This prose translation of the medieval French verse narrative Ami and Amile recounts the legendary friendship of two valiant knights who are as indistinguishable as twin brothers. Ami and Amile serve Charlemagne together, face together the hatred of an archetypal villain, confront the daunting challenges of women and love, and accept extraordinary sacrifices for each other's sake. Miracles mark the end of their lives, and their shared tomb becomes a pilgrims' shrine.
The compelling translation by Samuel N. Rosenberg and Samuel Danon is accompanied by an introduction on the background, genre, and general sense of the tale. The volume also includes an afterword by David Konstan, which examines the medieval work's concept of friendship within a perspective extending back to classical antiquity.
This translation will reveal Ami and Amile as a major work of the French Middle Ages. In elegant and forceful prose, it weaves together the themes of friendship and love and the status of women, of sin and punishment, the moral problem of doing wrong for the right reason, and the mythic affliction of leprosy. The work will foster lively literary and philosophical discussion.
Ami and Amile is of interest to a wide range of readers, including students of history, comparative literature, and gender studies. Medievalists will find it a welcome addition to their libraries and a captivating experience for their students.
The volume is published in the series Stylus: Studies in Medieval Culture, edited by Eugene Vance, University of Washington. Samuel N. Rosenberg is Professor of French and Italian at Indiana University; Samuel Danon is Professor of French at Reed College.