Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Jacques De Cessoles; le Jeu Des Eschaz Moralise: Traduction De Jean Ferron (1347)

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Jacques De Cessoles; le Jeu Des Eschaz Moralise: Traduction De Jean Ferron (1347)

Article excerpt

Jacques de Cessoles; Le Jeu des eschaz moralise: traduction de Jean Ferron (1347), ed. Alain Collet, Classiques francais du moyen age 134 (Paris: Honore Champion, 1999). 288 pp. ISBN 2-7453--0096-2. F. Fr. 120.00.

'A noble home Bertran Aubert de Tarascon frere Jehan Ferron de l'ordre des freres prescheurs de Paris son petit et humble chapellain.' The opening lines of Jean Ferron's French translation of Jacques de Cessoles's Liber super ludum scaccborum hide a labyrinthine complexity that only thorough detective work could hope to elucidate. Happily, Alain Collet's edition of this important text goes a long way to meeting that need. Cessoles, a Dominican living in Paris, composed his Latin treatise around the turn of the fourteenth century, but little else is known about the author. The text is a compilation of moral stories intended to edify and represents a medieval utopia via a moralization of the game of chess. The 150 exempla are largely drawn from pagan antiquity, although some do derive from Christian sources. Many proverbs and quotations illuminate the exempla, most of which speak of noble characters, although some - 'le ribaut' (line 191), 'le marchant' (line 177) - seem closer to the fabliau tradition. Chess, originally a game of war, was played by a broad cross-section of society and provided Cessoles with a handy and familiar paradigm for his preaching. The game is adapted, through the sermon, to play a symbolic role in the Christian perspective: it now characterizes the battle to beat death and gain salvation. In this context, chess, with its numerous symbolic elements, represents an ideal society and the movements of the pieces illustrate allegorical and abstract lessons that can be applied directly to the contemporary world. …

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.