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Mediaevalia

Volume 25, Issue 2, 2004

An Old French Romance and its Adaptations

Eugenia Margarida Neves dos Santos
Pages 25-35

D'Un Imaginaire à l'Autre
Partonopeus de Blois et la Historia de l'Esforçat Cavaller Partinobles

This paper offers an introduction to the anonymous Catalan Historia de I'Esforgat Cavalier Partinobles; the author discusses some of the principal differences between the Historia and the Old French Partonopeus de Blois. She notes that the opening episodes of the Catalan text are marked by a strong element of fantasy and provide an alternative version of the family history of Melior and her sister; also that in Partonopeus the character of Gaudin is already a Christian when he first appears, but that in the Historia his conversion forms part of the main story. These and other changes, including the introduction of a Moorish sorceress and a mysterious sword which may be wielded only by a Christian, are related to the historical context of Christian / Muslim conflict in northern Spain against which the text was composed. The author also considers questions of cultural transmission, concluding that the Catalan adaptation is not simply a re-telling of the Partonopeus story, but also serves as a means of preserving an endangered language,

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