L’Estoire del saint Graal

  • S. XIII ex.; parchment; mm 280 × 228; one folium*; illustrated (an inhabited initial)
  • Udine, State Archives, fragment 107

The fragment, used by the notary Decio di Leonardo Deciani of Tolmezzo in the years 1598-99, contains episodes referable to the first part of the romance of the successful French prose anonymous cycle.

Though it serves as a prologue to the Arthurian age events (the narration deals with the Grail’s ‘journey’ from the East to the West, to Corbenic Castle in Great Britain, due to Joseph of Arimathea and his son, the bishop Josephés, as well as with Arthur’s ancestor’s conversion to Christianity, and with the knights of the Round Table), this prequel section was lately added to the original Lancelot-cycle core, only towards the first half of the thirteenth-century fourth decade. In the fragment queen Saracinte, identifiable by the crown on her head, is portrayed inside a capital C letter. The fragment is to be referred to the so called ‘long version’ of the romance that was, at least in its first part, the most followed in the handwritten copies of Italian tradition. It apparently belonged to a manuscript written towards 1290 by an amanuensis with linguistic habits of the northern Italian area, perhaps from western Veneto, who probably copied from a codex produced in the eastern area of France.

Fragment 107 with the initial containing queen Saracinte’s portray

Fragment 107 with the initial containing queen Saracinte’s portray

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