First VizCult of the year: Marilynn Desmond, Binghamton University

“Trojan Time and the Place of Troy in the Angevin Court of Robert of Anjou”
Wednesday, September 14, 5:15 pm
FA 218

The second redaction of the Histoire ancienne jusqu’à César—a French text of universal history preserved in British Library Royal 20 D 1—was commissioned in the 1330’s by Robert of Anjou, king of Naples from 1309-1343.  Since this manuscript marks an entirely new departure—both in its textual and its visual program—from earlier manuscripts of the Histoire ancienne, its iconography can be specifically read in relation to Robert of Anjou, a king known for his patronage of the arts and specifically for his interest in acquiring luxury manuscripts that script a vision of his royal and potentially imperial roles. The visual program in Royal 20 D 1 enables a complex set of identifications between the contemporary Angevin kingdom and the ancient world, since Royal 20 D 1 uses the story of the siege and fall of Troy to illustrate Robert of Anjou’s imperial ambitions in the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly his territorial designs on Constantinople.

Marilynn Desmond is Distinguished Professor of English, General Literature and Rhetoric and Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CEMERS) at Binghamton University.

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