Raoul de Cambrai is one of the most violent and passionate Old French poems of the cycle of barons in revolt. The three relations that structure medieval society - companionship, feudalism, and the family - are here seen in crisis. Conflicts of interest, and the competition for resources, result in social disintegration, wholesale loss of life, and the collapse of authority. The poem, probably composed around the turn of the thirteenth century, results from successive reworkings that weave a many-layered commentary on its own moral and political themes. This first edition for over a hundred years draws on important manuscript material unknown to the text's previous editors. It is prefaced by a scholarly introduction and accompanied by an annotated translation into English prose.
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