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Karlamagnús saga

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Title: Karlamagnús saga  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Roland, The Song of Roland, Wayland the Smith, Chanson de geste, Ogier the Dane, Abila Lysaniou, Chivalric sagas
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Karlamagnús saga

The Karlamagnús saga, Karlamagnussaga or Karlamagnus-saga ("saga of Charlemagne") was a late 13th century Norse prose compilation and adaptation, made for Haakon V of Norway, of the Old French chansons de geste of the Matter of France dealing with Charlemagne and his paladins.[1] In some cases, the Karlamagnús saga remains the only source for otherwise-lost Old French epics.[2]

The vast work is divided into 10 chapters, or "branches". Among its many tales, the work includes the following:[3]

  • a version of the tale of Dame Olive et Landri - the author says the text is based on an English version; it is an adaptation of the French chanson de geste Doon de la Roche[4] a work also known in medieval Spain under the title Historia de Enrique, Fi de Oliva[5]
  • King Agolant - a version of Agolant tale from the Historia Caroli Magni;
  • Otuel - a version of the French poem Otinel;
  • Af Runzival Bardaga - a version of The Song of Roland textually close (although with a few notable differences) to the Oxford manuscript;
  • the story of Basin - no French version of this tale is extant[6]

The saga was translated into Swedish verse in the fourteenth century as Karl Magnus.[7]

See also


  • Holmes, Jr, Urban Tigner [U.T.]. A History of Old French Literature from the Origins to 1300. New York: F.S. Crofts, 1938.
  • Crosland, Jesse. The Old French Epic. New York: Haskell House, 1951.

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