Le Roman de Tristan en prose

  • S. XIV2/4; parchment; mm 270 × 205; two folia.
  • Udine, State Archives, fragment 110

The text of Tristan in prose, which was the most successful romance in oïl language along the whole Middle Ages, emerges from a cover board of the notarial protocols of Lorenzo di Domenico of Lovaria, notary in Udine (1457-58).

The Tristan in prose, whose first redaction dates back to the third decade of the thirteenth century, is the most successful romance in oïl language along the whole Middle Ages. Through the embedding technique of quite a number of episodes it works out the myth of Tristan and Iseult and their mutual conflicting desire due to the unwilled consumption of a love potion, a story that in France had already found its extraordinary bards in the verses of the Anglo-Norman Thomas and the Norman Béroul. Among the Arthurian romances, Tristan in prose was the one that had major circulation in Italy, too. Next to its first wide diffusion in Tuscany, Tristan’s adventures made quite a stir also in Veneto. Among its witnesses in such a large area there is also the fragment kept in Udine, whose folia served as a cover-board for the notarial protocols of Domenico of Lovaria, notary in Udine (1457-58). As distinct to other witnesses of Northern Italy, the fragment of Udine evidences its belonging to the same group of other western-Tuscan manuscripts, which also the Tristano Veneto depends on. The fragment peculiar linguistic ‘facies’ points out a text that on the base of the oldest witness, probably of a western-Tuscan area, ultimately experienced the French ‘scripta’ copied in a northern Italian area, presumably in Veneto, in the first half of the fourteenth century.

Fragment 110 verso

Fragment 110 verso

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