In defence of Lydgate: Lydgate’s use of binomials in his Troy Book (Part 2)

Hans Sauer


Section 9 deals with variation, i.e. words that are used in different combinations, section 10 with the sequence of the elements and possible reasons for the sequence (phonologic, semantic, translational), and section 11 with the relation to Lydgate’s Latin source. Section 12 traces Lydgate’s relation to Chaucer: It is well known that Lydgate was a Chaucerian, i.e. an admirer and follower of Chaucer, but perhaps not so well known that he also used many binomials which Chaucer had used. Section 13 lists the binomials that can be regarded as formulaic, and section 14 singles out a pair of binomials where the first binomial is apparently learned, while the second states the same fact in more popular terms. Section 15 provides a conclusion, and Appendix I lists all binomials that occur at the beginning of Lydgate’s Troy Book. The figure in Appendix II shows the Primum Mobile and the seat of God according to the Medieval world picture (as discussed in section 14).

Słowa kluczowe: Lydgate, Chaucer, binomials (word-pairs), variation and formulae, learned and popular binomials


Chaucer = Benson L.D. (general ed.). 2008. The Riverside Chaucer. [3rd edition, reprinted with a new foreword by Ch. Cannon]. Oxford.

Griffin N. (ed.). 1936. Guido delle Colonne, Historia destructionis Troiae. [= Medieval Academy of America publications 26]. Cambridge (MA).

Guido / Guido de Columnis = Griffin (1936).


Studies and Handbooks

Berger C. 1993. Altenglische Paarformeln und Ihre Varianten. Frankfurt am Main. Koch H. 1936. John Lydgates Troy Book. [Doctoral Diss.]. Berlin.

Lewis C.S. 1964. The discarded image: An introduction to Medieval and Renaissance literature. [several reprints]. Cambridge.

LexM = Bautier R.-H., Avella-Widhalm G., Auty R. (eds.). 19771999. Lexikon des Mittelalters. Munich, Zurich.

Malkiel Y. 1959. Studies in irreversible binomials. – Lingua 8: 113160.

MED = Kurath H. et al. 2000. Middle English Dictionary. Ann Arbor. [also available electronically].

Mollin S. 2014. The (ir)reversibility of English binomials. Amsterdam.

Sauer H. 2018. Binomials in the Middle English and Early Modern English versions of Boccaccios De claris mulieribus. Connolly M., Radulescu R. (eds.). Editing and interpretation of Middle English texts: Essays in honour of William Marx. Turnhout: 83105.

Sauer H., Seitschek G., Teuber B. (eds.). 2016. Höhepunkte des mittelalterlichen Erzählens: Heldenlieder, Romane und Novellen in ihrem kulturellen Kontext. Heidelberg.

Schauer H., Lepper M. (eds.). 2018. Titelpaare. Ein philosophisches und literarisches Wörterbuch. Stuttgart, Weimar.

Schenk U. 2017. Binomials in Middle English poetry: Havelok, Ywain and Gawain, The Canterbury Tales. Kopaczyk J., Sauer H. (eds.). Binomials in the history of EnglishFixed and flexible. Cambridge: 125–140.

Tyrk J. 2017. Binomials in English novels of the Late Modern period: Fixedness, formulaicity and style. Kopaczyk J., Sauer H. (eds.). Binomials in the history of English: Fixeand flexible. Cambridge: 296321.

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