Category:Medieval French romances
Pages in category "Medieval French romances"
The following 41 pages are in this category, out of 41 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 41 pages are in this category, out of 41 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Chivalric romance – As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a type of prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Popular literature also drew on themes of romance, but with ironic, satiric or burlesque intent. Still, the image of medieval is more influenced by the romance than by any other medieval genre, and the word medieval evokes knights, distressed damsels, dragons. Originally, romance literature was written in Old French, Anglo-Norman, Occitan, and Provençal, during the early 13th century, romances were increasingly written as prose. In later romances, particularly those of French origin, there is a tendency to emphasize themes of courtly love. Unlike the later form of the novel and like the chansons de geste, the earliest forms were invariably in verse, but the 15th century saw many in prose, often retelling the old, rhymed versions. Many influences are clear in the forms of chivalric romance, the epics of Charlemagne, unlike such ones as Beowulf, already had feudalism rather than the tribal loyalties, this was to continue in romances. The romance form is distinguished from the epics of the Middle Ages by the changes of the 12th century. This occurred regardless of congruity to the material, Alexander the Great featured as a fully feudal king. Chivalry was treated as continuous from Roman times, historical figures reappeared, reworked, in romance. The entire Matter of France derived from known figures, and suffered somewhat because their descendents had an interest in the tales that were told of their ancestors, unlike the Matter of Britain. Hereward the Wakes early life appeared in chronicles as the embellished, romantic adventures of an exile, complete with rescuing princess, fulk Fitzwarin, an outlaw in King Johns day, has his historical background a minor thread in the episodic stream of romantic adventures. The earliest medieval romances dealt heavily with themes from folklore, which diminished over time, morgan le Fay never loses her name, but in Le Morte dArthur, she studies magic rather than being inherently magical. Still, fairies never completely vanished from the tradition, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a late tale, but the Green Knight himself is an otherworldly being. In Italy there is the story called Il Bel Gherardino and it is the most ancient prototype of an Italian singing fairy tale by an anonymous Tuscan author. It tells the story of a young Italian knight, depleted for its magnanimitas, other examples of Italian poetry tales are Antonio Puccis literature, Gismirante, Il Brutto di Bretagna or Brito di Bretagna and Madonna Lionessa. Another work of a second anonymous Italian author that is worth mentioning is Istoria di Tre Giovani Disperati e di Tre Fate, some romances, such as Apollonius of Tyre, show classical pagan origins. Tales of the Matter of Rome in particular may be derived from such works as the Alexander Romance
2. France in the Middle Ages – From the 13th century on, the state slowly regained control of a number of these lost powers. The crises of the 13th and 14th centuries led to the convening of an assembly, the Estates General. From the Middle Ages onward, French rulers believed their kingdoms had natural borders, the Pyrenees, the Alps and this was used as a pretext for an aggressive policy and repeated invasions. The belief, however, had little basis in reality for not all of territories were part of the Kingdom. France had important rivers that were used as waterways, the Loire, the Rhone and these rivers were settled earlier than the rest and important cities were founded on their banks but they were separated by large forests, marsh, and other rough terrains. Before the Romans conquered Gaul, the Gauls lived in villages organised in wider tribes, the Romans referred to the smallest of these groups as pagi and the widest ones as civitates. These pagi and civitates were often taken as a basis for the imperial administration and these religious provinces would survive until the French revolution. Discussion of the size of France in the Middle Ages is complicated by distinctions between lands personally held by the king and lands held in homage by another lord, the domaine royal of the Capetians was limited to the regions around Paris, Bourges and Sens. The great majority of French territory was part of Aquitaine, the Duchy of Normandy, the Duchy of Brittany, the Comté of Champagne, the Duchy of Burgundy, and other territories. Philip II Augustus undertook a massive French expansion in the 13th century, only in the 15th century would Charles VII and Louis XI gain control of most of modern-day France. The weather in France and Europe in the Middle Ages was significantly milder than during the preceding or following it. Historians refer to this as the Medieval Warm Period, lasting from about the 10th century to about the 14th century, part of the French population growth in this period is directly linked to this temperate weather and its effect on crops and livestock. At the end of the Middle Ages, France was the most populous region in Europe—having overtaken Spain, in the 14th century, before the arrival of the Black Death, the total population of the area covered by modern-day France has been estimated at around 17 million. The population of Paris is controversial, josiah Russell argued for about 80,000 in the early 14th century, although he noted that some other scholars suggested 200,000. The higher count would make it by far the largest city in western Europe, the Black Death killed an estimated one-third of the population from its appearance in 1348. The concurrent Hundred Years War slowed recovery and it would be the mid-16th century before the population recovered to mid-fourteenth century levels. The vast majority of the population spoke a variety of vernacular languages derived from vulgar Latin. Modern linguists typically add a group within France around Lyon
3. Erec and Enide – Erec and Enide is the first of Chrétien de Troyes five romance poems, completed around 1170. It is one of three completed works by the author, consisting of about 7000 lines of Old French, the poem is one of the earliest known Arthurian romances in any language, predated only by the Welsh prose narrative Culhwch and Olwen. Chrétien de Troyes played a role in the formation of Arthurian romance and is influential up until the latest romances. Erec et Enide features many of the elements of Arthurian romance, such as Arthurian characters, the knightly quest. Many authors explicitly acknowledge their debt to Chrétien, while others, such as the author of Hunbaut, however, these tales are not always precisely true to Chrétiens original poem, such as in Geraint and Enid, in which Geraint suspects Enid of infidelity. Erec and Enide has come down to the present day in seven manuscripts, the poem comprises 6,878 octosyllables in rhymed couplets. A prose version was made in the 15th century, the first modern edition dates from 1856 by Immanuel Bekker, followed by an edition in 1890 by Wendelin Foerster. Approximately the first quarter of Erec and Enide recounts the tale of Erec son of Lac, and his marriage to Enide, an impoverished daughter of a Vavasor from Lalut. An unarmored Erec is keeping Guinevere company while other knights participate in a hunt near Cardigan when a strange knight and his dwarf approach the queen. At the Queens orders, Erec follows the knight, Yder, to a far off town where he meets, Erec defeats Yder, in a contest to win a falcon for the most beautiful lady in the town. Erec defends Enides beauty and she steps forward to take the bird and they return to Enides father, who gives permission for the two to marry. Erec refuses to accept gifts of new clothes for Enide, in spite of her appearance, the courtiers recognise Enides inherent nobility and Queen Guinevere dresses her in one of her own richly-embroidered gowns. The central half of the poem begins some time later when rumors spread that Erec has come to neglect his duties due to his overwhelming love for Enide. He overhears Enide crying over this and orders her to prepare for a journey to parts unknown and he commands her to be silent throughout, but she disobeys several times to warn him of danger. Erec and Enide displays the themes of love and chivalry that Chrétien continues in his later work, tests play an important part in character development and marital fidelity. Erecs testing of Enide is not condemned in the context of the story, especially when his behaviour is contrasted with some of the more despicable characters. Nevertheless, Enides faithful disobedience of his command to silence saves his life, another theme of the work is the Christianity, evidenced by the plots orientation around the Christian Calendar. When Erec first sets off, it is Easter, at Pentecost he marries Enide, furthermore, in the poem, Erec is killed and then resurrected on a Sunday, an allusion to the story of Jesus Christ
4. Guy of Warwick – Guy of Warwick is a legendary English hero of Romance popular in England and France from the 13th to 17th centuries. The story of Sir Guy is considered by scholars to be part of the Matter of England, the core of the legend is that Guy falls in love with the lady Felice, who is of much higher social standing. He returns and weds Felice but soon, full of remorse for his violent past, he leaves on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, later he returns privately and lives out his long life as a hermit. In one recension, Guy, son of Siward or Seguard of Wallingford, by his prowess in foreign wars wins in marriage Felice, daughter and heiress of Roalt, Earl of Warwick. Soon after his marriage he is seized with remorse for the violence of his past life, Winchester tradition fixes the duel at Hyde Mead, before the Abbey near Winchester. Making his way to Warwick, he one of his wifes beadsmen. The kernel of the tradition evidently lies in the fight with Colbrand, the religious side of the legend finds parallels in the stories of St Eustachius and St Alexius, and makes it probable that the Guy-legend, as we have it, has passed through monastic hands. Winchester was saved, however, not by the valour of an English champion and this Olaf was not unnaturally confused with Anlaf Cuaran or Havelok the Dane. The Anglo-Norman warrior hero of Gui de Warewic, marked Guys first appearance in the thirteenth century. Topographical allusions show the composer to be more familiar with the area of Wallingford, near Oxford. Guy was transformed in the century with a spate of metrical romances written in Middle English. The name Guy entered the Beauchamp family, earls of Warwick, a tower added to Warwick Castle in 1394 was named Guys Tower, and Guy of Warwick relics began to accumulate. Filicia, who belongs to the century, was perhaps the Norman poets patroness, occurs in the pedigree of the Ardens, descended from Thurkill of Warwick. Today Guy of Warwicks Sword can be seen at Warwick Castle, the Anglo-Norman French romance was edited by Alfred Ewert in 1932 and published by Champion, and is described by Emile Littré in Histoire littéraire de la France. 2,38, and again, from the Auchinleck manuscript, cawood and C. J. Furnivall in their edition of the Percy Folio MS. vol. ii. an early French MS. is described by J. A. Herbert. “The Vogue of Guy of Warwick from the Close of the Middle Ages to the Romantic, richmond, Velma Bourgeois The Legend of Guy of Warwick. See also M. Weyrauch, Die mittelengl, fassungen der Sage von Guy, J. Zupitza in Sitzungsber
5. Perceval, the Story of the Grail – Perceval, the story of the Grail is the unfinished fifth romance of Chrétien de Troyes. Probably written between 1135 and 1190, it is dedicated to Chrétiens patron Philip, Count of Flanders, Chrétien claimed to be working from a source given to him by Philip. The poem relates the adventures and growing pains of the young knight Perceval, there follows an adventure of Gawain of similar length that also remains incomplete. There are some 9,000 lines in total, whereas Chrétiens other romances seldom exceed 7,000 lines, later authors added 54,000 more lines in what are known collectively as the Four Continuations. The poem opens with Perceval, whose mother has raised him apart from civilization in the forests of Wales, since his fathers death, he continually encounters knights and realizes he wants to be one. Despite his mothers objections, the boy heads to King Arthurs court and he is taunted by Sir Kay, but amazes everyone by killing a knight who had been troubling King Arthur and taking his vermilion armor. He then sets out for adventure and he trains under the experienced Gornemant, then falls in love with and rescues Gornemants niece Blanchefleur. Returning home to visit his mother, he comes across the Fisher King, while there he witnesses a strange procession in which young men and women carry magnificent objects from one chamber to another. First comes a man carrying a bleeding lance, then two boys carrying candelabra. Finally, a young girl emerges bearing an elaborately decorated graal, or grail. Perceval, who had warned against talking too much, remains silent through all of this. He finds his mother is dead, then Arthur asks him to return to court, no more is heard of Perceval except a short later passage in which a hermit explains that the grail contains a single mass-wafer that miraculously sustains the Fisher King’s wounded father. Gawain offers a contrast and complement to Percevals naiveté as a knight having to function in un-courtly settings. An important episode is Gawains liberation of a castle whose inhabitants include his long-lost mother and grandmother as well as his sister Clarissant and this tale also breaks off unfinished. Over the following 50 years four different poets took up the left by Chrétien and continued the adventures of Perceval. The First Continuation added 9,500 to 19,600 lines to the romance and it was once attributed to Wauchier de Denain, and is still sometimes called the Pseudo-Wauchier Continuation for that reason. The First Continuation picks up the narrative of Gawains adventures where Chrétien left off, his mother and grandmother are reunited with Arthur, in the long version, Gawain opposes the marriage and rides off in anger, reaching the Grail Castle. After further adventures he rejoins Arthur and helps him besiege a rebels castle, the First Continuation is notable for its cavalier approach to the narrative agenda set by Chrétien
6. Pontus and Sidonia – Pontus and Sidonia is a medieval prose roman, originally composed in French in ca. 1400, known as Ponthus et la belle Sidonie, possibly by Geoffroy IV de la Tour Landry or by another member of the La Tour family. It is about Pontus, the son of the king of Galicia, the text is associated with lords of La Tour because it derives the ancestors of that family, whose ancestral possessions were in Brittany, from members of the train of prince Pontus. The story is based on a work, the Anglo-Norman chanson de geste Horn et Rimenhild. Several German translations were made during the 15th century, another translation of the French text was made by Eleanor, Archduchess of Austria. A late medieval Dutch translation Die historie van Ponthus ende die schoone Sidonie survived in an edition printed by Niclaes vanden Wouwere, karin Schneider, Pontus und Sidonia in der Verdeutschung eines Ungenannten aus dem 15. Jahrhundert, Texte des späten Mittelalters 14, Berlin 1961, paul Wüst, Die deutschen Prosaromane von Pontus und Sidonia, Marburg,1903. 142, Pontus und Sidonia Die historie van Ponthus ende die schoone Sidonie
7. Robert the Devil – Robert the Devil is a legend of medieval origin about a Norman knight who discovers he is the son of Satan. His mother, despairing of heavens aid in order to obtain a son, had asked for help from the devil, Roberts satanic instincts propel him into a violent and sinful life, but he eventually overcomes them to achieve repentance. It is not known whether or not the legend is based on the life of a real individual and it originated in France in the 13th century and has since provided the basis for many literary and dramatic works, most notably the Meyerbeer opera Robert le diable. Weary of recommending herself to God, who will not listen to her, she herself to the Devil. A son is born to her, a veritable firebrand, as an infant, he bites his nurse and tears out her hair, as a lad, he knifes his teachers, at the age of twenty, he becomes a bandit chief. He is dubbed knight, in the belief that thus the wicked instincts raging within him may be overcome, no one surpasses him in strength or in courage. One day, after cutting the throats of all the nuns of an abbey, he remembers his mother. Soon as they spy him, the take to their heels, scattering in all directions. But why is he wickeder than other men, an ardent longing seizes him to unravel this mystery. He hastens to his mother, and with drawn sword he adjures her to unveil to him the secret of his birth, learning this, he becomes frantic with terror, shame, and grief. But his sturdy nature is not weakened, he does not yield to despair, instead, on two separate occasions, when Rome was besieged by the Saracens, he fights incognito for the Emperor and gains the victory for the Christians. In other accounts, he weds the beautiful princess who is deeply in love with him. The oldest known account of this legend is a Latin prose narrative by a Dominican friar, Etienne de Bourbon, then it appears in a French metrical romance of the thirteenth century, in which Robert is described as the son of the duchess of Normandy. It appears also in a dit of somewhat later date, a French prose version was also prefixed to the old Croniques de Normandie. But the legend owes its popularity to the story-books, of which the earliest known appeared at Lyons in 1496, from France the legend spread to Spain, where it was very popular. In England, the subject was treated in the romance, Sir Gowther. An English translation from the French chapbook was made by Wynkyn de Worde, Caxtons assistant, another version, not based on the preceding, was written by Thomas Lodge in his book on Robin the Divell, in which Robert is the second Duke of Normandy. In the Netherlands, the romance of Robrecht den Duyvel was put on the index of books by the Bishop of Antwerp in 1621
8. Roman d'Alexandre en prose – In the mid-tenth century, Archpriest Leo of Naples translated into Latin a second-century Greek Alexander romance falsely attributed to Callisthenes. This new translation was later supplemented by material and, in its expanded form. The prose romance dates to the thirteenth century, there are three major recensions of the text, where subsequent editors either added supplements or made excisions. Nectanebus the magician and astrologer is the king of Egypt, but the country is attacked by the Persians and he finds a new home at the court of Philip, the king of Macedon. The king is away, leaving his wife Olympias behind, Nectanebus prophesies to Olympias that the god Amon will visit her in a dream, and conceive a son. Nectanebus himself then proceeds to make the true by coming to the queen at night disguised as a dragon. The queen becomes pregnant, and is concerned about the anger of Philip when he returns. But Philip has himself had a dream, foretelling that his wife will give birth to a boy, conceived by a god. He therefore accepts the child as his own. As the young Alexander grows older, however, this uneasy situation grows unstable, while stargazing, Alexander pushes Nectanebus into a ditch and the magician is killed, and, as he is dying, reveals to Alexander his true parentage. After Alexander is knighted by Philip, he tames the horse Bucephalus and he conquers Nicholas, king of the Aridians, and is crowned their king. When he returns to Macedonia, however, he finds that in his absence Philip has set Olympias aside and is about to marry another, after an altercation, in which Alexander kills Lycias, one of Philips courtiers, Philip is ultimately reconciled with Olympias. Alexander then embarks on a campaign in Armenia. While he is away, Pausania, the king of Bithynia and one of Philips vassals, rebels, Alexander returns in time to kill Pausania and avenge his father. He succeeds as king of Macedonia, and embarks on a tour of conquest around the Mediterranean, Alexander then turns his attention to Persia, the king, Darius, has sent him a challenge, and he replies with an invasion. After a protracted campaign, Darius is killed by treachery from within his own family, Alexander weeps over his fallen foe, buries the king honorably, and sentences the traitors to death. He then marries Dariuss daughter, Roxane, meanwhile, Dariuss old ally, Porrus, the king of India, still threatens, and Alexander sets out further eastward. Along the way he encounters many strange and exotic people and animals—this part of the narrative participates heavily in the Wonders of the East genre of medieval literature and he kills Porrus, but continues on, encountering more and more strange creatures and peoples, including Queen Candace
9. Roman de Fergus – The Roman de Fergus is an Arthurian romance written in Old French probably at the very beginning of the 13th century, by a very well educated author who named himself Guillaume le Clerc. The main character is Fergus, the son of Soumilloit, a rich but old-fashioned farmer, if the Roman is based upon a historical figure, it is probably Fergus of Galloway. The Roman has been upheld by modern critics for its highly sophisticated use of parody, parody directed at the whole genre of Arthurian romance. Recently, it has been proposed by D. D. R, also noted by scholars is the Romans extensive knowledge of the geography of southern Scotland, which is in general depicted in an exceedingly accurate manner. This is in contrast to most other works of the genre, in geography is vague. Some scholars hold that the Roman satirises native Scottish society, Soumilloit is wealthy enough to own a fortress, but he is low-born and the fortress is made only of wood. Moreover, his son Fergus works on the farm, although valiant, he frequently transgresses the etiquette that the Francophone aristocratic society took for granted. It has been neglected in Scotland mainly because it did not come to the attention of scholars until relatively recently, the other reason for neglect is probably that it was written in French, a linguistic-literary tradition which died out by the later Middle Ages. The Roman de Fergus however shows that, despite its future, French-culture flourished in Scotland during the High Middle Ages, the story begins with a stag hunt. Beginning in Carlisle, King Arthur and his knights chase a great white stag, at this point, Fergus, working the land in the service of his father, spots the knights and is inspired by them. Fergus persuades his father to him a suit of armour, so that he can follow after the knights. Fergus makes his way to Carlisle, killing two bandits on the way, whose heads he brings to the king, arriving at court, he is mocked by Kay, the seneschal. Kay challenges Fergus to prove his worth by, among other things, defeating the kings bitter enemy, after being taught knightly arts by the daughter of the royal Chamberlain, he is knighted by Arthur and receives encouragement and a sword from Percival and Gawain. Following his introduction to chivalry, Fergus makes his way to Liddel Castle, where he first encounters Galiene and she declares her love for him, but he only promises to return after he has fulfilled his quest. Having vanquished the Black Knight, Fergus returns, only to find that Galiene has disappeared, at this point, the magic of love hits Fergus. He searches for her in vain for a year, until he meets a dwarf who tells him that he will retrieve his lost love if he can obtain a shield from a hag in Dunnottar Castle. With renewed hope, Fergus makes his way to Queensferry, to cross from England into Scotland, however, he gets into a dispute with the boatmen, dispatches them all, upon reaching Dunnotar, Fergus slays the guardian of the shield, and returns to Lothian. It is then that he is told that Galiene is the new ruler of Lothian, on the way to Roxburgh, he is waylaid at Melrose by the husband of the hag-dragon he dispatched at Dunnottar
10. Roman de la poire – Le roman de la poire is a medieval French romance by a certain Thibaut. It is influenced by the Roman de la Rose in describing the onset of love in terms of allegory, the title is derived from a central scene where the damsel shares a pear which she has peeled with her teeth with the lover. The text is preserved in BnF Ms. fr,2186, an illuminated manuscript dated to the 1250s. It was illustrated in the workshop of the maître de Bari, the manuscript extends to 83 folia, measuring 205 x 135 mm. It includes nine full-page miniatures and 18 historiated initials, the full-page miniatures depict famous lovers from literature, including Tristan and Isolde, Cliges and Fenice, Pyramus and Thisbe and Paris and Helen. The work presumably enjoyed limited success, and its reception did not extend beyond the early 14th century, two copies of the original text survive, dated to the late 13th or early 14th century. A fragment of a copy from about the same time was published in 1982 by Richard OGorman. Christiane Marchello-Nizia, Le roman de la poire par Tibaut, Publications de la Société des anciens textes français, A. et J. Picard, review by Tesnière Marie-Hélène, Bibliothèque de lécole des chartes,1987, Volume 145-2, pp. 451-453
11. Roman de Troie – Le Roman de Troie is a 40,000 line poem by Benoît de Sainte-Maure, probably written between 1155 and 1160 as a medieval retelling of the epic theme of the Trojan War. It inspired a body of literature in the called the roman antique. The Trojan subject itself, for which de Sainte-Maure provided an impetus, is referred to as the Matter of Troy, le Roman de Troie influenced the works of many in the West, including Chaucer and Shakespeare. In the East it was translated into Greek as The War of Troy, of medieval works on this subject, only Guido delle Colonnes Historia destructionis Troiae was adapted as frequently. After she is handed over to her father during a hostage exchange and this love triangle would be the central subject of a number of later works. The dedication of the poem, to a riche dame de riche rei, generally believed to be Eleanor of Aquitaine, consort of Henry II, is buried deep within it and it serves to date the poem to the years before Eleanors imprisonment by Henry in 1173
12. Tristan – Tristan, also known as Tristram, is the hero of the Arthurian Tristan and Iseult story. He was a Cornish knight of the Round Table and he is the son of Blancheflor and Rivalen, and the nephew of King Mark of Cornwall, sent to fetch Iseult back from Ireland to wed the king. However, he and Iseult accidentally consume a love potion while en route, the pair undergo numerous trials that test their secret affair. Although the oldest stories concerning Tristan are lost, some of the derivatives still exist, the name Tristan is also known as Trischin in the Maltese culture. Arthurian romancier Chrétien de Troyes mentioned in his poem Cligès that he composed his own account of the story, however, there are no surviving copies or records of any such text. In the thirteenth century, during the period of prose romances. This long, sprawling, and often lyrical work follows Tristan from the legend into the realm of King Arthur where Tristan participates in the Quest for the Holy Grail. In the fifteenth century, Sir Thomas Malory shortened this French version into his own take, The Book of Sir Tristram de Lyones, in addition, there was a Tristan who bore witness to a legal document at the Swabian Abbey of Saint Gall in 807 AD. Another strange aspect is his kingdom, Lyonesse, for whose existence there is no evidence, however, there were two places called Leonais, one in Brittany, the other the Old French transcription of Lothian. However, the Isles of Scilly have also proposed to be this place, since they were possibly one island until Roman times. Regardless, Tristan being a prince of Lothian would make his name more sensible, there are also records of a Turstan Crectune, whose name gave the Lothian village of Crichton its name. He was granted lands in 1128 by King David of Scotland, one other suggestion is that he could have been adopted into the family of Mark of Cornwall, a historical practice attested in Roman law. Possible evidence for his Cornish roots is the 5th century inscribed Tristan Stone and it measures some 7 feet in height and has been set in a modern concrete base. Until the 1980s it was in its original position some yards from the road in a field near the turn down to the small harbour of Polkerris. It was then closer to Castle Dore and may have been the origin of the association of this site with the story of the love of Tristan. Cynvawr, in turn, is said by the ninth-century author Nennius, eisner concludes that the author of the Tristan story used the names and some of the local traditions of his own recent past. To these figures he attached adventures which had handed down from Roman. He lived in the north of Britain, was associated with a monastery, from 1857 to 1859, Richard Wagner composed the opera Tristan and Isolde, now considered one of the most influential pieces of music of the 19th century
13. Valentine and Orson – Valentine and Orson is a romance which has been attached to the Carolingian cycle. It is the story of brothers, abandoned in the woods in infancy. In some versions, the pair discover their true history with the help of a brazen head. The two eventually rescue their mother Bellisant, sister of Pepin and wife of the emperor of Greece, by whom she had been unjustly repudiated, from the power of a giant named Ferragus. The tale is based on a lost French original, with Orson originally described as sans nom i. e. the nameless one. A 14th-century French chanson de geste, Valentin et Sansnom has not survived but was translated/adapted in medieval German as Valentin und Namelos. The kernel of the lies in Orsons upbringing and wildness. The story of the unjustly accused with which it is bound up is sufficiently common. The work has a number of references to other, older, works, including, Floovant, The Four Sons of Aymon, Lion de Bourges, and Maugis dAigremont. One such illustrated variant of the tale was prepared by S R Littlwood and it is known that Richard Hathwaye and Anthony Munday produced a theatrical version of it in 1598. Other Renaissance versions exist in Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, German, the number of translations show a European success for the tale. The works of François Rabelais have a number of echoes to the romance, Gilgamesh & Enkidu, in the Epic of Gilgamesh This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Chisholm, Hugh, ed. Valentine and Orson. A digital version of the 1842 edition in French, a digital edition of the French L’Histoire de Valentin et Orson printed at Troyes by Yves Girardon, Imprimeur & Marchand Libraire, demeurant en la Rue Nostre Dame
14. Yvain, the Knight of the Lion – Yvain, the Knight of the Lion is an Arthurian romance by French poet Chrétien de Troyes. It was probably written in the 1170s simultaneously with Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, and includes several references to the narrative of that poem. It is a story of knight-errantry, in which the protagonist Yvain is first rejected by his lady for breaking a promise, and subsequently performs a number of heroic deeds in order to regain her favor. In the narrative, Yvain seeks to avenge his cousin Calogrenant who had defeated by an otherworldly knight Esclados beside a magical storm-making stone in the forest of Brocéliande. Yvain defeats Esclados and falls in love with his widow Laudine, with the aid of Laudines servant Lunete, Yvain wins his lady and marries her, but Gawain convinces him to leave Laudine behind to embark on chivalric adventure. Laudine assents but demands he return after one year, Yvain becomes so enthralled in his knightly exploits that he forgets to return to his wife within the allotted time, so she rejects him. Yvain goes mad with grief, is cured by a noblewoman, a lion he rescues from a dragon proves to be a loyal companion and a symbol of knightly virtue, and helps him defeat both a mighty giant and three fierce knights. After Yvain rescues Lunete from being burned at the stake, she helps Yvain win back his wife, the Life was written by Jocelyn of Furness in ca. 1185, and is slightly younger than Chrétiens text. Jocelyn states that he rewrote the life from an earlier Glasgow legend, the name of the main character Yvain, at least, ultimately harks back to the name of the historical Owain mab Urien. Yvain survives in eight manuscripts and two fragments and it comprises 6,808 octosyllables in rhymed couplets. Two manuscripts are illustrated, Paris BN MS fr.1433 and Princeton University Library Garrett MS125, the former incomplete with seven remaining miniatures and the latter with ten. Hindman discusses these illustrations as reflecting the development of the role of the knight, or the youthful knight-errant, during the transitional period from the high to the late medieval period. The poem was translated into a number of other languages, including the Middle English Ywain and Gawain, the Old Norwegian Chivaldric Ívens saga. The Valþjófsstaður door in Iceland, ca,1200, depicts a version of the Yvain story with a carving of a knight slaying a dragon that threatens a lion. The lion is shown wearing a rich collar and following the knight. The first modern edition was published in 1887 by Wendelin Foerster, Chrétien de Troyes, Owen, D. D. R. Arthurian Romances. Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, Lacy, Norris J. Chrétien de Troyes