Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Le Chant Des Chanz

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Le Chant Des Chanz

Article excerpt

Le Chant des Chanz ed. Tony Hunt, Anglo-Norman Text Society LXI-LXII (for 2003-4) (London: Anglo-Norman Text Society from Birkbeck College, London, 2004). 179 pp. ISBN 0-905474-44-9. £60.00. This volume offers a critical edition of the previously unpublished verse Anglo-Norman commentary on the Song of Songs, which is known today only from Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson Poetry 234. This manuscript presents the Bible text as a series of short Latin passages in red, each followed by a translation and commentary in Anglo-Norman verse. The editor footnotes all marginal additions and scribal corrections, as well as occasional rejected readings; decisions affecting presentation, whether of punctuation or of some scribal letter forms, are detailed at the end of the introduction. The text is supported by a selective glossary and index of proper names, and by notes to the text including relevant quotations from William of Newburgh, whose late twelfth-century Latin Song of Songs commentary, the Explanatio sacri epithalamii, is the translator's immediate source.

The introduction presents the Rawlinson manuscript, ascribing it to the second half of the thirteenth century, listing its contents in full, and identifying the three booklets which comprise it, though without giving a detailed collation. The translator of the Song of Songs commentary is seen as writing a love song for devotees of the Virgin Mary, and thus by implication to be presenting the Marian interpretation of the Bible text, which interprets the bride as the Virgin Mary interceding with God. …

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