Traversing East and West in a Global Middle Ages

Published: November 10, 2015

The spectacular medieval manuscript known as the Romance of Gillion de Trazegnies tells the story of a bigamous French-speaking knight from Hainaut (a county in present-day Belgium). Gillion is married to a western Christian noblewoman and an eastern Muslim princess at the same time—while leading the army of the sultan of Egypt.

The book is written in Middle French, the predecessor of the modern language whose grammar and pronunciation is much different from French today. Click here to read the full story and listen to audio recordings of two passages from the Romance.

The Adventures of Gillion de Trazegnies: Chivalry and Romance in the Medieval East, is being published in December 2015 by Getty Publications. Co-written by Zrinka Stahuljak and Elizabeth Morrison, the book combines a complete reproduction of the book’s illustrations, a partial translation of the text, and essays that explore the manuscript’s vibrant cultural, historical, and artistic contexts.

Zrinka Stahuljak (CMRS Faculty) and Elizabeth Morrison (CMRS Associate) are organizing a symposium at UCLA on February 9, 2016. in conjunction with the Getty Museum exhibition Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts (January 26–June 26, 2016) and the publication of their book. Support for this symposium is provided by the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Fund and the J. Paul Getty Museum.