Skip to content

Vol. 11 Octavian Imperator

Edited by Frances McSparran (1979) Edition From BL MS Cotton Caligula A II

Frances McSparran (ed.) There are two versions of the romance of Octavian in Middle English: the Northern version is preserved in two manuscripts, and in fragmentary form in an early printed text; the Southern version occurs only in the Caligula manuscript, and was last edited in 1885 by Sarrazin. The existence of two very different Middle English versions of the closely related Old French Otheviens affords an unusual opportunity for examining the differing techniques used by two Middle English authors for reworking and abbreviating a common source. The edition is preceded by a description of the manuscript and of the language of the poem, and by a discussion of the relationship between the various versions of the Octavian story.