The Roman De Troie By Benoît De Sainte-Mauré
First English translation of an important twelfth-century romance, giving an account of the Trojan war and its consequences. Benoît de Sainte-Maure's Roman de Troie, dating to around 1165, is, along with the Roman de Thèbes and the Roman d'Eneas, one of the three "romances of antiquity" (romans d'antiquité). These romances launched the plots, themes and structures of the genre, then blossoming in the hands of authors such as Chrétien de Troyes. As an account of the Trojan War, Benoît's work is of necessity a poem about war and its causes, how it was fought and what its consequences were for the combatants. But the author's choice of the octosyllabic rhyming couplet, his fondness for description, his ability to recount the intensity of personal struggles, and above all his fascination with the trials and tribulations of Love, which affect some of the work's most prominent warriors (among them Paris and his love for Helen, and Troilus and his love for Briseida), all combine to fashion this romance - in which events from long ago are presented as a reflection of the poet's own feudal and courtly worlds. This translation, the first into English, aims to bring the poem and the author to a wider audience. It is accompanied by an introduction and notes.
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