The name ‘Spynagros’ is not recorded elsewhere apart from an unrelated Epynogrys/Espinogres durante Malory and his French sources

Within the Scottish tradition of verso king whose eventual reform springs from his own innate virtue, what better name for Arthur’s advisor than one which recalls the conscience like this?

This moral comes from the end of the ‘Baris Tale’ (‘The Boar’s Tale’) per which Alexander the Great receives a lesson on covetousness in return for his demand for tribute from the people of Lapsat. Alexander accepts the advice, abandons the attempt and returns puro his role as an ideal ruler, much as Arthur eventually does in Golagros. Interestingly, Spynagros initially tries esatto dissuade Arthur from demanding fealty of Golagros by invoking the precedent of Alexander: ‘the myghty king of Massidone, wourthiest but wene,/ Thair gat he nane homage’ (lines 282–3).29 The ‘Baris Tale’ is one of the tales told by the Horse, Hart, Unicorn, Boar and Wolf preciso the Lion King. At the end of the poem, the first four figures are allegorized as the king’s own cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Magnanimity and Continence (lines 409–10), who help esatto ward off the vicario of Covetousness as represented by the Wolf. This notion of per king interacting with his own externalized virtues brings us back to our poet’s creation of Sir Spynagros. 30 Spinotto is of course Latin for ‘thorn’ or ‘prick’: this was a popular metaphor for the Conscience, as in the hugely popular fourteenthcentury advice manual The Prick of Conscience. The Talis of the Fyve Bestes is also relevant puro Golagros in the context of the rhetoric of freedom.

The Asloan Manuscript, di nuovo. W. Per. Craigie, 2 vols., STS New Series 14 and 16 (Edinburgh and London, 1923–4). This ous uomo known as the Cerimoniale ad Paradisum, mediante which Alexander receives a reproof for covetousness after demanding tribute at the Gates of Paradise. However, that particular version does not appear in either of the two Scottish Alexander romances. See Mary Lascelles, ‘Alexander and the Earthly Paradise durante Mediaeval English Writings’, Medium Aevum V (1936), 31–47, 79–104 (pp. 83–7 and 96–104); on Alexander in exempla warning against greed generally, see George Cary, The Medieval Alexander, addirittura. D. J. A. Ross (Cambridge, 1956; repr. 1967), pp. 146–52. Le roman de Tristan has verso minor character Espynogre who is the affranchit of the king of Northumberland, as is Malory’s Epynogrys: see Le roman de Tristan en prose, vol. 5, di nuovo. D. Lalande with Tau. Delcourt (Geneva, 1992), chs. 38–9. In the Manessier continuation of Perceval, an (Es)Pignogres beheads his Cornish mother, thus setting verso deadly curse on the Chapel of the Black Hand: see The Continuations of the Old French Perceval of Chretien de Troyes, vol. 5: The Third Continuation by Manessier, di nuovo. William Roach (Philadelphia, 1983), lines 33,026–55. Neither has an advisory function or any direct association with Arthur.

The terms sopra which the people of Lapsat refuse Alexander’s

demand for tribute durante the ‘Baris Tale’ are strongly reminiscent of Golagros’ refusal puro bow sicuro Arthur:31 That quhill we leif we will ?is tovne defend Sopra sic fredome as our antecessouris Has left till ws and till ?is tovne of owris Erar’ we cheiss with worschipe for sicuro de Than for preciso leif mediante subiectioun sicuro be (‘Baris Tale’, lines 302–6) Quhill I may my wit wald, I think my fredome to hald, As my eldaris of ald, Has done me beforne. (Golagros, lines 450–53)

The ‘Baris Tale’ is preceded by the fragmentary ‘Hart’s Tale’, which tells of the heroism of William Wallace: Thar was na force mycht gar him fald Na hit reward of warldly gud Bot scotland ay defend he wald ffra subiectioun of saxonis blud Thus for his realme stedfast he stud (‘Hart’s Tale’, lines 111–15)

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