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Fifteenth-Century Studies Vol. 28

Fifteenth-Century Studies Vol. 28

Edelgard E. DuBruck
Barbara I. Gusick
Volume: 28
Copyright Date: 2003
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    Fifteenth-Century Studies Vol. 28
    Book Description:

    Fifteenth-Century Studies publishes essays on all aspects of life in the fifteenth century, including literature, drama, history, philosophy, art, music, religion, science, and ritual and custom. The century defies consensus on fundamental issues: some scholars dispute whether it belonged to the middle ages at all, arguing that it was a period of transition. At issue, therefore, is the very tenor of an age that stood under the influence of Gutenberg, Columbus, the Devotio Moderna, and Humanism. Along with the standard updating of bibliography on fifteenth-century theater, this volume is devoted to research on late-medieval authors as literary critics. Thus, the tenuous limits between truth and fantasy (and the role of doubt) are investigated: if there are several eyewitness accounts of an event, which one can be trusted? Medieval memorialists sometimes became advisors to princes and used a rhetoric of careful persuasion. Values such as chivalry, courtly love, and kingly self-representation come up for discussion here. Several essays ponder the structure of poetic forms and popular genres, and others consider more factual topics such as incunabula on medications, religious literature in the vernacular for everyday use, a student's notebook on magic, and late medieval merchants, money, and trade. Contributors: Edelgard Dubruck, Karen Casebier, Emma J. Cayley, Albrecht Classen, Michael G. Cornelius, Jean Dufornet, Catherine Emerson, Leonardas V. Gerulaitis, Kenneth Hodges, Sharon M. Leowald, Luca Pierdominici, Michel J. Raby, Elizabeth I. Wade.

    eISBN: 978-1-57113-791-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Essays

    • The Current State of Research on Late-Medieval Drama: 1998–2000. Survey, Bibliography, and Reviews
      (pp. 1-36)
      Edelgard E. DuBruck

      After discussing general work on medieval theater we shall turn to England, as usual. Perhaps the most outstanding general work is the yearly collection of articles, which have so far appeared, in European Medieval Drama, edited by Sydney Higgins (here marked EMD), which will be reviewed in 00–02. We think that this project is long overdue, since contributions on England have now been accompanied by those on other countries, in a reasonable proportion. Meg Twycross edited Festive Drama, a collection focused mainly on England (reviewed in this article), Jelle Koopmans wrote on the theater of the excluded (heretics, sorcerers,...

    • History or Fiction? The Role of Doubt in Antoine de La Sale’s ‘Le Paradis de la royne Sibille’
      (pp. 37-50)
      Karen Casebier

      Le Paradis de la royne Sibille (1437) is a collection of five true stories written and narrated by Antoine de La Sale, who informs us that this work is the result of his personal investigation into the events he describes.¹ These tales are connected in that each relates a legend concerning the Mountain of Sibylle, a geographical location which, at that time, was associated with rumors of an underground kingdom ruled by the title character, Queen Sibylle. The narrator of the Paradis states that he not only collected these tales during a personal visit to Italy’s Central Apennine Mountains on...

    • Drawing Conclusions: The Poetics of Closure in Alain Chartier’s Verse
      (pp. 51-64)
      Emma J. Cayley

      The ballade ascribed to “Perseverance” in Chartier’s “Le Breviaire des Nobles” (1416–26),¹ contains a passage which might provide a starting point for a discussion of poetic closure (which has been disputed) in the poet’s verse:

      Il ne fait rien, qui commence et ne fine;

      Et des que aucun a varïer s’encline,

      Son bien passé demeure en oublïance.

      Et quant l’euvre est haulte, louable et digne,

      S’on l’entreprent sans ce qu’on l’enterine,

      C’est reprouche de lasche oultrecuidance (vv. 428–33).²

      Chartier seems, in these lines, to endorse artistic closure, based on the premise that a work, once begun, must at...

    • Widows: Their Social and Moral Functions According to Medieval German Literature, with Special Emphasis on Erhart Gross’s ‘Witwenbuch’ (1446)
      (pp. 65-79)
      Albrecht Classen

      The world of the Middle Ages is not alien in comparison to our own, and an examination of the social and moral functions of widowhood in medieval times proves to be as relevant as such a scrutiny would be today.¹ Anthropologist Helena Znaniecka Lopata offers the following observation about the plight of a married woman facing the loss of a husband; her future “depends on the status that she can achieve or that is relegated to her after his [her husband’s] death and her becoming a widow, if there is such a role.”² Widows in premodern societies have only recently...

    • Robert Henryson’s Pastoral Burlesque ‘Robene and Makyne’ (c.1470)
      (pp. 80-96)
      Michael G. Cornelius

      Robert Henryson’s Robene and Makyne (c.1470), the earliest surviving pastoral poem recorded in the English language, remains one of Henryson’s best known works; “the excellence of this poem has long been recognized even by those who do not appreciate Henryson’s other works”¹ notes critic Robert Kindrick, and he is correct in that assessment. The comical story of the shepherdess Makyne’s advances towards the reluctant shepherd Robene, and the ensuing reversal of fortune that finishes the work, have delighted audiences for centuries. Well-anthologized and studied often in British literature survey courses, Robene and Makyne, with its pithy nature, uncomplicated structure, comical...

    • Late-Medieval Merchants: History, Education, Mentality, and Cultural Significance
      (pp. 97-110)
      Edelgard E. DuBruck

      Western European towns, eventually becoming the merchants’ most important support system in terms of clientele, grew remarkably in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, in spite of conflicts erupting sporadically between urban forces and territorial princes. Towns became places of order, progress, freedom, and civilization.¹ As exemplified by a number of towns, the gradual development of a complex urban society, manifested in each town by its own civic hierarchy, facilitated the immediate satisfaction of citizens’ needs, eliminating the necessity of merchant (or client) travel to distant points. The urban societal units practiced manorialism (a system of landed estates), within which late-medieval...

    • Grandeur et modernité de Philippe de Commynes (1447–1511)
      (pp. 111-123)
      Jean Dufournet

      Pour vous remercier du grand honneur que vous m’avez fait en m’invitant à parler devant vous, j’ai pensé qu’il ne serait pas mauvais d’esquisser un portrait de l’écrivain et du penseur qui a joué pour moi le rôle d’un médiateur, Philippe de Commynes, qui est d’autre part le seul écrivain du Moyen Âge qui n’ait jamais connu d’éclipse et qu’on ait toujours lu, de la publication des Mémoires en 1524 à aujourd’hui. Il marque d’ailleurs le passage du Moyen Âge aux temps modernes, tant par sa vie que par sa pensée et sa vision du monde, tout en étant avec...

    • Who Witnessed and Narrated the ‘Banquet of the Pheasant’ (1454)? A Codicological Examination of the Account’s Five Versions
      (pp. 124-137)
      Catherine Emerson

      The Banquet hosted in Lille by Philippe le Bon on February 17th, 1454, continues to elicit fascination in those who study it. The feast was a lavish affair: guests entering the hall had to pass a chained lion before taking their seats at tables decorated with automata, described as entremets, including fountains, moving tableaux, and a pie crust containing twenty-eight musicians. During and after their meal, guests were entertained with similarly exotic scenes (also called entremets): a fire-breathing dragon flew over their heads, and a small boy mounted on a deer moved amongst them, singing a duet in which the...

    • Medications Recommended in Incunabula
      (pp. 138-147)
      Leonardas V. Gerulaitis

      Even before the emergence of humans, plants were used as medicine, for already apes ingested specific herbs when ailing.¹ Botanical remedies used two million years ago and their astounding revival today attest to experience rather than authority: if a cure proves successful, it will be applied again and again.

      Based upon archeological evidence, we presume that plants as well as mineral and animal substances were used by prehistorical human societies, and even today the most primitive societies still apply these various remedies. The study of plants, the aim of ethnobotany, is enlightening in this regard.² What we now know about...

    • English Knights, French Books, and Malory’s Narrator
      (pp. 148-172)
      Kenneth Hodges

      In the epilogue of his translation of Ramon Lull’s Ordre of Chyualry (printed in 1484), William Caxton bemoans the contemporary decline of chivalry. His prescription for mitigating the problem was having knights read, and his first choice of what they should read was books about King Arthur:

      O ye knyghtes of Englond where is the custome and vsage of noble chyualry that was vsed in tho dayes / . . . rede the noble volumes of saynt graal of lancelot / of galaad / of Trystam / of perse forest / of percyual / of gawayn / & many mo.¹...

    • Quatre figures féminines apocryphes dans certains Mystères de la Passion en France
      (pp. 173-183)
      Sharon Mueller-Loewald

      L’histoire de la vie de Jésus-Christ, de sa souffrance et de sa mort sur la croix n’offre pas beaucoup de possibilités de variation dans l’action si l’on veut rester fidèle à l’esprit et à la lettre des Évangiles canoniques. Les seules innovations possibles, pour les auteurs des poèmes narratifs et des Mystères de la Passion, se trouvent dans la mise en scène, le langage et la présentation des personnages qui font partie de l’histoire biblique, ou qu’on peut introduire tant pour renforcer le message chrétien de la Passion que pour divertir le public, sans pour autant rien changer à l’essentiel...

    • Die Bibel in der spätmittelalterlichen religiösen Gebrauchsliteratur
      (pp. 184-198)
      Arnold Otto

      Die Auslegung der Bibel ist für das Christentum als Buchreligion seit jeher zentraler Bestandteil der Theologie gewesen. Im frühen und hohen Mittelalter war dabei eine relative Einheit der Bibelauslegung gegeben, zum einen durch den gemeinsamen Rückbezug der Exegeten auf die Kirchenväter und Kommentatoren, zum anderen durch Gemeinsamkeit der Methoden. Die Exegese gipfelte schließlich in der Hochscholastik, die sie wie kein anderes System vor ihr strukturiert hat.

      Seit dem Ende des 13. Jahrhunderts befand sich diese Geschlossenheit jedoch in Auflösung. Mit der zunehmenden Aufspaltung des Mönchtums in immer mehr verschiedene Orden und mit der Koexistenz von Bischofssitzen, Klöstern und Universitäten als...

    • Conter et juger dans les ‘Arrêts d’Amour’ de Martial d’ Auvergne (c. 1460)
      (pp. 199-211)
      Luca Pierdominici

      Par le présent article, nous voudrions aborder quelques questions concernant l’écriture d’une œuvre bien connue, les Arrêts d’Amour de Martial d’Auvergne.¹ Cette prose a déjà fait l’objet de travaux et d’études visant à cerner la nature du texte par le biais de la linguistique; elle a été passée au crible des critères modernes d’analyse dans le but d’affirmer, entre autres, l’appartenance de l’œuvre à tel ou tel ‘genre’ littéraire. Söderhjelm lui consacrait déjà, en 1910, un chapitre dans son livre sur La Nouvelle française au XVe siècle;² Rychner, qui l’a éditée en 1951, a étudié le système des “arrêts,” parvenant...

    • L’Argent: cette nouvelle merveille des merveilles dans la version en prose de la ‘Chanson d’Esclarmonde’ (1454)
      (pp. 212-223)
      Michel J. Raby

      L’immense espace de l’imaginaire imprègne nombre de genres au Moyen Age, et tout particulièrement les romans, bretons ou non, les chansons de geste, ainsi que les hagiographies. La merveille et le miracle, qui appartiennent à ce vaste domaine, touchent le roman comme la chanson de geste, avec toutefois une prépondérance de la merveille pour le premier et une présence du miracle pour le second. Le cycle de Huon de Bordeaux, appartenant à un genre hybride où se mêlent, se superposent et se juxtaposent l’épique et le romanesque, nécessairement renferme ces deux notions. Elles se résument, en fait, à une seule,...

    • Magic and Superstition in a Fifteenth-Century Student Notebook
      (pp. 224-241)
      Elizabeth I. Wade

      Despite longstanding ecclesiastical prohibition of the practice of magic and the growing censure it provoked at universities, fifteenth-c. German scribes produced and copied a wide variety of texts containing descriptions of rituals, incantations, and other magical practices. Some of these texts give directions on the summoning of demons; several instruct readers in the fashioning of talismans to seek the aid of astral powers, and others offer methods for seeing into the future. The best-known summary description of magical practices and superstitions in late-medieval Germany was penned by Johann Hartlieb, a physician at the Bavarian court in mid-fifteenth-c. Munich and a...

  4. Book Reviews

    • Baumgarte, Susanne, ed. Summa bonorum: Eine deutsche Exempelsammlung aus dem 15. Jahrhundert nach Stephan von Bourbon. Berlin: Erich Schmidt, 1999. Pp. 335.
      (pp. 242-243)
      Edelgard E. DuBruck
    • Blanchard, Joël, ed. Philippe de Commynes: Mémoires. Paris: Librairie Générale Française, 2001. Pp. 895.
      (pp. 243-245)
      George T. Diller
    • Bordier, Jean-Pierre. Le Jeu de la Passion. Le message chrétien et le théâtre français (XIIIe-XVIe siècle). Paris: Champion, 1998. Pp. 863.
      (pp. 245-248)
      Véronique Plesch
    • Cadogan, Jean H., Domenico Ghirlandaio: Artist and Artisan. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000. Pp. 425; 321 color and b/w illustrations.
      (pp. 248-250)
      Yael Even
    • Cavallo, Sandra, and Lyndan Warner, ed. Widowhood in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. London: Pearson Education, 1999. Pp. xiii, 272.
      (pp. 250-251)
      Albrecht Classen
    • Albrecht Classen, Hg. Deutsche Frauenlieder des fünfzehnten und sechzehnten Jahrhunderts: Authentische Stimmen in der deutschen Frauenliteratur der Frühneuzeit oder Vertreter einer poetischen Gattung (das ‘Frauenlied’)? Amsterdam/Atlanta, GA: Rodopi B.V., 1999. 228 Seiten.
      (pp. 252-253)
      Peter Meister
    • Deschaux, Robert, ed., Martin Le Franc: Le Champion des Dames, 5 vols. Paris: Honoré Champion, 1999.
      (pp. 253-254)
      Gertrude H. Merkle
    • Duval, Frédéric, ed. Le Romuleon en françois. Traduction de Sébastien Mamerot. Édition critique, introduction et notes par Frédéric Duval. Geneva: Droz, 2000. Pp. lviii, 635.
      (pp. 254-256)
      George T. Diller
    • Freeman, Michael, and Jane H. M. Taylor, ed. Villon at Oxford: The Drama of the Text. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1999. Pp. 391.
      (pp. 256-258)
      Edelgard E. DuBruck
    • Gerli, E. Michael, and Julian Weiss, ed. Poetry at Court in Trastamaran Spain: From the ‘Cancionero de Baena’ to the ‘Cancionero General.’ Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1998. Pp. xii, 297.
      (pp. 258-261)
      Michael Agnew
    • Hicks, Eric, ed. Au Champ des Escriptures: Troisième colloque international sur Christine de Pizan (Paris: Champion, 2000). Pp. 852.
      (pp. 261-263)
      Charity Cannon Willard
    • Knapp, Peggy A. Time-Bound Words. Semantic and Social Economies from Chaucer’s England to Shakespeare’s. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000. Pp. vii, 224.
      (pp. 263-264)
      Albrecht Classen
    • Koopmans, Jelle, et Paul Verhuyck, ed. Jean Molinet, les Pronostications joyeuses. Geneva: Droz, 1998. Pp. 255.
      (pp. 264-266)
      Barbara N. Sargent-Baur
    • Kühne, Udo. Engelhus-Studien. Zur Göttinger Schulliteratur in der ersten Hälfte des 15. Jahrhunderts. Freiburg/CH: Universitätsverlag Freiburg Schweiz, 1999. Pp. 195.
      (pp. 266-267)
      Arnold Otto
    • Papio, Michael. Keen and Violent Remedies. Social Satire and the Grotesque in Masuccio Salernitano’s ‘Novellino.’ New York: Peter Lang, 2000. Pp. 192.
      (pp. 268-269)
      Edelgard E. DuBruck
    • Prunster, Nicole, ed. and trans. Romeo and Juliet before Shakespeare: Four Early Stories of Star-Crossed Love. Toronto: Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, 2000. Pp. 127.
      (pp. 269-270)
      John S. Mebane
    • Schnith, Karl Rudolf, ed., Frauen des Mittelalters in Lebensbildern. Graz-Vienna-Cologne: Verlag Styria, 1997. Pp. 504. 20 ill.
      (pp. 271-272)
      Albrecht Classen
    • Back Matter
      (pp. 273-273)