Gesta Romanorum


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Gesta Romanorum

(jĕs`tə rō'mənôr`əm), medieval collection of Latin stories. Although the title means "Deeds of the Romans," the tales have very little to do with actual Roman history. Each tale is characterized by a moral. The earliest manuscript dates from the 14th cent., but it had probably been first collected several centuries earlier. Many of the stories were used later by such authors as Chaucer and Shakespeare.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
References in periodicals archive ?
L'autore dei Gesta Romanorum trasferisce il problema in ambito narrativo, e grazie a questo "trans-genere" il giovane supera il conflitto:
(3) The play's subject matter, which is based on the tale of the incestuous daughter found in the Middle English Gesta Romanorum and elsewhere, (4) is perhaps the most sensational to be found in British drama of the period, and has been claimed, I think quite plausibly, as originally concluding with a miracle of the Virgin Mary.
Piotr Tomaszuk of Poland's Teatr Wierszalin directs his own Saint Oedipus, with varied source material that includes the medieval legend collection Gesta Romanorum, Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus and Chaim Potok's The Chosen.
After demonstrating the variety of medieval contexts for collecting tales, priestly collections in Legenda Aurea or Gesta Romanorum, literary collections such as Marie de France's Fables and Chaucer's Legend of Good Women, he places the later flame tale collection as evolving from this context with increasingly interesting narrators.
To this evidence we can add the fourteenth century exemplum collection Gesta Romanorum. Certain manuscripts of the book tell how there were three Sirens, the one making music with a cythara, the second with a lyre, and the third with a human voice.
Basile was working with materials from the long illustrious Greek and Roman romance tradition, whose plots and characters can be found in the fourteenthcentury Gesta Romanorum, a text long believed to be the principal storehouse of Italian novelists writing realistic, horror, tragic, or comic stories.
The principal texts are Haveloc, which Dr Shepherd pairs with the corresponding passage from Gaimar's Estoire des Engleis; Twain and Gawain, paired with passages from Chretien de Troyes's Yvain; Sir Orfeo, paired with the account of Orpheus from King Alfred's translation of Boethius; Sir Launfal, paired with Sir Landeval; The Awntyrs of Arthure, paired with The Trental of St Gregory and two exempla from the Gesta Romanorum; The Wedding of Sir Gawain, paired with the Percy Folio Marriage of Sir Gawain; and The Sege of Melayne, paired with the fascinating Capystranus.
paunflet'.(1) Schleich suggested that this was the Lai de l'Oiselet, but he thought that the poet must also have been influenced by Petrus Alfonsi's Disciplina Clericalis, and either the Legenda Aurea or the Gesta Romanorum.(2) Hammond simply admitted that she could not identify the exact source.(3) Schirmer declared that the story was 'borrowed from the French version' of the Disciplina, without saying which.(4) Renoir called it a 'retelling' of a tale from the Gesta Romanorum; while Pearsall remarked only that it must have contained 'some version of the story as told in the Disciplina'.(5)
The most widespread versions in the Middle Ages include one by Godfrey of Viterbo in his Pantheon, a late 12th-century verse rendering that treated the story as authentic history, and one contained in the Gesta Romanorum, a 14th-century collection of folktales.