The Deeds of William of Villehardouin: An Annotated Translation of a Part of the Medieval Work, La Chronique de Morée
By Houston Franklin McClure
MA Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2016
Abstract: In this thesis, ‘The Deeds of William of Villehardouin: An Annotated Translation of a Part of the Medieval Work, La Chronique de Morée‘, I have translated a portion of one of the remaining French texts from a period just following the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204). The portion I used of the text is taken from Jean Longnon’s critical edition in Middle French based on the sole 14th century manuscript now at the Royal Library in Brussels 15702.
However, the events related in the Chronique span an earlier period of 1095-13041. The stanzas that I will translate, 439 to 534, concern Prince William of Villehardouin, the last prince of Morea, which is the old name for the Peloponnesian peninsula in Greece. This passage explores William’s life across his assistance of King Charles, his defense of Morea, and his court hearings concerning the ownership of the land of Madame Margaret.
I have provided historical footnotes for prominent people and places. Through analysis of the lexicon used in the original text, I will also attempt to make inferences as to the author’s provenance because he is currently unknown. Though written in Middle French, the text is heavy with Italianisms. Any discoveries relating to the author’s homeland could help reference the growth and history of French as a language in this time.