«Paris et Vienne» and its Swedish translation

Sofia Lodén


ABSTRACT: The French romance Paris et Vienne was translated into a great number of languages in the Middle Ages. The Swedish translation Riddar Paris och Jungfru Vienna from the sixteenth century only comprises the opening of the tale and is no more than 208 lines long. It is preserved in the manuscript Stockholm, Kungliga biblioteket, D 2, which is also known as Spegelbergs bok, a manuscript that contains texts of different genres. This article discusses some features of the Swedish text and context. First, in relation to the writing of the Swedish translation, it examines the manuscript’s context and the role of Sweden’s last Roman Catholic bishop, Hans Brask, as well as his secretary, Hans Spegelberg. Then, it analyses the links between the Swedish fragment, on the one hand, and the French romance and its translations into English and Low German, on the other hand (the Low German translation was most likely the Swedish translator’s direct source). The article takes special notice of the prologue to the Swedish text and its use of the notion höffuisk kerlech, or ‘courtly love’.

KEYWORDS: Paris et VienneRiddar Paris och Jungfru ViennaRoman idyllique – Medieval translation – Courtly love

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