As productive as the identifi cation of sources for Shakespeare’s plays has been, especially in appreciating what he read and which literary and cultural traditions he drew on, that nineteenth-and twentieth-century preoccupation has sometimes prevented our seeing the forest for the trees. In this essay I explore le cycle de la gageure, the cycle of European stories about a wager, in relation to Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. This narrative tradition included at least forty-one European stories (Paris), a number that does not even take into account the many folktale versions. Most of these are unlikely to be sources for Shakespeare’s play in any conventional sense; only two, Boccaccio’s story from day two, number nine in The Decameron, and the anonymous story called Frederyke of Jennen, are generally agreed on as the play’s sources. Although I do not suggest in what follows that Shakespeare had most of these versions of the wager to hand, I argue that the parallels between some of them and Cymbeline qualify them as signifi cant intertexts for the play. One of them shows a god fi gure descending to the repentant husband; another includes a malicious female magician and her ugly, inept son; two liken the heroine’s body mark to a fl ower; most stage combat between the husband or lover and the woman’s accuser. None of these events occurs in The Decameron or Frederyke. The parallels between these intertexts and Cymbeline are not evident as verbal echoes, but they do occur as reiterated motifs within an extensive narrative tradition that Shakespeare had reason to know about. Recounted orally over a period of at least fi ve centuries, these stories conveyed the cultural stakes associated with women’s fi delity and men’s trust, performing, reproducing, and reinventing those investments for multiple and changing audiences.