Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Our Lady's Lawsuits in 'L'Advocacie Nostre Dame' (Our Lady's Advocacy) and 'La Chapelerie Nostre Dame De Baiex' (the Benefice of Our Lady's Chapel in Bayeux)

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Our Lady's Lawsuits in 'L'Advocacie Nostre Dame' (Our Lady's Advocacy) and 'La Chapelerie Nostre Dame De Baiex' (the Benefice of Our Lady's Chapel in Bayeux)

Article excerpt

Our Lady's Lawsuits in 'L'Advocacie Nostre Dame' (Our Lady's Advocacy) and 'La Cbapelerie Nostre Dame de Baiex' (The Benefice of Our Lady's Chapel in Bayeux), trans. Judith M. Davis and F. R. P. Akehurst, ed. Gerard Gros, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies (MRTS) 393 (Tempe, Ariz.: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMRS), 2003). 194 + xl pp. ISBN 978-0-86698-441-6. $59.00/ £42.00. Our Lady's Lawsuits represents an important contribution to medieval studies, particularly in light of current interest in 'vernacularity' and the interpénétration of devotional and secular thought. The authors offer a brief, effective introduction and an accessible yet reasonably accurate facing-page translation for L'Advocacie, arguably the first French text to represent the devil Satan laying claim to all human souls through legal action, albeit in a celestial courtroom; they perform the same service for L'Advocaci/s shorter companion piece, probably by the same author, La Cbapelene, which depicts a series of legal wrangles in the French courts between clerical and lay claimants of income from the chapel of Bayeux. The supra-title of the volume leaves Mary's role in these lawsuits as ambiguous as the alternative heading of processus Satbanae (Satan's lawsuits), sometimes applied to difficult-to-classify texts such as L'Advocacie; unlike Satan, Mary is not a plaintiff but an advocate for defendants in both texts, although the extended wrangling of La Cbapelene complicates these roles. …

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