The Legend of Le Bone Florence of Rome

The legend of the Fair Florence of Rome is extant in the following versions:

La Chanson de Florence de Rome. French, rhymed alexandrines, c. 1200-1225. Edited by A. Wallensköld.

Le Dit de Florence de Romme. By Jean de Saint Quentin. French. Rhymed alexandrine quatrains, c. 1300-1350. Edited by Achille Jubinal in Nouveau Recueil de contes, Dits, Fabliaux et autres Pièces Inédits des XIIIe, XIVe, et XVe Siècles. Volume 6.

Le Roman de Florence de Rome. French, 4,500 rhymed Alexandrines, 1400’s. Included in Volume 1 of Wallensköld’s edition.

Flourence de Rome. A prose rendering of the story was also attached to the end of the prosification of Florent et Octavian, to which it was made the sequel. Printed in a dissertation by Sarah Crisler (U of Texas, 2000), which will never see the light of day outside Proquest. Support copyright reform!

Le Bone Florence de Rome. English, tail-rhyme, 1400’s. To be found in Ritson’s Ancient English Metrical Romances. Volume 3.

Cuento Muy Famoso del Enperador Ottas de Roma. Spanish prose, 1400’s. Can be found in volume 5 of Amador de los Rios’ Historia Critica de la Litterature Española.

Nobody is quite sure how all these versions are related, but they differ only in trifles.

LA CHANSON DE FLORENCE DE ROME (LMP)

King Oton of Rome’s daughter, Florence, is born to the accompaniment of terrible omens, and her mother dies shortly after. Her father dotes on the girl, who grows up to be beautiful and wise. King Garsire of Constantinople sends messengers seeking her hand in marriage, threating war if he is refused. Oton consults with his barons and with Florence, and rejects the offer. Garsire declares war.

Meanwhile, Milon and Esmeré, the two sons of King Philip of Hungary are currently serving the King of Slavonia, since their father has died and their mother was remarried to Justamont of Syria, who sought to kill his step-children. Milon, the elder, is wicked, and Esmeré, the younger, good. They decide to help King Oton in the war. In the course of the war, Milon displays his treachery, Florence falls in love with Esmeré, Oton is killed, and Esmeré taken captive. Florence thinks it prudent to marry a knight who can protect her, wishes she could find Esmeré to marry him, but resigns herself to Milon.

At this juncture, however, Garsire releases Esmeré from captivity, in gratitude for a favor King Philip once rendered him. He returns to Rome, prompting Florence to jilt Milon. Esmeré and Florence are wed, while Milon stews and schemes. Florence refuses to consummate the marriage until Garsire is defeated. Another battle is joined, in which Esmeré routs Garsire. The Romans pursue the Greeks to the seashore, where they board their ships and escape. Esmeré vows to pursue and destroy him, and leaves Milon and a hundred knights behind to guard Rome and Florence, while he and he bulk of the army set sail. Milon offers much wealth to the hundred if they will say that Esmeré is dead and crown him king. Only Sir Sanson opposes the plan, so Esmeré kills him, mutilates his body, and passes it off as Esmeré’s. Florence, however, refuses to marry him, and Sanson’s brother Agravain repents his part in the treason, confesses to the Pope, and rouses the people of Rome to arrest Milon and his men. Meanwhile, Esmeré has conquered Constantinople and returns to Italy with Garsire as prisoner, landing in Gaeta. Florence is so happy at the news that she pardons Milon and sends him to meet his brother. Milon attempts to convince Esmeré that Agravain has committed adultery with Florence, but fails miserably and is banished. Milon leaves Gaeta, returns to Rome, tells Florence that Esmeré has requested her to come forth in triumph to meet him, and then abducts her from the triumphal parade.

They travel beyond the empire’s borders. On the way, Milon kills a lion, two apes, an old hermit who rebukes his conduct (by locking him in his chapel and burning it to the ground), and a great serpent. He forces Florence to swear never to reveal her identity, but her magic brooch preserves her chastity. Milon, angry at this turn of events, hangs her by her hair from a tree and beats her. In the forest, however, is the Lost Castle (Château-Perdu), ruled by Thierri with his wife Eglantine and their daughter Beatrice. Theirri is out hunting, and Milon flees at the sound of his dogs. Thierri discoveres Florence and takes her home, where she is warmly received by the family, sharing a bed with Beatrice every night.

Milon finds refuge with Guillaume de Dol [possibly a reference to the hero of the Romance of the Rose]. Meanwhile, at the Lost Castle, there arrives a knight named Macaire, who falls in love with Florence. When she rebuffs his advances, he slits Beatrice’s throat at night and frames Florence for the murder. Thierri is about to burn her at the stake, but at the last moment commutes the sentence to banishment. She wanders through the forest and at last comes out on a plain by the seashore, where a thief named Clarembaut is about to be hanged. At her intercession, the folk spare his life, and he swears to protect his saviour. He is lying, however, and takes her to his hideout, where his fellow-bandit Peraut lives. Only Peraut’s wife Solise prevents them from dishonoring and killing Florence. Instead, when she asks them to find her passage on a ship going to the Holy Land, they sell her to a slaver named Escot. Florence boards his ship, ignorant of the fate in store for her When they are safely out at sea, Escot tells her what he intends to do, but Florence calls on God, Who sends a storm that sinks the ship and drowns everyone except Florence and Escot, who wash up on shore, seperately Florence lands near the nunnery of Beau-Repaire, where the bells ring of themselves at her arrival. The nuns are much impressed, and receive her into the cloister, where she cures a sick nun. Her fame as a healer goes out, and crowds flock to be cured by her. Meanwhile, Escot falls ill with swelling, and goes mute and half-blind. Esmeré is shot with an arrow in a war against the King of Apulia, and his doctors cannot remove it, so it festers. Milon, having repented his crimes and served Guillaume de Dol faithfully, is nonetheless striken with leprosy. Macaire goes lame from dropsy. All of them travel to Beau-Repaire, Macaire beign carried by Thierry and Eglantine. Florence recognizes them all, unrecognized by any behind her veil, and orders them to confess their sins or they will not be healed. One by one, they confess their wicked dealings against her, and at last she reveals herself. Florence magnanimosly forgives them all, and returns to Rome as Empress, where she bears Esmeré a son: Oton de Spolète [of Spoleto].

THE SHORT FRENCH REMAINEMENT (Q)

Milon, not Esmeré, saves Emperor Oton’s life in battle, and Oton promises Florence’s hand to Milon. The barons likewise wish to wed the two, but Milon, in foolish pride, asks for some time to consider. Florence and the barons are insulted, and she marries Esmeré instead.

In the war against Garsile [as he is called here], Esmeré saves the life of Sanson, explaining his later loyalty.

Milon’s treasons are reduced in number and complexity, leaving him with no motivation for not returning to Rome after he abandons Florence in the wood, since no one there knows his treachery.

Milon, Clarembaut, and Macaire are burnt at the stake after their confessions.

PROSE FLOURENCE DE ROME

Based on the short redaction, Q. Attached to the end of the prose Octavian, makes Emperor Othon to be the son of Florent and Polisse, from that romance. All Florence’s persecutors are burnt, except for Milon, who is penitent. Florence dies when she is seventy-eight years old, two months before Esmeré.

The prose Octavian was made for John, lord of Crequy, and finished May 1st, 1459.

DIT DE FLOURENCE DE ROMME (D)

A highly abbreviated retelling of the story, closer to LMP than to Q. No bad omens accompany Florence’s birth. Thierri is commanded by an angel not to burn Florence at the stake.

LE BONE FLORENCE OF ROME (R)

The English version, surviving one manuscript. Tail-rhymed, twelve-line stanzas. Half the length of the French. Cuts out some of the weirder details, such as the wild animals that attack Milon. Florence protects her virtue from Milon by praying to Our Lady, not with a magic brooch. At the end, all Florence’s persecutors are executed by Esmeré, instead of being pardoned. The Pope is named Simon, and is said to have written Florence’s story down. [There has never been a Pope Simon].

CUENTO MUY FAMOSO DEL ENPERADOR OTTAS DE ROMA, ET DE LA INFANTE FLORENCIA SU FIJA, ET DEL BUEN CAVALLERO ESMERE (S)

As far as I know, no significant changes from the French. The Pope is again named Simon.

 

ORIGINS AND INFLUENCE

Stories of persecuted Queens are innumerable, but Florence belongs to the sub-group known as the Crescentia Saga, named after the oldest (surviving) European example, the story of Queen Crescentia in the Kaiserchronik (c. 1150). The distinguishing features of this group are: 1) The heroine’s first persecutor is her amorous brother-in-law. 2) The queen’s healing powers reunite all the characters for the denouement.

It is not our purpose to list all, or even most, of the stories in this sprawling saga, but the following brief outline may be useful:

1st Family: Crescentia Proper. Notable examples: Kaiserchronik. German Volkbooks.

2nd Family: An anonymous Miracle of the Virgin, found first in prose in the 1100’s. Notable examples: Legend of St. Guglielma, Speculum Historiale VII:90-92, Gautier de Coincy.

3rd Family: Florence of Rome.

4th Family: Gesta Romanorum. (Latin 249, in Swann’s translation). Other notable examples:  Hoccleve’s Fabulam de quadam imperatrice Romana.

5th Family: Hildegard. Hildegard, wife of Charlemagne, first had the Crescentia Legend attached to her by Johannes Birck, a Bavarian schoolmaster, in the 1400’s. Some twenty-eight later works follow him. They will be dealt with in the appropriate place later on.

Oriental Analogues: Are to be found in the Touti-Nameh, the Thousand and One Nights, and the Thousand and One Days.

Florence of Rome itself was written sometime between 1200 (the date of Guillaume de Dole, to which it seems to allude) and 1225 (when references to it begin appearing in other works).

Let thus much suffice for the Fair Florence of Rome, and let us now speak of Ciperis de Vigneveux.

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The Legend of Bevis of Hampton, 3: The Continental French Redaction

The legend of Bevis of Hampton is extant in three great families of redactions: the Anglo-Norman, the Continental French, and the Italian. The Italian versions are the only ones to link Bevis with the legend of Charlemagne, but this post treats of the Continental French Redaction. It is the least interesting of the three, except for those who wish to puzzle over the great and still unsolved mystery of which version came first.

The Continental French family consists of the following versions.

The First Redaction: Assonanced decasyllables. The only edition is Stimming’s Der festländische Bueve de Hantone, Fassung I, 1911.

The Second Redaction. Assonanced decasyllables. The only edition is Stimming’s Der festländische Bueve de Hantone, Fassung II, 1912. Two volumes, one for the text and one for the notes.

Beufves de Hantonne. The French prose rendering. Based on the Second verse redaction. The only edition, according to Arlima, is Beufves de Hantonne, version en prose, éd. Vérard, présentée et transcrite par Marie-Madeleine Ival, Aix-en-Provence, Publications du Cuerma (Senefiance, 14), 1982, 339 p.

The French chapbooks, descended from the prose redaction.

Beuvijn von Austoen. The Dutch translation. A verse translation survives in fragments. The prose rendering survives entire, and is the ancestor of the Dutch chapbooks. As far as I know there are no modern editions.

The Third Redaction. Assonanced decasyllables. The only edition is Stimming’s Der festländische Bueve de Hantone, Fassung III, 1914. Two volumes, one for the text and one for the notes.

The First Redaction

Gui of Hantone weds Beatix, daughter of King Edward of Scotland, who loves Doon of Maience. Hantone is not Southampton, but a town on the Maese. Boeve is fifteen when all goes down. He is sold to King Hermin of Armenia, at whose court he slays a man who accused him of being a peasant. Hermin is impressed, and Josiane falls in love, and gives him her horse Arondel. Boeve enters the world of chivalry one May, when Josiane finds him weeping that he is too poor to enter a tourney, and helps him out. After he does very well in the tourney, King Danemons of Persia lays siege to Armenia, for love of Josiane. As Boeve fights the war, he and Josiane fall in love. Two traitors, Foré and Gouse, betray their love to the king, who tries to get Boeve killed in the war, but Boeve wins, taking Brandimond of Damascus prisoner. Hermin spares him, so that he can put into motion his plot to kill Boeve. As Boeve is going to Damascus with his death-note, he kills a boar, then meets a pilgrim, who is not Terri seeking for him, and does not offer to read the letter. [In fact, he is fairly irrelevant]. Boeve does not demolish the idols of Damascus. In the dungeon he kills cockatrices, but no dragons. Meanwhile, Josiane pleads with her father not to wed her to King Yvorin, but to no avail. She enchants Yvorin to keep her maidenhood, making him think he has taken it. Arondel is not imprisoned, but cared for richly by her. Boeve is freed by an angel, kills the guards, and heads to Jerusalem. He does not make a miraculous leap to escape. After the giant’s castle, he kills four robbers who robbed a pilgrim, and then reaches Jerusalem, not speaking with the Patriarch.

Passing Monbranc, he recognizes Josiane and Arondel. They recognize and escape as usual, Boneface is killed by the lions, who drag Josiane to their den, whither Boeve tracks them and kills them, with Arondel’s help. Garsile sends Ascopart, and all goes as the Anglo-Norman, until they reach Cologne, only without the comic baptism scene. Boeve goes to Doon, pretends to be a merchant named Aïmer of Hungary, and then meets Sobaut’s nephew David and joins Sobaut. In the war, he kills Hate and Fromont, the men who sold him to the Saracen slave traders.

Meanwhile, in Cologne, Count Audemar, the Emperor’s nephew, has forged letters telling of Boeve’s death, lured Ascopart into a dungeon, and wed Josiane. Boeve walks in on the wedding, and kills Audemar just as Ascopart arrives, panting. With Ascopart’s help, Boeve defeats Doon, in a very long war. Doon is hanged, Ascopart marries a rich noblewoman and exits the story, and Boeve and Josiane settle in Hampton, which seems to now be Southampton in England again.

After a year, Boeve attends the king’s feast, at which the prince tries to buy Arondel after Boeve wins a race with him. When Boeve won’t sell, the prince, egged on by Doon’s nephew Rohart, tries to steal him. In the ensuing battle, both are killed, along with three stablehands. The King banishes Boeve, who stops by Southampton to pick up Josiane and to have his mother locked in a tower until he comes back. Only her confessor is to be allowed in. Boeve, Josiane, Terri [Sobaut’s son], and Arondel now depart for the Acre, but a storm drives them to Monbranc, in Africa. Here, in the wilderness, Josiane goes into labor. The men blindfold themselves to help her. After the twins are born, Terri goes to town to buy food, but is followed home by foresters, who tell King Yvorin, who kidnaps Josiane and her children. In a subsequent battle, Boeve kills Garsile, but he is hopelessly outnumbered, and flees on Josiane’s orders. He and Terri come to Siviele, where they save the Queen Eglantine from Escorfaut of Majorge [Majorca?], in a very long and very tedious siege. She compels Boeve to marry her, but he places a sword in their bed every night.

Meanwhile, Josiane and the boys are in prison. One Bertram, of Bar-sur-Aube, joins with Sobaut to go look for Boeve. They find Josiane in Monbranc, and rescue her uneventfully, bringing her home to Hampton. They take the children to the king in London, who stands godfather to one of them, naming him after himself, and making him his heir. King Oduars of Scotland names the other one his heir. Sobaut and Josiane, the latter guised as a minstrel, now resume the search for Boeve. They come to Sevilie, where Arondel recognizes her, as she sings a song about Boeve. Her husband recognizes her too, and there is much rejoicing. Terri weds Queen Eglantine, and Boeve and Josiane go home to Hampton, and meet their sons, Boevon and Guion. They live happily, and have a third son, but then word comes that King Hermin is besieged. Boeve rescues him, and kills Braidimons. Guy and Buevon inherit England and Scotland, Sobaut is given Hampton, and Boeve and Josiane move to Armenia, where they live happily until their death, when their son Hermin inherits it.

 

Though there are many minor differences between the three redactions, the most notable difference between the them is that in the Second Redaction, as in all others, Bevis and Josiane have twin sons, Bevis and Guy. In the First and Third Redactions, they have two pairs of twins: firstly Guillaume, who grows up to be King of England, and Hermin. Bueve and Guy are born later.

The Legend of Bevis of Hampton, 1: The Anglo-Norman Boeve

The legend of Bevis of Hampton is extant in three great families of redactions: the Anglo-Norman, the Continental French, and the Italian. The Italian versions are the only ones to link Bevis with the legend of Charlemagne, but we will here treat of the Anglo-Norman version first, as it is generally believed to be the earliest, and it is the version best-known to English readers.

The Anglo-Norman family consists of the following versions:

Boeve de Hantone. The Anglo-Norman chanson de geste. Assonanced decasyllables. Sometimes attributed to Bertrand de Bar, though this is no longer a widely-held theory. Translated by Judith Weiss in Boeve De Haumtone and Gui De Warewic, 2008.

Bevers saga. The Norse prose translation, which exists in two major versions.

Bevusar Taettir. The Faerose ballads based on the preceding. See Corpus Carminum Faeroensium, volume 5.

Bown o Hamtwn.  The Welsh prose translation of the Anglo-Norman. Translated by Robert Williams in Selections from the Hengwrt Mss. Preserved in the Peniarth Library.

Sir Beves of Hampton, the English poem, which adds many incidents and rearranges others. All six MSS are printed in EETS Extra vol 46, 48, 65. An edition for the general reader is available from TEAMS in Four Romances of England.

Bibuis o Hamtuir.  The Irish prose translation of the English, c. 1452-1500. Copied, or possibly written, by Uilliam Mac an Leagha. Translated by Frederick Norris in The Irish Lives of Guy of Warwick and Bevis of Hampton.

THE ANGLO-NORMAN BEVIS

Count Gui of Haumtone marries the King of Scotland’s daughter, who, however, loves the emperor of Alemaine [Germany]. He begets on her Boeve. Ten years later, in early May, the princess sends word to the Emperor, telling him how to ambush and kill Gui. He agrees. She pretends to be ill, and that only boar’s flesh will cure her. Luckily, she knows where a boar lives: the very spot the Emperor is hiding. And so Gui is killed. The Emperor brings his head to Hampton, and marries his widow. Boeve calls his mother a whore, and swears vengeance. She orders his tutor Sabot to kill him. Sabot kills a swine, bloodies Boeve’s clothes, and sets Boeve to tend his sheep while he plans to escape. But Boeve goes to the castle, kills the porter, and then knocks his stepfather unconscious. He is seized, and his mother sells him to English slavers. They sell the lad to Hermine, king of Egypt, who has a fair daughter, Josiane. The king is touched by his story, and impressed by his refusal to convert to Islam, even when offered Josiane and the kingdom. He decides to raise the steadfast youth at his court as a knight.

By the time Boeve is fifteen, he is the best knight at court. A wild boar savages the kingdom, and Josiane watches from the castle tower as Boeve slays it, alone. Foresters ambush him, seeking the credit for saving the kingdom. He kills them all, causing Josiane to fall hopelessly in love with him. Boeve presents the boar’s head to King Hermine.

Hermine, looking out the window one day, sees Brademond of Damascus and his army of a hundred thousand. He has come to wed Josiane. Josiane tells her father how Boeve killed the foresters, so Hermine dubs the lad a knight, giving him the sword Murgleie. Josiane gives him the horse Aroudel. Boeve leads the army to victory, and spares Brademond’s life on condition that he become Hermine’s vassal. After the victory feast, Josiane confesses her love. Boeve protests that he won’t have her. Angered, she calls him a churl. Angered in turn, he announces he will leave on the horse she gave him. He goes to take lodgings in the town. She sends a messenger after him. He sends back a present of silk. She goes to see him in person, and promises to convert to Christianity. They kiss.

Two courtiers whom Boeve saved from Brademond during the battle tell the king that Boeve has defiled Josiane. He sends Boeve with letters to Brademond, ordering his new vassal to kill the lad. He convinces Boeve to leave Murgleie and Arundel behind, for faster travel.

On the road, Boeve meets on the fourth day of travel a palmer, who turns out to be Sabot’s son, seeking Boeve. Boeve tells him that the lad he’s searching for has been hanged. The palmer weeps, and offers to read the letter Boeve is carrying. Boeve refuses, since he trusts Hermine. They kiss and part. In Damascus, Boeve kills a heathen priest and breaks his idols before delivering the letter. He is promptly seized, and thrown in a thirty toise deep dungeon, filled with snakes and other vermin, and is fed on a quarter-loaf of bread a day.

Josiane asks her father where Boeve is. He says he went home to avenge his father, and said he would never return. Now King Yvori of Munbrant comes wooing Josiane. He has conquered fifteen kingdoms. Hermine marries her off, but luckily she has a magic chastity-protecting girdle. Hermine delivers Josiane, Arundel, and Murgleie to Yvori, but when that king tries to ride Arundel, the gallops off and throws him, nearly killing him. He locks the horse in a stable, where he has to be fed through a door in the ceiling, because he kills anyone who comes near him. Yvori falls asleep beside Josiane every night and only dreams that he has her, thanks to her girdle.

Boeve is in prison seven years, with two guards by day and another two by night. Finally it occurs to him to pray, which so annoys his jailers, that they climb down a rope into his dungeon, whereupon he kills them. He escapes, steals a horse and armor, and rides out the gate, pretending to be a guard chasing Boeve. He travels for three days. But, Brademond sends his nephew Grounder to check the prison. Then, the news discovered, he beats his idols, and rides out with three thousand men to find Boeve, who cuts the top of Brademond’s head off, steals his horse, and flees. Cornered at the edge of a cliff, he rides the horse into the sea and swims away, at which the English give up and go home.

Coming to land, Boeve reaches the castle of a giant who kills English, who happens to be Brademund’s brother. The giant recognizes the horse, but Boeve kills him, takes food and a new horse from his widow, and rides to Jerusalem. Here he confesses his sins to the Patriarch, debates whether to go to England or Egypt, and settles on Egypt. He there learns of Josiane’s marriage, and travels to Monbrant via Carthage. He hears Josiane weeping for him, disguises himself as a palmer, and approaches her. She gives him food, and he tells her that Boeve has married an English lady. She swoons, but on awaking recognizes him. He tries to deny it, but her page Bonefey and Arundel recognize him, too. Josiane offers to flee with him, but he says the Patriarch has forbidden him to wed a woman who is not a maid. Josiane explains, but now Boeve is afraid that Yvori will be back from hunting [where he is] before they can make a clean getaway. They decide to tell him that his brother King Baligant of Abilent is besieged, and to flee while he’s away with his army. All goes as planned, and Yvori leaves the city in King Garcie’s care. Bonefey drugs the elderly Garcie, and they flee. They hide in the forest, where Boeve goes hunting. While he is gone, two lions kill Bonefey, but spare Josiane, as she is a virgin princess. Boeve returns and kills them, and they travel on. They next meet Escopart, a giant who was laughed out of his home for being so short, and now serves Yvori. He tries to reclaim Josiane, but Boeve fights him, until the princess reconciles them, and the giant becomes their squire. They come to the shore, Escopart kills the crew of a ship, and they sail away therein.

Anustrai, the uncle of Yvori, leads nine ships after them, but Escopart scares them back. Our heroes arrive at Cologne, where the bishop turns out to be Boeve’s uncle, and explains how everyone thinks Boeve is dead. Josiane is baptized. Escopart refuses, claiming he is too large for the font. The bishop advises Boeve to go to England, and gives him five hundred knights. He departs, leaving Josiane with Escopart. Arriving at Hampton, he meets Emperor Doon, gives his name as Gerard, and promises to help him fight Sabaoth, who has rebelled and is holding out on the Isle of Wight. The Emperor equips him with a boat and food, and Boeve sails, alone, to a joyful reunion.

Meanwhile, Josiane and Escopart are in Cologne. A count falls in love with her, whom she rejects. He lures Escpoart into a dungeon with a false message from Boeve, taunts him by telling him his plan, and leaves. Escopart escapes, steals a boat, and searches for Boeve. Meanwhile, Josiane has been forced to marry the count, has strangled him on their wedding night, and has been sentenced to burn therefore. Boeve and Escopart rescue her, and return to Wight, where they send a messenger to Emperor Doon announcing their true identity. The Emperor throws a knife at the messenger, but misses and kills his own brother. The messenger taunts him and leaves. After a great battle, Doon is captured and boiled in lead. Boeve’s mother jumps off a tower. Boeve and Josiane are wed.

Half a year later, Boeve goes to King  Edgar’s court to do homage and receive his fiefs. At court, they hold a horse race, which Boeve easily wins on Arundel. The King’s son offers to buy the horse, but is refused. He tries to steal him instead, during the feast that night, but Arundel kills him. The King wants to kill Boeve, but his barons convince him to settle for executing Arundel. Boeve flees with Arundel to Hampton, then flees Hampton with Josiane and his new squire Terri, Sabaoth’s son. Escopart, jealous at being left behind, offers his services to King Yvori in Mombraunt. Boeve and company are wandering in Egypt, when Josiane gives birth to twin sons. Her modesty forbids Boeve and Terri to be nearby while she is in labor, so it is easy for Yvori’s goons and Escopart to kidnap her, leaving the baby boys behind. Boeve and Terri find the boys, name them Guy and Miles, and each take one.

Meanwhile, Sabaoth has a dream that Boeve is attacked by lions en route to Compostella. His wife, Eneborc, explains that it means Josiane has been kidnapped. Sabaoth and his men sail to the rescue, find Escopart and his goons carrying of Josiane, and kill them all. They come to Abreford, where they rest for seven years and three months, while Josiane sustains them by learning the art of minstrelsy.

Meanwhile, Terri has left Miles with a fisher, and Boeve has left Guy with a forester. He comes to Civile [Seville?], where he fends off the besieging army, and is thus obliged to marry the lady of Cevile. He explains to her the awkward situation, and she grants him four years to seek his wife, and she will marry Terri if Josiane is found. The ceremony is held, but not consummated. After four years, there is no news of Josiane, and Boeve obtains another three years. Sabaoth finally recovers from his illness, and he and Josiane come to Cevile, where there is a joyful reunion. They send for Miles and Guy.

News comes that King Yvori is at war with King Hermine. Boeve captures Yvori, and send him to Hermine, who spares him for a ransom. Hermine dies, leaving Egypt to Guy. Miles is made a duke. Sabaoth goes home to his wife and his younger son Robant, who at first don’t recognize him. Yvori summons Gebitus, a wizard, to steal Arundel, and he does so. But Sabaoth dreams Boeve is wounded, and his wife says it means Arundel has been kidnapped. Sabaoth goes, disguised as a pilgrim, to Abreford, meets Boeve, goes to Yvori’s castle, and steals the horse back from a stable boy. He flees, with Yvori in hot pursuit. Boeve, Guy, and Miles ride out to meet him, and turn back Yvori, who returns with his army. He challenges Boeve to single combat, wherein he is killed. His fifteen vassal kings convert, and destroy their idols. Guy inherits Yvori’s land. The Pope comes to anoint Boeve and Josiane king and queen, and they return to their dominions.

At Pentecost, news comes that Edgar has disinherited Robant. Boeve, Josiane, Arundel, and Sabaoth go to England, and make peace. Edgar’s daughter weds Miles. Boeve and Josiane go home to Monbraunt, leaving Hampton to Sabaoth. After many years, Josiane falls ill. Boeve finds Arundel dead in the stable, and lays down beside Josiane. They say farewell to Guy, and die together. They are laid in the church of Saint Lawrence.

Let thus much suffice for the Anglo-Norman poem, and let us now speak of the versions descended therefrom.