Early Modern Mythological Texts: Troia Britanica XII, Notes

Thomas Heywood. Troia Britanica (1609)

Notes to CANTO XII

Ed. Patricia DORVAL



Palamed’: F, Palimed, for metre and rhyme. This edition harmonises to Palamedes, the usual form of the name, from Homer. Heywood hesitates between Palimed, Palumides and Palamides, from Caxton’s Palamydes. See also canto X, note to stanza 40 and canto XI, note to stanza 45. Back to text


Argumentum 2

Deidamia: F, Deiademeia throughout the Canto. Back to text



devout: F, devoate, for eye-rhyme, just as “dote” is spelt “doate” and “quote”, “coate”.

though thence derived: an allusion to Britain having been founded by the Trojans.

quote: F, coate: counted, reckoned. See Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, V.3.208: “He’s quoted for a most perfidious slave”. Back to text



deities: characters or qualities of a god. Back to text



schedes: F, skeads. written papers, i.e. written pages. See also canto VII, Argumentum: “Jason’s rich fleece, and proud Troy once more razed / By Hercules, in our next schedes are placed.” Of the three quotations in OED, two are from Heywood’s Troia Britanica.

Hector: F, Hestor. Back to text



maugre: in spite of.

Hector’s the Worthy, he hath lost the place?: Show me why Hector has lost his place to Achilles even though he is the Worthy (one of the Worthies), if not because of Homer’s prejudice. The Nine Worthies: three biblical heroes (Joshua, David and Judas Maccabaeus), three from Antiquity (Hector, Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar) and three from medieval romance (Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey of Bouillon). See stanza 5 and Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, V.1.117. Back to text



Grecia: Greece, paragoge for metrical purposes.

digested: put up with, endured.

the Nine: the Nine Worthies. See note to Hector in preceding stanza.

towerless: lofty, topless, or perhaps “tower-high”. OED does not reference the word in this sense; tower-less would more usually mean without defense. See “tow’ring” in stanza 60. Back to text



wan: won.

buckled: grappled, engaged with an adversary.

Scamander: a river flowing through the Trojan plain.

Jove-born: Muse. See canto I, stanza 6: “Inspire me in this task, Jove’s seed, I pray”. Back to text



Lycomedes: king of Scyros, an island in the Aegean Sea. Warned by an oracle that her son, Achilles, must perish during the Trojan war, Thetis dressed him as a girl named Pyrrha and entrusted him to the care of King Lycomedes. The story is narrated at length in Statius’ Achilleid, which Heywood seems to have known. Statius’ Works were first published by Ottaviano Scoto (Venice, 1483), then again in Venice by Giacomo de Paganini in 1490 and by Aldo Manuzio in 1502. A later edition was published in Lyons by the heirs of Sebastian Gryphius in 1559.

Deidamia: one of King Lycomedes’ daughters. Achilles was her bedmate. Deidamia gave birth to a son, Pyrrhus.

cuisses: F, cushes, a phonetic variant. Armour for protecting the front part of the thighs (OED).

kirtle: a woman’s gown. Back to text



exiled: banished. She modelled her mood on his, was joyful with him or sad with him. Back to text



opportunous: opportune. Back to text



him: refers to her child, Pyrrhus Neoptolemus.

Neoptolemus: F, Neptolemus. Caxton, Recuyell, spells Neptolonyus; so does Lydgate in Troy Book. The Greek name can be understood as “new warrior.”

Ilium: F, Islium, consistently used throughout Troia Britanica.

succeed: end. Back to text



event: outcome, issue.

Diomed: Diomedes.

the cause: the reason why. Back to text



the crafty Greek: Ulysses.

posts: hastens.

glasses: looking-glasses, mirrors.

cauls: head-dresses, often richly ornamented.

tires: attires. Back to text



he: Ulysses. Back to text



Aeacides: patronymic from Aeacus given to his descendants, here his grandson, Achilles.

suit him to his kind: get dressed, or more generally behave, according to his sex. Back to text



fillet: a ribbon or narrow band for binding the hair.

cask: helmet.

rebato: F, Rebata. A type of large collar stiffened so as to stand up around the back of the neck, typically trimmed with lace (OED).

gorget: a piece of armour for the throat. Back to text



vantbrace: F, vauntbrace. See canto VIII, stanza 81Back to text



thee … thy … thou: “Thee” refers to Achilles, who feels grief at leaving Deidamia and his yet unborn son; then the sentence doubles back to express Deidamia’s own grief at Achilles’ departure, whose son she feels in her womb: thy and thou refer to Deidamia. The syntactic break may be felt to emphasize the pain of departure in a mirror image.

arrive: arrival.

cantons: cantoes, i.e. songs, ballads. Back to text



habit: attire.

Lemnian: from Lemnos.

run: F, ronne, for eye-rhyme.

yield: provide, supply. Back to text



unavoided: unavoidable. Back to text



21: The story was common knowledge. It is ultimately derived from Statius’ Achilleid. Stanza 21 is based on Achilleid, I, 134, 269-70, 480-81. In Statius, Achilles is plunged into the Styx, not into the sea. The idea that Thetis found the water too cold to plunge her hand in it is Heywood’s invention.

niceness: delicacy, daintiness. Back to text



fair-foot: Homeric adjective. See Chapman, Achilles’ Shield (1598): “Bright-footed Thetis” and “the fair white-footed dame” (p. 1). Back to text



Palamedes: F, Palamides. See note to Argumentum, above.

Mycene: F, Mecene. Mycenae, whose king was Agamemnon (Homer, Iliad, II, 582). Heywood more frequently spells Mycene, after Chapman, Seaven Bookes, p. 37. Caxton has “Michames”. Caxton narrates Palamedes’ resentment at Agamemnon’s election as the head of the Greek forces (III, 18), which Agamemnon imputes to Palamedes’ long absence (III, 12). Also Lydgate, III, 2319-64, and IV, 111-52. Both based on Guido delle Colonne’s Historia Destructionis Troiae, XXII. Palamedes’ long absence was already alluded to by Heywood in canto XI, 45.

meed: prize, share (of spoils).

Naulus: F, Nawlus throughout, from Caxton’s Naulus, i.e. Nauplius, king of Euboea. Back to text



Paris: On Palamedes slain by Paris, who pierced his neck with a poisoned arrow, see Caxton, Recuyell, III, 21. This account of Palamedes’ death is found in Dares, De Excidio Troiae Historia, XXVIII; Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s Le Roman de Troie, 18832-55; and Guido delle Colonne, Historia Destructionis Troiae, XXV. Lydgate also reports it, Troy Book, IV, 1367-77 and V, 906-907.

Ulysses and Palamedes: In F, this marginal note was opposite stanza 25

others: Ulysses’ plot against Palamedes led to his being accused of treason and condemned to death: Apollodorus, The Library, Epitome, III, 8; Hyginus, Fabulae, 105. It is referred to by Virgil, Aeneid, II, 81-85 and explained by Servius, ad Aen., II, 81; Ovid also alludes to it, Metamorphoses, XIII, 308-12. Lydgate reports it, Troy Book, V, 748-812. A different version was given by Dictys, according to whom Ulysses and Diomedes deceived Palamedes into climbing down a well to retrieve a treasure. Once he got to the bottom, they treacherously stoned him to death: Ephemeridos Belli Troiani, II, 15. Lydgate conflates the two versions of Ulysses’ plot, which he presents as a malicious invention reported to Palamedes’ father, Troy Book, V, 697-919 and so does Caxton, Recuyell, III, 28. The ultimate source is Guido delle Colonne, Historia Destructionis Troiae, XXXII, itself modelled on Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s Le Roman de Troie, 27671-867.

Great Atrides: son of Atreus. The plural form Atridae includes both Agamemnon and Menelaus. “Great Atrides” refers to Agamemnon, Menelaus’ elder brother. See stanza 36. For the quarrel between Palamedes and Agamemnon, see above, stanza 23.

sovereign sway: leadership. See Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth (I.v.66-69): “You shall put / This night’s great business into my dispatch, / Which shall to all our nights and days to come / Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.” This is a frequently used phrase. Back to text



son of Naulus: son of Nauplius, Palamedes. See stanza 23. The widely known episode in which Ulysses’ feigned madness is exposed by Palamedes is not mentioned by Caxton. It occurs (among others) in Apollodorus, The Library, Epitome, III, 7; Ovid, Metamorphoses, XIII, 34-60; Hyginus, Fabulae, 95. Natale Conti also reports it (Mythologia, IX, i).

crooked rafter: ploughshare. Back to text



Palamedes: F, Palumides; ibid., line 5 below. Back to text



Arnaea: F, Arnea. Penelope was originally called Arnaea. Stanzas 28-33 introduce into the story of Ulysses’ revenge on Palamedes a digression on Penelope. Heywood derives most of the information from Natale Conti’s Mythologia, VIII, xxiv, “De Penelope” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581), p. 612.

Periboea: F, Peribea, Periboea or alternately Periboia, a naiad nymph of Laconia, wife to Icarius and mother to Penelope, Ulysses’ wife. See Natale Conti, Mythologia, VIII, xxiv, “De Penelope”.

Nais: a naiad of the springs in Laconia, wife to the old satyr Silenus.

Delphos: Delphi.

Femineum Peribea decus Peribea pudorem fert utero: From Natale Conti’s Mythologia, VIII, xxiv, “De Penelope” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581), p. 612: “Foemineum Peribaea decus, Peribaea pudorem / Fert utero” (“Periboea bears in her womb female honour and shame”).

child: give birth to. Back to text



Phoebus’ mind: Apollo’s oracle.

Meleagrides: Meleager’s sisters who grieved unceasingly after their beloved brother’s death so that Diana turned them into guinea-hens, but for two of them, Gorge and Dejanira. See Ovid’s Metamorphoses, VIII, 526-46.

Herodorus: F, Herodotus, lib. de Perse & Andromeda. F’s Herodotus is a mistake for Herodorus. Natale Conti, Mythologia, VIII, xxiv, “De Penelope” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581), p. 612: “ut testatus est Herodorus in iis quae scripsit de Perseo et Andromeda” (“as Herodorus testifies in his writings on Perseus and Andromeda”. In his account of Perseus and Andromeda (Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker 31, F1), Herodorus does not mention the story of Penelope’s birds. Natale Conti most probably found it in Tzetzes’s Commentary on Lycophron, 792 (ed. Christian Gottfried Müller, Leipzig: F. C. G. Vogel, 1811, p. 784). Back to text



Penelopes Grece, sig.: See note on the Meleagrides, stanza 29. In Natale Conti’s Mythologia, VIII, xxiv, “De Penelope” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581), p. 612, Heywood found “Illae igitur aves cum Penelopes per illud tempus à Graecis dicerent, nam Penelope est gallinarum genus quas nunc Indicas vocant, mox deposito priore Arnaeae nomine filiam Penelopen vocavit” (“As these birds were called Penelopes by the Greeks in those days, for Penelope refers to a kind of hen now called Indian, he [Icarius], renouncing to her former name, Arnaea, called his daughter Penelope”).

their: Refers to the king and either his followers or Periboea, or both. Back to text



race: Natale Conti describes this race in Mythologia, VIII, xxiv, “De Penelope” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581), p. 612. His acknowledged source is Pausanias, “Laconia”, III, xii, 1. 

shamefast: bashful.

misconster: misconstrue, hence misinterpret as shame. Back to text



Eubulus in Chrysilla: F, Chrisilla, borrowed from Natale Conti’s Mythologia, VIII, xxiv, “De Penelope” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581), pp. 613-14: “sed tamen de Penelopes bonitate crebrior sententia invaluit, de qua ita scripsit Eubulus in Chrysilla” (“yet what dominates is the more widespread opinion that Penelope was chaste, about which Eubulus wrote thus in his Chrysilla”). Conti then quotes Eubulus’ line about Penelope’s “goodness”, a fragment quoted in Athenaeus’ Deipnosophists, XIII, 8.

in their force or fair means: Whatever the suitors’ attempts, Penelope was guilty of no “amorous crime”.

bow: One of the ploys Penelope devised to foil her ever more pressing suitors was that she would marry whoever had the strength and skill to string Ulysses’ bow and shoot an arrow through twelve axe-heads set in succession.

web: Refers to the shroud which Penelope wove during the day and unravelled at night to keep her harassing suitors at bay. Back to text



34: F, 33. This and all the following stanzas of this canto are misnumbered in F in the same way (33 for stanza 34, 34 for stanza 35, etc.). Stanza 34 resumes the story of Ulysses’ revenge on Palamedes after the digression on Penelope.

Naulian: F, Nawlian. Palamedes, Naulus’ son.

he: Ulysses. Back to text



session: F, sessions. Back to text



obits: deaths.

third battle: in Caxton’s count, Recuyell, III, 12.

marshals: F, martials.

Sigean: See Heywood’s “Epistle of Paris to Helen:” “Sigean shore” and “Sigean confines” (canto IX, 41, 480). Refers to Sigeum or Sigaeum, a promontory of Troas, at the mouth of the Scamander. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, XI, 197; XII, 71; XIII, 3; and Heroides, XVI, “Epistle of Paris to Helen”, 21, 275. Back to text



sleeves: a body of troops placed on the flanks of an army, battalion, etc.; a wing or flank (OED).

skirts: elements of an army most distant from the central body. Back to text



doughty: valiant, brave.

long-truced ease: the rest allowed by the truce between the two armies, which according to Caxton, Recuyell, III, 12, lasted two months. Back to text



broad-breasted: Menon was described as “broad-breasted” in VIII, 40. Diomede is referred to as “broad-breasted” in XII, 39 and again in XIV, 24. Heywood’s imitation of Homeric adjectives is based on Caxton’s remark that “Diomedes was great and had a broad breast”, Recuyell, III, 4.

him: himself. Back to text



strows: strews, i.e. scatters.

caparisoned: covered. Back to text



car: chariot.

loose: in archery, act of discharging an arrow.

jar: vibrate audibly.

he: Achilles. Back to text



helm-graced: Hector is described as “helm-graced” by Chapman, Seaven Bookes, p. 52, translating Homer, Iliad, VII, 233, “Hector of the flashing helm”.

emulous of: desirous of rivalling with. Back to text



orbicular: round, circular. In Chapman’s Seaven Bookes (p. 53), when Hector fights with Ajax, he is protected by a “bright orbicular targe”. See also canto XIII, 54.

boss: the convex projection in the centre of a shield (OED).

thong: strap.

palfreys: horses in the general sense.

revoke: pull back. Back to text



illustrate: illustrious.

withdraw: withdrawn.

clear-mettled fame: F, metalled, i.e. his untainted fame as a valiant man.

wafts: waves his hand as a signal. Back to text



expects: waits for. Back to text



Archeptolemus: F, Archeptolemnus. The name is spelt properly in stanza 52, 3. At Eniopeus’ death, Archeptolemus takes over the reins of Hector’s chariot (Homer’s Iliad, VIII, 118-29) before being killed in turn (ibid, VIII, 309-15). See Chapman’s Seaven Bookes (1598), pp. 62 and 68.

Automedon: F, Antomedon throughout the canto. Automedon first appears specifically as Achilles’ charioteer in Homer’s Iliad, XVI, 145-49, a book for which Chapman’s translation had not yet been printed when Heywood was writing Troia Britanica. Heywood’s endnotes to canto XII (below) suggest that he knew him from Ovid.

yerks: jerks. Back to text



braves: bravadoes.

well seen: well versed. Back to text



gauntlet: gauntleted.

fair-maned: see Chapman, Seaven Bookes, p. 68: “his four rich-maned horse”. Back to text



countermanded: commanded in reversal of a previous order.

vaunts: proudly displays. Back to text



justle: joust.

diffused: confused.

excused: taken shelter from, avoided.

barbed: of a war-horse, caparisoned with a barb (obs.) or bard, i.e. a covering for the breast and flanks.

corses: corpses. Back to text



51: F, 50. From stanza 33 onwards, all the stanzas of this canto are misnumbered in F in the same way (33 for stanza 34, 34 for stanza 35, etc.).

surveyeth: F, surveith. Back to text



disjoined: disjoined, i.e. parted from Hector, the enraged Achilles fought elsewhere.

phalanx: F, phalany, a typographical mistake. A phalanx is a body of heavy-armed infantry in close order (OED). Back to text



Pandarus: F, Pandolus, following Caxton, Recuyell, III.13, on “the fourth battle”. Le Fèvre has Pandobus. Manuscripts of Guido delle Colonne’s Historia Destructionis Troiae have Pandolus, Pandoclus and Pandarus: see Nathaniel Edward Griffin’s edition (Cambridge, Mass.: Mediaeval Academy of America, 1936), p. 153. Benoît de Sainte-Maure has Pandarus (Le Roman de Troie, 11353). Stanzas 54-58 follow Caxton very closely while reorganizing the material: “The King Menelaus recountered Paris, and they knew each other well. And Menelaus smote him so hard with his spear that he made him a great wound and smote him down, whereof Paris was all ashamed. Ulysses beat the King Arastous [Arastus], and took his horse that was good, and sent it to his tent. Polimytes [Polymedes] assailed Huppon [Hupon] the ancient, and slew him. Neptolonyus and the King Archilogus fought together. Polidainas beat Palamydes and wounded him sore, and after mocked him by reproach. Philemenus beat Anthenor. Philoteas [Philotas] and the King Remus fought together. And the bastards of King Pryant did marvels, and slew many Greeks, and hurt many kings.”

Telamon: F, Thelamon, Ajax Telamonius. Back to text

Sarpedon: Glaucus’ son, king of Lycia, on the Trojans’ side. “The King Thelamon [Telamon] and the King Sarpedon justed so sore that one against that other that they feel both sore hurt and all astonied of the anguish that they had”, Caxton, Recuyell, III, 13. Sarpedon is presented in Troia Britanica, XI, 21: “Next these seven kings, King Glaucus, / Three thousand bold squires he from Lycia brought, / His son Sarpedon of the Trojan race, / In all king Priam’s battles, bravely fought […]”. He already appears in Homer’s Iliad, II, 876 and V, 629.

raught: reached.

Euryalus: F, Eurialus. Caxton, Recuyell, III, 13: “The King Thesus and the King OEryalus [Euryalus] fought together, and both were sore hurt”. Le Fèvre has Erialus; Guido delle Colonne, Eurialus (ed. Griffin, p. 153). Euryalus was son of King Mecisteus, son of Talaus in Homer’s Iliad, II, 565-66, VI, 20, XXIII, 676-80. Back to text

Theseus: F, Thesus. A Trojan fighting with the Greek Euryalus. Spelling after Caxton, who refers to “the kinge Thesus of Trahie and Archilogus his broder” (Recuyell, III, 11), only to correct, further on in the same chapter, “the kinge Thesus and Archilogus his sone”. According to Guido delle Colonne, “de regno Thereo venit rex Theseus et Archilogus filius eius”, Historia Destructionis Troiae, ed. Griffin, p. 117. They correspond to Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s Heseus (or Teseus) and his son Archilogus from Therace (Le Roman de Troie, 7719-21), who themselves derive from Dares’ “de Thracia Pirus et Acamas”, De Excidio Troiae Historia, XVIII and Dictys’ “Acamas [omission] Piros ex Thracia”, Ephemeridos Belli Troiani, II, xxxv. In the course of transmission, some confusion seems to have occurred between Homer’s Acamas and his brother Archelocus, fighting on the Greek side (Iliad, II, 822-23) and Acamas, who, with Piros, leads the Thracians on the Trojan side (Iliad, II, 844-45).

Lydgate, who also uses Guido delle Colonne, mentions “Theseus, and eke his son that hight Archilagus”, from the kingdom of Teremo, Troy Book, II.7764-71.

There is another “Thesus” on the opposite Greek side: according to Caxton, “There was of the Greeks the king Thesus, and he said to Hector and warned him that he should go out of the battle, and said that it were domage [a shame] for all the world to lose such a knight, and Hector thanked him right courteously” (Recuyell, III, 11). Caxton further relates how Thesus was “assailed of Quyntelynus one of the bastard brethren of Hector and of king Moderus, and was taken and led away. But Hector delivered him all quite for the courtesy that he had done to him a little to fore”, Recuyell, III, 11. This, through Raoul Le Fèvre, is directly inspired by Guido delle Colonne, who has the same story about Theseus, Hector, and Quintilienus, Historia Destructionis Troiae, ed. Griffin, pp. 139-40, from Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s Theseus, Hector and Quintiliens, Le Roman de Troie, 8913-44 and 9085-9116. Heywood refers to that second Theseus in Troia Britanica, XI, 71, 74, 83-84. Back to text

Carras: “The King Scelenus and the King Carras encountered together, and Carras was sore beaten and wounded”, Caxton, Recuyell, III, 13. According to Guido delle Colonne, “Rex Stelenus et rex Caras inter se certando convenient. Sed rex Stelenus regem Garas [Caras] vulneratum ab equo prosternit”, Historia Destructionis Troiae, ed. Griffin, p. 154. From Benoît de Sainte-Maure, Le Roman de Troie, 11427-40. Carras reappears in Troia Britanica, XI, 20 in the list of the Kings who came to help the city of Troy.

bore him: F, bare. Bore himself well, i.e. performed well.

Sthenelus: F, Scenetus. Caxton’s “Scelenus,” for Le Fèvres’s “Stelenus”, which reproduces Guido delle Colonne’s “Stelenus”, from Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s Sthelenus. He corresponds to Dares’, Dictys’ and Homer’s Sthenelus, who commanded the Argives under Diomedes.

Lydgate’s Troy Book reads “Scelenius”, III, 2884 or “Scelenus”, III, 2959, as in Caxton. The spelling “Stelenus” still survives in Lodowick Lloyd’s The consent of Time Deciphering the Errors of the Grecians in their Olympiads (1590). In Troia Britanica, VI, 76, Heywood refers to another Sthenelus (F, Scelenus), son of Greek Perseus. Back to text



Philomenes: Caxton, “Philemenus beat Anthenor”, Recuyell, III, 13, after Le Fèvre. Guido delle Colonne has “Philimenis [or in some MSS, Philemenus] irruit in ducem Athenarum, quem ab equo dejecit”, Historia Destructionis Troiae, ed. Griffin, p. 153, from Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s narration of an encounter between “Phileminis” and “Le duc d’Athenes” (Le Roman de Troie, 11441-70). At some stage between Guido delle Colonne and Raoul Le Fèvre, “ducem Athenarum” may have been read “ducem Antenorem”.

Lydgate has a “Philomene”, son of “Astalapho” [Ascalaphus], whom Agamemnon assigned in command of the third battalion, Troy Book, III, 628-30. He derives from Guido delle Colonne, “Terciam autem aciem concessit regi Ascalafo et eius filio Phylimeno”, Historia Destructionis Troiae, ed. Griffin, p. 132: Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s “Almenus” (Le Roman de Troie, 8190) became “Filimeno” and “Philimeno” in manuscripts of Guido’s Historia. This Greek Philemenus deriving from Almenus should not be mistaken for the pro-Trojan Pylaemenes, king of Paphlagonia, who ended up falling under Menelaus’ strokes in Homer’s Iliad, II, 851-52, V, 576 and XIII, 643. Lydgate calls him “Philymene”, “Philimene”, “Philomene” and “Philemene”, Troy Book, II, 7744; he is Pylaemenes in Dictys’ Ephemeridos Bello Troiani, II, 35, but Phillemenis and Philemoenis in manuscripts of Dares’ De Excidio Troiae Historia, XVIII; in Le Roman de Troie, 6814, Benoît de Sainte-Maure calls him Philemenis and manuscripts of Guido delle Colonne’s Historia Destructionis Troiae have variants of that name. Accordingly, Raoul Le Fèvre has “Philimenis” and Caxton “Philemenus”. In Troia Britanica, he is also “Philemus” (XI, 25), “Pylemen”, “Prince o’er the Paphlagonian chivalry” (XI, 31), and later “Philomenes”, XIV, 89. Back to text

Antenor: F, Anthenor. A Trojan prince married to Theano, Hecuba’s sister. In Raoul Le Fèvre’s Recueil, the name probably originated in a misreading of Guido delle Colonne’s Historia Destructionis Troiae: see preceding note.  

Remus: F, Rhemus, as in XI, 78-79. Remus in XI, 23. One of the Trojan’s allies. Caxton has Remus, after Le Fèvre; Lydgate has the same spelling. According to Guido delle Colonne, he is king of “Thabaria” (“Thaborye” in Caxton, Recuyell, III, 9, “Thabarie” in Le Fèvre’s Recueil). Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s Remus, king of Cisonie (Le Roman de Troie, 6713) derives from Dares’ and Dictys’ Euphemus, king of Ciconia, De Excidio Troiae Historia, XVIII; Ephemeridos Bello Troiani, II, 35, who himself corresponds to Homer’s Euphemus, leader of the Ciconian spearmen (Iliad, II, 846). Lydgate describes “Tabaria” as a large, mighty island (Troy Book, II, 7662). Back to text

Philotas: Already mentioned in Troia Britanica, XI, 87 and 90 (“Philoatas”). Philoteas in Caxton’s Recuyell, III, 13, as in some manuscripts of Guido delle Colonne’s Historia Destructionis Troiae, who mentions the battle between “Remus” and “Philitoas”, ed. Griffin, p. 153. Philotheas in Lydgate, Troy Book, III, 2967-68.

Arastus: Caxton, “Ulixes beat the king Arastous, and took his horse that was good, and sent it to his tent”, Recuyell, III, 13. Guido delle Colonne mentions the fight of Ulysses and Arastus, (Historia Destructionis Troiae, ed. Griffin, p. 153) or Adrastus, as Benoît de Sainte-Maure names him, Le Roman de Troie, 11369. He is Adrastus in Dares’ De Excidio Troiae Historia, XVIII and Dictys’ Ephemeridos Bello Troiani, II, 35. Back to text

bastard: See cantos VIII, 18, and XI, 73.

Hupon: There are two characters named Hupon in Troia Britanica. Here, the Trojans Deiphebus and Aeneas fight two Greeks, Hupon and Nestor. But in XIII, 68-69, it is an ally of the Trojans, Hupon, king of Larissa, who is killed by Achilles. Heywood follows Caxton’s Recuyell, who distinguishes between the Trojan ally “Huppon of Larisse” and the Greek “Huppon the ancient”, killed by “Polimytes” (III, 13). The two Hupons derive from Guido delle Colonne’s Historia Destructionis Troiae: the king of Larissa, a Trojan ally (ed. Griffin, pp. 116, 128, 137) killed by Achilles (ibid., p. 156); and “Ampon senem” (Ampon the ancient) killed by “Polimedes” (ibid., p. 153)—or Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s “Polimenes” (Le Roman de Troie. 11378). This Ampon, who comes from Benoît’s text, 6668 (“Ampon li vieux”), appears as “Hupon” in some manuscripts of Guido. Heywood’s Hupon here, against whom Aeneas and Deiphebus seem to fight, must be a Greek, although both Hupon and Ampon/Hupon are on the Trojan side, as appears in Benoît, Guido and Caxton, whom Heywood may have been reading fast. Back to text

three-aged Nestor: Nestor was believed to have lived “three ages,” by which is meant three hundred years (Ovid, Metamorphoses, XII, 187-88). He was in his third century when the Trojan war broke out. Heywood already described Nestor as “three-aged” in Troia Britanica, X, 24 and 39. See note to X, 24. Back to text



56: The fight between Diomede and Troilus is inspired by Caxton’s narration, Recuyell, III, 12.

press: F, prease, i.e. a crush in battle, a mêlée.

pale: defence. See XI, 71: “Charioted Hector these four kings assail, / But his smart steeds spring through their armèd pale”; XV, 16: “These brazen hoofs are made to spurn [strike at] your mure [wall], / The trusty pale that hath so long defended / Your sons and wives, where they have lived secure, / Maugre the ruin by the foe intended, / Against your trusty guards no wrong endure, / Whose bulwarked strength you have so oft commended.” Back to text



Boetes: F, Bretes, but correctly spelt Boetes, Troia Britanica, XI, 25. Heywood follows Caxton: “Then there was a new knight named Bretes that assailed him fiercely, but Hector by right great ire smote him upon the helm so great a stroke that he cleft his head unto the nombril [navel], and he fell down dead” (Recuyell, III, 12). Caxton translates Raoul Le Fèvre, who himself translates Guido delle Colonne here: “Et dum venisset obvius contra eum, quidam miles novus nomine Boetes in virtute sua animose Hectorem est agressus. Sed Hector tam graviter percussit ipsum in capite quod ipsum a vertice usque ad umbilicum duas divisit in partes, qui statim mortuus expiravit”, Historia Destructionis Troiae, ed. Griffin, p. 150. Guido summarizes Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s account of Boetes’ death in Le Roman de Troie, 10825-48, emphasizing the blow, which, according to Benoît, does not cut him “ad umbilicum” (Le Fèvre’s and Caxton’s “nombril”), but only “jusqu’as denz”, 10842 (“to the teeth”). 

Caxton’s and therefore Heywood’s spelling “Bretes” is based on a scribal mistake in Raoul Le Fèvre. Lydgate describes the same combat, rightfully naming Hector’s opponent Boetes (Troy Book, III, 2572-89). Back to text

admiral: Benoît de Sainte-Maure describes Boetes as “un riche rei” (“a rich king”), Le Roman de Troie, 10826, and as “miles novus” (“a newly-made knight”, see preceding note). Raoul Le Fèvre’s “ung chevalier nouvel nomme bretes” and Caxton’s “new knight” derive from Guido’s account.

black-stemmed fleet: See Chapman, Seaven Bookes, p. 135: “thy black-sterned ship”. Back to text

Priamides: King Priam’s son, Hector.

helm-decked: From Chapman, Seaven Bookes, p. 44: “helm-decked Hector”. Back to text



felled: stricken down.

Archilochus: From Caxton, Recuyell, III, 12: “Seeing that [Bretes lay lifeless], the King Archylogus his cousin, and Hector would have taken his horse, but King Archylogus defended him as much as he might, and then Hector ran upon him and smote him so hard that he smote his body in two pieces notwithstanding his harness”. Here and in III, 13, Caxton spells the name Archilogus after Le Fèvre’s and Guido delle Colonne’s Archelogus. Heywood’s form of the name may be modelled on the Greek poet Archilochus, the inventor of the iambic meter (Troia Britanica, VIII, 4). Thus the Greek fighter Archelogus becomes Archilochus throughout: defying Hector along with Menon, Thesus and Glaucion (Troia Britanica, XI, 71) and among the eighteen Greek kings brought to death by Hector (canto XV, endnotes). Lydgate has one King Archilagus slain by Hector in the same circumstances as here (III, 2590-2609) and another character of the same name, son of Theseus of Teremo (see above stanza 54), who came to aid Troy (II, 7768) and fought Neptolonyus (III, 2940) as Caxton narrates in III, 13. Likewise, in XI, 27, Heywood also has an Archilochus, a valiant boy, sitting among the Trojan princes. Back to text



Enragèd Mars … the eye of Gorgons burns: From Homer, Iliad, VIII, 349-50, through Chapman, Seaven Bookes, p. 68, “The eyes of Gorgon burnt in him, and war’s vermilion god”.

raze: F, race, i.e. scrape.

falchion: F, faulchion, i.e. sword. Back to text



Thoas: See Caxton: “The King Thoas and Achilles, that were cousins, assailed Hector, / And gave him many strokes, and drew off his helm from his head, and hurt him in many places; and Hector gave to him so great a stroke with his sword that he cut off half his nose” (Recuyell, III, 13). Thoas is mentioned as Andremon’s son, stanza 82 (from Chapman’s Seaven Bookes). Back to text



artsman: craftsman.

battery: battering. Back to text



Achive: Greek, from the Latin “Achivus”. A usual term in Chapman’s Seaven Books.

palisadoes: palisades.

train: treachery, deceit.

Worthy: see stanza 5. Back to text



Hector: Hector’s challenge to the Greeks and their response are inspired from Chapman’s Seaven Bookes.

Simois: F, Symois. See VIII, 51 and below, 72. Back to text



unaghast: unafraid.

wafts: waves his hand as a signal. Back to text



curlèd Greeks: From Chapman, Seaven Bookes, p. 33, “the curled-head Greeks”.

sanguine: bloody. Back to text



climates: regions, more specifically here kingdoms.

cumber: overthrow, destroy.

common band: common soldiers.

brave: bravado. See stanza 47. Back to text



thrifty: careful of expenditure, sparing.

life’s: F, lives.

expense: expenditure, loss. Back to text



match: provide an equal set for. Also below, 71.

Andromache: Hector’s wife is described by Homer as feeding her husband’s steeds, Iliad, VIII, 184-90. Heywood follows Chapman’s Seaven Bookes, p. 64: “O, Xanthus, now said he, / And thou Podargus, Aethon too, and Lampus dear to me, / Make me some worthy recompense for so much choice of meat / Given you by fair Andromache, bread of the purest wheat, / And with it, for your drink, mixed wine, ever when dry ye were”.

mornly: every morning. Back to text



Xanthus, Podargus, Lampus, Aethon: Not in Caxton. From Chapman’s Homer. See preceding note.

career: a short gallop at full speed.

Diomedes’ steeds: Son of Mars and the nymph Cyrene and king of the Bistonians in Thrace, Diomedes had four wild mares, which he fed on human flesh. Hercules was ordered by Eurystheus, as the eighth of his twelve labours, to fetch the man-eating horses. He captured them, and sailed back to Tiryns where he released them. As they wandered northward, they got devoured by wild beasts on Mount Olympus. A non-Homeric reference. Back to text



engrossed: written, hence here listed, in a legal document. Back to text



sluice: drain of blood.

slave: bring into subjection. Back to text



Cythera: F, Cythara, a Greek island south of the Peloponnese peninsula, a strategic trading place, near which Venus is reported to have sprung from the sea foam, for which she received the name Cytherea. Heywood alludes to Caxton’s Recuyell, III, 3, where is narrated “How [the Trojans] ravished Helen out of the temple of Venus with many prisoners and riches and brought them to Troy”. Helen was celebrating Venus in “the yle of Cythare in Grece”, as Caxton writes, in a temple that Paris ransacked when he abducted her. Hence Heywood’s “spoils”.

adorned: F, ador’d. Back to text



press: F, prease for rhyme sake. Condition of being hard-pressed (see “burdened earth” and “weight”), alternately, multitude. Back to text



spirits: monosyllabic.

invade: set upon, assault. Back to text



aspires: rises up. See Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor: “Lust is […] Fed in heart, whose flames aspire, / As thoughts do blow them, higher and higher” (V.v.94-97).

marble: blue. See Stanbridge’s Vocabulary (1560): “Ceruleus: a marble colour or gray”. In Milton’s Paradise Lost, Satan “winds with ease / Through the pure marble air his oblique way” (III, 563-64).

strange: extreme. Back to text



Atrides: the younger of the Atrides is Menelaus, the Spartan king. Back to text



excuse: defend Greece’s legitimacy (in the war). Back to text



his great brother: Agamemnon.

the Spartan: Menelaus.

nine royal princes: From Chapman’s Seaven Bookes, p. 51: “With this, nine royal princes rose”. Back to text



the archduke: Agamemnon. Heywood follows Chapman’s Seaven Bookes, p. 51: “Atrides for the first, / Then Diomed; th’Ajaces then, that did th’encounter thirst; / King Idomen and his consorts, Mars-like Meriones, / Evemon’s son Eurypylus and Andremonides, / Who all the Grecians Thoas called, sprung of Andremon’s blood, / And wise Ulysses, every one proposed for combat stood”, translating Homer, Iliad, VII, 161-69.

Andremon: See note to stanza 60. Back to text

Idomen: Chapman’s version of the name. In Homer, he is Idomeneus, one of the chief men of the Achean army (Iliad, II, 405) and leader of the Cretans (II, 645).

Ajax Oileus: F, Oleus. Son of Oileus and Eriopis; this Ajax is called by Ovid “moderatior” to distinguish him from Ajax, son of Telamon, because of his milder temper. Back to text

Eurypylus: F, Eriphilus. From Chapman’s Seaven Bookes (see preceding note).

Ithacan: F, Ithacyan. Ulysses was King of Ithaca.

Meriones: A son of Molus, who with Idomeneus, brought to Troy eighty ships (Iliad, II, 650-51). He was considered as one of the bravest warriors and slew a number of Trojans. Back to text



inject: cast.

Achilles: For the reasons for Achilles’ absence, see Heywood’s endnotes. Back to text



as all the soldiers prayed: From Chapman’s Seaven Bookes, p. 51, “The soldiers prayed, held up their hands, and this of Jove did ask, / With eyes advanced to heaven: O, Jove, so lead the herald’s hand / That Ajax or great Tideus’ son may our wished champion stand”. What comes out is “Strong Ajax Telamon inscribed, as all the soldiers prayed” (ibid.).

Dardanian: Trojan. Back to text



full of fear: fearful, frightening.

his: the helmet’s.

disallow: discommend, disapprove, find fault with. Back to text



embossed: covered with ornamental bosses or studs.

chapped: from “chape”, which could refer to the tip of the scabbard, or ornamented metal plate.

graved: engraved. Back to text

agèd Telamon: Ajax’ father, Telamon, was part of the Argonauts’ expedition, assisting Hercules as he took and destroyed the city of Troy.

laved: bathed.

studs: F, stoods, for eye-rhyme. Back to text



talent: an ancient weight.

modules: representations or models on a small scale (OED). Back to text

Achelous: a river-god, who fought with Hercules for Deianira’s hand. As Ovid narrates in Metamorphoses, IX, 1-88, he had the power to assume various shapes, which he used to elude his rival’s grasp. See endnotes. Caxton does dwell on Hercules and Achelous’ fight for Deianira’s hand without conjuring up any unnatural metamorphosis (Recuyell, II,15 and II,16). Yet he does recall that poets had Achelous turn into various animals, which he deciphers as an allegory: “The poets escrive and write this conquest that Hercules made upon Achelous, saying that Achelous fought first in guise of a man, and that then he was vanquished. After he changed himself in guise of a serpent; this is to understand in subtleness and in malice as he did in assailling Hercules by night. Finally he fought in the guise of a bull, and that Hercules broke his one horn, that is to understand that at the last Achelous was fierce as a bull, for he died well nigh for pride and sorrow; that he was taken and that Hercules broke his horn that is to understand that he broke his royaume and destroyed it” (Recuyell, II,16).

Deianir’: F, Deyaneyr. Apocopated form of Deianira. Back to text



tempered: brought to “a suitable degree of hardness and elasticity or resiliency by heating it to the required temperature and immersing it, while hot, in some liquid, usually cold water” (OED).

bare: bore. Back to text



Tycheus: three syllables. From Chapman’s Seaven Bookes, p. 52: “Ajax came near, and, like a tower, his shield his bosom barred; / The right side brass and seven ox-hides within it quilted hard; / Old Tycheus, the best currier that did in Hyla dwell / Did frame it for exceeding proof and wrought it wondrous well”, translating Homer, Iliad, VII, 219-23, where the workman is Tychius, from Hyle.

currier: one whose trade is to dress and colour leather after it has been tanned (OED).

Hyla: a town of Boeotia on the border of the Cephisian lake, i.e. lake Copais (Iliad, V, 708-09).

h’abides: he abides, i.e. stays.

Salamine: adjective after Salamis (stressed on the second syllable), the island of which Telamon, Ajax’s father, was king. Back to text



partake: be informed of, be made acquainted with. Back to text



espy: discern, discover.

descry: make known, reveal. Back to text



Gramercies: thanks.

mixèd birth: Ajax is the son of Hesione, daughter of Laomedon, late king of Troy and Telamon, king of Salamis, hence the hero is half Trojan, half Greek. Back to text



Thetides: F, Tetydes, patronymic for Thetis’ issue, Achilles.

elder of the Atrides: Agamemnon. Back to text



Hector: F, Achilles, is obviously wrong.

mourier: running messenger.

makes repair: goes. Back to text

whither: F, whether, i.e. to the place to which.

true: truly.

interposed: impeded. Back to text

bare: bore, wound.

agitations: F, agitagious. Repeated action (thrusts backwards and forwards).

checked: From Chapman’s Seaven Bookes, p. 53, “Six folds th’untamed dart struck through, and in the seventh tough hide / The point was checked”. Back to text



relent: yield.

hearses: graves. F, hierces, for rhyme sake.

disperses: F, dispierces. Back to text



sound: given with force, severity.

wards: defensive positions or movements. Back to text



rebound: reverberate, echo. F, rebowne, for rhyme sake. Back to text



shivered: caused to shake.

fare: go on impetuously, rage.

steels: swords. Back to text



steed: stead, advantage, help. See 1 Henry VI: “The help of one stands me in little stead” (IV.vi.31).

Jovial: adjective after “Jove”. Back to text



Salmin: condensed form of Salamine. See stanza 93. Back to text



skene: F, skeyne, i.e. an Irish dagger, here a sword.

imbrued: stained.

indued: endowed. Back to text

rude: violent, harsh.

plied: attacked vigorously. Back to text



spake: spoke.

brake: broke. Back to text



what no man else could wield: There is no such indication in Chapman’s Seaven Bookes. The huge stone Ajax hurls at Hector in Seaven Bookes, p. 53, may have reminded Heywood of the stone Aeneas throws at Turnus in Aeneid, XII, 896-907, which twice six chosen men could hardly bear on their shoulders, “vix illud lecti bis sex cervice subirent”. Heywood also seems to have had this Virgilian passage in mind in cantos XII, 111 and XIII, 65. Back to text



he: Ajax.

his: Hector’s.

compareless: without compare, unparalleled. Back to text

oak: In Chapman’s Seaven Bookes, p. 53, Hector throws “a flint”, “Black, sharp and big”; Ajax replies with “a far greater stone”. The idea of the tree may have been inspired by the fight between Aeneas and Turnus in Virgil’s Aeneid: Aeneas brandishes a spear as huge as a tree, “telum … ingens arboreum” (XII, 887-88). On Heywood’s use of this Virgilian passage, see also XII, 110 and XIII, 65. Back to text



unloosed: made loose.

by: from.

sprite: spirit. Back to text


[Heywood’s endnotes to canto XII]

De Arte Amandi, Book I: lines 892-915. In the following notes, Ovid’s Ars Amatoria is referred to as AA, while Heywood’s complete translation, quoted from M. L. Stapleton’s edition (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000) is referred to as AL. Under the title of “Achilles his concealment of his sex in the court of Lycomedes”, Heywood’s excerpt found its way into William Jaggard’s 1612 edition of Shakespeare’s Passionate Pilgrim (referred to as PP), sig. H4iiir-v; and into John Benson’s 1640 collection of poems (JB), sig. G4ir-v. Back to text

from: F, PP, JB, from. AL, for. 

daughter: Helen.

that general wrong: so in F, PP, FB. AL, this publicke wrong.

teasing: combing or carding. F, PP, JB, teasing. AL, tozing.

in a helm should clasp thy skull: so in F, PP, JB. AL, in a caske should hide thy skull.

these fingers with fine threads of gold: so in F, PP, JB. AL, that palme with webs and thrids of gold. Back to text

were: F, PP, JB. AL, are.

rock: distaff.

or tow: F, PP, FB. AL, and twig. Tow is fibre of flax or hemp prepared for spinning. “To have tow on one’s rock”: to have business to attend to. Twig: twitch, lock of wool or flax. Back to text

thy: F, PP, FB. AL, these.

Pelion: F, PP, Pelias, from the Latin Pelias hasta. The adjective Pelia, “from Mount Pelion,” refers to Achilles’ spear made from that wood. The phrasing recurs in Ovid’s Remedies of Love, lines 47-48: “the Pelian spear which wounded once its Herculean foe, bore relief also to the wound” (trans. J. H. Mozley, revised by G. P. Goold, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1979)―Achilles’ spear both wounded and healed Telephus, son of Hercules―, and in Ovid’s Heroides, III, 126 where it is more explicitly rendered by: “and may the spear of Pelion go quivering from your strong arm to pierce the side of Hector!” (trans. Grant Showerman, revised by G. P. Goold, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1977). Back to text

bewray: reveal. F, PP, her belly must bewray. JB, must her belly bewray. Back to text

so should we all believe: F, PP, FB. AL, so ought we to beleeve.

Not to be forced so, now her heart would grieve: F, PP, FB. AL, Not to be so inforst how would she grieve.

speak: F, speake. AL, PP, JB, spake. Back to text

De Arte Amandi, Book I: lines 5-8 and 11-12. Ovid recalls Automedon further: “How much renowned great Polydorus was, / That all the Greeks in physic did surpass, / As famous as great Nestor for his age, / Or strong Achilles for his warlike age, / As much extolled as Calchas for his charms, / Or Telemonius Ajax by his arms, / As for his chariot skill Automedon” (II, 1006-12). See also Heywood’s Pleasant dialogues and dramma’s, 1637, p. 281; Troia Britanica, XV, 68. Back to text

Tiphys: F, Typhis, helmsman of the ship Argo. 

steer: AL, guide. Back to text

Haemonian: F, Hemonian, i.e. Thessalian. Haemonia is a poetical name for Thessaly, wherefrom Jason came.

And times succeeding shall call me alone / Love’s expert Tiphys and Automedon: Heywood’s translation is compressed; J. H. Mozley has “By skill swift ships are sailed and rowed, by skill nimble chariots are driven: by skill must Love be guided. Well fitted for chariots and pliant reins was Automedon, and Tiphys was the helmsman of the Haemonian ship: me hath Venus set over tender Love as master in the art; I shall be called the Tiphys and Automedon of Love” (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999). Back to text

Homer: Iliad, canto I. Back to text

Briseis: Briseus’ daughter (Iliad, I, 392), the cause of Achilles’ quarrel with Agamemnon. In his translation of Homer’s Iliad, Chapman calls her Brysis or Brysys. The form “Briseis” was common in early modern texts.

Polyxena: Caxton depicts how Achilles sent a messenger to Hecuba to require her daughter, promising in return to leave the Trojan soil and sail back to his own country (Recuyell, III, 19). Back to text

Achelous: Heywood’s knowledge on Achelous derives from Natale Conti’s Mythologia, VII, ii, “On Achelous”. Back to text

Ocean and Tellus: According to Conti’s Mythologia, VII, ii, p. 468, Achelous was the son of Ocean and a nymph; or, “Alcaeus Oceani et Terrae filium esse sensit” (“Alcaeus thinks that he [Achelous] was the son of Ocean and of Earth”). Natale Conti’s is the only reference to what may be a lost fragment from Alcaeus. According to Servius’s Commentary on Virgil’s Georgics, I, 8, “Achelous Terrae fuisse filius dicitur, ut solet de his dici, quorum per antiquitatem latent parentes” (“Achelous was said to be the son of Earth, as was used to be said of those whose parents were unknown, lost in antiquity”). Back to text

Acarnania: F, Acarnauia.

Strabo: From Conti’s Mythologia, VII, ii, p. 468, “ut ait Strabo libro decimo, è Pindo monte orto, Aetoliamque ab Acarnania disterminante, in sinum defluente Maliacum” (“As Strabo writes in his tenth book, it has its source on Mount Pindus, separates Aetolia from Acarnania, and flowing into the Gulf of Maliacus”). The reference is to Strabo’s Geography, X, ii, 1. Back to text

Thoas: From Conti’s Mythologia, VII, ii, p. 468, “Achelous Aetoliae Rex fuisse dicitur, qui in Thoante fluvio vocato … mersus, fluvio nomen dedit” (Achelous was said to have been a king of Aetolia, who drowned in a river called Thoas and gave it his name”). Strabo mentions the change of name from Thoas to Achelous. Back to text

Plutarch: From Conti’s Mythologia, VII, ii, p. 468, “Plutarcus in libello de fluminibus Thestium a Thestio, Martis et Pisidices filio vocatum fuisse fluvium scribit”  (“In his treaty about rivers, Plutarch writes that this river was called after Thestius, son of Mars and Pisidice”). Conti refers to Pseudo-Plutarch’s De Fluviis, XXII. Back to text

Pisidice: F, Pisidices.

Callirhoe, Castalia and Dirce: F, Calirhoe. From Conti’s Mythologia, VII, ii, pp. 469-70, “Callirrhoen et Castaliam filias habuerit” and “Habuit filiam etiam Dircem, quae in fontem conversa fuit, in quo Bacchus recens natus lotus fuit ut ait Euripides in Bacchis  (“Callirhoe and Castalia were his daughters”, “he also had another daughter, Dirce, who was changed into a fountain in which the new-born Bacchus was bathed, as Euripides says in The Bacchae [519-22]”). Back to text

Euripides, in BachisBacchae, 519-22, see preceding note on Callirhoe. Heywood’s transliteration and his translation into Latin reproduce the first lines of Conti’s more complete version, “O Acheloi filia / Verenda virgo Dirce / Olim tuis nam fontibus / Jovis cepisti filium” (“O, daughter of Achelous, / Venerable maiden, Dirce, / Whose fountain once / Received Jupiter’s son”). Heywood substitutes “veneranda” to Conti’s “Verenda”. Back to text

veneranda: F, venerande.

Dirce: F, dierce. Back to text

Aquae Acheloae: From Conti’s Mythologia, VII, ii, p. 470, “erat enim illa sacrificantium consuetudo, ut in omnibus sacrificiis aquam illam, quae sacris adhiberetur, nominarent Acheloum, quod testatur … Ephorus” (“for there was a habit, in all sacrifices, to call ‘Achelous’ the water used in the ritual as Ephorus testifies”). Conti borrows the reference to Ephorus from Macrobius, Saturnalia, V, xviii, 6-12. Back to text

Herodotus in “Euterpe”: Heywood’s mistake. On Achelous as sacrificial water, Conti refers to Ephorus (see preceding note). His reference to Herodotus in “Euterpe” (II, 10) occurs in the following paragraph to assert that the river was actually Acarnania (Mythologia, VII, ii, p. 470). Back to text

Hellanicus: From Conti’s Mythologia, VII, ii, p. 469, “Fuit enim poetarum consuetudo, ut fluvios tauris similes effingerent, quoniam cum impetus irrumpentes tauris similem edant mugitum; vel, ut Hellanicus sensit, quia terram sulcare tanquam boves apparent. Vel, ut aliis placuit, quia circa ripas fluminum tauri mugire ob uberiora pascua audiantur” (“For it was usual for the poets to represent rivers like bulls, because the impetuous rush of their current produce the roaring of a bull; or, as Hellanicus thought, because they seemed to plough the earth like oxen. Or, as others prefer, because one could hear bulls bellow along river banks, near the richest pastures”. Also, ibid., p. 470: “Cur tauri formam sumpserit, diximus; factus est draco idem, quia sinuoso cursu deferuntur flumina” (“We have said why he took the form of a bull; he also changed into a serpent, because rivers flow in a winding course”). The fragment Conti attributes to Hellanicus does not seem to be known otherwise; Conti’s remaining  source is probably Strabo’s Geography, X, ii, “the Achelous, like the other rivers, was called ‘like a bull’ from the roaring of its waters, and also from the bendings of its streams, which were called Horns, and ‘like a serpent’ because of its length and windings” (trans. H. L. Jones, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1917-1932). Back to text

Strabo, X: From Conti’s Mythologia, VII, ii, p. 470, “Hercules ut ait Strabo lib. 10 Oeneo affinate conjunctus et in omnes mortales beneficus, fluvium temere et cum impetu regionem infestantem aggeribus et aquae ductibus coercuit et extenuavit; eamque aquam in multos rivulos diductam, quae prius regionem laniabat, utilissimam reddidit. Inde dictus est illi fluvio taurinum cornu defregisse et pro illo cornu abundantiae rerum omnium accepisse” (“As Strabo says in book X, Hercules, who was personally allied to Oeneus and generally inclined to the common good, built embankments and channels to contain and regulate a river whose capricious current damaged the land; diverted into many rivulets, the water that used to tear the land thus became profitable. That is why Hercules was said to have torn a bull’s horn from the river, and received wealth and plenty in exchange”). See Strabo’s Geography, X, ii and Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History, IV, xxxv, 3. Back to text

Xanthus in rebus Etolicis: Heywood repeats Conti’s Mythologia, VII, ii, p. 469, “cui illam adjecit facultatem, ut ait Xanthus in rebus Aetolis, ut quidquid ab eo optaretur, quid illud haberet, sive potus, sive cibus, continuo nasceretur” (“to which he [Jupiter] added the power, as Xanthus says in his writings on Aetolian matters, that whoever wished to obtain either food or drink, it produced it immediately”). See Apollodorus, The Library, II, vii, 5, “Amalthea … had a bull’s horn, which, according to Pherecydes, had the power of supplying meat or drink in abundance, whatever one might wish” (trans. J. G. Frazer, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1921). Back to text

Amalthea: F, Amatthea.

Hermogenes, liber de Phrygia: From Conti’s Mythologia, VII, ii, p. 469, “Fuit Amalthea capra quae Jovem lacte nutrivit postquam illum Rhea clam Adrasteae et Isdae, ut scripsit Hermogenes in libro de Phrygia, nutriendum dedit. … Alii non capram, sed Hemonii Aetolorum Regis filiam Amaltheam … fuisse senserunt” (“Amalthea was the goat who fed Jupiter with her milk when Rhea gave him secretly to Adrastea and Isda [Ida] to be brought up, as Hermogenes wrote in his book on Phrygia. … Others maintain that she was not a goat, but Amalthea, daughter of Haemonius, king of Aetolia”). The story of the goat Amalthea was widespread and cannot be traced to any known fragment from Hermogenes. That she was Haemonius’ daughter is reported by Apollodorus in The Library, II, vii, 5. Back to text

Haemonius: F, Hemonius.

Ida: F, Isde. Back to text


Back to canto XII (1-50 51-112)

On to canto XIII


How to cite

Patricia Dorval, ed., 2016.  Troia Britanica Canto XI (1609), Notes.  In A Dictionary of Shakespeare's Classical Mythology: A Textual Companion, ed. Yves Peyré (2009-).



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