Knights at Court: Courtliness, Chivalry, and Courtesy from by Aldo Scaglione

By Aldo Scaglione

Knights at Court is a grand travel and survey of manners, manhood, and court docket existence within the center a while, like no different in print. Composed on an epic canvas, this authoritative paintings lines the improvement of court docket tradition and its a number of manifestations from the latter years of the Holy Roman Empire (ca. A.D. one thousand) to the Italian Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries.

Leading medievalist and Renaissance student Aldo Scaglione deals a sweeping sociological view of 3 geographic components that unearths a shocking continuity of courtly types and motifs: German romances; the lyrical and narrative literature of northern and southern France; Italy's chivalric poetry. Scaglione discusses a huge variety of texts, from early Norman and Flemish baronial chronicles to the romances of Chrétien de Troyes, the troubadours and Minnesingers. He delves into the Niebelungenlied, Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and an array of treatises on behavior all the way down to Castiglione and his successors.

All those works and Scaglione's more suitable scholarship attest to the iconic strength over minds and hearts of a mentality that issued from a small minority of people—the courtiers and knights—in significant positions of management and gear. Knights at Court is for all students and scholars attracted to "the civilizing process."

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Extra resources for Knights at Court: Courtliness, Chivalry, and Courtesy from Ottonian Germany to the Italian Renaissance

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28] We are struck by the precise echoes of Cicero, and we also note the artisticsounding and sensuous term claritas, destined to become a key term in Thomas Aquinas's aesthetic. In his Dialogus de vita Sancti Ottonis episcopi Babenbergensis, Herbord of Michelsberg (1159) attributed to Otto of Bamberg a composicio, or harmonization, between the inner man and his outward behavior—elegans et urbana disciplina —where we can note the aestheticizing notion of the beauty of manners as a distinguishing trait of the élite, to be admired, imitated, and respected.

What did such praiseworthy qualities mean in Ottonian Germany that they could not also mean in the Frankish-descended entourages of Flanders, Anjou, and Aquitaine? How exactly did personal virtues become social prerequisites? [48] Before one can argue for imperial origins, one has to take a close look at such French texts as Odo of St. Maur, Galbert of Bruges, and Flemish genealogies. ― 63 ― If the German episcopate was a training ground for manners, we are not told what happened to it after the civil wars of the late eleventh century.

Ordericus cites the nearly bloodless 1119 battle between Henry I Beauclerc and King Louis VI of France, in which nine hundred knights fought but only three were killed, as a result, the author says, of the combatants' sense of “brotherhood of arms” (Flori [1986]: 272). The noble warrior wants to defeat his knightly opponents, not slay them. Here again we are reminded of the knight's reluctance to kill even the most abominable characters in the romances, once they have been duly defeated. This brotherhood extends into a strong sense of class solidarity when we realize how the defense of the weak that we have seen illustrated above was largely limited in practice to members of the higher classes.

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