Monday, July 5, 2021

The Chastity of Valentinian, John Gower, Confessio Amantis V.6430ff

Hic loquitur qualiter Valentinianus Imperator, cum ipse octogenarius plures provincias Romano Imperio belliger subiugasset, dixit se super omnia magis gaudere de eo, quod contra suae carnis concupiscenciam victoriam obtinuisset; nam et ipse virgo omnibus diebus vitae suae castissimus permansit.

--John Gower, Confessio Amantis V.6430ff

Here the narrator discusses the Emperor Valentinian.* Although the emperor conquered more than eighty provinces for the Roman Empire, he said that of all his accomplishments, the one that he was the most proud of was the conquest of his own lust. For he remained a chaste virgin for all of the days of his life.

* probably the emperor Valens instead of Valentinian



Name:  John Gower

Date:  1330 – 1408 CE

Works:  Confessio Amantis



Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans



 John Gower was a 14th century English poet. He was a contemporary and peer of Geoffrey Chaucer; both authors use overlapping characters and themes. Although his Confessio Amantis was written in English, the Latin text of this story was taken from the summaries that the author wrote for each chapter in Latin.


Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE

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