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Walter Of Châtillon’s Alexandreis

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Chapter Summary

The dawn of the 12th century saw the development of the knightly class and, at the same time, a literature in the vernacular destined for lay people, who did not know Latin. This literature found its subject matter in the warrior and Christian legends from the beginnings of medieval society, but also in the mise en roman, that is to say the translation into French of the texts of Latin Antiquity: it is the birth of the romance genre. In contrast to the ancient trilogy Thèbes, Troie, Enéas, and to other romances in verse of the 12th and 13th centuries, the romances of Alexander were written in epic laisses, which tended to become longer from one text to the next. A literary myth was constructed around Alexander in medieval romances.

Keywords:French Alexander romances; medieval myth

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