Artem N. Maslov

Nizhny Novgorod State University

Articles. Research

The paper deals with generalization and concretization of the imaginary circumstances which accompanied composing or invention of “authentic eyewitnesses’ accounts” in late ancient and medieval Trojan legends. Whereas the writers of the Latin introductions to the pseudo-diaries of two “real participants” of the famous conflict, “Dictys Cretensis” (3th/4th century AD) and “Dares Phrygius” (5th/6th century AD), linked significance and functions of these “truthful reports” to their interpretation by posterity, a number of texts of the High and Late Middle Ages was marked most likely with quite different understanding. By correlating medieval views on witness’ authenticity to the standard opinion of the period about timeless character of truth the author paid particular attention to the representations of Dares and Dictys in such widespread works as the Old French “Roman de Troie” of Benoît de Sainte-Maure (c. 1165) and the Latin “Historia destructionis Troiae” of Guido delle Colonne (1287). It is a certain rapprochement of the “Trojan” and “Greek” versions that seems to be a specific feature of these representations, and another is lack of a clear distinction between the war events’ narration and tracing of their role for the future, between the “live experience” of participation in the battles and their rigorously formalized description. Similar elements are found also in some less known pseudohistorical writings of the 13th–15th centuries related directly or indiretlyto the circle of Benoît and Guido. Despite the presence of unique details in every analyzed text the procedure of replication of the truth about the greatest ancient war is no longer considered there as an accidental event that could get its real value and significance only after a period of time.

Keywords: representations of the past, eyewitness report, pseudo-historical writings, anachronisms in medieval tradition