Doon de Mayence

A later edition to the rebellious vassal cycle, this chanson narrates the life of its hero, Doon, through 6000 rhymed alexandrines.  After protecting his mother against several traiterous elements at Charlemagne’s court, he makes peace with the Emperor and marches to Vauclerc, where he defeats the Saxons, conquering the city and taking the hand of Flandrine in marriage. Through Flandrine, Doon has twelve children in six years, a number of which become the subject of Romans in their own right: Doon de Nanteuil (the father of Garnier and grandfather of Gui), Grifon (the father of Ganelon), Ripeu (father of Anseis de Carthage).

Thus the chanson of Doon de Mayence functions in the meta-structure of the rebellious vassal cycle as a prequel. The only manuscript from Italy, Marciana fr. XIV,  also contains a fragment of Bueve de Hantone.


Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, fr. Z 14 (273)


Alexander Pey, Doon de Maience, chanson de geste(Paris: Vieweg, 1858) [Based on Montpellier H. 247, there is no edition of the Venetian text]

Secondary Literature

Keith Busby, Codex and Context: Reading Old French Verse Narrative in Manuscript (New York: Rodopi, 2002), 616.