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History of the Destruction of Troy

The most important work of Guido delle Colonne is Historia destructionis Troiae (“History of the Destruction of Troy”), which he completed about 1287. Guido delle Colonne (in Latin Guido de Columnis or de Columna) was a 13th-century Italian judge and writer, living at Messina. The book was based on De excidio Trojae historia written by Dares Phrygius and Ephemeridos belli Trojani written by Dictys Cretensis.
Thought to be a condensed version of the French Roman de Troie by Benoît de Sainte-Maure, Guido’s work was widely translated throughout Europe.
The Latin version of the Troy legend was important in bringing the story to Italians and, through various translations, into English literature. William Caxton, the first English printer, translated it from a French source and published it in Bruges about 1474 as The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye, the first book Caxton printed and the first book printed in the English language.
Guido delle Colonne was also a poet of the Sicilian school, a group of early Italian vernacular poets who were associated with the courts of the Holy Roman emperor Frederick II and his son Manfred, and was strongly influenced by the poetry of France and Provence. Dante praised two of Guido’s canzoni in De vulgari eloquentia.
Priam sending Paris from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 17v
33 Media in collectionpage 1 of 1

Greeks and Trojans from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 39

Detail of a miniature of the Greek and Trojan armies. Image taken from f. 39 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Priam from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 73

Detail of Priam and another king in tents. Image taken from f. 73 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Achilles sending a messenger from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 62v

Detail of a miniature of Achilles sending a messenger to Hecuba. Image taken from f. 62v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Death of Aegisthus from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 92

Detail of a miniature of the death of Aegisthus. Image taken from f. 92 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Death of Telegonus from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 98v

Detail of a miniature of the death of Telegonus. Image taken from f. 98v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Greek army from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 64

Detail of a miniature of the Greek army. Image taken from f. 64 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Theft of the Palladium from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 81

Detail of a miniature of the theft of the Palladium. Image taken from f. 81 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Death of Philisthenes and Menelippus from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 95v

Detail of a miniature of the death of Philisthenes and Menelippus. Image taken from f. 95v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Death of Polixena from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 85

Detail of a miniature of the death of Polixena, with a partial border and an illuminated initial 'A'(pres). Image taken from f. 85 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Negotiations for peace from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 76

Detail of a miniature of negotiations for peace. Image taken from f. 76 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Battle from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 66v

Detail of a miniature of a battle between Greeks and Trojans. Image taken from f. 66v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Greek fleet from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 24v

Detail of a miniature of the Greek fleet off of Athens. Image taken from f. 24v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Return of Priam from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 11v

Detail of a miniature of the return of Priam and Hecuba to Troy. Image taken from f. 11v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Gathering of heroes from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 8v

Detail of a miniature of the gathering of heroes against Troy. Image taken from f. 8v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Antenor and Priam from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 14v

Detail of a miniature of Antenor speaking to Priam. Image taken from f. 14v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Priam sending Paris from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 17v

Detail of a miniature of Priam sending Paris to Greece. Image taken from f. 17v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Voyage of Jason from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 3

Detail of a miniature of the voyage of Jason. Image taken from f. 3 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Soldiers attacking from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 20

Detail of a miniature of soldiers attacking and killing during the Rape of Helen. Image taken from f. 20 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Jason from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 4

Detail of a miniature of Jason being feasted by Aetes. Image taken from f. 4 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Translator reading from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 1

Detail of a miniature of the translator reading. Image taken from f. 1 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Battle from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 60v

Detail of a miniature of a battle. Image taken from f. 60v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Achilles, Calchas and Agamemnon from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 28

Detail of a miniature of Achilles bringing Calchas to Agamemnon. Image taken from f. 28 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Agamemnon from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 25v

Detail of a miniature of Agamemnon addressing three other kings. Image taken from f. 25v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Murder of Achilles from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 71

Detail of a miniature of the murder of Achilles. Image taken from f. 71 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Murder of Agamemnon from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 88v

Detail of a miniature of the murder of Agamemnon. Image taken from f. 88v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Hector and Achilles from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 55

Detail of a miniature of Achilles killing Hector. Image taken from f. 55 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Greek envoys from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 51v

Detail of a miniature of Dolon and the Greek envoys received by Priam. Image taken from f. 51v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Battle from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 48v

Detail of a miniature of a battle. Image taken from f. 48v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Spoils of Tenedos from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 30

Detail of a miniature of Agamemnon dividing the spoils of Tenedos. Image taken from f. 30 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Battle in Mysia from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 32v

Detail of a miniature of a battle in Mysia. Image taken from f. 32v of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Council of Priam from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 50

Detail of a miniature of Priam and his council in Troy, with a partial border and an illuminated initial 'Q'(uant). Image taken from f. 50 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Burial of Hector from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 58

Detail of a miniature of the burial of Hector. Image taken from f. 58 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.

Achilles from BL Royal 16 F IX, f. 47

Detail of a miniature of Achilles. Image taken from f. 47 of Historia destructionis Troiae in a French translation. Written in French.