Open main menu

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 standard edition is by Carin Fahlin (Uppsala), 3 vols. 1951–195x.


  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.
  4. ^ Alfred Foulet, reviewing Fahlin in Modern Language Notes 70.4 (April 1955), p 313.


  • 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. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  • 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