Early Modern Mythological Texts: Troia Britanica XVI, Notes2

Thomas Heywood. Troia Britanica (1609)

Notes to CANTO XVI (stanzas 41-70)

Ed. Nick MYERS


comedian Roscius: comedian here should be understood as simply “actor”. So great was his skill that his name became synonymous with the art of acting. He was close to both Sulla and Cicero, who states in 62 BCE that he had recently died. His fame was great in Renaissance England. In An Apology for Actors(London: Nicholas Okes, 1612), Heywood recalls that “the eloquent orator and excellent statesman of Rome, Marcus Cicero, for his [Roscius’] elegant prononciation and formal gesture called [him] his jewell. [...] So great was the fame of this Roscius and so good his estimation that learned Cato made a question whether Cicero could write better than Roscius could speak and act or Roscius speak and act better than Cicero write” (sig. E2r-v). See Cicero, Pro Quinctio Roscio Comoedo in Orations, translated by J. H. Freese (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1930). In “The Palmer’s Tale of Francesco”, Robert Greene has Cicero and Roscius debate on the relative merits of actor and writer: Greenes never too late, or a Powder of Experience (London: N[icholas] L[ing] and John Busbie, 1590), sigs. B4v-C1r. Back to text

Tenancius: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 3921/42, fol. 87r: “Theomantius, the son of Lud and nephew to Cassivelan, succeeded in the realm of Britain and reigned quietly 23 years”. Lanquet gives the same name as Polydore Vergil (p. 28), repeated in Stow (Annals, p. 23). Heywood here adopts a form of the name deriving from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia, where it is written Tenuancius or Tenuantius in different mss. and printed “Tennancius” in 1508 and 1517 eds., fol. 30r. It is Tenuantius in Flores Historiarum (p. 81), Tenancius in Hardyng’s Chronicle (fol. 38v), Tenantius in Spenser’s Faerie Queene, II, x, 50. Fabyan calls him “Temancius or Tennancius” (III, 52, fol. 18v), Grafton “Theomancius, or rather Tenantius” (Chronicle at large, p. 70) and Holinshed “Theomantius or Tenantius” (1577, I, 5.45, p. 45). Geoffrey claims that he insisted that the law be respected in its full rigour (“qui vigorem et rigorem justiciae colebat”, 1508, fol. 30r). Back to text



Virgil and Horace: following Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 3941/22, fol. 89r: “Virgil and Horace, most famous poets, in this time flourished”.

Jesus Fabetes’ son: F, Jesus Sabetes’ son, modelled on Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 3934/39, fol. 88v: “Jesus the son of Sabetes was high priest of the Jews”. Jesus son of Phabet, otherwise known as Jesus son of Fabus was high priest from 30 to 23 BCE. In the history of transmission, an initial “f” read as a long “s” may account for the unusual form of the name. Back to text

Herod: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle covers his reign from 3927/36, fol. 88r to 3959/4, fol. 89v.

A general peace is through the world debated: an allusion to the coming birth of Christ and at the same time to the pax romana which Octavius, soon to become Augustus, was also announcing in Antony and Cleopatra (IV.vi.4) when he prophesied that “The time of universal peace is near”. In Augustus’ time, John Hardyng wrote, “was both peace and concord / Through all the world, and born was Christ our Lord”, Chronicle, fol. 38v. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle expresses the same fol. 90r: “When Caesar Augustus, by the will of God, had established most sure peace through the world, our redeemer Jesus Christ, very God and man, upon whom peace waited, was born”. Back to text

Cymbelinus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 3944/19, fol. 89r: “Cymbelinus, the son of Theomantius, reigned king of Britain 35 years. Of him there is no notable thing written but that in his reign our Saviour Jesus Christ, the very light of the world, was born of the Virgin Mary”. Lanquet translates Polydore Vergil’s remark that “nihil habeo memoratu dignum referre, nisi quod tum demum lux vera illuxit terris, quando Cinbellino regnante, Iesus Christus Maria virgine ortus est” (p. 28). Cymbeline is said by Geoffrey of Monmouth to have been a warrior, who belonged to the household of Augustus, and who was on very good terms with the Romans.

wreath of thorn: see Matthew, 27: 29. Back to text



The year of Christ under the line: Heywood indicates here that the chronology now moves forward from the birth of Christ onwards. Back to text

Hortensius: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 3959/4, fol. 89v: “There flourished about this time in Rome many learned men as Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Sallust, Livius, Hortensius, Antenodorus [Athenodorus], with many other”. The orator and consul, and associate of Cicero, Quintus Hortalus Hortensius only corresponds very loosely to this dating. Born 114 BCE, he died 49 BCE. Heywood chose to ignore Athenodorus Cananites.

Guiderius: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 3978/17, fol. 93v: “Guiderius, the first son of Cymbeline, began his reign over the Britons and reigned about 28 years. This man was valiant, hardy, wealthy, and trusted much in his strength. And for he thought the Romans had their tribute wrongfully, he therefore, of great courage, denied to pay tribute, for which cause Claudius the fifth emperor came into Britain with a great power to claim again the payment thereof”. Geoffrey of Monmouth relates that in the ensuing battle, he was cut down by Claudius’s chief-of-staff, Hamo, who had managed to draw near to him by disguising himself in the armour of the Britons (1508, fol. 30v). Heywood reports the episode in The Life of Merlin, sig. d r-v. Back to text

Sejanus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 3985/24, fol. 95r: “Sejanus, whom Tiberius had advanced to high dignity in the city of Rome, by avoutry corrupted Junia, the wife of Drusus, Tiberius’ son, and caused her to poison her husband, hoping by that means at length to obtain the imperial authority, to which the said Drusus was next and rightful heir. But this Sejanus being cast out of the emperor’s favour for sorrow thereof slew himself”. Lucius Aelius Sejanus’ date of birth is uncertain, but he died in 31 after Christ’s birth. As Tiberius’s right-hand man and commander of the imperial guard, he gradually accumulated power rivalling that of the emperor himself, eliminating all his enemies and virtually ruling over Rome in lieu of Tiberius, who had facilitated this by retiring to Capri in 26 after Christ’s birth. Warned of Sejanus’s overweening power, Tiberius had him arrested and executed. See Ben Jonson’s Sejanus His Fall (1603).

Tiberius: Tiberius Iulius Caesar Augustus, emperor of Rome. 42 BCE to 37 CE. Back to text

the text: the Bible/Scripture. 

John Baptist: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 3991/30, fols. 95v-96r: “The holy man John the Baptist, being sent of God as a messenger or tidings bringer of our health and salvation, began to prepare the way against the coming of Christ”. The four Gospels agree in seeing John the Baptist as the forerunner of Jesus Christ, the prophet who announces his arrival. The son of the priest Zacharias, born at the time of Herod the Great (there is no precise dating for him), he was arrested by order of Herod Antipas (v.s.), who was worried by his growing influence. Because he had denounced Herod’s liaison with his brother’s wife, Herodiade, as being both scandalous and contrary to Mosaic law, the latter demanded, and obtained, his head. Herod is said to have always regretted having ordered the decapitation of a man he considered pious and saintly.

Pilate: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 3994/33, fol. 96r-v, gives an account of Christ’s crucifixtion. Pontius Pilatus was prefect of Judea, 26 to 36 after Christ’s birth. There is no reliable account of his role in the trial of Christ, with conflicting biblical evidence. Back to text



Arviragus: Also spelt Arvirargus. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4006/45, fols. 98-99r: “Arviragus, the youngest son of Cymbeline, and brother to Guiderius, was ordained king of Britain. Claudius the emperor, after divers haps of battle, took king Arviragus to his grace, and for so much as he perceived him to be a valiant prince, in token of friendship—as the English chronicles testify—gave to him his daughter in marriage, named Genissa”. Geoffrey of Monmouth says that she was called Genuissa (mss.)—Gennissa (1508 and 1517, fol. 31r) and in Polydore Virgil (p.31)—and claims that Arvirargus was besotted with her. To honour the success of their marriage, legend has it that the Roman emperor and Arvirargus decided to build the town of Gloucester. Having thus established an ally favourable to Rome, Claudius returned home. See Spenser, Faerie Queene, II, x, 52. Back to text

Claudius: F, Clodius.

Jewry’s king: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4007/46, fol. 99r: “Agrippa, who was also called Herod, as he was celebrating a solemn feast in honour of Caesar, for the pleasantness of his speech was named of the common people a god, and divine honours given to him; he was immediately stricken with wormy sickness, whereof he died miserably within the space of 5 days, paying worthy punishment for depriving God of his honour and persecuting Christ in his apostles”.  Marcus Julius Agrippa, also known as Herod in Acts of the Apostles. He lived 10 BCE to 44 after Christ’s birth. Grandson of Herod the Great. For the manner of his death, of uncertain historical status, see Acts 12: 21-23. Back to text

Senec’: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4012/51, fol. 100r: “The great and wise philosopher Seneca flourished”. Lucius Annaeus Seneca, better known as Seneca the Younger. Born between 4 BCE and 1 CE, he committed suicide in 65 CE. A philosopher, moralist and tragedian, his tragedies famously exercised an influence over the first generation of Elizabethan dramatists, including Kyd, Marlowe, Shakespeare and Jonson.

Simon Magus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4011/50, fol. 99v: “Simon Magus was of so great estimation in Rome that images were erected to him as to a god”. He is known as a trafficker in relics and holy objects, from whom the word “simony” derives. See Acts, 8: 9-24.

Nero: After expatiating in detail on Nero’s assumed vices, Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4017/56, fols. 100v-101r, reports that “He commanded the city of Rome to be set on fire, and himself in the mean season, with all semblant of joy, sitting in a high tower to behold the same, played upon the harp and sang the destruction of Troy”. Nero Claudius Caesar, 37-68 CE, and emperor of Rome 54-68 CE. The rumours concerning his setting the fire that devastated Rome are unsubstantiated. Back to text



Saint Mark: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4019/58, fol. 101r: “Saint Mark suffered his martyrdom at Alexandria”. The tradition that Mark was the founder of the Alexandrian Christian community was not established until the fourth century CE. The year of his martyrdom is uncertain, but several sources claim that it was in 68 CE. His remains were supposedly brought back to Venice from Egypt in the ninth century.

James: one of the Twelve Apostles. One of the principal founders of the Christian community of Jerusalem. According to Josephus, he was stoned on the instigation of the High Priest Ananias II and the Sanhedrin that he had convoked to obtain that decision, possibly in 62 CE. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4019/58, fol. 101r, reports that “James, for his sincere life surnamed the just, was martyred by Ananus [Ananias] the high bishop and other priests of Jerusalem”. Back to text

Paul: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4029/68, fol. 102r-v: “Paul also, after he had constantly preached the word of God 3’ years, was put to death”. Saint Paul’s numerous missionary voyages all over the eastern Mediterranean cannot be rehearsed here. As a Roman citizen, he could not be crucified, and was sentenced to be beheaded at Rome around 67 CE.

Peter: name given by Jesus to the first of the apostles. His name was originally Simon. The tradition that confers the title of Bishop of Rome on him dates from the third century CE. There is no direct record of his crucifixion, although it is referred to much later by many Church Fathers such as Irenaeus, as well as being foretold, allusively, by Jesus himself (see John, 21:18-19). Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4029/68, fol. 102r, notes that “Peter, by the tyranny of Nero, was crucified at Rome”. Back to text

Queen Voada: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4023/62, fol. 101v: “Paulinus Suetonius, which kept the garrisons of the Romans in Britain, went with a company of soldiers to subdue the isle of Man, in which mean season, the Britons, under the leading of Queen Voada, which had in her army 5000 ladies, rebelled and slew of the Romans, which were left behind to the number of 70 thousand. But Paulinus at his return subdued again the Britons and slew of them in one battle about 80 thousand. Voada, that she might not come alive into the hands of her adversaries, slew herself”.  Under this name or any other, “Queen Voada” is not known of Geoffrey of Monmouth. She derives from Tacitus’ Boudicca (Agricola, XIV-XVI; Annals, XIV, 29-37) and Dio Cassius’ Buduica (Roman History, LXII, 2-12). Polydore Vergil transferred her from Roman to British historiography under the name of Voadicia, Anglica Historia (Basel: Bebelius, 1534), pp. 33-4. In his Scotorum Historiae a prima gentis origine (Paris: Ascensius, 1527), Hector Boece complicated matters by making her a Scottish queen, Voada, also Arvirargus’s first wife, whom he repudiated in order to wed Genuissa, an insult which led to a first attack of Picts and Scots against Arvirargus and the Romans, followed by a second war, led by Voada’s daughter Vodicia. Like Boece, Cooper’s continuation of Lanquet’s Chronicle calls the queen Voada, while following Polydore Vergil’s account, with details taken straight from Tacitus. Referring to Tacitus and Dio Cassius, Ben Jonson gives her a place in the Masque of Queenes(1609) as “Voadicea, or Boodicea, by some Bunduica, and Bunduca”, whom he identifies with Spenser’s Bunduca (Faerie Queene, II, x, 56; Ruins of Time, 106-11). Fletcher brought her to the stage in Bonduca(1611-1614). She eventually became commonly known as Boadicea. Back to text

Full fourscore thousand: Eighty thousand, the number of Britons killed by the Romans in the last battle according to Lanquet and Cooper (following Tacitus’ Annals, XIV, 37), which Heywood’s patriotic feelings prompted him to change into the number of Romans killed by Queen Voada’s army. 



4034/73: F, 4024/73. Repeated twice in F margin.

Marius guided: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4034/73, fol. 103v, described him, after Geoffrey of Monmouth, as being prudent and wise. After dealing with the Picts (believed to have been, since Bede, a Scythian force that had invaded Scotland) and granting them the region of Caithness to settle in, he maintained the good relations with Rome that had generally, if not always, characterised the reign of his father Arvirargus. “Guided” here must be read as “guided the kingdom”. Back to text

Temple: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4034/73, fols. 103v-104r: “The city and temple of Jerusalem was taken and conquered by Titus and in such wise destroyed by the soldiers that uneath one would have judged it once to have been inhabited, which thing chanced 1101 years after the temple was first builded by Solomon, the same day of the month that it was first destroyed by Nabugadnazar [Nebuchadnezzar]”. The Temple of Jerusalem, first constructed by Solomon, was the supreme site of their faith for Jews. Sacked several times in its history, destroyed once and then rebuilt, it was finally razed to the ground by the Romans in 70 CE, after a five-month siege of the city, a disaster that observant Jews lament to this day at the Wailing Wall. Back to text

Josephus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4037/76, fol.104r: “Here endeth the histories of Joseph and Egesippus [Hegesippus] De Bello Judaico”. Flavius Josephus, both a Greek historian and a Jewish priest. Famed particularly for the Jewish War, which recounted the revolt against Rome that had started in 66 CE, and which culminated in the sack of Jerusalem and the expulsion of the Jews from that city. An eye witness and actor in much of this period. Pseudo-Hegesippus freely adapted Josephus’ account in the fourth century in his De excidio urbis Hierosolymitanae, which was first printed (in Lefèvre d’Etaples’s edition) by Josse Bade in Paris (1511). 

Domitian: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4044/83, fol.105r: “Domitian, by nature brother unto Titus, but very unlike in manners, reigned 15 years. [...] At the beginning, this Domitian showed himself to abhor so much from murder that uneath he would suffer oxen to be killed for their sacrifice; and being ordained censor of manners, was very diligent in his office; but in the end, following the steps of Nero and Caligula, he became a detestable and cruel tyrant”. Titus Flavius Domitianus, 51-96 after Christ’s birth. Son of Vespasian, the early part of his reign seems to have passed off fairly successfully. However, especially in the latter stages, relations between himself and the Senate, which had never been good, deteriorated. After several unsuccessful revolts and conspiracies against him in the eighties, he became much harsher in repressing all dissent, and after ordering the execution of his cousin, he fell victim to a successful assassination plot. Back to text

Titus: Vespasian’s son and Domitian’s brother, who died suddenly after two years of reign, and was succeeded by Domitian, as Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle explains (4043/83 and 4044/83, fol.105r).

Ignatius: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4049/88, fol.105v: “The holy man Ignatius governed the congregation of Christians at Antioch”; his martyrdom is narrated in 4070/109, fol. 107r-v. Bishop of Antioch. Martyred at Rome in 107 CE, for having proclaimed his faith in the presence of the emperor, Trajan. A number of his epistles survive from the Greek. They were published in various editions from 1498 onwards, in Latin, before the Greek editio princeps of 1557.

Patmos: F, Pathmos, following Cooper’s spelling.

Saint John: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4057/96, fol.106v: “Saint John the apostle was banished into Pathmos [Patmos]”. The Gospel according to Saint John refers to him as the loved or, more properly, “preferred” of all the disciples. He fell victim to the persecution of the Christians under Domitian (roughly in the years 94-96 CE) and it was in these years that he was exiled to Patmos, in the Aegean, returning from there to Ephesus when Nerva became emperor. Back to text



Cornelius Tacitus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4049/88, fol. 105v: “Quintilian was famous and taught rhetoric in Rome [...] In his time were many other great learned men, as Cornelius Tacitus, the younger Pliny, Suetonius, Valerius Flaccus, Patavinus, Juvenal, Martial. Back to text   

Patavius: Patavinus, in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4049/88, fol.105. An alternative name sometimes used for Livy, since his birthplace was the town of Patavium, in northern Italy (now known as Padua). 

Aulus Gelius: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4082/121, fol. 108v: “Plutarch the philosopher, Phavorinus [Favorinus], Apuleius, Au. Gellius, Appian, and many other learned men were famous”. Heywood makes them all contemporary with Trajan’s reign, although Aulus Gellius and Apuleius lived slightly later. Back to text

the wall: Hadrian’s Wall, built 122-126 CE. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4082/121, fol. 108v: “Adrian [Hadrian], having knowledge that the Romans in Britain were overset by the Scots and Picts, went thitherward with a strong army and without any notable battle (as saith the Scottish history) made a wall 80 miles of length, which some of our chronicles [i. e. Geoffrey of Monmouth] attribute to Severus”. Cooper’s “eighty miles”, that is, eighty Roman miles, which is roughly seventy-three miles in modern measurement, are more accurate than Heywood’s “one hundred and twelve miles”, which, in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4169/208, fol. 114v, is the length of the wall attributed to Severus. Back to text 



Coylus: Spelt Coilus or Coillus by Geoffrey of Monmouth, but Coylus in Hardyng (fol. 42v), Coyllus in Polydore Vergil (p. 38), “Coyllus or Coyll” for Holinshed (1577, I, 5.50, p. 73), Coyll in Spenser, Faerie Queene, II, x, 53—otherwise, Coilus. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4087/126, fol. 108v: “Coilus, the son of Marius, was ordained king of the Britons. He was brought up even from his young age in Italy among the Romans and therefore favoured them greatly, and payed the tribute truly. Some write that he builded the town of Coilchester [Colchester]”. Based on a false etymology of Colchester as deriving from “Coeli castrum”, a legend associated one king Coil with the town of Colchester. According to Fabyans cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), “And as some authors have, this Coyll made the town of Colchester, which at this day is a fair town in the shire of Essex. But others ascribe it to Coell or Coill, that was king next after Asclepeodotus [Asclepiodotus]” (III, fol. 20v). On the latter king, see stanza 51. The rest of Cooper’s report agrees with Geoffrey of Monmouth and Polydore Vergil. Back to text

Justin: F, Justine, as in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4103/142, fol. 110r: “Justine the philosopher wrote a book to the emperor and Senate in defense of Christian religion”. Justin Martyr, c. 100-165 CE. Martyred in Rome by order of the prefect, Junius Rusticus. Author of two apologies for Christianity. Back to text

Ptolemy: F, Ptolomee. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4124/163, fol. 110v: “In this time flourished the famous astronomer Ptolomei, by whose benefit remain at this day in the world the noble sciences called mathematical”. Ptolemy wrote at Alexandria between 146 and 170 CE. Author of exremely important works on mathematics, astonomy, geography. Not merely a compiler of previous work (such as that done by the Greeks) but an innovator in every domain he touched. Author notably of the Geography which, despite its considerable errors, remained a model for Renaissance cartography until well into the sixteenth century.

Lucius: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4141/180, fol. 112r: “Lucie, the son of Coilus, was ordeined king of Britons, who in all his acts and deeds followed the steps of his forefathers in such wise as he was of all men loved and dread. This Lucie in the eighth year of his reign, that was about the year of our Lord 187, sent loving letters to Eleutherius, bishop of Rome, desiring him to send some devout and learned men by whose instruction both he and his people might be taught the faith and religion of Christ. Whereof Eleutherius being very glad, sent into Britain two famous clerks, Faganus and Dunianus [Faganus and Dunianus in Geoffrey of Monmouth 1508 and 1517, fol. 33r; Fugatius and Damanius for Polydore Vergil, p. 39] by whose diligence Lucie and his people of Britain were instructed and baptised in the faith of Christ”. Geoffrey gives the date of his burial at 156 CE. Back to text

Coyll: variant spelling of Coilus.

fifteen years: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4153/192, fol. 113r: “Lucius, king of Britain, deceased, after whose death, for so much as of him remained no heir, the Britons between themselves fell at great distance and war, which continued, to the great disturbance of the realm, about 15 years”. It is in that troubled interval that Spenser situated Bunduca’s rebellion in The Faerie Queene, II, x, 54. Back to text



Severus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4173/212, fol. 114v: “The Picts and Scots with their leader Fulgenius pierced Britain and destroyed much of the country beyond Durham; with whom Severus met near unto York and gave them battle, in the end whereof he was slain, and was buried at York. The Latin chronicles testify that he died of the gout”. Cooper, on the whole, follows Geoffrey of Monmouth who has Severus die on the battlefield, but also takes into account Polydore Vergil, who describes him as “morbo articulari laborans” (suffering of arthritis), which, with worry and old age, contributed to his death: Anglica Historia (Basel: Bebelius, 1534), p. 41. Polydore Vergil’s account is based on Angelo Poliziano’s Latin translation of Herodian, Historia de imperio post Marcum, first printed in 1493. Back to text 

Bassianus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4174/213, fols. 114v-115r: “Bassianus Caracalla succeeded his father in the empire and reigned 6 years. Of nature he was cruel and fierce, very tolerant of all pains and labours especially in warfare, whereto he seemed to be framed of nature. There was always most infest enmity between him and his brother Geta, which their father, being in life, could never extinguish, wherefore this man began his reign with domestical murder, slaying his brother, whom his father had made partaker of the empire”. Cooper follows Polydore Vergil rather than Geoffrey of Monmouth, according to whom Bassianus was Severus’ son by a British woman, whereas Geta’s mother was Roman. Back to text

Caracalla: Bassianus’ nickname. He was renamed after Marcus Aurelius, to become Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, and became Caesar in 195 after Christ’s birth.

Tertullian: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4171/210, fol. 114v: “Tertullian, a great learned man of Carthage was in this time very excellent in divine scriptures. He wrote many noble works in defence of Christendom; but being in his middle age made a priest, he was vexed with sundry wrongs and displeasures by the envy of the clergy of Rome, and therefore at the last fell into the heresy of Montanus, which he interlaced with his books that he wrote”. Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, c.160-c.240 CE. Writer of many works in Latin defending and expounding Christianity, he appears to have distanced himself from the clergy at Rome around 207 CE. He exercised a singular influence over the theology of the Church Fathers, i.e. Saint Jerome, Saint Augustine. Back to text

Origen: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4172/211, fol. 114v: “Origen, after Clement and Pantenus, was admitted to the office of a doctor, or open teacher of divine scripture and Christian faith in Alexandria”. Origenes Adamantius, 184/185-254/255 after Christ’s birth. Teacher and philosopher in the eastern Christian church, author of influential works expounding Christian doctrine such as De Principiis.

Carassus: Carassius in 1508 and 1517 eds of Geoffrey of Monmouth (fol. 34v), but Carausius in mss. of Geoffrey and in Polydore Vergil (p. 42). Heywood borrows the more unusual spelling from Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4179/218, fol. 115r: “In Britain was as yet no king but the emperor was accounted as king, wherefore, as some write, Carassus, a Briton of low birth, but valiant and hardy in martial deeds, purchased of the emperor the keeping of the coasts of Britain, by means whereof he drew to him many knights of his country and arreared deadly war against the Romans, having the better hope for that he heard of the death of Bassanius the emperor, which about this time was slain by one of his servants, between Edissa and Carras, cities of Mesopotamia. But Polydore affirmeth that this Carassus took on him the governance of Britain in the time of Dioclesian, and saith that this land was in good quietness the space of 76 years, with whom the Latin histories seem to agree”. Polydore Vergil’s account agrees with Aurelius Victor, De Caesaribus, 39; Eutropius, Breviarum Historiae Romanae, IX, 21; and Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, I, vi. The other version, according to which Bassianus was betrayed by the Picts, originally his allies and in the ensuing battle was killed by Carausius, derives from Geoffrey of Monmouth. Back to text



then by Alectus died: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4187/226, fol. 115r: “Alectus, a duke of Rome was sent to subdue Carassus, which unlawfully usurped regally in Britain; to which Alectus fortune was so favourable that he chased Carassus and lastly slew him when he had reigned 8 years”. Cooper follows the accounts of both Polydore Vergil and Geoffrey of Monmouth. Back to text

Asclepiodote: F, Asclepiodale. Geoffrey of Monmouth (1508 and 1517, 35v and mss.), Flores Historiarum (p. 166), Polydore Vergil (p. 42) and Fabyan (IV, 65, fol. 24r) have Asclepiodotus. Grafton (p. 86) admits “Asclepiodatus or Asclepiodotus”. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4190/229, fol. 116v: “Alectus the Roman, which governed the Britons after he had subdued the land again to the Romans, used among them much cruelty and tyranny. Wherefore they, intending utterly to expel the Romans, moved a noble man called Asclepiodatus to take on him the kingdom, who gathered a great power and made sharp war unto the Romans, and chased them from country to country, until at length Alectus kept him at London for his most surety, whither Asclepiodatus pursued him and near to that city gave to him battle, in which Alectus was slain when he had governed Britain 6 years”. According to Fabyans cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), Asclepiodotus was “duke of Cornewayle, as saith Gaufryde [Geoffrey], but after the saying of Eutropius and Beda, he was president of the Pretory of Rome” (fol. 24r). Geoffrey of Monmouth claims that he was Duke of Cornwall, elected to the kingship of the island by the Britons against Alectus, but Polydore Vergil, following Eutropius’s Breviarum Historiae Romanae, IX, 22 and Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, I, vi, describes him as “praefectus praetorii (a praetorian prefect) and concludes that after ten years of tyranny during the reigns of Carausius and Alectus, Britain thus came back to the Romans (“a Romanis recepta est”), Anglica Historia (Basel: Bebelius, 1534), p. 42, a formulation Cooper may not have been ready to reproduce. Back to text

Wallus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4193/232, fol. 116v: “Asclepiodatus, after Alectus was thus slain, girt the city of London with a strange siege, and therein Livius Gallus, the Roman captain, and ere it were long, by knightly force and violence entered the city and slew the forenamed Gallus, near unto a brook there at that day running, into which brook he threw him, by reason whereof it was called Gallus or Wallus brook, and at this day, the street where sometime that brook ran is called Walbroke [Walbrook]. After which victory Asclepiodatus governed Britain 30 years”. This event, not mentioned by Polydore Vergil, is reported by Geoffrey of Monmouth, 1508, fol. 35r-v, where the place is named “Gallenbrouc”—Walebroc in Flores Historiarum (p. 166), “Gallus or Wallus broke” in Fabyans cronycle (IV, 65, fol. 24r)—today’s Walbrook, as John Stow explains (Annals, p. 44).  

supplied: OED II.7a gives, plausibly, “to discharge the duties of an office, or fulfil the function of something, esp. as a substitute or replacement”. Back to text

Artabanus great Artaxerxus slew: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4188/227, fol. 116r-v: “Artaxerxes, the Persian, slew Artabanus, king of the Parthians, and restored that kingdom to his signory of Persee [Persia], challenging also of the Romans all Asia and a part of Europe as due to his dominion”. Artabanus IV, the last of the Parthian kings, was definitively defeated in battle (after several defeats) by the Sasanid king, Artaxerxes I, 224 after Christ’s birth, and according to some sources lost his life at the same battle.

Saint Alban: F, Albon. Not in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, but reported in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History (I, 7), Geoffrey of Monmouth (1508, fols. 35v-36r), Flores Historiarum (p. 169) and Polydore Vergil (p. 42). Also mentioned by Hardyng (fol. 47r), Holinshed (1577, i, 5.55, p. 88), Stow (Annals, p. 45) and given pride of place in John Foxe’s Actes and Monuments (London: John Day, 1583), vol. 1, pp. 88-89. When persecution of Christianity was renewed under Diocletian, Albanus was martyred for his faith at Verulamium, which later became the town of Saint Albans. There is no clear agreement about the date of his death. Back to text



Coill: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4223/262, fol. 119v: “At this time happened a great dissension in Britain between Asclepiodatus their king and one Coil, duke of Coilchester [Colchester], whereby was arreared a grievous war in which Asclepiodatus was slain. Coil took on him the kingdom of Britain and governed the realm the space of 27 years. Of him is no notable thing in writing”. Called Coel by Geoffrey of Monmouth (1508 and 1517, fol. 36r and mss.) and Flores Historiarum (pp. 167-8), Coelus in Fabyan’s Cronicle  (IV, 66, fol. 24r), Coellus in Holinshed (1577, I, 5.56, p.88. But Coylus in Hardyng (fol. 47v), Coill (and Coilus) in Grafton (p. 87), Coill in Stow’s Annals (p. 44). Back to text

Geoffrey and Polydore Vergil do not specify the length of Coil’s reign, but according to Fabyans cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), “Coelus died when he had ruled the Britons, after most accord of writers, 27 years” (fol. 24v). He came to a peace agreement with the Roman legate, Constantius, and died very soon after.

Constantius: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4250/289, fol. 122r: “Constantius, a duke of Rome, was sent into Britain to recover the tribute, shortly after whose arrival Coil, which then was king, died. Wherefore the Britons, to have more surety of peace, willed this duke to take to wife Helena, the daughter of Coil, which was a wonderful fair maiden, and therewith well learned. This Constantius, when he had recovered the tribute, returned with his wife Helena to Rome, as chief ruler of Britain”. According to Geoffrey, Constantius married Coel’s daughter Helen and reigned 11 years (1508, fol. 36v). Flavius Valerius Constantius I, born by 250 after Christ’s birth at the latest, died 306 after Christ’s birth. Back to text

British Helen: the accounts here, in Lanquet, and in Geoffrey of Monmouth are apocryphal. By the time Constantius reached Britain he had already repudiated Helena in favour of Theodora, daughter of Maximian; he had married Helena in 270 after Christ’s birth (although she may have been merely a concubine), and she was in any case from Drepanum in Bithynia (part of what is now Anatolia). The desire to see Constantine as “Britain’s Roman emperor”, so prominent in the propaganda of the Tudor period, may be working retroactively here and elsewhere in English literature in ascribing to her an entirely fictitious national origin. Back to text

Constantine: Flavius Valerius Constantinus I, c.272-337 after Christ’s birth. Constantine was in effect proclaimed emperor by his troops at York (Eburacum), where his father Constantius died, but in the following years he fought at the head of his troops all over the empire. He founded Constantinople in 324 after Christ’s birth, and became gradually a more and more active promoter of Christianity as the religion of the Empire, and is remembered as the first emperor fully to embrace it.

reads / The Bible first in Britain: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4271/310, fol. 123v: “In witness of his belief, he caused a book of the Gospels to be carried before him, and made the Bible to be copied out and sent into all parts of the empire”. Back to text

Arius: F, Arrius. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4284/323, fol. 124v: “Arrius [Arius], priest in the church of Alexandria, began first this heresy that the son in deity was not equal with the father, nor of the same substance, but only a mere creature. Unto this error he induced a great part of the world bring then christened, and many famous clerks and great learned men”. Arius, c.260-336 after Christ’s birth. Advocate of an interpretation of the Trinity that was considered to be heretical (which placed the Son below the Father), his doctrine, known as Arianism, was condemned at the Council of Nicaea, 325 after Christ’s birth, convoked by Emperor Constantine to resolve issues of theology and faith that divided the early Christian church. Back to text



Now at Jerusalem Queen Helen found: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4286/125, fol. 125r: “Helena, the mother of Constantine, at Jerusalem found the cross on which Christ suffered his passion, and the three nails wherewith his feet and hands were pierced”. Helena regained prominence after her son was proclaimed Emperor. Around 327 after Christ’s birth, having adopted Christianity, she is known to have made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The tradition that she there discovered relics of the cross on which Christ was crucified dates from the end of the fourth century after his birth. Polydore Vergil recounts this episode at length in Anglica Historia (Basel: Bebelius, 1534), pp. 44-45. Back to text

Octavius: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4290/329, fol. 125r: “Octavius, called in the English chronicles Octavian, reigned in this land at the least 54 years”. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Octavius as the Duke of the Gewissi led an ultimately successful rebellion against the Roman proconsul who had been left as governor of Britain. After struggles with the legions that Constantine sent to regain the island, in which Octavius gained the throne, lost it, and regained it, he reigned for many years, although Geoffrey, as ever, gives no dates. According to Fabyans cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), “How long he reigned, none of the foresaid authors testify, except divers of them agree that he continued his reign till the time that Gracian and Valentinian ruled the empire, the which began to reign the year of our Lord iii hundred lxxx and ii, by which reason it must follow that the said Octavius reigned at the least liiii years” (fol. 27v). Octavius is not mentioned by Polydore Vergil, as Cooper remarks, adding that “I speak not for any reproach to Polydore, whom I know right well to have followed most certain and commendable authors, but only to show to the reader the diversity of histories”, Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, fol. 125v). Back to text

The Nicaean council: F, Nycene. see above, note to stanza 51 under Arius. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4288/327, fol. 125r.

Ambrose: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4338/377, fol. 130v: “Ambrose, bishop of Milleine [Milan], was famous. He was of such holiness, such gentleness, such excellent wisdom that not only in his life time but also after his death, he was had throughout the world in honour and reverence. He was a Roman born, of a noble and ancient house, and had been consul there. When he was on a time sent of Valentinian to Milleyne to quiet a sedition which was among the people for the election of a bishop, after he had exhorted them to concord, suddenly they all with one voice chose him to be their bishop, moved with the voice of an infant which cried: ‘Ambrose is worthy to be bishop’”. c. 340-397 after Christ’s birth. An experienced imperial administrator and son of a praetorian prefect, he was appointed Bishop of Milan in 374 after Christ’s birth. He devoted his energies to combating both Arianism, which had a vigorous afterlife (especially in the eastern Church centred on Constantinople) despite the ruling of the Council of Nicaea, and vestigial pagan cults that endured, despite the official adoption of Christianity. His literary heritage is his Epistles. See stanza 54. Back to text

Athanasius: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4334/373, fol. 130v. c. 295-373 after Christ’s birth. Bishop of Alexandria, where he encountered strong opposition from Arianists, he established the creed according to which the Father and Son were consubstantial. Under his guidance, the bishopric of Alexandria became one of the most important in Christendom. Back to text



Basil: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4332/371, fol. 130r: “Basilius was famous, a man of incomparable vertue and learning, born in Cappadocia”. Basil of Caesarea, c. 330-379 after Christ’s birth. An ascetic, he played a major part in elaborating the monastic ideal in Greek Orthodoxy.

Julian Apostate: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4325/364, fol. 128v. Flavius Claudius Iulianus, 331-363 after Christ’s birth. Brought up as a Christian, he reverted to paganism under the influence of the Neoplatonists, and during his brief tenure as emperor (361-363 after Christ’s birth) he actively reintroduced Hellenic influences while marginalising Christianity. Back to text

Maximus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4344/383, fol. 131v: “Maximus, son of Leonine, and cousin german to Constantine the Great, was made king of Britain. This man was mighty of his hands but for that he was cruel and pursued somedeal the Christians, he was called Maximus the tyrant”. Magnus Maximus effectively fought at the head of British troops against Picts and Scots. He gained control of Gaul, Spain and Britain, but when he invaded Italy he was defeated by Theodosius and executed in 388 after Christ’s birth. Heywood’s marginal dating is accurate, in that he became self-proclaimed emperor in 383 after Christ’s birth. Back to text

4348/387: F, 4388/387.

Ursula: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4348/387, fol. 132r: “Saint Ursula, with the 11000 virgins, which were sent into little Britain to be married to the foresaid Conan and his knights, were slain of the barbarous people being on the sea”. This account of the Saint Ursula legend differs from the widely diffused version in Jacobus de Voragine’s Golden Legend, available in Caxton’s edition, Legenda aurea sanctorum (London, 1483) fols. 336r-337v and in the Cronicles of England (Westminster: William Caxton, 1480) Instead, Cooper’s version, reproduced by Heywood, derives from Geoffrey of Monmouth, according to whom Ursula, the daughter of Dianotus, king of Cornwall, was requested in marriage by Conan Meriadoc, British governor of Armorica, or Little Brittany. As Conan did not want his troop to mix with the Armorican Gauls, Ursula was accompanied by 11000 daughters of the British nobility, who were to marry Conan’s soldiers. Their fleet was partially destroyed in a storm and the surviving virgins “appulsae sunt in barbaras insulas, et ab ignota gente sunt trucidatae sive mancipatae” (were driven to inhospitable islands, where barbarous people slaughtered them or sold them as slaves), 1508, fols. 40v-41r. After repeating Geoffrey’s version and acknowledging the existence of diverging accounts, Fabyan finally appealed to ecclesiastical authority: “Of the martyrdom of these maidens divers authors write diversely, wherefore I remit them that will have further understanding in this matter unto the legend of saints read yearly in the church, where they may be sufficiently taught and informed”, Fabyans cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), fol. 28r. Back to text

Britain less: Britanny.

Saint Jerome: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4348/387, fol. 132r: “Hierome, the famous doctor and interpreter of Holy Scripture, flourished at Bethlem, and for his excellent learning was renowned in all the world”.  Eusebius Hieronymus, born c.347, died in 420 after Christ’s birth at Bethlehem, and described as “abbas Bethlehemensis” in Flores Historiarum, hence Cooper’s formulation. Initially educated in Rome, it was in Syria that he began to learn Hebrew before returning to Rome, with momentous consequences for the diffusion of the Scriptures. His translation of the Bible into Latin, known as the Vulgate, had a decisive effect on the early centuries of Christianity and indeed held the field until the late mediaeval and early Renaissance translations into vernacular tongues began to appear. Back to text

Augustine: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4358/397, fol. 133r: “Augustine, the most famous and learned doctor of Christ’s church, was bishop at Hippone [Hippo], a city in Afrik”. 354-430 after Christ’s birth. Bishop of Hippo (modern Algeria). Arguably the most influential of the Church Fathers in the formation of early Christian theology, and especially in the placing of the doctrine of grace at the centre of it. Author notably of the Confessions, De doctrina Christiana, and most importantly, De civitate DeiBack to text



Gratian: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4352/391, fol. 132v: “Forthwith the foresaid Gracian, that was sent into Britain of Maximus to defend the land from barbarians, took on him the kingdom of Britain and exercised all tyranny and exaction upon the people, for which cause he was abhorred of the Britons”; 4355/394, fol. 132v: “The Britons, abhorring the cruelty of their king Gracian, by one assent set on him and killed him after he had reigned 4 years. Then was the realm of Britain a good place without head or governor, in which time they were now and then vexed with the foresaid barbarous people and other external enemies”. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Maximus was killed in Rome by Gracian’s friends, whereupon Gracian Municeps took over the kingdom. After his death the country was invaded by Scots, Norwegians and Dacians, 1508, fol. 41r-v. He reigned from 390 to 394 according to Fabyans cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), fol. 28r-v. Back to text

Ambrose: see stanza 52.

Chrysostom: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4361/400, fol. 133v: “Chrysostomus, the noble clerk who, for his excellent eloquence, is named the golden-mouthed doctor, was ordained bishop of Constantinople”.  John Chrysostom, c.354-407 after Christ’s birth. Born at Antioch, preacher and biblical exegete, emphasising the virtues of Christian asceticism. The name of Chrysostom (“golden-mouthed”) was only attributed to him in the sixth century. Back to text

Pelagius: F, Pellages. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4375/414, fol. 135r-v: “Pelagius, an horrible heretic, lived in Britain. He taught that men were not saved and justified by the mere mercy of God for the death and merit of Jesus Christ but by their own good works and natural operation, men obtained before God perfect justification and remission of sins; this error Saint Augustine confoundeth in many of his works”. 4380/419, fol. 136r: “A council of 207 bishops assembled at Carthage against the heresy of Pelagius and other, where Saint Augustine was present”. Not emphasised here by Heywood, but it is generally agreed that he was British, as Cooper implies. The other main originator of what was considered to be a dangerous heresy in the early Christian church (along with Arius), in that he contested original sin as being transmitted to all succeeding generations and, against Augustine’s insistence on grace, defended the possibility of rising above the moral degeneracy that followed the Fall by virtue of moral will and choice. His dates are unknown, although it is clear that he settled in Rome after 380 after Christ’s birth, and fled to Africa at the time of the sacking of the city by the Goths. Back to text



Algelmond: more commonly Agelmund. Heywood follows Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4353/392, fol. 132v: “Algelmundus, the first king of Lombardy”. In his De Gentis Langobardorum, I, xiv (History of Lombardy, written between 787 and 796), Paul the Deacon wrote that after the death of the two dukes, Ibor and Aion, who had led them all the way from their original Scandinavia, the Lombards wanted to imitate other nations and be ruled by a king. They chose Agelmund, Aion’s son. Eusebius, “Langobardi eorum ducibus defunctis, primum sibi regem creaverunt Algelmundum Aionis filium, qui regnavit annis 33” (At the death of their leaders, the Lombards gave themselves a first king, Algelmundus, son of Aion, who reigned 33 years), Chronicon ... Eusebii Pamphili Caesariensis D. Hieronymo interprete (Basel: Henricus Petrus, 1529), fol. 89 r, for 393 AD. Back to text

Theodosius: F, Theodotius. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4359/398, fol. 133r: “Theodotius the emperor died at Milleine [Milan]”. Having failed to dislodge the Goths from that part of the empire over which he had authority, he had to come to terms with them and allow them to settle.

Alaricus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4373/412, fol. 135r: “Alaricus [...] turned his whole power against the city of Rome, which shortly after he took”. Leader of the Goths from 395 to 410 after Christ’s birth. He sacked Rome in 410, and died shortly after. Back to text

Pharamond: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4381/420, fol. 136r: “Pharamunde, the son of Marcomirus, a man garnished with all knightly virtue, was ordained the first king of Frenchmen 1556 years after Brut began his dominion in this isle of Britain”. King of the Franks, recognised as such by them, 420 after Christ’s birth, so loosely recognised as the first French king (although the Franks were still at this point beyond the Rhine).

4394/433: F, 4394/443. Back to text

Constantine: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4394/433, fol. 137v, explains that harassed by the Scots and Picts, the Britons “sent for aid to Aetius, the Roman captain, being then occupied in wars in a part of France. But they had no comfort at his hand, and therefore were forced to send ambassade to Aldroenus, king of Little Britain, to desire aid and comfort; which they obtained on condition that if they achieved the victory, Constantine his brother should be ordained king of Great Britain, for to that day they had no governor; which thing of the ambassadors being granted, the said Constantine gathered a company of soldiers and went forth with them. When he had manfully vanquished their enemies and obtained the victory, according to promise made, he was ordained their king and guided this land 10 years with such manhood and policy that he kept it in quietness and from danger of strange enemies”. Cooper follows Geoffrey of Monmouth’s account, 1508, fols. 43r-44r. This legendary Constantine from Brittany is not to be mistaken with the Roman emperors Constantine II and III; following Fabyan, Cooper considers his advent on the British throne as a historical landmark: “Here endeth finally the dominion and tribute of the Romans over this land of Britain” (fol. 137v). Back to text



56: F, 59.

Constans: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4404/443, fol. 139r: “Contantius his eldest son, which for his dull and simple wit, was made monk in Winchester, by the means of Vortiger, duke of Cornwall, was taken out of the cloister and made king, under whose name the foresaid Vortiger ruled the land and used great tyranny”. This entire passage corresponds closely to Geoffrey of Monmouth, who nevertheless has “Vortigernus”, or “Vortigern”, for Vortiger, which is used by most chroniclers and by Spenser (Faerie Queene, II, x, 64-65); Fabyan accepts the two names, “Vortigerus or Vortigernus”, but uses “Vortiger” himself. According to Geoffrey, Vortigern may well have had Constans murdered by the Picts, but the attribution of guilt to a specific instigator remained unproven. According to Cooper, “the nobles of Britain suspected that Constans was not murdered without his [Vortiger’s] consent, and therefore alienated their minds from him”, Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4409/448, fol. 139v. Back to text

Eighteen: Sixteen according to Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4409/448, fol. 139v. Fabyan (cronycle, fol. 34v) and Grafton (A Chronicle at large, p. 97) also say sixteen. But according to Hardyng, Vortiger reigned eighteen years (fol. 54v).

Hengist and Horsus: F, Hengest and Horseus. Hengist and Horsa, whose Latinate form, Hengistus and Horsus, was in common use. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, the two Saxon lords, two brothers, landed in Kent with three longships only. According to him, they had been banished from Saxony, and had come to offer their services. Despite the fact that they were pagans, Vortiger made an alliance with them against the Picts, and granted them lands in recompense. Back to text

Hengist’s daughter: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4417/456, fol. 141r: “Hengist, one of the leaders of the Saxons, found means that Vortiger, king of Britain, did marry his daughter Rowen, a maiden of wonderful beauty and pleasantness, but a miscreant and pagan. For her sake the king repudiated his lawful wife, by the which he had received 3 sons, for which deed well near all the Britons forsook him”. Again according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Vortiger’s decision was doubly shocking, in that Hengist’s daughter was a pagan, and that in exchange he was given Kent, which was already ruled over by an earl. More generally, the Saxons were beginning to get more and more of a foothold in the kingdom, and an increasing degree of influence over the King’s policies. Back to text



For which the Britons him deposed: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4424/463, fol. 142r: “The Britons, considering the daily repair of the Saxons into this realm, showed to their king the jeopardy that might thereof ensue and advertised him to avoid the danger and expel them out of the realm. But all was in vain, for Vortiger, by reason of his wife bore such favour towards the Saxons that he would in no wise hear the counsel of his subjects. Wherefore they, with one will and mind, deprived him of his royal dignity and ordained to their king his eldest son Vortimerus when Vortiger had reigned 16 years”. In a series of battles Vortimer then managed to drive the Saxons out of the land, restoring their lands to the British lords. Back to text

timeless fate: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4426/465, fol. 142r: Vortimer won several battles against the Saxons “until at length he was poisoned by means of Rowen his stepmother, after he had reigned 7 years”.

advanced: that is, restored to the throne. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4432/471, fol. 142v: “Vortiger obtained again the kingdom of Great Britain and reigned after this time 9 years”. Back to text



Gensericus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4402/441, fol. 139r: “Gensericus, king of the Vandals, by deceit took and spoiled Carthage and subdued it to his dominion 585 years after it was conquered of the Romans and made a part or province of the empire. And thus began Afrike to be subject to the Vandals”. Genseric, also known as Gaiseric, King of the Vandals 428-477 after Christ’s birth. He took Carthage in 439. Back to text

Attila: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4404/443, fol. 139r: “The Huns, falling at distance with the Romans, spoiled and overran Thracia and Illyria and by force subdued all the countries even to the mountains of Greece called Thermopile [Thermopylae]. Attila, king of the Huns, 435/440-453 after Christ’s birth. He invaded Italy in 452. Earlier, his forces had advanced as far as Illyricum, a Roman province on the east coast of the Adriatic, and therefore part of what was then Greece. Back to text

Meroneus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4411/450, fol. 140r: “Meroneus was ordained king of France, the which was strong and martial in all his deeds and thereunto right profitable to the realm. He was present in the battle against Attila the Hun, where he with his knights fought manfully. Of this Meroneus descended all the kings of the Frenchmen till the time of Pipin [Pepin the Short], father unto Charles the Great. In his time Gallia was first called France”. Cooper repeats, sometimes word for word, Fabyan’s account of Meroneus in Fabyans cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), fols. 34v-35r. Fabyan himself draws on Robert Gaguin’s Compendium de Francorum Origine et Gestis, first printed in 1495 and increased in successive editions until the 1500 edition, Compendium Roberti Gaguini super Francorum Gestis (Paris: Thielman Kerver), where he appears as Meroveus, not Meroneus. The complete 1500 edition was several times reprinted during the sixteenth century. This legendary Gaulish king also appears, if only briefly, in Jean Le Maire de Belges’s book III of Les Illustrations de Gaule et Singularitez de Troye (Paris: Geoffroy de Marnef, 1513), in Richard de Wassebourg’s Les Antiquitez de la Gaule Belgicque (Paris: Vincent Sertenas, 1549) and as late as Gilles Corrozet’s Les Antiquitez, Histoires, Chroniques et Singularitez de Paris (Paris: N. Bonfons, 1577). Meroveus (or Mérovée) was considered to be the founder of the Merovingians. An initial misprint gave rise to an alternate Meroneus (or Méronée), founder of the “Méronéens” (Meronians). Back to text



Venice, Aquileia: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4417/456, fol. 141r: “Venice, the famous city, was first founded of them, which fearing the cruelty of Attila, fled from the country about Aquileia into those islands where now Venice standeth”. Venice was founded by refugees from Aquileia, at the head of the Adriatic, when it was sacked by Attila in 452 after Christ’s birth. Initially a simple fishing community around the lagoon. Back to text

Aetius: Flavius Aetius, date of birth unknown. A Roman general, he died in 454 after Christ’s birth. His most famous victory was over Attila and the Hunnish forces at the Catalaunian Plains (near today’s Châlons-sur-Marne or Troyes), in 451. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4414/453, fol. 140v: “In the fields of France named Catulyntes [Catalaunian], which contained 100 leagues in length and 70 in breadth, both the hosts met, that is to say Attila with all his puissance and the Romans with their whole strength and power. Histories do testify that there was never so great a multitude gathered in the west parts: with the Romans were the Frenchmen, Burgounions [Burgundians], Goths, and all the west parts; with Attila the Sueves [Suevi], Herules [Heruli], Turings [Thuringians], all the people of Scythia and the north parts. The battle continued from the sun rising to the eventide; and then was Attila of his enemies put to the worse and lost of his men 180000”. Jornanes’s six-century De Rebus Geticis xli counted 163000 dead, but on the two sides confounded (“ab utrisque partibus CLXIII milia caesa referuntur); these eventually became 180000 as reported in Paolo Emilio’s De Rebus Gestis Francorum (Paris: Michael Vascosanus and Galeoto a Prato, 1544), I, fol. 3v; “there were slayne in both nine score M men”, Ranulf Higden’s Prolicionycion [Polychronicon] reads (Westminster: Caxton, 1482), IV, 33, fol. 224v. Fabyans cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), fol. 35r, has the same count, which it borrows from Robert Gaguin’s Compendium super Francorum Gestis (Paris: D. Gerlier and J. Petit, 1500), I, fol. 4r. The number of casualties on Attila’s side was largely exaggerated by Cooper. It is not sure however that Heywood’s drastic reduction to eighteen thousand was not merely due to metrical necessities. Back to text

Valentinian: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4417/456, fol. 141r: “Valentinian, the emperor, envying or rather fearing the prosperity of Aetius his duke, commanded him to be put to death, and after demanded of his familiars whether it were not well done. To whom they said that the deed would shortly declare itself. But yet in the mean time, that he had with his left hand cut off his right, meaning that Aetius had been of long time the stay of his empire”. Valentinian III, emperor of the western Roman empire, 419-455 after Christ’s birth. Aetius having served his purpose in stopping the flow of Hunnish invasions, Valentinian personally assassinated his general, of whom he is thought to have become jealous, in 454. He was in turn murdered by two of Aetius’ associates the following year. Back to text



Thrasila: Valentinian was not killed at but by Thrasila, as Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4418/457, fol. 141v, makes clear: “Valentinian the emperor was slain of Thrasila, one of the soldiers of Aetius, whom before he had wrongfully put to death”. Paolo Emilio’s De Rebus Gestis Francorum (Paris: Michael Vascosanus and Galeoto a Prato, 1544), I, fol. 4r, reported that “Ipse [...] Romae interemptus est a Thrasila Aetii milite” (He [Valentinian] was killed in Rome by Thrasila, a soldier of Aetius). Called Thraustelas in the original account of Priscus of Panium: see John P. Given, The Fragmentary History of Priscus (Merchantville, NJ: Evolution Publishing, 2014), p. 129. Back to text

Aetius: F, Etius.

Vortiger: Vortiger’s restoration was already mentioned at the end of stanza 57; Heywood recalls it here to resume the history of Great Britain after the parenthesis of stanzas 58-59.

Four hundred British barons: according to the account in Geoffrey of Monmouth, the host of Hengist’s soldiers, who had been invited to a parley between Hengist and Vortiger, on an order from their leader drew their daggers and slaughtered “ about four hundred and sixty” British noblemen, who had come unarmed—enlarging on Nennius’s three hundred in Historia Britonnum. John Hardyng simplified the number of casualties to “four hundred lords” (Chronicle, fol. 57v). This episode is known as the Massacre of Mount Ambrius. Heywood’s account conflates Geoffrey and Hardyng with Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4436/475, fol. 142v, according to which “The Saxons in Britain, by privy guile and treason got the king Vortiger into their hands and kept him as prisoner and by that means constrained the king to grant unto them three countries in the land of Britain, that is to say Kent, Sussex, Suffolk, Norfolk”. Back to text

pent: confined.



cleaped: called, named. Sometimes spelt “yclept”, especially in Middle English.

Hengist Land: In his Scotorum Historiae (Paris: Ascensius, 1527), VIII, fol. 153r, Hector Boece wrote that the name of England derived from Hengist’s land “by corruption of language” (X, fol. vii v). One of Heywood’s sources, John Hardyng’s Chronicle, stated that Hengist called his territory “Engistis land”, from which the name of “England” derived. In his notes to Drayton’s Poly-Olbion, besides Hardyng, John Selden also quoted Gower’s Prologue to the Confessio Amantis, “Engisti lingua canit insula Bruti” (Brutus’ island sings in Hengist’s tongue), The Complete Works of Michael Drayton, ed. Richard Hooper (London: John Russell Smith, 1876), vol. 1, p. 38. According to The Brut, the change of name was imposed by Hengist, “that no man of his was so hardy after that tyme to calle this lande Britaigne, but calle it Engistes lande”, The Brut or the Chronicles of England, ed. Friedrich W. D. Brie (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner and Co. for E.E.T.S.), 1906, LX, p. 55. Back to text 

Constantine’s two younger sons: in Geoffrey of Monmouth (1508, fol. 45v), Aurelius Ambrosius and Uther Pendragon; their brother Constant was Constantine’s eldest son.

Ambros and Uther: F, Uter. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4440/479, fol. 143v: “Aurely surnamed Ambrose [Aurelius Ambrosius] and Uter [Uther], the brethren of Constant, king of Britain, which was slain by the treason of Vortiger, landed with a navy of ships at Totnes, and by the help of Britons which gathered to them in all haste, made war upon Vortiger and burned him in his castle in Wales, where he kept him for his most sure defence”. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Vortiger’s tower had been erected on Mount Eryri (the Welshe name of Mount Snowdon), 1508, fol. 50v. Back to text

Kill Hengist too: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle does not mention Hengist’s death. Summing up Geoffrey of Monmouth’s detailed account, John Hardyng’s Chronicle narrates how he flew after losing a battle, was captured and beheaded. But according to Fabyans cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), fol. 39r, “In the time of this Aurelius ... died Hengist in his bed, when he had reigned over the Kentish Saxons 24 years”. Back to text



Merlin: wizard and prophesier, first discovered by Vortiger’s messengers as a boy in Kaermerdin, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, when they were seeking a fatherless boy whose blood was to be sprinkled on the foundations of Vortiger’s tower. Geoffrey mentions that he was strongly encouraged to translate the Prophecies of Merlin by the Bishop of Lincoln (from ancient British into Latin).

Thirty-three years: Not specified in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle. Nineteen years according to Fabyan (fol. 39r), “but thirteen” according to Hardyng (fol. 59v). Back to text

Stonehenge: referred to in Geoffrey of Monmouth as “the Giants’ Ring”, brought over, according to Merlin, from Ireland to construct a national monument to those who had fallen in the successful struggle against Hengist and the Saxons, and reassembled on Salisbury plain. Not in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle. The association of Aurelius Ambrosius with Stonehenge was variously reported by John Hardyng, Ranulf Higden, Holinshed and John Stow. Also Spenser, Faerie Queene, II, x, 67. Back to text

Uther Pendragon: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4461/500, fol. 145r: “Uther, surnamed Pendragon, was crowned king of Britain and reigned 16 years. He was enamoured upon the Duke’s wife of Cornwall, and to obtain his unlawful lust, made war upon her husband Garolus and slew him in battle”. Gorlois was Duke of Cornwall, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth. His wife was Ygerna. Uther Pendragon conceived a great passion for her at a banquet. Her husband perceiving this, withdrew from court and left his wife at a castle in Tintagel (Cornwall). By the art of Merlin’s drugs, the king was transformed into the exact likeness of Gorlois, and in this way was able to spend a night with Ygerna at Tintagel. From this union, according to the legend, King Arthur was born. This story recalls Jupiter’s impersonation of Amphytrion so as to spend the night with Alcmena, who gave birth to Hercules. Back to text

Cornwall’s: F, Cornwayles.

bereaves: takes. Geoffrey of Monmouth recounts that the duke, besieged at Dimilioc, sallied forth from his fortified camp and was killed in a pitched battle with the king’s soldiers. Back to text



Clodoveus: F, Clodovens. Clovis. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4465/504, fol. 145v: “Clodoveus, the French king, kept war with the Almains, in the which, when he was put to the worse, after earnest prayer made to Christ—whom Crothilde [Clotilde] his wife did worship—he vowed, if he might escape that danger and obtain the victory, he would be baptized and receive the faith of Christ”. This story of Clovis’s conversion originates from Gregory of Tours’s sixth century Historia Francorum. Clovis was baptised by the bishop of Reims, Remi, in 499 after Christ’s birth, in Reims, northern France. Back to text

Theodoricus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4450/489, fol. 144r: “Theodoricus, king of the Ostrogoths, obtained of Zenon the dominion of Italy, and therefore sped him with all haste against Odoacer and his people, which by force did withhold the country from the Empire”. Theodoric, known as “the Great”, c. 455-526 after Christ’s birth. Gothic king of Italy. After 511 he reunited the Gothic kingdoms so as to extend his effective rule over Italy, southern Gaul, and Spain. However, he styled his kingdom(s) as a continuation of the eastern Roman Empire, and was generally at pains to maintain good relations with Constantinople. Back to text

Ostrogoths: F, Astrogothes.

Odoacer: ruler of Italy, overthrown by Theodoric in 489 after Christ’s birth. Assassinated in Ravenna. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4451-2/490-1, fol. 144r and 4454/493, fol. 144v.

Honoricus: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4447/486, fol. 144r: “Honoricus, king of the Vandals in Africa, being infected with the heresy of Arius, did persecute the Christian people and banished 334 Catholic bishops”. Back to text



64: F, 63.

Arthur: Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4478/517, fol. 146r: "Arthur, the son of Uther Pendragon, a stripling of 15 years of age, began his reign over Britain and governed the land 26 years, having continual war and mortal battle with the Saxons. Of this Arthur be written many things in the English chronicle, of small credence and far discordant from other writers. But yet all agree that he was a noble and victorious prince in all his deeds; and they testify that he fought 12 notable battles against the Saxons and was always victor. But notwithstanding he might not clearly void them out of his land but that they held their countries which they were possessed of". King Arthur, legendary British king and son of Uther Pendragon, who is thought to have resisted the Saxons and to have been active in the late fifth and early sixth centuries. There are no dates for him with a serious historical foundation. Geoffrey of Monmouth's extensive account played a major part in fashioning the post-medieval legend of Arthur. Part of the Arthurian legend is that he conquered Norway, Gaul, and other parts of Europe. Back to text

543: F, 533.

Mordred: Lanquet and Cooper's Chronicle, 4504/543, fol. 149r-v: "Mordred, which had the governance of Britain in the absence of Arthur, by treason was crowned king through the help of Cerdicus, king of West Saxons. Of which treason, when relation came to Arthur being then in France, with all haste he made into Britain where he was met of Mordred, which gave him 3 strong battles in the which many noble and valiant knights perished; and lastly in a battle fought beside Glastonbury, Mordred was slain and Arthur wounded unto death". According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Mordred was left to defend Britain when Arthur went abroad, but in fact seized the throne and began to live adulterously with Guinevere, Arthur's wife. The returning king defeated him in two pitched battles before killing him in a third near the River Camlann, which local legend has it as being at Camelford (Cornwall). However, Arthur was himself mortally wounded, and was spirited away to the Isle of Avalon. Geoffrey does not often give dates, but he here states that this happened in 542 after Christ's birth, a date unanimously repeated in succeeding chronicles, except Cooper's whose 4504/543 Heywood mistakenly reproduces. Back to text



Constantine: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4504/453, fol. 149v: “Constantine, kinsman to Arthur, by assent of the Britons was ordained king of Britain, and reigned three years. This man was by the two sons of Mordred grievously vexed, for they claimed the land by the right of their father, so that between them was fought sundry battles, in the which lastly the two brethren were vanquished and slain”. According to Robert Fabyan’s Cronycle, which Cooper follows, Constantine reigned "after most accord of writers 3 years" (London: William Rastell, 1533), fol. 46v. Heywood’s "four summers" agree with Hardyng’s "four year" (Chronicle, fol. 79r). Back to text

he ascends the spheres: having murdered Mordred's second son on hallowed ground (he had asked for and obtained sanctuary in a monastery), Constantine was "sententia Dei percussus" (struck down by the judgment of God), in Geoffrey's words, Historia Regum Britanniae (Paris: Josse Bade, 1508), VII, i, fol. 92r. This episode, however, was not repeated by Hardyng and Fabyan. Ranulf Higden was content to write that "four year after he had reigned he died", Polychronicon (Wasrminster: Caxton, 1482), V, fol. 235r.  He was reputedly buried at Stonehenge. Back to text

Justin: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4482/521, fol. 146r: “Justinus by guile and crafty mean obtained the imperial authority [...] This man in his youth was a swineherd and after, giving himself to warfare, for his towardness therein within few years waxed so expert and cunning in feats of arms that he was advanced to high dignities and lastly obtained th’empire, which he governed with great policy and wisdom 9 years". Justin I (450-527) was Eastern Roman Emperor, 518-527. Back to text



Amalasiuntha: F, Analasiantha. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4488/527, fol. 147r: “After the death of Theodorich, Amalasiuntha his daughter, with her young son Athalaricus, obtained the governance of Italy and Rome. This woman was of so great virtue and towardness and in all her behaviour had such a princely majesty that never man did behold her without great reverence. She was a woman of wonderful silence, although she were both in Greek and Latin excellently learned and had skill in the languages of all nations which had to do with the Roman empire. She had, I think, that sentence of Sophocles printed in her mind, “the ornament of a woman is silence”. In all things pertaining to the common weal, she behaved herself with such wisdom and justice that no man was with her offended”. Amalasiuntha (also Amalasuntha, Amalasonte, Amalasunte), daughter of Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths in Italy was regent from 526 to 534 and monarch after her son’s death, from 534 to 535. Back to text

Athalarius: See preceding note. Also known as Athalaric. After Eutharic’s death he was theoretically sole heir to the throne, but as a minor could not rule except under his mother’s regency. He was Gothic king in Italy from 526 to 534.

Justinian: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4491/530, fol. 147r: “Justinian was made emperor of Constantinople. He came but of a poor kindred, for his mother’s brother Justinus, emperor before him, was but a swineherd. He succeeded his uncle and governed the empire nobly the space of 39 years and augmented it honorably, and caused the laws civil, which were dispersed in infinite volumes, to be reduced into fifty books called the Digests, and caused to be made four books of Institutes and likewise the Code, containing the decrees of emperors. Although he himself knew no letters, he was an excellent prince, if he had not been corrupted with the heresy of Eutices”. Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Justinianus was emperor of the eastern Empire from 527 to 565. Known especially for his codification of Roman law, contained respectively in the Codex, Digesta or Pandectae, and Institutiones, which collectively became the foundation for civil law throughout Europe from the eleventh century onwards. Back to text

Cosroe: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4495/534, fol. 147v: “Coosroes [Cosroe] was ordained king of the Persians and reigned 48 years. He made peace with the Romans for an 110 years”. Also known as Chosroes, or Cosroes, he succeeded his father, Cabades, in 531. Having broken a treaty with the Romans, his empire was invaded and occupied by them. He died in 579.



Narses, Belisarius: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle, 4491/530, fol. 147r: “I think this man [Justinian] in nothing more happy than in that he had in his time two noble and valiant captains, that is Belisarius and Narses, by whose virtue and martial knighthood he utterly extinguished the power of the Goths and other barbarous people, which of long time possessed the lands of the empire”. In his account, Cooper does not mention that Narses was a eunuch. Procopius noted that Narses was “more energetic than would be expected of a eunuch”, History of the Wars, VI, xiii, 17, translated by. H. B. Dewing (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1924), vol. 3, p. 403. Back to text

th’Afric Goths: F, th’Affricke Goaths.

beg his bread.: In F, “beg his bread” is followed by a comma, inviting the reader to think that syntax and sense run on into the next stanza. However, there is no possible connection between Belisarius and Aurelius Conanus. In reality, Heywood is quoting Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle on Belisarius (4527/566, fol. 152v): “In the later days of Justinian, the Huns wasted the country of Thracia and Greece and were vanquished and slain by the noble captain Belisarius, whose end I think worthy of memory, that we may thereby consider the ingratitude of men towards those persons at whose hand the common weal had received most high benefits. This noble man, by whose policy and knighthood the Persians were vanquished, the Vandals subdued, Africa recovered again to the empire and many triumphant victories achieved on the Goths, in his later days was constrained to beg his bread from door to door and lastly as a miserable beggar ended his life, for Justinian the emperor, for a light cause and small trifle bereft him of his sight and sent him in exile”. Back to text



Aurelius Conanus slew in field Constantine: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4506/545, fol. 149v: “Aurelius Conanus, a Briton, arreared mortal war against Constantine the king and after sore fight, slew him in the field when he had reigned 3 years”. Geoffrey of Monmouth does not say that Aurelius Conanus killed Constantine. Cooper’s report is based on Robert Fabyan’s Cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), fol. 46r. Back to text

Vortipore: F, Vortigore. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4509/548, fol. 150r: “Vortiporius, the son of Conanus, was ordained king of Britain [...] he in divers battles discomfited the Saxons”. Geoffrey of Monmouth makes no mention of the fact that Vortiporus was Aurelius Conanus’s son. But Robert Fabyan’s cronycle (London: William Rastell, 1533), fol. 46r, notes that Aurelius Conanus left after him “a son named Vortiporius, as hath the author of the book named Floure of Hystoryes”. Back to text

552: F, 542.

Malgo: Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4509/548, fol. 150r: “Malgo, a duke of Britain, began his reign over the Britons and governed them 35 years as writers accord. This Malgo was the comeliest and most personable man of all the Britons then living, and therewith endued with knightly manhood. But he delighted in the foul sin of sodomy and therefore was greatly persecuted of his enemies the Saxons”. Like most chroniclers, Cooper repeats Geoffrey of Monmouth’s portrait of Malgo, to which Heywood substitutes the story that “he slew his first wife” and took for bride “his brother’s daughter”. In his Chronicles, Holinshed accuses him of adultery, “in forsaking the company of his lawful wife, and keeping to concubine a sister of hers, that had professed chastity” (1577, I, 5.73, p. 141, misnumbered 147); but Heywood’s formulation is closer to John Stow’s Annals, according to which “He slew his first wife and then took to wife his own brother’s daughter” (1605, p. 62). Back to text



Totilas: F, Totylus: Totila—Totilas according to Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4515/554, fol. 151r: “Totilas, king of the Goths, by the treason of certain soldiers of Isauria, obtained again the city of Rome, at which time he did not spoil it, as he had done before, but so costly repaired many places, and used such clemency and gentleness toward the citizens that he was now counted as a father, which before had been a cruel tyrant and spoiler”. An allusion to Totilas’ sack of Rome in 546 and his taking Rome again in 549. The Gothic war against Rome is narrated in Procopius’ History of the Wars, VII and VIII, translated by. H. B. Dewing (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1924), vols. 4 and 5. Back to text

Alboinus: F, Altinus. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4539/578, fol. 153v: “Alboynus, king of Lombards, at a banquet drinking, in a massacre being made, of the skull of Commundus [Cunimundus], his wife’s father, with words of reproach minded his wife of her father’s death. Wherewith she being grieved, and intending to revenge her father’s quarrel, first committed advoutry with a noble young man called Helmelchildis [Helmichis], and after enticed him to slay her husband; which thing done, they both, fearing the cruelty of the Lombards, fled to Longinus, lieutenant of Italy, taking with them great treasure and riches”. Alboin was the leader of the final and most destructive – to Italy – of the Germanic invasions. His wife was Rosamund, daughter of Cunimund, whose skull Alboin presumably made use of. He was assassinated in 572. An early—and brief— report is given in Marius Aventicensis’ Chronica (sixth century). A more detailed and probably more fanciful account was provided in the eighth century by Paulus Diaconus in his Historia Langobardorum: see Paul the Deacon, History of the Langobards, translated by William Dudley Foulke (New York: Longmans, Green & Co, 1907), pp. 81-83. Back to text    

mazer: according to OED, 2, a bowl or drinking cup, without a supporting foot, normally made of maple and adorned with silver bands around the lip and the base.

Helmchild: Helmichis. See preceding note.

Alboin: F, Albine. Back to text



4547: F, 4577. Back to text

Careticus: According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, Careticus succeeded Malgo and made himself so hateful to his subjects that the Saxons invited over an Irish army under their king, Gurmond. Thus it was not, as may be thought following the syntax of these lines, Careticus who expelled Malgo from Britain with the help of the Irish, but on the contrary he who was expelled and driven across the Severn and into Wales by Gurmond in alliance with the Saxons, as all early modern chroniclers report, as well as Spenser, Faerie Queene, III, iii, 33-34. Back to text

Ethelfrid: Æthelfrith. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4553/592, fol. 155r: “In Britain, Ethelfridus governed the north Saxons, who made such continual war upon the Britons and chased them so sore that it is thought he slew more of them than all the other Saxon kings. By his cruelty the faith of Christ was almost utterly extinguished among the Britons”. Geoffrey of Monmouth calls him “Saxonnum tyrannus” (1508, fol. 93r). See also Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, I, 34, II, 2 and 12, ed. Judith McLure and Roger Collins (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994). Back to text

Sybert: Saebert or Saeberht, king of the East Saxons. Not in Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle but mentioned by John Hardyng, Chronicle (London: Richard Grafton, 1543), fol. 83v, as well as by John Stow, Annals, p. 98 and by Holinshed, Chronicles (1577, I, 5.74, p. 150). The ultimate source may be Sulcard’s Prologus de Construccione Westmonasterii (11th century), ed. Bernhard W. Scholz, Traditio 20 (1964), pp. 59-91, relayed in the fifteenth century by John Flete’s The History of Westminster Abbey, ed. J. Armitage Robinson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1909). Back to text

Cadwan: Cadfan ab Iago. Lanquet and Cooper’s Chronicle 4574/613, fol. 158r: “Cadwane, Duke of North Wales, was made sovereign of the Britons, who, coming out of Wales, gave strong battle to Ethelfride, king of Northumberland, their most deadly enemy, and in divers encounters so discomfited the said Ethelfride that he was forced to entreat for peace”. Geoffrey of Monmouth writes that after Ethelfrid massacred twelve hundred monks and attacked Bangor, Duke Bledericus of Cornwall, Margadud, king of Demetia (South Wales) and “Cadvanus”, king of Venedotia (North Wales) allied against him and forced him to retreat. Cadvan was then elected king by the assembled British princes at Chester. Ethelfrid was allegedly allowed to continue to reign over the land north of the Humber (1508, fol. 93r-v). Called Cadwan by Hardyng (fol. 85r), Cadwanus or Cadwan by Fabyan (V, 128, fol. 53r); Cædwalla in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, II, 20. Back to text




How to cite

Nick Myers, ed., 2019.  Troia Britanica Canto XVI (1609).  In A Dictionary of Shakespeare's Classical Mythology: A Textual Companion, ed. Yves Peyré (2009-).


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