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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

Trojan Time

26th June 2013, 17:00 to 18:00, ER141, Elvet Riverside 1, Marilynn Desmond, Distinguished Professor in the English Department at Binghamton University


In medieval historiography, the Fall of Troy results in the Trojan diaspora and the settlement of Europe by Trojans who flee the burning city: the fall of Troy makes the narrative of European history possible. This vision of Trojan ancestry as a myth of origins simultaneously expresses a vision of European futurity. Troy thus existed outside of time: the matter of Troy in the Latin West sustains a vision of the city of Troy as ever present yet always already destroyed. 

This paper will examine how the translatio of the matter of Troy—particularly the various textual and visual traditions indebted to Dares’s de excidio Troiae—constructs a secular temporality entirely distinct from biblical time. 

Marilynn Desmond is Distinguished Professor in the English Department at Binghamton University. She is the author of Reading Dido: Gender, Textuality and the Medieval Aeneid (1994); Christine de Pizan and the Categories of Difference(1998) and Ovid's Art and the Wife of Bath: The Ethics of Erotic Violence (2006)

Sponsored by the Centre for Intercultural Mediation and followed by a wine reception sponsored by the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies

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