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OVIDIAN HOMOEROTICS IN TWELFTH-CENTURY PARIS: The Letters of Leoninus, Poet and Polyphone

OVIDIAN HOMOEROTICS IN TWELFTH-CENTURY PARIS: The Letters of Leoninus, Poet and Polyphone Bruce Holsinger and David Townsend For historians of sexuality in the premodern West, the “long twelfth century” represents something of a watershed. The epoch is framed at one end by the writings of the French archbishop Baudri of Bourgueil (1046 –1130), whom John Boswell highlighted for his “baldly erotic poetry” written to both men and women, and, at the other, by the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, which Michel Foucault credited with a foundational role in the invention of the confessional subject and Christianity’s initial deployment of a scientia sexualis.1 In the elite, Latinate literary spheres of cathedral and abbey, the twelfth century sees an explosive appropriation of the amatory works of Ovid as part of a more general and quite selfconscious renaissance of ancient learning. Apparent in such works as the Carmina Burana, Alan of Lille’s De planctu Naturae, and the Latin dramatic tradition based in the Loire valley is a new appreciation for the sexual malleability of Latin in all its many rhetorical colors.2 In the domain of vernacular letters, the twelfth century witnesses the invention of the language of fin’amor in the songs of the troubadours and trouvères; the rise of a romance poetic tradition http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies Duke University Press

OVIDIAN HOMOEROTICS IN TWELFTH-CENTURY PARIS: The Letters of Leoninus, Poet and Polyphone

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References (32)

Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1064-2684
eISSN
1527-9375
DOI
10.1215/10642684-8-3-389
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Bruce Holsinger and David Townsend For historians of sexuality in the premodern West, the “long twelfth century” represents something of a watershed. The epoch is framed at one end by the writings of the French archbishop Baudri of Bourgueil (1046 –1130), whom John Boswell highlighted for his “baldly erotic poetry” written to both men and women, and, at the other, by the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, which Michel Foucault credited with a foundational role in the invention of the confessional subject and Christianity’s initial deployment of a scientia sexualis.1 In the elite, Latinate literary spheres of cathedral and abbey, the twelfth century sees an explosive appropriation of the amatory works of Ovid as part of a more general and quite selfconscious renaissance of ancient learning. Apparent in such works as the Carmina Burana, Alan of Lille’s De planctu Naturae, and the Latin dramatic tradition based in the Loire valley is a new appreciation for the sexual malleability of Latin in all its many rhetorical colors.2 In the domain of vernacular letters, the twelfth century witnesses the invention of the language of fin’amor in the songs of the troubadours and trouvères; the rise of a romance poetic tradition

Journal

GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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