James Gifford odos.fanourios at gmail.com
Wed Jun 18 10:03:52 PDT 2008

Hello William,

I only have Homer on p. 64 of the Marlowe edition (Odyssey), but Ovid 
does appear elsewhere in one quoted passage (p. 69).  Do you mean the 

    Lithgow published an account of Corfu in 1632. It is as follows:
    'Corfu is an island no less beautiful than invincible: it lieth in 
the Sea Ionean, the inhabitants are Greeks, and the Governors Venetians; 
this Ile was much honoured by Homer for the pleasant gardens of Alcino 
which were in his time. This Alcino was that Corcyrean poet who so 
benignly received Ulysses after his shipwracke, and of whom Ovid said:

    Quid bifera Alconoi referam pomaria? Vos que
    Qui nunquam vacui prodistis in aethere rami.

    Why blaze I forth Alconoe's fertile soil
    And trees, from whence, all times they fruit recoyle?

This Isle was given to the Venetians by the Corsicans [sic], Anno 1382, 
because they were exposed to all injuries in the world: It lieth like to 
a half moon, or half a circle east and north.

Two more paragraphs from Lithgow follow that, which LD calls inaccurate 
but charming.

I don't know what translation he's using, but perhaps someone here can 
tell us (my hunch is it's his own, with an inaccurate original).  The 
spelling is a tip for dating.  Naturally, the Latin is not turning up 
for me either!!  Is this invented?  My first guess is that the poet's 
name is a woman's and this might just be Lithgow having an easy time 
with his sources from memory or from fancy.

The writer Lithgow, who seems to be the source of all of this in a 
direct quotation, was a Scottish travel writer who lived 1582-1645.  The 
book is clearly /The Totall Discourse of the Rare Adventures and 
Painefull Peregrinations of Long Nineteene Years Travayles/ which was 
published in 1632 but reprinted in 1906.  Durrell clearly used the 
latter edition.  It shouldn't be a difficult volume to get, and I see my 
local library has 2 copies of Durrell's 1906 edition.

Does that help at all?

James Gifford, PhD
Athabasca University

More information about the ILDS mailing list