Hardyng's Chronicle, Book 1
JOHN HARDYNG, CHRONICLE, BOOK ONE: FOOTNOTES
1 And as some chronicles say he was King of Syria, in which these provinces are to be found: Palestine, Judea, Canaan, Idumea, Samaria, Galilee, Shechem, and Phoenicia
JOHN HARDYNG, CHRONICLE, BOOK ONE: EXPLANATORY NOTES
1m How thay . . . eldest sustire. The pre-Trojan foundation myth of Albyne and her sisters has a long and complicated textual history, which appears to be linked with the classical tale of the Danaïds and the biblical account of the giants before the deluge in Genesis 6:1–6 (see Cohen, Of Giants, pp. 52–54 for the latter). Its first notable appearance in England is in the fourteenth-century Anglo-Norman poem Des Grantz Geantz, which survives in a long and short version, a unique prose redaction in Oxford Corpus Christi College MS 78, and a Latin prose adaptation, De Origine Gigantum. The story was attached to the Long and Short versions of the Anglo-Norman Prose Brut, FH, The Short English Metrical Chronicle, the Anonimalle Chronicle, Castleford’s Chronicle, Scalacronica, Mohun Chronicle, Thomas Sprott’s Chronicle, EH, the Latin Brut, the Middle English Prose Brut, NC, the Liber Monasterii de Hyda, John Rous’s Historia Regum Anglie, the Ynglis Chronicle, and Jean Waurin’s Chroniques. The story also occurs in the romance Guiron le Courtois and the unique text about Brutus and Albyne in London, College of Arms L6. For further information on the myth and its different forms see Des Grantz Geantz, ed. Brereton; Reynolds, “Medieval Origines Gentium”; Carley and Crick, “Constructing Albion’s Past”; Evans, “Gigantic Origins”; Matheson, Prose Brut; Marvin, “Albine and Isabelle”; and Lamont and Baswell, Albina Casebook.
Hardyng’s adaptation, which is similar to Des Grantz Geansz, contains some interesting and unique embellishments (see 1.20–61, 1.172–82, 1.232m, and 1.257–80). Though the accompanying marginalia demonstrate awareness of other versions of the story (see note 1.176m), Hardyng only pursues the issue of conflicting sources in his second Chronicle (see Peverley, “John Hardyng’s Chronicle” in The Albina Casebook and Chronicle of John Hardyng: The Second Version).
Seynt Colman. Hardyng appears to be referring to Saint Colman (d. 676), bishop of Lindisfarne; however, the “Dialoge” that he refers to as a source for the foundation myth of Albion does not correspond with any known texts written by the bishop. Since Hardyng later cites Colman as a source for events that occurred after his death in 676, he may be deliberately misrepresenting him to lend authenticity to his history. On the other hand, he may have encountered a text that erroneously attributed certain information to Colman, or confused him with Saint Columba, who is linked with a number of writings, but not a “Dialoge” including Albyne.
Trogus Pompeyus. Pompeius Trogus, an historian and naturalist from Gallia Narbonensis, composed the Philippic History during the reign of the emperor Augustus. The history, comprising forty-four books, is now known only from references to it by other writers and an abbreviated version, or Epitome, compiled by Marcus Junianus Justinus, or Justin, c. 200 AD. (For further information see Howatson, Classical Literature, pp. 308 and 582, and Yardley and Heckel, Justin, Epitome, ed. Yardley and Heckel). If Hardyng really had been instructed in Justin’s Epitome, his recollection of it is very poor; it is not a source for the legend of Albyne and her sisters, or indeed for any of the other passages that Hardyng attributes to Trogus and Justin (see 1.176m, and 2.554m). Hardyng may have made an erroneous connection between the proud Grecian princesses and the origin myth of the Amazon women recounted in Book Two of the Epitome, but it is more likely that he altered the work to lend authority to the early part of the Chronicle. Equally, he may have cited Trogus, like Colman, after seeing him mentioned as a source for ancient history in other chronicles, such as FH or P.
Julyus Cesaryne . . . and discripcion. Cesarini (1398–1444), an eminent scholar and humanist, had a prominent career in the service of the Papal Curia and was created cardinal in 1426. Pope Martin V (c. 1368–1431), whom Cesarini served, was elected on 11 November 1417. For further details on Cesarini and Martin, see Cross and Livingstone (Christian Church, pp. 314 and 1045).
the cardynal of Wynchester. The “cardynal of Wynchester” is Henry Beaufort (c. 1376–1447), bishop of Lincoln (1398–1404), bishop of Winchester (1404–47), and cardinal (from 1426/27). Hardyng also mentions Beaufort in the second version of his Chronicle; see note Prol.117 above. For Beaufort’s life and career see Harriss, Cardinal Beaufort.
1 The while that Troy was regnyng in his myghte. This line appears to be a reworking of the opening of John Walton’s verse translation of Boethius’s De Consolatione Philosophiae, which begins “The while þat Rome was reignyng in hir floures” (p. 4). For Hardyng’s probable knowledge and use of Walton’s text see note 2.14–56 and Peverley, “Chronicling the Fortunes.”
3 thretty. The number of daughters is usually thirty or thirty-three. The later reference to fifty daughters at 1.176m shows Hardyng’s awareness of the story’s association with the myth of the Danaïds.
20–61 Save only . . . alle fortorne. Whilst the presentation of the youngest daughter corresponds with that in Des Grantz Geanz, De Origine Gigantum, and NC (compare her declaration that she agreed to Albyne’s plan with her mouth but not her heart), Hardyng draws upon the romance tradition to develop her character further. She discloses her sisters’ plan out of “pyté” for the husbands (1.29), a desideratum in romance heroines, and she trembles, faints, cries “allase” (1.57), and scratches her face in the same manner as distressed romance heroines; see, for example, Queen Heroudis in Sir Orfeo, lines 78–82, and Chrétien de Troyes’ Erec and Enide, lines 4285 ff. and line 4560 ff.
62–99 And fro . . . me tolde. The dialogue between the king and his daughter is omitted from the second version of Hardyng’s Chronicle.
148–68 Thus in . . . right fayne. By comparing the sisters’ former and present states during the long sea voyage Hardyng highlights the sisters’ shift in status and prepares us for a change in landscape, as we move from the civilization of their father’s kingdom to the wilderness of Albion. The detailed description of the sea voyage does not occur in the second version.
172–82 Bot Albyne . . . gode policy. The succession laws of ancient Greece that Hardyng describes are really those that governed the inheritance of lay property and titles in medieval England. When the male line failed, as it so often did in the late Middle Ages, an “heir general,” or daughter, could inherit or pass on a claim over a younger male member of the family. In Hardyng’s time there were no explicit laws regulating the descent of the monarchy so, technically, either an “heir male” or an “heir general” could inherit it. However, in practice, the inheritance of the crown followed the rules of primogeniture governing the “heir male” principle, ensuring that the inheritance of titles and lands passed to the oldest male.
176m Nota that . . . xliiii bookes. The different names assigned to the king show Hardyng’s awareness of alternative versions of the Albyne myth. While he does not pursue the issue in this version, he discusses the conflicting stories in the second version of the Chronicle. Diocletian appears most commonly in the Middle English Prose Brut, where he is king of Syria, not Greece, and Albyne’s mother is Labana, not Albyne. He also appears in some manuscripts of the Anglo-Norman Prose Brut, the Latin Brut, and in several conflated versions of the Greek and Syrian story prefacing the Middle English Prose Brut.
The association of King Danaus with the Grecian king, who is usually unnamed, connects the sisters with the classical myth of the Danaïds; the same myth is alluded to in FH I:15. For further information about the different versions see the items listed at 1.1m above.
The chronicle Hardyng cites by Martin is MO, but this does not include the myth of the Danaïds; neither does Justin’s Epitome of Pompeius Trogus (see note 1.1m). Although some of the Chronicle’s material does correspond with that in MO (see, for example, 1.202–03, 2.163–205, 2.229–31), Hardyng probably encountered it via another source that acknowledged its debt to MO (and Trogus), and misappropriated its attributions to enhance the authority of his text. For the influence of MO in the Middle Ages see Ikas, “Martinus Polonus’ Chronicle.”
197m Nota whan . . . sayde Dialoge. For the “law of Grece” see note 1.172–82; for Colman see note 1.1m.
202–03 As Omer . . . his entent. We have been unable to find a satisfactory explanation for this remark. It may be an erroneous response to HRB §25, which states that “Omerus clarus rethor et poeta habebatur” (“Homer was considered to be a famous rhetorician and poet”) at the end of the reign of Guendolyne, but, this would not explain Hardyng’s correct use of the passage at 2.940–53. Conversely, it could be a serious misreading of the passage in MO (p. 399), FH (I:42–43), and EH (I:304), which states that Homer flourished in Greece during the forty-year reign of Agrippa Silvius.
211–17 Thus Fortune . . . withoute disobeyshance. This is the first of many references to the “mutabilité” of Fortune. For further discussion of Hardyng’s attitude to Fortune and its importance see Peverley, “Chronicling the Fortunes.” Compare also the reference to Fortune in Des Grantz Geantz (pp. 328–40).
232m How the . . . destroyed hem. Hardyng’s reference to God taking vengeance on those who embrace evil and fail to keep the “pese amonge thaymselfe” lays the foundation for later warnings about the perils that face the English if contemporary injustices and civil unrest are not resolved. This is further supported by the reference at 1.267–80 to contemporary men retreating to the “kaves” where the giants used to dwell in times of civil unrest (see note 1.257–80). By alluding to Brute’s overthrowing of the giants before we reach that part of the narrative, Hardyng initiates a pattern common in chronicles whereby Providence is consistently shown to punish the wicked. See also note 2.575–659 below.
251–52 Thus gat . . . and wight. This part of the Albyne legend alludes to Genesis 6:4, where the sons of God beget giants on the daughters of man. For giants in medieval literature, see Cohen, Of Giants.
257–80 Of peple . . . by waste. Hardyng appears to be suggesting that humans lived alongside the giants and were oppressed by them. This is an interesting adjustment to the usual story, because the description that ensues of the wild places where the giants make their “grete edificaciouns” (1.268) invites the audience to see a correlation between the civil unrest in Albion and that in late fifteenth-century England. Whilst other chronicles contain allusions to the giants’ dwelling in caves and on hills, Hardyng’s narrative makes a distinct connection between the “kaves” (1.272, 1.275) that giants once lived in and those where his contemporaries retreat with their goods in times of war. This shifts the theme of oppression and societal strife from the giants’ era to the present, where another type of “giant” — the self-serving lord — oppresses the people and maintains disorder (compare also note 2.560–61).
283–308 From Dame . . . very computacioun. Compare with CPL (I:20), and RMB (1.1745–48). See also note 2.570–74 below.
310 Til tyme come efte that Brutus have thaym slayne. These lines anticipate events in Book 2, where Hardyng describes the arrival of Brute in Albion, and he and Coryneus slay the last remaining giants (see note 2.575–659).
JOHN HARDYNG, CHRONICLE, BOOK ONE: TEXTUAL NOTES
1m How thay . . . hys Dialoge. MS: This part of the marginalia (in red ink) appears to have been written over an earlier note in iron gall ink, traces of which can still be seen, although it is not legible. In most cases the red ink traces the original ink underneath, though regions of the marginalia at the start and the end of the present selection do contain illegible underwriting, partially visible at a wavelength of 420 nm of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Lyndisfarn. MS: Lyndifarn.
Wynchester. MS: Wynchest.
1 The. MS: illuminated initial.
176m Nota that . . . exiled thaym. MS: This part of the marginalia was originally copied in iron gall ink, but has been written over in red.
as Trogus . . . xliiii bookes. MS: This part of the marginalia appears to have been added when the scribe traced over the rest of the marginalia with red ink.
197–203 An early hand has copied a version of the first two lines into the left-hand margin: "Thys was the yere afore the incarnacyon a thousand iiii c v yere." Other annotations by this hand occur at 3.4004, 4.42, 6.1, 6.295, 6.332, and 6.346.
212 soveraynté. MS: soveraraynte.
266 So that. MS: That.
283 From Dame Albyne. MS: From.
286 Two hundre yere. MS: A contemporary hand has written “ii c yere” by the side of this text in the left-hand margin.
295–2.14 The stanzas on this folio, covering 1.295–2.14, have red rhyme bands.
308 A contemporary hand has written “x ii c yere afore the encarnacyon” in the left-hand margin next to this line.
(see note); (t-note)
Bot Martyne in his cronycle sayth thaire fadir was Danaus, Kyng of Argyves, and thaire husbondes fadir was his brother Egistus that had fyfty sonnes wed to .l. doughtirs, which thaire wifes slew alle but oone, fore whiche Danaus and Egistus exiled thaym as Trogus Pompeius sayth in his cronicles of al stories of the worlde, whiche Justyne his disciple abregid in xliiii bookes. (t-note)
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