Benoît de Sainte-Maure

Benoît de Sainte-Maure (French pronunciation: ​[bənwa də sɛ̃t moʁ]; died 1173) was a 12th-century French poet, most probably from Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine near Tours, France. The Plantagenets' administrative center was located in Chinon, west of Tours.[1]

Le Roman de TroieEdit

His 40,000 line poem Le Roman de Troie ("The Romance of Troy"), written between 1155 and 1160,[2] was a medieval retelling on the epic theme of the Trojan War which inspired a body of literature in the genre called the roman antique, loosely assembled by the poet Jean Bodel as the Matter of Rome. The Trojan subject itself, for which de Sainte-Maure provided an impetus, is referred to as the Matter of Troy.

Chronique des ducs de NormandieEdit

Another major work, by a Benoît, probably Benoît de Sainte-Maure, is a lengthy[3] verse Chronique des ducs de Normandie. Its manuscript at Tours, dating to 1180–1200, is probably the oldest surviving text in Old French transcribed on the Continent.[4] The first published edition was by Francisque Michel, 3 volumes, 1868-1844, based on the British Library manuscript. The standard edition[citation needed] is by Carin Fahlin (Uppsala), 3 volumes, 1951–1967, and is based on the Tours manuscript with variants from the British one.

'Beneeit' is mentioned at the end of Wace's Roman de Rou, which is also on the subject of the Dukes of Normandy:

Die en auant que dire en deit:
I'ai dit por Maistre Beneeit
Qui cest[e] oure a dire a emprise,
Com li reis l'a desour li mise.


  1. ^ Benoît's diction, an admixture of western and southwestern traits, does not make a distinction between these two places possible.
  2. ^ Roberto Antonelli "The Birth of Criseyde - An Exemplary Triangle: 'Classical' Troilus and the Question of Love at the Anglo-Norman Court" in Boitani, P. (ed) The European Tragedy of Troilus (Oxford: Clarendon Press) 1989 pp.21-48.
  3. ^ Length 44,544 lines, see Archives de littérature du Moyen Âge.
  4. ^ Alfred Foulet, reviewing Fahlin in Modern Language Notes 70.4 (April 1955), p 313.
  5. ^ Wace, Maistre Wace's Roman de Rou et des ducs de Normandie, edited by Dr. Hugo Andresen, published 1877. Available online via Internet Archive (page 481).


  • Benoît de Sainte-Maure, Le Roman de Troie, edited by Léopold Constans, 6 vols., Société des Anciens Textes Français, Paris: Firmin Didot, 1904–1912.
  • Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Benoît de Sainte-More" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  • Cristian Bratu, « Je, auteur de ce livre »: L’affirmation de soi chez les historiens, de l’Antiquité à la fin du Moyen Âge. Later Medieval Europe Series (vol. 20). Leiden: Brill, 2019 (ISBN 978-90-04-39807-8).
  • Cristian Bratu, “Translatio, autorité et affirmation de soi chez Gaimar, Wace et Benoît de Sainte-Maure.” The Medieval Chronicle 8 (2013): 135-164.
  • C. Durand, Illustrations médiévales de la légende de Troie. Catalogue commenté des manuscrits fr. illustrés du Roman de Troie et de ses dérivés, Brepols Publishers, 2010, ISBN 978-2-503-52626-3

External linksEdit