Roman de Rou

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As quoted on this monument in Saint Helier, Wace informs the reader of the Roman de Rou that he was born in Jersey

Roman de Rou is a verse chronicle by Wace in Norman covering the history of the Dukes of Normandy from the time of Rollo of Normandy to the battle of Tinchebray in 1106. It is a national epic of Normandy.

Following the success of his Roman de Brut which recounted the history of the Britons, Wace was apparently commissioned by Henry II of England to write a similar account of the origins of the Normans and their conquest of England. Wace abandons his tale before bringing it up to date, telling the reader in the final lines of Part III that the king had entrusted the same task to a Maistre Beneeit (believed to be Benoît de Sainte-More).

The work was started in the year 1160, and Wace seems to have performed his last revisions in the mid-1170s.

Composition[edit]

The work consists of:

  • a 315-line account of the Dukes in reverse chronological order known as the Chronique Ascendante. This is believed by some scholars not be an original part of the Rou, but a separate work by Wace.
  • a 4,425-line section in alexandrines known as Part II
  • an 11,440-line section in octosyllables known as Part III

A 750-line section known as Le Romaunz de Rou et des dus de Normendie appended in some editions appears to be an early draft, abandoned and later reworked into the final redaction.

Sources[edit]

Wace used as sources for his history of the Dukes of Normandy:

External sources[edit]

  • Norman-French text of Roman de Rou: [1]
  • Chronicle of the Norman Conquest from Roman de Rou translated by Edgar Taylor, 1837: [2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]