This volume of the "Old French Crusade Cycle", an epic cycle of poems concerning the First Crusade, focuses on the on the birth and early fictional life of the hero Godfrey, and his encounter with the Saracen Cornumarant. The ten-volume "Old French Crusade Cycle", when completed, will represent a large body of critically edited epics, important for both an understanding of of the phenomenon of cyclical composition, and an understanding of the problem of the relationship between epic and romance. Published in Old French, the cycle, which dates from the 13th century, is both history and fiction, romance and epic, folklore and reality. Its sources are both oral and classical, and its influence can be seen in translations and versions in Spanish, English, and German. It is a useful reference for scholars in a number of fields, including Old French literature, Old Spanish literature, Medieval German literature, Middle English literature, folklore, history, linguistics, and music history. This third volume includes two branches.
The first,"Les Enfaces Godefroi", presents the birth and childhood of Godfrey, the future hero of the First Crusade, and focuses on the Boulogne/Bouillion family. This poem includes the expanded treatment of Ida and a long episode in England concerning Godfrey's older brother Eustace, the future count of Boulogne. The other branch, "Retour de Cornumarant", is a later addition that concerns the Saracen's journey to Europe to assassinate Gpodfrey before he can lead the crusade.