The Historia Apollonii is a rare Latin example of a genre of literature more fully attested in Greek, the so-called `Greek romance' - popular stories which involve lovers or families separated byshipwreck and misfortune and eventually joyfully reunited. It was one of the most widely and continuously read texts to survive from late Antiquity through the middle ages and into the Renaissance almost unchanged. Elizabeth Archibald's study of the Historia Apollonii, taking a valuable comparative approach, discusses the text's merits and interest, its date and possible origin, the present state of scholarship, and the question of its reception and genre in the middle ages and Renaissance. There follows a complete survey of the medieval and early Renaissance use and knowledge of the Historia Apollonii throughout Europe; and the book is completed with the text and translation of the romance itself. An indispensable work for students of medieval romance.
ELIZABETH ARCHIBALD is Professor of English, Durham University.