Renæssanceforum 10 • 2016

Paul Gwynne
A Tale of a Few Cities: Topos, Topography and Topicality in Neo-Latin Epic

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The city under siege became an essential component in epic narrative when Homer described the Greeks massing around the walls of Troy. In Neo-Latin epic the exploits of Italian condottieri were retold in their victories in siege warfare. Another type of siege epic, however, portrayed events from the perspective of those within the city walls, making the besieged city as much the locus of these epics as Troy had been for Homer. This paper contrasts corporate heroism with heroic individualism in the new age of gunpowder warfare in three epics: Mussato, De Obsidione; De Blarru, Nanceid and Rococciolo, Mutineis.