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John Lydgate's Fall of PrincesNarrative Tragedy in its Literary and Political Contexts$

Nigel Mortimer

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199275014

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199275014.001.0001

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John Lydgate's Fall of Princes
Oxford University Press

Much of the current critical resistance to the Fall of Princes arises not because readers (or potential readers) have strongly developed objections towards Lydgate’s aims or practices in the poem, but because they feel lost in its seemingly interminable lists of unfortunate individuals. Nearly everyone will approach the Fall via Bergen’s EETS edition, which, while first-rate, does little to alleviate the impression of the poem as nine unstructured catalogues: in some ways the medieval book, with colourful visual signals to indicate textual division (such as decorated initials and rubricated prose headnotes), offered a less daunting reading experience.

It need hardly be admitted that the Fall lacks the strong narrative frame found in other long poems (as, for example, The Canterbury Tales) and the closely wrought lyrical beauty of much shorter ones (for example, those of the Gawain-poet), but it need not be bewildering. Boccaccio and Premierfait subdivide their texts into chapter units which are often made internally coherent by focusing on a group of related protagonists, or by providing brief anthologies of thematically similar downfalls. The contours of the Des Cas are still there to be seen in the Fall; when these are uncovered it is also possible to gain some sense of the extent to which Lydgate reorganizes his material.

The reader also feels hampered by not knowing which (if any) of the constituent narratives of the Fall are original to Lydgate and, concomitantly, whether narratives have been silently omitted in his process of ‘translating’ the Des Cas; Bergen’s notes in the fourth volume of his edition are selective in their coverage of Lydgate’s treatment of his French source, and so are less helpful than one might wish.

The following pages offer a conspectus of the line numbers of the English poem alongside the chapters of the appropriate versions of the Latin and French texts. The component narratives of the French chapters have been listed and Lydgate’s larger alterations to these noted; the refrained envoy sections are also (p.279) indicated (allowing us, for example, to note the sharp decline in Lydgate’s enthusiasm for these after Book V). The seven passages where the poem departs from its usual rhyme-royal stanza (ababbcc) and adopts the ‘Monk’s Tale’ octave (ababbcbc) are also recorded; these sections are often codicologically interesting, in that they cause trouble for scribes by disrupting the otherwise regular mise-en-page of the manuscripts.

I hope that readers will now feel that it is possible to move through the Fall with a clearer sense of the underlying structures which informed Lydgate’s composition, and without needing to have open copies of the Latin and French texts at their elbows. (p.280) (p.281) (p.282) (p.283) (p.284) (p.285) (p.286) (p.287) (p.288) (p.289) (p.290) (p.291) (p.292) (p.293)


De Casibus Chapters (A-Version)

Content Narratives in Des CMS (B-Version)

Fall Reference

Book I: 15 envoys

* I. Prol: ‘Exquirenti mihi quid ex labore’

Boccaccio’s preface, Prologue du Translateur, Dedication to jean, duke of Berry [L adds tributes to Chaucer and Humphrey]

I. 1–469

* I. 1: De Adam et Æva

Adam and Eve

I. 470–784

I. 2: Adversus inobedientiam

Moralizes the Fall of Man E

I. 785–1001

I. 3: De Nembroth


I. 1002–281

I. 4: In superbos

Moralizes Nimrod and pride of princes E

I. 1282–400

* I. 5: Nihil non absumit tempus

Vixoses, Thanaus, Zoroastres and Ninus, kings of Sodom, Pharaoh, Ogyges, Isis and Apis, Erysichthon, Gelanor and Danaus, Teretts E

I. 1401–841

* I. 6: De Cadmo Thebanorum rege

Cadmus, his kin (Semele, Actaeon, Pentheus, Athamus) E

I. 1842–2170

*s I. 7: Concursus infoelicium

Æetes, Jason, Minos and Scylla, Theseus, Sisera, the Midianites E

I. 2171–3129

* I. 8: De Iocasta Thebarum regina

Jabin, Jocasta and Oedipus [most of Oedipus original to Lydgate], Thebes E

I. 3130–843

* I. 9: Thiestis et Atrei iurgium

Thyestes and Atreus E


* I. 10: De Theseo, Atheniensium rege

Theseus, Ariadne, Hippolytus E

I. 4243–557

* I. 11: Adversus nimiam credulitatem

Moralizes credulous princes and the wiles of women [Lydgate adds a defence of women] E

I. 4558–844

* I. 12: Conventus dolentium

Althaea and Meleager, Hercules E, Narcissus, Byblis, Myrrha [Lydgate adds Adonis], Orpheus, Marpessa and Lampedo E

I. 4845–5901

* I. 13: De Priamo et Hecuba

Priam, Troy [Lydgate abbreviates heavily and directs reader to his Troy Book]

I. 5902–6041

* I. 14: Contra superbos

Moralizes pride and avarice: Hector, Paris, Priam

I. 6042–104

* I. 15: De Agamemnone Mycenarum rege

Agamemnon, Palamedes, Ulysses, Menelaus, Clytemnestra, Ægisthus [Lydgate has absorbed this into his brief treatment of ch. 13, and therefore ignores this chapter]

* I. 16: Paupertati applaudit

Moralizes Poverty: Zenocrates, Clytemnestra, Diogenes, Curius Dentatus E

I. 6105–335

* I. 17: De Sampsone

Samson, brief attack on women E

I. 6336–510

* I. 18: In mulieres

Against women E

I. 6511–734

* I. 19: Miseri quidam

Pyrrhus [Lydgate adds Canace and Macareus] E

I. 6735–7070

Book II: 11 envoys

* II. Prol: ‘Forsan erunt qui dicent’

[L adds the request of Duke Humphrey to supply envoys

II. 1–161

II. 1: De Saule Israelitarum rege

Saul [L adds Witch of Endor], David, Ionothas, Abminadab, Melchis E

II. 162–532

II. 2: Obedientiae commendatio

Moralizes obedience [L omits Agag]

II. 533–623

II. 3: Pauci flentes

Adraazarns and Adadus

II. 4: De Roboa Iudeorum rege

Rehoboam E

II. 624–805

II. 5: In Fastosam Regum superbiam

Good government, Mucius Scaevola, Lucretia [L extends from a brief reference and adds passage on Chaucer], Virginia and Appius Claudius, Philip of Macedonia [L also deals with him in his envoy], Hasdrubal E

II. 806–1463

II. 6: Concursus gementium

Jeroboam, Zerah, Adab, Zimri

II. 1464–701

II. 7: De Athalia Hierosolymae regina

Ahab and Jezebel, Athalia and Joas E

II. 1702–897

II. 8: In immoderatam rerum concupiscentiam

Moralizes the shameful deeds of the figures in ch.7

II. 9: In Hebraeos

God and Fortune

* II. 10: De Didone regina Cartaginiensium

Dido of Tyre, the founding of Carthage, her suicide [L adds reference to Ovid]

II. 1898–2170

* II. 11: In Didus commendationem

[L treats as the E to ch. 10, then adds 5 ironic stanzas to widows]

II. 2171–233

* II. 12: De Sardanapalo rege Assyriorum


II. 2234–338

* II. 13: In Sardanapalum et eius similes

[Omitting Pythagoras and references to noble Greeks, L adds Tubal / ‘Pictagoras’, Seth’s children, Enoch, Cam, Catacrismus, Ezra, Isis, Carmentis, Cicero] Callicrates, Mirmecides [L adds Pan, Mercury, Bacchus, Euclid, Phoebus et al., Fido1] E

II. 2339–548

II. 14: Male fortunati plerique

Amaziah, Josiah, Uzziah, Fido, Olympic Games, [L adds exhortation], Hoshea, Sennacherib

II. 2549–814

II. 15: De Sedechia Hierosolymorum rege


II. 2815–940

II. 16: In aerumnosam mortalium conditionem

Moralizes falls [L treats as E to Zedekiah]

II. 2941–61

II. 17: De Astyage Medorum rege

Job, Tobit, Nebuchadnezzar, Astyages, Mandane, Socrates, Euripides, Demosthenes, Cyrus

II. 2962–3325

* II. 18: Pauca de sopniis

On dreams: Simonides, Calpurnia, Artorius, Arteritis,3 Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar [L treats as E to ch. 17]

II. 3326–46

II. 19: Querelae quorumdam

Pandales [sic] and Gyges, Midas [L adds gold and ref. to Ovid], Belshazzar [L adds Daniel] E

II. 3347–556

II. 20: De Croeso Lydorum rege

Croesus and Cyrus

II. 3557–731

II. 21: Infoelices aliqui

Cyrus E, Aemilius, Numitor and Rhea, Romulus and Remus

II. 3732–4263

II. 22: De Metio Suffetio Albanorum rege

Metius Suffetius

II. 4264–403

* II. 23: In fraudem invectiva

On fraud and deceit [L adds Tullus Hostilius4 and Rome E]

II. 4404–592

Book III: 10 envoys

* III. Prol: ‘Consueuere longum ac laboriosum’

—(Laurent incorporates into ch. 1)

III. 1–161

* III. 1: Paupertatis & Fortunae certamen

Andalus del Negro, Fortune and Poverty

III. 162–707

* III. 2: De Tullo Hostilio & Tarquinio Prisco

Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Marcius, Lucinio E, Tarquin dynasty

III. 708–931

* III. 3: De Tarquinio Superbo Romanorum rege novissimo

Tarquin and Lucretia

III. 932–1148

* III. 4: In portentosam principum libidinem

David, Samson, Solomon, Scipio, Cato, Drusus, lust, chastity and marriage, Jacob, Virgineus, Paris and Helen, Benjaminites, Holofernes E

III. 1149–6385

III. 5: Gemebundi quidam

Cambyses, Otanes and Oropastes, Darius, Coriolanus and Volumnia, Miltiades, Themistocles at Athens [treated in envoy] [L adds Cynaegeirus] E

III. 1639–2205

* III. 6: De Xerxe Persarum rege


III. 2206–534

De Casibus Chapters (A-Version)

Content Narratives in Des CMS (B-Version)

Fall Reference

* III. 7: In lusciosam mortalium caecitatem

Xerxes E

III. 2535–639

* III. 8: Infoelices nonnulli

Artabanus, Phalanthus, Caeso Quintius, Gracchus and Cincinnatus

III. 2640–3010

* III. 9: De Appio Claudio decemviro

Appius Claudius E, on judges

III. 3011–115

* III. 10: In leguleos imperitos

Attacks corrupt judges: Phoroneus, Minos, Mercury, Solon, Lycurgus, Sempronins, Saphyr, Cato, Censorinns [L adds ‘Exclamation’]

III. 3116–283

III. 11: Flentium conventus

Demosthenes, Nicias, Civilins, Spnrins Melius, Lartes Tolutnnns

* III. 12: De Alcibiade Atheniensi

Alcibiades E

III. 3284–717

* III. 13: In excusationem Alcibiades

Alcibiades [L treats as ‘worldly folk’]

III. 3718–80

* III. 14: Auctoris purgatio, & poeseos eommendatio

[L treats as a praise of industry] Retracts ch. 12, on poetry: Homer, Virgil, Bocace [L adds E on poets and a letter to his patron, ll. 3837–71]

III. 3781–871

III. 15: Aphri quidam queruli

Cartalus, Machaeus E, Himilco

III. 3872–4095

III. 16: De Hannone Carthaginiensi

Hanno E

III. 4096–235

* III. 17: In divitias & stolidam vulgi opinionem

[L against the covetous] Spurius Melius, Hanno, Amyclas, Pompey, Diogenes, [L adds Croesus], Sardanapalus, [Sophodius], Sarranus, Cincinnatus, Masinissa, Xerxes

III. 4236–480

III. 18: Flentium multitudo

Evagoras, Theo, Amyntas, Epaminondas, Alexander, Perdiccas Sartas l ‘Ariba’, Haman, Mordecai

III. 4481–851

III. 19: De Artaxerxe Persarum rege

Artaxerxes, Cyrus, Darius E

III. 4852–5152

Book IV: 9 envoys

* IV. Prol: ‘Movisse reor aliquantisper ab obstinata’

[L adds ll. 1–168 on poets] [Priam]6 Astyages, Croesus, [Cyrus], Tarquin, Xerxes, Artaxerxes

IV. 169–210

* IV. 1: De Marco Manlio Capitolino

Marcus Manlius

IV. 211–511

* IV. 2: In infidam plaebem

Disloyalty [L adds triumphs, Tarpeia, Carmentis, Marcus Manlius] E

IV. 512–686

IV. 3: In tyrannos

Tyranny: Nectanebes, Pausanias, Heliarchus

IV. 687–798

IV. 4: De Dionysio Syracusano inferiore

Dionysius of Syracuse E

IV. 799–938

IV. 5: In Dionysium & Fortunae excusationem

On Fortune and personal vice [L adds Victurbius from ch. 6]

IV. 939–80

IV. 6: De Polycrate Samiorum tyranno

Victurbius, Polycrates

IV. 981–1106

* IV. 7: De Callisthene philosopho

Aribas, Callisthenes and Alexander, Lysimachus,7 Clytus E

IV. 1107–449

IV. 8: De Alexandro Epyrotarum rege

Alexander of Epirus

IV. 1450–603

IV. 9: De Dario Persarum rege

Darius, Alexander the Great E

IV. 1604–2002

IV. 10: Dolentium concursus

War: Leonatus, Antipater, Neptolomus and Policarpus, Perdiccas, Ariarathes, Hamilcar

IV. 2003–142

IV. 11: De Eumene Cappadociae adque Paphagoniae rege

Eumenes E

IV. 2143–331

IV. 12: De Olympiadae Macedonian regina

Olympias of Macedonia E

IV. 2332–639

IV. 13: De Agathocle Siculorum rege

Agathocles [L adds a moral on the low born] E

IV. 2640–968

IV. 14: Plurimus tristium concursus

Cassander and Bersane, Antipater, Demetrius, Peucestas and Amyntas, Sandrocottus, Seleuchus, Lysimachus and Callisthenes

IV. 2969–3325

De Casibus Chapters (A-Version)

Content Narratives in Des CMS (B-Version)

Fall Reference

IV. 15: De Arsinoe Macedonum regina

Arsinoe and Ceraunus of Macedonia E

IV. 3326–492 (octaves: 3445–92)

IV. 16: Flentes plurimi

Ceraunus, Belgius, Brennus E, Apollo, Diana, Minerva

IV. 3493–744

IV. 17: De Pyrrho Epyrotarum rege

Pyrrhus of Epirus

IV. 3745–898

IV. 18: Arsinoe Cyrenensium regina

Aristotimus, Arsinoe and Demetrius

IV. 3899–4066

IV. 19: In pulchritudinem & amorem illecebrem

Beauty and lust: Spurina E

v. 1–98

Book V: 7 envoys

V. 1: De Seleucho & Antiocho

Seleuchus, Antiochus III

V. 99–245

V. 2: Aerumnosi plures

Six nobles: Laodomeia, Cleomenes, Hiero, Cornelius, Hannibal, Xanthippus

V. 246–420

* V. 3: De Marco Attilio Regulo

Marcus Attilius Regulus

V. 421–749

* V. 4: In cives minus Reipublice amatores

Marcus Attilius Regulus, attack on disloyalty E

V. 750–840

V. 5: Grandis infoelicium turma

Ptolemy Philopator and Agathodia, Britomaris and Viridomarus of France

V. 841–1029

V. 6: De Syphace Numidiae rege

Syphax of Numidia

V. 1030–255

V. 7: Infoelicium conventus

Nabis, Punic Wars (Hasdrubal, Marcus Manlius, Lucius Censorinus, Scipio), Perseus of Sparta, Corinth, Philip Philermene and Democritus of Ætolia

V. 1156–470

V. 8: De Antiocho magno Asiae et Syriae rege

Antiochus III and Laodicea8 E

V. 1471–621 (octaves: 1590–621)

V. 9: Oppressi multi

Hieronymus, Agesipolis, Orgiagontes, Gaudotus, Scipio Africanus, Scipio Asiaticus, Philopomen, Scipio Nasica, Gracchus E

V. 1622–885 (octaves: 1846–85)

* V. 10: De Annibaie Carthaginiensi

Hannibal E

V. 1886–2158

* V. 11: De Prusia Bithyniae rege

Prusias and Nicomedes [L omits parricide]

V. 2159–214

V. 12: De Perseo Macedonum rege

Persa and Demetrius

V. 2215–98

V. 13: De Fortunae more & deiectis paucis

Azariah, Ammonius

V. 2299–3409

V. 14: De pseudoPhilippo Maeedoniae rege

Andriscus of Macedonia

V. 2341–403

V. 15: De Alexandro Bala Syriae rege

Alexander Balas and Demetrius E

V. 2404–536

V. 16: Lapsi quidam

Gaius and Tiberius Gracchus, Hasdrubal’s wife, Dido, Aristonicus, Jonathan Maccabeus and Tryphon

V. 2537–64810

V. 17: De Demetrio Syriae rege

Demetrius II

V. 2649–760

V. 18: De Alexandro Zebenna Syriae rege


V. 2761–844

V. 19: Dolentes pauci

Metellus, Caius Domicius, Bituitus and Fabius, Cleopatra and Euergetes

V. 2845–956

V. 20: De Iugurtha Numidiarum rege

Jugurtha of Numidia E

V. 2957–3145

Book VI: 3 envoys

* VI. 1: Colloquutio Fortunae & auctoris et quorundam infoelicium demonstratio

Fortune and Bocace, Saturninus, Drusus, Scipio, Fanaticus, Anthonio (L’s Athenion), Spartacus, Viriathus, Gaius Marius, Mithridates, Orodes of Parthia, Pompey

VI. 1–987

* VI. 2: De Caio Mario Arpinate

Gaius Marius and Sulla

VI. 988–1260

De Casibus Chapters (A-Version)

Content Narratives in Des CMS (B-Version)

Fall Reference

* VI. 3: Pauca de nobilitate

Moralizes Marius, true nobility, Jugurtha and Metellus Numidicus

VI. 1261–323

VI. 4: Cleopatrae tres miserae

Three Cleopatras [L omits the second marriage of the third Cleopatra]

VI. 1324–58

VI. 5: De Mithridate Ponti rege

Mithridates of Pontus E

VI. 1359–757

VI. 6: Excussi quidam

Eucratides of Bactria, Alexander of Egypt (son of Euergetes)

VI. 1758–78

VI. 7: De Hyrode rege Parthorum

Herodes of Parthia

VI. 1779–925

VI. 8: Adventus flentium

Fimbria, Albinus, Adrian, Sothimus of Thrace, Thrace described, Pompey

VI. 1926–2023

* VI. 9: De Cneo Pompeio Magno

Pompey E

VI. 2024–548

* VI. 10: Pauca auctoris verba

Praise of Pompey

* VI. 11: Ingens certamen dolentium

Caesar’s victims, Ptolemy of Egypt, Juba of Numidia, clothing, Pharnaces of Pontus, Aristobolus, Scipio, Julius Caesar’s assassination, Calpurnia’s dream E, Octavian, Mark Antony, Dolabella, and the conspirators, Cicero and Bocace

VI. 2549–3003

* VI. 12: De Marco Tullio Cicerone

Cicero and the Catiline conspiracy [L adds Cicero’s works], Mark Antony

VI. 3004–276

* VI. 13: In gracculos aduersus rethoricam obstrepentes

Rhetoric and Language

VI. 3277–500

* VI. 14: Gementes plurimi

Sextus Pompey, Marcus Lepidus, Caesar Lucius, Lucius Æmilius Paullus

VI. 3501–619

* VI. 15: De Marco Antonio triumviro & Cleopatra Ægypti regina

Mark Antony and Cleopatra

VI. 3620–68

Book VII: 3 envoys

VII. 1: Quorundam infoelicium concursus

Antony, Caesarius, Julia, Agrippa, Cassius of Parma, Galbus

VII. 1–77

VII. 2: De Herode Iudeorum rege

Herod, Antigonus E

VII. 78–277 (octaves: 246–77)

* VII. 3: Tristes quidam & Tyberii Cesaris adque Caii Caligule iurgium cum Valeria Messalina

Herod Antipas, Archelaus, the quarrel of Messalina, Caligula and Tiberius

VII. 278–592

* VII. 4: De Nerone Claudio Caesare

Nero and Seneca E

VII. 593–795

* VII. 5: Adflicti quidam

Eleazar, Galba and Piso Licinianus, Otho and Vitellius

VII. 796–876

* VII. 6: De Aulo Vitellio Cesare


VII. 877–1103

* VII. 7: In gulam & gulosos

Gluttony, the Golden World, the Church, John the Baptist, Diogenes E11

VII. 1104–334

VII. 8: De excidio Hierosolymitano

The Jews, the Fall of Jerusalem, Eleazar and Masada, Christ and the Catholic Faith, the Diaspora

VII. 1335–565

VII. 9: In Iudaeos pauca

Christ, the Incarnation, the Jews, the Passion, Pilate excused [L adds list of portents]

VII. 1566–663, VIII. 1–7

Book VIII: 1 envoy

* VIII. 1: Et primo viri clarissimi Francisci Petrarche in auctorem obiurgatio

Bocace and Petrarch [L adds autobiographical comment]

VIII. 8–203

De Casibus Chapters (A-Version)

Content Narratives in Des CMS (B-Version)

Fall Reference

VIII. 2: Imperatores miseri

A crowd of dolorous nobles, Domitian, Commodus, Clinus (L’s ‘Helvius Pertinax’), Julian, Septimius Severus, Postumus (L’s ‘Pescennius’), Albimis, Lucius Septimius Geta and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus ‘Caracalla’ (as the French ‘Bassianus Anthonici’ and L’s ‘Antoninus’), Martinus (L’s ‘Macrinus’), Antoninus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Alexander Severus, Maximus, Gordian, two Philips, Decius, Gallus, Volusian

VIII. 204–427

VIII. 3: De Valeriano Augusto Romanorum imperatore

Valerian and Gallienus

VIII. 428–62

VIII. 4: In Saporem Persarum regem, & Valerianum Romanorum imperatorem

Valerian and Sapor of Persia

VIII. 463–560

VIII. 5: Caterva Caesarum deiectorum

Gallienus, Quintilius, Aurelian of Denmark, Tacitus, Florianus, Probus, Clarus, Numerian and Carinus, Meonins Ballista, Æmilianns

VIII. 561–665

* VIII. 6: De Zenobia Palmyrenorum regina

Zenobia Septimia

VIII. 666–742

VIII. 7: Pauca de Diocletiano Romanorum imperatore

Diocletian [L adds St Alban and Pope Marcellus]

VIII. 743–854

VIII. 8: De Maximiano Herculeo Romanorum imperatore


VIII. 855–903

VIII. 9: De Galerio Maximiano Romanorum imperatore


VIII. 904–1022

VIII. 10: Nonnulli infoelices Caesares & Augusti

Maxentius, Lucinius of Denmark, Constantine and Crispus, Arius, Dalmatius, Constans and Constantius, Magnentius, Nepotian, Decius, Silvanus [L adds Constantine’s leprosy and Donation]

VIII. 1023–463

VIII. 11: De Iuliano Apostata Romanorum imperatore

Julian Apostate

VIII. 1464–652

VIII. 12: In blasphemos

On blasphemy

VIII. 1653–708

VIII. 13: Dolentes plurimi

Valens, Hermanric, Gratian, Maximus, Andragathius, Valentinian, Arbogastes and Eugenius, Theodosius [L adds Theodosius and Ambrose]

VIII. 1709–2107

VIII. 14: De Radagaso Gothorum rege

Alaric, Radagaisus and the Goths

VIII. 2108–191

VIII. 15: Dolentium descriptio brevis

Rufinus, Stilicho, Gratian, Maximus, Constantine, Constans, Hieronicus (L’s ‘Gorontius’), Attalus, Heraclian

VIII. 2192–317

* VIII. 16: De Odoacre Rutheno Italorum rege


VIII. 2318–520

* VIII. 17: In presentem urbis Romae conditionem

The Fall of Rome lamented

VIII. 2521–69

VIII. 18: Deiecti quidam

Trasilla, Busar, Philete, Marcian, Leo, Symmachus, Boethius

VIII. 2570–660

* VIII. 19: De Arthuri rege Britonum

Arthur and Mordred E

VIII. 2661–316412

VIII. 20: In scelestos filios

Unkind kindred, Mordred moralized

VIII. 3165–206

VIII. 21: Flentes quidam pauci

Five barbarians: Gelimer the Vandal, Vitigis the Goth, Amarales, Sindbal, Totila

VIII. 3207–55

VIII. 22: De Rosimunda Langobardorum regina

[L adds Turisund] Rosamund and Albion

VIII. 3256–381

VIII. 23: In mulieres

On noble women

De Casibus Chapters (A-Version)

Content Narratives in Des CMS (B-Version)

Fall Reference

Book IX: 6 narrative and 4 concluding envoys

* IX. 1: Et primo de quibusdam miseris. Et inde de Brunichilde Francorum regina

Mauritius, Phocas, Mahomet, Brunhilde argues with Bocace E, Brunhilde excused

IX. 1–532

IX. 2: Quidam tristes Augusti

Heraclius, Constantine III, Constantine IV

IX. 533–651

IX. 3: De Romilda Foroiulianorum (ut loquitur) ducissa

Gisulf and Romilda

IX. 652–721

IX. 4: Imperatores plures miseri flentesque Langobardi

Five emperors and four kings: Justinian Temerarius, Leontius, Tiberius, Philippicus, Anastasius; the division of the Church, Irene; Kings Lupus, Alahis, Aribertus, Desiderius

IX. 722–896

IX. 5: De Desiderio rege Langobardorum


IX. 897–966

IX. 6: Dolentes quidam & in superbos pauca

Pope Joan, Arnulph, the Pride of Princes, Louis

IX. 967–1059

IX. 7: De Ioanne Papa XII

Pope John XII

IX. 1060–99

IX. 8: Concursus dolentium

Charles of Lorraine, Salomon of Hungary, Pietro of Hungary, Leopold of Hungary, Ernest of Swabia

IX. 1100–7613

IX. 9: De Diogene Romano Constantinopolitanorum imperatore

Diogenes Romanus

IX. 1177–211

IX. 10: Adflicit quidam

Robert of Normandy, Henri IV, Jocelyn of Rages

IX. 1212–337

IX. 11: De Andronico Constantinopolitanorum imperatore

Andronicus I ‘Comnenus’

IX. 1338–477

IX. 12: In lascivos & sevos pauca

[L treats as an E to ch. 11]

IX. 1478–512

IX. 13: Infortunati alii

Isaac, Alexius, Sultans Salethus and Cathebadinus, Robert of Surrentine

IX. 1513–70

IX. 14: De Guilielmo tertio Siculorum rege

William of Sicily, Tancred

IX. 1571–640

IX. 15: Gementes aliqui

Guy of Lusignan, John of Brienne

IX. 1641–66

IX. 16: De Henrico Romanorum rege

Henry, son of Frederick II

IX. 1667–743

IX. 17: Adplaudit auctor patriae pietate

Love between kindred—six villains: Brutus, Manlius, Philip Manlius, Cassius, Herod, Frederick II

IX. 1744–99

IX. 18: Revoluti quidam

Frederick II, Manfred of Naples, Enzio of Sardinia, Frederick of Gastile, Maumetus of Persia, Argones

IX. 1800–55

IX. 19: De Carolo Siculorum rege

Gharles of Anjou, Sicily, and Jerusalem E

IX. 1856–2048 (octaves: 2017–48)

IX. 20: Infortunati quidam

Ugolino of Pisa, Aiton of Armenia, Boniface VIII

IX. 2049–125

IX. 21: De Iacobo magistro Templariorum

The Templars: Jacques de Molay

IX. 2126–237

IX. 22: Auctor patientiam commendatio: et ad earn summo studio amplexandam invitat unumquemque

Commends the patience of three philosophers: Theodorus of Sicily, Anaxarchus of Greece, Scaevola of Rome E

IX. 2238–433

* IX. 23: Numerosa querulorum turba

Philip the Fair’s children: Isabell, Louis X, Philip V, Charles IV; Charles of Tarentum, Peter, son of Charles II ‘the Lame’, Dante Alighieri, Praise of Paris

IX. 2434–552

* IX. 24: De Galterio Athcnarum duce

Walter, duke of Athens

IX. 2553–804

* IX. 25: Excusatio auctoris ob Philippam Cathinensem

The inclusion of Philippa of Catania

IX. 2805–1814

De Casibus Chapters (A-Version)

Content Narratives in Des CMS (B-Version)

Fall Reference

* IX. 26: De Philippa Cathinensi

Philippa of Catania, Jane of Calabria E

IX. 2819–3056

* IX. 27: Pauci flentes et libri conclusio

Sancho of Majorca, Louis of Jerusalem, John II of France E

IX. 3057–238 [IX. 3239–628: L adds a chapter on Fortune, in envoy form, drawing on Laurent’s closing remarks, together with two envoys for Duke Humphrey and an envoy to his book] (octaves: 3239–302, 3541–604)

() Italicized narratives/references are those omitted by Lydgate [L]; E indicates an envoy supplied by Lydgate; comments in square brackets indicate major additions.

(*) Indicates chapters translated by Louis Brewer Hall in The Fates of Illustrious Men (1965).

(1) Fido is taken by Lydgate from Laurent’s ch. 14 (fo. 36v).

(2) Note Bergen’s error in claiming that 11. 2584–940 ‘represent … Laurence’s Chapter 14’ (Fall ed. Bergen vol. iv. 177).

(3) Laurent muddles these two figures and calls them both Arteritis. Note Bergen’s error in claiming that Lydgate’s 11. 3326 ff. represent Laurent’s chapter 17 (ibid. IV. 178).

(4) From Book III ch. 2 of Des Cas.

(5) Note the error in Bergen’s claim that the chapter ends at 111. 1637 (Fall ed. Bergen vol. iv. 187).

(6) Priam is found in Boccaccio, but not in surviving French manuscripts: possibly Lydgate’s Des Cas had a scribal insertion at this point (see Fall ed. Bergen vol. iv. 205).

(7) Note that the French ch. 7 says (fo. 80r) only that lions killed Lysimachus in a pit, and ch. 14 (fo. 92r) that Lysimachus fought with the beasts and pulled out a lion’s tongue: Lydgate reverses these details, giving the fight in ch. 7 (Fall ed. Bergen vol. 11. 510) and omitting it later (p. 564).

(8) The story of Laodicea’s dream of Apollo is given by Laurent at both iv ch. 14 (fo. 91v) and here (fo. 109r; Lydgate, having treated it at IV. 3248–87, ignores it here.

(9) Note Bergen’s error in claiming that these lines ‘represent Laurence’s twelfth chapter’ (Fall ed. Bergen vol. iv. 240). Bergen has also been misled by Ziegler’s reference (on p. 137 of his edn.) to Book XII, chs. 14 and 16 of Josephus, De antiquitatibus: the Alcimus/Joachim narrative is in fact given in XII, chs. 9 and 10.

(10) Bergen claims these lines ‘correspond to Laurence’s chapter 21’, possibly having misread XVI as XXI (Fall ed. Bergen vol. iv. 242).

(11) Lydgate uses his refrained-envoy form for VII. 1153–313 (from the Golden World to Diogenes), anticipating the refrain of the envoy section proper (VII. 1314–34).

(12) Note Bergen’s erroneous claim that Lydgate treats this material as VIII. 2661–3206 (Fall ed. Bergen vol. iv. 326).

(13) Note Bergen’s error in claiming that Lydgate deals with ch. 8 in IX. 1121–69 (Fall ed. Bergen vol. iv. 361).

(14) Wright (1957; 17 n. 1) erroneously claims that Lydgate omits this chapter.