A Cosmos of Desire: The Medieval Latin Erotic Lyric in by Thomas C. Moser Jr.

By Thomas C. Moser Jr.

Thomas C. Moser, Jr. explores the attention-grabbing physique of medieval Latin erotic poetry present in English manuscripts. His research describes the highbrow and social context from which the good erotic songs of the 12th century emerged, and examines quite a few erotic poems, from institution routines to the fabulous lyrics present in Arundel 384. He additionally illuminates the impact of neoplatonic philosophy in this poetry, explicating key neoplatonic texts and utilizing that evaluation in shut readings of erotic lyrics from an analogous interval and milieu.

A Cosmos of wish will curiosity students of medieval literature in addition to experts in Latin poetry and philosophy. scholars of center English literature will locate that it fills an immense hole in our realizing of English highbrow existence among the 12th and the fourteenth century. All Latin prose and poetry is translated, a few works for the 1st time, and the e-book is generously illustrated with images of the manuscripts discussed.

Thomas C. Moser, Jr. is affiliate Professor of English on the collage of Maryland, collage Park.

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Extra info for A Cosmos of Desire: The Medieval Latin Erotic Lyric in English Manuscripts (Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Civilization)

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3 If we look, then, to these four clerics, we will find them reinventing a clas- sical past in order to construct a poetic self that adopts the figure of an imagined vates, a poet of wide experience and reading with a sacred calling and a unique place in society. The practice of producing classically based Latin poetry was central to their identities as teachers and ecclesiastical politicians, and a mark of their elite status. As a group they believed in the power and social value of poetry, believed in the special status and authority due to poet-philosophers, as they styled themselves.

Cur aries comitatur ouem uitulusque iuuencam, Cur equus optat equam, queso, caper unde capellam, Aut lupus unde lupam, leo concupit unde leenam? : veil myself for a husband). I led, I did not marry (veil myself), because I am not a woman, I led. Thus, indeed, if clearly the order of nature has assigned that the male should be active and the female passive, let it be so. ]25 Clerical marriage, and sexual activity, if not the ideal, are still an appropriate response to the pressures of eros and confirm the male as one who leads by nature.

In contrast to Fulcoius's work, in Godfrey of Reims's surviving poems, the Virgilian warrior and poet is replaced by something much more Ovidian. Indeed Baudri, himself such a self-conscious imitator of Ovid, admired God- frey precisely because he seemed to him an Ovid reborn in France. Baudri apparently felt a special affinity with Godfrey and used the occasion of a long verse epistle to him to develop an elaborate defense of his own literary inter- ests. Baudri saw in Godfrey one of the great contemporary poets of the older generation, a "magna .

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