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Amadis of Gaul

Amadis of Gaul (ămˈədĭs) [key], Fr. Amadis de Gaule ämädēsˈ də gōl, famous prose romance of chivalry, first composed in Spain or Portugal and probably based on French sources. Entirely fictional, it dates from the 13th or 14th cent., but the first extant version in Spanish, a revision by García de Rodríguez de Montalvo, was published in 1508. The original inspired innumerable variations and continuations, as well as several translations. It was immensely popular in France and Spain until superseded by Don Quixote, and it was, indeed, a sign of inelegance not to be acquainted with its code of honor and knightly perfection. Its influence is apparent in Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia. The story became the subject of a lyric tragedy by Philippe Quinault (1684), with music by Lully, and it inspired the opera Amadigi (1715) by Handel.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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