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Inhalt / Contents / Sommaire Beiträge



Aufsätze / Articles
zur Geschichte
David Cram: John Wallis’s English Grammar (1653). Breaking the Latin Mould ...... 177
Brigitte Lépinette: La difficile émergence du concept de figement
der Sprachwissenschaft
dans l’histoire de la grammaire française (16e–18e siècles) ............................. 203
Alderik H. Blom: Rasmus Rask’s Study of Celtic ............................................... 223
Erich Poppe: The Matter of Troy and Insular Versions of Dares’s
De Excidio Troiae Historia. An Exercise in Textual Typology ........................ 252

Tagungsberichte / Reports on Meetings / Rapports de colloques

‘Ordnen’ und ‘Tradieren’. Zu den Grundlagen der Historiographie der Linguistik
(Stephanos Matthaios) ......................................................................... 299

Projektberichte / Reports on Projects / Rapports de projets

Lambert Isebaert, Peter Rogiest, Pierre Swiggers, Toon Van Hal:
Hortus Linguarum, the ‘Garden of languages’: Tuin der talen.
Description and presentation of a digitalisation project .................................. 305
Toon Van Hal: The Renaissance Linguistics Archive Online .................................. 309

Rezensionen / Reviews / Comptes rendus

Klaas-Hinrich Ehlers: Sprachbeschreibung und Sprachunterricht.
Zum letzten Band der Geschichte der Sprachtheorie von Peter Schmitter ........... 311
Alberto Manco: “Speaking requires time”: speaking of time
in a different way in linguistics .............................................................. 322

Neuerscheinungen / New Publications / Publications récentes

Ludger Kaczmarek: Collectanea — Collectabilia ................................................ 329

19.2 (2009)
ISSN 0939-2815

HQ Beiträge

zur Geschichte

der Sprachwissenschaft
Erich Poppe
Begründet von
Klaus D. Dutz & Peter Schmitter The Matter of Troy and Insular Versions
of Dares’s De Excidio Troiae Historia
Herausgegeben von An Exercise in Textual Typology
Gerda Haßler (Potsdam)
Angelika Rüter (Münster) 1. ‘Textual Typology’
In the following exercise in textual typology I will engage with some texts, and
in Verbindung mit with the mentalities of their authors, from the medieval ‘Insular’, or island,
David Cram (Oxford), Miguel Ángel Esparza Torres (Madrid), literatures of Ireland, Iceland and Norway, and Wales.1 Textual typology, as I
Stefano Gensini (Rom), Ludger Kaczmarek (Borgholzhausen), understand it, is a branch of comparative literature, and my use of the term
Michael Mackert (Morgantown), Masataka Miyawaki (Kawasaki), ‘typology’ is informally derived from concepts of linguistic typology, in that
Jan Noordegraaf (Amsterdam), my interest is in a comparison of texts as artefacts — rather than of linguistic
Jacques-Philippe Saint-Gérand (Clermont-Ferrand) (sub-)systems as in linguistic typology — with regard to significant formal and
conceptual similarities and differences, and without immediate reference to
genetic relations between them — which would derive mainly from shared
sources. The problem of shared sources, however, may become relevant at a
later stage of the discussion, namely during the search for explanations for per-
ceived similarities. If no genetic explanations become available, typological
Die Beiträge zur Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft sind zugleich Organ der Gesell- similarities would appear to stem from similar textual mentalities, similar inte-
schaften “Studienkreis ‘Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft’” und “Werkverband ‘Ge- rests in texts, and similar approaches to their reception and understanding. The
schiedenis van de Taalkunde’”. comparative typological approach thus has the potential to feed back into the
Veröffentlicht werden nur Originalbeiträge. Für unverlangt eingesandte Manuskripte analysis of the individual Norse, Irish, and Welsh literatures.
wird keine Haftung übernommen. Die Verfasser tragen für ihre Beiträge die Verant- The texts that I propose to discuss, are Insular versions of Dares’s De exci-
wortung. dio Troiae historia and, albeit more briefly, of the Geste de Boeve de Haum-
tone. The typological interest of adaptations of foreign sources and their speci-
© 2009 Nodus Publikationen. — Die in dieser Zeitschrift veröffentlichten Artikel sind fic methodological advantage is that they, very often at least, allow some tenta-
urheberrechtlich geschützt. Nachdruck oder Vervielfältigung, auch auszugsweise, ver-
boten. tive comparisons with sources, and the changes implemented by translators and
Gedruckt auf chlor- und säurefreiem, alterungsbeständigem Papier. revisors in the process of adaptation and rewriting will give some indication of
Printed in Germany.
1) For the concept of ‘island/Insular literatures’ see Chadwick/Kershaw Chadwick (1932: 1–5).
ISSN 0939–2815 Beiträge zur Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft, 19 (2009), 253–298
© Copyright 2009 by Nodus Publikationen, Münster. ISSN 0939–2815
Erich Poppe The Matter of Troy and Insular Versions of Dares’s De Excidio Troiae Historia
___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

the characteristics of the receiving textual culture(s). Unidentified (shared) ratives, and he suggests as the common denominator “an insistence on clarity
sources, however, can also complicate and distort the evidence, and perceived and sequentiality — a policy of emphasizing the story-line, often at the expense
typological similarities may turn out to be genetically conditioned. For the In- of other qualities” (Sanders 2008: 52). Among the more specific features he
sular versions of Dares’s De excidio my focus will be less on their style and notes the omission of “interjections from the narrator” (Sanders 2008: 52). A
contents, but rather on the manuscript contexts in which they are transmitted, very similar emphasis on the story-line is also characteristic of the Welsh and
and on the information these may yield for their functional and generic percep- Irish versions:
In a comparative perspective a number of similarities between [the Middle Welsh
Ystorya] Bown and [the Early Modern Irish] Stair Bibuis emerge, despite their dif-
ferent sources (Anglo-Norman and Middle English respectively) and their different
2. Some Preliminaries: dates. These are due, first, to their redactors’ shared approach to the adaptation of
Insular Versions of the Geste de Boeve de Haumtone foreign narratives — namely, their intention to rewrite their sources in order to ac-
commodate them to their, and their audiences’, literary expectations — and, sec-
In order to indicate the potential of textual typology I will begin with a brief ondly, to similarities in the narrative conventions of the receiving textual cultures:
discussion of some similarities between the reception and rewriting in Norse, for examples, prose as the medium for narrative, and the inaudibility of the narra-
Irish, and Welsh respectively of the Anglo-Norman story of Boeve de Haum- tor. In both cases, the relative distance between source and adaptation is small with
tone, and of its Middle-English derivative, the story of Bevis of Hampton. The regard to the plot and its message, but wide with regard to narrative presentation.
Anglo-Norman Geste de Boeve de Haumtone, dating probably to the last de- In other words, the story of Bevis remains foreign and preserves its exotic appeal
cade of the twelfth or the first few years of the thirteenth century, was a highly for its new Irish and Welsh audiences, while at the same time allowing identifica-
successful narrative and the source for Old Norse, Middle Welsh, and Middle tion with the Christian martial ethos; the narrative strategies and techniques em-
ployed become distinctly native, Irish and Welsh respectively, by a process of
English adaptations, and one of the English versions in turn was the source for thorough rewriting. (Poppe/Reck 2008: 49)
an Early Modern Irish adaptation.2 The Norse, Welsh, and English adaptations
are roughly contemporary: The Old Norse Bevers saga has been dated to The prose format, the disappearance of the narrator’s voice, the emphasis on
around 1250 to 1350 (Sanders 2008: 66),3 the Middle Welsh Ystorya Bown o the story-line combined with an application of ‘native’ narrative conventions
Hamtwn to probably the mid-thirteenth century, and the original Middle Eng- are characteristic of the Norse, Welsh, and Irish adaptations, and are signifi-
lish adaptation to around 1300. The Irish version is later and belongs to the se- cant parameters for the definition of their relative distance from their sources.5
cond half of the fifteenth century. The Middle English texts are the only ones Christopher Sanders furthermore suggests that the features of the Old Norse
to have retained the verse format of the Anglo-Norman source; the other Insu- Bevers saga he has noted, should be related to the place of the adaptation
lar versions are in prose — as are the majority of narrative texts in Norse, within Old Norse textual culture and to a concomitant shift in genre and textual
Welsh, and Irish.4 orientation in the process of adaptation, among other things “a movement from
Christopher Sanders, in his recent discussion of the processes of adaptation a text that is capable of maintaining a distance from itself to a text that lacks
affecting Bevers saga and of its place in Old Norse textual history, has identi- such a self-awareness” (Sanders 2008: 57). He finally locates Bevers saga with-
fied a number of typical features of Old Norse renderings of French verse nar- in a “well-established [Norse] tradition of historiographical writing” (Sanders
2008: 65). His thoughts offer intriguing perspectives on the interest in the
2) For a comprehensive survey of editions, translations, and studies of these texts see Fellows/ story of Boeve in Wales and Ireland — and perhaps not only of this story
Djordjeviã (2008: 193–201). alone. It is therefore instructive to quote Sanders at some length here:
3) With regard to the place of translation Sanders (2008: 66) states that “as yet the burden of
proof lies on the shoulders of whoever might wish to argue that the work is Norwegian in From a work that can be regarded as being principally a piece of fictive entertain-
origin”. On the primary manuscripts of Bevers saga see Sanders (2001: xv–xci); the version of ment (with many social implications) [i.e., the Anglo-Norman Boeve], the text [in
Bevers saga in Ormsbók, a manuscript of the second half of the fourteenth century which was its Old Norse format] has become more an annal of events, a type of history or bi-
probably destroyed in a fire in 1697, is a considerably revised and rewritten one and now ography. The transformation here is, then, partly a move from mimesis to chro-
known from a copy of Ormsbók, see Sanders (2001: xlvi–lxvii) and footnote 47. nology. The clerics or monks who were involved in the translation (and/or edito-
4) For an instructive survey of the not inconsiderable evidence for narrative verse in Irish before
1200 see Clancy (2008). Clarke (2009: 238) suggests that “such works as Togail na Tebe and 5) From a typological perspective, however, it would be instructive methodologically to analyse
Imtheachta Aeniasa show that the Irish literati themselves saw highly-wrought prose as the how the Continental versions of Boeve compare here, and how the Insular redactors’ approach
equivalent of narrative poetry”, but this contention requires further scrutiny. fits medieval ‘translations’ generally.
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Erich Poppe The Matter of Troy and Insular Versions of Dares’s De Excidio Troiae Historia
___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

rial?) process probably saw their task primarily as being directly faithful to the sin- that the latter, rather than the former, contributed to the story’s trans-national,
gle text before them, yet additionally a sense of responsibility towards some sort of Insular appeal. Corinne Saunders’ remarks on the Middle English version of
truth that lay beyond and behind the text might be the background for the major Sir Bevis in the Auchinleck manuscript (dated to around 1330/1340) appear to
changes listed above in the last one-third of the saga.[6] Bevers as it appears now
seems, in other words, when we peel off its courtly varnish, to be under two main
be grosso modo applicable to the other Insular adaptations as well:
influences: a commitment to strict faithfulness to the original text on the one hand, [Bevis] far exceeds all others in prowess as defender of Christianity, justice, love
and an openness to explanation and interpretation, or amplification (such as the and chastity, but his virtue is specially evident in his recognition of his own frailty,
new battle-episode) on the other. (Sanders 2008: 58) and his need for God’s help. The pattern of the chivalric knight is refracted
through the lens of devotional literature, and Bevis becomes an exemplar of Chris-
Sanders’ characterisation of Boeve as ‘fictive entertainment’ is problematic, tian virtue and the need for divine intervention. (Saunders 2008: 175)
since he himself says “that for much of the Middle Ages there was little dis-
tinction between fiction and history” (Sanders 2008: 61),7 and I therefore find English identities were not an issue for Norse, Welsh, and Irish audiences, but
more productive the conceptual contrast he posits between Boeve and Bevers there is one further aspect still to the story, namely what Bly Calkin called its
saga as texts with self-awareness and with no or little self-awareness respec- ‘colonist desire’ (quoted Rouse 2008: 121). Robert Allen Rouse has argued
tively. He also refers to Bevers saga’s move “in the direction of edification, that
which in the nature of the contemporary [Norse] culture is Christian and Bevis stands within his romance as a complex manifestation of hybrid English-
moral” (Sanders 2008: 65). Similar movements towards edification and the Eastern identity, seemingly never comfortable upon his return to the land of his
propagation of Christian and moral values have been noted for the Welsh and birth, and continually forced back to the East in order to carve out a new Christian
Irish versions (Reck 1999; Poppe 2002). Sanders (2008: 55) locates the origi- kingdom that can accommodate him and his converted bride. (Rouse 2008: 121)
nal translator of Bevers saga in a clerical milieu, and this would probably also
It is attractive, even if somewhat speculative, to think of the story’s colonist
hold true for the translator of Ystorya Bown (Poppe/Reck 2006: 131). The
scribe of the only extant manuscript copy of the Irish Stair Bibuis, Uilliam desire as a factor contributing to its appeal in Wales and Ireland as England’s
Mac an Leagha, may also have been the translator, and he was not a cleric, as inner colonies. In this context it is intriguing to remember that Uilliam Mac an
Leagha probably produced some of his manuscripts for a member of the gaeli-
far as we know, but a member of a secular learned family, although it is strik-
ing that he produced a significant number of religious texts and has been cred- cized Old English — or Hiberno-Norman — family of the Butlers. The content
ited with the translation of saints’ lives and devotional literature (compare of his manuscripts, as well as the decoration of at least one of them, seem to
reflect the multi-cultural background, interests, and tastes of this class (com-
Poppe 2006: 37–39).
pare Poppe 2006: 38–39). Wales lost its independence in 1282, 8 Iceland in
The Middle English versions of Sir Bevis engage with questions of national 1262–64 — but I am uncertain how to assess the possibility of an interface be-
and regional English identities and with concepts of Christian knighthood tween the colonist experience of the story of Boeve, its appeal in the Insular
(compare, for example, Rouse 2008, Bly Calkin 2008), and it is very likely context, and roughly contemporary political and cultural developments. With
regard to Ystorya Bown, for example, it could be argued that it made available
6) For these changes see Sanders (2008: 53): “The recapture of Arundela is expanded and given
more prominence, as is the presence of the second horse, Arundela’s foal, and this gives rise to
the second major change — the description, not found in the surviving Boeve, of preparation 8) The milieu of the original adaptation of the Welsh Ystorya Bown is more difficult to define: The
for an extra battle-episode, in which Yvori (Ivorius in the Norse) seeks revenge for the loss of two medieval manuscripts in which it is transmitted, are the two large collections Llyfr Gwyn
these precious steeds. Thirdly, in the duel which is intended to resolve the long-standing rivalry Rhydderch (written c. 1350) and Llyfr Coch Hergest (written c. 1400), which contain, among
and conflict between Ivorius and Bevers it is, surprisingly, the son of Bevers, Gvion, who other texts, secular narratives of both native and foreign origin. The interest in adaptations of
intervenes, sensing that his father will not manage to vanquish his opponent.” popular foreign literature shared by both Rhydderch ab Ieuan Llwyd and Hopcyn ap Tomas
7) See also Sanders (2008: 61): “The thesis here is that Old Norse prose works abound in ex- Einion for whom the White Book and the Red Book respectively were produced, is probably
amples of (historical) information and entertainment being completely intermingled, so that it is not surprising in the political and cultural context of fourteenth-century Wales; on the complex
not unnatural that a tale such as Boeve should be treated principally as history and only super- interface of literary borrowing in Wales and England see Lloyd-Morgan (2008). For a discus-
ficially as fiction or tale in the process of translation. History is primary, and yet a ‘literary’, sion of Branwen as a reflection of “the losses, anxieties, and uncertainties of Wales during the
artistic or entertaining aspect nonetheless has part to play; underlying this there is a suggestion period of the Norman incursion” see McKenna (2007) — her discussion, however, would seem
that the mode in which the resulting ‘historical’ text is presented in Old Norse is much in- to neglect the continuing relevance of this experience during the fourteenth-century and later
fluenced by exegetical habits of mind.” For some more general discussion of the issue of his- transmission of the text. For other ‘(post-)colonial’ readings of medieval Welsh texts see, for
tory and fiction in some medieval Iceland texts see O’Connor (2005). example, Knight (2000), Aronstein (2005), Over (2005: 143–163).
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Erich Poppe The Matter of Troy and Insular Versions of Dares’s De Excidio Troiae Historia
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in a Welsh format a popular, foreign narrative and thus allowed its audiences Transmission is a process over time, and Jürg Glauser’s reminder regard-
the participation in trans-national literary trends. On the other hand, the un- ing the different stages in the reception and transmission of medieval Icelandic
certainties and vicissitudes of Bown’s life, Bown’s problems with the king of narratives is helpful as a methodological background to a discussion of the
England, and his troubled identity may have resonated with Welsh audiences transmission of medieval Insular texts generally, not only of the Íslendinga
and their experiences of hybrid Welsh-Norman-English identities. sögur and þættir for which he originally formulated it:10
In order to return to my initial question regarding criteria for a textual ty- Firstly there is the ‘saga era’ (ninth to eleventh centuries), the period of the fic-
pology of the Insular versions of the story of Boeve/Bevis: Christopher Sand- tional events [which were, however, regarded as ‘history’11]; secondly the ‘writing
ers, in his discussion of the Old Norse Bevers saga, provides a number of era’ (thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries), the time of the initial recording in
helpful insights, particularly his insistence on Bevers saga as ‘history or bi- writing of individual texts, and of the formation of genres; and thirdly the ‘era of
ography’, on the conflicting influences of faithfulness to a source versus its memory’ (fourteenth to early twentieth centuries), being the time of the transmis-
amplification — or “respect and precision on the one hand, some interpretative sion of the texts. A central aspect of all the Íslendinga sögur and þættir is this
coming to terms with the past, this construction, and therefore interpretation, of
licence on the other” (Sanders 2008: 59) —, on the absence of narrative self- history and cultural memory.’ (Glauser 2000: 204)
awareness, and on a movement in the direction of edification. For the fifteenth-
century Early Modern Irish version the relation between a perception of the In the case of adaptations of foreign textual sources, it is therefore necessary to
story as historical or fictive is much more difficult to define than for the thir- differentiate at least between the ‘translation era’, the time of the initial transla-
teenth-century Welsh and Norse ones; the conceptual similarities between these tion (or of several competing and not necessarily contemporary translations, as
three versions, however, betray, if nothing else, the longevity in the Irish tex- the case may be), and the ‘era of memory’, the subsequent period of the trans-
tual milieu of the conventions associated with the narrative mode of exemplary mission, and possibly revision, of the initial translation or translations. The era
history or biography. Mac an Leagha’s manuscript — Dublin, Trinity College of Troy described by Dares in his De excidio is securely fixed in the period of
1298, formerly H.2.7 — which contains the story of Bevis, is a collection of classical antiquity, and the status of Dares as the first pagan historian was
four outstanding biographies, namely of Hercules, Guy of Warwick, Bevis, canonized by Isidore.12
and of the native hero Nuadu Find Femin. Even if any attempt to explain the
attraction of the story of Boeve/Bevis in the Insular textual cultures remains
problematic and tentative, it is clear that his story appealed to contemporary 10) For a powerful exposition of the methodological background to the study of the transmission of
mind-sets and sensibilities — for example, idealized knightly and Christian texts in application to the riddarasögur and with reference to New Philology’s insights into the
identities — and lent itself to adaptation and rewriting according to dominant fluidity of medieval texts see Glauser (1998); as he puts it: “Der überwiegende Teil der isländi-
schen Prosaliteratur des Mittelalters — nicht nur die jüngeren Gruppen wie Riddarasögur und
narrative conventions.
Fornaldarsögur, sondern auch zahlreiche Isländer- oder Königssagas — ist aus der Zeit ‘nach
1262/64’ überliefert. In den heute vorliegenden Textformen ist allen diesen Erzählungen immer
auch die Sicht des sie überliefernden Spätmittelalters eingeschrieben. Wenn wir Sagas aus dem
3. ‘Insular’ Versions of Dares’s De excidio Troiae historia ‘13. Jahrhundert’ wie die Hallfreðar saga oder die Tristrams saga lesen, haben das 14. und 15.
Jahrhundert immer — vor uns für uns — mitgelesen und mitgeschrieben” (Glauser 1998: 22–
I now turn to Insular versions of a text which in the Middle Ages became an 23).
extremely popular representative of late antique historiography, namely De 11) Compare Glauser (2000: 203–204): “In the fictional worlds of these texts a course of history is
excidio Troiae historia, the account of the Trojan War attributed to Dares established which is essentially defined by their retrospective view of the origins of the Ice-
Phrygius.9 From the perspective of textual typology, the De excidio provides landers, by their contradictory and often hostile attitude to the old Norwegian motherland, by
another attractive and rewarding test case, since it too was admitted into the Iceland’s adoption of Christianity, portrayed as peaceful and successful, and generally by the
emergence of specifically Icelandic attributes, and of a conscious, incipiently perhaps even a
body of medieval Norse, Irish, and Welsh literature respectively. Rather than national, identity.”
on processes of textual adaptation and rewriting, as in the case of Boeve/Bevis, 12) For the destruction of Troy as “Eckdatum der Weltgeschichte” in the Middle Ages, with further
I will focus here on aspects of the typology of textual transmission. references, see Wolf (2009: 21, 136–139). In one text of the medieval Irish adaptation of
Dares, Togail Troí ‘The Destruction of Troy’ in the Book of Leinster (see below), the events of
the Trojan War are explicitly synchronised with rulers of the ancient world, see Stokes (1881:
9) The standard edition of the De excidio is still the one prepared by Friedrich Meister in 1873, 18, 78). For some further Irish examples see Tristram (1985: 209) and Murphy (1896: 18, 21),
reprinted with a German translation in Beschorner (1992: 12–63); for a French translation of from the Sex Aetates Mundi and Conell Mageoghagan’s late annalistic compilation respectively.
the De excidio with a short introduction and notes see Fry (2004: 235–287, 376–393). For Dares as the first pagan historian see Isidore (1911: 82): “Apud gentiles vero primus Dares
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Erich Poppe The Matter of Troy and Insular Versions of Dares’s De Excidio Troiae Historia
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Recension III
3.1 Welsh Dares: a simple case of Trojans and Britons (a) Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Peniarth 47i, saec. XIV med,
The Middle Welsh version of the De excidio, Ystorya Daret, 13 is extant in (scribe B of the White Book, the Anchorite).
twelve medieval manuscripts, which in the following survey are classified ac-
cording to the recensions established by Owens (1951).14 Owens’ recension IB is attested only in post-medieval manuscripts dating from
the sixteenth to the eighteenth century and is therefore not taken account of in
Recension IA the survey above. It is a derivative and abridged version of the Red Book of
(a) Cardiff, Central Library, 1.363 (Havod 1), saec. XIV med. Hergest’s text of recension IA (see Owens 1951: clxxiii).
(b) London, British Library Add 19709, saec. XIV2 (same scribe as NLW According to Owens (1951: clxxv, ccxxviii), recensions IA, IIA, and III
3035B). represent independent translations of Dares into Welsh; recension IIB is de-
(c) Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, 3035B (Mostyn 116), saec. XIV2. rived from the same exemplar as the text of IIA in Cotton Cleopatra B.v (iii)
(d) Oxford, Jesus College, 111 (Llyfr Coch Hergest/Red Book of Hergest), (Owens 1951: ccxxiii).17 The Welsh versions were translated perhaps around
1.1–39.3, saec. XIV XV (> 1382) (Hywel Fychan, Llyfr Teg hand). 1300, some time before their first manuscript attestation in the mid-fourteenth
(e) Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Peniarth 19, saec. XIV XV (Llyfr century (Huws 2000: 59) and after the translations of Geoffrey’s Historia
Teg hand). Regum Britannie into Welsh (as Brut y Brenhined ) in the thirteenth century
(f) Philadelphia, Library Company of Philadelphia, 8680, saec. XIV XV (Hy- (Roberts 1967: xxix), since Ystorya Daret “appear[s] to have been translated
wel Fychan). solely as an introduction to Brut y Brenhinedd” (Roberts 1992b: 246).18 It has
(g) Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Peniarth 263, saec. XV1. been suggested that Geoffrey’s Historia “contains the ancient Britons within
the past, closing them off from agency in the twelfth-century present” (Faletra
Recension IIA 2000: 81), and it is tempting to suggest that the cyclification of its Welsh adap-
(a) London, British Library, Cotton Cleopatra B.v (iii), saec. XIV1 (scribe of tations and especially its continuations in both Latin and Welsh — the lost
Peniarth 20, on which see below). Cronica Principum Wallie and Brut y Tywysogyon respectively — re-opened
(b) Oxford, Jesus College, 111 (Red Book of Hergest), 39.3–28 (Hywel Welsh history and empowered it with the potential for development and
Fychan15). change.
Recension IIB Two texts of recension IA of Ystorya Daret, namely NLW 3035B and
(a) Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, 7006D (= Llyfr Du Basing/Black Peniarth 263, end with “Ac Eneas a vuydhawys y arch ef ac a edewis Troea,
Book of Basingwerk), saec. XV2 (> 1461) (Gutun Owain et al.).16 ef ae nifer” (Owens 1951: 57) 19 ‘And Aeneas obeyed his command and left
(b) Oxford, Jesus College, 141, saec. XV2 (> 1461) (Gutun Owain). Troy, he with his men’, i.e., before the end of Dares’s narrative. The text in
(c) Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Peniarth 25, saec. XV XVI. Jesus 111 originally ended at this point as well, but Hywel Fychan added in a
somewhat smaller script a continuation of the narrative up to its proper ending
in Dares, which Owens (1951: cxix, ccxxv) assigns to recension IIA. For this
Phrygius de Graecis et Troianis historiam edidit, quam in foliis palmarum ab eo conscriptam
esse ferunt.” ending Hywel Fychan would probably have referred to a second manuscript,
13) The spelling Ystorya Daret is adopted from Peniarth 20, a manuscript of c. 1330, see Jones
(1940: 63); in the Red Book, however, the spelling Dared is used, compare Rhǔs/Evans (1890: 17) The three different thirteenth-century versions of Brut y Brenhined similarly represent three
39). independent translations, even though two of them influenced each other, see Roberts (1971:
14) For summaries of Owens’ position and bibliographical updates I am indebted to Jäcke (2005); I xxix). The reasons for this multiplication of translatorial effort remain to be explored.
wish to thank Anja Jäcke for allowing me to use and refer to her unpublished research. The 18) For a discussion of the implications for dating of references to Ercwl/Hercules in Welsh poetry
dates for the manuscripts and identification of scribes given are taken from Huws (2000: 58– see Haycock (2007: 453–454); for a brief introduction to Ystorya Daret and two short extracts
64). from the text see Lloyd/Owen (1986: 33–36). I continue to use Historia Regum Britannie as the
15) Compare Charles-Edwards (1989–90: 254). title of Geoffrey’s work, even though Michael Reeve has recently argued that “Geoffrey must
16) Ystorya Daret and the first part of Brut y Brenhined are written in a fourteenth-century hand actually have called the work De gestis Britonum”, Geoffrey (2007: viii).
and the second part of Brut y Brenhined in a fifteenth-century hand which is believed to be 19) From the description in Roberts (1967) it does not become clear at what point the narrative
Gutun Owain’s, see Jones (1971: xviii–xix). ends in Philadelphia 8680.
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Erich Poppe The Matter of Troy and Insular Versions of Dares’s De Excidio Troiae Historia
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and this is further evidence for his importance as an editing and compiling Tywysogyon (see Jones 1955: xxiv–xxv, xxvi, xxviii–xxix). In BL Add 19709,
scribe. This fuller form of the ending is also found in Peniarth 19, produced by an incomplete copy of recension IA of Ystorya Daret is transmitted together
the same ‘Red Book school’ in the same scriptorium, which would be an with the Red-Book-recension of Brut y Brenhinedd (compare Owens 1951:
argument in favour of Peniarth 19 being a copy of Jesus 111 (compare Jäcke xxxv, Roberts 1971: xxviii).
2005: 19). At least in the scriptorium of the ‘Red Book school’, texts of The texts of recension IIB of Ystorya Daret in NLW 7006D, Jesus 141,
Ystorya Daret influenced each other in the course of transmission, and further and Peniarth 25 are followed by texts of the Cotton-Cleopatra-recension of
study of the relative stability and/or fluidity of these texts along the lines of, Brut y Brenhinedd (Roberts 1971: xxix), and in NLW 7006D also by Bren-
for example, Charles-Edwards (2001) might be rewarding. Other scriptoria hinedd y Saesson (see Jones 1971: xviii–xx) — which is a third independent
seem to have concentrated on one recension of Ystorya Daret: two texts of IA recension of Brut y Tywysogyon, besides the Red-Book-recension and the
were produced by the scribe of BL Add 19709 and NLW 3035B; Gutun Owain Peniarth–20-recension.
wrote one text of IIB (Jesus College, 141), and his hand is found in another Cotton Cleopatra B.v is a composite manuscript with three separate parts:
manuscript (NLW 7006D — Llyfr Du Basing) which also contains a text of Part i contains the Cotton-Cleopatra-recension of Brut y Brenhinedd and part
IIB. iii recension IIA of Ystorya Daret. Owens (1951: ccxxiii) suggests that this text
The Latin original of Brut y Tywysogyon is thought to have originated in of Ystorya Daret and the text in NLW 7006D, which belongs to version IIB,
the Cistercian abbey of Strata Florida towards the end of the thirteenth century are both derived from the same exemplar.23 The same scribe was responsible
(see Jones 1971: xii), and the Cistercian houses would appear to have been im- for Cotton Cleopatra B v (i)/(iii) and for Peniarth 20 (see Huws 2000: 59),
portant for the continuation and dissemination of the Welsh texts (Huws 2000: which has been dated by Huws (2000: 59) to c. 1330 and contains Y Bibyl
12). Daniel Huws (2000: 53) has stressed the association of BL Cotton Cleo- Ynghymraec (a Welsh version of the Promptuarium Bibliae attributed to Petrus
patra B.v (iii) and of the manuscripts in which the hand of Anchorite occurs, Pictaviensis), Brut y Tywysogyon, and a bardic grammar (Jones 1952: xlv).
with Cistercian houses, and he has pointed up the importance of texts of the Recension III in Peniarth 47i is incomplete, and the scribe — the so-called
Brutiau in Cistercian contexts. Gutun Owain, who was involved in the produc- Anchorite — also produced Peniarth 46, which contains Brut y Brenhinedd in
tion of Jesus College 141 and NLW 7006D, was associated with two Cister- the Dingestow-recension (Huws 2000: 59, 239; Roberts 1971: xxviii).24 Huws
cian houses, Valle Crucis and Basingwerk.20 (2000: 239) suggests that Peniarth 47 and Peniarth 46 may orginally have been
With regard to the typology of the contexts of the medieval transmission of one manuscript, and this would provide a historiographical context for recen-
Ystorya Daret the situation is straightforward: in all of the above manuscripts sion III as well.
in which Ystorya Daret is followed by another text, this text is Brut y Bren- Y Bibyl Ynghymraec provides a synopsis of biblical history from the crea-
hinedd, the Welsh version of Geoffrey’s Historia Regum Britannie.21 tion to the apostles and lists in its final section the descendants of Noah down
Recension IA of Ystorya Daret is combined in its transmission with two to Aeneas and Ylus respectively, as well as the relevant historical narratives
different recensions of Brut y Brenhinedd. In Cardiff, Central Library, 1.363 it about them:
is followed by a text of the Dingestow-recension of the Brut (see Roberts
1971: xxviii), whereas all other texts of recension IA, namely NLW 3035B, A mab y hwnnw [i.e., Ancisses] vv Eneas Ysgwydwynn. Ac am hwnnw a’y etiued
y traethir yn Ystorya y Brut. Ylus vab Tros a vv vrenhin Troya, ac a edeilawd
Jesus 111, Peniarth 19, Philadelphia 8680, and Peniarth 263, are combined Ylium dinas, ac a’y henwis o’y henw ehun. Ac y hwnnw y bu vab Laomedon vab
with the composite Red-Book-recension (see Roberts 1971: xxviii, Roberts Ylus. Ac y hwnnw y bu vab Priaf, vrenhin Troya. Ac am hwnnw a’y etiued y trae-
1967: 225–226).22 In NLW 3035B, Jesus 111, and Peniarth 19 Ystorya Daret thir yn Ystorya Daret. (Jones 1940: 63)
and Brut y Brenhinedd are followed by the Red-Book-recension of Brut y
‘And a son of his [i.e., Ancisses] was Aeneas Whiteshield. And Ystorya y Brut
20) Compare Williams (1984: 173–174), Lloyd-Morgan (2003: 4–5), and Williams (1997). [i.e., Brut y Brenhinedd] treats of him and of his progeny. Ylus, son of Tros, was
21) Brut y Brenhinedd was arguably instrumental in promoting the notion of the Trojan origins of
the Welsh among medieval Welsh poets, since “no Welsh poet appears to have made use of 23) For some comments on the relations between the text of Brut y Brenhinedd and the core of
material derived from Geoffrey of Monmouth until his work was available in Welsh transla- Brenhinedd y Saesson in NLW 7006D and Cotton Cleopatra (i) respectively see Jones (1971:
tion[s] from c. 1200” (Pryce 2001: 789). xix, xl).
22) Compare Roberts (1971: xxviii): “In this version the first part, up to the end of the Prophecy, 24) The same scribe also participated in the production of Peniarth 18, which contains Brut y Tywy-
follows the Dingestow version, the second part follows the Llanstephan 1 version”. sogion in the Red-Book-recension (Huws 2000: 59, 239, Jones 1952: xii).
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king of Troy, and he built the town Ylium and named it from his own name. And Welsh tradition, and they (and the later versions) frequently give the same Welsh
Laemedon son of Ylus was a son of his. And Priaf, king of Troy, was his son. forms for some of Geoffrey’s proper names. (Roberts 1971: xxix)
And Ystorya Daret treats of him and of his progeny.’
The matter of stylistic and rhetorical embellishments in the recensions of
As pointed out by Jones (1968: 16), the four texts Y Bibyl Ynghymraec, Ystorya Ystorya Daret requires further exploration and analysis; striking examples are
Daret, Brut y Brenhinedd, and Brut y Tywysgyon/Brut y Seasson “together the slightly longer account of the fight between Hector and Achilles in recen-
formed a series of texts which covered the period from the Creation to the end sion IIB and the extended description of Polyxena’s beauty in recension III,
of the thirteenth century”: which shows some interesting inter-textual affiliations (see Appendix I). It is
Very often in the Welsh manuscripts the Ystorya Daret forms a kind of introduc- noteworthy that in the section immediately following on this extended descrip-
tion to Brut y Brenhinedd, and the latter in turn is followed by Brut y Tywysogyon tion of Polyxena’s beauty, the redactor left out the names of the captains of the
[...]. The purpose of the addition at the end of the Welsh version of the Promptu- Greek fleet and of the number of their ships, the so-called ships’ catalogue of
arium Bibliae was to link Biblical history with both the Ystorya Daret and Brut y chapter xiv of Dares, with the argument that this enumeration is wearisome
Brenhinedd. Together these three texts supplied a general history of the world and and, by implication, might therefore bore the audience:27
a history of the Britons from the Creation to the death of Cadwaladr the Blessed.
(Jones 1968: 18) Gwybot henweu ygwyr na riuedi ygnifer llog a duc pob un ohonunt ny welir yvot
yn reit rac blinder. (Owens 1951: ccxxxiii, 109 = Peniarth 47i)
The instances of the medieval cyclification of Ystorya Daret with Brut y Bren-
hinedd discussed above, suggest that the Welsh adaptation of Dares had no ‘It is not considered necessary to know the names of the men nor the numbers of
firm conceptual identity of its own, but was intended as a prequel, or introduc- the ships each of them brought, because it is wearisome.’
tion, to Brut y Brenhinedd, the centre piece of medieval Welsh historiography, If Peniarth 47 and Peniarth 46 orginally formed one manuscript, as suggested
in order to give it a greater time-depth and to link it to events in world history. by Huws (2000: 239), recension III of Ystorya Daret had a historiographical
The Welsh interest in Dares’s narrative was solidly historiographical. context, even thought its redactor left out some factual information and added
It is tempting to think that this historiographical interest is reflected in the a rhetorical flourish.
redactors’ approach to the translation of the Latin Dares: It follows the original
closely and with few embellishments, but some adaptations to suit native narra-
3.2 The Irish Dares: mainly in a classical mood
tive conventions occur. Jäcke (2005: 96–117) has identified, for example, the
use of periphrastic expressions with gwneuthur and of pairs of synonyms, but There are three prose recensions and one verse recension extant of the Irish
also notes the extreme rarity of direct speech in the Welsh versions — in con- version of Dares. The verse recension is attributed to Flann Mainistrech (†
trast to its greater frequency in the Irish and Norse adaptations of Dares. 25 1056), but has been dated to the beginning of the twelfth century: It is said to
Similarly, the three thirteenth-century Welsh versions of Historia Regum Bri- be “independent of TTr(1) [i.e., the first (prose) recension of Togail Troí] on
tannie have been characterised by Roberts (1971: xxix) as “close renderings of the one hand and of the two later versions on the other and derives from a
the Latin”: prose text which descended from the common original independently of the
other versions of TTr” (Mac Eoin 1961: 49).
The Dingestow version is perhaps the most fluent; it is a free translation where
sentences are condensed and paragraphs abbreviated. The translator gives the gist Mac Eoin (1960–61: 76–77) suggested the following classification of the
of his original but is not bound to the letter of it. Peniarth 44 and Llanstephan 1 manuscripts of the prose versions:
are more faithful translations, following the Latin sentence for sentence for the
most part. The three translators were in the same tradition and there are similari- Recension 1 = TTr1:
ties in their work: they all include additions of details,[ 26 ] a natural tendency (a) Dublin, Trinity College, 1319 (formerly H.2.17), fourteenth or fifteenth
which is not unexpected, they occasionally link statements in the Historia with century.
25) Owens (1951: cxxxvi) mentions that in the still unpublished recension IB direct speech is in- 27) Ralph O’Connor kindly pointed out to me that the desire not to bore the audience is quite
troduced sometimes, but not frequently (‘weithiau ond nid yn aml’). Direct speech is an impor- appropriate for an historically minded scholar, even if this results in the omission of some in-
tant narrative device in native Welsh narrative, but its use and frequency in Brut y Brenhinedd formation, since the selection of sources for the purposes of imparting information, edification,
and other historiographical texts still await detailed study. and entertainment was an important part of medieval historiography, and historia did not have
26) For some examples see Roberts (1971: xxxiii–xxxiv). to be complete or comprehensive.
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(b) late, sixteenth-century fragment boxed with Dublin, Trinity College 1339 The first translation of Dares into Irish probably already contained some
(formerly H.2.18), the Book of Leinster.28 interpolations, and the second and third recensions further expanded the text,
but there are instances where the second recension (in the form of TTL) would
Recension 2 = TTr2: appear to be closer to the original translation than the first recension, and it is
(a) Dublin, Trinity College Ms. 1339 (formerly H.2.18), the Book of Leinster, also likely that the first recension was influenced by the second in the course of
second half of the twelfth century. its transmission. 30 Mac Gearailt (1996: 479) has suggested on the basis of a
(b) Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 536 (formerly 23 P 12), the Book of comparison of TTH and TTL that “[e]ssentially TTL is a modernized version
Ballymote, end of the fourteenth century. of the eleventh-century Vorlage of TTH, that is the later without the effects of
(c) Dublin, University College Dublin (formerly Killiney, Franciscan House of some modernisation”. As characteristic features of the common source of TTH
Studies), OFM MS A.11, fifteenth century. and TTL Mac Gearailt (1996: 460–470) identifies a preference for simple lin-
(d) Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Adv. MS 72.1.8 (formerly ear narrative, names with Latin spelling and case inflection, isolated Latin
Advocates’ Library MS VIII), late-fourteenth/early-fifteenth century.
words and sentences, brief explanations to accompany the introduction of new
(e) Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Adv. MS 72.1.15 (formerly
characters, various stylistic adjustments to Irish narrative conventions, and the
Advocates’ Library MS XV), mid-fifteenth century.
implementation of a rhythmical style for scenes of narrative importance.31 The
Recension 3 = TTr3: main innovation of the author of the second recension, beyond a number of
additions relating to content (see Mac Gearailt 1996: 474), is “a highly rhyth-
(a) Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 1223 (formerly D iv 2), fifteenth
century. mical and alliterative prose [style]” (Mac Gearailt 1996: 481).32
(b) Dublin, King’s Inns MS 12, 1491/1492. Mackinnon quotes a description of Polyxena from Edinburgh, NLS, Adv.
MS 72.1.15, a text of the second recension, which bears some unsurprising
The history of the textual development of these three recensions, and of the resemblances to the descriptions of Polyxena in the underlying text of Dares
individual texts representing them, is complex, and its precise understanding is and in recensions IA and III of the Welsh Ystorya Daret (see Appendix I), but
hampered by the fact that four of the five texts of the second recension and the is also significantly different in its systematic employment of doublets or trip-
two texts of the third recension are still unpublished. The following summary lets of adjectives which as a rule alliterate:
relies on the detailed study of the relationship of the manuscripts by Gearóid
Polixena ingen Priaim ben árd mór airegda hisidhe. Corp geal coem cruthach
Mac Eoin (1960–61) and on the comparison by Uaitéar Mac Gerailt (1996) of impe. Braghe sheta shuairc shochraidh aici. Rosc glas coem cruthach ina cind.
the texts of the first recension of Togail Troí in TCD H 2.17 (TTH) and the Mong fhota fhindbuide fuirre. Baill caema comdirge aici. Mera slemna sithfhota,
second recension in the Book of Leinster (TTL) respectively. Mac Eoin sug- cloptha cori comdirge, traighthe tana toghaige. Ferr a delb andas delb cach mna
gests that the original translation of Dares into Irish can be dated to the tenth ina h-aimsir. (Mackinnon 1912: 199)
century, and that the extant texts of the first recension of Togail Troí ultimately
‘Polyxena, daughter of Priam, — a tall, large, stately lady she was. Her body was
go back, via a thirteenth-century intermediary, to an eleventh-century revision
white, beautiful, shapely. Her breast majestic, affable, loveable. A grey eye in her
of the ur-translation (Mac Eoin 1960–61: 77; 1967: 43–44). The original ver- head, lovely, shapely. Her hair was long, of colour pale yellow. Limbs comely
sion of the second recension is thought to belong to the period 1040 to 1140 and straight. Her fingers were smooth and very long; her calves erect and even,
and the original version of the third recension to around 1200.29
28) This is section ‘R’ of the lithographic facsimile edited by Robert Atkinson, see Arbuthnot 30) Compare Dottin (1924: 156–158) and Mac Gearailt (1996: 472–474).
(2006: 57–58); its text of TTr1 has been edited in Mac Eoin (1967). 31) See also the examples given by Mac Gearailt (1996: 455, 458).
29) For a useful discussion of the processes of translation and rewriting see Mac Gearailt (2000– 32) See also Clarke (2009: 243–244): “with Togail Troí the relationship between Latin exemplar
01), and for a discussion of the dates of the second recension and of its version in the Book of and Irish rendering is one of extreme inequality, and in fact it is not a translation by any stretch
Leinster see Mac Gearailt (1999: 111–118). Mac Gearailt (2000–01: 81–83) suggests that Vir- of the word’s meaning. [...] The authors of Togail Troí have not translated, they have merely
gil’s Aeneid may have exerted some stylistic influence on the development of Togail Troí, and made use of the Latin original as a skeleton of bald facts, names and genealogies, on which
see Poppe (2004) for the possibility that the phrase lúirech (threbraid) thredúalach ‘a thrice- they have hung a fully-fledged original creation of dazzling invention and artistry, especially at
woven (plaited) corslet’, as a translation of Virgil’s lorica trilix, may have spread from the the level of simile imagery and ornamental adjectives”. A detailed analysis will be provided by
Irish version of the Aeneid to other texts, including recensions I and II of Togail Troí, which Brent Miles in his forthcoming study of the ‘classicising’ strategies of the redactors of Togail
would presuppose a date for Imtheachta Aeniasa in the eleventh century. Troí.
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her feet thin, beautiful. Her figure was the handsomest of any woman of her time.’ for a narrative hybridization of Greece, Troy, Ireland, and Ulster, and for an
(Mackinnon 1912: 199)33 equation of the political situation of the Trojan War with that of the Irish
This florid, rhythmical and alliterative prose is a device frequently used in pentarchy around the time of the birth and death of Christ, the setting of the
Irish texts, and part of a specific stylistic register realized in a wide variety of tales of the so-called Ulster cycle. The time of the pentarchy and of the conflict
texts from about the eleventh century onwards (and generously employed, for of Ulster with the four other provinces of Ireland depicted in Táin Bó Cúailnge
example, in the Irish version of Bevis and other texts written by Uilliam Mac had the potential to be perceived as a mirror-image of the Trojan War, and
an Leagha); in recension III of Ystorya Daret, however, the highly rhetorical vice versa, and thus as a back-drop against which these events of Irish pre-his-
diction revels not in alliteration but in choice, and often compound, adjectives. tory could be read and understood. Pádraig Ó Néill has suggested that the
scribe of both Táin Bó Cúailnge and Togail Troí — this is scribe T, whom
My main focus of interest in this section is on the typology of the manu-
William O’Sullivan (1966: 26) has characterized as “the real composer of the
script contexts in which the Insular versions of Dares are transmitted, and on
Book of Leinster as we know it” — would have noted the ‘generic similarities’
the information these may yield for the medieval perception of their narrative
between these two works, namely as medieval historiae:
function and genre. Unfortunately, however, such manuscripts contexts are
lacking for the first recension of Togail Troí, since both manuscripts in which [H]e [i.e., scribe T] would have realized that the basic narrative framework of the
the relevant texts are now found, are fragments and only contain incomplete Táin, its depiction of a state of war between the Ulaid people and the rest of Ire-
texts of Togail Troí (see Abbott/Gwynn 1921: 111–112, 161; Arbuthnot 2006: land, could be considered historia, an account of deeds actually performed in the
remote past. This view of the Táin would surely have been reinforced by its ge-
neric similarities to another work in the Book of Leinster copied by him, the To-
The inclusion of the second recension of Togail Troí in the Book of Lein- gail Troí, which in its Latin form was regarded by medieval literati as a historia of
ster is at first sight somewhat puzzling, since it is the only adaptation of a for- the war between Greece and Troy. (Ó Néill 1999: 274)
eign historiographical source in this manuscript. There are, however, at least
Michael Clarke (2009) forcefully argues for close similarities in theme, struc-
three other texts in it which would seem to be based on foreign, and probably
Latin, sources in a rather more complex way, but they belong to the genre of ture and conception between Táin Bó Cúailnge and Togail Troí, and he even
devotional religious literature — these are Dá brón flatha nime ‘The two sor- suggests that “each is the authoritative narrative of the central and defining war
of the people’s remote past, and the stylistic merger between them expresses
rows of the kingdom of heaven’, and two anecdotes with a foreign, Greek
background, a story of a Greek princess and a story about King Solomon and their joint role in the historiographical scheme” (Clarke 2009: 246). Both Ul-
the power of women. Regarding the motivation of the inclusion of Togail Troí, ster and Troy were in conflict with larger forces, Greece and the four prov-
inces of Ireland respectively, and both lost their status and importance in later
Dagmar Schlüter and I34 have suggested elsewhere that this text offered a site
history, but with Aeneas and Conall Cernach both provided important ances-
33) Mackinnon does not identify the context of this passage, but he also quotes a description of tor-figures, Aeneas for the Romans and Conall Cernach for the Loígis in Lein-
Achilles from the same page of the manuscript (Mackinnon 1912: 199). This and the verbal ster, in whose area the Book of Leinster was arguably produced. Togail Troí in
parallels with the description of Polyxena in Dares’s catalogue of portraits (see Appendix I) the context of the Book of Leinster can therefore be read as an historical ana-
would indicate that the texts of recension 2 of Togail Troí in Edinburgh, NLS Adv. MS 72.1.8 logue from classical antiquity with application to Irish pre-history. Uáitéar
and Adv. MS 72.1.15 both contain versions of this catalogue, in contrast to the version of
Mac Gearailt (1996: 481) furthermore draws attention to stylistic similarities
recension 2 of Togail Troí in the Book of Leinster, see Mac Gearailt (1996: 454–455) and
Dottin (1924: 153). Compare also the description of Palistena (= Polyxena) in the catalogue of between the texts in the Book of Leinster of Táin Bó Cúailnge and Togail Troí
portraits of recension D of the Old Norse Trójumanna saga: “Palistena var hvijt ä horund, respectively.
liöshærd og vel vaxinn, eigd vel og nockud langhälsud, langer fijnger og läger fætur, enn þö
vel og fagurlega vaxinn, og allra qvena best þötti hun sier söma, hun var jafnlind og einfólld,
ór og agiæt, og bar hun af flestum konum um alla adgiorfi og kurteis” (Louis-Jensen 1981: 22) and their men intend to rest in the port of Troy, is reminiscent of the Irish pentarchy: “Ar nírb
“Palistena was fair of skin, fair-haired and well-grown, with fine eyes and somewhat long- alaind ri Lamidón athigid gasraide Gréc issin n-airer, ar nirbat cuibdi a cocrícha cían remi’
necked, with long fingers and small feet, and well and beautifully grown, and as the best of all (Stokes 1881: 6) “For unbeautiful to Laomedon was the resorting of the springalds of the
women she seemed in conduct, she was constant and loyal, generous and noble, and she Greeks in the haven; for long before their boundaries had not been harmonious” (Stokes 1881:
excelled all women in all actions and chivalry”, for the description of Polyxena in recension E 63). Greeks and Trojans are furthermore said to be related by a common descent from Jove,
see Louis-Jensen (1963: 67). son of Saturn (Stokes 1881: 1–2, 57–58), on the descent from the gods see also Appendix II.
34) For the details of the arguments see Poppe/Schlüter (forthc.). The following characterisation of See also Wolf (2009: 124–128) for some more explicit examples from other literatures of the
the relations between Greeks and Trojans, given when Jason and Hercules with their ship Argo Trojan War as “Anspielungshintergrund für unzählige andere Kriege”.
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The Book of Ballymote (Dublin, RIA MS 536, formerly 23 P 12) contains other incomplete manuscript containing only parts of Togail Troí, and of the
a wide variety of texts, but here the context of Togail Troí and the motivation Book of Leinster, all manuscripts of the second and third recensions join To-
for its inclusion are easier to define: The text occurs as the first item in the last gail Troí in its transmission to other narratives in a classical mood, and it thus
section of the manuscript which, as Henry/Marsh-Micheli (1987: 798) memo- occurs in a cyclified format in the context of ancient history and biographies of
rably phrased it, is characterised by ‘a classical mood’. Togail Troí is here fol- characters from ancient history. The status of Dares as the first pagan histo-
lowed by Merugud Uilixis meic Leirtis, ‘The Wanderings of Ulysses’, Im- rian, bestowed on him by Isidore, may have further contributed to the interest
theachta Aeniasa, the Irish prose adaptation of Vergil’s Aneid, and the compi- in the events of the Trojan War. In the Book of Leinster, it serves as an ex-
lation about Alexander the Great (Mulchrone 1934: 1654–1655). The first tended analogue and as a mirror image to events in Irish pre-history. In con-
three texts constitute a small cycle about the matter of the Trojans and the Ro- trast to the situation particularly in Wales, but to some extant also in Scandina-
mans, and the compilation about Alexander shares with them the interest in via (see below), where the destruction of Troy had some relevance for con-
characters and events from classical antiquity. 35 A cyclical juxtaposition of temporary national and individual history, the story of Troy remained an event
Trojan and Roman matters is also realized in UCD, OFM MS A.11, in which in classical antiquity and basically unrelated to the myths of Irish origins, and
Togail Troí and an incomplete copy of Imtheachta Aeniasa are now found (Dil- it therefore did not acquire a narrative continuation connecting it to medieval
lon et al. 1969: 22–23). Edinburgh, NLS Adv. MS 72.1.8 and NLS Adv. MS Irish history.37
72.1.15 both contain texts of Togail Troí only, incomplete in the case of NLS
Adv. MS 72.1.8 (Mackinnon 1912: 197–200). According to Mackinnon (1912: 3.3 Norse Dares: Trojans and Britons again
197–198), the texts of Togail Troí in the two Edinburgh manuscripts and in the
Book of Ballymote begin with a preface about the descendants of Adam until There are two recensions of Trójumanna saga, the Old Norse version of Dares,
the deluge, and the settlement by Noah; and the events of the Trojan War are represented by the following manuscripts (based on Würth 1998: 38–43):
thus contextualised within world history.36
Recension D
The two manuscripts which transmit the third recension of Togail Troí
(a) AM 176b fol., around 1700.
place it in a classical context: Dublin, King’s Inns MS 12 originally formed a
(b) AM 176a fol., before the end of the seventeenth century.
unit with King’s Inns MS 13 and the two parts now contain Togail Troí, Don
(c) ÍB 184, 4to, end of the eighteenth century.
Tres Troí, a short companion piece to Togail Troí about the third rebuilding of
(d) AM 598, 4to IID, a fragment of around 1500 or slightly later.
Troy, Merugud Uilixis, and Finghala Chlainne Tanntail, on the kin-murders of
the children of Tantalus (MS 12), as well as an incomplete text of Imtheachta Recension E
Aeniasa (MS 13) (de Brún 1972: 30–33). Dublin, RIA MS D iv 2 has an ex-
(a) AM 371, 4to; 544, 4to; 675, 4to, Hauksbók, the section containing Tróju-
tended section of adaptations, mainly ‘in a classical mood’, featuring In Cath manna saga was written between 1302 and 1310 (= Hb).
Catharda, the Irish version of Lucan’s Bellum Civile, Togail Troí, Don Tres (b) Ormsbók, a manuscript of the second half of the fourteenth century, and
Troí‚ Finghala Chlainne Tantail, Merugud Uilixis, a story about the Minotau- probably destroyed in a fire in 1697 (= O); copies of Trójumanna saga
rus, Sgel in Mhínaduir, and the tale of Harmonia’s necklace, Riss in mundtuir derived from Ormsbók are found in Uppsala Universitätsbibliothek R 706
(Mulchrone 1942: 3301–3302, 3305–3306). (end of the seventeenth century) and Ihre 76 (end of the seventeenth century),
For the texts of the first, and oldest, recension of Togail Troí no contexts as well as in Stockh. Papp. 4to nr. 29 (derived from R 706) and Stockh.
in transmission can be defined, since the two extant manuscripts are fragments Papp. fol nr. 58 (1690).
only. With the exception of Edinburgh, NLS Adv. MS 72.1.15, which is an- AM 573, 4to, fourteenth century (= S).

35) For instances of a transmission in the same manuscript of Latin text of Dares and about 37) To the best of my knowledge, Geoffrey’s Historia was not translated into Irish, and even
Alexander see Crick (1991: 22–29) and Faivre d’Arcier (2006: 150–151). Arthur did not receive much attention from Irish literati, compare Dooley (2004) for a survey.
36) For similar genealogical information provided by the text of Togail Troí in the Book of Leins- The ‘Nennian’ recension of Historia Britonum was translated into Irish some time in the second
ter, the notion of a descent from the gods, and some Insular parallels see Appendix II. For half of the eleventh century, and this translation has been associated with Gilla Cóemáin, an
references to the Trojan War in works of Irish synthetic historiography see, for example, Smith eleventh-century Irish scholar, historian, and poet (see Dooley 2004: 11–13, Smith 2007: 30–
(2007: 195), in the poem ‘Annálad anall uile’ by Gilla Cóemáin, and Ó Cróinín (1983: 87), in 31). Crick’s discussion of the medieval provenances of the manuscripts of Geoffrey’s Historia
the Irish Sex Aetates Mundi. indicates that at least one manuscript was in Dublin in medieval times, see Crick (1991: 206).
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AM 598, 4to II E, a fragment of the first half of the fourteenth century. native narrative conventions — and similar Irish narrative conventions lead to
similar narrative results in the Irish and Norse texts.40 The changes shaping the
The history of the development of these recensions and texts is structurally not extant texts of recension D would appear to be mainly stylistic and to concern
dissimilar to the development of the Irish versions of Dares: According to Ste- the amplification of speeches and of scenes of combat (Würth 1998: 48, 149–
fanie Würth (1998: 71, 148), there was one original translation of Trójumanna 151); Würth (1998: 151) therefore suggests that at least from the beginning of
saga, and it was independent of Breta sögur, the Norse adaptation of Geoffrey the sixteenth century onwards, Trójumanna saga was read as a saga focussing
of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britannie, the importance of which for the on heroes and their exploits similar to the riddarasögur and fornaldarsögur:
transmission of Trójumanna saga will emerge in the following. Jonna Louis- “eine Art Helden- oder Abenteuersaga im Stil der Riddarasögur und Fornal-
Jensen (1981: xviii) has suggested the following stemma for the extant versions darsögur”. The full form of the expanded and interpolated recension E of Tró-
of Trójumanna saga (Tms) — ignoring for this purpose Latin sources for Tms1 jumanna saga in Ormsbók and AM 573, 4to is, according to Würth (1992: 20;
other than Dares (D), as well as another manuscript of Dares to which either 1998: 155–164), geared towards romantic entertainment with an interest in
Tms2 or y would seem to have had access (compare Louis-Jensen 1981: xviii): private relations and emotions, whereas the abbreviated contemporary version
of E in Hauksbók treats the narrative as a historical source.41 The important
D Ilias Latina
general implication of Würth’s analysis is that the interest in a source during
the ‘translation era’ is not necessarily identical with the interests in the
resulting adaptation during the subsequent ‘era of memory’.
Two manuscripts of recension D, namely AM 176b fol. and AM 176a fol.,
Tms1 combine Trójumanna saga with Bretlands Cronica, i.e., excerpts from the
Hauksbók version of Breta sögur by Björn á Skarðsá who worked in the first
 D Tms2
half of the seventeenth century.42 The eighteenth-century manuscript ÍB 184,
Hb y 4to contains Trójumanna saga as well as Íslendigasögur and fornaldarsögur,
O S and is the only manuscript in which Trójumanna saga is not transmitted to-
gether with some form of the history of the Britons. Stefanie Würth (1998: 71)
was the first to draw attention to the transmission of recension E of Tróju-
For the original translation, i.e., Tms1, Würth has suggested a date in the be- manna saga in conjunction with Breta sögur and to the resulting consecutive
ginning of the thirteenth century;38 she dates the translation of Breta sögur to
around the same time and locates both translations in Iceland (compare Würth 40) Compare Würth (1998: 49): “So fügt die Trójumanna saga die Aufzählung der Angehörigen
1998: 55–56, 82, 149). Laomedons bereits beim ersten Auftreten des Königs ein und entspricht dadurch den Erwartun-
gen des isländischen Publikums, das daran gewöhnt ist, genealogische Informationen sofort bei
In her detailed study of the processes affecting the texts of Trójumanna der ersten Erwähnung einer Person zu erhalten. Auch sonst löst sich die Trójumanna saga bei
saga in their transmission, Stefanie Würth has traced their characteristic fea- der Einführung neuer Personen vom Wortlaut und wählt stereotype Floskeln, die auch aus Ko-
tures: The ur-translation is predominantly interested in supplying historical in- nungasögur oder Íslendingasögur bekannt sind: “madur het Pantus s(on) þess manns er Evfo-
formation,39 but already structures the narrative with three parallel love-rela- bius het hann stĘd upp og m(ælti)” [‘a man called Pantus, son of the man called Eufobius, he
tionships and a centrally placed, and thus narratively highlighted, fight be- stood up and said’]”. Compare Mac Gearailt (1996: 468): “the personal name in the Latin,
Menelaus, becomes Menelaus mac Atir [Menelaus, son of Atreus]; the additional explanatory
tween Alexander and Menelaus (Würth 1998: 51–52). Brief and stereotypical gloss, árdtóisech side do Grécaib [high-chieftain of the Greeks], after the first reference to
explanations to accompany the introduction of new characters are derived from Menelaus, reflecting awareness of the need for clear identification of characters”.
41) Compare Würth (1998: 156): “Trójumanna saga [erhielt] — in Verbindung mit den nachfol-
38) On the basis of an analysis of “possible archaisms and innovations in the language and style genden Breta sögur — den Stellenwert einer historischen Quelle, die nicht nur die Geschichte
of Tms1, in as far as this can be reconstructed”, Louis-Jensen (1981: lii) suggests that “Tms1 Norwegens, sondern auch für die Geschichte der Familie Haukurs, eines Beamten des norwe-
contain[s] hardly anything that points to a date of origin much before the middle of the gischen Königs, von Belang war”; on Haukur and Hauksbók see Würth (1998: 210–211, 151–
thirteenth century”. For a critique of her approach see Würth (1998: 54–55), who argues that 153).
Louis-Jensen neglected the stylistic revisions affecting the extant texts of recension D. 42) The Hauksbók version of Breta sögur itself is “gekürzt, auf die historischen Fakten konzen-
39) Compare Würth (1998: 54): “ausschließlich historische Informationen liefern und verfolgt dar- triert und in einer knappen, konzisen Sprache verfaßt” (Würth 1998: 164), very similar to its
über hinaus keine weiteren didaktischen Absichten”. version of Trójumanna saga.
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historical narrative: “die E-Version der Trójumanna saga und die Breta sögur tween the narratives of the Trojans and the Britons existed even for the compil-
[bilden] eine Überlieferungsgemeinschaft und dadurch eine fortlaufende his- ers of these late manuscripts.
torische Darstellung”. A combination of the Latin text of Dares’s De excidio For the versions of Trójumanna saga in Ormsbók and AM 573, 4to re-
with Geoffrey’s Historia was quite common in medieval manuscripts: spectively Würth (1992: 20–21; 1998: 169) argues for their reception as enter-
The history of the fall of Troy attributed to the apocryphal figure Dares [...] is the tainment and their generic affiliation to the riddarasögur,46 partly on the basis
single work most frequently associated with Geoffrey’s History: the two occur to- of changes in their contents and partly on the basis of their manuscript con-
gether in twenty-seven manuscripts. These span all forms of the Historia — both texts. With the exception of Trójumanna saga and Breta sögur, Ormsbók con-
families of the First Variant, D- and E-manuscripts of the Second, and vulgate cop- tained translations of French lais and Arthurian romances as well as Icelandic
ies of various sorts. The connection is logical. Geoffrey relates how Britain’s adaptations of chivalresque romances, “die Önundar jarls saga, die Magus
population was first settled under one of the Trojan remnant, Brutus; Dares de- saga jarls mit dazugehörigen þættir, verschiedene Lais, die Partalopa saga
scribes the circumstances which occasioned the move of Brutus’s ancestors to the
West. To what degree, then, is the association of these widely-circulated texts in
und die Parzivals saga” (Würth 1992: 22; vgl. auch Würth 1998: 154). In a
the manuscripts inherited or spontaneous? (Crick 1991: 38)43 seventeenth-century catalogue entry about Ormsbók (of 1651) its contents are
described as “om Troiæ förstöring, och ngelands förste bebygnging, samt
Neil Wright has shown that the two manuscript families of the First Variant een hoop andra Historier, angående Frankerike och Tyskland” (quoted Würth
version of the Historia — and six of its extant seven manuscripts have certain 1998: 154). The characterisation as ‘Historier’ may say something about the
or likely British affiliations44 — became intimately connected with a version of generic perception of the contents of Ormsbók, at least by this particular cata-
Dares’s De excidio: loguer. Ormsbók also contained a heavily revised and rewritten version of
But it is also clear that the First Variant text was associated in J [the first family of Bevers saga.47 Christopher Sanders has recently suggested that the generic dis-
manuscript] with a non-standard version of Dares Phrygius’s De Excidio Troiae tance between riddarasögur, such as Bevers saga, and “texts of a principally
(Dares I), while in G [the second family of manuscripts] the Variant was associated historical nature” (Sanders 2008: 61), to which class Trójumanna saga and
with a different non-standard recension of the same text (Dares II). However, it is Breta sögur would belong, may be smaller than traditionally thought, and he
impossible to determine whether both these associations were made during trans- says about Ormsbók that
mission or whether one or other of the Dares-texts was orginally found with the
First Variant in the archetype. (Wright 1988: cxiii) [h]ere, then, it is riddarasögur that ‘host’ the pseudo-histories [i.e., Trójumanna
saga and Breta sögur], so that the compiler of this codex presumably had some
Würth (1998: 71) argues that the transmission of recension D of Trójumanna sense of an association between the works of these two types that was more than
saga is evidence that its juxtapostion with Breta sögur is secondary and arose purely stylistic. (Sanders 2008: 63)
in the course of the Norse transmission, and she suggests that Breta sögur may
have been translated as a continuation and supplement to Trójumanna saga.45
The combination of Trójumanna saga in two of the three manuscripts of recen-
sion D with excerpts from the Hauksbók version of Breta sögur, however, 46) See Würth (1998: 169): “In der Form, wie sie Ormsbók und AM 753, 4to überliefern, fügen
would appear to be evidence that some form of a conceptual relationship be- sich Trójamanna saga und Breta sögur glänzend in das Genre der Riddarasögur ein, weil sie
einen großen Teil der oben genannten Kriterien erfüllen: Die Texte wurden übersetzt und sind
in Prosa verfaßt; ihre Protagonisten, die nicht aus Skandinavien stammen, gehören der führen-
den Gesellschaftsschicht an; die Handlung findet außerhalb Skandinaviens statt. In der Bearbei-
43) See also Faivre d’Arcier (2006: 151–153).
tung Ormsbók/AM 753, 4to sind die beiden Sagas romantische Erzählungen, die großen Wert
44) See Wright (1988: lxxviii–lxci), Crick (1991: 38, 197–198, 214), Faivre d’Arcier (2006: 409); auf einzelne Episoden und zwischenmenschliche Beziehungen legen, die übernatürliche Wesen
for a summary of the distribution of manuscripts of Dares in medieval England see Faivre in die Handlung einbeziehen und sich durch einen blumigen Stil auszeichnen. [...] In der in
d’Arcier (2006: 401–409) and for a group of manuscripts transmitting what he calls “la vulgate Ormsbók/AM 753, 4to überlieferten Form sind Trójumanna saga und Breta sögur somit unter
franco-anglaise” see Faivre d’Arcier (2006: 234–242). den pseudohistorischen Übersetzungswerken die einzigen Bearbeitungen, die den kontinentalen,
45) See Würth (1998: 71): “Da es keine Handschrift die Breta sögur gibt, die nicht auch die E-Ver- höfisch aktualisierten Antikenromanen entsprechen.”
sion der Trójumanna saga enthält, stellt sich die Frage, ob vielleicht die Übersetzung der His- 47) This version is not only much shorter, but also characterised by minor and major narrative
toria regum Britannie von Anfang an als Fortsetzung und Ergänzung der Geschichte des Troja- changes and a rather different development of the story, summarized by Sanders (2001: lv–
nischen Kriegs gedacht war”, and also Würth (1998: 155): “Es spricht jedoch nichts dagegen, lviii), who also suggests that “the Ormsbók version could, at least in part, be a reworking on
daß die interpolierte Trójumanna saga bereits auf allen angeführten Überlieferungsstufen mit the basis of rímur”. From Sanders’ characterisation of the Ormsbók version of Bevers saga I
den Breta sögur verbunden war.” find it difficult to detect a specific intention behind the rewriting.
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He would therefore align both Trójumanna saga and Breta sögur in Ormsbók and “enriched [these] with the love stories of some of the key heroes” (Keller
to the historical genre,48 whereas Würth sees them moving towards entertain- 2008: 140). Joseph of Exeter (also known as Joseph Iscanus) produced his
ing riddarasögur. It is hardly surprising that Sanders’ view of AM 573, 4to Latin poem on the Trojan war Ylias Daretis Phrygii, mainly on the basis of
and the generic orientation of its contents is similar: Dares, in the 1180s at the court of Reims, in a cultural milieu similar to Be-
noît’s and as a contemporary of Walter of Châtillon, the author of the Alexan-
An interesting element is the manner in which the manuscript AM 573 4to in its
original state contained, apart from Trójumanna saga, both Breta sögur and dreis.51 In the thirteenth century, a French translation of Dares was inserted
Valvens þáttr (the continuation of Parcevals saga that contains Gawain’s adven- into the so-called Histoire ancienne jusqu’à César (see Jung 1996: 334–430,
tures), and this was hardly on account of stylistic similarity, but at least partly be- Faivre d’Arcier 2006: 293–297), and a French summary of Dares forms part
cause of the connection through King Arthur to the past of Britain — riddarasaga of the Chronique dite de Baudouin d’Avesnes (see Jung 1996: 431–435).
material becomes in this case, in terms of its reception, ‘history’. Furthermore, Dares was translated into French by Jean de Flixecourt in 1272,
(Sanders 2008: 63) who also used Benoît’s Roman, and by Jofroi de Waterford, an Anglo-Norman
However, the Arthurian material readily available in Historia regum Britannie Dominican whose translation is transmitted in only one manuscript dating from
may have provided a springboard for a chivalresque interpretation of both the end of the thirteenth century (see Jung 1996: 436–439, Faivre d’Arcier
Trójumanna saga and Breta sögur along the lines of Würth’s interpretation, 2006: 298–308).
and the inclusion of Valvens þáttr points towards an Arthurian interest of the Benoît’s Roman shaped the reception of the matter of Troy in medieval
compiler of AM 573, 4to. Whatever the exact generic affiliations of both texts, Germany; Dares was first translated into German in 1536, by Marcus Tatius
their oscilliation in the course of their Norse transmission, and their potential Alpinus, together with Dictys. 52 Lienert (2001: 159) has stressed that in the
for different interpretations, it is clear that medieval Norse literary scholars German texts the matter of Troy was considered historical, until the sixteenth
perceived an intimate connection between the narratives about the Trojans by century, and that it was integrated into chronicles of world-history.53 But, as
Dares and the Britons by Geoffrey respectively, perhaps reinforced by a cycli- she points out, the material served different further functions too, among these
fication of these texts already in (some of) their Latin manuscript sources. the provision of models for courtly behaviour and the description of fateful and
disastrous love, of war and chivalry, and of the city of Troy as an example of
transience and pride.54
4. Any results of textual typology?
In order to understand some of the specifics of the reception of Dares and of relation to Benoît see Keller (2008: 140–151). Frank/Hartmann/Kürschner (1997: 90) comment
the matter of Troy in Welsh, Irish, and Old Norse, a very condensed review of on the success and wide circulation of Benoît’s Roman in France: “Avec douze documents
the reception in geographically adjacent medieval literatures will be useful.49 transmis [...], le Roman de Troie de Benoît de Sainte-Maure paraît être le roman [en vers] le
plus répandu jusqu’au milieu du XIIIe siècle.”
Besides Dares (and Dictys), the two formative medieval texts about Troy 51) For the Latin text with a French translation see Mora/Tilliette (2003); Bate (1986) gives the
would appear to be Benoît de Sainte-Maure’s Old French Roman de Troie (c. Latin text with an English translation of the first three books only; for discussions of the text,
1165–1170) and its Latin adaptation by Guido delle Colonne, Historia destruc- with further references, see Mora/Tilliette (2003: 12–37) and Bate (1986: 3–13). The last sixty
tionis Troiae (1287). 50 Benoît based his verse-account on Dares and Dictys, lines of Joseph’s poem, which relate “le retour malheureux des Grecs dans leur patrie”, are
based on Dictys, see Mora/Tilliette (2003: 22). Mora/Tilliette (2003: 18) suggest that “Gautier
48) Compare his suggestion that Boeve was perceived and received in its new Old Norse context as de Châtillon et Joseph d’Exeter, convaincus comme tous leurs contemporains que l’histoire est
predominantly historical, summarized in § 2 above. «maîtresse de vie» et que la poésie a une fonction éthique, relisent les aventures d’Alexandre et
49) For useful brief surveys, with further references, see Faivre d’Arcier (2006: 14–18), Mora/Til- la légende de Troie à la lumière d’une anthropologie authentiquement chrétienne”; on the mes-
sage of Joseph’s poem and its “image très noire de la condition humaine” see Mora/Tilliette
liette (2003: 8–10), Borgolte (2001), Wolf (2009: 182–184); see Wolf (2009: 91–146) for a
(2003: 33–37).
collection of references to the matter of Troy in English, Anglo-Norman, French, and Italian
52) For a survey of the relevant medieval and early modern texts see Alfen/Fochler/Lienert (1990)
contexts. For an illuminating contrastive survey of general trends in the Anglo-Norman,
French, German, and Dutch receptions of the matter of Arthur and of Britain see Wolf (2008: and Lienert (2001: 103–162); for Marcus Tatius Alpinus see Alfen/Fochler/Lienert (1990:
242–284). He shows that in Germany Arthur and his knights became significantly less inte- 117–122).
grated into a wider historiographical scheme and that the Arthurian world was rather seen as 53) See Lienert (2001: 147–150) and Alfen/Fochler/Lienert (1990: 31–46) for further details.
transmitting social and cultural values. 54) Compare Lienert (2001: 159); for a wider perspective on the cultural and narrative functions of
50) For a survey of the transmission of Benoît’s Roman see Jung (1996: 16–330). For a discussion the Anglo-Norman romances of antiquity of the middle and later twelfth century see Baswell
of Guido’s Historia see Jung (1996: 563–567) and specifically Keller (2008: 133–263), for its (2000).
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In England, three different renderings of Guido’s Historia were produced sion with the Norse versions of the Historia, even if the two texts may have
in the period 1340 to 1425, namely “the anonymous Laud Troy Book (of un- been translated independently of each other in the first place. For Norse schol-
certain date, but likely to have been written after 1343 and before the first ars, the Trojan War was a rather more distant event in world history. Würth
quarter of the fifteenth century), 18,664 lines in four-stress couplets; Lydgate’s (1998: 70–71) suggests that the motivation for the translation of Geoffrey’s
Troy Book (1412–20), 30,117 lines in rhymed five-stress couplets; and the Historia into Old Norse was the information it provides about Scandinavian
alliterative Destruction of Troy, 14,044 lines of unrhmyed alliterative verse pre-history and history, but also a connection that could be construed between
[postdating 1385]” (Simpson 1998: 404–405). Simpson (1998: 417, 422) sug- Trojans, Norwegian kings, and leading Icelandic families: “Einer der ersten
gests that the “Guido tradition does not produce narratives of migration and norwegischen Könige, Hákon, Sohn des Reichseinigers Haraldur hárfagri,
territorial possession”, as did Geoffrey of Monmouth and Virgil, but rather wurde beim englischen König Æthelstan aufgezogen” (Würth 1998: 70–71).
“express a sense of a historical sequence generated by poor decisions and un- This connection was exploited by Haukur Erlendsson, the compiler of Hauks-
folding toward a catastrophe beyond the power of any king to control” and bók,56 and Trójumanna saga may have profited from it as well. Be that as it
thus offers “an alternative philosophical voice, in opposition to unthinking chi- may, the original Norse translation of Dares offered a site, on the one hand,
valric aggression”. A fourth version, The Seege of Troye, composed c. 1300– for further learned, historiographical elaboration and amplification and, on the
1325 and consisting of some 2060 four-stress couplets, is based on Benoît, other hand, for a modification towards the chivalresque and towards history as
with additional details from Dares and the six-century Latin prose Excidium entertainment. The latter developments were probably facilitated by the Arthu-
Troiae (Barron 1987: 117). rian materials of Breta sögur, but also by the potential of medieval historia for
Typologically, there would appear to exist a significant split between the an oscillating participation in both delectare and prodesse: Sanders (2008: 59)
three Insular literatures of Ireland, Wales, and Scandinavia on the one hand quotes an instructive — but perhaps formulaic — remark from the Historia de
and the Insular literature of England on the other: In the former the formative antiquitate regum Norwagiensium of Theodericus monachus (which has been
source was Dares, who was retold in prose (with the single exception of the dated to around 1180): “Moreover, in the manner of the ancient chroniclers, I
short Irish verse version), whereas in the latter it was Benoît or Guido, who have added digressions in appropriate places which, in my opinion, are not
were retold in verse. The thirteenth-century French retellings of Dares make it without value in serving to delight the mind of the reader”. However, as
difficult to subsume France into the same tidy pattern.55 The textual histories Würth (1998: 252) points out, the chivalresque versions of Trójumanna saga
of Togail Troí and of Trójumanna saga furthermore show that Irish and Norse und Breta sögur could not compete with the more successful adaptations of
scholars had access to information about the Trojan War beyond Dares and Arthurian romances proper.57 In Ireland the reception of Dares predates Geof-
used it to expand and develop his basic narrative. frey; furthermore Trojan, Roman, and British history does not link up with the
Even though the three Insular literatures under consideration here show Irish origin myth and with Irish history in any significant way, but the medie-
some significant similarities in their treatment of Dares, their contextualiza- val Irish literati’s preoccupation with world history gave rise to a small corpus
tions of his account varied. The intimate connection of the Welsh version of of translations and adaptations of classical and late antique sources.58 As in the
Dares’s account about the Trojan War in its medieval transmission with the Norse context, the original Irish translation of Dares was a site for further
Welsh version of Geoffrey’s Historia Regum Britannie, Brut y Brenhinedd, learned and stylistic elaboration and amplification in transmission — evidence
indicates that for medieval Welsh scholars Ystorya Daret was a part of the nar- for an abiding interest in the text. The earliest Irish translation of Dares for
rative construction of their own national history. It constituted the prefatory
56) Compare Würth (1998: 155–156).
narrative leading up to the settlement of Britain and to the events described in
57) See Würth (1998: 252): “Die schlechte Überlieferung der romantisierten Fassungen der Tróju-
the Geoffrey’s Historia. Its prime attraction was therefore historiographical.
manna saga und der Breta sögur beweist, daß diese im Stil der kontinentalen Antiken- und hö-
The close association in manuscripts of Geoffrey’s Historia and of Dares’s De fischen Romane bearbeiteten Texte keinen großen Anklang beim Publikum fanden. Die Kon-
excidio has been highlighted by Julia Crick and Neil Wright. The Old Norse kurrenz der zu dieser Zeit bereits weitverbreiteten Übersetzungen französischer Artusromane
version of Dares, Trójumanna saga, was also closely associated in transmis- war wohl zu groß und erschwerte die Rezeption der umfangreichen und mit ausführlichen histo-
rischen Informationen beladenen Trójumanna saga und Breta sögur.”
58) For the Irish corpus compare Stanford (1970), Szerwiniack (2002), Miles (2007: 67–70), and
55) Wolf (2009: 133–136) does not discuss these, and she notes a conspicuous importance of ‘ver- for its literary context Ní Mhaonaigh (2006); for the Norse corpus see Würth (1998); the only
sifizierte Adaptionen’ in the twelfth-century reception of the prose narratives of Dares and other Latin text besides the De Excidio that was translated into both Irish and Norse is Lucan’s
Dictys in France and England. Pharsalia.
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which we have a manuscript context, namely in the late-twelfth-century Book fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Togail Troí is transmitted as a part of narra-
of Leinster, functions as an historical analogue to events in Irish history and tive cycles about events in classical antiquity.
may reflect some contemporary colonial anxieties, but at least by the four- The cyclification of Dares’s narrative in all three Insular cultures under
teenth and fifteenth centuries, the expanded Irish texts about Troy had become discussion indicates that the scholars responsible for the compilation of the
a part of narrative cycles about events in classical antiquity. Brent Miles has manuscripts were not interested in the Trojan War as an isolated event or as a
tentatively identified in the format of one of the two manuscripts of the third single historical analogue — although this would arguably have been the inter-
recension of Togail Troí, namely Dublin, King’s Inns MS 12, the influence of est of the main compiler of the Book of Leinster —, but as a part of a larger
the new learning of the Renaissance. This manuscript orginally formed a unit historical system, either the history of the classical period, or the history of
together with Dublin, King’s Inns MS 13, and is “a scholar’s book, written by Britain. A further aspect the implications of which would repay further de-
Maoílechlainn Ó Cianáin [...]. The manuscript is a collection of classical tales, tailed study, is the trend towards elaboration and embellishment of the original
and classical tales only” (Miles 2004: 87): translations of Dares within the Irish and Norse transmission. This serves to
Not encyclopedic in the usual manner, this manuscripts represents a gathering of show, if nothing else, that his narrative was considered important enough to be
texts along one extraordinary theme, namely derivation from classical antiquity. revised, updated, edited, and rewritten, even though the connection between
[...] Yet while Ó Cianáin worked within an inherited tradition, his remarkable Troy and national origins was at best tenuous in Norway and Iceland and virtu-
choice of materials is evidence of innovation on his part. Put another way, such a ally non-existent in Ireland — whereas it was obvious in Wales.
manuscript was not conceived as a library in the earlier fashion of so many collec-
It is, finally, tempting to connect specifically the Norse and Irish interests
tions which went before it, but was perhaps conceived to sit in a library. This
might be for example the library of a humanist scholar, or maybe the scholar’s pa- in the events of the Trojan War with a general interest in historical narrative,
tron, a Renaissance prince. The innovation is subtle, but significant. Ó Cianáin’s which is reflected in the narration of the events of the Norse and Irish past as
discreet selection of translations from Greek and Roman antiquity may reflect the history. As Preben Meulengracht Sørensen (1993: 333) phrased it: “The Ice-
pretensions of the movement we will subsequently call humanism. landers re-created the past in the form of literature, and literature became his-
(Miles 2004: 87–89)59 tory”.60 Similarly, Vésteinn Ólason suggests that the creation of the medieval
Íslendingasögur “clearly formed part of a larger project aimed precisely at
creating a history for the Icelanders” (Ólason 2005: 112):
It is probably no surprising insight that the interest in Dares’s historical
narrative in the three Insular cultures under discussion here, remained a pre- The main characteristic of the narrative technique of the Íslendingasögur is that the
dominantly historiographical one. The typically cyclic transmission of Ystorya stories are narrated as if they were history. [...] The Íslendingasögur participate in
Daret and Trójumanna saga respectively with Welsh and Norse versions of what might be termed the textualization of Icelandic history and, in a larger con-
text, the textualization of world history. (Ólason 2005: 105)
Geoffrey’s Historia may be explained with a common model, namely the cy-
clic transmission of Latin texts of Dares and Geoffrey in the Middle Ages. It I have argued elsewhere that the majority of medieval Irish prose narratives
is, however, a still unsolved puzzle whether the cyclification was already pre- composed and transmitted up to around the twelfth century (and at least in part
sent in the sources used by the Welsh and Norse translators or whether it arose much longer — witness, for example, their use for historiographical purposes
secondarily in the course of the transmission and revision of the original trans- in Geoffrey Keating’s Foras Feasa ar Éirinn in the seventeenth century) were
lations motivated by further Latin manuscripts. In Irish manuscripts of the
60) See also Meulengracht Sørensen (1993: 333–334): “[T]he sagas must primarily be seen as
literary expositions, but a prerequisite for the literary interpretation is that they are recognized
59) The other manuscript of the third recension, Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, MS 1223 (formerly to be historical accounts, i.e. true stories about the past. [...] The “saga age” is, with the Sagas
D iv 2), is in Miles’s view a traditional, encyclopaedic one, see Miles (2004: 86). Miles (2004: of Icelanders, created as historical reality and as an ideal, in which contemporary Iceland can
91) furthermore stressed the relation between Togail Troí and Uilliam Mac an Leagha’s Stair see its own reflection. The sagas of Icelanders are not contemporary events in historical guise,
Ercuil ocus a bás ‘The story of Hercules and his death’, a fifteenth-century adaptation of the nor are they contemporary problems discussed in the arena of past times. They are history, and
relevant parts of William Caxton’s Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye: “Mac an Lega did not only as such can their form and meaning be fully understood.” In a similar vein, Thomas Owen
bother to translate Book III of Caxton, the account of the Trojan war proper, perhaps because Clancy (2005: 167) has warned against one-dimensional political readings of the texts of the
this would only have duplicated the story already told in Togail Troí. Stair Ercuil ocus a Bás, medieval Irish Ulster Cycle with the argument that “this is literature, not propaganda”, but I
as executed by Mac an Lega, amends the earlier native corpus by providing a full acount of would suggest that a vital qualification should be added, namely that (most of) this body of
Hercules’ career apart from his participation in Troy’s destruction”. texts needs to be understood as literature as history.
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narrated as if they were history and that they participated in the textualization
of Irish history and of world history (compare Poppe 2008). Sanders’ sugges- Appendix I: Some Rhetorical Embellishments in Ystorya Daret
tion that Bevers saga and Trójumanna saga share some generic characteristics
which align the former to historical narrative, if accepted, indicates the domi- The fight between Hector and Achilles in recension IIB:63
nance of a historical mode of narrative in the Old Norse textual culture. The
Early Modern Irish version of Bevis is much later than the original translation ac vrathawd achel yn y vordwyt ac ef a dywedei rai vot croen achel kyn galettet
of Togail Troí and its subsequent and consecutive revisions, but Uilliam mac hyt na vede aryf or byd yndaw mwy noc mewn malen kaletta or byt amwyuwy
an Leagha’s approach to rewriting the story of Bevis is evidence for the lon- wedi idoluriaw yr ymlynws ef Hector ac val yr oed Hector yn llad Pawb ar a
gyuarffei ac ef nycha y gwele helym vawrweirthiawc y mysc y kalaned ac ual yr
gevity in Ireland of a historical mode in narrative prose. oed Hector yn gostwng i gyuodi y uasnet nychaf achel oe ol yn i vrathu y dan i
The matter of Troy, even in its special narrative form produced by Dares, arueu yni wahanawd i enait ai gorff. (Owens 1951: cxciv = Book of Basingwerk)
can be seen as a ‘myth’, in the specific sense of an open text with a fixed core ‘and he [Hector] stabbed Achilles’ thigh, and some say Achilles’s skin was so hard
and a potential for adaptation and development by the textual cultures which that no weapon in the world would cut into it any more than into the hardest iron
receive, adapt, and transmit it.61 Further typological research now needs to test of the world, and having been wounded, all the more he pursued Hector, and when
the hypothesis that the medieval Norse and Irish literati share a preoccupation Hector was killing everyone whom he encountered, he saw a most precious helmet
with narrative as history (or with history as narrative) and that this preoccupa- among the corpses and when Hector was bending down to the ‘basinet’ [64], Achil-
tion, combined with the absence of an epic narrative macro-form in verse, re- les behind him stabbed him under his arms so that his soul parted from his body.’
sulted in some startlingly similar transformations and adaptations of Dares’
account of the matter of Troy.62 The fight between Hector and Achilles in recension IIA:
ac ar hyn(n)y ector abrathws achel yny vordwyt amwyvwy gwedy ydoluryaw yr
ymlynawd ef ector ac ny orffwysws yny gauas llad ector
(Owens 1951: cxciv = Cotton Cleopatra B.v)
‘And then Hector stabbed Achilles’ thigh, and having been wounded, all the more
he [Achilles] pursued him and he did not stop until he had succeeded in killing

An attack of the Greeks in recension IIB:

61) Here I adopt and adapt suggestions by Wolf (2009: 50–54), who defines ‘myth’ as “eine Art hyuach a diofnach uuant wynte gan annoc ev gwyr i vot yn lewach ar ymlad achos
unendlich ‘offener’ Text, der in einem produktiven Spannungsverhältnis zur Gesellschaft stehe pryt na bai Hector yn y maes y gnottei i wyr groec gael y gore ac am hynny
und ständiger Bewegung ausgesetzt sei” (Wolf 2009: 52): “der hier verwendete Terminus Troja- hyuach a glewach vv wyr Groec ar wyr troea ac ar hynny llad llawer o dywyssog-
Mythos [impliziert] eine im Kern beständige und symbolhafte Erzählung über eine vorgestellte ion troea a orugant a gurru ffo ar y lleill gan diruawr aerua arnadunt
Vergangenheit, die eine variable narrative Struktur besitzt” (Wolf 2009: 53). Wolf builds on (Owens 1951: cxciv = Book of Basingwerk)
the concept of Hans Blumenberg that “Mythen sind Geschichten von hochgradiger Beständig-
keit ihres narrativen Kerns und ebenso ausgeprägter marginaler Variationsfähigkeit. [...] My- ‘more boldly and fearlessly they incited their men to be more courageous in fight-
then sind daher nicht so etwas wie ‘heilige Texte’, an denen jedes Jota unberührbar ist” (quoted ing, because when Hector was not in the field the Greeks would gain the upper
Wolf 2009: 50). For the methodological benefits to be derived from a comparative approach hand on the Trojans, and therefore they killed many of the Trojan leaders and
see Wolf (2009: 56–57). drove the others to flight with much slaughter.’
62) This paper originated in a lecture prepared for the conference “Between the Islands: Interaction
with Vikings in Ireland and Britain in the Early Medieval Period” organised by Máire Ní
Mhaonaigh and Fiona Edmonds in Cambridge in March 2009. I wish to thank Máire Ní Mhao-
63) Owens (1951: cxciv) draws attention to a very similar account of Hector’s death in the Middle
naigh and Fiona Edmonds for their invitation to this conference. For generous help, valuable
advice, and productive discussions, without which I would not have been able to produce this English Seege of Troye. For further examples of somewhat expanded passages in recension IIB
survey, I wish to thank Dagmar Bronner, Stefanie Gropper, Helen Imhoff, Anja Jäcke, Wolf- in comparison with IIA and the Latin Dares see Owens (1951: cxciii-cxciv).
ram Keller, Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, Uáitéar Mac Gearailt, Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, Ralph 64) The use of the loan word basned, from Middle English basinet, may be significant here; ac-
O’Connor, Regine Reck, Dagmar Schlüter, Sabine Walther, and Jürgen Wolf. I alone, of cording to GPC, s.v., this word is first attested in the fifteenth century in a poem by Lewis
course, must bear the responsibility for any remaining imperfections and mistakes. Glyn Cothi.
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hon oe thegwch a ragorei ar bawb, annwyt mul, hael oed, a diweir.

The same attack of the Greeks in recension IIA (Owens 1951: 17)
ymlad aorugent wynteu yn wychyr allad llawer oriuedi odywyssogyon troya ‘Polyxena, a beautiful and tall, shapely woman with a long neck, mild eyes, with
(Owens 1951: cxciv = Cotton Cleopatra B.v) long, blond hair, with fine limbs, with long fingers, with round legs, with well-
‘they fought bravely and killed great numbers of the Trojan leaders.’ formed feet, who would excel everybody because of her beauty, a bashful nature,
generous she was and chaste.’

The description of Polyxena’s beauty in recension III: Dares’ description of Polyxena:

Poluxena, verch Briaf vrenhin troya, gwenn a hir a furueid oed, a chyfartal y llet Polyxenam candidam altem formosam collo longo oculis venustis capillis flavis et
ae meinet, penn gogyngrwnn, a gwallt melyn llaes amyl arnaw, tal yessin, ehan- longis compositam membris digitis prolixis cruribus rectis pedibus optimis, quae
glyfyn, ac aeleu meinyon hiryon gwastat, ac arllwybyr llathyrwyn llydan yrygtunt, forma sua omnes superaret, animo simplici largam dapsilem.
llygeit gloewduon eglur, dremwalcheid, ac amranneu ymbell llunyeid, grudyeu (Meister 1873: 16 = Beschorner 1992: 27)
gochyon, troelleid, ac wyneb klaerwynn, karueid, tylediwdec, adwyn, trwyn uny- ‘Polyxena had white skin, was tall and shapely, with a long neck, fair eyes, blond
awn, kyfladdrum, a froeneu egoredigyon, gwedeid, geneu hirgrwnn desdlusdlws, a and long hair, a well-formed body, long fingers, straight thighs, wonderful feet,
danned gwynnyon, ymagos, gwefusseu ardyrchauat, ychydic flemychawlserch, who excelled everybody because of her form, of simple mind, generous and open-
aelgeth, wastatgronn, gaboleit, adwyn, gyfartalweith, llewychbryt, mynwgyl hir, handed.’
kanneit, kylchawcwyn, alarcheid, ysgwydeu gogygrwnn. a breicheu hiryon, teyrn-
neid, byssed hiryon, brenhineid, ac ewined byrryon, kwrteis, dwylaw alawliw,
hirwynnyon, a dwyuronn afaldwf, eiryawlbryt, eglurwed, mordwydyd adwyndec,
Dares’s catalogue of portraits offered a natural site for stylistic expansion and
traet ac esgeiryeu gwedeidlun, vnyawnfuryf, klaerwynnyon, a rieineidlaes orymde- embellishment in textual cultures with a penchant for complex descriptions and
ith, a pharabyl trwyadyl, dissymyl, kymendoeth, a medwl haeluul, ac aelodeu ecphrases. Owens (1951: ccxxx) suggests that the description of Polyxena in
hiryon kysselledic, a ragor a oed arnei o bryt rac holl wraged y byt, a diweir oed, recension III follows the rhetorical diction of the Areithiau Prôs — short
ac ehalaeth annwyt, a morwyn wyryf hep vot gwr idi eiroet. literary pieces written in a highly ornate style (compare Roberts 1992a: 240–
(Owens 1951: 108–109 = Peniarth 47i) 242). To the best of my knowledge, however, it has not been noticed so far
‘Polyxena, the daughter of Priaf, king of Troy, she was beautiful and tall and
that there is significant lexical overlap between this passage and texts in the
shapely, her width in proportion with her slimness, an oval head, with abundant, Book of the Anchorite, or Llyvyr Agkyr Llandewivrewi, which was produced
trailing, blond hair on it, a wide and smooth, radiant forehead, with even, long, by the same scribe as Peniarth 47i (see Huws 2000: 59), and specifically with
thin eye-brows and a broad snow-white spot between them, clear, bright and black (the first section of) ‘Pryt y Mab’ (‘The Beauty of the Son’), a part of a trea-
eyes having the sight of a falcon, with well-formed, separate eyelids, round, red tise on mysticism, Ymborth yr Enaid (‘Sustenance of the Soul’).65 In order to
cheeks, with a gentle, beautiful and fair, lovable, clear and white face, an evenly indicate the similarities and differences I quote just one passage from Davies’
ridged, straight nose, with becoming, open nostrils, a nice and pretty, elliptical translation of ‘Pryt y Mab’:
mouth, with close, white teeth, raised lips, flaming a little with love, a radiant,
well-proportioned, gentle, smooth, firm and round chin, a swan-like, round and Beneath the forehead there were two pure, bright eyebrows, long, fine and black,
white, shining, long neck, oval shoulders, with kingly, long arms, regal, long fin-
gers, courtly, short nails, long and white, lily-coloured hands, with snow-white,
65) I have noted the following examples in GPC: cyfartal (LlA 42) [different meaning], meined
apple-shaped breasts of bright complexion, meek and beautiful thighs, bright and
white, straight-shaped, handsomely formed legs and feet, with a feminine and free (LlA 95), gogyngrwnn (LlA 92), arllwybyr (LlA 93), llathyrwyn (LlA 93) [the only two attesta-
tions in GPC], gloewdu (LlA 93), ymbell (LlA 94) [the only example in GPC with the meaning
stroll, with skilful and prudent, ingenuous, ready words, with a generous and
‘separate’], troelleid (LlA 93), klaerwynn (LlA 92), karueid (LlA 74), ardyrchauat (LlA 100,
bashful mind, with joined [?] long limbs, and she excelled in form all women of 94) [the only attestations in GPC, and note the collocation ‘ychydic ardyrchafat arnunt’
the world, and she was chaste, with a generous nature, and a virgin maiden, who [gwefusau]], flemychawldan (LlA 103), caboleit (LlA 94), kanneit (LlA 80, 91), kylchawcwyn
had never known a man.’ (LlA 94) [note the collocation ‘mynwgyl kylchawcwyn hirlwys’], gwedeidlun (LlA 94), to
which I can add: tremwalcheid (LlA 93), hirwynnyon (LlA 94), desdlusdlwys (LlA 93); note
the collocation gwastatlyfyn ehanglathyr (LlA 92).
The description of Polyxena in recension IA: For the text of ‘Pryt y Mab’ in Llyvyr Agkyr Llandewivrewi see Morris Jones/Rhǔs (1894: 92–
Polixena, gwreic hirwen, furueid, vynwgylhir, llygeit aduwyn, a gwallt melyn hir, 98), for Ymborth yr Enaid from Llanstephan 27 (dated by Huws (2000: 60) to saec. XIV XV)
ac aelodeu kyweir, a byssed hiryon, ac yskeired crynyon, a thraet llunyeid idi, yr see Daniel (1995), for discussions of the text see Daniel (1997) and, together with a translation
of ‘Pryt y Mab’, Davies (1996: 121–141).
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like two slivers of gleaming jet set in a huge surround of crystal or pearl, the
brightest possible, or like two slender plaits of fine black silk gleaming against two
sleeves of the most brilliant scarlet. And between both eyebrows there was a radi- Appendix II: The Descent from the Gods in Togail Troí
ant mark, like a bright pearl, shining at the centre of a mace of gleaming balsam in the Book of Leinster and Some Insular Parallels
wood. And then, beneath the eyelids, brilliant with different colours, as on the
eyebrows, there were two ruby-coloured eyes, red as pomegranate and like a The version of Togail Troí in the Book of Leinster begins with a description of
hawk’s eyes, from which there flowed the tears of tender love (karueidserch), like
the reign of Saturn, a descendent of Noah:
tiny drops of dew in the month of May, or tiny beads of quicksilver, and all be-
cause of his affectionate love (annwylserch garyat) towards his faithful creatures. Rogab rí uasal airegda ordnide rigi in domain .i. Satuirn mac Polluir meic Phic
(Davies 1996: 131–132) meic Phéil meic Trois meic Esrom meic Chaim meic Noe. (Stokes 1881: 1)
Unsurprisingly, the spiritual elements in this description of the divine child ‘A king, noble, peerless, renowned, gat the kingdom of the world, to wit, Saturn,
have no equivalents in Ystorya Daret’s description of Polyxena’s beauty. son of Pollor, son of Picus, son of Pelius, son of Tros, son of Misraim, son of
Ham, son of Noah.’ (Stokes 1881: 57)
Ymborth yr Enaid has been dated by Iestyn Daniel (1997: 11) to the period
between 1233 and 1282 (or more narrowly to c. 1240 to c. 1260). 66 In his One of Saturn’s sons is Jove, and from his sons Mercury and Dardanus the
view, ‘Pryt y Mab’ is “unlikely to be a translation of any original”, because of Greeks and Trojans respectively are said to be descended (see Stokes 1881: 2,
“the extensive use made in it of a distinctly native kind of rhetoric, consisting 58):
of the piling up of (mainly) compound adjectives, known as araith” (Daniel Bátar da rígain aconn Ioibsin .i. Maia 7 Electra. Ruc Maia mac dó .i. Mercúir.
1997: 5), but he allows for the possibility that it was informed by “texts of Ruc dana Electra mac eile .i. Dardán. Acus rogníd lethinacht [recte lethmacht]68
varying authorship, date, and provenance” (Daniel 1997: 15; see also Daniel mór fair, conid airesain rachúaid for deoraidecht i tír Frigia i n-iarthar na Assia
1995: xlvii), including the Scriptures, St Anselm, and the thirteenth-century bicce il-leth fri muir Torrian: conid andsain rabái dugres 7 a ṡil ‘na diaid. Rage-
poem Vita Beatae Virginis Mariae et Salvatoris Rhythmica. In his contextuali- nair mac amra on Dardánsain: is úadsaid ragenatar na Troianna. Erechtonius ainm
sation of araith Daniel also mentions Irish parallels: in meicsin. Mac dosaide Troos ó n-ainmnigter Troiannai. Mac dósaide Íliss athair
Lamedóin. Is laisede racumtaiged in Tróe artús. Ri Lamedóin immoro racumtaiged
Such use of adjectives [as in ‘Pryt y Mab’] is typical of the twelfth and thirteenth- iartain. [...] Is é seo turthiud bunaid na Troiana 7 a craeb choibniusa fri Grécaib
century [Welsh] Poets of the Princes, and their cumulative, ornamental use in .i. Mercuir mac Ioib brathair Dardain meic Ioib. Is uad ragenatar Gréic. O Dardán
prose constituted a type of rhetoric common to both Welsh and Irish literature and immoro ragenatar Troianai. (Stokes 1881: 1–2)
known in Welsh as araith. (Daniel 1997: 22)67
‘Two Queens had that Jove, to wit, Maia and Electra. Maia bare him a son, to wit,
The Irish version of this florid, rhetorical diction is characterised by a use of Mercury. Then Electra bare him another son, to wit, Dardanus, and on him great
doublets and triplets of (near-)synonyms and by alliteration. Since in ‘Pryt ... [injustice] was done: wherefore he went in exile into the land of Phrygia in the
east [recte west] of Lesser Asia, on the side towards the Tyrrhene sea, and there
y Mab’ this style is employed in a religious text, it is interesting to note that he abode continually, and his seed after him. A marvellous son was born of that
Hildegard Tristram (1995) has suggested that the origin of the florid style of Dardanus: from him the Trojans were descended. Erechthonius was the name of
Anglo-Saxon homiletic writing in the tenth and eleventh centuries and of that son. There was a son of his, Tros, from whom the Trojans are named. A son
medieval Irish religious tracts is to be found in the compositional techniques of of his, Ilus, father of Laomedon. By him was Troy first built. By Laomedon, how-
early Insular preaching and that in Ireland by means “of genre borrowing or ever, it was built afterwards. [...] This is an account of the origin of the Trojans
genre extension, this grandiloquent style later became characteristic of Irish and their branch of kinship to the Greeks: to wit, Mercury son of Jove, brother of
prose narrative down to the end of it in the seventeenth century” (Tristram Dardanus son of Jove, it is from him the Greeks were born: from Dardanus, how-
ever, were born the Trojans.’ (Stokes 1881: 57–58)
1995: 17).
With this descent of the Trojans from the gods and Noah, the Irish redactor
66) For an alternative ascription of the text to the early-fourteenth-century poet and grammarian appears to have tapped into a pool of genealogical lore which is also reflected
Dafydd Ddu of Hiraddug by Thomas Wiliems of Trefriw in 1596 see Gruffydd (1996: 26–27).
67) Daniel (1997: 28) also points out that an extensive use of araith “is one of the stylistic
characteristics of Peredur fab Efrog (Peredur son of Efrog), Geraint fab Erbin (Geraint son of
Erbin), and Breuddwyd Rhonabwy (The Dream of Rhonabwy).” For a collection of relevant 68) lethmacht (= lethsŘmacht ‘injustice, prejudiced rule’) is the reading of Best/O’Brien (1965:
phrases from these texts see Richards (1948: xx–xxii). 1063), already suggested by Stokes (1881: 169).
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in some Welsh and Norse sources.69 In Wales, the descents of Gruffudd ap ‘And a son of his was Saturnus, son of Cretus. And a son of his was Jove, son of
Cynan († 1137), Llywelyn ap Gruffudd († 1282), and Llewelyn ap Iorwerth († Saturnus. And he had two wives, namely Maia, daughter of the Greek king, and
1240) are traced through Brutus and Aeneas and through Dardanus, Jove, and Electra, daughter of the king of Africa. And from Maia he had a son, Mercurius,
son of Jove. And from him the Greek estate descend. And from Electra he had a
Saturn back to Adam and, in the cases of Gruffudd ap Cynan and Llywelyn ap son, Dardan, son of Jove. And because Jove loved Maia and her son more than he
Gruffydd, also to God.70 The list of descendents of Sem in Y Bibyl Ynghym- loved Electra and her son, Dardan was displeased, and he left that country and he
raec gives the same account of the descent of the Greeks and Trojans respec- conquered the land that he called Dardania from his own name. And a son of his
tively from Jove as Togail Troí in the Book of Leinster just quoted, and also a was Ericonius, son of Dardan. And a son of his was Tros, son of Ericonius. And
similar explanation for Dardanus’s exile: he built Troy and named it from his own name.’

A mab y hwnnw vv Saturnus vab Cretus. A mab y hwnnw vv Jupiter vab Satur- The Hauksbók version of the Norse Trójumanna saga begins with an account
nus. Ac y hwnnw y bu dwy wraged, nyt amgen, Maia, merch vrenhin Groec ac of a successful Cretan, Saturn, and of his three sons Jove, Neptun, and Pluto
Electra, merch vrenhin yr Affric. O’r Maia y bu vab ydaw, Mercurius vab Jupiter. (Louis-Jensen 1963: 1–3), “an account of classical mythology (in which classi-
Ac o hwnnw y disgynnawd etiuedyaeth Groec. Ac o’r Electra y bu vab ydaw Dar- cal gods are identified with their Norse counterparts) interpreted from a his-
dan vab Jupiter. Ac o achaws bot yn vwy y karei Iupiter Maia a’y mab noc Electra
a’y mab y sorres Dardan, ac yr edewis y wlat honno ac y gorysgynnawd y wlat a
torical and euhemeristic viewpoint” (Faulkes 1978–79: 108). Here, however,
henwis o’y henw ehun Dardania. A mab y hwnnw vv Ericonius vab Dardan. A the Trojan ruler Lamedon is not said to be descended from the gods, his ances-
mab y hwnnw vv Tros ap Ericonius. A hwnnw a edeilawd Troya, ac a’y henwis try remains undefined (Louis-Jensen 1963: 9). Faulkes (1978–79: 102) dis-
o’y henw ehun. (Jones 1940: 62–63) cusses the development of the idea of a descent from the gods in Old Norse
genealogical material, and he refers to a final stage “in versions of langfeðga-
69) For the Noachic genealogies for Saturn see also Myrick (1993: 164–185). Faulkes (1978–79: tal, in which the genealogy of Norwegian kings and Icelandic families is traced
103, 102) points out that “[t]he line from Priam [son of Laomedon] back to Celus father back [through Óðinn, Þórr, and Priam] to Noah and Adam”. One such version
of Saturn is also in some versions (particularly Irish ones) of Historia Brittonum” and that was produced by Haukur Erlendsson in Hauksbók. Faulkes (1978–79: 105)
“Priam’s descent from Saturn was quite well known in the middle ages, and appears for dates the development of such fully fledged Old Norse genealogies to the thir-
example in Honorius Augustodunensis, De imagine mundi III, and the first mythographer”.
teenth century.
Wolfram Keller kindly supplies me with the following genealogy of Priam from John Lydgate’s
Fall of Princes: “And as poetis recorde off hym [Priam] in deede, / He descendid of worthi Genealogies of British kings in versions of Historia Brittonum (some of them Irish
Dardanus, / Which, as his lyne declareth onto vs, / From Iubiter was lyneali come doun / Onto ones) and later Welsh lists provide the closest parallels to the Icelandic ones, in
his fader callid kyng Lamedoun” (Lydgate 1924: 167). A genealogical descent of Laomedon that they too include names associated with Troy and the names of classical gods
from Japhet is posited in the thirteenth-century French adaptations of Dares inserted into the
as well as being linked to Genesis [...], though it is difficult to believe that there is
Histoire ancienne jusqu’à César and the Chronique dite de Baudouin d’Avesnes (see Jung 1996:
359, 431); Jung (1996: 406) suggests that “[l]a lignée Dardanus – Erictonius – Tros est égale-
any direct link between these and Icelandic tradition. (Faulkes 1978–79: 106)
ment dans Eusèbe, mais on la trouve aussi dans le chapitre Origo Troianorum du Mythographe
The most economical explanation is probably a shared Insular pool of genea-
I [...]; ce chapitre est d’ailleurs transcrit dans un certain nombre de manuscrits de Darès et de
Virgile. La nouveauté de l’H[istoire] A[ncienne] est d’avoir rattaché les Troyens, à travers un logical traditions.
mythique Friga, au patriarche Japhet.”
70) Compare Thornton (1992), Evans (1977: 2), Russell (2005: 52, 54), and Bartrum (1966: 36–
39, 95). The genealogy of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in NLW 3036 (= Mostyn 117), dated to the
first part of the fourteenth century, occurs in the context of a text of Brut y Brenhinedd, see
Bartrum (1966: 38); in Exeter, Cathedral Library, MS 3514, it is “sandwiched between the so-
called ‘Genealogia ab Adam ad Cadwalladrum’ [...] and the ‘Genealogia Troianorum’ [...].
The former is a pseudo-genealogical summary of Historia Regum Britannie extended back Erich Poppe
through the alleged Trojan origins of the British eponym Brutus to biblical genealogy; the latter Philipps-Universität Marburg
relates Trojan genealogies in greater detail, also being taken back to Noah” (Thornton 1992: FG Vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft
10). The section of this manuscript containing Geoffrey, Dares, some Cambro-Latin chronicles,
Wilhelm-Röpke-Str. 6E
and Welsh and other genealogical material has been dated to the 1280s and associated with the
Cistercians, see Thornton (1992: 9). Wright (1988: lxxix, lxxxi, lxxxiii) mentions that three D–35032 Marburg
manuscripts of the First Variant version of Geoffrey’s Historia also contain a ‘Genealogia Tro- eMail:
ianorum’ and two of these additionally a ‘Genealogia ab Adam ad Cadwalladrum’, see also
Crick (1991: 43–44) and Thornton (1992: 10).
___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
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2009 Troja — Metamorphosen eines Mythos. Französische, englische und italienische
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(Europa im Mittelalter. Abhandlungen und Beiträge zur historischen Kompara-
tistik. 13.).
Wright, Neil
Die Beiträge zur Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft erscheinen zweimal jährlich mit
1988 The Historia Regum Britannie of Geoffrey of Monmouth. II. The First Variant
einem Gesamtumfang von mindestens 360 Seiten. Der Abonnementspreis beträgt zur
Version: A Critical Edition. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer.
Zeit EUR 81,00; das Einzelheft kostet EUR 45,50 (Luftpostzustellung für Afrika,
Würth, Stefanie Amerika, Asien und Australien auf Anfrage).
1992 “Intention oder Inkompetenz: Die Bearbeitungen der Trójumanna saga”. skan- Mitglieder des SGdS, der Henry Sweet Society und des Werkverband können die Bei-
dinavistik. zeitschrift für sprache, literatur und kultur der nordischen länder. 22: träge zu einem ermäßigten Sonderpreis beziehen.
Gültige Anzeigenpreisliste: 5/05.
1998 Der “Antikenroman” in der isländischen Literatur des Mittelalters. Eine Unter-
suchung zur Übersetzung und Rezeption latenischer Literatur im Norden. Basel,
Frankfurt: Helbing & Lichtenhahn Verlag. (Beiträge zur nordischen Philologie.
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