Bibliography: Frankish Literature

Frankish Sources

Due to the difference between the Arthurian and Frankish sources, I have decided that the Songs of Deeds (Frankish legend) section should have their own bibliography pages.

I have not confine the Songs of Deeds to just legend about Charlemagne. I will include some knightly tales from literature that are unrelated to both Carolingian and Arthurian legends. I may include something like the legend of El Cid in the near future.

The main difficulties are finding English translations and money to buy these books. I have very little money, so I can only spent on what’s available and what’s affordable. Another problem is location. I lived in Melbourne, so it not easy finding translations, here. Even in the library, there are limitation. (Of course, there are books that can be found on the Internet, where they can deliver it to your door. Only one problem with that…. I don’t have a credit card.)

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Texts

The following books are translations that I have read. If you were interested in reading these literatures, then I would highly recommend that you read these books. These books are the main sources of information for Timeless Myths.

Most of these books are actually books I have brought over the years. A few books listed here come from books I either borrow or read in the library.

 

unknown
The Song of RolandThe Song of Roland
translated by Glyn Burgess
Penguin Classics, 1990(The most famous of Old French poem in the chansons de geste, which centre around Charlemagne and his knights. It was possibly written by Turoldus, a name found at the ending of the poem. Though, this has nothing to do with the Arthurian legend, but sometimes a hero or two are mentioned in the Arthurian romances.)

 

unknown
Heroes of the French EpicHeroes of the French Epic
A Selection of Chanson de Geste
translated by Michael A. E. Newth
Boydell Press, 2005
* Highly Recommended *Don’t have this book yet. Very expensive, but it would be worth it. It contained several other chansons.

  • Gormont and Isembart
  • The Song of William
  • Charlemagne’s Pilgrimage
  • Raoul of Cambrai
  • Girart of Vienne

 

Ludovico Ariosto
Orlando FuriosoOrlando Furioso
translated by Guido Waldman
Oxford World’s Classics, rev. 2008(Italian chivalric legend of Charlemagne, particularly of the love triangle of Orlando (French Roland), Rinaldo (French Renaud) and Angelica, and the Saracen Ruggerio and Brandamant.)


Orlando Furioso (“Orlando Enraged”)
William Stewart Rose, 1910
Online Medieval and Classical Library

(A 1910 translation of Orlando Furioso.)

 

Einhard
Two Lives of CharlemagneEinhard, Notker the Stammerer
Two Lives of Charlemagne
translated by Lewis Thorpe
Penguin Classics


The Life of Charlemagne
translated by Samuel Epes Turner
Harper & Brothers, 1880
Medieval Sourcebook

 

The Monk of Saint Gall
The Life of Charlemagne
translated by A.J. Grant, 1926
Medieval Sourcebook

 

Gregory of Tours
History of the FranksHistory of the Franks
translated by Lewis Thorpe
Penguin Classics


History of the Franks
translated by Earnest Brehaut
abridged version, 1916
Medieval Sourcebook

 

Geoffrey of Monmouth
The History of the Kings of Britain
translated by Lewis Thorpe
Penguin Classics, 1966
* Highly Recommended *(Also called Historia regum Britanniae or History. This was written in Latin, in 1137. See the Life of King Arthur. The reason why I put this book here, is because Gerin, one of the Twelve Peers was seen as one of Arthur’s captains in the war against Rome.)

 

Wace and Layamon
The Life of King Arthur
translated by Judith Weiss & Rosamund Allen,
Everyman, 1997
* Highly Recommended *(Wace was an Anglo-Norman, who wrote the Roman de Brut, in French, probably in 1155. While Layamon was an English writer, who wrote the Brut in 1200. See the Life of King Arthur.Wace adapted Geoffrey’s Historia, adding some new detail into it, such as the Fellowship of the Round Table. While Layamon adapted his work from Geoffrey and Wace, providing a more magical side into the legend.The reason why I put this book here, is because Gerin, one of the Twelve Peers was seen as one of Arthur’s captains in the war against Rome.)

 

unknown
The Poem of the CidThe Poem of the Cid
translated by Rita Hamilton and Janet Perry (Translator)
Penguin Classics, 1985.


The Lay of the Cid
translated by R. Selden Rose and Leonard Bacon
Berkeley, 1919
Online Medieval and Classical Library

 

 


 

Other Texts

The following works are translations that I have not yet read, but I do suggest that you give these a try…. Well, if you can find them.

There are maybe several reasons why I haven’t read these works yet.

  • There is no English translation available yet.
  • The original is either fragmented or damaged, and probably not yet published.
  • It’s out of publication (OUT OF PRINT).
  • I couldn’t afford it (please, donate?).
  • It was available but I did not want to buy it.

However, if you do happened to find English translation of any of these works (preferably in paperback) that are affordable, please e-mail me the details (title, author, name of the translator, ISBN, and the publisher, etc).

 

Matteo Maria Boiardo
Orlando innamorato (“Orlando in Love”)

 

Wolfram von Eschenbach
Willehalm
early 13th century.Written in German, is based on the French epics of Guillaume d’Orange (William of Orange).

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