We have followed the conventional division of the text into 11 sections. This will allow us to connect with previous scholarship and to test some of the hypotheses concerning textual division put forward there. The following is an overview of the segments and their contents, indebted to the lucid presentation in Jung 1996 (pp. 336-40).
- Genesis: relates history from the Creation up to the death of Joseph and focuses on well-known Biblical stories such as the Deluge, the Tower of Babel, the destruction of Sodom, and the biographies of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Attention is also given to Ninus, legendary king of Assyria. This account of early Biblical times has been left out in most Second Redaction manuscripts and is occasionally substituted with material from other sources. One common redaction. This segment may contain verse passages or remnants/ and adaptations thereof in prose, which are noted as interstitial segments.
- Orient I: starts with the story of Ninus and Semiramis, continues with an account of the four world empires, and lists the kings of Assyria and Greece. One common redaction.
- Thebes: offers an abridged prosification of the Roman de Thèbes, foregrounding the narrative from Oedipus up to the death of Amphiaraus. One common redaction.
- Greeks and Amazons: gives an account of the conflict between Athens and Crete and of the rise of the Amazons, and relates adventures of Hercules and Theseus. One common redaction. This segment may contain verse passages or remnants/ and adaptations thereof in prose, which are noted as interstitial segments.
- Troy: tells the story of the Trojan wars and the flight of the Trojans. They are three versions of this segment: (a) the First Redaction manuscripts present a French prose translation of pseudo-Dares Phrygius De excidio Troiae historia; (b) in the Second Redaction, the original Troy section is replaced with the Prose 5 version of Benoît de Sainte-Maure's Roman de Troie, which is a translation into French of Guido delle Colonne's translation of the Troie into Latin; (c) some manuscripts have a mixed redaction, which takes elements from (a) and (b).
- Eneas: adaptation of Virgil's Aeneid, preceded by three genealogies, two of which connect Aeneas and the Trojan dynasty to France. One common redaction.
- Rome I: early history of Rome, Romulus and Remus, the Republic, Roman wars against the Persian Empire, Gaul and the Samnites. One common redaction. This segment may contain verse passages or remnants/ and adaptations thereof in prose, which are noted as interstitial segments.
- Orient II: history of Persia from Cyrus to Artaxerxes. This section also includes the Biblical accounts of Judith and Esther. One common redaction.
- Alexander: genealogy of the Kings of Macedonia, followed by biographies of Philip and Alexander, compiled from a striking array of sources, among which the French Roman d'Alexandre. One common redaction. This segment may contain verse passages or remnants/ and adaptations thereof in prose, which are noted as interstitial segments.
- Rome II: continuation of Roman history up to the victorious entry of Sextus Pompeius in Rome after the destruction of Jerusalem. In the paratextual programs of many copies, particular attention has been awarded to the Punic Wars. In many manuscripts, this is the final section. One common redaction. This segment may contain verse passages or remnants/ and adaptations thereof in prose, which are noted as interstitial segments.
- Conquest of France by Caesar: this section leaves Caesar in the midst of his submission of Gaul, suggesting that it has been left unfinished. It is present in eleven manuscripts. The account is continued in London BL MS Additional 25884. In a number of manuscripts, dated to the late thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and produced in Italy, Paris and Flanders, this section is replaced with the Fait des Romains. Two manuscripts, Paris BnF f. fr 250 and Paris BnF f. fr 686, have both Section 11 and the Faits.
Notwithstanding that scholarship has traditionally divided the extant MSS into three redactions, with the exception of Section 5 and material that was added at later stages in the textual transmission, the content of all other segments does not differ significantly between First and Second Redaction MSS. Notwithstanding that the text of these sections may present common variants and errors in Second Redaction copies, this justifies an analysis which for all segments, Troy excepted, refers to a common version.
The verse passages, which may be present or absent, are signalled as interstitial segments. It is also indicated whether they are preserved as verse and set out as verse, preserved as verse but copied as prose, prosified, or occur in a mixed form.
The presence and location of the Heroides is signalled at segment level in Second Redaction MSS. Where the Heroides are copied separately, they are treated as a separate segment.