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title

Jerusalem Delivered

An English Prose Version

Torquato Tasso Translated and Edited by Ralph Nash

Publication Year: 2087

Ralph Nash, in his approach to Gerusalemme Liberata, concluded that a close, fluent translation in prose of Tasso's epic would offer the most successful rendering of this important chivalric romance. In addition to conveying the imagery more accurately, a prose translation avoids deforming or modifying the text by forcing it into a poetic format. As a result, Nash has given the general reader and the student a fluent, accurate English version of Tasso's great narrative of the first crusade. Nash's introduction aids the reader in understanding the place of the poem in the corpus of Renaissance literature. Annotations and a glossary clarify the numerous historical, geographical, and mythological references.

Published by: Wayne State University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-vi

Chronology of the Life of Tasso

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pp. vii-viii

Introduction

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pp. ix-xxvi

Jerusalem Delivered

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pp. 1-28

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The Argument of the Poem

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pp. 2-29

The action centers on the dispersal of Godfrey's Crusaders—partly through human weakness and error, partly through hellish machinations—and on their recombining, through heavenly intervention, to succeed in liberating Jerusalem. ...

Canto One

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pp. 3-30

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The Argument

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pp. 4-31

Invocation—God instructs Godfrey to call a council (6)—Godfrey is elected leader and reviews his army (29)—the Crusaders march on Jerusalem (71), where Aladine prepares for siege (81).

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Canto One

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pp. 5-24

I sing the reverent armies and the captain who liberated Christ's great sepulcher. Much he wrought with his wit and with his hand; much he suffered in the glorious conquest. And vainly Hell opposed herself to it, and vainly the combined peoples of Asia and of Libya took up arms. ...

Canto Two

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pp. 25-52

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The Argument

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pp. 26-53

Sophronia and Olindo are condemned to be burnt at the stake—Clorinda arriving in Jerusalem rescues them (38)—the Crusaders at Emrnaus are visited by Aletes and Argantes, ambassadors from Egypt (55)—Godfrey answers Aletes (80)—the ambassadors depart (92).

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Canto Two

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pp. 27-48

While the tyrant is girding himself to arms, Ismen one day presents himself to him in private: Ismen, who can draw up the dead body from under the sealed stones, and make it breathe and feel; Ismen, who by the sound of his murmured incantations frightens Pluto himself in his royal palace, and employs his demons too as servants in his wicked rites, ...

Canto Three

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pp. 49-76

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The Argument

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pp. 50-77

The Crusaders arrive before Jerusalem—Erminia from the walls identifies for Aladine the important Christian knights (12-20,37-40,58-64)—Tancred encounters Clorinda in a skirmish (21—37)—Dudon is killed (43)—the pagans withdraw and the Crusaders pitch camp (54)—they begin to build siege machines (72).

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Canto Three

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pp. 51-66

Already the herald breeze was astir to announce that Aurora is coming (the while she adorns herself and garlands her golden head with roses plucked in Paradise), when the camp, which now is preparing itself to arms, began to murmur in deep and resonant tones, anticipating the trumpets; and they delivered their signals then, more joyous and shrill. ...

Canto Four

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pp. 67-94

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The Argument

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pp. 68-95

Satan sends his devils to disturb the Crusaders—One devil inspires Hydraotes to send Armida to the Christian camp (20)—She asks Godfrey for aid (38)—He refuses (65) but partially relents (82)—The whole camp falls in love with her (86).

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Canto Four

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pp. 69-90

While these people are intent on their ingenious contrivances, that they might soon be put to use, the great enemy of the human race was turning his envious eyes on the Christians: and seeing them now happy and content, he bit both his lips for rage and like a wounded bull poured out his grief, bellowing and snorting. ...

Canto Five

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pp. 91-118

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The Argument

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pp. 92-119

Rinaldo is the early favorite to be elected Dudon's successor—Gernando enviously slanders him (15)—Rinaldo challenges and kills Gernando (26)—Godfrey prepares to arrest Rinaldo (32), who is persuaded to flee the camp (51)—Armida's defenders are chosen by lot (60)—She leaves with them, followed by scores of others (79) ...

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Canto Five

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pp. 93-112

While in such manner the treacherous Armida is alluring the knights to her love (and not merely awaits the ten that are promised her but trusts by stealth to lead away others with her), Godfrey is revolving within himself to whom he should commit the dubious enterprise, where she must be the guide; ...

Canto Six

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pp. 113-140

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The Argument

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pp. 114-141

Argantes challenges the Christians to single combat—Godfrey appoints Tancred as the Christian champion (25)—Both are sorely wounded when nightfall ends the fight (53)—Erminia longs to cure Tancred's wounds (54)—Love and Honor debate within her heart (70)—In Clorinda's armor she goes to the Christian camp (81) ...

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Canto Six

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pp. 115-138

But on the other side a better hope comforts and reassures the besieged populace; for in addition to their stored supplies, other provisions have been brought in to them by dark of night: and they have fortified with weapons and war machines the walls toward Aquilo—which, with their height increased, and heavy and solid, betray no fear of ramming or pounding. ...

Canto Seven

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pp. 139-166

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The Argument

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pp. 140-167

Erminia finds refuge and remains with shepherds by the river Jordan—Tancred loses her trail and follows false direction to Armida's castle (22)—He is imprisoned there (45)—Argantes returns to finish the combat (50)—Raymond becomes Tancred's substitute (61)—Under divine protection he almost defeats Argantes (78) ...

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Canto Seven

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pp. 141-166

Meanwhile Erminia is borne by her horse among the shady trees of an ancient forest; her trembling hand no longer governs the reins and she seems as it were mid-way between living and dead. The courser who carries her at his own discretion winds about by so many trails that at last she vanishes from the others' eyes, ...

Canto Eight

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pp. 167-194

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The Argument

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pp. 168-195

A survivor brings news of the massacre of troops led by Sven, Prince of Denmark— He tells the story of Sven's march (6), his ambush (14), his death at the hands of Solyman (23), and miraculous burial (31)—He brings Sven's sword for Rinaldo's revenge on Solyman (38)—A patrol brings news of Rinaldo's apparent death (47) ...

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Canto Eight

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pp. 169-186

Now were the thunder and the tempest calmed, and the blowing of Auster and of Corus ceased, and Dawn came forth from her celestial mansion with rosy forehead and with golden feet. But those who had wakened the storms before did not yet desist from their arts, but rather one of them, who is called Astagorre, spoke thus to Alecto her companion: ...

Canto Nine

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pp. 187-214

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The Argument

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pp. 188-215

Alecto leads Solyman to a night attack on the Christian camp—Godfrey stems an incipient rout (41)—God forbids further overt action by the devils (55)—Argillan, freed from prison, is killed by Solyman (74)—The battle is won by the return of the fifty warriors who had followed Armida (91) ...

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Canto Nine

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pp. 189-210

But the great infernal monster (who sees those hearts once so turbulent now stilled and angers quenched, and has not power to struggle against fate and to counter the great decrees of the immutable Mind) takes her departure— and where she passes she withers the smiling meadows, and the sun grows suddenly pale; ...

Canto Ten

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pp. 211-238

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The Argument

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pp. 212-239

The sorcerer Ismen brings Solyman in a magic chariot to Jerusalem—Invisible in Ismen's cloud, Solyman listens to Aladine's council (35) and addresses them, being suddenly revealed to their view (49)—William tells Godfrey of Armida's Circean enchantments (60) and of Rinaldo's deliverance of William and his fellows (70) ...

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Canto Ten

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pp. 213-230

Even while speaking thus, he spied nearby a steed that was directing its wandering course near him; at once he laid hand on the ungoverned bridle and leaped up, though weary and sore. The crest is fallen now that towered so terribly, leaving the helmet humble and unadorned: the surcoat is shredded and retains no vestige of proud royal pomp. ...

Canto Eleven

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pp. 231-258

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The Argument

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pp. 232-259

The Crusaders celebrate public mass on Mt. Olivet—They prepare to assault the city (19)—Clorinda, Solyman, and Argantes lead the defense (41)—Godfrey is wounded (54) and miraculously healed (72)—Night ends the assault on the city (82).

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Canto Eleven

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pp. 233-252

But the Captain of the Christian army, having turned his every thought to the assault, was going about making ready his instruments of war when the solitary Peter came to him; and when he had drawn him aside, he spoke to him, venerable and severe, in language such as this: "You move, O Captain, your terrestrial arms; ...

Canto Twelve

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pp. 253-280

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The Argument

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pp. 254-281

Clorinda decides to burn Godfrey's siege machines at midnight—Aladine permits Argantes to join her (9)—Her eunuch tells Clorinda the story of her Christian birth and pagan upbringing (20)—They burn the siege machines and flee to the city (45)—Clorinda is shut out (48)—Tancred trails her (51) and they battle to the death (53) ...

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Canto Twelve

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pp. 255-278

It was night, and yet the weary people took no rest in sleep; but here the Franks stood alertly on guard, watching over the carpenters' work, and there the pagans went about reinforcing their shaky and collapsing defenses, and making whole again the walls that had been breached; and common to both was the care of the wounded men. ...

Canto Thirteen

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pp. 279-306

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The Argument

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pp. 280-307

Ismen peoples the only available forest with hellish spirits—The work details are frightened away (17)—Alcasto fails to disperse the spirits (24)—Even Tancred fails (32)—The Crusaders suffer from the midsummer drought (52)—Godfrey prays for rain (70)—His prayer is answered (74).

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Canto Thirteen

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pp. 281-298

But scarcely has the huge machine, the assailant of their walls, collapsed in ashes when Ismen takes thought within himself of new devices that his city may rest more secure; so he decides to see if he can block the Franks from that wood that provides them their material, so that from there no new tower can be made against battered and shaken Sion. ...

Canto Fourteen

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pp. 299-326

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The Argument

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pp. 300-327

Godfrey in a dream-vision is instructed to find and recall Rinaldo—Charles and Ubaldo are chosen for the search (26)—Peter the Hermit sends them to the Wiseman of Ascalon (29), who tells them Rinaldo's adventures since leaving the camp (50) and gives them directions for their journey (71).

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Canto Fourteen

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pp. 301-318

Now dark Night issued from the soft moist womb of her great Mother, bringing mild breezes and an ample cloud of her pure and precious dew and, twitching the moisture-laden fringes of her veil, sprinkled with it the flowers and foliage; and tiny breezes, waving their wings, were soothing the sleep of mortal men. ...

Canto Fifteen

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pp. 319-346

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The Argument

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pp. 320-347

The wiseman takes Charles and Ubaldo to meet Fortune, their guide—She receives them on her magic skiff and coasts the northern shore of Africa to the Atlantic (7)—While sailing the Atlantic (24), she tells them of Columbus, and of the Fortunate Isles where Armida's palace lies (42)—The pair climb the mountain, disregarding dangers and temptations (47) ...

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Canto Fifteen

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pp. 321-336

Already the bright rising ray was calling to their tasks all creatures that inhabit the earth, when coming to the two warriors the wiseman brought the paper and the shield and the golden wand. "Gird yourselves (he said) for your great voyage, before the day, that is breaking now, can rise any higher: ...

Canto Sixteen

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pp. 337-364

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The Argument

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pp. 338-365

The warriors penetrate Armida's maze—They enter her magic garden (9) and watch the lovers' amorous interplay (17)—When Armida leaves, they persuade Rinaldo to return with them (27)—Armida pursues and pleads (35)—Rinaldo rejects her pleas and leaves (51)—Abandoned, Armida vows revenge (63) ...

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Canto Sixteen

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pp. 339-356

The noble structure is round, and in its most secret womb (that is as it were the center to its circle) it has a garden, adorned beyond the use of all the most famous gardens that ever flowered; its demon makers ranged around it a series of galleries, confused and incomprehensible; ...

Canto Seventeen

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pp. 357-384

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The Argument

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pp. 358-385

The king of Egypt reviews his troops at Gaza—Armida unexpectedly joins the review (33)—Emiren is appointed commander (37)—Armida offers her hand to whoever will kill Rinaldo (41)—Rinaldo lands in Palestine (55)—The wiseman of Ascalon admonishes him (58) and shows him his ancestors depicted on a shield (66) ...

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Canto Seventeen

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pp. 359-380

Gaza is a city on the borders of Judaea, on that road that leads toward Pelusium, perched on the shore of the sea, and it has about it vast solitudes of sand which the blowing wind stirs up as Auster does the ocean waves; so that the traveller has much ado to find out safety or shelter in the tempests of that shifting countryside. ...

Canto Eighteen

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pp. 381-408

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The Argument

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pp. 382-409

Godfrey and the army welcome Rinaldo—Peter instructs him (6)—He goes to the wood and overcomes the enchantments (17)—Work begins again on the siege machines (41)—Godfrey plans a fresh assault on the city (49)—Vafrine is sent to spy on the Egyptian army (57)—The assault is launched (64)—Rinaldo climbs the wall (72) ...

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Canto Eighteen

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pp. 383-406

Rinaldo, being arrived where Godfrey has risen to meet him, began: "My lord, concern for jealous honor drove me to take my vengeance on the soldier who is dead; and if I offended you in it, truly I felt remorse about it thereafter, and repentance in my heart. Now I am come to your summons and am ready to make any amends that may render me acceptable to you." ...

Canto Nineteen

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pp. 407-434

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The Argument

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pp. 408-435

Tancred encounters Argantes in the breach—They withdraw some distance from the city (6)—Tancred slays Argantes, and himself collapses (28)—Rinaldo breaks into the temple of Solomon (33)—Solyman escorts Aladine to the Tower of David (39)—Godfrey suspends operations for the night (50)—Vafrine spies on the Egyptian army near Gaza (57) ...

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Canto Nineteen

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pp. 409-436

Now death, or prudence, or fear has taken every pagan away from the defenses, and only the stubborn Argantes has not yet turned back from the embattled walls. He shows a countenance confident and fearless, and surrounded by his enemies fights on still, fearing more to be driven away than to die; and (dying) he wishes yet to appear unconquered. ...

Canto Twenty

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pp. 437-464

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The Argument

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pp. 438-465

The Crusaders rest for one day—Godfrey and Emiren address their troops (7)— The battle begins (28)—While the outcome is still uncertain, Solyman makes a sally from the tower of David (72)—Tancred rises from his sickbed and rallies the Christians (83)—Aladine is killed and the tower taken (91)—Solyman wreaks havoc (93), ...

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Canto Twenty

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pp. 439-468

Already had the sun awakened men to their work, already had ten hours of the day gone by, when the troop that is up aloft in the great tower made out far off a shadowy something I know not what, like a mist that covers the earth at evening: and at last grew certain that it was the friendly host that with its dust ...

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The Allegory of the Poem

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pp. 469-474

Heroic Poetry, like a living creature in which two natures are combined, is compounded of Imitation and of Allegory. With the former it attracts men's minds and their ears, and marvellously delights them; with the latter it gives them instruction in virtue or in knowledge, or in both. ...

Glossary of Names and Places

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pp. 475-496

Bibliography of Books Cited

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pp. 497-500

Index of Characters in the Poem

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pp. 501-511


E-ISBN-13: 9780814337561
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814318300

Page Count: 512
Publication Year: 2087

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Jerusalem -- History -- Latin Kingdom, 1099-1244 -- Poetry.
  • Epic poetry, Italian -- Translations into English.
  • Godfrey, of Bouillon, ca. 1060-1100 -- Poetry.
  • Crusades, First, 1096-1099 -- Poetry.
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