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Journal Articles Romance Quarterly Year : 2010

Troubadours in Debate: The Breviari d'Amor


Matfre Ermengaud's thirteenth-century Occitan encyclopedia, the Breviari d'Amor, concludes with a treatise on courtly love, the “Perilhos tractat d'amor de donas segon que han tractat li antic trobador en lors cansos.” In this treatise, the chief figures of courtly love—the lovers, ladies, troubadours, and maldizen, with Matfre as narrator and participant—dispute key tenets of love, quoting frequently from numerous troubadour lyrics in order to prove their arguments. In fact, the “Perilhos tractat” presents quotations of troubadour lyric in a disputative manner so as to highlight the troubadours as themselves in debate, although the Breviari purports to be structured by the overarching principle of love dictated by the visual mnemonic metaphor of the Tree of Love. This study examines the quotations of the troubadour lyrics here as dialectical, then, rather than as expressing and confirming a unitary vision of Natural Love. The “Perilhos tractat” is a debate not simply on love but also on the understanding and reception of the troubadours more broadly; that is, Matfre's dialectical use of troubadour lyric generates a broader debate about the meaning of the troubadours’ lyrics and their poetic legacy in the late thirteenth century.


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hal-03819622 , version 1 (18-10-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03819622 , version 1


Michelle Bolduc. Troubadours in Debate: The Breviari d'Amor. Romance Quarterly, 2010, 57 (1), pp.63-76. ⟨hal-03819622⟩
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