ABSTRACT. The cultural traditions on which medieval narratives rely are diverse, each having its own writing style and specific motifs. In the prologue to the Chanson des Saisnes, Jean Bodel identifies three such traditions: “de France et de Bretaigne et de Rome la grant”. Nevertheless, any careful analysis of the works will reveal the simplistic nature of this classification. Tributary to their numerous legacies and constructed from heterogeneous elements, medieval narratives seem to draw on other sources, hidden and often not fully acknowledged. The ‘Eastern matter’ plays an important part among these disguised sources, the clues of which serve to better conceal their real origins and the secret desire to invent. It is this Oriental tradition that I intend to study in this paper. Is there such thing as the ‘Eastern matter’? If so, how can it be defined? How was cultural transfer from East to West possible? These are just some of the questions to which I will try to find answers.

Keywords: Cultural tradition; matter; East; West; heritage

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Vasile Alecsandri University;
Bacău, Romania

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