Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Modern Foreign Languages

Major Professor

Paul Barrette

Committee Members

James E. Shelton, Patrick Brady, Bryant Creel, Thomas Heffernan


This work hopes to fill the need for a complete treatment of the question of possible influence of the Hellenistic and Byzantine romance on the Old French romance of the twelfth century. Adopting a traditional historical approach, along with a consideration of symbols and motifs, it hopes to trace the coherent development of a genre from the Hellenistic world of the beginning of our era to the religious milieu of early Christianity and ultimately to the translation centers of monasteries and ports and the courts of Western Europe at the time of the Crusades. We conclude that, far from composing their works in a vacuum, inspired only by half-forgotten, obscure Celtic tales, the twelfth-century authors were part of a tradition whose presence helps to account for some puzzling motifs in their works.

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