The third volume of the Epopees francaises contains an analysis and full particulars of the chansons de geste immediately connected with the history of Charlemagne.
It has been held that the chansons de geste were formed by joining together " bunches " of these earlier cantilenes, and this was the view taken by Leon Gautier in the first edition of Les Epopees frangaises (1865).
First of all, the old popular traditions, so far as they had not yet been exhausted by Firdousi, were ransacked for new epic themes, and a regular cycle of national epopees gathered round the Book of Kings, drawn almost exclusively from the archives of the princes of Sejistan, the family of Firdousis greatest hero, Rustam.
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