Matthew Leigh Embleton

Musician, Composer, Producer, Language and History Enthusiast, and Author

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Bisclavret and Melion: Two Medieval Werewolf Tales: Old French Text, Translation, and Word List

Bisclavret was written by Marie de France between 1160 and 1175, while Melion was written by an unknown or anonymous writer between 1190 and 1204. While they are several decades apart, they have a number of similarities. This has led some people to believe that they could in fact originate from the same story, or perhaps they are both inventions drawing on the same source of icons and motifs found in the folklore, myth, and legends of the time. These 'lais' were popular in the courts of Europe in the late medieval period, drawing particularly on Breton and Arthurian myths and legends, which often contained elements of the supernatural to ornament what were moral tales of heroism and chivalry. They are both written in Old French, Bisclavret is in 'Anglo-Norman', whereas Melion is in the 'Picard dialect', both of which are part of the 'Langues d'oïl' dialect continuum of Gallo-Romance languages. Old French is the result of a gradual separation from Vulgar Latin and Common Romance, coming into contact with influences from Gaulish (Continental Celtic), and Frankish (Germanic). This edition is laid out in three columns, the original text, a literal word-for-word translation, and a modern translation. Also included is a word list with over 1,000 definitions.

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