Early Modern Mythological Texts: Troia Britanica VI, Notes

Thomas Heywood. Troia Britanica (1609)

Notes to CANTO VI

Ed. Gaëlle Ginestet

Arg. 1

Joppen: The town of Joppen (whose name is taken from Caxton’s Recuyell), Joppe or Joppa is now Jaffa in Israel (see Pausanias, Description of Greece, IV, xxxv, 9; William Cuningham, The Cosmographical Glasse, 1559, fol. 194 and Philemon Holland, The History of the World, V, 13; IX, 5).

Pricus: The figure called Pricus by both Caxton and Heywood is Proetus, twin brother of Acrisius. Iliad, VI, 156; Apollodorus, Library, II, ii, 1.

Auria: F, Aurai. Auria in the early editions of Caxton’s Recuyell, Aurea in the 1607 edition and variously Auria and Aurea in the 1617 edition. In the classics, Proetus’ spouse is Anteia (Iliad, VI, 160; “the wife of Proetus, fair Anteia”, Fulgentius, Mythologies, III, i) or Antia (Hyginus, Astronomica, II, 18). She is sometimes called Stheneboea (e.g. Hyginus, Fabulae, 243: “Stheneboea, daughter of Iobas, and wife of Proetus, killed herself out of love for Bellerophon”).  Back to text


Arg. 2

Zeta: sixth letter of the Greek alphabet corresponding to the sixth canto. See note to canto I, arg. 2, “alpha.  Back to text



Gorgons: The Gorgons were assimilated to the Graeae, who were their sisters and/or their guardians. They shared a single eye and a single tooth between the three of them. Apollodorus, Library, II, iv, 2; Hyginus, Astronomica, II, 12; Ovid, Metamorphoses, IV, 772. See Canto V, stanzas 103-12.

obdure: harden. Back to text



2497: F, 1497. Misprint for Lanquet’s 2497. Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 22r. Heywood explains his system of double dating in Canto I: “The year of the lord above the line, the year before Christ under the line” (replaced here by a dash). The phrase, and the dates, are borrowed from Lanquet.

strook: struck.  Back to text



Busiris: The list of names in stanza 4 is taken from Lanquet’s Chronicle. “Busiris, the son of Neptune in Egypt, exercised his tyranny in sacrificing the blood of his innocent guests”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 22r. Apollodorus, Library, II, v, 11; Hyginus, Fabulae, 31; Diodorus Siculus, IV, xviii, 1.

Cadmus: Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 22v.

Romus: F, “Komos”. “Romus reigned in France”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 22v.  Back to text 

Belochus: “Belochus the younger, the 20th emperor of Assyria, reigned 25 years. He was called of the Hebrews, as Holy Writ testifieth, Chusan Reschataim; of Josephus, Chusartus. His daughter Actosa reigned with him 7 years”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 22v. 

Othoniel: “The first judge of Israel, of the tribe of Juda, surnamed Zenes, governed them 40 years. He delivered the children of Israel out of the hands of the king of Assyria”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 22v. Judges 3:7-11. Othoniel in Tyndale’s Bible and the Great Bible (1540), Othniel in the Geneva Bible and the King James Bible.  Back to text 

Rhadamant’: Rhadamanthus, son of Jupiter and Europa. “Rhadamanthus and Sarpedon, kings of Lycia”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 22v. See Diodorus Siculus, V, lxxix, 1 & 2.

Tyrrhenus: “Thyrrenus reigned among the Janigenes in Italy fifty and one years”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 22r. See Herodotus, Histories, I, 94. According to Herodotus (Histories, I, 94), Tyrrhenus (or Tyrsenius) left Lydia to settle in Italy in the land which took his name (Tyrrhenia). The Janigenes are Janus’ descendants, the first inhabitants of Italy. The story of Tyrrhenus —called Turrhenus—was to be found in Myrsilus’ De Origine Turrhenorum et Italiae, in Giovanni Nanni’s collection, from its first edition in 1498.  Back to text

Triton: “Testalibius Triton in Spain reigned”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 23r.

Liber Pater: an ancient Italian divinity presiding over wine and fields. “Liber Pater warred in India, in whose army were women called Bacchae, rather for their fury, than for any virtue”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 22v. See Hyginus, Fabulae, 129-32. 

Nymphodorus: Nymphodorus of Syracuse, a Greek historian (also mentioned in Canto V, in a marginalia to Heywood’s endnotes). Conti, VII, xii: “Nymphodorus (in the third book of his histories) and Theopompus (in his seventh book) recorded the opinion of those who claimed that the Gorgons had real snake heads rather than coils of scaly snakes curled up on human heads. These sources also said that they had boar teeth, an eye in common, hands like iron, and wings to fly with”. Conti’s editors refer to FGrH (Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker), 3B 572 fr. 17; 2B 1156 fr. 411.

Theopompus: from Conti, VII, xii. Theopompus of Colophon. Greek historian and rhetorician, also mentioned in Canto V. See note on Nymphodorus, above. Back to text



stanzas 6-16: Heywood follows Ovid, Metamorphoses IV, 614-83, with occasional departures from the original or, conversely, almost literal translations. See examples provided in the notes to the relevant stanzas.

lines 3-4: Heywood follows Ovid, Metamorphoses IV, 618-19.  Back to text



the Ram, the Fishes: the Bears and the Crab in OvidMetamorphoses IV, 625.  Back to text



slecks: slakes, cools (here by means of water).

fiery car: Heywood translates OvidMetamorphoses IV, 629-30: “ignes … currus … diurnos” [“the fiery car of day”, tr. Frank Justus Miller].

lines 7-8: Heywood follows Ovid, Metamorphoses IV, 640-41. Back to text



Aurea mala: Latin, “golden apples”.



skene: an Irish knife, or dagger.  Back to text

Cepheus: king of Ethiopia, husband of Cassiopeia and father of Andromeda (Apollodorus, III, i, 4).



for her mother’s guilt: see stanza 17.  Back to text 

Amon: F, Hammon. One of the epithets of Jupiter, equated with the Egyptian Amun (Hyginus, Astronomica, II, 20). Heywood follows Caxton who writes that Andromeda was condemned “for the crime of her mother and by [Amon’s] sentence” (chapter “How perseus vaynquysshid the monstre of the see. And exposid hym self agayn hym for the loue of Andromeda etc.”). 

airy: lofty, celestial.

lines 4-8: Heywood translates OvidMetamorphoses IV, 673-75: “nisi quod levis aura capillos / moverat et tepido manabant lumina fletu, / marmoreum ratus esset opus” [“save that her hair gently stirred in the breeze, and the warm tears were trickling down her cheeks, he would have thought her a marble statue”, tr. FJ Miller].  Back to text



flaggy: drooping.



stanzas 15 (line 8) & 16 (lines 1-6): Heywood translates OvidMetamorphoses IV, 678-83: “‘o’ dixit, ‘non istis digna catenis, / sed quibus inter se cupidi junguntur amantes, / pande requirenti nomen terraeque tuumque, / et cur vincla geras’. … manibusque modestos / celasset vultus, si non religata fuisset” [“‘Oh! those are not the chains you deserve to wear, but rather those that link fond lovers together! Tell me, for I would know, your country’s name and yours, and why you are chained here’. … she would have hidden her face modestly with her hands but that her hands were bound” tr. FJ Miller].  Back to text



Cassiope: F, Casseipe. Cassiopeia, Cepheus’ wife and Andromeda’s mother. Ovid, Metamorphoses IV, 669-739; Hyginus, Fabulae, 64; Apollodorus, Library, II, iv, 3. 

Ctesias of Cnidus: a Greek doctor and historian from the fifth century BC. He wrote the Persica. The reference is taken from Natale Conti, Mythologia, VII, xviii, “On Perseus”. 

Aratus of Soli: a Greek poet from the third century BC, author of the Phaenomena, a poem describing the constellations. Heywood may have found the reference in Conti’s Mythologia, VIII, vi, “On Nereus and the Nereids”, or in Micyllus’ edition of Hyginus, where Aratus was also published, together with other mythographic treatises. See “Heywood’s Library”, forthcoming. 



stanzas 18, 19 and 20 (line 2): Heywood follows OvidMetamorphoses IV, 688-705.  Back to text



troth-plight: promised, betrothed. Caxton, Recuyell: Phineus prays for Perseus’ death since he has “fianced and trothplight” Andromeda.  Back to text



Phineus: These two lines (3-4) are not in Ovid. In Caxton’s Recuyell, Phineas prays for his death.



stanzas 21-26: Heywood follows and expands Ovid, Metamorphoses IV, 706-36.

danced: F, danc’st.

falchion: a broad sword.  Back to text



spangles: the monster’s scales are suggestive of spangles. 

talent: obsolete form of talon. 

sere: claw, talon.

tire: tearing at flesh in feeding, a term used in falconry and for birds of prey.

roll: F, rowl. Refers to the snake’s curves.  Back to text



souses: swoops down.

possessing: controlling, dominating.  Back to text



supplies: fills.

chaps: jaws.

harpe: Perseus’ weapon, a curved sword.  OvidMetamorphoses V, 175, “harpe”.  Back to text



drownds: archaic for “drown”.  Back to text



plausive: applauding. Heywood translates OvidMetamorphoses IV, 735: “cum plausu clamor” [“with wild shouts of applause”, tr. FJ Miller].  Back to text



Phemonoe: F, Pheamone. All the names in this stanza are taken from Lanquet’s Chronicle. “It is written that in Pythia, the first prophetess was Phemonoe, who in hexametrum verses sang such things as were to chance”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 23r.

Cadmus: “Cadmus taught the rude Greeks their letters, and reigned in Thebes”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 23r. Cadmus, the founder of Thebes, is said to have brought the Phoenician alphabet to the Greeks. Herodotus, Histories, V, lviii, 1; Diodorus Siculus, V, lxxiv, 1. Back to text 

Cecrops: “Cecrops, the second of that name, king of Athens, reigned 40 years”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 23v. Apollodorus, III, xv, 5.

Romus: F, Rhomnos. Not to be mistaken for one of the alleged founders of Rome. Romus is a legendary king of Spain: Rhomus governed the Spaniards”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 23v; “Romus, the twentieth king that governed in Spain; he reigned three and thirty years”, Lodowick Lloyd, The Consent of Time, 1599, “Of the Antiquity of Spain”, II, 20.  Back to text

Pontific: pontifical. King Romus is supposed to have founded Valencia in Spain. The first pope from the Borgia family, Alexander VI, was born in Valencia. The foundation of Valencia by Romus is referred to in Giovanni Nanni’s Antiquitatum Variorum volumina XVII (Paris: Jean Petit and Josse Bade, 1515), Book XII (“De Hispanis”), chapter 23 (“De xx Hispaniae Romo”, Of Romo, twentieth king of Spain), fol. xcr. Back to text

Ramses: F, Ranses. Ramses II. “Ramses, king of Egypt, reigned 66 years”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 23v.

Achaeus: F, Achaio. He is at the origin of the race of the Acheans, who gave his name to the city of Achaia. “Achaia was builded by Achaio”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 23r.

Minotaur: the monstrous creature, half human, half bull, living in the Cretan Labyrinth designed by Dedalus. “A most cruel war was between the Cretans and Athenians, to the destruction of them both, but the Cretans, being conquerors, used their victory extremely: for they decreed, that all the noble men’s children of Athens should be devoured by the Minotaur”, Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle (Apr. 1565), fol. 23v-24r.  Back to text



Joppen: see note to Arg1. Back to text



the loud sound of nuptial musicHeywood translates OvidMetamorphoses V, 3-4: “conjugialia festa / qui canat est clamor” [“the loud sound that sings a song of marriage”, tr. FJ Miller]. Back to text



oaken spear: “fraxineam … hastam” [“an ashen spear”, tr. FJ Miller]. Ovid, Metamorphoses V, 9. 

phere: var. of “fere”, companion.  

lines 3-4Heywood translates OvidMetamorphoses V, 10: “en adsum praereptae conjugis ultor” [”behold, here am I, come to avenge the theft of my bride”, tr. FJ Miller]Back to text



stanzas 32 (lines 6-8) & 33 (lines 1-2): Heywood translates OvidMetamorphoses V, 12-14: conanti mittere Cepheus / ‘quid facis?’ exclamat, ‘quae te, germane, furentem / Mens agit in facinus?’” [“As he was in the act of hurling his spear, Cepheus cried out: ‘What are you doing, brother? What mad folly is driving you to crime?’”, tr. FJ Miller]. Back to text 



mads: maddens. Back to text



bands: marriage bonds.

line 4patruus sponsusve” [“uncle and promised husband”, tr. FJ Miller]. Ovid, Metamorphoses V, 23. Back to text



last two lines: Heywood follows OvidMetamorphoses V, 30-31.  Back to text



preaseth: archaic form of “presseth”.  Back to text



line 5: “vultus avertite vestros, / si quis amicus adest” [“turn away your faces, if any friends be here”, tr. FJ Miller]. Ovid, Metamorphoses V, 179-80.  Back to text

surquedry (or surquidry): arrogance.



sevenfold Nile: Nileus. Heywood translates OvidMetamorphoses V, 187-88: “Nileus, qui se genitum septemplice Nilo / ementitus erat” [“Nileus, who falsely claimed that he was sprung from the sevenfold Nile”, tr. FJ Miller].

Jove-starred: born under Jupiter’s influence and protection.  Back to text



noble: F, ”Moble”.

Eryx: one of Phineus’ followers. OvidMetamorphoses V, 195-99.  Back to text



lines 1-4: Heywood translates OvidMetamorphoses V, 209-10, but reversing the order of the lines: “Gorgone bis centum riguerunt corpora visa. / Paenitet injusti tum denique Phinea belli” [“two hundred saw the Gorgon and turned to stone. But now at last Phineus repents him of this unrighteous strife”, tr. FJ Miller].  

teen: wrath, rage.  Back to text



screwed: twisted round, looking backwards in his flight.



stanzas 44 (lines 7-8) & 45 (lines 1-4): Heywood follows OvidMetamorphoses V, 230-35.  Back to text



retorted: bent backwards.  Back to text



regreets: an exchange of greetings.

palped: tangible.  Back to text



Shamgar: Judges, 3:31 and 5:6. “Shamgar, the third judge of Israel, with an ox goad slew 600 Philistines, and delivered Israel; he reigned but one year” (Thomas Lanquet, Coopers Chronicle [Apr. 1565], fol. 28v).  Back to text 



Saturn’s son: Jove. Heywood picks up again the thread he had been pursuing in Canto V, 1-50.

Troos: Tros, king of Troy.  Back to text



The league ’twixt England and Spain: see stanza 51. 

our great England’s Jove: King James I. 

termine: limited time or period.  Back to text 



Troos: see stanza 48.

Ilion: Ilus [1] and Ilium (Troy) [2].  Back to text



The lofty Spaniard, The warlike constable: Juan Fernández de Velasco Frías, fifth duke of Frías, constable of Castile (c. 1550-1613), took part in the negotiations leading to the peace treaty signed in London on August 16, 1604. 

England’s Admiral: Charles Howard, first Earl of Nottingham. Back to text



Palladium: a wooden image of Minerva (Pallas), which the goddess dropped down from the sky. It was said that Troy could not fall as long as the Palladium was kept safe in a temple.

placed: F, plac’st.

razed: F, rac’st. Back to text

Laomedon: king of Troy, father of Hesione. He asked for the help of Neptune and Apollo to build new walls around Troy and then refused to settle his debt. In revenge, Neptune sent a sea-monster to Troy and Apollo a pestilence (Hyginus, Fabulae, 89; Apollodorus, II, v, 9). Heywood follows Caxton and Le Fèvre who write that Neptune also flooded the city.

The sons of Danae: According to Le Fèvre and Caxton, Danae had another child after Perseus, Danus, by King Pilonnus who had married her in spite of her misadventure with Jupiter. The story comes from Boccaccio, Genealogia, XII, lvii-lviii. Back to text



55: F, 54.

in: F, and.

Abas: son of Lynceus and Hypermnestra, one of the 50 Danaides. 

the sole remain of fifty: Lynceus’ 49 brothers were killed by their wives, the 49 other Danaides. Back to text 



precise: rigorously religious. Back to text



indenture: contract. 

stead: be advantageous to. Back to text 



Chimera: F, Chimere. Back to text



his: Chimera is male.

mail: F, male. 

drad: dread (a cause of dread).

chievre: archaic French word for goat (today spelt “chèvre”). Heywood is here following Caxton who followed Le Fèvre. “The poets write that this Chimere had the head of a lion, womb of a chievre and tail of a serpent”, Caxton, The Recuyell of The Historyes of Troye, chap. “How Perseus torned the kynge athlas in to a stone And how the quene auria wyf of kynge pricus wax amerous of the knyght belleforon that reffused her. wherof after he had moche payne”. Back to text 



he: Bellerophon, answering Perseus. Back to text



Why should… such rank smell?: a series of commonplaces which may also be found, for example, in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 94: “Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds”, or in Titus Andronicus:

Coal-black is better than another hue

In that it scorns to bear another hue;

For all the water in the ocean

Can never turn the swan's black legs to white,

Although she lave them hourly in the flood. (IV.ii.98-102)

See also Tilley L297, “The lily is fair in show but foul in smell”.

cates: victuals. Back to text



next the sweetest flower, the nettle grows: see Tilley L297, “The lily is fair in show but foul in smell”, or Shakespeare, Henry V:

The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,

And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best

Neighboured by fruit of baser quality. (I.i.61-63)

rover: pirate. Back to text 



Woe to the man: The lines “Oh woman! … Woe to the man…” may originate from the folk etymology explaining that the word “woman” means “woe to man”. See Tilley W656, “Woman is the woe of man”. Back to text



she: Andromeda 

he: Bellorophon starts speaking again. Back to text 



spouse-breach: intended adultery.  

booted not: was of no use. Back to text



She: Aurea.

spial: spying. Back to text



Darrain: see Canto V, stanzas 33, 55-57.

Polymnia: F, Polimnia. Herodotus, in his Histories (Book VII, “Polymnia”), only mentions one son, Perses. 

Sthenelus: F, “Scelenus”.

Bachmon and Demon: probably originates in a misreading of Raoul Le Fèvre’s Recueil des histoires troiennes. Le Fèvre listed “Stelenus, Bacedemon, Ericteus et Gorgophon”. Caxton split Bacedemon into “blache Demon”, which Heywood changed into “Bachmon” and “Demon”. In stanza 83, Demon disappears from the list of Perseus’ children. Back to text

Erictreus: Heywood takes this name letter for letter from Caxton. It might be a corruption of Electryon, who was indeed one of Perseus’ sons, or Eurystheus, who was his grandson (son of Sthenelus).

Gorgophon: “In Argos, by the side of this monument of the Gorgon, is the grave of Gorgophone (Gorgon-killer), the daughter of Perseus. … . On the death of her husband, Perieres, the son of Aeolus, whom she married when a virgin, she married Oebalus, being the first woman, they say, to marry a second time; for before this wives were wont, on the death of their husbands, to live as widows” (Pausanias, II, xxi, 7). Heywood draws the reference to Pausanias from Natale Conti, Mythologia, VII, xviii: “De Perseo”. Back to text



Corinthiacis: Pausanias mentions Gorgophone three times, including once in Book II, which opens with the description of Corinth.

hinder: later (since Gorgophone). Back to text



preaseth: see above, stanza 36. 

riotise: riotousness. Back to text



Mycenae: F, Mecenes. 

Theseus in rebus Corinthiacis: Heywood repeats Natale Conti, Mythologia, VI, xviii: “Theseus [sic for Pausanias] in rebus Corinthiacis memoriae prodidit Perseum Argos reversum cum parricidium magnae sibi infamiae duceret esse petiisse a Praeto ut regnum commutaret, qua re impetrata urbem condidit, quam Mycaenas nominavit” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 533). [“In his description of Corinth, Theseus (sic for Pausanias) entrusted it to memory that Perseus thought that a parricide would bring him great shame on returning to Argos; he asked Praetus to exchange kingdoms with him, and when this was granted, founded a city which he called Mycenea”] The reference, in fact, is to Pausanias II, xvi, 3-4.

Liber Pater: see above, stanza 4. Back to text



Bachmon, Pontific, etc.: see above, stanza 76. Back to text



Alcaeus: Alcaeus was one of Perseus and Andromeda’s sons. See Apollodorus II, iv, 5.

Electryon: Electryon was one of Perseus and Andromeda’s sons. See Pausanias II, xxv, 9; Apollodorus II, iv, 5. 

Boccac’: F, Bochas. Boccaccio, Genealogia, XII, xxvii: “De Electrione Gorgophonis filio, qui genuit Alcmenam”. Back to text 



stay: F, slay. Prevent the birth of.

Galanthis’ smile: Juno was trying to prevent the birth of Hercules, Jupiter’s bastard son by Alcmena. Thus, she was clasping her hands when Galanthis, Alcmena’s servant, guessed what was happening. Galanthis told Juno that Alcmena had given birth, which made her unclasp her hands and prompted Hercules’ birth. Galanthis mocked Lucina (the goddess of childbirth), who turned her into a weasel (Ovid, Metamorphoses IX, 306-23). Back to text 



Ypicleus: F, Ypectens. Printer’s misreading of Ypicleus (Caxton, Recuyell). Ypectens (Ypicleus) is called Iphicles in the classical texts. Iphicles is Hercules’ brother, younger by a night. They had the same mother, Alcmena, but a different father: Iphicles was Amphitrion’s son, and Hercules Jupiter’s. Juno was so enraged at Hercules’ birth that she sought vengeance by sending two snakes in the twins’ bedroom. Iphicles was frightened when he saw the two beasts, but Hercules was not, and strangled them. See Theocritus’ Idyll 24. Back to text



Eristheus: F, Eristeus, Caxton’s spelling: in the Recuyell, Amphytrion refuses to bring up Hercules and entrusts the baby to king Eristheus, who adopts him: “Eristeus emprised to keep and nourish Hercules”.

taught: brought up.

Megera: thus in Caxton. The classical form is Megara. The daughter of the king of Thebes, Creon. In Caxton’s Recuyell, Hercules fell in love with her when he competed at the Olympic Games.

Cacus: from Caxton’s Recuyell, which tells “How Hercules assailed the king Cacus and had bataille [battle] against him”. Back to text

Achelous: from Caxton’s Recuyell, “How Hercules began to wax amorous of Deianira. And how Achelous and Hercules had bataille [battle] that one against that other and how Achelous was vanquished”.

Deianira: In Caxton’s Recuyell, Deianira sends Hercules a letter, reproaching him with his love for Iole and putting him to shame for being “made woman living in the lap of a woman”. Le Fèvre’s and Caxton’s texts are full of echoes of Ovid’s Heroides IX, which Heywood may be drawing on for the episode of Hercules’ spinning, which is not in Caxton. Back to text

Iole: In classical texts, Iole is Eurystus’ daughter. In Caxton’s Recuyell, she is not Cacus’ daughter, but Pricus’. Cacus married Iole’s three sisters before being killed by Hercules. Back to text



rub: obstacle, impediment. See Hamlet III.i.66-67: “To die, to sleep. / To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rub”. 

a common sale: set, expose to common sale, i.e. make available to common knowledge, like a printed book that is widely circulated.

reave: strip, rob.

more allied: of better quality, corresponds to the French “de meilleur aloi”. Back to text



dispurvey: strip, empty.

vestry: “treasure-house”.

Herodotus: In the chapter on Neptune (Mythologia II, viii), Natale Conti tells the story of Laomedon’s ingratitude towards Apollo and Neptune, with an additional note: “At Herodotus non verum esse inquit quod Laomedonti Neptunus et Apollo servierint, sed datum esse locum fabulae, quia pecuniam Neptuni et Apollinis sacrificiis dicatam Laomedon ad extruenda moenia civitatis converterit”. (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 110) [“But Herodotus says that it is not true that Neptune and Apollo served Laomedon, but that the occasion of this fable was given by Laomedon’s diverting money from sacrifices to Neptune and Apollo to spend it instead to build the walls of Troy”] It is probable that Heywood is referring to this passage in Natale Conti, which comes from Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, Herodotus, 31, Fr.28. Back to text



barbèd: equipped with a barb, a covering for the breast or flanks of a war-horse. Back to text



pointed: appointed. Back to text



beck: sign of command, as in “to be at someone’s beck”.  

stem: period, season. Back to text 



returned: replied. Back to text



Hesione: daughter of Laomedon. Because her father did not keep his promise to Neptune and Apollo, she was condemned to be devoured by a sea-monster sent by Neptune. Hercules set her free (Ovid, Metamorphoses, XI, 194-220). See Caxton’s Recuyell. See also entry in our online Dictionary. 

hood-winked: blindfolded. 

hood-winked goddess: Fortune. Back to text 



hulky: massive.

the pride of Greece: the Argonauts, on their way to conquer the Golden Fleece, Hercules being one of them. Back to text



barbèd: see stanza 91. 

meed: reward. Back to text 



Larisse: Larissa, a town of Thessalia. 

Tenedos: an island in the Aegean Sea. Back to text 



Philoctetes: F, Philicteles. A renowned archer and bearer of Hercules’ bow and arrows, which were necessary to the taking of Troy. He is called Phylotes in Caxton’s Recuyell. 

Eristheus: Heywood corrects Caxton’s spelling, which he had reproduced in stanza 87.

Asia’s pride: Troy. Back to text 



but seld: rarely, seldom.

insudate: laborious (the example given in OED is this very passage). Back to text 



Pergusa: a lake in Sicily.

bongrace: a strip of cloth overhanging the front of a woman’s bonnet, like a veil, to shade her face from the sun (this line is quoted in OED). Back to text 



106: F, 105.

chaplets: “a chapelet of flowers” in Caxton (who translates Raoul Le Fèvre’s “chappelet de flourettes”). Back to text



107: F, 106 

yerks: whips. Back to text



108: F, 107. 

jetty: black as jet.

mace: a staff or club. Back to text



109: F, 108. Back to text



110: F, 100.

digest: F, disgest: consider. Back to text


[Heywood’s Endnotes to Canto VI]

Apollodorus Atheniensis, Lib. 2, Melanthes Lib. De Mysteriis: See note to Pemphrado, canto V.

conster: construe. Back to text

St Augustine: The monster’s bone is mentioned not by Augustine, but by Juan Luis Vives, in his Commentary on the City of God, XVIII, xiii: “Belluae cui dicebant exposita fuisse Andromeda ossa Romae apportata ex oppido Iudaeae Ioppe ostendit inter reliqua miracula aedilitate sua M. Scaurus, longitudine pedum xl altitudine costarum Indicos elephantes excedente, spinae crassitudine sesquipedali”, in Augustine, De Civitate Dei (Basel: Ambrose and Aurelius Froben, 1570, col. 1039). [“The bones of the monster to which Andromeda is said to have been exposed were brought from the city of Joppe in Judea; during his mandate as an edile, M. Scaurus exhibited them among other wondrous remains; they were 40 feet longer in height than the rib of an Indian elephant and the backbone was a foot and a half thick”] Back to text

Chimera: F, Chimere.

Joshua: F, Josuah. In a battle against the Amorites, Joshua asked God to stay the sun until the Hebrews could defeat their enemies: Joshua 10:12-13.

Galanthis: Ovid, Metamorphoses IX, 306-23. Back to text

Paean: Usually called Poeas today. The form Paean, current in the 16th and early 17th centuries, was to be found in Cooper’s Thesaurus, in which Philoctetes is defined as “the son of Paean”.

Hezekiah: F, Zedekiah. Back to text

Hesiodus: Hesiod gives the names of the fifty daughters of Nereus in his Theogony, 240-64. Ligea is not among them. Heywood is in fact quoting Conti, Mythologia, VIII, vi, “De Nereo et Nereidibus”: “Suscepit filias Nereus è Doride nympha Haliam, Spio, Pasithoen et Ligean”, a sentence followed by a quotation from Hesiodus (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 553). [”Of Nereus and the Nereides”: “With the nymph Doris, Nereus had daughters named Halia, Spio, Pasithoe and Ligea”]

Apollodorus: Apollodorus gives the names of the Nereids in his Library, I, ii, 7. Back to text

Apollodorus Atheniensis: Heywood’s source is not Apollodorus’ Library, III, 12, 3, where the names of Laomedon’s daughters are “Hesione, Cilla, and Astyoche”. In fact, Heywood cites Conti, Mythologia, II, viii, “De Neptuno”: “filiam Hesionem quam unice amabat, ac multo magis quam vel Aethasam vel Astyochen vel Medicasten quas caeteras filias habebat, ceto esyonere jussus est ab oraculo Laomedon” (Venice: Comin da Trino, 1581, p. 110). [“Laomedon was ordered by an oracle to expose to a sea monster his daughter Hesione, whom he particularly loved, and much more than either Aesthasa or Astyoche, or Medicast, his other daughters”]. Back to text


Back to Canto VI (1-50 & 51-110)


How to cite:

Gaëlle Ginestet, ed., 2012.  Troia Britanica Canto VI, Notes (1609).  In A Dictionary of Shakespeare’s Classical Mythology: A Textual Companion, ed. Yves Peyré (2009-).


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