Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Latin Arthurian Literature

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Latin Arthurian Literature

Article excerpt

Latin Arthurian Literature, ed. and trans. Mildred Leake Day, Arthurian Archives 11 (Cambridge: Brewer, 2005). vii + 284 pp. ISBN 1-84384-064-2. £50.00. This extremely useful and valuable edition, which deserves to be in every medievalist's library, presents the four major stand-alone Latin texts about King Arthur for which a twelfth-century origin can be argued, togedier with parallel translations, in a single authoritative volume. There is a concise introduction providing detailed information about the content of the texts, date and audiorship, their sources and influence, and a review of scholarship for each. De ortu Waluuanii nepotis Arturi, attributed by Bale to Robert of Torigni, Abbot of Mont Saint-Michel (1154-86), and preserved in an early fourteenth-century manuscript, is a full-length prose romance containing tales of Gawain (pp. 56-120, even pages). Its dating has been contested by some modern scholars. It was edited by J. D. Bruce in 1898, and again by the present editor in a Garland volume of 1984. The first version of her translation was contained in a University of Alabama dissertation in 1975. This is a conservative edition, following slighdy different conventions of orthography and punctuation from the 1984 text. The second Latin prose romance, Historia Meriadoci regis Cambric (pp. 122-206, even pages), is rather different in character and includes judicial batdes fought by Meriadoc against the Black, Red, and White Knights before King Arthur and a remarkable confrontation with the Goddess Fortuna and her retinue in the Odier World. It is considered to be by the same author as De ortu and is edited here from the same manuscript (London, BL, Cotton MS Faustina B VI). …

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