Medieval Manuscripts in Transition

Medieval Manuscripts in Transition: Tradition and Creative Recycling

Geert H.M. CLAASSENS
Werner VERBEKE
Copyright Date: 2006
Published by: Leuven University Press
Pages: 384
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qdxv4
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  • Book Info
    Medieval Manuscripts in Transition
    Book Description:

    Manuscripts constitute the source material par excellence for diverse academic disciplines. Art historians, philologists, historians, theologians, philosophers, book historians and even jurists encounter one another around the codex. The fact that such an encounter can be extremely fertile was demonstrated, during an international congress in Brussels on November 5-9, 2002. A record of the discussions can be found in this volume of the Mediaevalia Lovaniensia. The editors selected those lectures that focused on the historical, literary-historical, philosophical and theological aspects of the congress theme as opposed to those with an explicit art-historical perspective. The common thread, however, is always the codicological aspect: what can the study of manuscripts contribute to the literary-historical interpretation or the insight into the functioning of a text in its original context. The various contributions testify to a fearless and unrestrained interdisciplinary approach to the material. The subjects broached cover a broad domain: from the development of classical themes to the transmission of lyrical models, from visual material giving evidence of the reception of literary texts to the artes-literature used as a vehicle for a love story.

    eISBN: 978-94-6166-114-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Geert Claassens and Werner Verbeke
  4. MEDIEVAL IRISH COMPILATION: CONSERVATISM AND CREATIVITY
    (pp. 1-12)
    Sharon ARBUTHNOT

    ‘Compilation’ is a largely self-explanatory term. Used of a medieval literary activity, it refers to a recycling process whereby extracts culled from a variety of manuscript sources are cobbled together to create new texts. In a crude, although convenient, analogy, one might suggest that compiling is the textual equivalent of creating a mosaic – the fragments originally belong to very different contexts, a certain amount of compiler-provided ‘grout’ holds the entirety together, and the end product is a quite distinct artefact in itself. In the twelfth and thirteen centuries, learned Irishmen expended a great deal of energy in this direction,...

  5. MÉTAMORPHOSE DES MÉTAMORPHOSES: LE CONTE DE PYRAMUS ET THISBÉ DANS LES MANUSCRITS DE L’OVIDE MORALISÉ EN VERS
    (pp. 13-36)
    Catherine BEL

    En guise d’introduction, l’auteur anonyme de l’Ovide moraliséannonce son projet ambitieux: ‘traire de latin en romans les favles de l’ancien temps, s’en dirai ce que je entens, selonc ce qu’Ovides les baille’.² Il propose en outre de révéler le sens caché des fables.³ C’est donc là une entreprise qui va au-delà de la pure traduction et qui se veut commentaire. Aussi a-t-il fallu attendre le début du quatorzième siècle pour que quelqu’un s’aventure à recycler ce recueil de polythéisme dans une perspective chrétienne.⁴

    Composé entre 1316 et 1328, l’ouvrage aurait été commandé par la reine Jeanne de Bourgogne, épouse...

  6. RECYCLAGE DE CONTENUS ET RÉCUPÉRATION DE PIÈCES D’ARCHIVES DANS LE MACROLOGUS ENCYCLOPÉDIQUE DE SAINT-LAURENT DE LIÈGE, (CIRCA 1470-1480)
    (pp. 37-60)
    Paul Bertrand and Baudouin Van den Abeele

    L’histoire de l’encyclopédisme médiéval est celle d’une chaîne de textes fortement soudés. Depuis Isidore de Séville au VIIesiècle, en passant par Raban Maur à l’époque carolingienne, puis aux grandes œuvres des XIIeet XIIIesiècles, on y suit le cheminement de contenus transmis par relais successifs, tout en y observant des glissements et des ouvertures multiples. Le genre encyclopédique tout entier – si tant est que l’on puisse parler à juste titre de genre¹ – a pour méthode la compilation, et pour élément de base la citation. Trouver pour chaque réalité à caractériser des passages pertinents dans les œuvres...

  7. THE RECEPTION OF ARISTOTLE’S ETHICA NICOMACHEA IN THE HEIMELIJKHEID DER HEIMELIJKHEDEN (SECRET OF SECRETS) BY JACOB VAN MAERLANT
    (pp. 61-80)
    Pieter BORGHART

    The period of the High Middle Ages (twelfth-thirteenth century) is often regarded as a ‘renaissance’ of the ancient philosophy from a cultural historical point of view. This is especially true for Aristotelism, that was rediscovered from the twelfth century onwards through a real boom in Latin translations of original texts by Aristotle (translated both directly from Greek and indirectly from Arabic), spuria and Arabic commentaries. Although the largest part of theCorpus Aristotelicumwas already available in Latin at the end of the twelfth century and even a number of so-called ‘standard editions’ circulated from the thirteenth century onwards, Dod...

  8. DU PORTRAIT D’AUTEUR DANS LE ROMAN DE LA ROSE
    (pp. 81-100)
    Herman BRAET

    LeRoman de la Rose, on le sait, est généralement attribué à deux auteurs: Guillaume de Lorris, qui aurait laissé, vers 1230, une oeuvre inachevée; et Jean de Meun, son continuateur, quarante ans plus tard. On connaît aussi l’importance de ce texte ainsi que l’influence prodigieuse qu’il a exercée sur les lettres et sur la pensée durant trois siècles: c’était l’ouvrage en langue d’oil le plus connu de toute la littérature médiévale, comme l’attestent plus de trois cents manuscrits et fragments conservés.² Vu cette popularité, il n’est pas étonnant que bon nombre de ces témoins soient enluminés, ne fût-ce qu’au...

  9. FROM ARS TO AMOR: MS. GENT, U.B., 444 AS A LABOUR OF LOVE
    (pp. 101-116)
    Geert H.M. CLAASSENS

    Books make great gifts. In fact, a book is always a double gift: an object, and a text. These days such a gift is a relatively straightforward affair, in the sense that there are plenty of books on offer, which is evidently not to say that giving a book is always a cheap option. Beautifully bound volumes printed on high-quality paper can cost an arm and a leg, not to mention the time and brainspace that has to be invested in selecting a book whose worth the recipient will be able to properly appreciate.

    In the venerable tradition of the...

  10. A FEMALE SCRIBE REVEALS HERSELF: THE MAKING OF MS. LEUVEN, THEOL. 842S
    (pp. 117-148)
    Katty DE BUNDEL

    Although research on the position of women in the literary cultural landscape of the Middle Ages has increased considerably in recent years, a specific aspect of this position is still underexposed. Female patronage and reception have received a great deal of attention, but when we speak of the direct involvement of women in the total production of a book – writing/translating, scribal work and commissioning – a great deal of work remains to be done, especially for the Dutch speaking regions. This task is hampered by a lack of direct data, which forces us to weigh and interpret as much...

  11. THE RECYCLING OF LITURGY UNDER PIPPIN III AND CHARLEMAGNE
    (pp. 149-160)
    Yitzhak HEN

    The age of Pippin III (d. 768) and Charlemagne (d. 814) was a significant period of liturgical formation in the early medieval West. For the first time in the history of western Christendom a concerted interest in liturgy was demonstrated by rulers who obviously recognised the political and social advantages that lay within the patronage of liturgy.¹ Several unrelated sources clearly associate Pippin III with the introduction of thecantus Romanusinto Francia, and consequently credit him with replacing thecantus Gallicanuswith what were understood to be Roman musical traditions.² Walahfrid Strabo (d. 849) even recounts that it was...

  12. RESPUN MELODIES FOR THE VIRGIN: TROUVÈRE MODELS FOR THE SONGS OF GAUTIER DE COINCI
    (pp. 161-178)
    Donna MAYER-MARTIN

    Les Miracles de Nostre Dame,adapted by Gautier de Coinci in the early thirteenth century from now lost Latin sources, witnessed such immense popularity during the late Middle Ages that they are preserved today in almost eighty manuscripts. Carefully interpolated amongst the Marian narratives in several of these manuscripts are Gautier’s songs in praise of the Virgin – songs for which Gautier wrote the words but borrowed the melodies. The musical genres chosen by Gautier as models for his Marian chansons are extremely diverse, and they reveal an intimate knowledge of all of the major musical practices of the late...

  13. THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE FOX AND THE HARE IN TRINITY B.11.22
    (pp. 179-196)
    Martine MEUWESE

    Whereas miniatures or historiated initials generally attempt to illustrate the relevant text, marginal images need not do so. The abundant marginal decorations in psalters and prayer books are often text-independent, for they usually do not illustrate the accompanying religious text. In the margins artists could indulge their imagination, reverse roles, and even mock the authority of Christian doctrine. Marginal themes may refer to the accompanying text, to works of ‘literature’ such as sermons, romances, fables and bestiaries, but also to the activities of daily life such as hunting or children’s play, or to a whole range of oral discourse, whether...

  14. LE RECYCLAGE DES MÉTAPHORES DANS LA LITTÉRATURE ALLÉGORIQUE: DE L’HISTOIRE DU SENS À LA CRÉATION POÉTIQUE. L’image de la harpe et de l’harmonie universelle
    (pp. 197-218)
    Virginie MINET-MAHY

    La contribution de la philologie à une réflexion générale sur le thème du recyclage et de la translation des images dans les manuscrits et dans les textes présente divers intérêts. Elle permet de situer le débat à un niveau conceptuel: l’image verbale est un matériau abstrait qui incite à porter son attention sur les mécanismes généraux de la récupération des métaphores et à tenter de résoudre des questions qui touchent aux raisons idéologiques, psychologiques, sociologiques, culturelles, politiques qui président à la transmission des imaginaires. Si la période médiévale est longue et qu’il faut éviter tout effet d’écrasement des strates chronologiques...

  15. MEDIEVAL MANIFESTATIONS OF EROS: The Ancient God of Love in a Christian Setting
    (pp. 219-240)
    Esther M. MULDERS

    Although early authors such as Vasari and Ghiberti have attempted to make us believe otherwise, nowadays it is generally agreed upon that the antique inheritance did not die during the Middle Ages. Consequently, the ancient tradition was never revived during the Renaissance. Renaissance scholars inherited their antique treasure from their medieval ancestors. Medieval thought, writings and imagery, for their part, borrowed significantly from the antique tradition.¹

    This contribution traces the ways in which Eros, the ancient god of love, was reused – or more appropriately maybe: continued to exist – during the Christian Middle Ages.

    The story of Eros’ medieval...

  16. LA PRODUCTION D’UN MANUSCRIT DU POÈME INTITULÉ LE CHEVALIER DÉLIBÉRÉ D’OLIVIER DE LA MARCHE
    (pp. 241-260)
    Susie SPEAKMAN SUTCH

    Le manuscrit 80-11 de la Collection de la Société des Manuscrits des Assureurs Français (S.M.A.F.) en dépôt à la Salle des Manuscrits de la Bibliothèque nationale de France comporte deux ouvrages de nature très différente. Le premier, un traité moral en prose que Ghillebert de Lannoy a écrit à l’intention du futur duc de Bourgogne, Charles le Téméraire, s’intitule l’Instruction d’un jeune prince pour se bien gouverner envers Dieu et le monde(fol. 1r – 39r). Le second,Le Chevalier délibéré(fol. 39v – 100v) d’Olivier de La Marche, est une allégorie didactique en vers qui, sous la forme d’un...

  17. AN ITALIAN SCRIBE AT BRUGES IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY: FRANCESCO FLORIO
    (pp. 261-308)
    Gilbert TOURNOY

    This contribution deals with a topic which, like a medal, has two sides, an Italian one and a Bruges one. Both parts started to be studied some forty years ago, in the sixties of the last century.¹ They each had a quite independent development, not unlike two tracks of a railway, which have the same starting point, but may or may not ever meet again.

    The first track started when I was studying the Neo-Latinnovellain the Italian Quattrocento. A certain Franciscus Florius happened to be the author of one of these short stories, which I had to examine...

  18. LA MUTACION DE PAIX: L’ÉVOLUTION DES FIGURES EXEMPLAIRES PACIFIQUES DANS LA LITTÉRATURE FRANÇAISE MÉDIÉVALE DU XIVe SIÈCLE AU DÉBUT DU XVIe SIÈCLE
    (pp. 309-322)
    Tania Van Hemelryck

    Dès le XIIIesiècle, le goût de l’Antiquité déferle sur la littérature française. Il se manifestera avec emphase dans des œuvres comme l’Ovide Moralisé, mais aussi de manière plus ponctuelle, sous les traits de ce qu’il convient d’appeler des figures exemplaires. Elles se rencontrent dans les œuvres de Guillaume de Machaut, Jean Froissart, Eustache Deschamps, Jean Gerson, Christine de Pizan, George Chastelain, … bref dans l’ensemble du paysage littéraire médiéval.

    Ces figures exemplaires, dont le spectre référentiel est infini et demeure tant à la merci de l’histoire que de l’imagination, peuplent massivement les productions en langue vernaculaire dès le début...

  19. THE WRITER’S LOVE. LOVE AND THE ACT OF READING: PLATO, AUGUSTINE AND BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX
    (pp. 323-336)
    Wim VERBAAL

    When commencing his commentary on the Song of songs and pondering over its abrupt opening verse, its beginning without beginning, Bernard of Clairvaux stresses at first the attractiveness of a text opening on a kiss. ‘And it really is a pleasing communication, which takes its beginning from a kiss, and Scripture itself, as if with an attractive face, easily disposes and invites to its reading.’² The attractive face of Scripture, offering itself to the reader with a kiss: one cannot deny that Bernard makes use of a striking image when illustrating the intriguing character of the Song of songs. The...

  20. THE MANUSCRIPT OF THE ENSEIGNEMENT DE VRAIE NOBLESSE MADE FOR RICHARD NEVILLE, EARL OF WARWICK, IN 1464
    (pp. 337-362)
    Livia VISSER-FUCHS

    In 1461 both France and England had a new king. Louis XI of France succeeded his father in July; Edward IV, of the house of York, had defeated his predecessor, of the house of Lancaster, in March and was crowned in June. The change of dynasty in England owed much to the greatest magnate in the country, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, who because of this and his later political activities is known today as ‘the Kingmaker’. During his lifetime the rest of Western Europe was well aware of Warwick’s position; indeed, continental princes may have had an almost exaggerated...

  21. INDEX LIBRORUM MANU SCRIPTORUM
    (pp. 363-366)
  22. INDEX LOCORUM ET NOMINUM PERSONARUM
    (pp. 367-376)