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Aroundight -- sources [weap:sword] [English Romance][Arthurian]

§ Aroundight and Lancelot in Bevis of Hamptoun

§ Manuscripts of Bevis

The breakdown of texts, provided online by Russell A. Peck in Cinderella Bib. - Sources & Analogues, citing Flanagan, Sarah Patricia. The Male Cinderella in English Metrical Romance. MA Thesis. Providence: Brown University, 1931 as his source.

[Bevis - "A" group of texts]:
  • Cambridge University Library Ff.2.38, fols 102r-133r (1450-1500);
  • Caius Cambridge 175, fols 131v-156r (1400-1450);
  • Egerton 2862, fols 45v-94r, 96v-96r (1375-1400);
  • Advocates 19.2.1 (Auchinleck), fols 176v-201v (ca. 1330);
  • Naples, Royal Library XIII.B.29, pp. 23-79 (ca. 1457).
[Bevis - "B" group of texts]:
  • Chetham 8009, fols 122v-187r (1450-1500);
  • Trinity Cambridge 117 (fragment), fols 149-152 (1400-1500);
  • Wynkyn de Worde, Westminster 1500 (STC no. 1987);
  • R. Pynson, London, ca. 1503 (STC no. 1988);
  • W. Copland, ca. 1565 (STC no 1989).

§ Lancelot in a catalog of dragon-slayers.

Although Aroundight is not found in the Auchinleck ms., the inclusion of Lancelot in a catalog of dragon-slayers is found in both the Auchinleck and the Caius 175, viz.:

――   Sir Launcelot du Lake
Fought with the brenning drake4:
Guy of Warwick, I understand,
Slew a dragon in Northumberland;
But such a dragon was never seen
As Sir Bevis slew, I wene.

4 Burning dragon. See an account of this adventure in Malory's Morte Arthur, lib. xi. cap. i.
Sir Bevis, SEEMR, vol.2, ,
ed. George Ellis, pp.264-5
Þat Beues slouʒ þer in þat tide
Saue sire Launcelet de Lake;
He fauʒt wiþ a fur drake,
And Wade dede also,
2430 & neuer kniʒtes boute þai to.
Gij a Warwik, ich vnderstonde,
Slouʒ a dragoun in Norþhomberlonde.

Sir Beues of Hamtoun,
Auchinleck ms.,

§ Anglo-Norman origins

The website
Arthuriana A2Z Arondight in provides a tantalizing hint that "The sword belonging to 'Lancelot du Lac' in Norman romance," yet the description is woefully lacking in detail. Nevertheless this "Norman romance" must indeed be Bevis. Ellis says there is

"not .. sufficient authority for considering this romance to be founded on Saxon tradition. It is a translation from the Anglo-Norman".

And this opinion is generally held. But another problem with the way the Arthuraiana A2Z source phrases this is that it almost suggests the mention of Arondight is to be found in the surviving Anglo-Norman text*3 even though that is not the case. To quote from the Introduction to Bevis written by the Herzman team:

Bevis' battle with the dragon which likens him to St. George, the patron saint of England, and the descriptive urban war in London, for example, do not appear in the Anglo-Norman version.

These are exactly the two contexts in which Lancelot is mentioned in the Middle-English metrical romances, thus mention of Lancelot is also lacking in the surviving AN version, as Langlois*3 can attest.
*1 Ellis, George, 1753-1815 ed.,
Specimens of early English metrical romances (London : Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1805.) vol. 2 (of 3), pp. 239-281 "Sir Bevis".

*2 The Middle English metrical romance "Sir Beues of Hamtoun ", in the Auchinleck Ms., (ff.176ra-201ra).

*2a Camelot TEAMS Project e-text Bevis of Hampton, ed. Herzman et al.

*3 Anglo-Norman version, ed. A. Stimming [Stimming, Albert, 1846-1922], Der anglonormannische Boeve de Haumtonein Bibliotheca normannica, Vol. XII (Halle : M. Niemeyer, 1879-1938.)

*4 Langlois, Ernest 1857-1924 ed. Table des noms propres de..(Reprint 1971) includes the AN version of Bevis (abbr. BH), which he counts as a French chanson de geste.

§ Gastiga-folli in the Charlemagne romance L'Aspramonte

Andrea da Barberino (b. ca. 1370.) in his prose L'Aspramonte says that Lancelot's sword Gastiga-folli was (later) owned by Bovi d'Antona, a forefather of the "Vienne clan" (Gherardo di Fratta, Ulivieri), hocked to a Jew, fortuitously "returned" to Gherardo, who girt it onto his nephew Uliveri so he can return to the duel with Orlando.

Included in Barberino's I Reali di Francia collection of Charlamagne legends is an entire book of Buovo d'Antona, an Italian version of Sir Bevis.




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