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Fifteenth-Century Studies Vol. 32

Fifteenth-Century Studies Vol. 32

Barbara I. Gusick
Edelgard E. DuBruck
Consulting Editor William C. McDonald
Volume: 32
Copyright Date: 2007
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 317
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt81xjd
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  • Book Info
    Fifteenth-Century Studies Vol. 32
    Book Description:

    Founded in 1977 as the publication organ for the Fifteenth-Century Symposia, Fifteenth-Century Studies offers essays on diverse aspects of the 15th century, including liberal and fine arts, historiography, medicine, and religion. Designed as a Festschrift

    eISBN: 978-1-57113-794-4
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Edelgard Else Renate Conradt DuBruck
    (pp. ix-xv)
  4. Preface I
    (pp. xvi-xvi)
    Barbara I. Gusick
  5. Preface II
    (pp. xvii-xx)
    Jean Dufournet
  6. Essays

    • Wellness Guides for Seniors in the Middle Ages
      (pp. 1-16)
      Melitta Weiss Adamson

      Mentioning to non-medievalists that one’s research interest is investigating regimens for old people in the Middle Ages invariably draws the following baffled reaction, “but I thought there were no old people in the Middle Ages. Wasn’t the life expectancy much lower then, and weren’t these folks all dead before the age of forty?” While it is true that the medieval life expectancy was lower than the life-span is in today’s industrialized world, some seniors may have profited from wellness guides. Once certain groups are taken out of the calculation—namely children, with infant mortality registering as substantially higher than it...

    • Sources and Meaning of the Marian Hemicycle Windows at Évreux: Mosaics, Sculpture, and Royal Patronage in Fifteenth-Century France
      (pp. 17-34)
      Gary B. Blumenshine

      At the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Évreux, the stained glass gracing the Lady Chapel represents the culmination of a century of Valois artistic patronage manifested at the ancient See of the Norman Eure. Erected and glazed with funds provided by King Louis XI (1423–83), the chapel and its decoration remain in the twenty-first century a unique religious and political ensemble of fifteenth-c. French art. What becomes notable is that the glazing campaign presents king, dynasty, Church, and piety in a visual expression of contemporary religious mentality within the emerging national monarchy of later medieval France (fig. 1).¹ During the...

    • Re-Writing Lucretia: Christine de Pizan’s Response to Boccaccio’s “De Mulieribus Claris”
      (pp. 35-52)
      Karen Casebier

      In writing Le Livre de la Cité des Dames (1404–1407), Christine de Pizan does not present herself to the reader as an auctor, but rather as a compilator.¹ Given that the medieval definition of inventio relies largely on an author’s reworking of previously written material, one might legitimately wonder whether the distinction between these two technical terms is of any great importance to a reader; however, the auctor, as the author of new and original works, is both an authority on his subject matter and one morally responsible for the contents of the literary creation. In fact, the auctor...

    • Vernacular Translation and the Sins of the Tongue: From Brant’s “Stultifera Navis” (1494) to Droyn’s “La Nef des folles” (c. 1498)
      (pp. 53-67)
      Olga Anna Duhl

      Jodocus Badius’s humanist treatise the Stultiferae Naves (1501) [The Ships of Foolish Maidens]¹ can be justifiably considered as one of the most innovative adaptations of Sebastian Brant’s late-medieval bestseller the Narrenschiff [Ship of Fools].² Based on a well-balanced combination of classical and Biblical sources cast in the mold of an elegant prosimetrum, Brant’s popular satire of the moral failings of late-medieval society offers a new perspective (on the eve of the Renaissance) by showing an effective relationship between the disparate concepts of folly, the five senses, and humankind, often predominantly women. In spite of the popularity of Brant’s satirical piece,...

    • “La Celestina”: ¿Philocaptio o apetito carnal?
      (pp. 68-82)
      Jaime Leaños

      Tratar de exhumar el tema de la magia en La Celestina (1499) de Fernando de Rojas es meterse en camisa de once varas. El lector celestinesco se preguntará: ¿otro artículo sobre el tema de la magia en La Celestina? ¿Qué nueva evidencia existe? Según Ana Vian Herrero, lo que sigue dividiendo a los críticos no es si la magia “existe,” lo que parece fuera de toda duda aunque sólo sea por su presencia ostensible en la obra, sino si debe considerarse un elemento sólo ornamental, o incluso de verosimilitud, o por el contrario, si las artes negras de la vieja...

    • “As Olde Stories Tellen Us”: Chivalry, Violence, and Geoffrey Chaucer’s Critical Perspective in “The Knight’s Tale”
      (pp. 83-99)
      Ilan Mitchell-Smith

      When Chaucer (c.1343–1400) writes in the Poem “Truth” “Her is non hoom, her nis but wildernesse: / Forth, pilgrim, forth! Forth, beste, out of thy stal!” he is calling for readers to avoid the animalistic distractions and excesses of the secular realm, and by doing so, directs their attention and spiritual movement heavenward, toward that which is eternal.¹ The Boethian theme of this poem is pervasive within Chaucer’s writing, as seen in the varying admonitory reactions his narrators provide: the defiance against “This wrecched worldes transmutacioun” in poems such as “Fortune,” “lak of Stedfastnesse,” and “The Former Age”;² the...

    • Portrait d’une carrière extraordinaire: Bertrand Du Guesclin, chef de guerre modèle, dans la “Chronique anonyme dite des Cordeliers” (c.1432)
      (pp. 100-117)
      Christiane Raynaud

      La chanson de Bertrand du Guesclin de Jehan Cuvelier, composée dans les années 1380–85 et toute à la gloire du connétable de France, fonde le mythe; sa mise en prose, en 1387 pour Jean d’Estouteville, sert ensuite de base aux biographies de B. du Guesclin.¹ Presque un demi-siècle plus tard, le clerc auteur anonyme de la Chronique des Cordeliers, chronique universelle (depuis la création du monde jusqu’en 1431), accorde à ce personnage de légende une place singulière dans son œuvre.² Ce portrait donne la mesure de son métier d’historien et éclaire de manière significative sa sensibilité.

      Entre les folios...

    • Humanismo en la Corona de Aragón: el Manuscrito 229 de la Biblioteca Nacional de Francia
      (pp. 118-132)
      Roxana Recio

      El manuscrito 229 de la Biblioteca Nacional de Francia (manuscrito conocido como PN7, según la terminología de Brian Dutton) es conocido entre los hispanistas por el magnífico estudio realizado sobre Juan de Mena por Maxim Kerkhof.¹ Kerkhof, en su hasta ahora insuperable trabajo sobre El Laberinto de Fortuna o Las Trescientas del citado autor, revisó todos los manuscritos existentes, y el 229 de la Biblioteca Nacional de Francia es uno de ellos. En la descripción del manuscrito da noticia de tres trabajos: dos en verso, y otro en prosa, en catalán.² El trabajo en prosa es una “glosa” sobre el...

    • False Starts and Ambiguous Clues in François Villon’s “Testament” (1461)
      (pp. 133-149)
      Barbara N. Sargent-Baur

      In the course of his brief life (c.1431–after 1463), the lyric poet François Villon seemingly led multiple existences and intensely re-lived several of them in his memory. His body of work is modest, comprising under 3,000 lines; in quality his poetry is uneven yet at its best unforgettable; and this circumstance justifies the oft-reiterated judgment that the poet is the outstanding French lyricist of the Middle Ages. Consequently, the body of editions and of secondary literature inspired by him is enormous. This essay addresses one feature of his major work, the Testament, from a perspective occasionally touched on but...

    • Reassessing Chaucer’s Cosmological Discourse at the End of “Troilus and Criseyde” (c.1385)
      (pp. 150-163)
      Karen Elaine Smyth

      Chaucer’s ineffectiveness at providing narrative closure is a well known trait across his writings. His fourteenth-c. poem Troilus and Criseyde at first glance appears to be one such case, as it has an ending that reverses — or one could argue even rejects — the preceding focus on secular love. In the poem we are first introduced to a young Trojan warrior knight, Troilus, who is ignorant of love, but then falls for the beautiful Criseyde; the woes and joys of the couple’s courtly love are portrayed against the backdrop of the Trojan-Greek war. After consummation is achieved, a crisis ensues, as...

    • Down to Earth and Up to Heaven: The Nine Muses in Martin Le Franc’s “Le Champion des Dames”
      (pp. 164-175)
      Steven Millen Taylor

      The Champion of Ladies (1440–42) by Martin Le Franc represents the most extensive defense of women (24,336 octosyllabic verses) within a long series of vernacular works in prose and poetry comprising the corpus of La Querelle des Femmes, which took place during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in France.¹ In the Champion of Ladies, an allegorical response to classical and contemporary misogynous attacks on women, Le Franc employed a poetic form composed of octaves (huitains) of octosyllabic verses rhyming ababbcbc and a debate structure which created not only narrative tension but a diegetic reality similar to the extra-diegetic one...

    • Guillaume Hugonet’s Farewell Letter to His Wife on April 3, 1477: “My Fortune Is Such that I Expect to Die Today and to Depart This World”
      (pp. 176-190)
      Arjo Vanderjagt

      Guillaume Hugonet, chancellor to both the late Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy (1433–77) and his daughter and successor duchess Mary (1457–82), was beheaded on Maundy Thursday, 1477, on a scaffold especially erected for that purpose on the Vrijdagmarkt of Ghent in Flanders.¹ He and two other powerful servants of the house of Burgundy and of the nascent Burgundian state — Guy de Brimeu, lord of Humbercourt and governor of Limburg, Maastricht, and Namur; and Jan van Melle, highest financial officer of Ghent — had been found guilty (by a hastily constituted local tribunal) of (alleged) financial and political corruption...

    • Fifteenth-Century Medicine and Magic at the University of Heidelberg
      (pp. 191-208)
      Elizabeth I. Wade-Sirabian

      Founded in 1385 by the Elector Palatine Karl Ruprecht during the papacy of Urban VI, the University at Heidelberg was the third institute of higher learning to be established within the Holy Roman Empire.¹ Thirty-six years after its founding, a fifteen-year old student, Conrad Buitzruss, enrolled at the University, and during his five years in Heidelberg, Buitzruss, or “Bynczruzs” as his surname is spelled in the university’s record, kept a notebook, a fascinating collection of texts that juxtapose a number of diverse subjects, and is now housed as Clm 671 in the Bavarian State Library in Munich.² This notebook contains...

    • Book-Burning: The St. Brendan Story in the Light of Christian Tradition
      (pp. 209-221)
      Karl A. Zaenker

      Among modern readers, the term “book-burning” will automatically evoke images of Nazis throwing books on flaming pyres, as this outrage occurred in May of 1933 when “thousands of books were burned in Germany in universities all over the country.”¹ Fifty years later, in a commemorative speech delivered at the Zurich Schauspielhaus, the great German humanist Hans Mayer characterized the events of 1933 as a manifestation of a “Gesamtsystem aus Terror und Propaganda, Hexengeist, Folter und spektakulärer Schaustellung,” and as a return to the psychotic mentality of the Malleus Maleficarum of the late fifteenth century.² Book-burning has a long tradition, indeed,...

  7. Back Matter
    (pp. None)