Online Bibliography - Sources and Influences

John Gower

MS Hunter 59 T-2-17 Portrait of Gower folio 6v John Gower Vox Clamantis Glasgow Univ Library

Important Sources/Influences
(VC = Vox Clamantis, CA = Confessio Amantis)


  • Alain of Lille
  • Benoit de Sainte-Maure (Roman de Troie) CA
  • Bible / Vulgate (esp. Isaiah, Gospels of John the Baptist) VC, CA
  • Boccaccio (De Casibus Illustrium Virorum) CA
  • Dante (De Monarchia) CA
  • Gesta Romanorum VC, CA
  • Guido della (di) Colonna (Historia Troiana) CA
  • Guillaume de Lorris / Jean de Meun (Roman de la Rose) CA
  • Historie Apollonii Regis Tyri
  • Livy (History of Rome) CA
  • Machaut
  • Ovid (esp. Metamorphoses, Heriodes, Fasti, and Moralise) VC, CA
  • Peter Riga (Aurora) VC
  • Other

Boccaccio De Casibus Virorum Illustrium (Stories of Famous Men)

Gesta Romanorum (Deeds of the Romans)

Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun Roman de la Rose (Romance of the Rose)

Livy A History of Rome




Other Sources & Influences of Gower

  • Alexander Neckam (De Vita Monachorum) VC
  • Epitome Reram Romanoram
  • Barlaam et Josephat
  • Historia of Prelis of Archpresbyter Leo
  • Walter Map
  • Poetarius of Albericus of London
  • Roman de toute Chevalerie of Thomas of Kent
  • Le Roman de Marques de Rome
  • Distichia
  • Versus de Poenitentia
  • Policraticus
  • Li Tresor
  • Speculum Stultorum
  • Gregory the Great (commentary on the
    Book of Job)
  • Isidore of Seville (Etymologies)
  • Vincent de Beauvais (Speculum

Web Sites Providing Source Material

University of Virginia’s E-Text Center
This site contains electronic texts of many primary works, including those used as sources by Gower. For many works, it provides text only, (such as Livy’s A History of Rome)
Also on this site is The Ovid Collection, which focuses primarily on Metamorphoses, but also contains a database of various artistic representations of the work. This resource is scholarly and useful for background information or survey of texts.

The Internet Classics Archive
Affiliated with the Classics department of MIT, this page contains digital texts of several classical Greco-Roman authors. In addition, each work’s page links to sections of commentary on the works, as well as recommended books websites related to the work. Although very user-friendly, the web site had very few functioning links, due to a server failure that is in the process of being resolved. Most useful for Gower scholars are links to Livy’s A History of Rome and Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

The Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalog
This web site provides a searchable database of many primary works, including Le Roman de la Rose by Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun. Each text is available in several downloadable formats, so it would be convenient to access texts no matter the capability of one’s computer. The text is written in its original language, French, and no translations are provided.

The World of Chaucer Medieval Books and Manuscripts
This web site is part of the University of Glasgow’s Special Collections homepage, which features monthly virtual exhibitions on different literary topics related to their collections. Although focused on Chaucer, there is also much useful Gower information on the site. For each work discussed, there is an overview of the work and its history, digital images of original manuscripts, and links to the university’s manuscript holdings.
Some notable sections include, Chaucer’s Contemporaries, which gives an overview of Gower’s Confessio Amantis, and Chaucer’s Influences, which include many of Gower’s influences as well, such as Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Boccaccio’s De Casibus Illustrium Virorum, and Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun’s Roman de la Rose.

"I throw my darts and shoot my arrows at the world. But where there is a righteous man, no arrow strikes. But I wound those who live wickedly. Therefore let him who recognizes himself there look to himself."
Vox Clamantis

Site Hosting Provided Compliments of Western Carolina University
Site Maintained by Dr. Brian W. Gastle
For Site Emendations please email
How to Cite Information from the John Gower Society Web Site