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DHC Lecture with Marilynn Desmond (Binghamton University)

Trojan Itineraries: The Time and Place of Troy in Angevin Naples

In medieval historiography, the Fall of Troy results in the Trojan diaspora and the settlement of Europe. This vision of Trojan ancestry simultaneously expresses a vision of European futurity. The textual and visual traditions of the Histoire ancienne jusqu’à César—a French prose text of universal history—encapsulate these various uses of the Trojan past.
Nowhere was this more evident than in the second redaction of the Histoire ancienne preserved in British Library Royal 20 D 1, (commissioned in the 1330’s by Robert of Anjou). The iconography in 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.