The Chronicle of Novalese: Translation, Text and Literary Analysis

The Chronicle of Novalese: Translation, Text and Literary Analysis

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Elizabeth Artemis Clark
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A dissertation submitted to the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Classics. This dissertation is a study of the "Chronicle of Novalese" ("Chronicon Novaliciense"), an 11th-century history of the monastery in Novalesa, Italy. There have been two major modern editions of the "Chronicle" (Bethmann, Cipolla), and one translation of the work into Italian (Alessio). The dissertation presents the first full English translation of the "Chronicle", the Latin text, and an analysis of the "Chronicle’s" relationship with the 9th- (10th-) century epic poem "Waltharius". Previously, there have been only a few English translations of brief sections of the "Chronicle", taken primarily from Book II. I offer the complete English translation of all five books and the appendix in order to facilitate a broader access to the work as a whole for both the general and the academic reader. I include the Latin text, following that of Bethmann, and collating it against the lone manuscript, a "rotulus", or roll, housed in the State Archives of Turin. I examine the connection between Book II of the "Chronicle" and the "Waltharius". Employing a close comparison of the relevant lines of the two works, I find that the anonymous chronicler changed the epic poem in deliberate and meaningful ways. With these changes, the chronicler has expanded for his monastery the story of the epic hero Walter, who, according to the chronicler’s new narrative, became a monk at Novalese. Given the analysis of these changes, I suggest that there is value in a further examination of the chronicler’s methods in his treatment of the other portions of the "Chronicle", which include small episodes concerning women, various accounts of political pressures on the monastery, stories and legends of the area, and tales of Charlemagne.