La Destruction de Rome

Bibliographic Information


Medieval Title:

La Destruction de Rome






s. xiii. in (likely)


Textual Information

Brief Summary:

A prequel to Fierabras. A Saracen sultan and his forces attack Rome, massacre its inhabitants, kill the Pope, seize a number of Passion relics from St Peter’s, torch the city, and then withdraw to Spain to await the coming of Charlemagne who has vowed to reclaim the relics. Charlemagne and his army (including the Twelve Peers) sail to Spain and triumph in their first encounter with the Sultan’s forces, but the relics are not yet won. The Destruction ends at this point but the adventures continue, and are resolved, in Fierabras.


Relics Appearing in Text:

Cross (in the Hanover MS version only)


Manuscripts, Editions, and Translations


Hanover, Niedersächsische Landesbibliothek IV 578 (s. xiii. ex)

London, British Library, MS Egerton 3028 (1425-50)


List of Editions of the Medieval Text: 

Hanover Manuscript :

La destructioun de Rome d’après le ms. Hanoevre IV. 578. Edited and translated by Johann Heinrich Speich. New York: P. Lang, 1988.

La Destruction de Rome. Edited by L. Formisano. Florence: Sansoni, 1981.


Egerton Manuscript :

La Destruction de Rome et Fierabras. MS. Egerton 3028 de Musée Britannique. Edited by L. Brandin in Romania 64 (1938): 18-100. The illustrated folios from this manuscript (and only those with illustrations) are available digitally at:


List of Translations of the Medieval Text: 

Speich’s edition contains a translation into modern French




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