Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Le Breviari D'amor Matfre Ermengaud

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Le Breviari D'amor Matfre Ermengaud

Article excerpt

Le Breviari d'amor de Maffre Ermengaud, ed. Peter T. Ricketts, with the collaboration of Cyril P. Hershon III (lines 888oT-i6783), Association Internationale d']tudes Occitanes 5 (London: AIEO, Royal Holloway, University of London, 1998). xiv + 480 pp. ISBN 0-95 2004-3-7. 30.00.

This, volume III of Le Breviari d'amor de Maffre Ermengaud, is the third volume to appear, following volumes V (lines 2725zT-34597) (Leiden, 1976) and 11 (lines i-888o) (London, 1989). Still to come are volumes IV (lines 16783T-m z7 2 5 Z), a revised version of volume V (to give it the same format as volumes II and III, and to take account of more recent scholarship on some of the manuscripts), VI and possibly VII (glossary), and I (introduction). In this colossal undertaking, Peter T. Ricketts is providing the first complete edition of Matfre Ermengaud's huge encyclopedic work to use all of the twelve complete manuscripts and eleven fragments. The only previous edition is Gabriel Azais, Le Breviari d'amor de Maffre Ermengaud, suivi de sa lettre d sa saur, 2 vols (Beziers and Paris, 1862-8 1). Azais uses a different base manuscript (A Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, fr. 857) and only another three control manuscripts (B, C, and D); Ricketts prefers, with justification, M - Escurial, Biblioteca Real de San Lorenzo, S-1-3. A new edition, taking account of the full manuscript tradition of what was evidently a relatively popular work in the fourteenth century, has long been warranted.

Le Breviari d'amor, composed between iz88 and i2qz, is a moralizing encyclopedia composed in Occitan octosyllabic rhyming couplets. The work is structured around a tree of different types of love. This volume starts with a consideration of natural and human law, followed by sections on the love of God and of one's neighbour, fasting, almsgiving, good works, idolatry, honour of the saints, the Virgin Mary, typology, the Incarnation, preaching, a long section on prayer, the creed, penitence and contrition, salvation, and confession. …

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