Le Bestiaire d'amour in Lombardy

Jeanette Beer

Abstract



Le Bestiaire d'amour was written in northern France by Richard de Fournival, Chancellor of Notre Dame d'Amiens, in the middle of the thirteenth century. Drawing heavily on bestiary material, it was addressed to an anonymous "dame," and for her it diverted well known animal exempla to new purpose: a prescriptive/proscriptive analysis of profane love. Pierpont Morgan MS 459 exemplifies the range of prerogatives that a medieval scribe might exercise when he was "translating" a work across geographical borders, viz., to change its orthography, syntax, and lexicon and to make substantial additions which in this case converted the unique arriereban into a romance starring the innovative Lombard scribe as the narrator-lover!

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