The 'Vida' of Queen Fredegund in 'Tote Listoire de France': vernacular translation and genre in thirteenth-century French and Occitan literature

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Leglu, Catherine (2017)

This article examines the role that translation may have played in the development of medieval vernacular literature. It analyses an extract of an early 13th-c. translation into a hybrid French-Occitan vernacular of an 8th-c. historical text, the 'Liber Historiae Francorum'. The translation coincides with the adoption of narrative prose both in Old French and in Occitan literature, which reflects a growing interest in historical writings. The second half of the article compares the anecdote with the narrative structures and content of one of the troubadour 'vidas' and 'razos' - biographical texts in prose that emerged in the same period and regions as this translation. The article concludes by suggesting that the new vernacular genre shares narrative features with the early medieval Latin text that are preserved in its translation.
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