According to Dudo of Saint-Quentin, the young Richard, the future Duke Richard I of Normandy, surrounded himself with ‘the most prudent and renowned retainers’; he ‘shone resplendent in morals and merits, and through just government he strenuously guided clergy and people’; a severe punisher of crimes and a ‘munificent distributor of good things’, Richard ‘obliterated vices with the teeming accumulation of virtues’. Dudo's portrayal of the young Richard I may be compared with that in the Chronique des ducs de Normandie. This is the second of the two Norman histories in French which were written at the behest of Henry II. It was composed between 1173 × 1175 and 1180 × 1185 by Benoît, probably Benoît de Sainte-Maure, who penned the Roman de Troie in the mid-1160s. Benoît, in making Dudo's version accessible to the members of Henry II's court, kept several of the attributes which Dudo apparently considered that an ideal ruler should have. Benoît's Richard also loved the Holy Church, was God-fearing and charitable to the poor, and justly dealt out punishment for crime. Interestingly, however, his companions were not only sages, but also of good learning (enseignemenz) and endowed not just with knowledge (escience) but also with eloquence. Moreover, Benoît's Richard enjoyed not only that perennial aristocratic pastime, hunting, but also chess, and ‘songs, instruments and new sounds’. Most importantly, however, while these two images of the perfect prince were broadly similar, they were based on fundamentally different premises. Dudo completed his portrait of Richard as follows:
Tendebat solers sequaxque perfectionis ad summum bonitatis, ut quiret gratulari futuræ requiei tempore cum sanctis.
Assidous and persevering, he tended towards the utmost perfection of goodness, so that he should be worthy to rejoice with the saints in the time of rest to come.
Benoît, on the other hand, prefaced his hommage to Richard with the words
Ci a ovre d'or en avant
De noble prince e de vaillant
E de chevaler merveillos,
De hardi e de corajos,
Plein de bonté e de valor
E plein de grant pris e d'onnor.
From now on he strives to be / A noble and valiant prince / And a marvellous knight / Bold and courageous / Replete with virtue and valour / And replete with great renown and honour.