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A lost insular version of the romance of Octavian

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Byrne, A. (2014) A lost insular version of the romance of Octavian. Medium Aevum, 83 (2). pp. 288-302. ISSN 0025-8385‎

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Official URL: http://mediumaevum.modhist.ox.ac.uk/83/2

Abstract/Summary

This article is the first full examination of the Irish translation of the popular and influential medieval romance "Octavian". I argue that the source for this Irish translation was an insular version of the romance, probably in Middle English. I show how the Irish translator incorporated material from another romance, "Fierabras", in order to introduce the characters of Charlemagne and his vassals into the story. This is the only version of "Octavian" that gives the text a Carolingian setting. I also demonstrate that the version of the romance from which the Irish translation was produced differed in significant ways from any of the surviving versions in other languages. I suggest that the Irish translation provides our only witness to a lost variant version of "Octavian" and, as such, extends our knowledge of the corpus of insular romance in the Middle Ages.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies (GCMS)
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
ID Code:56339
Publisher:Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature

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