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New Medieval Books: The Story of Attila in Prose

The Story of Attila in Prose: A Critical Edition and Translation of the Estoire d’Atile en Prose

Edited and translated by Roberto Pesce and Logan E. Whalen

ISBN: 978-0-367-46975-7

This book gives the text and English translation of a 13th-century fictional account of the wars of Attila the Hun against Christians. It includes a subplot where Sarah, Queen of Padua leads her people away from the Huns and founds the city of Venice.


The Estoire d’Atile en Prose thus assumes a significant position in the history of Franco-Italian literature, and indeed in the history of Western literature in general, as the first text to combine elements of papal succession; evangelical preaching; the story of the Holy Grail; the feral birth of Attila; and the struggle on the Italian peninsula between the Christians of the Venetia, led by Gilius of Padua, and the pagan invaders of the East, led by Attila. The important text served as the source for several later versions of the tale, including the popular fourteenth-century Guerra di Attila.


Who is this book for?

To be clear, this is a fictional work and not be used for any historical approach to the Huns or the foundation of Venus. However, it is useful as a book showing how people in the 13th century looked back on their ancient past. Those interested in medieval literature will want to read this book.

The editors:

Roberto Pesce is Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Oklahoma. His research focuses on medieval literature, especially chronicles and historical works in Italian vernacular and Latin.


Logan E. Whalen is Professor of French at the University of Oklahoma. His primary research interests include romance, fable, fabliaux, and chansons de geste.

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