus, Histories, I, 25. “Sothering of iron Glaucus found…”, Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 58v.

Sother: To unite or fasten by means of a metallic solder (OED).

Calibians: Chalybes. “The smiths-forge some think the Calibians found, and some suppose it were the Cyclopes, which first used the smith’s craft”, Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 58v. The spelling “Calibians” is peculiar to Heywood and Langley. Polydore Vergil (1521, fol. 24r) has “Calybas”, from Pliny, Natural History, VII, 57. Back to text



23: F, 13.

Cinyras: F, Cyniras. “Brass was found by Cynaras in the isle of Cyprus, and Solinas [Solinus] saith it was found in Crete. Cynaras also devised the tongues, file or tape, lever and stythe”, Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 58r. Here, unlike Langley, Heywood spells “Cyniras”, like Polydore Vergil (1521, fol. 24r) and Pliny, Natural History, VII, 57, who both describe him as the son of Agriopas; but in the endnotes, he reverts to “Cynaras”.

stithy: anvil.

Pyrodes: “Pyrodes first stroke fire out of flint; Prometheus taught first to keep it in matches”, Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 59r, from Pliny, Natural History, VII, 57. Langley’s “matches” translates Polydore’s “in ferula” (1521 edition, fol. 24r), which reproduces Pliny’s “ferula” (Natural History, VII, 57), i. e. English “fennel” (Natural History, XIII, 42). Apollodorus’ remark on Prometheus’ stealth of fire matches with Pliny (The Library, I, vii, 1), the Greek word “narthêx” corresponding to the Latin “ferula”. In a detailed note to his edition of Apollodorus’ Library (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1921, vol. 1, pp. 51-53), J. G. Frazer provides a complete list of references and describes the fennel stalk as easily inflammable when dry.  In his translation of Pliny, Philemon Holland writes that Prometheus found the means of keeping fire “in a stalk of ferula, or fennel giant” (The Historie of the World, London: Islip, 1601), p. 188; but Langley’s interpretation of “ferula” as a “match” concurs with Diodorus Siculus’ rationalistic remark (The Library of History, V, lxvii, 2): in Poggio’s translation, “… Prometheus, quem nonnulli scriptores tradunt ignem ab diis furto sublatum hominibus dedisse. Sed ab eo constat illa, quibus ignis alitur, reperta” (“Prometheus, who, as some writers report, endowed the humans with the fire he had stolen from the gods. But in reality, he invented what is used to light fire”, Diodori Siculi Bibliothicae historicae … libri XV (Basel: Henri Petrus, 1559), p. 157. Back to text

Polydore: F, Polidor. Polydore Vergil.

Vulcan: “Diodorus holdeth the opinion that Idei Dactili and Vulcanus were authors of fire, iron, brass, silver, gold, and all that is wrought with the fire. … Fire is supposed to be the invention of Vulcanus…”, Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 58v.

Anacharsis:  “Bellows were found by Anacharsis as Strabo witnesseth”, Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil, fol. 59r. Langley translates Polydore Vergil, “Folles vero id est instrumentum quo attrahitur ventus atque emittitur ad ignem excitandum Anacharsis Scytha teste Strabo li. Ii Geog. reperit”, 1521 edition, fol. 24r. Polydore’s reference to the second book of Strabo’s Geography is mistaken. It is in VII, iii that Strabo attributes to Anacharsis the invention of the bellows and the potter’s wheel. Pliny only refers to the potter’s wheel (Natural History, VII, 57).

Scithes: Not in Langley’s Abridgement. In his Latin text, Polydore specifies that Anacharsis was a Scythian, “Anacharsis Scytha”: see preceding note. Why Heywood made Scythia an island is unclear. Back to text



24: F, 14.

inventious: inventive. Back to text



25: F, 11. Back to text



26: F, 12.

the Lords: In Caxton’s Recuyell Vesca [Vesta] acts in agreement with “the common voice” (I, 1). Back to text



27: F, 13. Back to text



28: F, 14. Back to text



29: F, 15. Back to text



30: F, 16. Back to text



31: F, 17.

blessed: he brandished his blade round Saturn’s head; so Spenser, “His sparkling blade about his head he blessed” (The Faerie Queene, I, viii, 22), quoted in 0ED, “bless”, v3. In Caxton’s Recuyell, Titan “would have run upon Saturn if he had not been hold and letted” (I, 1). Back to text



32: F, 18.

stigmatic: A person branded as a criminal; a profligate, villain. Back to text



33: F, 19.

Erythraean Sibyl: F, Erythea Sibylla. The marginal note refers to Natale Conti’s Mythologia, II, ii, “De Saturno”, p. 75, where a line attributed to the Erythraean Sibyl is quoted to support that Saturn, not Caelus, was the first ruler.

decide: resolve, settle.

Lucretius: Natale Conti quotes Lucretius, De Natura Rerum, II, 637-38, in support of the story that Jupiter was hidden from Saturn who would have put him to death, Mythologia, II, ii, “De Saturno” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581), p. 76. Back to text



34: F, 20.

Apollonius li.2 Argonaut.: After quoting Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica, II, 1232-33, Natale Conti adds that Saturn reigned “Ea tamen lege, vt filios, si qui mares de se nascerentur, occideret : ne ad illos post Saturnum imperium deferretur, sed rediret ad Titanum” (“But with that law that should any male be born of him, he would kill these sons so that after Saturn, the throne would not fall to them but come back to  Titan”, Mythologia, VI, xx, “De Titanibus” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581), p. 422. Back to text



35: F, 21.

Cannot endure … brother: the syntax is compressed: Titan, who cannot endure to see his younger brother throned in his (Titan’s) right, or to be called a subject to his brother, cannot endure that clime, but seeks another.

adventures strange: see Spenser, “every street / Is full of fortunes and adventures strange”, Mother Hubberd’s Tale, 90-91; Harington’s translation of Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso (IV, 43): “They said that in that wood and forest, find / Adventures strange and feats of arms he might”. The phrase “strange adventures”, favourite with Spenser in The Faerie Queene, is also one of Heywood’s recurrent expressions in Troia Britanica (I, 35; VII, 41; XV, 86; XVI, 4). Back to text



36: F, 22. Back to text



37: F, 23. Back to text



38: F, 24.         

Titaea: F, Tytea.

Diod. Siculus: Diodorus Siculus. Stanzas 38-41 are based on Natale Conti, who himself borrows his material from “Diodorus Siculus in tertio historiarum” (The Library of History, III, lvii): “Aegyptii memoriae prodiderunt Titanas Caeli filios fuisse quadraginta et quinque, quos ille è variis mulieribus susceperit, atque decem et septem ex his è Titaea” (“Egyptian reports reveal that the Titans, Caelus’ sons, were forty five in number, engendered on several women; among them, seventeen were engendered on Titaea”), Mythologia, VI, xx, “De Titanibus” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, pp. 422-23. Diodorus Siculus actually mentions eighteen sons born of Titaea. Heywood transfers Caelus’ sons to Titan. Back to text



39: F, 25.

Rhea: On Rhea and Hyperion, Heywood follows Natale Conti’s chapter on the Titans (Mythologia, VI, xx). Back to text



40: F, 26.



41: F, 27.

Pausanias in Corinthiacis: Natale Conti’s reference to Diodorus Siculus (see note to stanza 38 above) is immediately followed, in the next sentence by a reference to “Pausanias in CorinthiacisMythologia, VI, xx (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581), p. 423. Although Conti’s reference to Pausanias’ chapter on Corinth in his Description of Greece, II, xi, 5 is used to support his interpretation of Titan as an astronomer, its proximity with the reference to Diodorus Siculus may have led Heywood to assume, too rapidly, that it also referred to the story of Hyperion. Back to text



42: F, 28.

stanza 28: F, 27.

laurel crown: in Caxton’s Recuyell, when Saturn was made king, he was crowned “with a crown of lawrer [laurel]” (I, 2). Back to text



43: F, 25.



44: F, 26. 



45: F, 27.

pierced: F, pierst. Back to text



46: F, 28.



47: F, 29.



48: F, 30. Back to text



49: F, 31. In Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, the events listed by Heywood in stanza 49 are contemporary with the crowning of Cres, situated in 1995 (year of the world)/1968 (year before Christ): “In Crete, now called Candie, reigned first Cres, of whom the island was named” (fol. 12v). See notes to stanzas 14 and 15 above.

Apis: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 12v: “Apis, the fourth king of Peloponessus [Peloponnesus] reigned 25 years, of whom that country was called Apia [the year of the world 1989/the year before Christ 1974]”.

Peloponnesus: F, Peloponessus, modelled on Lanquet’s spelling.

Jubalda: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 12v: “Among the Spaniards reigned Jubalda, the son of Hiberius [the year of the world 1990/the year before Christ 1973]”.

Cranaus: F, Craunus. According to Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 12v: “Janus, after the death of Sabatius ordained Cranus [Cranaus] king of the Italians, in the 1211 year before the building of Rome [the year of the world 2000/the year before Christ 1963]”.

Satron: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 12v: “Satron reigned among the Gauls [the year of the world 2007/the year before Christ 1959]”.

2000/1963: These dates from Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle are placed opposite stanza 50 in F, as to mark the birth of Saturn’s first son. In Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, however, they situate Semiramis’ death: “Zameis Ninias, the son of Ninus and Semiramis, the fifth Emperor of Assyria, reigned after the death of his mother 38 years [the year of the world 2000/the year before Christ 1963]”, fol. 12r. Heywood adds a few elements on Semiramis which he finds slightly earlier (years 1958/2905) in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle: “Finally, Semiramis, burning in unlawful desires, thirsting blood and destroying all those with whom she had companied, was, for the same desire that she had to her own son, of him slain” (fol. 11v). Back to text



50: F, 32. Back to text



51: F, 33. Back to text



52: F, 33.

this: this our Age, by contrast with “that [Age] of Gold”.

viled: infamous.

strange: alien, unknown. Back to text



53: F, 34.

metting: meeting or mating. Back to text



54: F, 35.

Delphos: Delphi. Delphos, the usual form in early modern English, is used throughout Troia Britanica. Back to text



55: F, 36.

ne’er: F, near.

till: F, tell. Back to text



56: F, 37. Back to text



57: F, 38. Back to text



58: F, 39.

on high: F, on hie. With a “high” or raised voice; loudly; aloud. Back to text



59: F, 40. Back to text



60: F, 41.

timeless: premature. Back to text



61: F, 42.

Sibylline verses: F, Sybilla versus. The marginal note refers to Natale Conti’s Mythologia, II, i, p. 58, where Saturn’s oath is said to be mentioned “Sybillinis versibus” (“in the Sibylline verses”). Back to text



62: F, 43.

2024/1939: F, 2014/1946, a probable misreading. In Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, the dates 2024/1939 are linked with: “Abraham, by the commandment of God, forsook his parents, country and kinsfolks, and taking with him Lot, sojourned in the land of Canaan”, fol. 12v. The institution of circumcision and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah are dated 24 years later, in 2048/1915: “Circumcision was instituted for an everlasting covenant to the posterity of Abraham … In this year God destroyed Sodom, Gomorrah, Adama, and Semois,” fol. 12v. Back to text



63: F, 44. Back to text



64: F, 45.

Lycophron: The marginal note refers to Lycophron’s Alexandra, 1197-1203 as quoted in Natale Conti’s Mythologia, II, I, “De Iove” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 57), a passage alluding to the story of Saturn being tricked into swallowing a stone instead of a baby. Back to text



65: F, 46.

on high: see note to stanza 58 above. Back to text 



66: F, 47.

an: F, on. Back to text



67: F, 48. Back to text



68: F, 49. Back to text



69: F, 50. Back to text



70: F, 51.

corsick: As hard as Corsican rock. Back to text



71: F, 52.

cheer: F, cheare: face. Back to text



72: F, 53. Back to text



73: F, 54. Back to text



74: F, 55. Back to text



75: F, 56.

smiling in her face…: This passage offers a counterpoint to Lady Macbeth’s speech:  “I would, while it was smiling in my face, / Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums / And dashed the brains out…” (I.vii.56-58). In Caxton’s Recuyell, at each attempt, the child laughs at the knife and this disarms the would-be murderers (I, 3). Back to text



76: F, 57. Back to text 



77: F, 58. Back to text 



78: F, 59. Back to text



79: F, 60. Back to text 



80: F, 61.

Melisseus: F, Mellisseus, throughout. Caxton spells Melliseus. The accepted form today is Melisseus.

sew: F, sow. 

thews: manners. Back to text



81: F, 62.

Almache and Mellissee: Caxton’s Recuyell, I, 4: “How Saturn had commanded to slay Jupiter that was new born and how his mother Cybelle [Cybele] sent him to king Melliseus, where he was nourished”: “they concluded to send this child secretly unto the two daughters of king Melliseus, the which Vesca [Vesta] had nourished in her young age. Of these two daughters, that one was named Almalchee [Amalthea] and that other Mellisee [Melissa]”.

Adrastea and Ida: From Natale Conti’s Mythologia, II, i, “De Jove”, p. 55: “Apollodorus Atheniensis grammaticus libro primo Bibliothecae ab Adrastea et Ida nutritum quidem scribit, sed lacte Amaltheae” (“Apollodorus of Athens the grammarian, in his first book of the Library, writes that he [Jupiter] was nourished by Adrastea and Ida, but with Amalthea’s milk”). Conti’s reference is to Apollodorus, The Library, I, i, 7, where Melisseus’ daughters are named Adrastia and Ida. Back to text

Apollonius Rhodius: From Natale Conti’s Mythologia, II, i, “De Jove”, p. 55: “Apollonius Rhodius de Adrestea Jovis nutrice meminit lib. 3 Argonaut.” (“Apollonius Rhodius mentions Jupiter’s nurse Adrestea in the third book of Argonautica”). The reference is to Adresteia, Argonautica, III, 132-34.

Pausanias: From Natale Conti’s Mythologia, II, i, “De Jove”, p. 55: “Superius etiam de Neda et Ithome nutricibus Jovis mentionem fecimus, quas commemoravit Pausanias in Messeniacis” (“Above, we have also mentioned Jupiter’s nurses, Neda and Ithome, of whom Pausanias talks in his book on Messenia”). According to Pausanias, the Messenians claim that Jupiter was brought up in their country and that his nurses, Neda and Ithome, eventually gave their names, one to a river, the other to a mountain (“Messenia”, IV, xxxiii, 1). Back to text

Lactantius: From Natale Conti’s Mythologia, II, i, “De Jove”, p. 55: “… cum Lactantius in libro de falsa Religione ab Almathea et Melissa filiabus Melissei Cretensium Regis caprino lacte et melle nutritum scribat” (“… though Lactantius wrote in his book On False Religion that he [Jupiter] was fed on goat milk and honey by Almathea and Melissa, daughters of Melisseus, King of Crete”). The story of Melisseus’ daughters feeding Jupiter in his infancy is reported by Lactantius, Divine Institutes, I, xxii. Boccaccio borrowed it from Lactantius in his Genealogia Deorum Gentilium, where Raoul Le Fèvre in turn found it and fictionalized it. Heywood models his narrative on Caxton’s English version of Le Fèvre and finds the story corroborated by Conti.

fetched: F, fetched, for the rhyme. Back to text



82: F, 63.

Oson: “The good damoiselles enterprised the said charge and departed out of Crete with the child at all aventure, and so worshipfully guided her that she brought the child living in safety to the city of Oson, which she presented to Almache and Mellisee…”, Caxton, Recuyell, I, 4. Caxton borrowed the name “Oson” from Raoul Le Fèvre, who found it in a manuscript of Boccaccio’s Genealogia where a scribal mistake had transformed Cnossos into Oson. See also Heywood’s endnotes, below.

Apollonius Atheniensis grammaticus: See note to stanza 81, above. Back to text

Eusebius: From Natale Conti’s Mythologia, II, i, “De Jove”, p. 57: “ut Eusebius placuit in Temporibus, etiam Creti, qui tunc imperabat in Creta, commendatur, et in Gnoso regia civitate educatur” (“as Eusebius likes it in his Chronicle, he [Jupiter] was entrusted to Cres, who then reigned in Crete and was brought up in the royal city of Gnosos [Cnossos]”). According to Eusebius, “Apud Cretam regnavit Cres, primus indigena … quem aiunt unum Curetarum fuisse, a quibus Jupiter absconditus est, et nutritus. Hi Gnoson civitatem in Cretam [sic] condiderunt et Cebeli matri templum” (“Cres reigned in Crete, where he was the first inhabitant … he is said to have been one of the Curetes, by whom he was hidden and nourished. These Curetes built the city of Cnossos in Crete and a temple of mother Cybele”, Chronicon (Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 1483), fol. 140v. Back to text



83: F, 64. Back to text



84: F, 65. Back to text



85: F, 66.

Pausanias in Arcadicis: F, in Arcadias, a probable misprint: see below, stanza 97, where the spelling is correct. In his description of Arcadia, VIII, xxxviii, 2-3, Pausanias discusses one of the birthplaces and some of the nurses attributed to Jupiter, but does not mention the goats. Heywood found the reference in Natale Conti’s Mythologia, II, i, “De Jove” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581), p. 56. Back to text

Aratus in Phaenomenis: From Natale Conti, Mythologia, II, i, “De Jove” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581), p. 65: “Aratus in Phaenomenis Jovem à capra nutritum fuisse asserit” (“Aratus claims in his Phaenomena that Jupiter was fed by a goat”. Conti quotes Phaenomena, 163 in Greek with his own translation in Latin. Back to text

Lucianus in Sacrificiis: This reference to Lucian’s On Sacrifices, 5, where Jupiter is reported to have been exposed in Crete and fed by a goat is borrowed from Natale Conti’s Mythologia, “On Jupiter”, II, i, p. 55.

Virg. 4. Georg.: Virgil, Georgics, IV, 149-52, quoted in Natale Conti’s Mythologia, II, i, p. 55.

Ovid, 2, Fastor.: Heywood borrows his reference from Natale Conti’s Mythologia, II, i, p. 55: “Ovid. in secundo Fastorum: Oleniae surget sydus pluviale Capellæ / Quae fuit in cunis officiosa Jovis” (“There rises the rainy star of the Olenian Goat / That assisted Jupiter in his infancy”. In Fasti, II, however, there is no reference to the goat that fed Jupiter with her milk. Apart from Fasti, III, 443, where Ovid simply calls her “capra”, the only reference to her as the Olenian star occurs in Fasti, V, 111-14, the text to which Mulryan and Brown (in their edition of Mythologia, vol. 1, p. 69) assume Conti is referring. But the text Conti ascribes to Ovid diverges from Fasti, V, 111-14, which reads: “prima mihi nocte videnda / stella est in cunas officiosa Iovis: / nascitur Oleniae signum pluviale Capellae / illa dati caelum praemia lactis habet” (“On the first night can be seen / the star that assisted Jupiter in his infancy: / the rainy sign of the Olenian Goat appears, / she was given [a place in] the sky as a reward for her milk”. In a note of their Spanish edition of Conti’s Mythologia (Murcia Universidad, 2006, first published 1988, note 19, p. 59) and more in detail in “Algunas lecturas de textos latinos en la Mythologia de Natalis Comes”, Cuadernos de Filologia Clasica, XX (1986-87), pp. 31-39 (pp. 35-36), Rosa Maria Iglesias Montiel and Maria Consuel Álvarez Morán suggest that Conti constructed his distich from Ovid’s three lines in Fasti V, 111-13; “cunis” is a common reading in early modern editions of Fasti, instead of “cunas”; “sidus” for “signum” is suggested by Ovid, Metamorphoses, III, 594: “Oleniae sidus pluviale capellae”. Back to text



86: F, 67. Back to text



87: F, 68.

abbest: asbestos. Heywood reproduces Caxton’s “abbeste”, itself modelled on Raoul Le Fèvre’s “abbeste”, a common form of the word in Middle French: “Then the two ladies … took an abbeste, which is a precious stone, and brayded hit in to pouldre [pounded it into powder]…”, Recuyell, I, 4. Back to text



88: F, 69. Back to text



89: F, 70. Back to text



90: F, 71.

apaid: satisfied, rewarded. Back to text



91: F, 72. Back to text



92: F, 73.

Parthemia: See Caxton’s ParthemyeJuno was brought up on the isle of Parthenia (another name for Samos), where Jupiter married her, according to Lactantius, Divine Institutes, I, xvii. Le Fèvre found the information in Boccaccio’s Genealogia, IX, i, “De Iunone”: Juno lived “apud insulam Samum prius Partheniam apellatam” (“on the isle of Samos, formerly called Parthenia”). The 1498 edition of Boccaccio’s Genealogia, translated into French (Paris: Antoine Vérard), gives “Parthemie” for Parthenia (fol. cxlvi), which might suggest that Le Fèvre (1464) was possibly using a manuscript (now lost) of the French translation of Boccaccio’s Genealogia on which Vérard’s edition was later to be based. Back to text



93:  F, 74. Back to text



94:  F, 75. Back to text



95:  F, 76.

Glauca: From Boccaccio, Genealogia, IV, I, who relies on Lactantius, Divine Institutes, I, xiv, 2-10. See “Heywood’s Library”, “Boccaccio’s Genealogia”. Back to text



96:  F, 77.

Arno: F, Arvo. From Natale Conti, Mythologia, II, viii, “De Neptuno” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 108): “Isacius Neptunum educatum fuisse scribit ab Arno nutrice” (“Isaacius writes that Neptune was brought up by his nurse, Arno”). Conti derives the information from Isaac Tzetzes’s scholia on Lycophron, 644, where Neptune’s nurse, however, is called Arnès, not Arno: ed. Müller (Leipzig: Vogel, 1811), vol. 1, p. 711.

Hyginus in Fab. Stellarum: F, Higinius in fab Stellarum, with the uncanonical spelling directly borrowed from Natale Conti’s “Hyginius in fabulis stellarum”, Mythologia, II, viii, “De Neptuno” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 109). The whole episode with Amphitrite and the dolphin is borrowed from Natale Conti, who himself derives it from Hyginus’s Astronomica, 17 that was accessible to him in Micyllus’s edition (Basel: Herwagen, 1535).

Forwith: forthwith. Back to text



97:  F, 78.

Pausanias: Heywood follows Natale Conti, Mythologia, II, viii, “De Neptuno” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 109): “Memoriae prodidit Pausanias in Arcadicis Neptun[u]m primum equitandi artem invenisse, quod etiam Pamphi antiquissimi hymnographi testimonio comprabatur(“In his chapter on the Arcadians, Pausanias transmits it to memory that Neptune was the first to invent the art of equitation, which is also confirmed by the testimony of the most ancient writer of hymns, Pamphos”). Conti does repeat Pausanias almost word for word, but his reference (and consequently Heywood’s) is erroneous. It is not in the chapter on Arcadia (Book VIII), but on Achaea (Book VII) that Pausanias mentions Neptune as the inventor of horse riding: “ … he [Poseidon] got this name [God of Horses] as the inventor of horsemanship. … Pamphos, who composed for the Athenians the most ancient of their hymns, says that Poseidon is Giver of horses and of ships …”, Description of Greece, VII, xxi, 7-9, translated by W. H. S. Jones and H. A. Omerod (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1918). Back to text

Pamphos Hymnographus:  F, Pamph. Himnographus, from Conti (Mythologia, p. 109), who finds his information in Pausanias: see preceding note. Pamphos is an early Greek poet a few lines of whom survive through Pausanias.

Sophocles: From Natale Conti, Mythologia, II, viii, “De Neptuno” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 109), quoting the passage in Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus (710-16), where the Chorus praises Neptune for his invention of the bit, which makes him a horse tamer. Back to text



98: F, 79.

Apollon. lib. 4: Heywood conflates two quotations in Natale Conti, Mythologia, II, viii, “De Neptuno” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 109) from Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, IV, 1225-26 and Orphic Hymn 17 “To Poseidon”, describing Neptune’s chariot drawn by horses. The “sundry nymphs and girls”, however, are Heywood’s addition, to ensure a brisk transition towards Neptune’s children.

Fourscore:  eighty. Heywoods sums up in a word the very long list of Neptune’s children in Conti II, viii. Back to text

Tzetzes, History 51: F, Zezes in hi. 51. From Natale Conti, Mythologia, II, viii, “De Neptuno”, p. 111: “… nam plures quam octoginta me legisse memini, quos tamen omnes non putavi hic esse numerandos, quod si verum est id quod scribitur à Zeze in historia 51, Chil. 2, multo etiam fuerunt Neptuni filii” (“… for I remember reading that he had more than eighty [sons] whom I did not think should all be enumerated here, if what Tzetzes writes in Chiliades 2, history 51 is true that Neptune’s sons were more numerous”). Conti refers to the first lines of Tzetzes’s Chiliades, II, 51, “Peri Theseos”, where Theseus is said to have sometimes been considered as one of Neptune’s sons, because all of Neptune’s sons, friends and lovers were valorous. The Greek text of Tzetzes’s Chiliades, together with a Latin translation by Paul Lacisius, were published under the title of Ioannis Tzezae Variarum Historiarum Liber  (Basel: Oporin, 1546) but Conti provides his own translation (Mythologia, p. 111), different from Lacisius’s (Variarum Historiarum Liber, p. 34). Back to text

Plutarch: Natale Conti mentions The Life of Themistocles, XIX, iv, in which Plutarch recalls that Neptune “discovered” horses, which were his gifts to men (Mythologia, p. 109): in Heywood’s words, “He riders graced”.

Herodorus: F, Herodotus. Natale Conti (Mythologia, p. 110) reports that according to “Herodotus” [i. e. Herodorus], the story that Apollo and Neptune “built” the walls of Troy originated in Laomedon’s embezzling funds from Apollo’s and Neptune’s temples in order to achieve the construction. Herodorus’ rationalistic interpretation could be found in Tzetzes’s scholia on Lycophron 522. Lycophron’s Cassandra, together with Tzetzes’s scholiae was published by Jean Oporin (Basel, 1546). Back to text



99: F, 80.

Hom. in Hymnis: Homer, Hymns, “To Poseidon”, 4-5, quoted by Natale Conti (Mythologia, II, viii, “De Neptuno”, p. 111) in reference to Neptune’s authority over the sea and over horses, which explains why the Arcadians built a temple in his honor.

Plut. in vita Pompeia: Plutarch, “Life of Pompey”, XXIV, v, quoted by Natale Conti (Mythologia, II, viii, “De Neptuno”, p. 111) to explain the three temples consecrated to Neptune on the Isthmus, in Taenarus and in Calabria. Back to text

Hom. lib. 5. Odis: Natale Conti (Mythologia, II, viii, “De Neptuno”, p. 112) quotes Homer, Odyssey, III, 6 mentioning the sacrifice of black bulls to Neptune and mistakenly situates the line in Odyssey, V. Heywood follows suit.

Virgil 5.: Aeneid, III, 119, quoted by Conti (Mythologia, p. 112) and erroneously ascribed to book V. Back to text



100: F, 81.

Tartar: the Underworld.

Pausa. In Atticis: From Mythologia, II, ix, “De Plutone”, p. 115, where Natale Conti refers to “Pausanias in Atticis” on quite another subject, but after describing Pluto as “inferorum Deum”, king of Tartar, in Heywood’s words. Back to text

keys: “Fama est hunc claves habuisse pro insigni, sicuti sceptrum Iovi, et Neptuno tridens tribuebatur, ut idem Pausanias ait in prioribus Eliacis” (“It is reported that he has keys for his attribute, in the same way as the sceptre is attributed to Jupiter and the trident to Neptune, as Pausanias also says in the first book on Eleia”): Natale Conti, Mythologia, II, ix, “De Plutone”, p. 115, quoting Pausanias, “Eleia”, V, xx, 3, where Pluto is said to carry the keys with which he locks the Underworld.

Geographiae: F, Geographicae. “Plutonem praeterea fuisse opulentiae Deum, et in Heberia [Hiberia] apud Pyrenaeos montes habitasse memoriae prodidit Strabo lib. 3 Geographiae” (Strabo records that Pluto was also the god of wealth and lived in Hiberia, in the Pyrenees”): Natale Conti, Mythologia, II, ix, “De Plutone”, p. 115, from Strabo, Geography, III, ii, 9, where Pluto is said to live in Spain with the Turdetanians and III, ii, 8, where the Pyrenees are described as rich with gold dust and nuggets easy to refine. Back to text

Of whom … betide: Let us desist (stop) on the subject of Pluto and of his wife Proserpine, to speak of what happened to Juno.



101: F, 82. Back to text



102: F, 83.

2250/1913: Placed opposite stanza 101 (F, 82) in F; but these dates correspond to Isaac’s birth in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 13 r. Heywood reproduces a misprint in Lanquet and Cooper, where 2250 should read 2050.

Isaac: “Isaac the son of Abraham by his wife Sara was in this time born, a man beloved of God, of whose lineage Christ descended” (2250/1913), Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 13 r.

Affer: “Apher, one of the sons of Cetura, the wife of Abraham, inhabited Lybia, whose posterity called the country Aphrica [Africa]” (2090/1873), Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 13 v. Back to text

Brigus: “Brigus reigned among the Spaniards” (2057/1906), Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 13 v.

Inachus: “The kingdom of the Argives began, where Inachus first reigned 50 years” (2108/1855), Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 14 r.

Aralius: F, Aratus. “Aralius, the seventh emperor of Assyria reigned xi years, he flourished in wit and knowledge of warfare, and first had in estimation pomps, precious stones, and such womanly delicates” (2068/1895), Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 13 v. This is based on Charles Estienne’s Dictionarium, describing Aralius (or Analius) as “vii. Assyriorum rex, regnavit annis xl Cassidorio, Eusebio. Claruit ingenio et studio militari, et primus adauxit pompas et gemmas, ac muliebres delicias” (“seventh king of the Assyrians, who reigned forty years according to Cassidorius and Eusebius. He was brilliant in intelligence and military knowledge, and first prized ostentatious ceremonies, precious stones and effeminate delights”). Aralius is mentioned in Cassiodorus’ and Eusebius’ respective chronicles, but the description of his character derives from Pseudo-Berosus: see Antiquitatum Variarum Volumina XVII (Paris: Jean Petit and Josse Bade, 1515), fol. 129r. Back to text

Sodom and Gomorrah: F, Sodom and Gomorrha. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 2048/1915: “In this year God destroyed Sodome, Gomorre, Adama and Semois. The cause Ezechiel writeth in this manner: This was the iniquity of the Sodomites, pride, superfluity of meat, abundance, and idleness; they reached not their hands unto the poor, and did abominations against nature” (fol. 12 v). Lanquet and Cooper quote freely from Ezechiel 16: 48-50. The four cities destroyed are mentioned in Deuteronomy 29: 23 as Sodoma, Gomorra, Adama and Seboim in the Vulgate. 

Aegidius: 2066/1897: “Aegidius, the sixth king of Peloponnesus, reigned xxiv years”, Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 13 v. Back to text

Herminon: 2068/1895: “Amongst the Germans reigned Herminon”, Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 13 v.

Phaeton: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 2106/1857, fols. 13v-14r: “Phaeton, with his people, came into Italy to Malot Tages, where finding all the east part and mountains inhabited with French men and Aborigines, the plain countries with Janigenes, he possessed the west parts, and shortly after returned into Aethiope”. The information derives from Giovanni Nanni’s Berosus: see Antiquitatum Variarum Volumina XVII (Paris: Jean Petit and Josse Bade, 1515), fol. 130r. Back to text



103: F, 84. Back to text


[Heywood’s Endnotes to Canto I]

Chanaan, son of Cham: Heywood alludes to the episode of Noah’s drunkenness in Genesis 9: 20-25, as reported in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 5v. Lanquet and Cooper’s spelling, Cham and Chanaan is that of Wycliffe’s Bible, corresponding to Ham and Canaan in Geneva and King James’s Bibles. Back to text

Canaan: After copying Lanquet and Cooper’s spelling in the preceding line, Heywood reverts to the more usual spelling deriving from the Vulgate. In Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, however, Uranus is not assimilated to Canaan but to Noah: “for his sundry benefits, showed unto all nations, they gave unto him divers names, among the which these as the most famous, be celebrated: Noe, Ogyges, Fenix, Uranos, Coelus [Caelus], Sol, Protheus, Janus, Geminus, Junonius, Quirinus, Patulcius, Bacchus, Vortumnus, Chaos, Ileton, Seed of the world and father of all gods and princes” (fol. 5v). These conflations derive from Giovanni Nanni’s Berosus. Christopher R. Ligota remarks that “By assuming the prae- or cognomina, as Annius variously calls them, of Ogyges (Phoenician), Janus (Italic), Proteus (Egyptian) and Vertumnus (Latin), Noah exceeds the Biblical context but does not, on that account, move into myth. The authority of Berosus keeps him, so to speak, historically on course” (“Annius of Viterbo and Historical Method”, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 50 (1987), pp. 44-56, pp. 49-50). Back to text

Ogyges: The first king of Thebes in Pausanias, “Boeotia”, IX, v, 1, sometimes believed to be of Phoenician origin (see following note). A deluge was supposed to have occurred under his reign, which allowed Giovanni Nanni to assimilate him with Noah. Spenser saw him as a son of Neptune, “Ancient Ogyges, even th’ancientest” (Faerie Queene, IV, xi, 15).

Phoenix: F, Fenix as in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle. According to Charles Estienne’s Dictionarium, Phoenix was “Agenoris filius, Cadmi fratrer, qui Phoenicibus imperavit. A quo Phoenicia” (“Agenor’s son, Cadmus’ brother, who reigned on the Phoenicians. Phoenicia was named after him”). Lanquet had misread Giovanni Nanni, who mentions “Ogyges Phoenix” (Ogyges the Phoenician), Antiquitatum Variarum Volumina XVII (Paris: Josse Bade and Jean Petit, 1515), fol. 104v. Back to text

Caelum: F, Coelum.

Janus Geminus: Twin Janus, or Janus Bifrons. Junonius, Quirinus, Patulcius are other names of Janus in his various functions.

Vertumnus: F, Vortumnus. Heywood reproduces a misprint in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 5v: “The Italians, after his decease dedicated to him, by the name of Vortumnus, a temple, and worshipped him with divine honours and ceremonies”.

Hyleton: F, Ileton, borrowed from Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, whose spelling Heywood reproduces (fol. 5v). Hyleton is coined on the Greek “Hyle”, in the sense of “primordial matter”. Lanquet and Cooper’s “Ileton” derives from Giovanni Nanni’s Berosus: “Rursus de primis cognominibus Noae: cognomine Jani ut in iii libro dicet Berosus. Primum cognomen est Chaos … idem est Chaos et Hyle a quo Hyleton. Est autem Chaos ‘rudis et indigesta moles’ ante omnes et ex qua omnes prodeunt, ut Ovidius in primo Meta. docet. Ad hujus similitudinem Janus sive Noa dictus est Chaos et semen orbis quia in eius renibus et semine informi prodiit humanum genus. … Ergo quia Janus sive Noa post diluvium praecessit omnes tempore, dignitate, principatu et effectiva origine, idcirco sibi jure vindicavit cognomina Chaos, Ileton, Semen mundi, patrem principium et deorum majorum ac minorum et auctorem consuriumque humanae gentis” (“Again, on the subject of Noah’s first names: he was known as Janus, as Berosus says in his third Book. His first name is Chaos … Chaos is the same as Hyle, from which Hyleton derives. Chaos, indeed, is ‘a shapeless, confused mass’ which precedes everything and from which everything proceeds as Ovid shows in the first Book of Metamorphoses. Similarly, Noah is called Chaos and Seed of the world because humankind proceeds from his loins and formless seed. … Therefore, because Janus or Noah, after the deluge, came before all in time, dignity, pre-eminence and as founder of a new lineage, he claimed as his right the names of Chaos, Ileton [Hyleton], Seed of the world, Father and source of gods, both major and minor, author and originator of humankind”), Antiquitatum Variarum Volumina XVII (Paris: Josse Bade and Jean Petit, 1515), fols. 109v and 110r. Back to text

Vesta: “And also his wife Vesta, for her great prudence and benefits, obtained these names: Erth [Earth], Opis, Aretia, Vesta, Cybeles, the great mother of the gods, who taught the maidens to keep the holy fire, whereof arose the error and ceremonies of the virgins Vestals”, Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 5v.

Aretia: Lanquet and Cooper borrow her name from Giovanni Nanni’s Berosus: “Tyteam vero Aretiam, id est Terram in quam semen Chaos posuit” (“Tytea, indeed Aretia, that is Earth, in whom Chaos lays his seed”), Antiquitatum Variarum Volumina XVII (Paris: Josse Bade and Jean Petit, 1515), fol. 109r. Heywood may have omitted Tytea here as he had made her Titan’s wife (instead of Caelus’) in stanza 38­—although he might as well not have noticed the contradiction.

Sibylla: F, Cibilla, reflecting Heywood’s hesitation between Lanquet and Cooper’s Cybeles, Caxton’s Cybelle, and his own Sibyl. See note on Sibyl in “Argumentum”, above. Back to text

Egyptian Saturn: From Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle for 1802/2054, fol. 8r: “the corrupter of mankind, Cham …, the Egyptian Saturn”.

Nemroth: “This Nemroth, called also Nimrod and Babylonical Saturn, was the son of Chus, who was the son of Cham”, Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle for 1788/2175, fol. 7v.

Laurentum: The capital of Latium, where Saturn was said to have found refuge after he was expelled by Jupiter.

1898: For 1898/2065, Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle reads: “Cham came into Italy, and there, not finding Comerus, began to rule the people and with his wickedness and vices corrupted them.” (fol. 9r). For Lanquet and Giovanni Nanni Comerus is the legitimate king of Italy, and Cham if not the usurper, surely the corrupter. Back to text

Jupiter Belus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 1844/2119, fol. 9r: “Jupiter Belus, the son of Saturn, the second emperor of Babylon, reigned 62 years” and 1906/2057, “Ninus, the third emperor of Babylon, reigned 52 years. He was the son of Jupiter Belus”, a chronology that derives from Giovanni Nanni’s Berosus. In his endnotes to canto IV, Heywood mentions a possible identification of Jupiter Belus and Jupiter of Crete.

Cicero, De Natura Deorum: In De Natura Deorum, III, xxi, 53, Cicero distinguishes three Jupiters, two Arcadian, the first one, son of Ether; the second Arcadian, son of Caelus; and a Cretan, son of Saturn. In I, xxix, 83, he remarks that Jupiter of the Capitol is not the same as the African Jupiter Hammon. It is possible that Heywood does not refer to Cicero’s text itself, but to his method of distinguishing several gods with the same name. Back to text

Boccaccio: F, Bochas, in early modern English a usual spelling, which Heywood uses again in Troia Britanica, VI, 84. The reference here is to Boccaccio’s Genealogia, IV, i, “De Titano Celi filio VIII° qui genuit filios multos … Quorum primus Yperion” (“Of Titan, eighth son of Caelus, who engendered several sons … Of whom the eldest was Hyperion”). Back to text

I read of two oracles: The oracle of Apollo at Delphi plays a crucial part in Caxton’s Recuyell. Neither Lanquet nor Giovanni Nanni mention an Egyptian oracle (or indeed any oracle) of Jupiter Belus, whom they describe as Babylonian. Heywood may have associated Jupiter Belus and Jupiter Hammon, whose Egyptian oracle Alexander came to visit, as he may have read in Justin’s Epitome of Trogus Pompeius, XI, xi, possibly in Justini ex Trogi Pompei Historia Libri XLIIII (Antwerp: Joannes Steelsius, 1552), pp. 172-73 and note 14, pp. 189-90. Back to text

Oson: Heywood’s remark that Oson cannot be Ossa suggests that he is intrigued by that name, which he repeats from Caxton’s Recuyell, and which, in reality, derives from a scribal mistake for Cnossos: see note stanza 82, above.

Achaia: F, Achaya. The northern region of the Peloponnese, Greece, also generically used by Ovid to describe Greece, as opposed, for instance, to Troy (Metamorphoses, XIII, 325). See also canto I, stanza 80.

The Sea Ionium: Ionian Sea. Back to text

Lactantius: The story of Saturn’s progeny as told by Le Fèvre and Caxton ultimately derives from Lactantius, Divine Institutes, I, xiv, 2-10, as Heywood may have realized from Boccaccio’s Genealogia, IV, i, “De Titano”, where Lactantius is quoted at length. See “Heywood’s Library”, “Boccaccio’s Genealogia”. Back to text

Demogorgon: The note comments on stanza 14, where Uranus is “To Aethra and great Demogorgon heir”. In the Golden Age, sig. B1v, Heywood mentions “The Lord Uranus, son of Air and Day”, a parentage that somehow derives from Boccaccio’s Genealogia, III, i, “De Celo, Etheris et Diei filio”, (“On Caelus [i. e. Uranus], son of Air and Day”). In Troia Britanica, Aethra looks like a feminine version of Ether (or Aether), but why Heywood, in that instance, should mention Demogorgon as Uranus’ father remains unclear, unless he chose him because Boccaccio describes him as “deorum omnium gentilium pater (“father of all the gods of the pagans”), Genealogia, I, “Prohemium 2” and assimilates him with earth because he hides “in terrae visceribus” (“in the bowels of the earth”), and, still according to Boccaccio, his name derives from the Greek “demon” (“deity”) and “gorgon” (“earth”), Genealogia, I, “Prohemium 3”. Back to text

Ovid: After developing and completing the story told in stanza 20 about Cadmus’ discovery of iron, Heywood sends the reader to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, II, 833-75 and III, 1-137, where the stories of Europa’s rape and Cadmus’ quest are narrated. Back to text

Panchaia: See stanza 20 above and corresponding note. The information Heywood adds could be found in Charles Estienne’s Dictionarium Historicum, Geographicum, Poeticum, at the entry “Panchaia”: “regio Arabiae tota arenosa, in qua arbores sponte natae thus emittunt. Virgilius, Totaque thuriferis Panchaia pinguis arenis” (“a region in Arabia, wholly covered with sand, in which wild trees produce incense. Virgil [Georgics, II, 139], “all Panchaia’s rich incense-bearing sands”). Back to text

Erichthon: Erichthonius; see note on Pliny, stanza 20. The information Heywood adds in his endnotes originates in two entries of Charles Estienne’s Dictionarium Historicum, Geographicum, Poeticum. In the entry “Erichtheus” he found “rex Athenarum, quem Minerva è rure, ubi natus erat, suscepit, educavit, et Atheniensi populo pro rege tradidit” (“a king of Athens, whom Minerva brought from the countryside, where he was born, educated him and gave him to the Athenians as their king”). From the next entry, “Erichthonius”, he omits the story of Vulcan’s attempted rape on Minerva as well as Erichthonius’ birth and his reptilian feet, to concentrate on the alleged consequences only: “qui cum adolevisset, ut pedum deformitatem tegeret, primus currus usum adinvenit. Servius in illud Virg. libro tertio Georg: ‘Primus Erichthonius currus, et quatuor ausus / Jungere equos, rapidisque rotis insistere victor’. Idem fuit argenti inventor, secundum Plinium” (“[Erichthonius] who, when he grew up, was the first to discover the use of the chariot, in order to hide the deformity of his feet. See Servius upon  Virgil’s Georgics, III [113-14], ‘Erichthonius first dared to invent the chariot, / To attach four horses to it, and to stand victorious on speedy wheels’. The same Erichthonius, according to Pliny, first discovered silver”). Back to text 

Aeacus: F, Ceachus, see note to stanza 20.

Idaei Dactyli: F, Idaei Dactili. See note to stanza 21 and Charles Estienne’s Dictionarium Historicum, Geographicum, Poeticum: “Idaei Dactyli, filii Minervae et Solis, vel, ut alii volunt, Saturni et Alciopes, et dicuntur alias Corybantes. Ferrum ii primum adinvenerunt” (“Idaean Dactyls, sons of Minerva and Sun, or, according to others, of Saturn and Alciope, and otherwise called Corybantes. They first discovered iron”).

Corybantes: F, Corybanthus.

Cybele:  F, Cibell. Back to text

Salmentes: see note to stanza 21 on Clement. 

Damnameneus: F, Damnamenecus. 

Cyprus: F, Cipres. Back to text

Lydus: See note to stanza 21. What Heywood adds in the endnote could be found in Charles Estienne’s Dictionarium Historicum, Geographicum, Poeticum: “Lydus, Atyos Maeoniae regis filius et frater Tyrrheni, à quo Maeonia Lydiae nomen accepit” (“Lydus, son of Atys, king of Maeonia, and brother of Tyrrhenus; from him Maeonia took the name of Lydia”).

Atys: F, Atis.

Delas: F, Delos. See note to stanza 21. Back to text

Cassiterides: See note to stanza 22 on Midacritus. Back to text

Cinyras: F, Cynaras. See note to stanza 23. Heywood’s assimilation of the inventor of brass and Myrrha’s father was natural since both lived in Cyprus. Recent scholarship tends to see them as two different characters. For a study of Cinyras’ inventions and their meaning in Greek literature, see Claude Baurain, “Kinyras et keramos: Remarques à propos de Pline, Hist. nat., VII, 195 et d’Homère, Iliade, V, 387”, L’Antiquité classique, 50 (1981), pp. 23-37. Back to text

Pyrodes: See note to stanza 23. And additional matter from Charles Estienne’s Dictionarium Historicum, Geographicum, Poeticum: “Pyrodes, Cilicis filius, qui primus è silice excussisse ignem dicitur” (“Pyrodes, son of Cilix, is said to have been the first to strike fire out of flint”) and “Cilix, filius Phoenicis, à quo dicta est Cilicia” (“Cilix, son of Phoenix, after whom Cilicia was named”).

Cilicia: F, Cicilia. Back to text

Prometheus: See note to stanza 23 on Pyrodes. Back to text

Anacharsis: See note to stanza 23. Back to text

Apis: See note to stanza 49. Heywood’s endnote on Apis conflates what he found in Langley’s Abridgement of Polydore Vergil with elements from two entries in Charles Estienne’s Dictionarium Historicum, Geographicum, Poeticum: “Apia regio, ab Api iiii Sicyoniorum rege apellata, Aegialea antea dicta, nunc Peloponnesus” (“Apia, a region called after Apis, fourth king of the Sicyonians, which, before, was called Aegialea and now Peloponnesus”) and “Apis, Argivorum rex, Jovis filius ex Niobe Phoronei filia, alio nomine Osiris apellatus, Isidem uxorem duxit. Achaiae regno Aegialeo fratri concesso in Aegyptum trajecit, ubi, cum homines rudes ad mitiorem vitae cultum traduxisset, colendarumque vinearum rationem eos edocuisset … vita tandem functus, pro deo est habitus, eumque Aegyptii sub vivi bovis imagine coluerunt …” (“Apis, king of the Argives, son of Jupiter and Niobe, Phoroneus’ daughter, otherwise called Osiris, married Isis. Having left the throne of Achaia to his brother Aegialeus, he crossed over into Egypt where he brought the still primitive inhabitants to a more refined style of life and taught them how to cultivate the vine … when his life came to an end, he was deified and the Egyptians worshipped him in the form of a live ox”). See Augustine, The City of God, XVIII, v. Back to text

Jubalda: See note to stanza 49. Back to text

Cranaus:  F, Craunuis. See note to stanza 49 and canto II, Heywood’s endnotes. Back to text

Satron: See note to stanza 49. Back to text

Semiramis: In Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, years 2000/1963 do not correspond to Semiramis governing Assyria but to her death, and the succession of her son: see note to stanza 49. The coincidence in time between year 2000 in Lanquet and the wedding of Saturn and Sibyl is Heywood’s invention, which may have been prompted by an association of Lanquet’s mention of Cres, the first king of Crete (years 1995/1968) and Caxton’s implicit identification of Cres with Uranus: see note to stanza 15 on “Uranus called also Crete”.

250: In Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, years 2007/1958, “Noah, called also Janus, paid his debt to Nature…”, fol. 12r. This was seven years after Semiramis’ death in 2000, but not 250 years after the Flood: according to Lanquet, “Noah, called also Janus, paid his debt to Nature 350 years after the universal deluge” (fol. 12r). Also, “[Noah] lived after the flood 350 years” (fol. 5v). Back to text

Ida: F, Isde. On the names of Jupiter’s nurses, see stanza 81 and notes there attached. Back to text


Back to Canto I, stanzas 1-50

Back to Canto I, stanzas 51-103

How to cite

Frédéric Delord, ed., 2015.  Troia Britanica Canto I, 51-103 (1609).  In A Dictionary of Shakespeare's Classical Mythology: A Textual Companion, ed. Yves Peyré (2009-).



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