IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 1020: Remembering Troy in the Middle Ages, I: Origin Stories and Identity Formation

Wednesday 4 July 2018, 09.00-10.30

Organisers:Sabine Heidi Walther, Abteilung für Skandinavische Sprachen und Literaturen, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
N Yavuz, Den Arnamagnæanske Samling, Københavns Universitet
Moderator/Chair:Ralph Mathisen, Department of History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Paper 1020-aHeroes and Villains: Memories of Troy in Medieval Britain
(Language: English)
Helen Fulton, Department of English, University of Bristol
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Celtic, Language and Literature - Middle English
Paper 1020-bWho Is Brutus in Late Medieval England?
(Language: English)
Julia Marvin, Program of Liberal Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Middle English, Language and Literature - French or Occitan
Paper 1020-cExplaining Troy in the Ovide moralisé and in the Ovidius moralizatus
(Language: English)
Marek Thue Kretschmer, Institutt for historiske studier, Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet, Trondheim
Index terms: Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Language and Literature - Latin, Learning (The Classical Inheritance)

For three millennia, the fall of Troy has been a popular topic in European culture. Not only did the classical texts that were the product of Greco-Roman culture continue to circulate in the Middle Ages, but also many ‘new’ works were composed on different aspects of the story of Troy, not only in Latin and Greek but also in vernacular languages. These texts, old and new, shaped the perception of the Trojan War and enabled the further production and transmission of narratives on Trojan characters and scenes throughout the Middle Ages. Trojan topics also remained popular in visual imagery, from early Greek vases and Roman sculptures to medieval illuminations and tapestry. With every work written, drawn, sculpted, carved, or copied, the past was reconstructed and re-narrated yet again in a different context emphasising different values. These four sessions explore the reasons behind the fascination with the Trojan narrative and the ways in which the story of Troy was employed in the Middle Ages.

The first session will reflect on the long tradition of claiming Trojan ancestry in medieval Europe in connection with notions of identity and nationhood. Focusing on concepts of nationhood and differing remembrances of Troy in the later period, Helen Fulton will look at a number of texts in English and Welsh to frame an account of identity-formation in medieval Britain and the assimilation of ‘British’ and ‘English’. Emphasising the significance of vernacular traditions, Julia Marvin will discuss the implications of the reinterpretation of the matter of Troy in the Oldest Version of the Anglo-Norman prose Brut. Marek Thue Kretschmer will compare and analyse the passages on Troy in the Ovide moralisé and the Ovidius moralizatus.