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The Lost Poem by the Forgotten Poet of Charles V's 'Conquest of Tunis' Tapestries


Taylor, TS, The Lost Poem by the Forgotten Poet of Charles V's 'Conquest of Tunis' Tapestries, Carolus Quintus, Narr Francke Attempto Verlag, M Laurey, V Leroux, S Tilg and F Schaffenrath (ed), Germany, pp. 179-209. ISBN 9783823384816 (2022) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2022 Narr Francke Attempto Verlag


The famous sixteenth-century tapestry series the "Conquest of Tunis’, detailing the 1535 campaign of Charles V to recapture Tunis from the Ottomans under Barbarossa , has been much studied for the artistry of its images by Vermeyen.Less attention has been devoted to the Latin text at the base of each panel, often described as mere ‘captions’ to the events depicted and of uncertain authorship. This chapter identifies both the author of the poem, and examines the engagementof the poem with wider contemporary patterns of representing CharlesV.It is argued that, much more than just ‘captions’, these texts are a Latin hexameter poem, the Periocha expeditionis Africanae Thunetensis by the hitherto largely forgotten sixteenth-century poet Francois de BourgognedeFallais. This poem engages intertextually with classical Roman epic poets, in particular Vergil and Lucan, to cast Charles as a successor to Aeneas, Caesar, Augustus and his campaign to reconquer Tunisas a continuation of Rome’s warsagainst Carthage.In so doing, the poem engagesin a wider pattern ofutilising the powerful symbolic resonance of the Roman empire to portray Charles V positively as a successorto that imperial tradition.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:Neo-Latin, Charles V, Vermeyen, reception of classical literature
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:European history (excl. British, classical Greek and Roman)
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Europe's past
UTAS Author:Taylor, TS (Dr Tristan Taylor)
ID Code:155062
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2023-01-25
Last Modified:2023-03-10

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