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Assistant Professor of Medieval French
University of California, Berkeley

The Date, Author, and Context of the Roman de Silence: 
A Reassessment

funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) under Germany’s Excellence Strategy as part of a six-month postdoctoral fellowship with EXC Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective at Freie Universität Berlin


My research for Making Sense/Making Time involved close examination and reading of Nottingham, University Library, WLC/LM/6, an early manuscript of the Roman de Troie. This manuscript contains the one surviving copy of the Roman de Silence, an entertaining text in Old French verse about a noble child born as “Scilencia” but raised as “Scilencius”. In an article for Medium Ævum, I argue that the text should be redated to between 1169 and 1206 (and more precisely perhaps to the 1190s). I also propose a new author for the text, Walterus Silens or Walter the Silent, and outline an important context of composition around the court of Guines, in the borderlands between northern France and Flanders.

WLC_LM_6, f. 222va.png

Nottingham, UL, WLC/LM/6, 222v

Silence is stripped and presented to King Ebain.

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