Courtly Culture: Literature and Society in the High Middle Ages

Courtly Culture: Literature and Society in the High Middle Ages

by Joachim Bumke


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781585670512
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Publication date: 06/01/2000
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 770
Product dimensions: 5.86(w) x 8.95(h) x 1.67(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Table of Contents

Introduction: Fiction and Reality1
Everyday life and the feast day1
Courtly society and modern scholarship5
Literature as a historical source7
The "Praise of Times Gone By" (Laudatio temporis acti)14
An overview of the book16
Chapter INoble Society of the High Middle Ages: Historical Background21
1.Basic Concepts of the Social Order22
The law22
2.The Hierarchical Structure of Society29
The king29
The princes31
The nonprincely nobility32
The ministerials33
The urban population36
The rural population38
3.The Economy39
Economic developments39
Trade and commerce41
The economic foundation of lordship43
4.The Knight and Knighthood46
Noble knighthood49
The formation of the knightly class50
5.The Court52
Itinerant lordship and the formation of permanent residences52
Court society55
The word "hofisch" (courtly)57
Chapter IIThe Adoption of French Aristocratic Culture in Germany61
Economic ties61
The state of education68
Dynastic connections75
The adoption of French social forms79
Language skills82
Loan words85
The chronology and geography of the transmission of French literature88
Courtly epics92
Courtly lyric96
The characteristics of the literary adaptation99
Chapter IIIMaterial Culture and Social Style103
1.Castles and Tents103
The construction of castles and palaces in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries103
The architecture of castles and palaces108
Castles as instruments of lordship121
Luxurious tents126
2.Clothes and Cloth128
Dress codes128
The sources for the history of costume130
Precious fabrics132
Sartorial extravagance134
The courtly ceremony of dress136
The beginnings of courtly fashion138
Women's clothes140
Men's clothes145
Changes in fashion150
Criticism from the Church152
3.Weapons and Horses155
The history of armament155
The main weapons of a knight157
The social significance of weapons164
The ceremony of knightly single combat168
4.Food and Drink178
Food for the nobility178
The protocol of the courtly banquet182
Seating arrangements183
Service at table187
The organization of the meal193
Courtesy books196
Literature of feasting and carousing199
Chapter IVCourtly Feasts: Protocol and Etiquette203
1.Court Feasts203
The court feast at Mainz in 1184203
Feast and lordship207
Lodging and food210
The festive entrance213
The ceremony of welcome219
Courtly entertainment220
2.Knighting Ceremonies231
Terminology and ceremony231
The courtly ceremony of knighting234
The role of the Church239
From royal practice to mass promotion242
The beginnings of tournaments247
The mass tournament or melee251
The buhurt258
The single joust and the Round Table tournament260
The military, social, material, and political significance of tournaments264
Prohibitions and criticism of tournaments271
Chapter VThe Courtly Ideal of Society275
1.The Chivalrous Knight276
The traditional image of the ruler276
The religious concept of knighthood (militia Christi)290
Courtly virtues301
Ideal and reality311
2.The Courtly Lady325
The new image of women325
Instruction for women: Upbringing and education337
The parameters of women's activities346
3.Courtly Love360
What is courtly love?360
Love and society398
Chapter VICriticism of Courtly Life415
Chapter VIIThe Literary Scene of the Courtly Age425
1.Oral Culture and Literacy in Courtly Society426
Lay education426
Oral traditions436
The development of organized writing at the secular courts441
2.Patrons and Sponsors458
The imperial court as a literary center459
The patronage of princes470
The smaller courts485
The beginnings of literary life in the cities487
3.Author and Audience488
The social standing of the poet488
The courtly audience506
The impact of literature512
4.The Performance and Spread of Literature518
Courtly epic518
Courtly lyric545

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