The King of Tars

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The King of Tars is a medieval English chivalric romance, an amplified version of the oldest variant found in the Reimchronik, which is found in three manuscripts including the Auchinleck manuscript.[1] It contains many specific religious phrases, and is consistently religious in intent.[1]


A Christian princess refuses a pagan king but agrees to marry him to prevent war. They have a deformed child, and each blames the other's religion. However, baptism restores the child to beauty and health, causing the king to convert.


This romance appears to have influenced Le Bone Florence of Rome, where the heroine's kingdom is also attacked by a rebuffed suitor.[2] In that case, the reluctance springs from his age, and the work is less consistently religious.[3]

The deformed child is also in common with the romance Theseus of Cologne, where rivals use the child to accuse the queen of adultery, but the child is also restored by miracle.[4]


  1. ^ a b Laura A. Hibbard, Medieval Romance in England p45 New York Burt Franklin,1963
  2. ^ Laura A. Hibbard, Medieval Romance in England p15 New York Burt Franklin,1963
  3. ^ Carol Falvo Heffernan, Le Bone Florence of Rome, p 31-2 ISBN 0-7190-0647-3 OCLC 422642874
  4. ^ Margaret Schlauch, Chaucer's Constance and Accused Queens, New York: Gordian Press 1969 p 125

External links[edit]

  • Text from the Auchineck manuscript