The Art of Courtly Love (Records of Western Civilization Series)

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9780231136570: The Art of Courtly Love (Records of Western Civilization Series)

Marriage is no real excuse for not loving. That which a lover takes against the will of his beloved has no relish. When made public, love rarely endures. Love can deny nothing to love. Published in the twelfth century, Andreas Capellanus' canonical Art of Courtly Love had a major impact on the cultural and social conduct of medieval Europeans. But the book is more than just a list of rules and advice - it is a remarkably influential piece of allegory and myth and a time capsule of the social laws and customs of court. Its style and concerns served as the foundation of a long and significant tradition of English literature, and its attitudes and practices shaped Western civilization. Renowned medievalist Jan Ziolkowski has completed a new translation of the work from the original French, maintaining its lively tone and sophisticated play with character and sentiment. He has also written a foreword highlighting the work's continued relevance and has updated the bibliography with new critical sources.

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Book Description:

The social system of 'courtly love' soon spread after becoming popularized by the troubadours of southern France in the twelfth century. This book codifies life at Queen Eleanor's court at Poitiers between 1170 and 1174 into "one of those capital works which reflect the thought of a great epoch, which explain the secret of a civilization."

About the Author:

Jan M. Ziolkowski is Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin and chair of the Department of the Classics at Harvard. His many books include Fairy Tales from Before Fairy Tales: The Medieval Latin Past of Wonderful Lies; Nota Bene: Reading Classics and Writing Songs in the Early Middle Ages; and, with Michael C. J. Putnam, The Virgilian Tradition to 1500.

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