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10 - La vie d'Alexandre dans la Chronique dite de Baudouin d'Avesnes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 June 2018

Elena Koroleva
Affiliation:
Researcher in Medieval French Language and Literature, Department of French Literature, Université Charles de Gaulle-Lille 3
Michele Campopiano
Affiliation:
University of York
Henry Bainton
Affiliation:
University of York
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Summary

The Chronique dite de Baudouin d'Avesnes, composed between 1278 and 1281 in Northern France, is the second universal chronicle to be written in French after the Histoire ancienne jusqu'a César. Its first version covers the history of the world from the creation till the execution of Philip the Bold's favourite Pierre de la Broce in 1278. This work, however, remains little known by researchers and is still unpublished. This chapter examines the life of Alexander the Great inserted in the chronicle, as it appears in Cambrai, Bibliothèque municipal, MS 683 – which offers one of the earliest versions of the text. The author combines a large number of different sources and gives his account of Alexander's life a didactic tone by inserting a treaty on the virtues inspired by Brunetto Latini's Livre du trésor. This chapter addresses the structure of the Chronique's historical account, the choice and use of sources, the way they are referred to in the text and the role of the didactic discourse in the author's project.

La chronique et le manuscrit de base

La Chronique dite de Baudouin d'Avesnes composée entre 1278 et 1281 au Nord de la France est la deuxieme chronique universelle en langue française apres l’Histoire ancienne jusqu’à César de Wauchier de Denain, elle aussi rédigée dans cette région. La chronique d'un auteur anonyme fut commandée par Baudouin d'Avesnes, seigneur de Beaumont (le Hainaut), un membre de la famille impliquée dans une des plus importantes querelles d'héritage du XIIIe siecle opposant les Avesnes et les Dampierre. La premiere rédaction de la CBA couvre l'histoire du monde depuis la Création divine jusqu'a la pendaison, en 1278, de Pierre de la Broce, le favori de Philippe III le Hardi; elle raconte aussi les événements de l'histoire du Hainaut et de la Flandre, avec les généalogies des familles issues de ces comtés. Jusqu'a récemment, c'est cet aspect régional qui a surtout intéressé les chercheurs, tandis que l'histoire universelle a souvent été négligée. Malgré son statut important de deuxieme chronique universelle en français, malgré une diffusion considérable (elle nous est parvenue dans une cinquantaine de manuscrits), la CBA est aujourd'hui encore peu connue des chercheurs et reste inédite.

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2017

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