Rustichello da Pisa

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Rustichello da Pisa, also known as Rusticiano and Rustigielo (fl. late 13th century), was an Italian romance writer best known for cowriting Marco Polo's autobiography while they were in prison together in Genoa. A native Pisan, he may have been captured by the Genoese at the Battle of Meloria in 1284, amid a conflict between the Republic of Genoa and Pisa. When Polo was imprisoned around 1298, perhaps after a clash between Genoa and Venice (according to tradition the Battle of Curzola[1]), he dictated his tales of travel to Rustichello, and together they turned it into the book known as The Travels of Marco Polo.

Earlier, Rustichello had written a work in French known as the Roman de Roi Artus (Romance of King Arthur) or simply the Compilation, derived from a book in the possession of Edward I of England, who passed through Italy on his way to fight in the Eighth Crusade in 1270-1274.[2] The Compilation contains an interpolation of the Palamedes, a now-fragmentary prose account of Arthur's Saracen knight Palamedes and the history of the Round Table.[3] It was later divided into two sections, named after their principal protagonists, Meliadus (Tristan's father) and Guiron le Courtois; these remained popular for hundreds of years, and influenced works written in French as well as in Spanish, Italian, and even Greek.


  1. ^ The Travels of Marco Polo, p. 16.
  2. ^ "Rusticiano da Pisa." In Lacy, Norris J.,The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, p. 392. New York: Garland, 1991. ISBN 0-8240-4377-4.
  3. ^ Lacy, Norris J. (1991). "Palamedes." In Lacy, Norris J., The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, p. 352. New York: Garland, 1991. ISBN 0-8240-4377-4.


  • Lacy, Norris J. (1991). The New Arthurian Encyclopedia. New York: Garland, 1991. ISBN 0-8240-4377-4.
  • Polo, Marco; Latham, Ronald (translator) (1958). The Travels of Marco Polo. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-044057-7
  • Cigni, Fabrizio. (1994). Il romanzo arturiano di Rustichello da Pisa, Edizione critica, traduzione e note, Pisa: Pacini, 1996.

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