Ovide moralisé, book IX: Sources, manuscripts and a new critical edition

  • Supervisor: Craig Baker
  • Research center: Département d'enseignement de Langues et Lettres (L&L)
  • Research start date: 05.10.2020


The Ovide Moralisé is an anonymous 14th-century French adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses that spans some 72'000 lines of octosyllabic verse. This vast medieval poem is, however, not a simple translation of Ovid's work. Moralizing and allegorical interpretations have been appended to the Antique pagan myths in order to adapt them to the context of Christian medieval Europe, and additional segments of a mythographic, encyclopaedic or pseudo-historical nature have been inserted at various points in order to complement and expand the Ovidian narrative. The Ovide moralisé is also characterized by a complex textual tradition. It survives in twenty-one manuscripts, which near witness to multiple reworkings that modify, abbreviate or reorganize the text. Both the sources and the manuscript transmission of the work are currently at the center of interest of an international team of specialists - the “Ovide en Français” (OEF) research group - who are preparing an integral critical edition of the Ovide moralisé.

My research project is conceived as part of this collective research endeavor, focusing on one of the fifteen books of the Ovide moralisé: Book IX. It aims to provide study of the sources and the manuscript tradition, as well as to produce a critical edition of this book, which comprises ca. 3400 lines. The source study will focus on identifying the various strata of materials involved – from the Metamorphoses and a selection of wide-spread medieval Ovid commentaries to other Latin and vernacular texts that the French author may have used – and examining how they were incorporated and rewritten within the French text, thus contributing to the creation of a new literary work. The study of the manuscript tradition of book IX, in turn, will shed light on some of the as yet unresolved questions relating to the stemma codicum (i.e. the genealogy of manuscript witnesses) of the text. An in-depth study of manuscript variation will also provide a basis for the critical edition of the book, which relies on the collation of all known manuscript witnesses. The edition will ultimately be published together with books VII and VIII in the collection Société des anciens textes français.




"Un nouveau manuscrit de l'Ovide moralisé", Revue Belge de Philologie et d'Histoire, accepted. 

“‘Trésor de sapience’, ‘Trésor des histoires’ ? Quelques observations sur la tradition manuscrite de la ‘Chronique dite de Baudouin d'Avesnes’”, Actes des journées d'études Les chroniques universelles / Le cronache universale, in press. 

“Counting the lions of Nemea. Medieval variations on a Herculean task”, Reinardus: Yearbook of the International Reynard Society 32 (2020), in press.

“A la recherche du modèle latin de l'Ovide moralisé. Observations sur les témoins manuscrits des Métamorphoses”, 'Traire de latin et espondre.' Études sur la réception médiévale d’Ovide, Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2020, 99-131.

“Un répertoire du type De montibus et fluminibus caché dans l’Ovide moralisé ? A propos d’un passage interpolé et ses sources possible”, ‘Ovidius explanatus’. Traduire et commenter les Métamorphoses au Moyen Âge. Actes du colloque de Lyon, 28-29 avril 2016, ed. Simone Biancardi, Prunelle Deleville, Francesco Montorsi und Marylène Possamaï-Pérez, Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2018, 39-65.

“Antigone, ‘cigoigne orde et vilz’ : L’histoire d'un portrait énigmatique dans l’Ovide Moralisé”, Reinardus: Yearbook of the International Reynard Society 28 (2016), 65-80.

“Orality and Textual Reworking in Floriant et Florete: Another note on a ‘patchwork romance’”, Neophilologus 100:1 (2016), 1-18.

(with Richard Trachsler) “Économie et allégorie. Notule à propos des manuscrits Z de l’Ovide Moralisé”, Medioevo romanzo, 39:2, 2015, 350-366.

“How the ‘cerf sanz tache’ found its way into the Vulgate Cycle”, Reinardus: Yearbook of the International Reynard Society, 25, 2013, 78-95.


Co-editorship of congress proceedings

(Metro-)Polis. La ville dans la Romania / La città nella Romània / La ciudad en el mundo Románico. Kongressakten des Dies Romanicus Turicensis, Universität de Zurich, 15-16 juin 2017, Philologie im Netz (PhiN), Ergänzungsband 17, 2019. [in collaboration with Carlota de Benito Moreno, Camilla Bernardasci, Valeria Iaconis, Andrea Jud, André Masseno and Gina Maria Schneider]