Article published in:Reinardus: Yearbook of the International Reynard Society
Edited by Richard Trachsler and Baudouin Van den Abeele
[Reinardus 26] 2014
► pp. 1–13
Foi que doi
Saints in the Roman de Renart
One aspect of the late 12th and early 13th century Old French tales of the fox, Renart, that has been overlooked* is that the animals and humans who populate the stories invoke or mention a wide variety of saints – 64 in all.† Renart himself names 36 different saints when making 75 invocations. The choice of saint’s name to be invoked in the Roman de Renart appears to have been based on more than rhyme. Rhyme could invite multiple possibilities, given the number of saints with identical names listed in the martyrologies that circulated at that time.‡ Comparing the renardian situation with a saint’s vita or passio reveals a rich deposit of narrative, geographic, and symbolic information that the numerous, mostly anonymous, authors often manipulated to humorous, ironic, or subversive effect.
Published online: 27 March 2015