Compilatione of Rustichello da Pisa

Rustichello da Pisa’s eponymous Compilation, otherwise known as the Roman de Roi Artus, is a collection of Arthurian prose romances that the author claimed was based on a manuscript left in Italy by Edward I, whose crusade brought him through the region in 1271. The text itself most often is comprised of and reworkings of tales of Arthurian lore relating to Perceval, the knight Berlan le Brun, Merlin, and others; but the considerable manuscript tradition shows a number of emendations to the text that included selections from the Roman de Tristan, Prophecies of Merlin, Guiron le Courtois, Palamedes, and the Roman de Meliadus. Even though Rustichello is better known for his role as the scribe for Marco Polo’s Divisament dou Monde, his Compilation remained popular with medieval scribes and early modern printers, who continued to copy and print Rustichello’s work into the seventeenth century.

The text is sometimes referred to by the names of the romances it draws from, and is also called Compilazione, Romanzo Arturiano, Compilation arthurienne, or simply an Arthurian Compilation.

Representative Manuscripts

Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Hamilton 581.
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 340.
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 355.
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 1463. Viterbo, Archivio di Stato, Fondo Pergamene, cartella 13, n. 131

A more detailed discussion of the complex manuscript tradition can be found on RIALFRI.


Romanzo arturiano di Rustichello da Pisa. Edited and translated by Fabrizio Cigni. Pisa: Pacini, 1994.

Secondary Literature

Cigni, Fabrizio. “Pour l’édition de la Compilation de Rustichello da Pisa: La version du MS. Paris, B.N. FR. 1463.” Neophilologus 76 (1992): 519-534.

______________. “‘Roman de Tristan’ in prosa e ‘compilazione’ di Rustichello da Pisa in area veneta. A proposito di una recente edizione.” Lettere Italiane 47 (1995): 598-622.

Hoffman, Donald L. “Rusticiano da Pisa.” In. The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, 392. Edited by Norris J. Lacey et al. New York: Garland, 1991.

Bogdanow, Fanni. “Une Compilation Arthurienne Méconnue: le ms L-V-30 de la Bibliothèque Nationale de Turin. In Europaïsche Literaturen imMittelalter, 19-31. Greifswald: ReinekeVerlag, 1994.

See Arlima.