Academic journal article Medium Aevum

La Couronne Au L'auréole: Royauté Terrestre et Chevalerie Célestielle Dans la Légende Arthurienne (XIIe-XIIIe Siècles)

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

La Couronne Au L'auréole: Royauté Terrestre et Chevalerie Célestielle Dans la Légende Arthurienne (XIIe-XIIIe Siècles)

Article excerpt

Catalina Gîrbea, La Couronne ou l'auréole: Royauté terrestre et chevalerie célestielle dans la légende arthurienne (XIIe-XIIIe siècles), Culture et société médiévales 13 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2007). 603 pp. ISBN 978-2-503-52531-0. euro65.00.

The premiss to the argument of this book is that medieval Arthurian texts display a tension between kingship - an essentially earth-bound, sin-ridden institution emblematized by the Round Table - and knighthood, which (post-Chrétien de Troyes) aspires to spiritual fulfilment, notably in the guise of the Holy Grail. Catalina Gîrbea explores the many variations of this tension in an impressively wide array of works, with special emphasis on the thirteenth-century prose romances, where the secular/spiritual dialectic is most developed. The book was originally a Ph.D. thesis, and unfortunately this shows: the desire to be exhaustive leads to some blurring of the argument and also to the occasional inaccuracy (in particular with regards to the Mabinogi, Wace, and La3 anion). It is nevertheless eminently scholarly and provides a number of challenging new insights into a body of texts that is notoriously complex and resistant to homogenizing interpretations. The book comprises four main sections. The introductory 'Représentations de la chevalerie de Dieu' surveys the evolution of medieval attitudes towards warfare and the increasingly positive image enjoyed by the warrior caste. La grace et la Fortune' analyses the connection made in the texts between divine grace, the Grail, the lineage of Grail knights, and key characters of the Grail stories (Galaad, Lancelot, Perceval, Gauvain, Joseph and Nascien, Feirefiz). Fortune, by contrast, is shown to be connected with Arthur and his court, with the political and secular overtones this implies; the Arthurian knight, argues Gîrbea, is a being torn between grace and Fortune - only the Perlesvaus attempts with any success to conciliate the two value systems. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.