Robin Hood: the legend

Painting: Robin Hood and his Merry Men Entertaining Richard the Lionheart in Sherwood Forest

by Daniel Maclise (1806-1870)

One of the most famous versions of Robin Hood’s story starts in the period when Richard the Lionheart was at the crusades and a minor noble of Nottinghamshire, Robin of Loxley, was accused for poaching deer. In Norman times this “crime” was punished with death because the deer in a royal forest belonged to the king.
So Robin goes to live in Sherwood Forest, and starts stealing from rich travellers and distributing the plunder among the poor of the area.
While there other men join him: Will Scarlet (or Scathlock), Much the Miller’s Son, and Little John – a very tall and big man. He also falls in love with a girl he already knew when he was at court: Maid Marian. The evil Sherrif of Nottingham tries every trick to capture him: he captures his friends, sends soldiers to burn the little villages where they live, organizes a tournament for the best archers of the reign. He does not succeed and when King Richard returns from the Crusades, Robin gets a full pardon and the restoration of his lands.
Did Robin really exist?
Possibly. By 1300 at least 8 people were called Robinhood, and at least 5 of those were fugitives from the law. As in 1266 the Sherrif of Nottingham, William de Grey, was in active conflict with outlaws in Sherwood Forest, it is possible that a number of different outlaws escaped into the forest, and over time, the legend grew.

poach: steal, rob (fare barcconaggio)
deer = cervo (both sing. and plur.9
stealing: robbing (derubare)
plunder: goods (bottino)
join: unite, link (unirsi)
gets full pardon= ottiene il perdono
at least = per lo meno
active: real (vero)
outlaw: criminal, fugitive (fuorilegge)