photo of a paint TROY
Activities for Guido's Historia and Lydgate's Troybook



1. Explore the links on the Guido's Historia page.

2. Read The Trojan War, Chapter 10, "Guido delle Colonna's Historia Destructionis Troiae: Fate, Fortune, Demons and the Restless Heart."

3. Read through all the Activity questions before selecting Activities to work with. Notice that some of the Activities are quite easy and may only require reading one text, while others are far more difficult, and may require reading more than one text or doing online research plus reading texts.

Select Activities that interest you and are appropriate to the time you have to spend on them. You will not get a higher grade because you select more difficult Activities. Some Activities that are especially complex will offer double credit; if so, that will be stated in the Activity question. If you select the double credit option, you must write "double credit" on your Activity AND you must develop your Activity in more depth, in order to qualify for the double credit. 

Select one or two of these Activities for this Area. Follow the directions in your Blackboard course site to complete the activities.

graphic of two chili pepper1. Read and write a developed summary of "Astrology in Medieval Europe" (after following the link, scroll down the page to find it). This sort of thinking got deeply intertwined with the story of Troy in Guido's Historia, and elements of astrological thinking show up in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde and beyond.
graphic of two chili pepper2. Read "Boccacio's Teseida and the Destruction of Troy," which is the free ebook Chapter 2 of Dominique Battles' Medieval Tradition of Thebes. It's main point is how Boccaccio connected the Theban War with the Trojan War. Write a developed summary of this complex essay showing your understanding of the main issues involved. Note: a solid summary should include ALL of the main ideas and the main supporting examples for those main ideas which are in the material being summarized. Worth double credit if very well developed.
graphic of two chili pepper3. If you are interested in the crusades, go to Medieval Sourcebook: Philip de Novare: Les Gestes des Ciprois, The Crusade of Frederick II, 1228-29, a contemporary document, read it, and write a developed summary. Any interesting ideas you have about this text would be a welcome addition to the Activity.
4.graphic of three chili pepper Read "Astralscapes of the Emotions: Planets, Seasons, Passions, Actions," an essay on Guido's use of the stars to describe human events. Now comes the challenge: review either Homer's Iliad or Virgil's Aeneid and carefully consider how one or two of the characters are motivated--is it by gods? by fate? by destiny? by bad luck? by what? Compare the motivation in one of these epics to the astral motivation as explained by Guido. If developed in depth, potentially worth double credit.
graphic of three chili pepper5. And here is a detailed introduction to Lydgate's: TROY BOOK: edited by Robert  Edwards. If you read this carefully and write a fully developed summary, you will learn more about the Troy tradition in the middle ages and earn up to fifty points.
graphic of three chili pepper6. If you are feeling philosophical, read "Guido's Historia Destructionis Troiae: Free Will, Fate and Demons at Troy." Then, look back at at least two of the Troy stories you have read and think about what caused the fall of Troy in each version and whether there was anything the Trojans could have done to prevent it. What? How? Discuss your ideas in detail, supporting them with examples from the Guido essay as well as the two Troy texts you have chosen to write about. If developed in depth potentially worth double credit.

Last Updated: 8/2/2017

© Thompson: 9/22/1998