Rustichello da Pisa
Rustichello da Pisa, also known as Rusticiano and Rustigielo (fl. late 13th century), was an Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

Romance (genre)
As a literary genre of high culture, romance or chivalric romance is a style of heroic prose and verse narrative that was popular in the aristocratic circles of High Medieval and Early Modern Europe. They were fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, often of a knight errant portrayed as...

 writer best known for cowriting Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

's autobiography while they were in prison together in Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

. A native Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

n, he may have been captured by the Genoese at the Battle of Meloria
Battle of Meloria (1284)
The Battle of Meloria was fought between 5 and 6 August 1284 near the Meloria islet, in the Tyrrhenian Sea between the Genoese and the Pisan fleet, as part of the Genoese-Pisan War...

 in 1284, amid a conflict between the Republic of Genoa
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

 and Pisa. When Polo was imprisoned around 1298, perhaps after a clash between Genoa and Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 (according to tradition the Battle of Curzola
Battle of Curzola
Battle of Curzola was the naval battle which was fought on September 9, 1298 between the fleets of Genoa and Venice; it was a disaster for Venice, a major setback among many battles fought in the 13th and 14th centuries between Pisa, Genoa and Venice in a long series of wars...

), he dictated his tales of travel to Rustichello, and together they turned it into the book known as The Travels of Marco Polo
The Travels of Marco Polo
Books of the Marvels of the World or Description of the World , also nicknamed Il Milione or Oriente Poliano and commonly called The Travels of Marco Polo, is a 13th-century travelogue written down by Rustichello da Pisa from stories told by Marco Polo, describing the...


Earlier, Rustichello had written a work in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 known as the Roman de Roi Artus (Romance of King Arthur
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

) or simply the Compilation, derived from a book in the possession of Edward I of England
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

, who passed through Italy on his way to fight in the Eighth Crusade
Eighth Crusade
The Eighth Crusade was a crusade launched by Louis IX, King of France, in 1270. The Eighth Crusade is sometimes counted as the Seventh, if the Fifth and Sixth Crusades of Frederick II are counted as a single crusade...

 in 1270-1274. The Compilation contains an interpolation of the Palamedes
Palamedes (romance)
Palamedes is a 13th-century French Arthurian prose romance. Named for King Arthur's Saracen knight Palamedes, it is set in the time before the rise of Arthur, and relates the exploits of the parents of various Arthurian heroes...

, a now-fragmentary prose account of Arthur's Saracen
Saracen was a term used by the ancient Romans to refer to a people who lived in desert areas in and around the Roman province of Arabia, and who were distinguished from Arabs. In Europe during the Middle Ages the term was expanded to include Arabs, and then all who professed the religion of Islam...

 knight Palamedes
Palamedes (Arthurian legend)
Palamedes is a Knight of the Round Table in the Arthurian legend. He is a Saracen pagan who converts to Christianity later in his life, and his unrequited love for Iseult brings him into frequent conflict with Tristan...

 and the history of the Round Table
Round Table
The Round Table is King Arthur's famed table in the Arthurian legend, around which he and his Knights congregate. As its name suggests, it has no head, implying that everyone who sits there has equal status. The table was first described in 1155 by Wace, who relied on previous depictions of...

. It was later divided into two sections, named after their principal protagonists, Meliadus
Meliodas or Meliadus is a figure in Arthurian legend, famous as the father of Sir Tristan in the Prose Tristan and subsequent accounts that draw material from it, including the Post-Vulgate Cycle, Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, and the Compilation of Rustichello da Pisa. He was king of Lyoness, and...

Tristan is one of the main characters of the Tristan and Iseult story, a Cornish hero and one of the Knights of the Round Table featuring in the Matter of Britain...

's father) and Guiron le Courtois; these remained popular for hundreds of years, and influenced works written in French as well as in Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

, Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

, and even Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...


External links

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