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Definition: Barbour, John from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(bär'bӘr), c.1316?–1395, Scottish poet. He was archdeacon of Aberdeen from 1355 until his death. His romance, The Bruce (1375), celebrating Scotland's emancipation from England, recounts the heroic deeds of Robert I and Sir James Douglas. The poem was meant to be read as history and shows remarkable accuracy. Barbour's authorship of a fragmentary Troy-Book and the Buik of Alexander is disputed.

Summary Article: Barbour, John (c. 1320–1395)
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Scottish poet. His epic 13,000-line poem The Brus (written 1374–75, printed 1571) chronicles the war of Scottish independence and includes a vivid account of Robert Bruce's victory over the English at Bannockburn in 1314. It is among the earliest known works of Scottish poetry.

Barbour was ordained a priest and was promoted by King David II to the archdeaconry of Aberdeen about 1356. In 1357 he gained permission from Edward III of England to study in Oxford for a time. Under Robert II he became one of the auditors of the Exchequer.

The Brus (described by the author as a ‘romance’) is written with great spirit, in octosyllabic verse; the style is clear and simple and the language more ‘modern’ than that of Barbour's contemporaries.


Barbour, John

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