Roman Legends: A Collection of the Fables and Folk-lore of Rome | Annotated Tale

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AMADEA was a beautiful queen who fell in love with a king not of her own country; he loved her too, and married her, and took her home. But the king her father, and the prince her brother, were very wroth that she should go away with the stranger.

               When Amadea heard that her brother was preparing to prevent her going away with her husband, she turned upon him and killed him, and then cut his body in pieces, and threw the mangled limbs in her father's way, to show him what he might expect if he followed after her too. And when she found that he was not deterred by the sight, she turned and killed him in like manner.

               Only fancy what a woman she must have been!

               When her husband, who had liked her before, saw this, he began to be afraid of her; nevertheless, they lived for some time happily together, and had two beautiful children. But after that again, her husband's love cooled towards her when he thought of the horrors she had committed, and he took their two children and went away and left her.

               After a time Amadea not only found out where he was, but found out that she had a rival. Then she made her way to the place, and demanded to see her rival; but knowing of what she was capable, this her husband would by no means allow. Then she prepared a most beautiful necklace of pearls, and sent it as a present to her rival. But she had poisoned it by her arts, for she was a sort of witch, and when her rival put it on she died.

               Meantime she had sent a message to her husband, saying, 'If I may not come to your court, at least let me see my children for one hour, and then I will go away, and molest you no more for ever.'

               'That I will grant you,' was his answer; and the children were brought to her.

               When she saw her children, she wept, and embraced them, and wept again, and said:

               'Now, my children, I must kill you.'

               'And why must you kill us?' asked the little boy.

               'Because of the too great love I bear you,' she replied, and drew out her dagger.

               At that instant her husband came into the room, and she stabbed the children before his eyes. After that she stabbed herself, and he died of grief.


It was about the time that Prince Amadeo gave up his attempt to hold the throne of Spain that I was visiting a poor person who had before given me some of the stories of this collection. The abdication of Prince Amadeo being the subject of the hour, we, of course, talked about that; when she said: 'Ah, you who are so fond of favola, do you know the favola of Queen Amadea, for one name brings up another?' I told her I did not; for I expected she meant some legend of the House of Savoy; she then told me the story of Medeia in the text. It is very rare, however, to meet remnants of classical traditions in such direct form.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Amadea
Tale Author/Editor: Busk, Rachel Harriette
Book Title: Roman Legends: A Collection of the Fables and Folk-lore of Rome
Book Author/Editor: Busk, Rachel Harriette
Publisher: Estes and Lauriat
Publication City: Boston
Year of Publication: 1877
Country of Origin: Italy
Classification: unclassified

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