The Voex du paon by Jacques de Longuyon

Jacques de Longuyon’s poem Voex du Paon (1312) takes its starting point from the Roman d’Alexandre and in some 8500 duodecasyllabic lines narrates the adventures of Alexander and his followers as they travel toward Babylon after the capture of Defur (narrated in the Prise de Defur).  In the first part the Indian King Clarus besieges Gadifer and Betis, nephews of Casamus, an ally of Alexander,  intending to dispossess them, and to marry their sister Fesonas.  During a period of truce, a banquet is held at which a peacock is killed.  In the tradition of swearing vows over the body of a bird, nine knights and three maidens make a series of vows; the knights vow to commit acts of valor in battle, the maidens to seek husbands according to Alexander’s choice.  The knights accomplish their vows as they defeat the besieging enemy, and the story ends with the burial of the dead and the marriage of the maidens.


Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, fr. 12567, 14th c