BENOIT DE SAINTE-MORE or SAINTE-MAURE, 12th century French troubadour, supposed author of the Chron ique des ducs de Normandie and the Roman de Troie. It cannot, however, be regarded as certain that the Benoit of the Chronique is the same person as the Benoit who wrote the romance of Troy. Wace in his Roman de Rou brought down Norman history to the reign of Henry I., but here Henry II. seems to have withdrawn his patronage, and at the end of his poem Wace refers to a maistre Beneeit who had received a similar commission. There is no other contemporary poem extant dealing with the subject except the Chronique des ducs de Normandie, and Wace's rival has been commonly identified with Benoit de Sainte-More. The poem con tains over 40,000 lines, and relates the history of the Norman dukes from Rollo to Henry I., with a preliminary sketch of the Danish invasions and the adventures of Hastings and his compan ions. Benoit drew his information from the De moribus et actis primorum Normanniae ducum of Dudon de Saint Quentin as far as 1002 and then followed the chronicle of William of Jumieges, also of Ordericus Vitalis and others. The Chronique probably dates from about 1172 to 1176. In the Roman de Troie, written about II6o, Benoit expressly asserts his authorship. He mentions "Omers" with great respect as li clers merveillos, but his authority for the story is naturally not Homer but the apocryphal Historic de excidio Trojae of Dares the Phrygian, possibly in an amplified version now lost, and the Ephemerides belli Trojani of Dictys of Crete. The poem runs to about 30,000 lines. The personages of the classical story are converted into heroes of romance. They have their castles and their abbeys, and act in accordance with feudal custom. In the Roman de Troie first appeared the episode of Troilus and Briseida, that was to be developed later in the Filo strato, which in its turn formed the basis of Chaucer's Troilus and Creseide. The Shakespearian play of Troilus and Cressida is also indirectly derived from Benoit's story.
On the strength of a certain similarity of treatment Benoit has sometimes been credited with the authorship of the anonymous Roman d'Eneas and of the Roman de Thebes, a romance derived indirectly from the Thebais of Statius. M. Constans is inclined to negative both these attributions.
The Chronique des ducs de Normandie was edited by Francisque Michel in 1836-44 ; the Roman de Troie by A. Joly in 1870-71 and by L. Constans (6 vols., i9o4-12) the Eneas, by J. J. Salverda de Grave in H. Suchier's Bibliotheca Normannica in 1891 ; the Roman de Thebes for the Societe des anciens textes f rancais, by M. L. Constans in 18go. See E. D. Grand in La Grande Encyclopedic; L. Constans in Petit de Julleville's Hist. de be langue et de la litt. francaise (vol. i., pp. 171-2 2 5) , where the three romances are analysed at length. The prefaces to the editions just mentioned discuss the authorship of the romances.