Jean de Courcy, lord of Bourg-Achard in Normandy, wrote la Bouquechardière at the beginning of the 15th century. In this broad, hitherto unpublished chronicle, he departs from the model of universal history, selecting above all the history of one part of the world: Greece and the European and Asian territories linked to it. His work offers a history of ancient Greece in six books, from the foundation of Argos and Athens to Alexander the Great and his successors. Choosing, at the beginning of the 15th century and in France, to devote an entire work to the history of ancient Greece is an innovation. The Bouquechardière then combined two major legacies that had not yet been reconciled on such a scale, that of the mythological fables of Antiquity and that of universal history. Its second originality is that Jean de Courcy continuously glosses the historical narrative, following the models of sermon writing. He then succeeds in reconciling two objectives: to amplify the narrative of the history of Ancient Greece, by praising the virtues of illustrious pagan figures, and to continually “moralize” it, giving his text the status of an edifying work, offered to the devotion of lay readers.
This first critical edition is based on an examination of all known manuscripts (31) and the present volume, the first, is devoted to the account of the origins of Greece, from the foundation of Argos and Athens to Hercules.
Catherine Gaullier-Bougassas is Professor of Medieval French Language and Literature at the University of Lille (France) and Senior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France. She is the author of numerous studies on the reception of Antiquity and the figure of Alexander the Great in the Middle Ages.
For more information about this new publication, please see the link below: