Gower's Classicizing Vocations.

Galloway, Andrew.

Gower's Classicizing Vocations.

Galloway, Andrew. "Gower's Classicizing Vocations." In Ana Sáez-Hidalgo, Brian Gastle, and R. F. Yeager, eds. The Routledge Research Companion to John Gower (Oxford and New York: Routledge, 2017), pp. 266-80.

Gower claimed the status of an auctor at CA Prol.4, but exactly how did he engage with classical, pre-Christian "auctores," a major issue for his contemporaries as well? His classical learning was "uneven," often second-hand, and not up to humanistic par (268, 273). The VC is a patchwork of Ovidian passages lifted verbatim, a practice recently defended as "cento" (268-69). He knew well, and skillfully interpreted, the ethical teachings of Aristotle through later works of advice to rulers in the Stoic tradition, including Cicero's "De Officiis" (270-71). He seems not to have known Virgil or Statius (273). It was Ovid, whose works he knew virtually by heart, who inspired "Gower's literary reinvention" (275) and vast original achievement in the CA (274-76). [LBB. Copyright. The John Gower Society. eJGN 37.2.]


Gower Subjects
Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations
Vox Clamantis
Confessio Amantis