Medieval Romance


13th century, Old French: 14th century Middle English versions at Cambridge University Library, Lincoln Cathedral Library, British Library.

Clement's wife was delighted to see him and asked all his news and how he had come across the child.

Two outlaws readied themselves and made their way to the Aegean Sea. The baby was so handsome that no man could look upon it and not cry with joy. A Paris merchant approached them; his name was Clement the Villain.

Clement the Villain purchased a pannier to carry the baby in, and a nurse as well, to feed the infant. Then he made his way into France. He headed for Paris as quickly as he could and when he arrived at his hall he was received with great joy. His wife was delighted to see him and asked all his news and how he had come across the child.

'I found him in the Holy Land and could not abandon him, in all truth.'

His wife seemed pleased. He sall be myn awen childe. – He shall be my own child,' she said, and kissed the infant many times.

Story fragment recounted from: Hudson, Harriet, 1996, second edition 2006. Four Middle English Romances, Kalamazoo, Michigan: Western Michigan University for TEAMS. Medieval Institute Publications. The Middle English text of OCTAVIAN from Lincoln Cathedral Library MS 91, the Thornton Manuscript, with missing lines supplied from Cambridge University Library MS Ff 2.38.


The Medieval tale of Octavian, translated into Modern English.


Octavian – TEAMS Middle English texts

Medieval Romance – Wikipedia

Octavian – Wikipedia

Medieval Institute Publications ShopWMU – Harriet Hudson, 2006. Four Middle English Romances: Sir Isumbras, Octavian, Sir Eglamour of Artois, Sir Tryamour. Second edition. TEAMS Middle English texts


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