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10 - Tyre in Africa: Dido's Flight and Sallust's Jugurtha

from READING INFLUENCE

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2019

Alfred Hiatt
Affiliation:
Reader in Medieval Literature at Queen Mary, University of London.
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Summary

Dido too was an emigrant …

When the queen had heard these things, she replied to the Trojans: ‘Alight from your ships … Hear my adventures, because I too am a stranger in this province. I was born the daughter of Sidon, the King of Tyre, and when I had reached marriageable age, my father gave me, with a significant dowry, to Sycheus, a distinguished and noble man. When my father departed this world, my brother Pygmalion took over the kingdom. Plotting with his household servants to seize my husband's wealth, he killed him while on a hunt, then hid news of the death in the hope of murdering me and stealing my own money. While this was going on, the shade of my husband appeared in my dreams and told me to gather together all my possessions and flee. More, I should take with me the wealth of his grandfathers and great-grandfathers. So I did. And with a band of people gathered together in secretly assembled ships, I collected all my riches and escaped to Sicily. I intended to found the city of Syracuse there, but when I arrived the people began to complain about me. Recognising this, because I was not going to settle there, I returned to the ships with all my companions, and fled here. When I asked who the king of the province was, the answer came back: ‘Iarbas the Getulian’. So I sent ambassadors to him with the request that he might alienate some land for me so that I could settle with my companions. He gave me this land, as much as could be marked off using strips from the hide of a bull. And when I had built this city, he wanted to take me in marriage, nuptials I despised. But if your leader is such a man, and if we turn out to be to his liking, perhaps – as I said before – nuptials won't displease him.

THERE IS A MAP OF THE WORLD in many medieval manuscripts of Gaius Sallustius Crispus's Bellum Iugurthinum (The War with Jugurtha), a short, polemical account of Rome's war with the upstart Numidian ruler Jugurtha in 112–105 Bc.

Type
Chapter
Information
Manuscript and Print in Late Medieval and Early Modern Britain
Essays in Honour of Professor Julia Boffey
, pp. 183 - 202
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2019

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