King Robert of Sicily
English romance of unknown authorship, written during the
fourteenth century. It tells the story of King Robert of Sicily,
who was beguiled by pride into sneering at a priest saying mass.
An angel is sent by God to punish him, and transforms the king
into the likeness of his own fool, sent out to lie with the dogs.
King Robert is allowed to resume his proper shape after a long
and ignominious penance. The theme is an ancient one, with
parallels in early Buddhist and Hindu tales. It was revived by
the poet Longfellow in one of his Tales of a Wayside Inn.
Sources
Baring-Gould, S. Curiosities of Olden Times. London J. T.
Hayes, 1869.

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