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Neophilologus

, Volume 93, Issue 4, pp 555–570 | Cite as

Melion and the Wolves of Ireland

  • Matthieu BoydEmail author
Article
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Abstract

When the werewolf protagonist of the Old French lay of Melion recruits a band of other wolves in order to lay waste to Ireland, this activity—unique to Melion—is informed by the medieval Irish view of díberg ‹(wolf-like) brigandage’. These aspects of Melion’s setting and plot are major developments in the medieval werewolf tale most famously attested in Marie de France’s Bisclavret. The case of Melion has profound implications for understanding Celtic influence on Francophone literature in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Keywords

Arthurian Bisclavret Ireland Lai/lay Melion Werewolf/werewolves 

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Notes

Acknowledgments

I am grateful to Prof. Tomás Ó Cathasaigh (Harvard University), Prof. Catherine McKenna (Harvard University), Prof. Keith Busby (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Aled Llion Jones (Harvard University), Margaret Harrison (Harvard University), and the reviewers for Neophilologus, who made valuable comments on drafts of this article.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Celtic Languages and LiteraturesHarvard University, Barker CenterCambridgeUSA

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