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romance[O.Fr.,=something written in the popular language, i.e., a Romance languageRomance languages,
group of languages belonging to the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Italic languages). Also called Romanic, they are spoken by about 670 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
..... Click the link for more information. ]. The roman of the Middle Ages was a form of chivalric and romantic literature widely diffused throughout Europe from the 11th cent. With the Provençal troubadourstroubadours
, aristocratic poet-musicians of S France (Provence) who flourished from the end of the 11th cent. through the 13th cent. Many troubadours were noblemen and crusader knights; some were kings, e.g.
..... Click the link for more information. the roman was a form of narrative, originally sung but later recited before courts. The trouvèrestrouvères
, medieval poet-musicians of central and N France, fl. during the later 12th and the 13th cent. The trouvères imitated the troubadours of the south.
..... Click the link for more information. lengthened these into the chansons de gestechansons de geste
[Fr.,=songs of deeds], a group of epic poems of medieval France written from the 11th through the 13th cent. Varying in length from 1,000 to 20,000 lines, assonanced or (in the 13th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. and the romans d'aventures, or romances of love and adventure. It is from the latter class that the modern romance descends (see novelnovel,
in modern literary usage, a sustained work of prose fiction a volume or more in length. It is distinguished from the short story and the fictional sketch, which are necessarily brief.
..... Click the link for more information. ).
See studies by A. B. Taylor (1930, repr. 1969), G. Beer (1970), and E. Vinaver (1971).
1. a narrative in verse or prose, written in a vernacular language in the Middle Ages, dealing with strange and exciting adventures of chivalrous heroes
2. any similar narrative work dealing with events and characters remote from ordinary life
3. the literary genre represented by works of these kinds
4. (in Spanish literature) a short narrative poem, usually an epic or historical ballad
5. a lyrical song or short instrumental composition having a simple melody