Die Abgesandten aber durchschauten seinen Plan Od. XXIV,ff . Alle drei verbinden aber vor allem griechisch-mythologische Elemente. Die antiken Motive ziehen sich durch die Einzelaventiuren und verweben diese miteinander. So wird beispielsweise das Motiv der Blendung bereits zu Anfang am Artushof von Gawein vorbereitet und in der ersten Schlacht wieder aufgegriffen. Auch das Motiv des Ohrenverstopfens wird in der Aventiure mit dem Siechen angesprochen, kommt jedoch erst in der vierten Schlacht zum Einsatz. Kategorien : Artusroman Roman, Epik Literatur Ansichten Lesen Bearbeiten Quelltext bearbeiten Versionsgeschichte.
Diese Seite wurde zuletzt am Juni um Uhr bearbeitet. Er besiegt jeden, der sich ihm in den Weg stellt. Gawein wendet die erste List an, indem er den Riesenboten um eine Woche Frist bittet, in der man Untertanen versammeln wolle, um ihm dann in das Reich Cluse zu folgen und Matur zu huldigen. Der Bote willigt ein und Artus bereitet einen Heereszug gegen Matur vor. Die Herzogstochter bietet ihm zur Belohnung ihre Hand und ein Herzogtum, doch Daniel lehnt ab und reitet weiter.
Er befreit den Landsherren, der in Gefangenschaft der Ungeheuer war. Dieser begleitet Daniel nun aus Dankbarkeit. Matur stellt sich ihnen an der Spitze der ersten der sieben Heerscharen Cluses entgegen. Er trifft auf den Ritter, den der Graf verfolgt hatte. Als Bedingung seiner Freilassung verlangt sie, dass Daniel ihr hilft. Seine Opfer macht er durch seine hypnotisierende Stimme willenlos. Als der Sieche das erste Opfer abstechen will, enthauptet Daniel ihn mit seinem bis dahin verborgen gehaltenen Schwert.
Damit ist auch der Graf vom Liehten Brunnen befreit, der sich unter den Hypnotisierten befand. Es folgen drei weitere Schlachten. Die zweite Schlacht wird nur kurz beschrieben. Auf Gaweins Vorschlag hin werden Daniel und Danise verheiratet. Da es zu viele Frauen gibt, werden Knappen zu Rittern geschlagen und ebenfalls mit den Frauen Cluses verheiratet. Der Riesenvater setzt Artus auf einer Felsspitze ab.
Wegen des Verbots von Selbstlob, das unter Rittern besteht, geraten sie in ein Dilemma, welches Parzival bricht. Dieser wird nun auch auf einen Felsen platziert. European Modernity and the Arab Mediterranean. Old Concepts and New Poetics.
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The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Volume 2: The Middle Ages. Reflections on Expanding Interdisciplinary Border Zones. Narrative and History. A History of History. London: Routledge, Old English Orosius, ed. Janet Bately. Early English Texts Society, s. Historiarum adversum paganos libri VII. Karl Zangemeister. Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 5. Andrew T. Translated Texts for Historians Pubblicato e illustrato con note dal dott. Francesco Tassi. Firenze: per T. Baracchi, Perkins, David.
Is Literary History Possible? A Companion to New Media Dynamics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, Raffensberger, Christian. Medieval Ideas of Europe and their Modern Historians. History Workshop Journal 33 : Rigney, Ann. Transforming Memory and the European Project. Speculum 88 : Strootman Rolf and Michele Campopiano, eds. De klassieke oudheid in de islamitische wereld. Special issue of Lampas: Tijdschrift voor classici, 46 Tyler, Elizabeth M. Conceptualizing Multilingualism in England, c. D Orient en Occident. Turnhout: Brepols Verkholantsev, Julia.
The Slavic Letters of St. Europe: A Literary History, vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming Interfaces pp. Life along the Silk Road. Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 63 63A. Turnhout: Brepols, William of Tyre. Emily Atwater Babcock and August C. Taking as its starting point the key role played in the development of textual culture in French by geographical regions that are either at the periphery of French-speaking areas, or alternatively completely outside them, this article offers three case studies: first of a text composed in mid-twelfthcentury England; then of one from early thirteenth-century Flanders; and finally from late thirteenth-century Italy.
What difference does it make if we do not read these texts, and the language in which they are written, in relation to French norms, but rather look at their cultural significance both at their point of production, and then in transmission? A picture emerges of a literary culture in French that is mobile and cosmopolitan, one that cannot be tied to the teleology of an emerging national identity, and one that is a bricolage of a range of influences that are moving towards France as well as being exported from it. French itself functions as a supralocal written language even when it has specific local features and therefore may function more like Latin than a local vernacular.
Introduction It may seem paradoxical to devote an article to the literary history of a single vernacular in a collection devoted to exploring a European and comparative perspective. Yet if we take seriously the imperative to uncouple literary traditions from retroactive national literary historical narratives, narratives that began in the later Middle Ages but which notoriously reach their apogee in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when they tied literary traditions to nation states and national languages, one corollary is that a common language may unify different peoples across political borders, fostering a collective identity rather than fragmented local identities.
The research presented in this article was conducted within the framework of a collaborative project involving colleagues from Cambridge University, King s College London and University College London, funded by the UK s Arts and Humanities Research Council. However, the implications of this are rarely fully examined. Often a more traditional, Franco-centric literary history prevails, according to which French literary culture has its origin in France, and as the Middle Ages advance emanates outwards from France, particularly Paris, to other parts of Europe, with textual production and dissemination elsewhere adduced as evidence of the pre -eminent influence of French courtly culture from This article suggests an alternative model for the history of medieval literature in French, centripetal rather than centrifugal, by focusing initially on three case studies, each of which represents a key place and epoch in the development of literature in French outside France, before returning briefly to the more traditional canon to see how literary history may look different if a more diverse geographical arena is taken into account, and also manuscript dissemination as well as textual production.
On the other hand, they also call into question what we mean by the literary, in that medieval textual culture in French often seems more concerned with something we might loosely consider history rather than the fiction that dominates modern literary canons. Furthermore, this history for which readers of French clearly had a great appetite was not first and foremost a French history, but rather one that concerned the relation of medieval Christendom more generally to the Classical past.
A final question raised by my approach, then, is: exactly what do these texts seek to represent and for whom? England c Modern medieval French literary studies have often privileged the twelfth century as the high point of the tradition. The glories of the Interfaces pp. Few scholars would now accept this caricature of literary history, but twelfth-century texts and authors still dominate many university syllabi.
They are also the object of a disproportionate amount of attention from medievalists working in other languages looking to chart the influence of French literature on other literary traditions and of a disproportionate share of research in the field. It is well known, of course, that some of our most canonical twelfth-century texts written in French come from England in one way or another: for example the Chanson de Roland at least in its canonical Oxford version , Marie de France s Lais, and Thomas s Tristan.
Yet none of these texts was widely disseminated in French in the Middle Ages even if they seem to have been better known through translations into other languages , which suggests at the very least a disjuncture between modern and medieval aesthetic judgements. When the role of England in the emergence of French literature is acknowledged which is not always the case , scholars turn to history to offer an explanation.
Two key historical factors are evoked. First, the Norman Conquest of ; secondly the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry of Anjou in followed by Henry s succession to the throne of England in It is superfluous to rehearse the impact of and in detail. William of Normandy s victory at Hastings in allowed him to implant in England a Norman French speaking aristocratic elite, which meant that French was a language widely used by England s aristocratic and clerical elites throughout the rest of the Middle Ages even if quickly they also became English speaking.
This Gallicization of the culture of the English aristocracy and high clergy was no doubt accelerated, however, by the accession of Henry of Anjou to the English throne and the creation thereby of the so-called Angevin empire, since French-speaking Henry, his wife Eleanor previously queen of France , and then their four French-speaking sons effectively ruled lands from England s border with Scotland to the Pyrenees.
The extent of the Francophone literary culture generated by and for the elite social strata of England is considerable: Ruth Dean s catalogue of Anglo-Norman texts includes items. But institutional and national biases have shaped modern apprehension of this material. The same is true other collected volumes on related topics, such as Kleinheinz and Busby. See in particular the essays in Wogan-Browne, but for some different perspectives see also the essays in Tyler. Anglo-Norman literature was thus often implicitly regarded as an English affair. The first decade of the twenty-first century has seen the transformation and complete revitalisation of this field, thanks to the pioneering work of scholars such as Ardis Butterfield, David Trotter, and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne.
Thus, the much-expanded on-line Anglo-Norman Dictionary a project led by David Trotter now provides an unrivalled research resource that greatly improves our knowledge of the lexis of texts in French produced in the British Isles; Jocelyn Wogan-Brown, in the introduction to the collection Language and Culture in Medieval Britain, published in , has redefined and rebaptised Anglo-Norman as the French of England, drawing attention in particular to the variety, ubiquity and longevity of French in England; and Ardis Butterfield has influentially shown in her book The Familiar Enemy the extent to which later medieval English identity is bound up not only with England s relation to France, but even more significantly with a pervasive and deeply embedded dialogue with French literary texts.
It is striking, however, that much of this important work remains largely though not exclusively focused on the multilingualism of Insular culture, and on Insular cultural history; it is also noteworthy that this vibrant new field is dominated by English-speaking scholars and scholars of English literature. One issue here may be the assumption that when what we call the French language is used, this necessarily connotes primarily a relation to France.
This may be the case, but when it is considered that French was used widely throughout Europe in Flanders, Italy, the Eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere as a language of trade and culture, there is a strong case for considering the networks for which French was a conduit in the British Isles as more complex than the focus on an English French axis sometimes implies. If quantities of surviving manuscripts and texts are anything to go by, England plays a significant role in the development of Franco- Interfaces pp.
Indeed, a sustained Francophone textual culture in England precedes the emergence of a sustained vernacular written culture in France itself. Furthermore, many of these translations are broadly speaking devotional or learned, and may emanate from religious communities rather than courtly settings. It is instructive to consider this data alongside insights from palaeography, codicology and philology, according to which the emerging script for writing French in twelfth-century England for which there is no sustained continental precedent was influenced and shaped by the scripts used to write Old English and Insular Latin.
To what extent, however, is it helpful to disregard the French used in England? And given the scattered nature of the manuscript evidence for continental French in the twelfth century can we really be sure that the vernacular begins to be used extensively in literary manuscripts from the middle of the twelfth century? This means we have to be cautious, without further research, about drawing any conclusions regarding the emergence, relation and chronological sequence of different scriptae for writing French in the twelfth century. For Lusignan, the territories on either side of the Interfaces pp.
As Lusignan s equation here of regional form and scripta suggests, a scripta may derive from a local dialect, but it is a written convention and thereby mobile, so potentially at least supralocal. Lusignan is no doubt being deliberately provocative here in relation to the precedence that some scholarship has traditionally accorded central French from the outset when he suggests it is only accessoirement a scripta, but he thereby usefully challenges received wisdom about centre and periphery.
In the zone in which he is interested Central French is indeed peripheral. Thus when the crosschannel links between religious institutions in England and Normandy and the bidirectional cross-channel movement of scriptae and texts are set alongside the sheer quantity of surviving early manuscripts in French from England, a picture emerges of a written textual culture in French beginning in a so-called peripheral zone, one where it is not the mother tongue of the overwhelming majority of the population, and then moving towards the area usually taken to be its centre, but in a form strongly marked by the graphic systems of other languages i.
Latin and English. The text on which I focus here, Geoffrey Gaimar s Estoire des Engleis composed in Lincolnshire c , cited from Ian Short s edition , is every bit as foundational for Francophone textual culture as the Oxford Roland, Marie de France s Lais, or Thomas s Tristan, yet it has received only a fraction of the scholarly attention.
The Estoire is the earliest surviving example of French vernacular historiography.
Although Gaimar uses a variety of different sources of which more shortly , his line poem of octosyllabic rhyming couplets is a loose adaptation of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which makes him also the earliest known translator of English into French. His account runs from the earliest Saxon and Danish invasions in the late fifth century through to the death of William Rufus. I will return to the text s epilogues, but there is more than a hint there and in the Estoire s opening lines 1 16 that the surviving text was originally the second half of a diptych, the first of which almost certainly had Geoffrey of Monmouth s Historia Regum Britanniae c.
In all four surviving manuscripts, which are of insular prov- Interfaces pp. There is not a great deal of critical literature on Gaimar s Estoire and virtually none in French. Yet Gaimar s racy account of English history exploits pace and dramatic poise to considerable effect, it is linguistically inventive, and it strikingly breaks new ground in terms of using a Romance vernacular to write history.
Furthermore, Gaimar may have been influential in shaping how subsequent writers would use the octosyllabic rhyming couplet for secular narrative Wace for example and his work has erotic and chivalric elements that precociously anticipate subsequent verse romance. Ian Short has done much to set out the merits and interest of Gaimar s Estoire, but as he points out Geiffrei Gaimar liii if historians have seen the text s merits as a source, all too often it is referred to only in passing and usually either in negative terms by literary scholars, who also in my view have a tendency to pigeon-hole Gaimar as a stooge of the Norman regime.
Thus Laura Ashe, in her study of Fiction and History in England, , mentions Gaimar only in passing and sticks with examples from the modern canon in English, French, and Latin. Her main evaluation of Gaimar is that his Estoire des Engleis s and the Lai d Haveloc c derived from Gaimar are monuments to the Normans appropriation of England, and the characteristics of insular narrative To read the Estoire exclusively in relation to the Conquest and within the framework of insular narrative is not, however, entirely satisfactory.
Furthermore, Gaimar s sense of right and wrong in relation to the Conquest is terse and schematic: Engleis cump[r]erent lur ultrages the English paid dearly for their outrageous be- Interfaces pp. Yet when the Conquest is set in the broader context of Gaimar s account of English history, it is clear that the Normans are but the latest in a long line of gent de ultramarine to have invaded England and then become assimilated.
The fact that so many waves of invading Saxons and Danes become assimilated into the English aristocratic elite renders any sense of purely English identity, as opposed to Saxon, Danish or Norman identity, difficult to discern. As this altogether typical case indicates, marriage practices among the social elite of medieval Europe sought to unite warring factions, or potential allies, often across long distances.
The most striking case of the Estoire s representation of a Dane complicating any straightforward opposition between the Engleis and the Daneis is Cnut. The English, the Estoire tells us, flocked to Cnut s support when he invaded. Cnut, king of England from to as well as king of Denmark, Norway and parts of Sweden, gets a wholly good press from Gaimar as a good king. The portrayal of Cnut s attempted reconciliation with Edmond Ironside, following his capture of half the kingdom, is particularly positive.
He addresses Edmund thus: Eadmund, un poi atent! Daneis le tint en chef de Deu, Mordret donat Certiz son feu: Il ne tient unkes chevalment, De lui vindrent vostre parent. Ne jo ne vus ne se complaigne! Puis conquerom cele partie Dunt jo ne vus n[en] avom mie! Edmund, wait a moment. I am a Dane and you are English; both of our fathers were kings, both ruled over the country, and each was master in the land.
As long as it was in their power to do so, each did exactly as he saw fit. Our Danish ancestors, I ll have you know, have been ruling here for a very long time. Almost a thousand years before king Cerdic came to the throne, Danr was king. Cerdic was your ancestor, and king Danr was mine.
A Dane held the land in the chief from God. It was Mordred who granted Cerdic his fief; he never held in chief, and your family descended from him. In case Interfaces pp. This is why I am willing to make you an offer [of peace] one that I will not seek to back down from: let us divide the kingdom exactly in two, with one part going to you and the other remaining with me, in such a way that neither I nor you will have any cause for complaint. Thereafter let us conquer that part of the kingdom that neither you nor I have possession of.
As we conquer it, so let s divide it between us. Let you and me be brothers by adoption! I shall swear a solemn oath to you, and you to me, that we will have the same sort of fraternal relations as if we had been born of the same mother, and as if were two brothers of the same father and the same mother. Let there be exchange of sureties between us: trust me and I shall trust you! The terms of this pact were not subsequently honoured because of underhand machinations in Edmund s camp then his death but the pact is sealed with a kiss and Edward implicitly accepts Cnut s argument that the two men have more in common than divides them as descendants from the same Royal Danish stock nostre parent in implicitly refers to both men , with a shared history of interrelations going back centuries.
Cnut s contention that whereas English royalty owes its sovereignty to a man Mordred , Danish royalty received its authority from God belies the text s earlier labelling of the Danes as pagans, but implicitly gives Cnut the greater right to rule. The Realpolitik of the two men agreeing to join together to share the parts of the kingdom neither controls is also instructive as to the solidarity of the English in the face of Danish invaders, and as in near contemporary chansons de geste, ideas of right and wrong tort, are subsumed to questions of power and domination: if you are right you win; you lose if wrong.
Ian Short remarks that one of the most unexpected aspects of Gaimar s attitude to English history is in his treatment of the Danes Geffrei Gaimar xliii and this precisely because they appear in a positive light. This has implications for how the text represents English identity. Even more significantly, the same process of the blurring of boundaries between the English and their antagonists occurs with the Normans.
Not coincidentally the beginning of this process both in the Estoire and in reality involves Cnut in that he marries Emma of Normandy, daughter and sister of the Duke of Normandy, who Interfaces pp. For an illuminating account of the networked nature of Norman England, see Bates, particularly had previously been married to Ethelred the Unready, mother of Edward the Confessor, king of England Though the Norman involvement in England starts earlier see for example line , it was through Emma that it intensified. William, in other words, is above all a cross-channel, cosmopolitan leader.
It is equally noteworthy that Gaimar oscillates between referring to the new ruling class as Normans and referring to them as French. Since their being French clearly gives no sense of their being associated with, or subject to, the French crown, French here simply means from the other side of the channel. If this is then put together with the frequent references to the presence of Flemings usually mercenaries in England , , , , , the political map of late eleventh- and early twelfth-century England Gaimar is implicitly drawing is not reducible simply to an English-Norman axis in the immediate post-conquest era.
The position of England, rather, is determined by a longer history of networks established by contact across the channel and the North Sea, with a good portion of the coast on the other side of the channel being French-speaking, though not politically French. William Rufus s courtly court is exemplary in this respect. In Gaimar s account, England has at this stage a cosmopolitan court at its symbolic centre where magnates from many different places gather, including from France as opposed to Normandy , where William is extending his power base with the enthusiastic help of English lords , or from Flanders.
Gaimar s playful attention to the squabbling of courtiers at William s coronation court notes the origins of the different factions, but their specific identity seems less important than the courtly scenario that underlines William s pre-eminence: Welsh kings vie for his favour at his court, and for the privilege of taking up the subservient position of sword bearer. One lord, Hugh of Chester, balks at this, however, and after some courtly bantering, is asked to bear the golden royal staff instead.
This courtly feinting leads to Hugh swearing fealty , which in turn leads to the granting of North Wales , but the dominant image of Interfaces pp. There is a second, shorter and more conventional, epilogue that only occurs in one of the four manuscripts; see Short, Geffrei Gaimar this passage is the spectacle of William s court as a place in which powerful men from Normandy and the British Isles vie with each other for positions of domestic subservience in the king s entourage.
This scene would not be out of place in an Arthurian romance. Tellingly within a hundred lines we are told of another of William s courtiers, Malcolm king of Scotland , who is involved in William s affairs on both sides of the channel, while Gaimar also underlines the connectedness of William to the Kingdom of Jerusalem through his fractious brother Robert.
If Gaimar glosses over the unpleasantness of their family squabble, a picture nonetheless emerges of an England embedded in a complex set of networks stretching in all directions, even to the distant Eastern Mediterranean. The purely Anglo-Norman axis of relations between England and Normandy, or even England and France, is but part of this more complex set of networks.
What role does language play in this? In his lengthy epilogue, Gaimar stresses the multilingual nature of his sources: 9 Ceste estorie fist translater Dame Custance la gentil. Si sa dame ne i aidast, Ja a nul jor ne l achevast. Ele eveiad a Helmeslac Pur le livre Walter Espac.
Dame Custance l enpruntat De son seignur k el mult amat. De tut le plus pout ci trover Ki en cest livre volt esgarder. The noble lady Constance had this history adapted into French.
Gaimar took March and April and a whole twelve months before finishing this adaptation of [the history of] the kings [of Britain]. He obtained a large number of copies of books English books, by dint of learned reading, and books both in the French vernacular and Latin before finally managing to bring his work to a conclusion. If his lady had not helped him, he would never have completed it. She sent to Helmsley for Walter Espec s book. Robert earl of Gloucester had had this historical narrative translated in accordance with the books belonging to the Welsh that they had in their possession on the subject of the kings of Britain.
Walter Espec requested this historical narrative, earl Robert sent it to him, and then Walter Espec lent it to Ralf fitz Gilbert; lady Constance borrowed it from her husband, whom she loved dearly. Geoffrey Gaimar made a written copy of the book and added it to the supplementary material that the Welsh had omitted, for he had previously obtained, Interfaces pp. And this historical narrative was improved by also by reference to the Winchester History, [that is,] a certain English book at Washingborough, in which he found a written account of the kings [of Britain] and of all the Emperors who had dominion over Rome and tribute from England, and of the kings who had held lands of these emperors, of their lives and their affairs, what happened to them and what deeds they performed, how each one governed the land, which one loved peace and which one war.
Anyone willing to look in this [Washingborough] book will be able to find there all this and more. The context in which Gaimar writes is portrayed as one in which books written in English, French, Latin, and Welsh are circulating among cultivated patrons eager to learn about English history, and a writer such as Gaimar is clearly expected to use sources in all four languages.
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But these languages differ in nature: whereas English and Welsh are local, indigenous languages, tied to specific regions and delimited communities, French and Latin are neither indigenous, nor specific to the British Isles. Indeed, these languages enable textual mobility and translation in the physical sense of the term. It is interesting, then, that although the Welsh and English sources Gaimar uses are key to his endeavour, particularly the l estorie de Wincestre almost certainly the Winchester Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , these sources are also represented as in need of supplementation.
I have retained Short s translation, but this masks a number of problems. First, in his translation of lines , he introduces the term French vernacular for clarity in order to translate romanz, which is indeed the standard word for French of the period. But the syntax actually subordinates both romanz and latin in line to par gramaire in line In other words, both romanz and latin are types of gramaire, which is usually a synonym for Latin. This seems to imply that French should be regarded as equivalent to, or at least in the same class of languages, as Latin.
Secondly, Short s translation specifies that cest livre in line is to be understood as this [Washingborough] book. Yet syntactically it is equally possible that Gaimar refers here to his own book, particularly given the presence of the spatial marker ci in line , which Short translates as there, but more obviously means here. Thus, despite all the local and authoritative Latin sources, if you want to know de tut le plus in this instance you need a book in French in that you need to read Gaimar s Estoire.
It is interesting, then, given the Estoire s status as the earliest surviving French history book, that Gaimar suggests that historical writing in French is already in circulation; he also goes on to spar with a figure called Davit, whose work is implicitly also in French, but whose account of history Gaimar finds wanting, though he sings well of courtly intrigue. Given the status Gaimar assumes for French here, the purely insular circulation of the Estoire is striking.
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This cannot, however, be attributed to a lack of interest in his subject matter. This is not simply to do with the unmistakable Anglo-Norman phonological features found throughout the text see Short, Geffrei Gaimar xxxii xxxvii , which do not in and of themselves render the text incomprehensible to continental readers, nor would they preclude the transposition of the text into a more Continental form of French, which happens with other Anglo-Norman texts. Interestingly, many passages of the Estoire seem clearly addressed to readers who also know English.
This is a technique also used by Wace, but a good deal less frequently. It is not clear that rhymes such as these tell us anything about how the words were actually pronounced in a reading of the text, since the intention may have been to produce eye-rhymes, the spelling of the words may be modified in transmission, and all our surviving manuscripts postdate the composition of the text considerably. On the other hand, the high frequency of English proper nouns and the accuracy with which they are recorded in the Estoire suggests that it is the phonology of the French word that is implicitly modified by rhyming with an English word.
In many instances of multilingual rhyming, a variety of parts of speech, not just proper Interfaces pp. Elsewhere Gaimar uses unambiguously English words, and if, again as in Wace, some of these might have had some continental currency thanks precisely to Arthurian literature or indeed to the circulation of Wace s texts for example uthlages and elsewhere; wesheil and drincheil , others either have a quaintly franglais flavour e. Gaimar s use of French is therefore at one and the same time local and particularised, and yet it also plays on the status of French as a mobile, supralocal European language, like Latin.
As a writer he is not in any way dependent on French models, nor is he apparently concerned to reproduce the language of native French speakers from France. One important corollary, however, of Gaimar s French being directed at a Francophone readership with a good knowledge of English is the sharper focus this gives less on the mobility of texts in French per se since this text does not appear to have been particularly mobile than on the importance for his readers of knowing French in order to partake in certain types of supralocal, pan-european cultural and political networks, networks from which monolingual English or Welsh readers would by definition have been excluded.
Flanders c and Acre c I began the previous section by noting the focus in modern accounts of French literary history on twelfth-century texts. Indeed, apart from devotional texts, the two Interfaces pp. The following account draws on all these sources. When each of these texts is read in isolation, their particular articulation of history might seem rather different to that of Gaimar s Estoire. Yet as with Gaimar s Estoire, we have plenty of evidence that in reception at least and possibly in conception too , this narrative material is subsumed to a broader drive, that manifests itself with different ideological agendas in different parts of Europe, to produce a continuous history of Occidental culture running from Biblical history, through ancient history particularly as cathected through the Trojan myth, then often through Arthurian history, and finally to the medieval present day.
The Histoire thereby offers a vast universal history that effectively narrates the foundation of Europe, with particular attention to the seminal Trojan myth, for which it was an important vehicle of transmission in many parts of medieval Europe. Indeed, it is interesting that at various points in this collage of material from different sources, the term Europe seems to be used not simply to designate a geographical continent though clearly this is one of its meanings , but also a cultural entity, conflating Occidental Christendom with the European, and thereby making the Histoire a key early text for the emergence of a properly European identity.
In transmission it was sometimes associated with Li Fait des Romains and it is the compo- Interfaces pp. Furthermore, the Histoire s eccentric in every sense of the term manuscript transmission makes it a particularly interesting instance of the supralocal use of French: composed outside France, the earliest manuscript witnesses of this text, dating from the mid-thirteenth century, are from Acre in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and from Northern France.
There is then some transmission later in the century of this so-called first redaction in Italy and Northern France, deriving from the Levantine tradition, but later medieval versions from France demonstrably all derive from a copy of a substantially revised version made in Naples before London, British Library, Royal 20 D 1 , taken to France as a gift for the French king some time before , and written in a form of French with palpable linguistic traces of its Italian origin.
This revised version is a substantively different text: it no longer includes Biblical material, and incorporates a much-expanded new Troy section. The Histoire ancienne therefore demonstrates that the centrifugal model of textual transmission that is often assumed for major French literary texts, whereby texts are composed in France and then move outwards, is often quite erroneous. Indeed, the transmission of the Histoire is if anything centripetal with respect to France itself: the text seems to have skirted around France, only to return from further afield in a different form before gaining a more sustained readership in France.
Spiegel s pioneering work focuses on a group of texts in French that emerge mainly from Flanders in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries; these include the Histoire. She is not concerned with earlier historiographical texts written in French verse in England such as Gaimar s Estoire because her interest is in exploring the relation between the development of prose in French and the writing of vernacular history. Crucially, Spiegel shows that the corpus of texts from Flanders she examines was written for, and promoted by, the chivalric nobility on the porous, unstable borders of France, not royalty as had sometimes previously been assumed.
She compellingly locates in this corpus of texts the rise of vernacular prose historiography and central to this is what she sees as a move to create a clearer distinction between history on the one hand, and the fictions of prior romances on the other For Spiegel, the adoption of prose was key to this. On the question of prose from a more literary perspective, see the brief but nuanced remarks of Baumgartner. On the crucially important BNF f. But the arguments in favour of the manuscript being from Acre advanced by Folda and Zinelli are compelling.
On the verse segments see Szkilnik and Blumenfeld- Kosinski. Spiegel s conclusions have been widely accepted by both historians and literary scholars, but there are a number of problems here that are worth revisiting. Thus, despite her initially nuanced consideration of the cultural geography of Flanders, the texts under discussion become subsumed in her account to French historiography, and to a narrative that culminates in royal history.
Yet this is to simplify their complex transmission through space and time and her argument fails to account adequately for the popularity of a text in French like the Histoire in Italy and the Eastern Mediterranean, distant from the historical context on the borders of Flanders and France in which she situates them. Finally, many of the stylistic features and rhetorical moves concerning historical veracity that Spiegel regards as indices of the historical nature of these texts, are also ubiquitous in texts she, along with many literary critics, regards as more properly fictional or literary.
It is, however, nonetheless striking that what France is becomes a matter of concern in this text, and thereby implicitly also a matter of concern to its geographically disparate readership. I shall comment briefly on two passages, the first taken from the text s lengthy verse prologue, the second a passage from the Aeneas section on the origins of France and of the king s of France.
As far as we can tell, the earliest version of the Histoire ancienne had a verse prologue of almost lines and many of its main narrative units were punctuated by moralising verse segments that gloss the action, sometimes precisely, sometimes rather loosely. Spiegel s survey of Interfaces pp. Furthermore, as she herself realises, some manuscripts retain the text of the verse moralisations, but copying them as prose, or alternatively they prosify them fully.
The contentions that the author s presence is felt more in the verse portions and that interpellations to the audience are progressively eliminated also require further investigation using a broader range of manuscripts. The verse prologue is the main source of information as to the text s Flemish origin, since it identifies Roger, castellan of Lille c c. The first half of the prologue is a disquisition on fallen humanity and the vanity of wealth. This segues into a summary of the Histoire s contents and it is from this that we can infer that the text was originally supposed to bring universal history up to the present day.
What, then, is the position of France in this account of history? De ceus qui la loi Deu tenoient E lui e ses ovres amoient Ce covendra plenierement Dire sanz nul delaiement. Des quels gens Flandres fu puplee Vos iert l estoire bien contee, Com se proverent, quel il furent, Com il firent que fere durent. Coker Joslin It will be entirely fitting to tell all and without delay about those who upheld God s religion and loved his works. About who was the first king of France, his Christian deeds and what he was called; and his descendants, who they were, how they conducted themselves, and about the fine churches they founded.
After this it will be relayed to all how the Vandals, Goths and Huns pilfered France, devastated it and plundered the churches. And then you will be told about the Normans, their conquests and deeds, how they destroyed Germany, Cologne and prosperous France, Anjou, Poitou, all Burgundy; and let there be no doubt that Flanders was not attacked by these vile people, or harmed.
You will be told the story of what people populated Flanders, how they were tested, who there were, and what they did in order to survive so long. As this suggests, though the text remained unfinished, the original intention was a universal history serving the political interests of the Count of Flanders. The plucky Flemish, in this historically dubious account, according to which the Normans laid Germany to waste, somehow resist, or are bypassed by, the invading Vandals, Goths and Huns, whereas the French have their lands decimated.
Furthermore, the lengthy moralization with which the prologue opens might well lead readers to infer moral failings on the part of the more recent French, initially good Christians, and founders of great churches, but then prey to successive waves of destruction, first from the East, then from the Normans. But what then is meant by France in this passage? Any reader with the modern Hexagon in mind might assume that Anjou, Poitou and Burgundy are invoked here as part of France.
But Anjou at this point was still disputed between the Plantagenets and the Capetians, as anyone writing in Flanders for a patron in the mouvance of the fractious count of Flanders would surely have known, and Burgundy was largely at this stage part of the Empire, not subject to the king of France. France is invoked here, but its con- Interfaces pp. The text is circumscribing France as much as defining it. Later in the text, the origins of France and of her kings are explicitly raised again. The portion of the text I quote here from the Aeneas section is unedited.
Friga fu nomes. Ains remest en Frige, cest en la terre de Troies, et o lui sa maisnee. Mais quant il vit qu il n i poroit arrester, qu il ne li convenist estre desous autrui segnori, et il s en parti et o lui grans gens toz de sa contree et de sa ligne, et lor femes et lor enfans. Et si se mistrent en mer [ Et il firent roi d un fill sien fiz, Fransios ot a non [ Seignors, cil puplerent cele terre, quar d aus vint et issi mout grans pueple.
Et de ces dient li pluisor que li Fransois issirent, et orent non Fransois por lor roi qui estoit preus et hardis et Fransion ot a non en lor premerain language. Et tels i a qui aferment et dient qu il vindrent premerainement d une isle qui Scanzia est apelee, dont li Got issirent, quar en cele isle a une terre qui iest encore France apelee. Et si mostrent cil qui ce dient tel raison encore que celle terre est auques voisine au regne qui fu au roi Latin qui fu pere a la royne Laivine que Eneas ot a feme.
De ceaus dient il ensi que Franse fu puplee. E peut bien estre qu adonques en celui tans i ariverent et vindrent et des uns et des autres. Mais n est mie certe choze li quel en orent des adonc la seignorie. Mais des celui tans fu ele puplee. Some say that Aeneas had a brother, who was called Friga, who did not leave with Aeneas, rather he remained in Frige, which is the land around Troy, with his household.
But when he realised it would not suit him to live subjected to another, he left, taking with him many people from his family lands, their wives and children. They took to sea [ He seized the realm between the Rhine and the Danube where no people had previously lived.
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My lords, they populated this land, for many great peoples came forth and issued from them. And some say the French issued from them and that they are called French because of their king, who was worthy and bold, and called Fransio in their original language. And there are others who affirm and say that they came first from an island that is called Scandinavia, from which the Goths came. For in this island there is a land still called France. And those who say this adduce another reason: that this land was close by the kingdom of the Latin king who was the father of queen Lavinia, Aeneas wife.
And Aeneas called the Latins French, because they were nearby and subjected. Some say this is how they populated France. And this may be so, because in those days people came and went.
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But it is not certain which people exactly were in control from that point onwards. Yet [France] was populated from this point onwards. This passage offers competing accounts of the origin of France; one which locates France originally in the land of the Franks between the Rhine and the Danube portraying the French as descendants of a minor branch of Trojan royalty; then another in which the French come from Scandinavia, land of the Goths, believed by many to be an island in the Middle Ages, yet also here represented as near the Latin kingdom that Aeneas seized through marriage.
The geography of the relation between Scandinavia and the regne qui fu au roi latin here is fuzzy and frankly fanciful ; the implication that the French might in fact have originally been Goths is also at odds with the account of the Gothic invasions in the prologue. Perhaps all we can know for sure here is that nothing is certain n est mie certe chose says the narrator regarding the question of lordship in the period under discussion.
Two chapters later the reader is offered yet another account of the origins of France and the French r 50r , one in which they descend from yet another group of migrating Trojans, who found a kingdom that is destroyed by Romans, as a result of which they fetch up in Germany, whence they take over France, then called Gaule. They are called Fransois by emperor Valentinian because c est ausi com hardis e crueus v: this means bold and cruel. The cumulative effect of these conflicting accounts Interfaces pp. As the Histoire succinctly puts it: people at that time came and went.
Be that as it may, France emerges here, in a text in French of early thirteenth-century Flemish provenance, and one that circulates extensively in the years following its composition in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Italy, more as a vague idea than as a geographically specific place or political entity, which is somewhat striking given this is precisely what it was clearly in the process of becoming. This view of France in a text in French might also give pause for thought as to what the use of the language actually connoted. As Serge Lusignan s recent work has shown, fransois almost certainly does not become the standard term for designating French until later in the thirteenth century see particularly Essai, 84 The context of this line which makes the text s Flemish provenance and original audience clear explicitly uncouples our language from France.
It may also be significant that it does so using a linguistic form which is also present in the other manuscript witness of this line that is only used in the Northernmost regions of the French linguistic area, the standard French feminine singular form of the possessive adjective being nostre. Other important studies include Busby and Delcorno Branca. On the transmission of the Roman de Troie in Italy, see Jung. Italy c Lengue franceise cort parmi le monde, so writes Martin da Canale, author of the Estoire de Venise ed.
Limentani 1. If we put this remark together with the Histoire s claim to be using nos lengue, the most salient feature of the proprietorship of French in the Middle Ages is precisely that it belongs to no one, or perhaps more accurately to any Francophone Christian, as the vernacular language that transcends borders, linguistic and otherwise. One of the most important regions for the production and transmission of texts in French is Italy, particularly Northern Italy, the most celebrated and successful example being Marco Polo and Rustichello da Pisa s Le Devisement du Monde, composed in Genoa in , better known in the Anglophone world as Marco Polo s Travels.
Italian readers of French seem to have had a particular taste for Arthurian romance in the form of the prose Tristan, but also for texts with an historical bent: chansons de geste of which there is a significant Northern Italian tradition , the Histoire ancienne, and the matter of Troy. A good deal of this so-called Franco-Italian material is under researched; some is as yet unedited. On literary culture in the Veneto more generally, see Folena. That two of these manuscripts come from the Veneto, with the third closely associated with it, is significant.
While there is a rich Latin historiographical tradition in the Veneto in the thirteenth century, Venetan vernacular textual culture, including historiography, is at this point and as far as we know, in Occitan or French. The choice of French as a vehicle for historical narrative in the Veneto, as Laura Morreale and others have argued in relation to Martin da Canale s Estoire de Venise , almost certainly signals an affiliation with the Crusader States of the Eastern Mediterranean as much as it does an affiliation to the French aristocracy.
How are we to evaluate its language and style? Finally, for whom was this new version of the Troy story intended? The first thing to note is that this text works closely with its source, following its plotlines, but rewriting it often profoundly on a stylistic level.
I reproduce the rubrics in red, and in blue textual material that has a direct correspondence in the verse romance. This book speaks of the siege and the destruction of Troy. And of why Troy was destroyed and confounded. Rubrica, Rubrica. Solomon the most wise teaches us and exhorts us in his book that one should not hide one s wisdom. Rather one should teach and convey it to others honourably and in order to obtain and have a fine reputation. Thus did our ancestors behave. And if those who invented the seven arts had been silent, men would live now like beasts.
Indeed, they would not know wisdom from folly, and they would not care for each other, for they would neither have nor observe reason. But because they did teach and convey their knowledge to others, their names are recorded and remembered over the ages. And if they had not done so, their wisdom and knowledge would now be lost, without profit.
And because one must always learn and teach, I want to work on putting a Interfaces pp. It is about how Troy was destroyed and confounded, concerning which the truth is little known. Here [the book] speaks of how Homer, the clerk, dealt with the siege and destruction of Troy. This Homer wrote about the origins of the war up to the destruction of Troy. And why Troy was destroyed and her people disinherited. But because Homer was not born until years after Troy was destroyed and her people disinherited, his book was not always considered truthful.
Indeed, he had not seen any of this. And when Homer had written his book and it was taken to the city of Athens, and read by the wise clerks, they rightfully condemned it, for he had the gods doing battle with the Trojans. Likewise he had goddesses fighting with mortal men, which was considered great folly. But because Homer was a wise clerk, his book was considered authoritative and circulated.
And how Cornelius translated it into Latin. Sallust lived at that time, shortly after Rome s foundation. Sallust was from a very noble family, and he was bold, most worthy and a very wise clerk. Sallust had a nephew called Cornelius, who was very wise and knowledgeable, and learned. Cornelius was at school in Athens. One day Cornelius was searching around in his cupboard for one of his books. Darius was a Trojan. He was in the city and saw and observed everything that happened. The first thing to note is that either Grenoble s source was sloppy, or alternatively that it is a sloppy copy of its source.
In the passage translated here, he retains c. Meismement Beneoit, qi le livre trelaica, le nos tesmoigne ausi. Mes nos vos conterons de la plus grant houre [Douce histoire] qi james fust ni doie estre secuit [Douce escrite]. Grenoble, , 19r En ceste partie dit li contes, et Beneoite qi l estoire treslaita nes le tesmoigne, qe cele nuit passa en tel mainiere come je vos ai ai dit. Note too the instructions to the artist in Italian.
Thus on f. An example of the ideological reworking the text undergoes is the misogynistic rewriting of the Troilus and Crysede episode, which, as Jung points out , is grounded in a misreading or misunderstanding of the first-person verb form criem I fear as the noun crime. Interestingly, manicula against this passage in both Grenoble and Douce indicate not only that contemporary readers found this passage particularly significant, but also that the two manuscripts are related see Plate 3.
What are we to make of the language of this text? The most common term used to describe the French of Italy is hybrid, which is to say that French and Italian forms are mixed, sometimes to the extent Interfaces pp.