The Interpretation of the Names of Gods and Goddesses
THE ASSEMBLY OF GODS: FOOTNOTES
1 When Phebus had nearly finished his circuit in Cancer (that is, the poem begins at the end of July)
2 Through which, the game (deer) is likely to diminish
3 A boring tool (corkscrew) and a vent-peg for a cask thereupon stood
4 Also, were it not for Phebe, Ceres would be sullied (see note)
5 Idle talkers, hypocrites, liars, and perverts (see note)
6 That no kind of lure or impediment were therein (see note)
7 Hydromancy, Ornithomancy (augury by birds' cries and flights), with Divination by fire
8 Vertu would not tarry, but hastened himself thither at once
THE ASSEMBLY OF GODS: EXPLANATORY NOTES
The Interpretation of the Names of the Gods and Goddesses (Table of Gods and Goddesses)
24 harneyse. I.e., personal fighting equipment, armor. Wynkyn de Worde mistranscribes as harveyste, an error that is reduplicated in all subsequent editions and reprintings, including Triggs'. See Hawes' The Pastime of Pleasure, lines 225-31, on Minerva as goddess of "harneys."
Banquet of Gods and Goddesses
1 Whan. The reference to Phebus running his cours echoes the beginning of the Canterbury Tales, although in this instance the circuit is nearly finished, with Phebus in the astrological sign of Cancer, which ends in July. The unconventional time of the dream vision - summer or Indian summer - echoes those of The Assembly of Ladies (September) and Pearl (August); see also Hawes' The Example of Vertu in The Minor Poems, which is set in September.
3 Pictagoras speere. The ninth sphere, as described by Pythagoras who, according to Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess, "the first fynder was / Of the art" (lines 1168-69) of music with its harmonic intervals, was thought to reflect the music of the spheres. Pythagoras is viewed here as a great arithmetician who established the principles of ratio and spherical geometry. The sphere signifies the harmony in which all discord is resolved. See Triggs' note. It is a "Pictagoras" who notes that "liche as oure begynnyng cometh of God, oure ende muste nedis be there," in the fable about "Acropos" (Atropos, or Death), in Christine de Pizan's The Epistle of Othea (fable 34, p. 45). In The Courte of Sapyence (line 1970) he is the observer of "a multytude of unytees" (see note to line 7) and the one who "by the soune of hamers in a forge . . . fyrst musik ganne to forge" (lines 2036-37).
7 monacorde. In Pythagorean/Boethian lore, everything yearns for and moves toward the One. But amidst temporalities such conjoining is never complete, thus the narrator's frustration. See notes to lines 3, 1872, and 2030. See also Boethius, Consolatio Philosophiae 3.m.9, on the world soul that unifies all. Boethius was the medieval authority on such matters in his De musica. See Elizabeth Teviotdale, "Music and Pictures in the Middle Ages," in Companion to Medieval and Renais-sance Music, ed. Tess Knighton and David Fellows (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992; rpt. 1997), p. 187, for a depiction of a monachord as a one-stringed instrument used to explain musical theory in a twelfth-century illumination of Boethius, who holds one in his lap as he explains ratios, number, intervals, and harmony.
12 To rowne with a pylow. To share secrets or commune with a pillow implies meditation or dialogic consultation of an intimate, mysterious sort. To sleep might also lead to visionary dreams, an oraculum (oracle), visio (vision), or somnium (enigmatic dream), according to Macrobius' well-known fourth-century commentary on the Somnium Scipionis (Dream of Scipio), 1.3.2
14 Morpheus. Morpheus comes as a guide, as is evident by his leading the narrator by the sleeve. Compare Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess, where he is sought as a counselor. Morpheus is "the messangere / Of the god of slepe and dremys sere" in Christine's The Epistle of Othea (fable 78, p. 95), who both makes dreams and causes men to dream. See also The Assembly of Gods, lines 1849-54; for "Morpheus stremes" see line 1855: as reward for his "labour," the god is granted the keys to five posterns, or gates, that is, control of the fantasies, idle tales, illusions, and dreams that occupy the five "inwarde wyttes" (or senses) while humans sleep. See note to line 35 on Morpheus' capacities for insight.
18 Mynos the justyse. In Dante's Inferno, the judge Minos awaits the confessions of sinners at the entrance to the second circle, after which he decides where the sinner will be sent and "encircles himself with his tail as many times as the grades he will have it sent down" (5.11-12; trans. Charles S. Singleton). Minos is similarly termed the "maister and iusticere of Helle" in Christine's The Epistle of Othea (fable 4, p. 13) and also a "provost or a chef bailie, and a-fore him is broughte alle [the soules] descending into that valeye; and aftir that thei have deserved of penaunce, as many degrees as he will that thei be sette deepe, as ofte he turnyth his taile aboute him" (fables 4-5, p. 13). In Chaucer's Troilus 4.1188, Troilus, seeing Crisyede swoon and imagining she is dead, longs to die so that he can follow Criseyde's soul where "the doom of Mynos wolde it dighte."
19 sylogyse. To engage in ratiocination, the making up of syllogisms. The OED cites this line as the earliest use of the term, noting Stephen Hawes, The Pastime of Pleasure (1509), as the next, with "But rude people, opprest with blyndnes / Agaynst your fables, wyll often solisgyse [sic]" (lines 792-93). The term implies some degree of precious futility.
21 "He must nedys go that the devell dryves." A common proverb. See Morris Palmer Tilley, A Dictionary of the Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1950), D278, p. 154, which cites John Skelton's Garland of Laurel, "Nedes must he sin that the deuyll dryvith" (1523) and eighteen other instances in the following centuries.
27 Pluto. The ruler of hell (see Boethius, Consolatio Philosophiae 3.m.12), Pluto is also identified in commentaries on Boethius as god of the underworld, or of earth, and therefore of wealth or riches. Pluto's relationship with the "juge desperate" (i.e., Minos in line 28) exists in analogue with that of God's relationship with Judge Minos in Dante's Inferno: hell was created by God for the unrepentant sinner, as the gate of hell reminds those who pass through ("Justice moved my maker on high, / Divine power made me and supreme wisdom and primal love" [3.4-6, trans. Singleton]). For his mythographic significance in the Middle Ages, see especially the long sixth book on Pluto as fourth child of Saturn and ruler of the underworld in the influential Third Vatican Mythographer (Bode, pp. 174-97).
35 a lytyll corner callyd 'Fantasy.' To place Morpheus' dwelling place in fantasy is to link him with dreams. Compare Chaucer's The Hous of Fame, lines 66-80. The term derives from an ancient Greek concept of showing or making visible. Phantasos, who according to Pierre Bersuire's fourteenth-century commentary on Ovid's Metamorphoses (11.633), is one of the three sons of Somnus, or Sleep; he governs the lowest appetites - gluttony and sloth - just as brother Morpheus governs desire for fame and brother Icelos, lust. Dreams in Christine's The Epistle of Othea (fable 78) are sometimes troublesome and dark, sometimes meaningful or meaningless, but no one is wise enough to interpret them except the expositors themselves. See also Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess (lines 136-95) and John Gower's Confessio Amantis (4.2985 ff.), both of which discuss Morpheus' dwelling in the cave of sleep near the strange land of Chymerie.
37 Cerberus. The "porter of hell," with his "cheyne," is called "Serebrus" in Christine's The Epistle of Othea (fable 3, p. 10) and associated with his master Pluto or with his conqueror Hercules, who tames him in his fifth Labor. Cerberus is often depicted as a three-headed "hell-hound" whose three heads allegorically represent the three continents of earth, the three ages of human life, or three kinds of envy, and as earth, a flesh-eater, he is ever greedy for new meat (that is, sinners), according to commentaries on Boethius' Consolatio Philosophiae (3.m.12). See also Chance, Medieval Mytho-graphy, on King Alfred's Cerberus in the Anglo-Saxon translation of Boethius (pp. 211-12); the influential Boethius glosses on Cerberus by Remigius of Auxerre (p. 237); William of Conches (p. 412); and Bernardus Silvestris on the Aeneid (p. 460).
38 Eolus, in raggys evyll arayd. Eolus changed from A: Colus. "Colus" is also the name for Eolus, "god of wyndes," in Christine's The Epistle of Othea (fables 12 and 79), and in Hawes'The Example of Vertu, which also begins with the roaring of Eolus' "blastes" (line 132). Eolus, or Aeolus, is responsible for the fatal shipwreck of Ceys (Seys), husband of Alchion (Halcyon). In commentaries on the Aeneid, Aeolus is linked with Juno, who governs the aerial region and is responsible for honors and fame. See also Chance, Medieval Mythography, pp. 121, 336-37, 447, and 462. In The Assembly of Gods, lines 585-88, he is released and called upon to attack Vertu. Her constancy is unaffected by his blasts, however, just as she is immune to all assaults of Fortune. See lines 1646 ff. for Dame Doctryne's explication of Eolus.
39 Neptunus and Diana. Neptune is god of the sea; Diana is goddess of the wood and hunting and identified with the moon. Saturn's four children govern the four cosmological regions: Jupiter, the ether, or fire; Juno, the air; Neptune, the water; and Pluto, the earth. For Neptune, Christine reminds the knight that he should pay his devotions to this god to protect him from tempests (fable 33, pp. 44-45). For the genealogy of Neptune and his role in medieval mythographies, see the note to line 337.
Diana is glossed in Christine's The Epistle of Othea as the moon who "yeveth chaste condicion; and thei named it after a ladi that so was callid, the which was ful chaste and was ever a virgin" (fable 23, p. 35). In the "Allegorie" for this fable she represents the "God of hevyn." For the mythographic significance of Diana as the moon, see Chance, Medieval Mythography, especially in Cicero (p. 79); the First Vatican Mythographer (pp. 191-92); and Martianus (p. 291). See also the chapter on Diana in the Third Vatican Mythographer, 8.3 (Bode, pp. 200-01).
66 roote and rynde. The sense is root and bark, or the whole plant, i.e., entirely.
164 Appollo. Apollo played an especially important role in Macrobius' Saturnalia, Fulgentius' Mitologiae, and Martianus Capella's De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, in part because in the last work he aided his friend, the bridegroom Mercury, in his search for a bride. School commentaries on Martianus and Boethius (3.m.9) up to the twelfth century helped to disseminate the basically Neoplatonic reading of the god Apollo as a planet signifying light and truth. See Chance, Medieval Mytho-graphy, on Apollo in the Saturnalia (pp. 77-80); in Fulgentius (pp. 106-07, 121); in the First Vatican Mythographer (pp. 191-92); and in Remigius of Auxerre (pp. 272-75, 292). Known as "Phoebus," the sun, Apollo is prominent in Chaucer, especially in The Franklin's Tale, where Aurelius appeals to him for help, and in The Manciple's Tale, where he appears as a central character. See also the eighth book on the god Apollo in the Third Vatican Mythographer (Bode, pp. 210-13). In Christine's The Epistle of Othea, he represents the clarity of truth and is linked with Sunday and gold (fables 9, 40, and 81). About Apollo Christine writes, "The sonne be his clernes schewith thinges that be hidde; and therfore / Trouthe, the which is clere and schewith secrete thinges, may be yeven to him" (fable 9, p. 19). In her "Allegorie" he signifies the truth of Christ opposed to all falsity. In Lydgate he is commonly used to signify governance in the daytime world of nature, much as he is here.
167 banket. Triggs (p. 62) notes, "In the fourteenth century the cloth or cushion covering a bank or bench on which dessert was served was called a 'banker'; a feast came to be called a 'banket' (Mem. of Lond., ed. Riley, I, p. 179 and p. 44)."
203 Bothe her compleyntes. See lines 194 and 195 where Diane asks why Eolus is permitted to remain with the gods and what action should be taken against his crimes.
220 teares from hys eyen go. Proof of repentence or sincerity by pointing to tears is a common literary device. Compare Aurelius' proof to Apollo in his prayer for grace from Dorigen: "Lord Phebus se the tearis on my cheke" (CT V[F]1078); or Dorigen's touching appeal to "Eterne God," with "many a pitous tear " (CT V[F]894).
243 Phebe. The sister of the sun, Apollo (or Phoebus), Phebe is similarly identified as the moon and linked with folly and unsteadfastness, in Christine's The Epistle of Othea (fable 10). There she is associated with Monday and silver and called by the masculine name of her brother, Phebus, as she is in The Assembly of Gods (see textual note to lines 243 and 358). Identified by a variety of names in the Middle Ages, as Diana her name is said to derive (according to the First Vatican Mythographer in myth 37) from duana, because the moon is two and appears both at night and during the day; she was also known as Vesta, from vestita, in that she dresses in grasses. As Lucina, goddess of childbirth, and Proserpina, goddess of the underworld, she has a tripartite role, which supports her name as "Trivia," meaning (according to some sources) a place where three roads meet and referring to the fact that Diana was worshipped at the crossroads (tri and via) (see Chance, Medieval Mythography, pp. 191 and 584n14). In The Franklin's Tale Chaucer refers to her as "Lucina the sheene" who is "emperisse aboven [Neptune]" (CT V [F] 1045-48). See below, note to line 362.
248 aboorde. The term derives from the practice of placing boards on trestles to create tables, which then could be removed as the clearing took place.
249 Othea. Referred to in line 304 as the "chyef grounde of polyty." Although Triggs equates Othea with Athena (p. 68), a passage cited by Bühler in his edition of Scrope's translation of Christine, that equation is doubtful. Christine, in her The Epistle of Othea, invented the name "Othea," probably to denote the goddess, "O Thea," although Othea also appears as "goddesse of prudence" in Lydgate's Troy Book (Prol. 38) and in The Assembly of Ladies, where she is a different goddess, quite separate from Athena. In The Assembly of Gods, Minerva more likely equates with Athena. See note to lines 344-49.
250 A dew ordre in every place ys expedyent. The seating of the gods at the Assembly places Apollo, the sun, governor of the middle of the translunary realm, rather than Jupiter, penultimate planet, at the head of the assembly. That adjustment of hierarchy identifies the natural concerns of the poem, as the assemblage attempts to deal with changes provoked by Eolus' blasts that occur below the moon and the sun and therefore are not the concern of the region designated by the upper planets. (Note that Juno, consort of Jupiter, is also silent, perhaps because she governs the aerial region dominated by Aeolus as god of winds.) The paradigm applies to the Christian perspective of the microcosm back on earth, as well as the translunary and cosmological realm, where Dame Nature becomes a factor in the decision to release Sensualité, despite his errant behavior (see lines 1268 ff.).
254-55 Aurora the goddesse, / . . . "Thowgh ye wepe. Aurora is "Spryng of the day" in the "Interpretation of the Names of Gods and Goddesses" (line 12) and also in Christine's The Epistle of Othea. Christine's Aurora "in hir-silf hath sorowe and wepyng" because she lost her son Tynus in the battle of Troy (fable 44, pp. 55-56). See the First Vatican Mythographer, fable 139 (Bode, pp. 44-45). As Daybreak she also represents the new day. See Chance, Medieval Mythography, p. 458, where in Bernardus Silvestris' commentary on the Aeneid, book 6, she represents the first glow of understanding that illumines the eyes of the mind.
260 Mars, myghty god and strong. In Christine's The Epistle of Othea, the followers of Mars love and pursue arms and the deeds of knighthood; the god is linked there with Tuesday and iron (fable 11 - see also The Hous of Fame, line 1459). For the etymology of his name and its association with Mors, death, see Chance, Medieval Mythography, p. 318; for his mythographic definitions in the First and Second Vatican Mythographers, see pp. 201 and 318; for his role as a planet, see p. 382; and for his significance in Martianus Capella, see p. 296. Mars figures prominently in Chaucer's writings. See especially The Knight's Tale, The Complaint of Mars, and The Complaint of Venus; in Troilus 5.1853 he is cited as one of the "rascaille" pagan gods. In Lydgate's Troy Book Mars is a war god and a cuckolder of Vulcan (see, for example, Prol. 1-37). In The Courte of Sapyence he is "cruel," like a "tempestuous fury" (line 474).
267 mantell and the ryng. Triggs (p. 68) cites similar lines relating to mantle and ring (along with the color black) as signs of widowhood in Lydgate's Dance of Macabre (Bodl. 686) and elsewhere in his Minor Poems.
269 good Jupyter. Christine notes, "Jovis or Jubiter is a planete of softe condicion, amyable and ful gladde and figure to sangwen complexion," in The Epistle of Othea (fable 6, pp. 16-17), as in he is a "mankyndely planete." In Gower Jupiter is said to be "softe and swete" by nature (Confessio Amantis 7.912) and an opponent to "stormy weder" (7.928). Allegorically, Christine's Jupiter signifies the mercy and compassion of Jesus Christ. Jupiter is normally associated with tin (line 270), as in Chaucer (The Canon's Yeoman's Tale, CT VIII [G] 828), but Christine oddly links him with copper and brass, which differs from the tradition followed by The Assembly of Gods, Chaucer, Gower, and Lydgate (see Bühler, pp. 252-53). One might think, given his supremacy among the gods and his place at the head of a similar assembly in Martianus Capella, that Diana and Neptune would have taken their plight to him and that he would have called the feast. See the notes to lines 164 and 250.
275 Juno, full rychely beseene. Juno represents riches and fame, just as Venus represents love and beauty, and Minerva, wisdom, in the medieval glosses on the Judgment of Paris. In the Aeneid commentaries, because Juno was spurned by Paris in his Judgment of the three goddesses, she retaliates against the Trojans by delaying Aeneas in Carthage, with Dido, in his flight from Troy and his journey toward his ultimate goal, the founding of Italy. For her antipathy to Paris and the Argives, see Chance, Medieval Mythography, pp. 313, 315, and 425; for her role in the Judgment of Paris in Chaucer, see Patricia R. Orr, pp. 159-76. For her various names as Diana, Proserpina, and Lucina, see also Chance, Medieval Mythography, pp. 249, 286-87, and 384-85; for her role in Stoic myth, pp. 10-11, 429, and 432; for her role as ruler of air, pp. 248, 284, 287-90, 313, and 318; and as goddess of childbirth and marriage, pp. 287, 375, and 385.
276 sercote. "An outer coat or garment, commonly of rich material, worn by people of rank of both sexes" (OED).
280 oon. For proof that Saturn causes many oon to morne, see Chaucer's The Knight's Tale (CT I [A] 2454-69).
282 frost and snow. Because Saturn is the slowest and most distant planet in the Ptolemaic scheme, he is presented as being most wintry (n.b., his "bawdryk of isykles" in line 285) and leaden (line 287). Compare Chaucer's The Knight's Tale, cited in notes to lines 280 and 287. See also Robert Henryson, The Testament of Cresseid, ed. Robert L. Kindrick (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1997), lines 151-68.
283 fawchon. A falchion is "a broad sword, more or less curved, with the edge on the convex side; in later use and in poetry, sword of any kind" (OED). Saturn's son Jupiter cut off his privy members, which may explain the blood on the blade. For this reason Saturn often represents prudence in medieval commentaries; from his testicles, thrown into the sea, his daughter Venus, also known as Aphrodite, born from foam, sprang. The poet may have forgotten Saturn's association with a scythe that mows down, as does time; or, perhaps, fawchon is simply a synonym for "scythe."
287 leede. Saturn is similarly associated with lead and Saturday in Chaucer's The Knight's Tale (CT I [A] 2454-69) and Christine's The Epistle of Othea (fable 8, pp. 18-19). For Christine he is cold because he is a "planete of slowe condicion" that controls the outermost of the planetary spheres. The outermost planet of the seven in the Ptolemaic system of cosmology, Saturn has the longest path and is therefore often represented as cold, distant, and old. On his important planetary signification and role in Chaucer's The Knight's Tale, see Chance, The Mythographic Chaucer, especially pp. 185-213. See also Raymond Klibansky, Erwin Panofsky, and Fritz Saxl, Saturn and Melancholy: Studies in the History of Natural Philosophy, Religion, and Art (London: Thomas Nelson, 1964).
289-94 Ceres . . . / . . . hervest horne. Ceres is the goddess of corn who invented the craft of tilling in Christine's The Epistle of Othea: "because that the lande bare the more plenteuouslye after that it was eried, they seide that sche was a goddes of cornys; and thei callid the lande after here name" (fable 25, p. 36). Because Ceres as a goddess of grain appears, along with Bacchus as god of the vine, in Virgil's Georgics, a work much less well known in the Middle Ages than his much-glossed Aeneid, she plays a less significant role in the early medieval mythographies; on her role in com-mentaries on the Georgics, see Chance, Medieval Mythography, pp. 177-79; on her Terentian association with bread and grain, which reappears in Remigius of Auxerre and Martianus, p. 282; for her coupling with Bacchus, god of wine, in Macrobius glosses, pp. 423-25 and 442-43. Ceres is identified as the wife of Saturn in the Third Vatican Mythographer, book 2. For her important role in Christine, see Judith Kellogg, "Christine de Pizan as Chivalric Mythographer: L'Epistre Othea," in The Mythographic Art, ed. Chance, pp. 100-24; and "Christine de Pizan's Le Livre de la Cité des Dames: Feminist Myth and Community," Essays in Arts and Sciences 18 (1989), 1-15; for Chaucer's Ceres, see Chance, The Mythographic Chaucer, pp. 15, 41, 85, and 135.
290 sak clothe. Usually sackcloth implies poverty, penance, or humility. Here it suggests harvest and the purveyance of Ceres' bounty. The OED cites this line as its example for the agricultural use of sackcloth (a coarse linen fabric used for bales or bagging of grain).
295-99 Cupido, / . . . helme ay. The Latinate spelling of Cupid's name recurs in the Middle Ages in three poems, one Middle French and two Middle English, one of which is a translation. In Christine's The Epistle of Othea, the god of love is "yong and ioly" (fable 47, p. 59); Cupido is also the speaker in her Epistre au Dieu d'Amours (Letter to the God of Love) (1399). In The Assembly of Gods, Cupido's pairing with Ceres, goddess of corn, resembles those of the God of Love and Alceste the daisy and of Mars and Cybele, in Chaucer's Prologue to The Legend of Good Women. See Chance, The Mythographic Chaucer, pp. 39 and 40-41; for Cupid's role in the Troilus, see pp. 116, 129-36, and 156-57.
299 kerchyef of pleasaunce. This phrase is also found in the English ballads of Charles of Orleans. See lines 1168, 4764, and 5170.
316 Fortune the goddesse, with her party face. The goddess Fortune is often depicted with a face of different colors to show her variable and inconstant behavior. Associated with an ever-turning wheel in medieval mythographies and commentaries, the goddess Fortune is called "the greet goddesse" in Christine's The Epistle of Othea because worldly things are governed by her (fable 74, p. 91). Her multicolored face in The Assembly of Gods suggests her association with mutability and change, the conditions governing the sublunary region; thus, for Christine, "in a litel space sche chaungith" (p. 91). Fortune as a goddess predominates in the second book of Boethius' Consolatio Philosophiae; she also appears to have both philosophic and mythographic significance throughout Chaucer: for example, he refers to her as "pley of enchauntement, / That semeth oon and ys not soo" (The Book of the Duchess, lines 648-49); in addition Fortune appears in "Fortune: Balades de Visage sanz Peinture," The Monk's Tale, and The Knight's Tale. See her role in Bernard L. Jefferson, Chaucer and the 'Consolation of Philosophy' of Boethius (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1917; rpt. New York: Gordian Press, 1968), pp.130-32 and 142-44; see also Howard Rollins Patch, The Goddess Fortuna in Mediaeval Literature (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1927; rpt. New York: Octagon Books, 1967).
320 gowne was of gawdy grene chamelet. The term gawdy grene may suggest vitality as it does in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, where it describes the Green Knight's garb, "embrauded abof, wyth bryddes and fly3es / With gay gaudi of grene ay in myddes" (lines 167-68). But as Fortune's dress the yellowish green gown (see OED on gaudy-green), which is "Chaungeable of sondry dyverse colowres" (line 321), may characterize Dame Fortune's instability and newfangledness. See Tamotsu Kurose, Miniatures of Goddess Fortuna in Mediaeval Manuscripts (Tokyo: Sanseido Co., Ltd., 1977), where color miniatures of Dame Fortune commonly depict the goddess clothed in particolors, often (about 30 instances) with a green gown, or green sleeves, or green stripes, or green hat, or green girdle, sometimes even with green wings. Figures of inconstancy, Fortune, and green become somewhat interchangeable. See, for example, the Chaucerian "Against Women Unconstant," where newfangledness, ever yearning for variety, is told "in stede of blew, thus may ye were al grene" (balade refrain, lines 7, 14, and 21).
323-24 though he unworthy were, / The rewde god Pan, of sheperdys the gyde. A god whom Isidore identifies with Nature because of his name, "All," Pan shares with Ceres and Bacchus a small role in the evolution of medieval mythography because of his appearance in the little-read Virgilian Georgics. See Chance, Medieval Mythography, for his mythographies in Macrobius (p. 81); Isidore (pp. 144-45); the First Vatican Mythographer (p. 179); Martianus Capella and his commentators, including Notker Labeo (pp. 290 and 383); the Second Vatican Mythographer (p. 321); and William of Conches (p. 440).
325 russet frese. This is a coarse rust-colored woolen cloth (frieze) napped on one side.
breched lyke a bere. The phrase means wearing sloppy breeches.
326 tar-box. The tar box was once commonly used by shepherds (OED).
328 pryk-eryd. Prick-eared dogs were used for hunting (OED).
330-36 Ysys . . . / . . . sustynaunce. Ysys (Isis) bears Pan the shepherd company because, in Christine's The Epistle of Othea, she is "goddes of plantis and graffis and she yeveth them strengthe and growinge to multiplie" (fable 25, p. 37). There her fable appears next to those of Ceres (24) and Diana (23), allegorically the three representing the Trinity. An Egyptian goddess whom Christine links with Io, she also appears in Giovanni Boccaccio's De claris mulieribus; for her significance in Christine, see Chance, trans., Christine de Pizan's Letter of Othea to Hector, pp. 122 and 128. Although Isis was not very mainstream in medieval mythography, glosses about her were disseminated through the works of North African Roman Martianus Capella and school commentaries on his prosimetrum; see Chance, Medieval Mythography, pp. 289 and 474.
337 Neptunus. Neptune, the god of the sea, so important in the Greek epics of Homer, played a relatively inconspicuous role in the medieval mythographies; see above, note to line 39 and below note to line 360. The third child of Saturn, Neptune also governs imaginary creatures and the fluidity of imagining and image-making. His Greek name, Poseidon, means "making an image or likeness" in Latin (faciens imaginem), according to the Third Vatican Mythographer, "quod aqua imagines formet in se spectantium, quod nulli alii de quatuor elementis accidit" [because water alone of all the four elements may form images, because no others of the four elements reaches by falling] (5.1; Bode, p. 171). He also appears in Chaucer, Gower, and Lydgate. See especially The Franklin's Tale (CT V [F] 1047); Gower, Confessio Amantis 1.1152, 2.180, 5.983 ff., 1146, 6162 ff., and 8.623; and Lydgate's Troy Book 2.568 ff. (on Troy being Neptune's city).
342 A shyp with a toppe. "A platform near the head of each of the lower masts of a ship. In early fighting ships, a platform at the head of the mast, fenced with a rail, stored with missiles and occupied by archers" (OED).
344-49 Mynerve . . . / . . . by her syde. As goddess of "harneyse" ("Interpretation of the Names," line 24) Minerva bears her armorial iconography. Gauntlettes are leather gloves reinforced with steel (part of medieval armor) and sabatouns are broad-toed foot coverings worn by warriors in full armor (see OED). Christine describes her as figurative mother of the exemplar of chivalry, the Trojan prince Hector, in The Epistle of Othea (fable 1, p. 5); see also Chance, "Christine's Minerva, the Mother Valorized," in Christine's The Letter of Othea to Hector, pp. 121-33. Although Christine differentiates Minerva, the inventor of armor, from Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom, nevertheless, Minerva is "ladi of grete connynge and fonde the crafte to make armure" (fable 13, pp. 23-24). Usually equivalent in the Middle Ages to Pallas Athena, the daughter of Jupiter who burst forth fully grown from his head, Minerva represents the goddess of peace and wisdom and is often depicted holding an olive branch because, in a contest with Neptune (Poseidon) over who should name Athens, her gift to civilization, the olive tree, was deemed greater than his, the horse. For her perpetual virginity, see Chance, Medieval Mythography, pp. 266-67; for her gift to Athens, p. 391; for her very important allegorical role in Martianus Capella, see pp. 258-59 and 295-96; for the mythographers' glosses on her, see, for Fulgentius, p. 114; for the First Vatican Mythographer, pp. 189, 193-94; for the Second Vatican Mythographer, pp. 319, 321, 332-33, and 342-43. For her role in the Judgment of Paris and Chaucer's Troilus, see especially Orr. Note that The Courte of Sapyence presents Minerva as "the goddess of wysedom ful of all lyght" (line 1745) and also describes her luminous armor at length (lines 1744-78); of the ancient deities, Minerva is the one most akin to Sapience herself: "Y-gete she was of Jupyteres brayne" (line 1761).
345 curas. Literally, "boiled leather," from cuirass (ME curas; MF curasse, "leather," "skin"), identified as what warriors wore before Minerva invented armor, in Christine's The Epistle of Othea (fable 13, p. 23) and also in the Epistre Othea.
358 Phebe. "Phebe" is the name given to the moon in Christine's The Epistle of Othea (fable 10), but gendered male (pp. 20-21), a mistake perhaps picked up and corrected inaccurately by A.
360 to avale. Neptunus' "availing" to Phebe alludes to tidal responsiveness to the moon's attraction. The power of the sea is therefore linked to the pull of gravity by the moon, so that Phebe can also be said to make him "prevail." See note to line 362.
361 meynt. The word meynt (from the verb meng) usually means "to be mingled together in intercourse; or with, among, others; to be joined in battle; to have sexual intercourse; to be united in marriage" (OED). Because the moon and the sun (Diana/ Phebe, and Apollo/Phebus) are sister and brother and the context is astrological, most likely what is meant is "conjoined," as when planets are in conjunction, or in the same house, therefore, housed. See also Chaucer's The Franklin's Tale (CT V [F] 1041-54) for Aurelius' petition to Phoebus and Phoebe.
362 ne were she, Ceres were ateynt. Phoebe controls tides and, in conjunction with Phoebus, affects the germination of seed. That is why farmers would plant according to the phases of the moon. This passage implies that, without Phebe, Ceres (goddess of corn), who invents cultivation (line 1710), would be "ateynt," i.e., sullied, hindered, less procreative or less heat intensive. See various MED and OED glosses on the term.There is a possibility that ateynt means "accused" or "convicted," with the suggestion of wrongdoing by Ceres without Phebe, either because of her abrogation of function or because, given the identification of Ceres in the commentaries with the Magna Mater cult and its orgiastic rites and sexual activity, without the validation of philosophical and cosmological purpose.
365-71 Mercurius . . . / . . . every land. This god takes a seat next to Phebe because the planet Mercury is situated next to the moon, Phoebe or Diana (Luna), and is closest to the earth, around which all the planets (including the sun) circle in the Ptolemaic system. Because his course is the quickest, Mercury is known as the messenger of the gods and for his eloquence (quick speech): Christine describes him in The Epistle of Othea as "a planete that yeveth influence of pontificalle behavynge and of faire langage arayed with retorik," allegorically, "god of langage" bearing "good prechinges and wordes" (fable 12, pp. 22-23). A flute player who lulls the many-eyed Argus to sleep, Mercury also allows Jupiter's beloved, Io, to escape from Juno's shepherd (fable 30, pp. 41-42). Mercury is similarly associated in Christine with Wednesday and quicksilver (line 370). See also Chance, Medieval Mythography, for discussions of his importance to Fulgentius and the First and Second Vatican Mythographers (pp. 106-08, 121, 192-93, 318, 322, and 330); and Martianus Capella and his commentators (pp. 34, 106, and 272-75). Chaucer uses this planet as a character in The Complaint of Mars (see Chance, The Mythographic Chaucer, pp. 88-89); and as a guide to Troilus in the Troilus (pp. 107-08, 110-11, 113-14, 151, 159, 161, and 166-67). See also his Virgilian and Ovidian associations, especially in The Hous of Fame (pp. 51-52 and 54), The Knight's Tale (pp. 189, 198, and 200), and The Wife of Bath's Prologue (pp. 219-20).
371 Multyplyers know hit well. Alchemists use mercury to dissolve gold or silver in the first stage of the alchemical process. See the digest of Arnald of Villanova's Rosarium in the Aldine edition of Pretiosa Margarita Novella, cited by John Reidy in his introduction to the edition of Thomas Norton's Ordinal of Alchemy, EETS o.s. 272 (London: Oxford University Press, 1975), p. lxiv.
372-78 Venus . . . / . . . wanton ey. This goddess of love, much glossed in medieval mythographies and commentaries, is daughter of Saturn (or time, mutability) and mother of Cupid, desire (from the Latin cupiditas, "concupiscence," "greed"). Unlike the other planets in The Assembly of Gods associated with a metal and a day of the week and also found in Christine's The Epistle of Othea, she is not numbered among Christine's significant deities, perhaps because of her lascivious nature. But she is certainly prominent in English courtly romance traditions, especially in Chaucer and Gower. For her genealogy, see Chance, Medieval Mythography, p. 467; for her adulterous role in Chaucer's The Complaint of Mars, see Chance, The Mythographic Chaucer, pp. 84-85 and 87-91; for her undressed and generative significance in The Parlement of Foules, see pp. 83-87 and 95-104; for her association with Palamon in The Knight's Tale and her Berchorian Ovidian signification, see pp. 185-86, 190-97, 200, 204-05, and 209; for her profound but bifurcated role in the Troilus, see pp. 84, 109-10, 129-38, 156-57, 163-64, and 182; and for Alisoun's astrological and psychological affinities with Venus, expressed both in her Prologue and by means of the Ovidian allusions in The Wife of Bath's Tale, see pp. 84, 217-21, and 231.
374 her eyen, columbyne. Compare Januarie's yearning after May - "com forth now, with thyne eyen columbine" - in The Merchant's Tale (CT IV [E] 2141). Januarie's love song echoes Song of Songs 4:1, as does the line here.
389-99 sage phylosophyrs and poetes . . . / goddesses plesaunce. In the catalog that follows, the poet lists Greek, Turkish, Egyptian, Roman, Arabian, and medieval European poets and philosophers, their roles stretched to include physicians, scientists, historians, astrologers, and magicians. Their duty here is to serve the pagan gods and goddesses summoned for the banquet. Many of them are cited in Christine in her glosses on fables from the Middle English The Epistle of Othea; she would not have known their works individually but instead sampled excerpts found in the collection, Dits moraulx des philosophes (The Dicts and Sayings of the Philosophers), like The Epistle, translated into Middle English by Stephen Scrope in the early- to mid-fifteenth century. See the edition by C. F. Bühler, EETS o.s. 211 (London: Oxford University Press, 1941). Bühler's notes in The Epistle identify the source of each gloss in The Dicts. For convenience I will refer to the appropriate fable and page citation in Christine in the notes that follow. For a comparable list of philosophers, see The Courte of Sapyence, lines 1881-89; for rhetoricians and poets, see lines 1915-32.
391 Tholomé, Dorothé with Dyogenes. Christine cites "Tholome" in her gloss on fable 97, The Epistle of Othea, p. 117, and "Diogenes" in her glosses on fables 12, p. 23, and 26, p. 38. "Ptolomy" names the Macedonian kings in Egypt; Ptolemy I (fourth to third century BC) was a friend of Alexander the Great whose histories record his reign. Dorothé may refer to Dorotheus of Sidon (AD first century), an astrological poet in vogue with later Islamic astrologers (Oxford Classical Dictionary). It is possible his name appeared in a list with Avicenna and Averroës; he is also included in The Dicts. Diogenes of Sinope, known as the "mad Socrates," was an Athenian street philosopher born in Turkey (404 BC).
392 Messehala. An unknown poet or philosopher, apparently Greek because of his position here between Plato and Socrates, but possibly either Marcus Valerius Messal(la) (Rufus) (d. 26 BC), author of once esteemed and well-known but now lost books on history and religion, or else Marcus Valerius Messal(l)a Corinus (64 BC-AD 8), supporter of Brutus and Cassius, who penned a pastoral poem and was part of a literary circle.
393 Sortes and Saphyrus with Hermes. The name Sortes, a word for ancient oracles, also appears in Gower's Confessio Amantis 3.366 and 8.2718. The editor Macaulay explains that the latter name refers to a magician who personifies the Sortes sanctorum (Works 3:547), meaning the Sortes Virgilianae, that is, the works of Virgil opened randomly for the selection of an arbitrary but oracular line, although on what basis Macaulay concludes so remains unclear (see the Oxford Companion to Classical Literature, s.v. Oracles). Even though the name appears in the list above, Sortes is probably a corruption for Socrates, as it is in Piers Plowman (B Text, 12.268), according to a note by editor Walter W. Skeat in his edition of Piers Plowman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1886; rpt. with addition of bibliography, 1954, 2.187). Sortes may also represent the title Soter, used initially for a protective deity and later for Hellenistic kings, most prominently Ptolemy I (see line 391). Saphyrus may refer to Sarapis or Serapis, the deity brought from Sinope to Egypt by Ptolemy I. Hermes refers to Hermes Trismegistus, the Egyptian Thoth the Great reputed to be the author of the Hermetica. Christine cites Hermes more than any other philosopher included in The Dicts, to gloss the following fables in The Epistles21 : 7 (p. 18), 8 (p. 19), 9 (p. 20), 10 (p. 20), 14 (p. 25), 19 (p. 31), 23 (p. 35), 25 (p. 37), 29 (p. 41), 30 (p. 42), 35 (p. 46), 48 (p. 60), 49 (p. 61), 54 (p. 67), 61 (p. 75), 62 (p. 77), 66 (p. 80), 71 (p. 87), 76 (p. 93), 77 (p. 94), 82 (p. 100), 84 (p. 102), 91 (p. 110), and 100 (p. 112).
395 Galyen and Ipocras. Christine cites Galyen (Galien) to gloss fable 45 in The Epistle, p. 57, and Ipocras (Ypocras) to gloss fable 21, p. 33. Galen and Hippocrates were regarded as fathers of natural philosophy in the Middle Ages and accordingly appear in The Dicts. "Hippocrates," a physician of Cos, is the name given to the authors of a collection of Greek texts from the fifth to fourth century BC, the most famous of which was an anthology of medical sayings known as the Aphorisms, on which Galen, a Greek physician from Asia Minor (b. 130 BC), also commented. See Joan Cadden, Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages: Medicine, Science, and Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993; rpt. 1995), especially pp. 1-37.
396 Esculapion. Christine cites Aesculapius in her gloss on fable 39, The Epistle of Othea, p. 51.
400 Orpheus. Orpheus commonly represents the poet/musician. See The Courte of Sapyence, line 2034. For a comprehensive discussion of Orpheus in the Middle Ages see John Block Friedman, Orpheus in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970).
425 what, in the devyllys date? The phrase is proverbial, parodying words used to date normal events, that is, "in the year of our Lord," to suggest an inversion of usual practice, and ironically implying a connection with Satan. See Bartlett Jere Whiting, Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases From English Writings Mainly Before 1500 (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1968), D 200, p. 130; Whiting cites Piers Plowman A.2.81 (Schmidt, A.2.77) as the earliest instance. See also Skelton's The Bowge of Courte, lines 375 and 455, where the phrase is used as part of the scurrilous squabble between such vices as Ryotte, Drede, and Dyssymulation. Compare later proverbs on "the devil in the horologue" (clock) in Morris P. Tilley, A Dictionary of Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1950), D302, p. 155.
449 ye seelyd my patent. "You sealed my patent letter," i.e., accorded me my right.
463-69 Ector of Troy . . . Boleyn. Attropos enumerates the Nine Worthies, though without the usual ranking according to pagans, Jews, and Christians. Perhaps the demand for a rhyme displaces the order of Arthur and Judas Maccabee. The Nine Worthies, famous ancient and medieval nobles found in history and legend, are included among the crowned knights who support the company of the Leaf in The Floure and the Leafe, line 504, because they exemplify the honor of chivalry (said to have been instituted by Julius Caesar; line 530). The three Jews are Joshua, David, and Judas Maccabee; the three pagans are Trojan Hector, Alexander the Great, and Julius Caesar; the three Christians are King Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Bouillon (also cited as of Boulogne). See also The Alliterative Morte Arthure, lines 3250-3327, for Arthur's dream of Lady Fortune's wheel and the Nine Worthies, and lines 3408-45, for the philosopher's expanation of the Worthies; and The Parlement of the Thre Ages, lines 295-583, for the dreamer's chilling vision of the Worthies as explained by Elde. The Nine Worthies are also mentioned in Hawes' The Example of Vertu, line 260.
473 Cosdras. Codrus was a wise king of Athens who, in the Doric Wars, pitied his people and chose death for himself rather than affliction for them. See Gower, Confessio Amantis 7.3163-3214.
494 For graunt of your patent of offyce, ner of fee. "For privilege of your right of office, despite the fee," meaning "letter patent office," the right to sell a product.
527 yet had I forgete. It is hard to say whether this "forgetting" is a calculated flashback or mere ineptitude on the part of the poet. The placement underscores well Othea's counseling of prudence rather than her following the premature judgments of the other gods against Eolus, which in turn sets up the arrival of Attropos with his complaint against Vertu. That counsel leads to the release of Eolus so that he might direct his blasts against Vertu, who persists in evading Attropos. That is, the flashback sets up the next section of the poem, with its calling upon the assistance of Vyce and his minions, the seven deadly sins, to undo Vertu.
599 breede ryght nygh your althrys eere. The idiom is difficult. The sense is that Vertu will spring up (regardless of efforts to repress it) right in front of one's nose (to use a modern idiom). Breede means "grow," "inseminate"; nygh your althrys eere means "near the ear of all of you." At the Annunciation the Virgin Mary was "bred with Virtue through the ear." The recurrent line in dozens of Latin hymns is quae per aurem concepicti (who conceived through the ear). See, e.g., hymn entries in the Index to Guido Maria Dreves, Analecta hymnica medii aevi (Bern: Francke, 1978), under "Gaude virgo mater Christi." For a fine ME rendition of such hymns, see lyric 87 in Marian Lyrics, ed. Karen Saupe (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1998), pp. 162-63; 275-76; and Lydgate's "Gaude virgo mater christi," with its rendition "Whiche conceyvedest oonly by hering" (line 3), in The Minor Poems of John Lydgate, pt. 1, p. 288. For discussion of the aural phenomenon, see David L. Jeffrey, pp. 489-95. Perhaps Pluto, without Christian insight, reflects upon such frustrating mysteries (frustrating from his point of view).
620 croppe and roote. "Bud and root" implies "top to bottom," or "the whole thing, or totality" (of mischief). See OED. Compare Lydgate, Troy Book 1.229 and 4.5220.
620-34 unhappy capteyns . . . On a roryng lyon . . . on the chase. The mounting of Vices and Virtues on animals with attendant iconography was an exercise in the delights of moral edification in early literature. See, for example, Langland's Piers Plowman B.2.171 ff., Gower's Mirour de l'omme (book 1), and Spenser's The Faerie Queene 1.iv.16-36 (lines 136-324). The illustrator of Cambridge University Library MS GG.4.27 depicts three of the seven deadly sins in Chaucer's Parson's Tale as riding animals, though the virtuous remedies for each are not depicted on beasts. See Poetical Works: Geoffrey Chaucer: A Facsimile of Cambridge University Library MS GG.4.27, with Introductions by M. B. Parkes and Richard Beadle, vol. 2 (Norman, OK: Pilgrim Books, 1980), fols. 389r (Invidia and Charity), 401r (Gluttony and Abstinence), and 402r (Lechery and Chastity). Also see Stephen Hawes, The Example of Vertu, with woodblocks on Sensuality and Pride riding beasts (The Minor Poems, opposite pp. 39 and 40). Adolf Katzenellenbogen, Allegories of the Virtues and Vices in Mediaeval Art (London: The Warburg Institute, 1939), pp. 57-74 and Index, p. 96, suggests patristic sources for such matter. But especially see Morton Bloomfield, The Seven Deadly Sins (East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 1952), appendix 1, on animals and the seven deadly sins (pp. 245-49); and, for processions of sins on animals, his discussion of the Austrian Lumen animae (pp. 138-39), Gower's works (pp. 193-96), Langland's Piers Plowman (pp. 196-98), The Assembly of Gods (pp. 227-28), and Spenser's The Faerie Queene (pp. 241-43). For animal iconography, see George Ferguson, Signs and Symbols in Christian Art (London: Oxford University Press, 1954) and T. H. White, A Bestiary: A Book of Beasts (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1954). For a beautifully illustrated bestiary, see Richard Barber, Bestiary, Being an English Version of the Bodleian Library, Oxford MS. Bodley 764 (Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 1993).
626 Covetyse. See William Langland's vividly physical portrait of the ugly personification in Piers Plowman B.5.188-94). Dante places the covetous in the fourth circle of hell in the Inferno (canto 7), defined as the tonsured orders (including popes and cardinals) "in cui usa avarizia il suo soperchio" (in whom avarice wreaks its excess [line 48], trans. Singleton, The Divine Comedy, vol. 1, pt. 1, pp. 70-71).
635-714 As for pety capteyns . . . / . . . thryve for shame. Allegorical literature of the later fifteenth century thrives on lists of names and personification, a sort of educational agenda that instructs through classification and affiliation. See, for example, the catalogue of moral and ethical personifications in The Courte of Sapyence (lines 1499-1652); or the companions to the "Quene of Sapience" in Gavin Douglas' Palis of Honour (lines 240-62), and the companions of Venus (lines 562-94); or the wedding of Dame Clennes attended by Dame Grace with her fifteen attendant ladies in Hawes' The Example of Vertu (lines 1773-93); or Dunbar's list of the attendants of the Queen of Love, Mars, tender youth, etc., in The Golden Targe (lines 136-80). None of these examples are as replete as the congregation of pety capteyns assembled in The Assembly of Gods, however, which provides an encyclopedic anatomy of what constitutes for the poet unseemly behavior.
673 bosters, braggars, and brybores. According to Triggs' note on lines 673 ff., this list compares with Langland's "bakbiteris, brewecheste, brawleris and chideris" in Piers Plowman B.16.42.
674 Praters, fasers, strechers, and wrythers. Praters are idle talkers; fasers are hypo-crites (people who falsify); strechers are literally fabric stretchers, thus, figuratively, liars; and wrythers are those who twist or pervert the facts.
675 shaveldores. Shaveldores are wanderers, particularly gentlemen robbers near the Scottish border; or minstrels or entertainers (OED).
676 crakers. "Crackers," from Kraghers, an obsolete form of "crag," refers to boasters (OED).
678 traytours. The traitors are housed in Dante's ninth circle, the deepest in hell, in the Inferno (cantos 32-34).
herytykes. Dante places the heretics in the sixth circle of hell (Inferno, cantos 9-10), after the incontinent (representing weakness of flesh) and before the violent (representing premeditated sin). The Epicurean is heretical because he denies immortality to the soul.
679 sorcerers . . . scismatykes. Dante places sorcerers in the eighth circle, of the fraudulent, tenth bolgia (Inferno, cantos 29-30), for example, the alchemist Griffolino of Arezzo; and schismatics in the ninth bolgia (canto 28), for example, prophet Mahomet. Langland couples "Sar3enes and scismatikes" with the Jews in Piers Plowman B.11.120.
680 symonyakes. Dante places the simonists in the third bolgia of the eighth circle of hell, of the fraudulent (Inferno, canto 19). For him, Pope Nicholas III (1277-80) typifies the simonist, that is, someone who purchases his ecclesiastical office.
usurers. Dante places the usurers in the seventh circle of hell (Inferno, canto 17), as a type of the third round, the violent against God, nature, and art; they represent in particular the violent against art.
681 coyn-wasshers, and clyppers. A coin washer "sweats" metal from around the edges of a coin, while a clipper is one who clips or shaves metal from coins (MED).
685 Tregetours. This word is used by Chaucer in The Franklin's Tale to describe illusionists (CT V [F] 413-28).
686 lurdeyns and pykers of males. A lurdeyn is an "evildoer, wicked person, criminal, good-for-nothing." A male is a purse or wallet (MED).
687 Rowners. According to the OED, a rowner is a "whisperer, a tattler, a tale-bearer."
692 lofedayes. On love days, when courts were not in session, suits could be settled out of court; or, in an impasse, a love day was a day when both sides were forgiven.
694 Tytyvyllys. "Titivilus" is the name of a devil who collected mumbled bits of divine service and took them to hell as evidence against the mumbler. The name is also found in France and Germany in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. "Titinillus" is the earliest form of the name (OED). He appears as one of Satan's minions in the Towneley Judgment play and as a boasting buffoon in the popular morality play Mankind, both from the mid-fifteenth century.
697 Tyburne. Tyburn was a place in Middlesex used for public executions until 1738.
coloppys. Coloppys, usually a piece of meat, bacon, or fat rendering, could also refer to offspring (OED). Here the sense is of the offspring of dangerous criminals.
700 baudys. Pimps and "Brothelles brokers" (line 702) join panders and seducers in Dante's eighth circle, of the fraudulent, first round (Inferno, canto 18).
708 Pseudo-prophetes, false sodomytes. The sodomites appear in Dante's seventh circle, third round, the violent against nature, of whom the famous scholar Brunetto Latini is an example (Inferno, canto 15).
710 Wetewoldes. Men who are aware of and complacent about the infidelity of their wives, thus "contented cuckolds."
732 shoure. Implied is an assault by Satan, a vice, or death.
evesong. The term is short for "evensong-bell."
773 trayne. The trayne refers to baggage; procession; something dragged on the ground, often to make a trail to lure wild beasts into a trap, though the noun more generally refers to treachery, guile, deceit, betrayal, trickery, fraud. See MED, n.1: as a verb it means to entice, reduce, ensnare, entrap. See MED, v.1.: A "train can also be a line of gunpowder, etc., laid as a fuse to detonate a charge." Black powder was first used in Europe in the early 1300s. See, for example, Chaucer's The Hous of Fame, lines 1643-44.
caltrop. A "caltrop" involves strewing the field with iron spikes to impede cavalry.
782 defaute. In hunting, when the scent of the prey cannot be followed or picked up.
792 ff. Foure dowty knyghtys. Vertu's four companions - Ryghtwysnes, Prudence, Streyngth, and Temperaunce - are the four cardinal virtues, commonly cited in moral treatises and identified as "classical," as opposed to the three Christian virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity. See, for example, the four seeds for sowing given by Grace to Piers in Piers Plowman B.19.275-311; or Dante's Chariot of the Church in the Purgatorio (canto 24, lines 121 ff.), with its three dancing ladies on the right in red, white, and green (faith, charity, and hope) and four on the left in purple, led by prudence (along with righteousness, strength, and temperance).
815 hys trapure. A trapper was a metal or leather covering for a horse or other beast of burden used in defense or as shelter or adornment; trapping; housing (OED).
817 popynjay. The popynjay was the name for a parrot or its representation in ornamental design and tapestries in the fourteenth century; in heraldic charges in the fifteenth century; and as the figure atop a pole used for target practice in the sixteenth century (OED). The papiayez in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are painted or embroidered among flowers on the borders of the silk band on the helmet of Sir Gawain (line 611). In Hawes' The Example of Vertu "popinjays," described as "wanton fowlys," along with "pyes, Iays and owlys," adorn designs in the roof of Fortune's palace (line 249-50).
827 pety capteyns. See note to lines 635-714.
855-61 Compare Konnyng's entourage with the elaborate catalogue of Sapyence's companions in the arts in The Courte of Sapyence (lines 1807-2205). Encyclopedic detail of this kind held a special place in the hearts of proto-humanists as their topics are purveyed to a broader audience of readers in vernacular literature. The effect is similar to the alchemist's lists in Chaucer's The Canon's Yeoman's Tale, where the categories of science are celebrated as "knowledge."
931 Nede and Konnyng in armure. According to St. Paul (Ephesians 6:10-17), the virtuous person is armed in the armor of faith; Konnyng (intelligence), like faith, provides Vertu true security ("full sewre / To trust on," lines 930-31). See note to lines 855-61 above on the protective, courtly role of Konnynge in The Courte of Sapyence.
932 "Macrocosme." The OED and Triggs gloss this term as "microcosm," because of the ensuing allegorical battle sequence that involves faculties of the soul in line with the Prudentian psychomachia tradition. (See also lines 1250, 1276, 1281, 1295, 1298, 1341, and 1828.) According to the OED, The Assembly of Gods poet is the first to use the term "macrocosm" in English; the term "microcosm" had been in use for a hundred years. The poet seems to be referring to the "felde" (line 931) of battle as earth, that is, humankind's domain. Given the other scribal errors - "Colus" for "Eolus" and "Morpleus" for "Morpheus" - there seems to be scribal misprision at work here, too. In the twelfth century, Bernardus Silvestris in his Neoplatonic Cosmographia, or De mundi universitate, constructed an epic poem about the creation of the Megacosmos, or "great world," and the Microcosmus, or mankind himself, the "little world" whose body and soul parallel the material (earthly) and celestial regions of the great world. The poet in The Assembly of Gods is attempting a similar correspondence, between cosmological disturbance and human sin, or the ordering of the heavens and human society and the psychological hierarchy of the human soul. Hence the synoptic crossing of borders and blurring of boundaries between "Macrocosm" and "Microcosm" passim.
937 Synderesys . . . as in a parke. "Synderesis" denotes moral guardianship, the watchful keeping of conscience, a "sense of guilt, remorse" (OED). De anima et de potenciis eius, an Avicennian treatise of c. 1220-30, presents sinderesis, along with ratio, as two parts of the practical intellect. It is an inborn quality naturally moving toward the good (naturaliter movens ad bonum) that abhors evil (abhorrens malum). See R. A. Gauthier, "Le Traité De anima et de potenciis eius d'un Mâitre ès arts (vers 1225)," Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Théologiques 66 (1982), 54-55. Here in The Assembly of Gods he is a tabulator, a court clerk "with his tables in hye hand, her dedys to marke" (line 938). Synderesys' enclosed park resembles those in The Floure and the Leafe and The Assembly of Ladies. The fifteenth-century park implied "an enclosed tract of land held by royal grant or prescription for keeping beasts of the chase" (OED).
957 new daunce. Vyce is being wittily perverse. The "new dance" that he would teach is really the "old dance" of lechery (novelty). St. Augustine and subsequent theologians usually speak of the "old daunce" as sin and the "new dance" as correspondent to the new song of faith. See David L. Jeffrey, p. 566. N.b., St. Augustine's sermon De cantico novo on the new song of chastity and the old song of cupidity, cited by D. W. Robertson, Jr., in Preface to Chaucer (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963), p. 127, as well as references in Romance of the Rose and Chaucer to "the olde daunce," see, for example, the Wife of Bath in the General Prologue, who knows the "remedies of love . . . and of that art the olde daunce" (CT I [A] 495-96).
970 penowns. A penown is identified in the MED as "a long narrow flag, attached to a lance, with distinguishing marking for identification; borne especially by knights and bachelors but also by men of higher rank."
974-80 He dubbyd Falshood / . . . These fourteen knyghtes. . . / they wold asay. When Vyce dubs fourteen knights, Vertu responds by dubbing fourteen of his own (lines 981 ff.). The reciprocal symmetry defines one of Vertu's characteristics, which is responsive as well as initiative. In the postlapsarian world, Vertu is to some degree defensive.
1094 Vertew hys rerewarde. The poet commonly creates a genitive by following a noun with hys, imagining that the -s genitive is a contraction with the h dropped. See also lines 1155, 1192, and 2074.
Good Perseveraunce. Good Perseverance, who chides even as he reinforces Vertu, reminding him that he is "Crystis Champyon" (line 1103), is a prominent concept in later fifteenth-century moral treatises. The battle of virtues and vices in The Assembly of Gods shares much in common with morality plays such as The Castle of Perseverance, Mankind, Wisdom, and Everyman as a kind of personification allegory. "Perseverance" is an ethical category that blossomed in the Reformation.
1135 Frewyll came to Conscience. In their victory, the warriors of Vertu specifically affirm Christian doctrine, in this instance the staging of penance, with its tripartite pilgrimage from Confession to Contrition to Satisfaction. See Chaucer's The Parson's Tale (CT X [I] 106, 111-26), where the paradigm moves from contrition to confession to satisfaction. Chaucer's pattern is more psychological, moving from desire to reaction to result; The Assembly of Gods' paradigm is more doctrinal, moving from institution to effect and result.
1154 Dyspeyre with hym met. In defeat, Vyce is confronted with Dyspeyre, again a common theological topic that is explored, especially in reform doctrine, with its strong emphasis on faith. See, for example, Langland's Piers Plowman C.22.165-68, on the struggle with Wanhope; and compare Redcrosse Knight's dilemma in Spenser's The Faerie Queene (1.ix), where, even in victory, he is, in the presence of Conscience and his own guilt, threatened by Despair.
1178 Predestinacion. Once again the theological proposition implicit here accords with late fifteenth-century concerns on such issues as the triumph of the one true contender, who can never be defeated by Dethe. In Vertu, the contradictions of Frewyll and Predestinacion are resolved. Both abide in his household, along with his other lady, Prescience (foreknowledge). One might be reminded of the one good man who characterizes God's plan of continuance of virtue in the alliterative poem Death and Life, or, later, in Milton's Paradise Lost (books 11 and 12).
1205-06 Som eke for socour drew to Circumcysion / But by hym cowde they gete but small favour. The reason for Circumcysion's small favor is explained in Acts 15, where Christian faith is deemed more important than old Hebrew rites.
1228 'Sensualité' hys propre name. The summons recalls the central theme of the poem, the reconciliation of Reson and Sensualité. Here, just as Eolus was tried by the pagan council at the outset of the poem, that part of humankind that dwells primarily in the classical world, i.e., the senses, will be addressed in another trial.
1233 Sadnesse with hys sobre chere. Given the volatility of the senses and their need for good governance, Sadnes (steadfastness, prudence, right reason) is the suitable warden for Sensualité (see lines 1261-65). Sadnes works well with Reson, Vertu's "lyeftenaunt" (line 1254), and when properly guided by Frewyll the senses lead to sane, healthy human behavior. Thus Dame Nature (line 1268) rightly asks for "Gentyll" Sensualité's freedom (lines 1269-74) within the Microcosme, and Vertu grants the petition (lines 1280-81). Sensualité is not some "underlowte," to be a "castaway, or a shoo clowte" (lines 1273-74, see note below), but rather, if well-governed by Sadnes, a key component of human nature, even when marred by Cryme Oryginall (line 776).
1242 finaunce. The word conveys a range of meanings, from "ransom," "settlement," and "recompense," to "punishment" or "outcome." See the OED.
1274 shoo clowte. The clouted shoe was a sole protected by iron plates or nails that might denote a patched shoe or, more figuratively, a clown or boor (that is, someone who wears clouted shoes) (OED).
1296 ff. fyve posternes. That Morpheus is given the keeping of the fyve posternes (i.e., the five senses) is tribute to his steady vision as he sits in his little corner of fantasy and illuminates situations. See line 35. Morpheus has also guided the narrator through the poem's various sections. For example, when Vertu, at Dame Nature's behest, grants Sensualité freedom (lines 1286 ff.), Morpheus suddenly appears in his "corner" (line 1284) and is praised for his vision.
1310-11 Attropos . . . astonyed as he stood. Dethe is once again thwarted by Vertu. See line 591. With Vertu, Dame Nature allows even the senses to triumph. In his anger, Attropos' only hope is Residivacion (Backsliding, line 1359), which cannot thrive as long as Sensualité abides in the care of Sadnes.
1361 wedehokes. Weed-hooks are hooks for cutting away weeds. The term could be used figuratively.
1382 ff. Attropos, voyde of all gladnes. Perceiving the futility of his role in the classical world, where Christian virtue remains untouchable, Attropos asks Reson the way to the Lorde of Lyght (line 1384), where he is given a new name, Dethe (line 1403). With the new name comes a new franchise. Now, rather than agent of hell, he becomes agent of heaven (n.b., lines 1420-21). Compare the position of Death in the contemporary morality play Everyman: God calls upon Death to go to mankind as a friend, to help him keep macrocosmic/microcosmic matters in the right perspective.
1429-67 Confession, Contricion, and Satisfaccion / . . . Oo omnipotens. As in Everyman, the virtuous person is protected by the sacraments of "hooly Eukaryst" (line 1439) and "Holy Unccion" (line 1444), under the governance of "Presthoode" and "Good Remembraunce" (line 1452), despite the wages of Dethe, who ultimately vanishes as a threat (line 1464). Vertu wears the "crowne of glory" (line 1466) and bears the "swete frute of Macocrosme" (Microcosm) (line 1468) to heaven "above the firmament" (line 1465). See notes to lines 932 and 1135.
1444 crysmatory. "The vessel containing the chrism or consecrated oil, in R. C. Ch., a case containing three flasks of oil for baptism, confirmation, and anointing of sick" (OED).
1455 sesyne. There are two meanings: the first, "to wall up the doors of; to stop the means of access to"; and second, "to shut up or enclose within walls; to imprison" (OED).
1470 ff. Agayn fro the felde to me came Morpheus. Having completed the exemplary drama reconciling Reson and Sensualité, the poet now shifts the scene to review the matter through introspection. The new setting, in "a fouresquare herber wallyd round about" (line 1479), tended by Wytte and Stody and under the supervision of Dame Doctryne, is similar to the shift in Langland's Piers Plowman from the Visio section (B passus1-7) to the Vita de Dowel, Dobet, Dobest section (B passus 8 ff.), where a different kind of journey - an introspective one - begins. In The Assembly of Gods it is here that Holy Texte (line 1500) will come to his assistance, along with prefigurations and types of Christ in the Old and New Testaments.
1515-20 on tho walles was made memory / . . . of every creature / . . . in portrature. The poet's representing of biblical history on walls in portrature is well suited to establishing the new direction of the poem as the pagan gods are about to be displaced by the Christian God. The battle between pagan and Christian doctrine is presented as a contest in iconography. The figurae in the murals that follow are keyed to prominent biblical scenes that are pervasively represented in English fifteenth-century popular culture, from wall paintings, ceiling bosses, and church sculpture to tales, romances, plays, books of hours, and instruction manuals, all of which use popular biblical stories for exemplary effect. Compare Gavin Douglas' The Palis of Honoure, which also explores the debate between sacred and pagan (worldly) domain by means of murals adorning temple walls. Literary use of murals became a fifteenth-century rhetorical fashion. As Triggs wittily observes, "[a] secondary poet like Stephen Hawes [The Pastime of Pleasure] cannot mention a wall without covering it with pictures" (p. lvii). The formulation of literary murals is established by Guillaume de Lorris in the Roman de la Rose, and it flourishes in Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess and, in a brass variant, in The Hous of Fame, from whence it is imitated profusely in works like Lydgate's The Temple of Glass, Barclay's Toure of Vertue and Honour, and Dunbar's Dreamain , as well as in Douglas' The Palis of Honoure, Hawes' The Pastime of Pleasure, The Assembly of Ladies, and The Assembly of Gods.
1521 Adam and Eve . . . appyll round. Adam and Eve caused the fall of humankind when they disobeyed God and ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. See Genesis 3.1-7. This scene was a key component in all the Corpus Christi cycles and was a favorite subject for windows, murals, and tile work in chapel floors.
1522 Noe in a shyp. Noah built the ark in obedience to God's commands and thereby saved his family from the Flood (see Genesis 6-7). This is another key scene in the mystery plays, church windows, and ceiling bosses. See Chaucer's amusing send-up in The Miller's Tale, where John the carpenter knows the story of Noah from the plays.
1522-23 Abraham . . . and Isaac lay bound. In obedience to God's command, Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac to God (see Genesis 22:2-13) This constitutes another key play in the cycle plays. In Augustine's parsing of time, the figures of Adam, Noah, and Abraham mark the first three ages. See note to line 1737. All three are featured in the forty-plate block book known as the Biblia pauperum. Several modern facsimile editions of this important text are available. See, in particular, The Bible of the Poor (Biblia pauperum): A Facsimile Edition of the British Library Block Book C.9.d2, trans. with commentary by Albert C. Labriola and John W. Smeltz; and also Avril Henry's edition (see note to lines 1536-37).
1524-25 Jacob . . . a long laddyr stood hym besyde. Jacob, son of Isaac, was also father of the founders of the twelve tribes of Israel (see Genesis 25-50). Although Jacob is not featured in the plays, Jacob's ladder and Jacob's well figure prominently in moral treatises, Books of Hours, and the Biblia pauperum.
1526 Joseph in a cysterne. His envious brothers took his many-colored coat and threw him into a well. He was thereafter sold into slavery in Egypt (see Genesis 37:3-24). This scene is featured in the Biblia pauperum to prefigure the entombment of Christ.
1527 Moyses. Moses, by accepting from God the two tablets (i.e., the Ten Commandments), is regarded as the founder of the Law. He is said to be the author of the first five books of the Bible. See Exodus 20.
1528 Aaron and Urré, hys armes supportyng. According to the book of Exodus, Aaron was Moses' brother and the first Jewish high priest (regarded as the founder of the Hebrew priesthood). When called to his mission by God, Moses doubted his own capabilities. He found assurance through the promise of support from Aaron (hys armes supportyng). Urré may be Hur, in that he and Aaron supported Moses (Exodus 17:10-121), or perhaps Beseleel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur (Exodus 31:2), who, filled with the spirit of God, made the tabernacle that the Israelites carried before them in the desert. Thus he, too, supports Moses' armes.
1529 Ely. Elijah (Elias in the Douay/Vulgate) rode the fiery chariot to the third heaven; see 1 Kings 19:8 and 2 Kings 2:11 (Douay/Vulgate 3 Kings 19:8, 4 Kings 2:11). Both he and Elisha (line 1530) are linked to the Resurrection in the Biblia pauperum, since both brought the dead back to life. See plate l on the raising of Lazarus.
1530 Elyze . . . in an hermytes clothyng. Elisha (Eliseus in the Douay/Vulgate), a prophet of Israel whom Elijah designated as his successor. He dwelt in the desert and is thus clad in an hermytes clothyng. See 1 Kings 19:16 and 19 and 2 Kings 2 (Vulgate 3 Kings 19:16 and 4 Kings 2).
1531 David with an harpe and a stoone slyng. King David was a composer of psalms who also slew the giant Goliath with his slingshot. David's harp becomes a sign of good kingship, the capacity to bring peace and harmony to the state. The sling is a sign of prowess under God. See Douay/Vulgate 1 Kings 16:16-23 and 1 Kings 17:40-51.
1532 Isaye, Jeremy, and Ezechiell. Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel are all biblical prophets in the Old Testament. Isaiah (Isaias in the Douay/Vulgate) foretold the coming of Christ; Jeremiah (Jeremias in the Douay/Vulgate) was a priest whose suffering prefigured that of Christ. Ezekiel envisioned the Lord as a burning wheel ascending into heaven (Ezekiel 1).
1533 closyd with lyons . . . Danyell. A biblical prophet, Daniel interpreted the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar. After his enemies engineered a law forbidding prayer, Daniel was cast into the lions' den, from which he was rescued by God. See Daniel 6:16-24. Biblia pauperum, plate .l., juxtaposes the scene with Jesus' appearing to Mary Magdalene in John 22:11-17.
1534 Abacuc, Mychee with Malachy. Habakkuk (Habacuc or Habaccus in the Douay/ Vulgate) was a Hebrew prophet of Juda in the seventh century BC who foretold the invasion of the Chaldeans; Micah (Micheas in the Douay/Vulgate), a Hebrew prophet from Juda, was contemporary with Isaiah; Malachi was contemporary with Nemehiah and the last of the prophets (around 400 BC). All three appear repeatedly in the Biblia pauperum as prophets of Christ.
1535 Jonas out of a whales body commyng. Jonah, the Old Testament prophet of Galilee, was the only prophet to preach to the gentiles. In the Biblia pauperum he is associated with the entombment of Christ and the Resurrection as he enters the great fish and then is disgorged, out of a whales body commyng. The scene commonly appears in church windows.
1536-37 Samuell in a temple . . . Zakary / Besyde an awter. Samuel was a Hebrew judge and prophet; see 1 and 2 Samuel (1 and 2 Kings in the Douay/Vulgate). Zacharias, Zechariah, or Zachary, was a sixth-century BC Hebrew prophet who wanted the temple rebuilt and whose visions anticipate the future of the Church. In the Biblia pauperum he appears with Sophonias (see line 1551) in plate d, which celebrates the presentation of Mary in the Temple. His verse (Zacharias 2:10) reads, "See, I am coming and shall live among you." Zacharias and Sophonias also appear together in plate f, on the destruction of the Egyptian idols after Christ's flight into Egypt, where Zacharias says (Zacharias 13:2), "At that time I shall eradicate the names of the idols from the earth." The fall of the Egyptian idols is nonbiblical, deriving from eighth- and ninth-century legends of the type. See Avril Henry, Biblia pauperum (Ithaca: Cornell University Press: 1987), p. 59. Altogether Zacharias appears nine times in the Biblia pauperum, in plates i (on the Baptism of Christ), n (on Mary Magdalene's repentance), o (on Jesus' entry into Jerusalem - twice), p (on Christ's purifying of the temple), r (Judas' selling of Jesus), and .h. (on the Harrowing of Hell).
1538-39 Osee with Judyth . . . / . . . Oloferne. Ozias was the high priest of Bethulia who encouraged Judith in her foray to destroy Holofernes. See the book of Judith 8-16, in the Douay/Vulgate.
1539-40 Salomon . . . / A chylde with hys swerde dyvydyng in two. That is, dividing a child into two with his sword. Solomon was a king of Israel (974-c. 937 BC) and the alleged author of the Song of Solomon, written, according to Christian commentators, in celebration of the wedding of the bridegroom (Christ) to the bride (the Church). Renowned for his wisdom, Solomon was famous for his judgment that decided the identity of a baby's mother: when he informed two quarreling mothers that he would cut the baby in half so each would be satisfied, the true mother refused her half, thus preserving her baby's life.
1543-44 Melchisedech . . . / Bred and wyne offryng. Melchizedek, or Melchizedec, was a priest and king of Salem who blessed Abraham. See Genesis 14:18. His offering of Bred and wyne was viewed as a prefiguration of the Eucharist. See Biblia pauperum, plate s, which juxtaposes Melchizedec offering bread and wine with the Last Supper (John 13:1-30) and with Moses receiving the manna in the desert.
1545-46 Joachym and Anne . . . / Embrasyd in armes to the gyldyn gate. Joachim and Anne were parents of the Virgin Mary (hence the reference to the golden gate, presumably of Paradise, that is, the intermediary or liaison through whose mercy true Christians obtain grace and thereby pass into Paradise).
1547 John Baptyst in a desert sate. The son of Zacharias and Elizabeth through a miraculous conception, John lived in the desert of Judea from early manhood. Because he baptizes Jesus in Jerusalem, John is presented in the Gospel as the forerunner of Christ. In Luke 1, when the pregnant Virgin Mary visits Elizabeth, John leaps in his mother's womb and she is filled with the Holy Ghost. He is associated with the voice crying in the wilderness (n.b., the opening of the baptism scene in each of the Synoptic Gospels) and thus is usually represented as wearing a camel's hair coat, signifying how he in a desert sate. He was beheaded while a prisoner at Herod's fortress and his head was offered to Salome on a plate. He was, according to the Oxford Dictionary of Saints, immensely popular in England, with no fewer than 496 ancient churches dedicated to his honor, "a total exceeded only by SS. Mary, Peter, Michael, Andrew, and All Saints" (p. 215). In The Assembly of Gods he is of especial importance, given the prominence of Baptym in the poet's scheme of redemption.
1549 Sodechy. Sedecias, or Zedekiah, originally called Matthanias, uncle of Jechonias or Joachin; Sedacias reigned as king of Juda for eleven years, after which he revolted against the king of Babylon, fled, and was captured, blinded, and enslaved. At this important juncture Jerusalem was also captured, the temple burned, and its people sent to Babylon. See 4 Kings 24:17-25:21.
1550 Amos . . . with sobre countenaunce. This Old Testament prophet denounces the crimes of the people of Israel. He appears in the Biblia pauperum as one who anticipates Christ's purification of the temple (plate p), who prophesies the Jews' condemnation of Christ (plate .b.), and who foretells the piercing of Christ's side (plate .f.).
1551 Sophony. Zephaniah (Sophonias in the Douay/Vulgate) prophesies the Jews' punishment for idolatry and other crimes. In the Biblia pauperum, plate d, his verse (Sophonias 3:15) reads, "The King of Israel, the Lord, is among you." On plate f he says, "The Lord will bring low all the gods of the earth" (Sophonias 2:11). See also plates .i. (on the Resurrection) and .n. (on doubting Thomas).
1552 Neemy and Esdras. Nehemiah and Ezra (Nehemias and Esdras in the Douay/ Vulgate) were authors of books of the Old Testament; each describes the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its temple. Ezra, a priest and doctor of the law, wrote two books, 1 and 2 Esdras, although the Douay calls 2 Esdras "Nehemias" (cupbearer to king of Persia) while retaining "Second book of Esdras" under the "Book of Nehemii."
1553 Joob as an impotent. Job, in the Old Testament book of the same name, was known for his patience in the face of increasing tribulation and persecution. The allusion is to Job's powerlessness while under the constraint of Satan.
1554 Thoby pacyent. Tobias, prophet of the Old Testament, was known for his patience and resignation to the will of God. Eighth husband of Sara, Tobias waited until Sara's first seven husbands were each slain by the fiend when they tried to possess her too soon; and then, as Gower puts it, "Thobie his wille hadde" (Confessio Amantis 7.5361).
1560 Than I me turnyd. The poet juxtaposes Old Testament images with New, the one on the left, the other on the right.
1562 Petyr with hys keyes. St. Peter was the fisherman whom Christ found at the Sea of Galilee and the apostle whose name means "rock," upon whom Christ built his church. Founder of the Roman Church and its first pope, he holds two keys, for the gates of heaven and hell.
1563 Poule with a swerde. St. Paul is the author of the Pauline epistles in the New Testament and apostle of Christianity to the gentiles. A Jew of Tarsus known originally as Saul, he carries the sword with which he was murdered. Namesake of the principal cathedral in England, his influence on theology and literature is enormous. Chaucer refers to him as "the Apostle" and cites his writings more than he does those of any other patriarch.
1563-64 James also, / With a scalop. One of the original twelve apostles, linked with the New Testament's epistle of St. James and the shrine of Compostela, in Galicia, Spain (a favored pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages), James is depicted wearing a scallop shell on his cloak. A pilgrim who had visited the shrine of St. James at Compostela often wore a cockleshell as a sign (OED).
1564 Thomas holdyng in hys hande / A spere. According to John, the doubting apostle, born in Galilee as a twin and present at the sea of Galilee when Christ manifested himself, is holding a spear because, doubting the physical presence of the resur-rected Christ, he touched the spear wound in Christ's side with his fingers. His life is marked by contradictions. At the Last Supper he is the one of greatest faith, willing to die with Christ; then, after the Resurrection, he doubts the resurrected Christ's word. According to the Weaver's play in the York Cycle (play 46, on the Assumption of the Virgin Mary), word of Mary's translation comes first to Thomas who, filled with the joy of faith, tells the good news to the other apostles, who doubt the truth of his vision. Legends say that he preached in India, where he died. See Mandeville's wondrous account of his encounter with "the arm and the hond that he putte in oure lordes syde," which are preserved in a vessel without a tomb in India, where it passes judgment in trials: petitions for and against a case are placed in the hand and it casts away the false (Mandeville's Travels, ed. M. C. Seymour [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967], p. 127). Mandeville also describes the tomb.
1565 Phylyp aprochyd hym, too. Among the first of the twelve apostles, Philip brought Greeks to Jesus and during Christ's discourse after the Last Supper requested, in a tone of doubt, that Jesus show the apostles the Father. Like Thomas, with whom he is linked here, he provokes a response from Jesus, in this instance, "He that seeth me, seeth the Father also" (Douay/Vulgate, John 14:8-9).
1566 James the Lesse. James the less is usually identified as Christ's brother or the author of the Epistle of St. James or the son of the woman who stood by Christ at the Cross. His standing "loo" (i.e., in the lesser position, line 1566) appears to be a pun on his name. The Golden Legend says he was beaten to death with a fuller's club while he knelt, praying for his enemies. He had just been thrown from the top of the temple, in mockery of Christ's temptation scene. His feast day is May 1.
1567 Bartylmew . . . all flayn. A martyred apostle, Bartholomew is linked with Philip (line 1565). He was flayed alive at his martyrdom; his skin became his iconographic sign.
1568 Symon and Thadee shewyd how they were slayn. Simon Zelotes and Thaddeus (also called Jude, the brother of James) were both said to have been martyred in Persia. Traditions vary on the martyrdom of Thaddeus. Some accounts indicate that he was beaten to death with a club; others have him impaled with a lance (see George Ferguson, Signs and Symbols of Christian Art, p. 127); while others still depict him as beheaded with a halbard (Golden Legend). Regardless, he becomes the "patron of hopeless cases" (Oxford Book of Saints, p. 225). Simon's iconography usually depicts him with a boat or holding a fish, perhaps because he was thought to be cousin to the Zebedees, the group of fisherman to which Simon Peter belonged. According to the Golden Legend he was crucified; in other legends he was hewn to death with a falchion, which sometimes becomes his sign. In Western Europe, Simon and Thaddeus share a common feast day, October 28, the day on which their relics were marvelously translated to Rome. Since the line indicates that they shewyd how they were slayn, we are apparently to imagine Simon holding a fish or falchion and Thaddeus holding a club, a lance, or a halbard.
1569 Mathy and Barnabe, drawyng lottys. According to Acts 1:21-26, Matthias and Barsabas, two who witnessed the Resurrection, were the chosen candidates to replace Judas Iscariot as one of the twelve. They were given lots, and the lot fell to Matthias. The poet apparently confuses Barsabas with St. Barnabas, Paul's com-panion and disciple, known for his charity.
1570 Marke, a lyon. Mark was one of the four evangelists and his symbol is the lion. As author of the second Gospel he is often depicted at a writing desk or holding his book (see line 1571). His gospel begins with the voice crying in the wilderness, of which the lion was held to be the sign.
1571-72 Mathew in hys mood / . . . an aungell with wynges. Matthew was the evangelist whose symbol is the angel. He is said to have written the first book of the New Testament, about Christ's life.
1573 Luke had a calfe. This evangelist's symbol is an ox, perhaps because of his unique account of the sacrifice in the temple at the Presentation. This companion of Paul wrote the third book of the New Testament and the Acts of the Apostles.
1574-75 John . . . / An egle bare hys book. The fourth evangelist, John, is known by the symbol of the eagle because of the keen vision with which John perceived celestial truths regarding the Word. In addition to the fourth book of the New Testament, he was thought to have written three epistles and the Book of Revelation.
1576 Gregory . . . Ambrose. The four Fathers of the Western Church were Ambrose (340?-97), bishop of Milan, who was Augustine's teacher; Jerome (340?-420), who translated the Bible into the Latin Vulgate; Augustine (354-430), author of The City of God and On Christian Doctrine, who was later claimed to be the founder of the Austin friars; and Pope Gregory (560-604), who was the author of the Moralia. In Piers Plowman, this same combination of patriarchs is identified as the "foure stottes" (bullocks, stallions) who plow the fields of Grace for Piers' sowing in man's soul the seeds of the four cardinal virtues, namely prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice (19.269ff.). Compare The Courte of Sapyence, lines 1793-99.
1578 Bernard with Anselme. St. Bernard (1092-1153), abbot of Clairvaux, was one of the founders of the Cistercian order; St. Anselm (1033-1109) was archbishop of Canterbury and author of numerous popular theological tracts.
1579 Thomas of Alquyne and Domynyk. St. Thomas Aquinas (1225?-74), scholastic author of the Summa theologica, was one of the greatest of the Domincans, an order of friars known for its preaching and scholarship founded by St. Dominic (1170-1221).
1580 Benet and Hew, relygyous governours. St. Benedict (480?-543?) was founder of a monastic rule that dominated Western spirituality to the twelfth century; Hugh of St. Victor in the twelfth century wrote a famous manual on education entitled Didascalion, as well as treatises on the soul and the sacraments.
1581 Martyne and John, with bysshops tweyne. St. Martin was bishop of Tours (c. 316-400) and patron saint of France and of innkeepers; "John" is the name of twenty-three popes, including St. John I (470?-526), sent by Theodoric the Ostrogoth in 525 to Constantinople to help convince the Byzantine emperor to be more tolerant of the Arians. See Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
1582 Crysostom. John Chrysostom of Antioch lived between 347 and 407. He was a famous preacher and commentator on Scripture, who became archbishop of Constantinople in 398. In the West he was celebrated as one of the four Greek Doctors, along with Athanasius, Basil (the Great), and Gregory Nazianzus (Oxford Dictionary of Saints).
1584-86 Orygene / Hydyng hys face . . . / . . .what I mene). In an act of assumed piety Origen emasculated himself, for which he was subsequently condemned; thus, his shame.
1589 "Sybyll." The sibyl was the priestess/prophet to whom Aeneas went for guidance into the future and the underworld (Aeneid 6). In commentaries, she becomes a pagan visionary who foresees the coming of Christ. Thus, in the mystery plays, she joins the patriarchal prophets in the processions foretelling Advent. She also appears as a wise woman at the end of Christine's The Epistle of Othea, where she converts Caesar Augustus to Christianity (fable 100). All the sibyls appear in Book 2 of The City of Ladies.
1595 Andrew the Apostyll with hys crosse. The brother of Simon Peter, Andrew was crucified in Achaea. While on the cross he witnessed for Christ and preached the Gospel for two days to 20,000 people. When his persecutor Aegeus attempted to take him down out of fear of the people, Andrew prayed for release by God and his soul flew to heaven in a ball of light. A demon seized Aegeus, however, and he died in the street (Jacobus de Voraigne, Golden Legend).
1608 Over her heede hovyd a culver, fayre and whyte. The implication is that Dame Doctryne provides official access to the Holy Spirit.
1657 made her beerdys on the new gete. Apollo, as sun god and source of light, can make beards grow, here, in the new gete, or "newe jet," that is, "according to the latest fashion," a term also applied to the way the fashionable Pardoner rides bareheaded, having folded up his hood in his "walet," in his portrait in Chaucer's General Prologue (line 682). The sense is that Apollo convinced them to change their minds, that is, literally to trim their beards according to the lastest fashion or style. "To make a beard" in late medieval England is also "to trick" or "to deceive"; a "beard" is a joke or trick, as in Chaucer's The Miller's Tale, where the barber Absolon is himself bearded by "hende" Nicholas and willing Alisoun.
1683 Tyme of Devyacion. See note to lines 1737 ff.
1695-97 sevyn planettys / . . . goddys were they callyd. The seven planets in the Ptolemaic cosmological system are also regarded as gods, as witnessed in the first part of the poem. Counting from the outside in, the planets begin with Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars; then the sun (Apollo) is in the fourth position, while Venus, Mercury, and the moon (Diana) follow. See Macrobius' classification in the Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, pp. 155-68 (1.17-19); and Chance, Medieval Mythography, pp. 82-91, 191, 374-75, 382, and 467.
1707-08 a god shuld hym call, / Or a goddesse.This practice is known as "euhemerism," from Euhemerus of Messina (fl. 316), who opposed the allegorists and rationalized the gods as historical persons. His Sacred History acknowledges the holy sites of the gods as burial places of real men and women. Ennius translated this Greek work into Latin. See Chance, Medieval Mythography, pp. 25-26.
1723-24 undyr coverture / Of fable. The use of coverture is reminiscent of Christine's The Epistle of Othea, from which the mention of grafting and Ceres, the goddess of corn (around lines 1710-14), may have also come.
1737 ff. the Tyme of Devyacion. Triggs (p. 91) sees this discussion of the Times as an allusion to the seven ages, which he misreads from the calendar in Cursor mundi, where he confuses the sixth and seventh ages, calling the sixth age the life of Christ and placing humankind now in the seventh age. In fact Cursor mundi follows the Augustinian scheme, where the ages are: (1) Adam to Noah, (2) Noah to Abraham, (3) Abraham to David, (4) David to Solomon (Augustine says the Exile), (5) Solomon (or, in Augustine, the Exile) to the birth of Christ, (6) the Resurrection to the Last Judgment, (7) The Last Judgment. The eighth age is that of the New Jerusalem, when time and the seas shall be no more. See St. Augustine, Tractate 9 of his sermons On the Gospel of St. John, where, discussing the six vessels of water at the marriage of Cana that were turned by Christ into wine, he identifies them as the six ages, "this being the sixth, as you have often heard and know" (trans. John Gibb and James Innes, Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers [Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1991], vol. 7, p. 65). See also Mary Dove, The Perfect Age of Man's Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986). But in The Assembly of Gods Dame Doctryne does not follow Augustine. Here the time scheme, rather, fits the three- and fourfold scheme of a proscenium theater, where history is beheld on three walls and enacted on the fourth. This first period, "the Tyme of Devyacion," is a time of separation and division. See the Prologue to Gower's Confessio Amantis on division as the cause of evil (lines 848-1052); "divisioun" is "moder of confusion" (\pard f2Confessio Prol. 851-52), and sin is "moder of divisioun" (line 1030). The Assembly of Gods' scheme behind the time of "Devyacion" corresponds fairly directly with Gower's theory of division. Gower, in lines 633-821 of his Prologue, also acknowledges the Times (or Ages) but personified in the figure of Time in Nebuchednezzer's dream, as expanded in Daniel 2:19-45. The Ages of Gold, Silver, and Brass continue with those of Steel and Earth. This personification of time is akin to Dante's figure of Father Time, a symbol of human history, in the "Old Man of Crete," or Saturn, found in Inferno (canto 14.94-120). "Saturn" has three epochs of time, Oriental, Greco-Roman, and Christian. In Dante the four rivers of hell derive from the sins and tears of human history.
1746 the Tyme of Revocacion. This period, marked by Moses and the receiving of the Law, is a time of recalling. OED lists this line as the first instance of the word in English.
1758 Thys Reconsylyacion was the Tyme of Grace. In an Augustinian time scheme Reconsylyacion would allude to the seventh age of the Last Judgment (see note to lines 1737 ff.) when, as Cursor mundi puts it, the saints rest after the final defeat of Satan, at the day of the "dome," an age "calde the tyme of grace" (line 21848) in the Trinity and Fairfax manuscripts of the poem. But here the poet follows a different time scheme based on three ages (see notes to lines 1737 ff. and 1765-92), where the present time is considered to be the time of Reconsylycion, when, because of Christ's sacrifice, humankind has a new access to Grace, a new law displacing the time of Revocacion. Compare Langland's Piers Plowman B.19.264 ff., when, after the Resurrection, Grace gives Piers four oxen (the Gospels) and "foure stottes" (bullocks, stallions) of the patriarchs (Augustine, Ambrose, Gregory, and Jerome) to plow his fields. He can then sow the four virtues in the human souls to help establish and maintain the house of Unité called "Holy Chirche on Englissh" (Piers Plowman B.19.331). The time of Reconsylyacion is now. See note to line 1576.
1765-92 thre tymes asondry devydyd. Here Dame Doctryne looks at time as a triptych, a not uncommon practice: compare the layout of the pages of the Biblia pauperum, where Christ holds the center panel, with wing panels on either side presenting symbolic analogies within time, and the wings announcing the sentence through the voices of the prophets. Here the poet introduces his ideas as murals, the "pycture ys provydyd" (line 1767) by his poem as the center panel, then on the left the explication of the prophets, and on the right, his explanation in which he presents the Devyacion (see line 1737) now in terms of the three ages of man: first, from Adam to Moses (line 1773, i.e., the time establishing the Law); second, the time from Moses to the Incarnation (line 1774, i.e., the time of the Prophets, concluding in John the Baptist); and third, the time from Christ to the present, which "[w]yll dure from thens to the worldes ende" (line 1777). He then adds a fourth wall, which shifts rather subtly the concept of time from a historical plane to a psychological one. He calls this plane "Tyme of Pylgremage" (line 1779) and a "Tyme of Daungerous Passage" (line 1781), which one must print on one's mind (line 1784) to remember personally within the heart (line 1786). This new focus, where time becomes personal and where the battle of Vyce and Vertu occurs daily "in thyne hert" (line 1786), leads to a positive construction of the role of Attropos (Dethe) in history and the renovation of the psyche. From this perspective the battle within the microcosm is indeed one of the "lesse worlde" (line 1829).
1778 fourth. In this time scheme, the fourth "Tyme" marks eternity and the New Jerusalem, when Alpha and Omega join and time shall be no more (Revelation 21). See note to lines 1765-92.
1849 keyes of the posterns fyve. That is, the five senses. Pierre Bersuire's commentary on Ovid's Metamorphoses (11.633; The Ovidius moralizatus of Petrus Berchorius : An Introduction and Translation, William Donald Reynolds, [Ph.D. Diss. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1971], pp. 374-75) identifies the desires governed by the sons of Sleep, or Somnus: for fame and honor (Morpheus), lust (Icelos), and gluttony (Phantasos).
1872 stood I in a wyre. Compare Chaucer's The Hous of Fame, line 979, where the dreamer falls into a state of confusion about who and where he is. In this passage in The Assembly of Gods, Morpheus confronts the dreamer with the images of his dream and thereby leaves him in a state of confusion, similar to the conclusion of Gower's Confessio Amantis, where Venus confronts Amans with the wisdom of philosophers and poets and then with a confounding mirror image of himself. Here, as in the Confessio, the dreamer is caught up in his confusion (in a wyre), while Morpheus scolds him - "How long shalt thow looke" (line 1885). As in Chaucer and Gower, poets and philosophers appear before him, but it takes Dame Doctryne to make sense of the four walls (lines 1905 ff.). And even then the dreamer remains in a doubt (see lines 1929, 1948, 1985, 1995), lacking his conclusion. See notes to lines 1930-31, 1987-88, 1995.
1897 Dyogenes sate in a tonne. Diogenes equates with the "philosopher" who rejects King Alexander's invitation to join the court in favor of sitting in his tub and contemplating the sun (compare the functions of Apollo in The Assembly of Gods). For a lively account of that story, see Gower's Confessio Amantis, 3.1201-1316.
1930-31 canst thow nat withoute / Me that conclusion bryng to an ende? Dame Doctryne asks if the dreamer cannot reasonably come to terms with the problem of human desire without recourse to doctrine, i.e., theology. In logic, to be lost in contradictory particularities of the minor premise without ability to arrive at a conclusion is the essence of frustration. Without certainty within the minor premise no cause can be ascertained; e.g., see the dreamer's preoccupation with finding the "cause" at the outset of Chaucer's The Hous of Fame, which leaves him in a doubt. Here the conclusion to "that doute" (line 1929) is sought, but the conclusion remains, as it does with other poets of the time, paradoxical (see note to lines 1987-88). Faith in religious authority does not seem to help the dreamer reconcile reason and sensuality, nor is he able to rely solely on his flawed ability to ratiocinate.
1987-88 as a parable, / Derke as a myste, or a feyned fable. The dreamer's doute is not resolved "[c]lerely and opynly" (line 1986) as he had hoped, but rather as a dark mystery. The ambiguity is characteristic of medieval humanist epistemologies, where the limitations of human understanding are defined by riddles and confined by the limitations of temporalities.The poet seems to suggest that the ontological problem of human nature - rational yet sensual - is a conundrum best expressed by means of the emblem of the Macrobian fabula and, therefore, best understood through poetry, not doctrine.
1995 Declare thy dowte. Even though the dreamer can enjoy debates amongst the gods of the classical world regarding changeabilities figured through Eolus and dwell enclosed within Christian walls covered with explanatory murals and the explications of Dame Doctryne, the dowte remains, a doubt bound up in the dreamer's wit "so thynne" (line 1997) and his sensual fear of Dethe (line 1998). What began as a boisterous squabble against the traitor Eolus, who "[d]ystroyed with hys blastes" many places and, according to Diana, "dayly me manaces" (line 61), concludes with a chilling confrontation with the menace of Dethe, whose blasts decimate humankind with even more ruthlessness than the weather. But note it is here Sensualité, a suspect influence, who insists on the fear of Dethe (lines 1961-64). Fear of Death is a favorite topic with Lydgate, so prominent, in fact, that it becomes one of Triggs' focal reasons for concluding that The Assembly of Gods must be by Lydgate (pp. xiii, xlv-l, and liii). The illustrator of Lydgate's poem, entitled in MacCracken (Minor Poems, pt. 2, pp. 655-57) "Death's Warning," depicts Death with a spear in his right hand and a bell in his left, announcing, "lo, here thys manace, / Armour ys noon that may withstande hys wounde / Ne whom I merke ther ys non other grace" (lines 9-11); the drawing is filled with words proclaiming the bell's sharp message: "Dethe, dethe, deye, deye"; for so the bell tolls (Douce MS 322, fol. 19v). That drawing would make a fitting epilogue for The Assembly of Gods. See also Lydgate's "Timor mortis conturbat me" ("Fear of death confounds me"), written according to the formulas of mortality in dozens of other fifteenth-century poems, or his Dance of Macabre, translated from an Old French text and belonging to a long tradition of macabre literature (see also the ending of Hawes' The Pastime of Pleasure).
2012-16 Bothe Sensualyté and Reson . . . / . . . thy doutfull monacorde. Doctrine means the fear of death and the rational explanation of its significance bring both body and soul together, united in one common purpose, of avoidance.
2030 a generall answere. The dreamer's doubts lie "in especiall" (lines 116, 1445, and 1599), that is, in the particularities of temporalities that he is not able to comprehend. He has a generall sense of what is what - Dame Doctryne has taught that to him (it is the major premise) - but he still lacks confidence amidst the particularities (the minor premise - see note to lines 1930-31). Morpheus can show (see note to line 35), but he cannot make him understand. Compare Chaucer's Boece (5.m.3), which puts the problem well:
But whanne the soul byholdeth and seeth the heye thought (that is to seyn, God), thanne knoweth it togidre the somme and the singularities (that is to seyn, the principles and everyche by hymself). But now, while the soule is hidd in the cloude and in the derknesse of the membres of the body, it ne hath nat al foryeten itself, but it witholdeth the somme of the thinges and lesith the singularities. Thanne who so that sekith sothnesse, he nis in neyther nother habite, for he not nat al, ne he ne hath nat al foryeten, but yit hym remem-breth the somme of thinges that he witholdeth, and axeth conseile, and retretith deepliche thinges iseyn byforn (that is to seyn, the grete somme in his mynde) so that he mowe adden the parties that he hath foryeten to thilke that he hath witholden. (lines 38-56)
2035 As good ys ynowgh as a gret feste. Proverbial. See Tilley, A Dictionary of Proverbs, E158: "Enough is as good as a feast," p. 188.
2038-40 he hade me brought agene to my bedde . . . / then pryvyly / He stale awey. The dreamer's awakening bears some similarity to Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess, where the poet/dreamer/Black Knight, whose love/hart/solace "sta(a)l away" (lines 381, 1251), awakens to find himself in his bed, still caught up in his study. His only alternative is to tell his dream, to "[p]ut hit in wrytyng" (line 2061). In The Book of the Duchess Chaucer ends with the telling of his dream - "now hit ys doon" (line 1334). The Assembly of Gods poet goes further, to admonish the reader to walk with Vertu (line 2074) and to fight the good fight against the three enemies (the World, Flesh, and Devil - lines 2079-82) in hope of "triumphall guerdon" (line 2087) in God's "celestiall mansioun" (line 2089). (Compare the dreamer in The Book of the Duchess at the outset of the poem, with his desire for reward: though at the outset he knows "my boote is never the ner" [line 38], ultimately he is blessed with an ambiguous glimpse of the New Jerusalem as he accepts the fact that the good fair White had gone to her reward [lines 1314-23], her "triumphall guerdoun" in God's "celestial mansioun," indeed.)
2053-54 For what cause shewyd was thys vysyon. / I knew nat; wherfore, I toke pen and ynke. Like Chaucer at the end of so many of his dream visions, for example, The Parlement of Foules, or the female narrator at the end of the visionary The Assembly of Ladies, the dreamer here particularizes his general lesson by means of writing down his vision exactly as he experienced it. The "fantasy" to which he has been led by Morpheus, god of dreams, thus becomes both an expression and sign of his anxiety about the human condition and also the means of his recuperation and regeneration. It is also the means by which others may learn how to fight Dethe (see lines 2068-69, where the deciphering of the poem is "for your owne wele").
2064 myne ey bodyly. Medieval mystics frequently distinguish between physical sight and the inner eye that allows them to "see" spiritual truths more clearly and to commune with God.
2070-71 Take therof the best and let the worst be; / Try out the corne clene from the chaff. Compare Chaucer's The Nun's Priest's Tale (CT VII [ B2 ] 3443-44): "Taketh the fruyt, and lat the chaf be stille"; that is, learn from the morality and ignore the merely entertaining and trivial. This particular admonition has long been used by poets to suggest the bifurcated nature of poetry, which has a pleasing exterior but a truthful core hidden inside.
2080-81 the Devyll and the Flesshe, / And also the Worlde. These enemies of humankind who attack the body through the five senses also appear as the three beasts who try to waylay the exiled Dante at the beginning of the Inferno (canto 1), according to Giovanni Boccaccio's commentary on the first book of Dante's Inferno. See also Chaucer's The Tale of Melibeus (CT VII [ B2] 1420 ff., 2610 ff.). The Devil works through Pride, Wrath, and Sloth; the World, through Covetousness and Envy; and the Flesh, through Gluttony and Lechery. See Donald R. Howard, The Three Temptations: Medieval Man in Search of the World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966).
2106-07 The prayer for eternall joy for those who give their audyence to his vision reflects a common formula for concluding visionary poems. Chaucer, in Troilus and Criseyde and the Canterbury Tales, asks for prayers on behalf of his own soul. Here The Assembly of Gods poet shifts the concern from the poet's soul to the welfare of his audience, the implication being that we, as audience, read for our own good, despite our doubts. Prayers for the audience, rather than the poet, characterize several of Lydgate's poems as well. See, for example, the conclusion to The Life of Our Lady and the several shorter Marian poems, with their prayers of intercession for "us"; or the mutual prayers "To sende us pes" at the end of The Siege of Thebes (line 4713); or the Envoy to Troy Book, with its prayer to the king that he have the grace to rule well according to God's pleasure and our benefit; or the prayers on behalf of Duke Humphrey at the end of The Fall of Princes.
THE ASSEMBLY OF GODS: TEXTUAL NOTES
A: Cambridge, Trinity College Library MS R.3.19, fols. 67b–97b.
B: British Library, Royal MS 18.d, fols. 167a–180b (alleged copy of D).
C: British Library, printed edition of Le Assemble de Dyeus by Wynkyn de Worde, G.11587 (tract 2) (1498).
D: British Library, printed edition of Le Assemble de Dyeus by Wynkyn de Worde, C.13.a.21 (tract 2) (1500?).
E: Cambridge University Library, printed edition by Wynkyn de Worde (c. 1500), reprinted in facsimile by Francis Jenkinson, Cambridge University Press, 1906 (latest of the three printed editions published around 1500).
F: Huntington Library printed edition by Richard Pynson (c. 1505). Missing lines 764–1099.
G: Huntington Library printed edition by [J. Skot for] Robert Redman (after 1529).
H: Oxford, Bodleian Library Douce MS, fragment f. 51 (1), "Vertu," lines 1213–1323 (fragmentary copy of F).
T: Triggs' edition (1895; 1896).
R: Ringler's corrections (1953).
Fl: Fletcher's corrections (1977).
The Interpretation of the Names of the Gods and Goddesses (Table of Gods and Goddesses) (in ACDEFG).
Because the poem is based on the A text, only significant exceptions in other texts or emendations of A have been cited in the textual notes. Where A has been emended on the basis of practice in other texts, I have indicated A's practice.
1–2 Here foloweth . . . as poetes wryte. In EF these lines follow the table: Here endeth the interpretacyon of the names of Goddes and Goddesses as is rehearsed hereafter in this treatyse folowyng as poetes wryte, with E, at what would be line 31; and FG, at the opening of Banquet, instead of at lines 1–2. E substitutes reherced, the for this in this treatyse, and folowynge.
5 Morpheus. ACDEFG: Morpleus; emended by T.
9 Eolus. ACDEFG: Colus; emended by T. "Colus" also appears for Eolus in Christine's The Epistle of Othea, trans. Stephen Scrope.
12 the Spryng. E omits the.
16–26 Lines missing in F.
19 Goddesse. CT: Goddes.
21 of shepardes. E omits of; D: Shepardis.
26 Mercurius. A: Marcurius; DG: Marcuryus; E: Mercuryus; emended by T.
28 and stryfe. G: or of varyans.
Banquet of Gods and Goddesses.
The title here, along with an attribution to Lydgate, is found in A. See Introduction.
1 Whan. A: a four-line space for an ornamental W has been left, but the capital has not been added.
in. EG omit.
8 me gan. F: gan me.
13 leyde I me. G: I leyde me.
14 Morpheus. Morpleus in ABCDEFG here and throughout, an obvious mistake.
24 me leede. F: lede me.
33 in erthe. F omits in.
outher. B: either; DEFG: eyther.
47 her: their. Although Middle English hie and hem have usually become they and them in A, the genitive plural is most resistant to change and remains as her. The female singular pronoun is usually spelled hyr, though sometimes her in The Assembly of Gods.
57 a goddesse. F omits a.
59 take. EG omit.
70 Where thorough. F: Wherethroughe.
lykly to fade. F: likely for to fade.
71 a reproche. F: aproche.
78 thus. EG omit.
84 to. BCDEFG omit.
89 yef. EFG omit.
90 me. F: so.
92 as mekyll. C: as moche; F: so moche.
104 fome. A: from, which makes little sense; BG: come; DE: com; C: fome, which correction I have followed; see also F: scome (scum) or foome; T: foom (for which there is no basis).
swet. G: tyme.
hit. EG omit.
106 as. EFG omit.
107 Bothe. A: Abothe; BC: Bothe; DEFG: Both.
115 me be. EG omit be.
117 worst was. CF: was worst.
118 as. EG omit.
119 Ay. F: Ever.
120 of sylfewyll. G omits of.
123 To. EG: For to.
all. T omits, as noted by Fl.
124 to. C omits.
127 sythe. F: tymes.
130 er. EFG: or.
131 they me. C omits.
132 pepyll. F: tyme.
133 shame. EG: blame.
140 avysement. T: avysment.
141 had. C omits.
142 to know. EG omit.
145 mevyd. EG omit.
147 compleyn. B: spleyne; G: to compleyne.
155 here. E: see; G: se.
157 he. EG omit.
164 Appollo. BDFT: Apollo; EG: Appolo; generally the names remain consistent throughout each text, and generally A writes Apollo, though not in this instance. T mistranscribes as Apollo.
166 in feere. T brackets in as his emendation of A; T's mistake is noted by Fl; B: fere; DEG: in fere; F: i fere.
169 the god, Apollo. ABF: to the god; E reads to for to the, while G substitutes that for to the. Fl acknowledges both variants and notes T's failure to correct the line for sense after T deletes to.
175 offence. F: defence.
179 Neptunus. G: god Neptunus.
186 alther last. BE: alderlast; C: alder last, D: alder laste; F: althe last; G: alderlaste.
187 the. B: be.
198 that. C omits.
199 yow pray. E: pray you; G: praye you.
202 to. G omits.
205 a. F omits.
208 To here. G: For to here.
210 owne wele, sey. B: one well say; D: one wele sey; E: own wele say; G: owne wele say. R notes that B agrees in its error with D, and therefore B must be copied from D.
212 Her to an. F: Hir to.
an. F omits.
213 her. B: here; F: hir; G: theyr.
214 entrete. G: to entrete.
215 her. G: their.
217 grogyng. B: grutching; CDE: grutchyng; F: grutchinge; G: grutchynge.
218 Loo. T reads Lo, as in BEG.
Madame. E: dame.
222 gloryous. F: gracious.
goddesse. BG: goddes.
224 All we. F: Alwey.
226 to forgeve. EG: so to foryeve.
228 Yef he eft. EG: If he ought.
235 mery. BCDF: emend to mercy. R notes that B agrees with D in this error and therefore that B must have been copied from D.
236 of hys. G: in this.
mater. EG: maner.
240 my. G omits.
goddesse. B: goddes; E: godd’esse.
243 Phebe. Phebus in ABCDEFG, but clearly incorrect. T lists Pheb[e]. So too in line 358 (see explanatory note).
247 goddesses eke, that be heere. G: goddesse; CE omit eke; EG substitute ben for be.
255 yet. EG: ye.
ye. EG omit.
256 prees. B: press; G: prease; T: presse, as in E (abbreviated) and F.
262 hys hand. B: his hede; D: his honde; C: honde, with hys omitted; E: his hond; G: his hande.
262–315 These lines are missing from F.
265 Sate the goddesse. B: Sad the goddes.
267 she. According to Fl, she in AC; but also in G; BDE: he.
268 hyr. CEG: her.
280 oft sythe. B: oft sith; C: tyme; E: oftsyth; G: ofte syth.
293 the. E omits.
goddesse. E: goddes.
301 hyr dyd. C: dyde her.
304 polyty. B: policy; ET: polycy; G: polyce.
305 goddesse. BT: goddese; E: goddes.
316 party. E: perty.
320 chamelet. E: clamelet.
328 pryk-eryd. E: prekered; G: prycke ered.
331 hys. G omits.
332 kyrtyll. E: kyr ell.
337 Next hyr. E: Next to her; G: Nexte to her.
was then. BDEF: than was, which, according to R, attests that D does not derive from A. A, once again, is unique.
342 and seyle. G: and a sayle.
346 hyr handys. BCD: her hondis; E: hondes; F: hir handes; G: her hondes.
347 ever. EG omit.
355 chase. EG: chose.
358 Phebe. A: Phebus, but clearly Apollo’s sister is meant.
360 to avale. EG: vayl.
366 course: wytnesse. F: cours as witnesseth.
369 fynde lak. FG: fynde no lacke.
374 skyne; her. C reads and her.
375 She ravysshyd. Emended from Ravysshyd on basis of F.
390 There. T mistranscribes as ther.
391 with. C substitutes and.
398 her. G: theyr.
402 gan. Fl: han.
403 whyche. C: that.
404 mo. C omits.
409 made. E omits.
412 she. ABDEG: he. T’s emendation, based on F.
417 that. B: the; C omits.
418 shuld they. G: they sholde.
419 Attropos. See also lines 565 and 1322. G: Antropos, throughout.
420 a wyndyng. BCD omit a.
423 and. Fl notes T’s mistake (and also in EG) in omitting and and corrects on the basis of A.
she had. C: had she.
425 quod. C: sayd.
the. C omits.
427 yet. C omits.
432 went. B omits.
434 yn. EG omit.
436 woode. EG: mad.
439 carpyng. E: spekyng; G: spekynge.
440 hit. B: he.
442 He stood forthe boldly, with grym countenaunce. F deletes boldly and changes grym to bolde.
443 on. T: in.
444 gret. EG omit.
445 all. G: ony.
449 ye. EG omit.
453 hit nat. E: not it.
460 defaute. EG: faute.
475 no grace. G: they gate no grace.
476 all be. F omits be. G deletes all be.
hem. G: them all.
478 foule. G omits.
479 every. F: in every.
490 have. EG omit.
493 two. AT: roman numerals. EG: you ii; F spells out.
494 offyce, ner. E: offycenere; F: nor for ner; G: offycynere.
497 good wyll. E: gode wy.
lo. EG omit.
499 they brayde up. G: brayde up all.
502 they swere. G: they dyde swere.
507 yef. EF omit.
508 full. EG: well; F omits.
sone. EG omit.
510 That. G: That and.
513 leyte. E: lyghtning; F: lightnynge; G: lyghtnynge.
518 be. EG omit.
522 to. E omits.
525 all. EG omit.
woll he. EG: he wyll.
526 But for to tell. F: For to tell.
534 a kravers. CF omit a; C: cravers.
537 weet. G: were.
541 have. F omits.
goon out. F: go oute; EG omit out.
fer. G: terre.
542 oon. B: on; CDEG: one.
545 Tyll. B: This; E: Tyl; T: Till.
546 of. F: for.
553 as. EG omit.
554 a. E omits.
556 bothe. EG omit.
560 efte. G: agayne.
rekke. EG: care.
nat. F: nat of.
561 to returne. E omits to.
564 he. E: it; F: they.
565 that. EG omit.
Attropos. G: Antropos.
566 Phebe. EFG: Phebus. See also line 358.
570 alone. BD: alove.
571 Er. G: Other.
or elles. One word in A; CF: ellys; E: ellie.
573 sese. E: seale; G: sease.
574 lyketh. F: thinke.
577 hygh plesure. G: hyght pleyser.
585 shall ye. E omits ye; G: ye shall.
587 defaute. BDEFG: the faute; C: the fawte. R suggests that D does not derive from A here.
588 so. F omits.
591 mykyll. G: mothe.
595 thys mater ageyn hym take. F: ageyne hym this mater take.
599 your althrys eere. G changes to althers tre.
601 oon. EG omit.
607 Armyd. BDEFG: Armed; for R, this indicates that D does not correspond with A and that B agrees with D and is therefore copied from D.
at all. BCD omit all, according to Fl (though BD retain all and omit at); F: in all.
609 batayll. G: that batayle.
611 And. EG omit.
612 Ageyn. G: Ayenst.
617 cure. F: ever.
617–714 The capitalization in A of the names of the capteyns of Vyce and all the pepyll (line 671) in the entourage is quite irregular. I have capitalized the officers' names and used lowercase for the types and classes of persons.
618 any. EG omit.
621 next hym roode. F: rode next hym.
623 on a wolfe. E omits a.
625 nakyd. EG omit.
634 Best. A: Bost; corrected to Best by T in agreement with CDEFG; B: Bist.
on. F omits; G: in.
635 ther. A: the. Emended to ther(e) by CT; BDEFG: there.
640 Gret Jelacy. F: and greate.
648 Yll, and with Foule Rybaudy. BCD: and precedes Rybaudy, which disrupts the meter. R notes that D does not derive from A in this line (because D adds and) and that B agrees with D in its error and therefore must be derived from D.
651 Worldly Vanyté. Emended on basis on FG from A: wordly.
661 Horryble. B: horribly; D: horrybly; F: horrible.
662 alther-last. F: all the last.
671 pepyll. EG omit.
673 braggars. Fl notes that AC: Braggers; DBE: kraghers; but in fact, EG: crakers; F: braggers.
674 fasers. E: sasers.
675 shakerles. F: shakelers.
soleyn. C: sol eyn; F: soleyne.
680 usurers. G: users.
682 gret. F omits.
686 Lascyvyous. A: Lastyvyous.
687 of. E: and.
691 Stalkers. E: Sralkers.
693 Getters. F: Fetters.
702 Brothelles. BCDEFG: Brothellers.
709 Quesmers. T mistranscribes Quelmers. Fl notes that Quesmers in The Assembly of Gods appears as the only Oxford English Dictionary citation. Also BDF.
715 comons. EG: comons that.
717 for. EG omit.
721 for sowght he. BCEG: forsoth it; D: forsothe hit; F: forsothe.
723 then. EG: that.
732 er. G: or.
733 him nat. BCDEG: hym not. R concludes that B copies from D because B agrees with D in this "error."
736 hym. EG omit.
he. G: be.
737 begynnyng. G: bothe begynnyng.
739 wende. EG: go how.
742 mater. E: mat.
750 the. EG omit.
753 do. B omits.
754 a long. E: a gret; F: a longe; G: a grete.
756 yowre. G: you your.
758 frendys. E: and frendis.
760 mowte. EG: myght.
764–1099 Lines are missing in F.
767 he. DEG omit.
773 no. B omits.
caltrop. E: cotlrop.
788 boost. B: oste; E: host; T: hoost; Fl notes T's mistake.
791 laurer. G: Laurel.
792 dowty. EG: doubty.
794 hys. C omits.
798 hys. G omits.
805 to. G: for.
812 Syttyng . . . good and free. Entire line is missing in B.
813 hys crest. B omits hys.
815 hert. E: hete.
hys trapure was gay. AG read was for hys; T emends to hys, which I follow here; E omits hys. C: trappured and agy; E: and gay.
819 Armyd. BCDEG: Armed; T: Arymd; Fl notes mistake in T.
821 the. Emended from A: tho on basis of EFGT, although tho could mean "those."
826 aftyr. G: to.
828–89 I have capitalized names of personifications.
853 gret. EG omit.
862 came. E: nean.
873 with. EG omit.
875 be. T emends to he, and Fl agrees.
he. E: ge.
877 hys. CG omit.
880 they wold. E substitutes this for they; G: wolde they.
881 theym . . . be. T: they . . . he, incorrectly.
891 com pyson. The sense is obscure. CT solve the problem with comparyson; E: came pyson; G: came poyson.
897 notable. EG: noble.
900 declarers. A: declares. Expanded on the basis of BCDEGT. Fl follows T.
902 sowles. D: foules; T: fowles. It seems likely that the long s in A was read as f in later witnesses.
914 feythfull. E: feyth; G: fayth.
923 Solytary. E: Salytary.
924 rychesses. B: richesses; G: ryches; T: rychesse.
927 fyll. G: fell.
932 Macrocosme. The word should read Microcosme, and passim including lines 952, 1255, 1420, and 1468 (where EG: Macrocosme). A writes, incorrectly, Macocrosme, as in lines 952 and 1468.
937 Synderesys . . . as in a parke. C omits as; EG omit in. Omissions in CE noted by Fl.
938 to marke. G: for to marke.
943 he was. G: was he.
944 nat. EG omit.
945 have. C omits.
946 In. C omits.
953 than. EG omit.
I se. C: see I.
962 heynous. G: hydeous.
966 ye. BCDE omit. Because B agrees in error with D, B must be copied from D.
970 Among whom . . . a score. For R, this line indicates that B agrees in error with D and is therefore copied from D.
971 But as . . . tell yow more. C: you tell more. EG omit line.
972 pety. C omits.
974 dubbyd. BD: doubled, also in line 981, according to Fl; EG: doubed. See also line 981, where R notes that this shows the linkage between A and C, and B and D.
976 with. ABD: without; CE: wythout; emended in GT.
981 dubbyd. In BD: doubled; EG: doubed. R notes that this shows the linkage between A and C, and B and D.
982 hys. EG omit.
983 her. C: ther; G: theyr.
984 hit shuld. EG: shold it.
1017 answere. G: mater.
1024 mykyll. G: moche.
1031 Frewyll, Vertew. G: Vertu Frewyll.
1033 be. T: he; Fl notes T's mistake.
1034 then. G: them.
1044 nerer. C: nere.
1051 stood. BT omit, a mistake noted by Fl. B is the only manuscript in which this omission occurs, which suggests that T used B here rather than A or simply reduplicated the error.
1053 last. G: the last.
1054 Vertu wold. G: wolde Vertu.
1058 sy. E: see; G corrects to sawe.
1060 that. C omits.
1063 tyne. G: tyme.
1074 Howe be hyt the slepyr grasse made many of hem fall. DE: How . . . sleper; B: slepper; C: slypper. G: How . . . the grasse . . . them. R notes that B agrees in error with D and concludes therefore that B is copied from D.
1083 comons. EG omit.
1087 his. EG omit.
1092 ours. Emended from A: our, as in BCEG.
elles. E omits.
1095 hogy. E: hugy; G: huge.
behelde. In A only: behold. I follow the correction in BCDGT. E: beheld.
1100 thus. EG omit.
1103 Crystis. A: Cryste; emended on the basis of variants in BC: Cristis; E: chrystys; G: Chrystes; T: Cristes.
1113 gret meryt. B: might; CE: my3t; DG: myght; F: myghte, which also omits gret. R suggests that this line shows that D does not derive from A.
1117 Geve. A: yeve; C: yone; F: yonder; G: you.
1118 no lengor. F: nat longe.
1123 a lowde. F omits a.
1124 hys. G omits.
for. B omits.
1132 Vertew hys ost. G: Vertues hoost.
1138 armee. B: harm.
1144 a. F omits.
1145 hym sent. G: sent hym.
1148 forthe. G omits.
1149 for to tell yow. C omits for and yow.
1154 they hym. EG omit hym.
1161 scourge. In AT; BCG: stronge; DE: strong.
1169 beshut. C: beshyt; G: be shyt.
1176 hathe. T mistranscribes as have; Fl corrects so.
1184 agene togedyr. C: togyder agayn.
1185 fly. ABCDEG: sty; F: stye; T’s emendation.
1192 hys. EG omit.
1193 seke. T mistranscribes as seek.
1194 whatsoever. A: what so ever; G: what ever.
1195 Vertew; elles. G: vertu or els.
1198 also to. EG omit to.
be her. G: theyr.
1199 they. C omits.
1201 as they came by Conscience, he theym bad goo lyght. B inverts word order — And as thei to conscience cam. CDEFG: to instead of by. FG reverse word order in theym bad.
1202 Er than. G: Left that.
1203 he. B omits.
1204 ys. E omits.
late then. B: let hem.
1209 socour. G: to socour.
1211 for. C: to.
1219 mervayll. B: mivel.
1223 swemfully. G corrects to shamefully.
1230 stant hym noon awe. G emends to standes he in none awe.
1237 ys hit. EG: it is.
1238 and wylde. EG omit.
1239 made. EG omit.
1240 But. C omits.
1243 The. C: they.
1245 Must ye. E: muit and omits ye.
other. E omits.
1246 that. F omits.
see. E omits.
1257 to angre. CFG omit to.
1259 bayll. B: baille; T: bayll[e]; E: bayl; F: bailly; G: bayle.
1260 for. CF omit.
1265 shalt thow. E: thu shalt; G: thu shalte.
1267 jugement. E: Jugementis; G: iugementes.
ys. G omits.
1274 castaway. BD: cast awaye; CE: cast a way; G: cast way
1279 restrayn. G: to restrayne.
1283 tyne. F omits.
1284 sy. BD: see; C: sawe; EG: se.
1287 may. G: that may.
1293 I thanke God . . . myn honour. Stand-alone line in A.
1296 fyve. Expanded from .v.
shall ye. F: ye shall.
1309 let. G: to let.
hyt. BDFG: hym.
be lore. F: be lorne.
1314 And ran to the palyse as he had be wood. Line missing EG.
1316 worthy. G: whyrly.
1317 a devyllway. G substitutes the for a; F: a devylwey.
1322 Attropos. G: Antropos.
god. G: the god.
1331 I se. C: see I.
1336 yef. F omits.
1348 hym commaundyd. C: commaunded hym.
pyke hym. G: to pyke hym; C omits hym.
1350 undyr. F: hym under.
1353 best. G: the best.
1362 of. E omits.
1365 fro . . . fro. EFGT: for . . . for.
1370 be. G: it.
1373 menetyme. B: meane.
1374 therof had. C: had therof.
1379 bade hym. G: hym bad.
1385 men. E omits; G: he.
1387 Vertu hys. CF: vertues; G: Vertues, with hys omitted.
soone. G emends to sonest.
1389 shall ye. F: ye shall.
1400 ar dysusyd. F substitutes ben for ar; G substitutes abused for dysusyd.
1404 thow shalt be. BD: that shall be; CF: that shalbe; E: that shal be; G: thou shall be.
1406 thow become. G: ever thou come.
1408 as. C omits.
1416 of. G: on.
1421 redy loke thow. F: loke redy thou; G: loke thou redy.
1425 the. F: that.
1438 bodyly. F: holy.
1442 hys. E omits.
sygne. G: thynge.
1445 fyve. AT: v.
1451 herte. G: thwarte.
1459 seere. G: dyed.
1462 also were. BCDEFG: were also.
1463 fyn. G: all.
1466 ys ay. G: shall last aye.
1467 omnipotens. T emends A to omnipotent, as in B; CDEG: omnypotent; F: omnypotente.
1475 to. F omits.
therof. BD: theroft.
1477 have. G: thou shalte have.
1478 hym folowyd. F: folowed hym.
had. G omits.
1485 in, I. Fl notes in omitted in C; E omits I.
1486 there. EG omit.
1493 thre. Expanded from iii in ABCDEGT.
1494 about. B: above.
1498 tell. G: shewe.
1502 next. G: hym nexte.
1507 aqueyntaunce. F: antyquyte.
1511 were. G: we.
1514 I yet. C: yet I.
1519 mynde. G: my mynde.
1525 hym. E omits.
1526 there. G omits.
1530 an. EG omit.
1539 also. EG omit.
1543 aspyed I. E: I espyed; G: I aspyed.
1547 a. EG omit.
1563 James. EG: and James.
1566 next hem. F: next to hym.
1572 wynges. G: his wynges.
1582 Crysostom. F: grysostome; G: Crysostony.
1586 hem. C: them; FG: ben.
1587 was he. EG: he was.
1590 me remembre. Only in AT does a second me follow after me remembre, clearly a mistake, and I have deleted on the basis of the correction in BCDEFG.
yow. C: yon.
1591 brayne. BD: barayne; E: barayn. R notes that B agrees in error with D, so that B perhaps copied from D.
1593 whyle have I. EG: whyle to have.
1597 moo. EG omit.
1598 now. EG omit.
1608 hovyd. A: honyd; CEFG: hoved; Fl is incorrect in noting the appearance of honyd only in D since D agrees with A. Changed to hovyd for sense.
1609 whos. EG: her.
1620 hys. CF omits; G: is.
1622 now I. F reads nowe, with I deleted.
1630 dayly. EG omit.
1636 sythe. C: tyme; F: tymes.
1638 then. BCEFGT: than.
overmykyll. C: overmoch; F: overmoche; T: over mykyll.
1640 be. T: he; Fl notes T’s mistake.
1645 be fooles. F: be by fooles.
1647 me. F: brought; G: meved.
1652 overmekyll. C: overmoche.
1659 to scoole. F: to the scole; G: to scole.
1664 amendyd. BDE: amendeth.
1669 her. E: hed.
1672 set at. F: set it at.
1676 thys. E: his.
1678 shuldest. E: holdest.
1684 paynym. G: the paynym.
1693 Som. G: So.
1700 for as. G: as for.
1705 and. BG: or.
1714 cornys. F: goddys; G: corne.
1716 In lyke maner . . . goddesse. In G, this line appears as the last line of the previous stanza.
1718 meane. BCDE: name; F: mene.
gryffyng. E: graffyng; G: graffynge.
1719 deyfy. G: edyfy.
1720 furst founde. F: fonde first.
1723 that. G: the.
1734 whoo. F: who so.
1736 hyd. C: dyd; F: he did; G: he dyd.
1741 awayters. G: wayters.
1744 sesyd. F: saide.
1751 duryd to the. to added to A for sense, as in BCT. F omits to.
1752 to. F omits.
1755 Man. F: god.
1761 then. EG omit.
1764 That the . . . present. This entire line is missing in EG; pencilled in in G.
1765 thre. Emended from roman numeral; F: thre. See also line 1771.
asondry. F: asonder; G: a sondre.
1767 thee yn pycture ys. F: in picture.
1769 thirde. A: iii, emended as in F.
hit ys to. B omits hit. G omits to.
1775 cure. G: oure.
1777 to. C: tyll.
1778 fourth. ABCD: iiiith; EG: .iiii; emended as in F.
1782 Tyme. EG omit.
1783 benamyd. G: be name.
1785 fygure. F: figure se.
thow se. A: thow me. G: thou se. Both F and G’s emendations disrupt the meter. B, C, and D follow A.
1791 no. F omits.
1798 hathe ay. G: aye hath.
1799 For. D omits.
1802 so moche. F: for as.
1804 that. C omits.
1809 or. G: and.
1810 he. G omits.
1813 awake. G: to awake.
1814 chargeth. F: careth; T: changeth. Fl notes T’s mistake.
1815 As. E: Ap; G: Up.
1817 nat. E: nor.
1819 oon. G: that one.
lorde ys. G: is lorde.
1821 Vyce and. E omits.
1826 fowtyn. E: fowtyve; G: fawtyve.
1828 as. C omits.
1829 the comon. B omits the.
1842 Prescience and Predestinacion. E omits Prescience and; substitutes Prestynacyon.
1844 Ys. F: It.
1846 they fro Vertu wolde pervert. F: they wolde fro vertu perverte.
1858 Whyche. G: Unto whiche.
1870 Hast thow nat now thyne hertes desyre? C omits now; EG: Hast thou properly the verey sentence? G generally follows E.
1871 yon. B: thou; D: you; F: the. See also line 1886.
1886 yon. D: you; F: that.
1889 fourth. A: iiijuth; BEG: fourthe; C: fourth.
1903 sayde. G: sayd she.
1906 thee the present. C omits thee, probably because in A both thee and the are spelled the.
1909 dyrectly. BC: discretly; D: dyscrettly; E: dyserettly; F: discretely; G: dyscretely.
1922 last. E: law.
1925 loute. E: lute; T: lowte.
1932 mende. F: mynde.
1934 though. B: thought.
1938 with hym comon. G: comon with hym.
1942 claymed. F: clawed.
1960 Yet ys. G: It is.
1977 mevyd. G: mened.
1978 me then. G: then me.
1988 myste. E: myhe.
1990 seyde she. G: she sayd.
1995 Declare. BCDEFG: Declared.
1999 went. E: vent.
2008 knette in oon. F adds in: knytte in in one.
2018 And. BCT: An. Fl notes T’s mistake in reading and as an.
2019 vouchesafe. G: wolde vouchesafe.
2023 of thys. G deletes of.
2024 for. G omits.
2029 heere tary. G: tary here.
2034 that hold I best. B deletes that; BDE: sholde; F: that is for the best; Fl incorrectly notes that hold appears in AC, shold in BDET.
2041 Where. E: were.
he. F omits.
2044 for to. G: to a.
2048 The. BCDEFG: That.
and Vertew. F adds a second and before vertue.
2049 hit, hit. C omits one hit and reads it.
2055 paper to make therof. BCDG: therof to make; E: thereof to make. F: papere therof to make.
2061 where thorow. F: wherethrough.
2074 hys. CEFG omit.
loore. EG omit.
2079 thre. AEG: iii.
2080 the Flesshe. F: the[m] flesshe.
2086 exylyd. G: exyle.
2091 fayne. C: feyne.
2093 That oft sythe causeth the good Lorde to be wrothe. G: That ofte tymes causeth god w[ith] us to be wrothe.
2101 regeneracion. F: generacion; G: generacyon.
2103 descendyd. CG: descended; BDEF: descendeth. R declares that B agrees with D in error, therefore B must have been copied from D.
2108 Amen. After this word, C adds, Thus endeth this lytell moralized treatyse compiled by dan John Lydgat somtyme monke of Bury on whose soule god have mercy; D: There endeth a lytyll Tratyse named Le assemble de dyeus; E: Here endeth alytyll Treatyse named The assemble of goddes; F: Emprynted by Richarde Pynson; G emends E, i.e., separates a lytyll, lower-cases treatyse, expands namede, and en- titles it the assemble of goddes and goddesses. The printer in G acknowledges this was “Imprynted at London in Fletestrete by me Robert Redman.”
|Here foloweth the Interpretacion of the names of goddys and goddesses, as ys|
rehersyd in this tretyse folowyng, as poetes wryte.
Phebus ys as moche to sey as the Sonne
Apollo ys the same, or ellys God of lyght
Shewer of dremes
God of hell
Juge of hell
Porter of hell
Eolus, the wynde, or God of the eyre
Diana, Goddesse of woode and chace
Phebe, the mone, or Goddes of watyres
Aurora, Goddes of the morow, or the Spryng of the day
God of batayll
God of wysdom
Goddesse of rychesse
God of colde
Goddesse of corne
God of love
Goddesse of wysdom
the variaunt Goddesse
God of shepardes
Goddesse of frute
God of the see
Goddesse of batayll or of harneyse
God of wyne
God of langage
Goddesse of love
Goddesse of debate and stryfe
Go To The Banquet of Gods and Goddesses