“A King’s Lesson,” ed. Cole
267, Theiss and Donau: These are the Tisza (in Magyar) and Danube, whose courses inHungary run southwards almost parallel, the Tisza further to the east, across the great Hungarian plain.
268, the Great Father: perhaps modelled on the style of ‘the Little Father' that the Russian peasantry are said to have used of the Tsar
Crossbowmen . . . . Italians of the mountains: Matthias’s mercenary army certainly included many foreigners, but the books I have seen do not particularly mention Italians among them. Possibly Morris, knowing from Froissart’s Chronicles that Genoese crossbowmen were used at times in the Hundred Years' War, guessed that such fighting men came from the Apennine mountains around Genoa rather than from the port city itself. It is true, however, that Matthias's second wife, Beatrice, was an Italian princess from Naples, who brought fellow-countrymen in her entourage.
269, the Bremen ell: This must derive from Morris's expertise about medieval textiles; an ell was a standard measure for cloth. Persian silk in 15th-century Hungary more likely might more likely have come through Venice than through a German port.