Middle Latin Literature 4

The struggle of the Anglo-Norman and French kings of the 12th and 13th centuries for supremacy in Western Europe also had cultural effects. While in Paris only Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis emerged with royal biographies and a report on the consecration of the first Gothic church, a courtly circle was formed around Henry I of England and his wives. the poet Hildebert von Lavardin and old French authors were connected. The traditions of Anglo-Saxon and Norman royalty have been intertwined in important historical works, such as Geoffreys of Monmouth “Historia regum Britanniae” (1136), where royalty was connected with the legend of King Arthur (Arthur). Here lies the origin of the European Arthurian epic. Under Henry IIand Eleanor of Aquitaine, the English court became the center of court culture. Middle Latin authors in his environment were z. B. Stephan von Rouen with the epic “Draco Normannicus” and Walther von Châtillon with the “Alexandreis” (1185), Peter von Blois described court life in letters, W. Map in entertaining court anecdotes and Gerald von Wales in his autobiography. John of Salisbury, who stood for T. Becket, kept his distance from the courtdrafted the first doctrine of the Middle Ages according to ethical principles in “Policraticus” (1159), shared Becket’s exile in conflict with Heinrich II and wrote a “Vita” of the martyr as an eyewitness to his murder. The decline of the English kingship at the end of the 12th century was accompanied by the rise of the French, which derived its tradition from the Franks, especially from Charlemagne, whose heroism Pseudo-Turpin had popularized around 1150 after the old French Roland song. At the court of Philip II Augustus, Aegidius of Paris praised the emperor in the epic “Carolinus” (1200); Rigord von Saint-Denis (* around 1158, † 1208) and Wilhelm the Breton celebrated Philip in their »Gesta« and in the epic »Philippis« as the founder of the French great power in the 13th century.

The crusades have been the subject of passionate sermons, poetic cross songs and especially historiography since their beginning (1096). The successes of the 1st Crusade reflected the “Historia Hierosolymitana” of Fulcher of Chartres, the “Gesta Dei per Francos” of Guibert of Nogent, the novel-like “Historia” (about the deeds of Gottfried von Bouillon, 12 books, around 1121) by Albert von Aachen as well as the epics of Gilo von Paris and Metellus von Tegernsee. Wilhelm von Tire and Jakob von Vitry described the fate of the crusader states, and Gunther von Pairis described the conquest of Christian Byzantium (1204)with a critical undertone. Due to their later failure, which led Otto von Freising to present the near end of the world in his Weltchronik (1146/47), the Crusades gradually lost their literary status, as the universal chronicles in particular show. It is true that Sigebert von Gembloux, Frutolf von Michelsberg, Ekkehard von Aura, and Lambert von Saint-Omer (around 1120 in his illustrated history encyclopedia Liber floridus) and Matthäus Parisiensis made them integrated into the process of world and salvation history, but in the 13th century the crusade stories served v. Chr. a. as a source for ruler and pope data, e.g. B. in the history compendium of Martin von Troppau or for stories like in the chronicle of Salimbene da Parma. For more articles about Italy and Europe, please follow A2zgov.

14th and 15th centuries

Despite growing competition between the vernacular literatures of Europe – many authors wrote in two languages ​​- Medieval Latin literature retained its priority in the late Middle Ages. Literary tendencies that were already visible in the past now emerged more sharply. With the establishment of new universities, the scholarly and didactic literature grew, but its effect was more and more limited to the academic sphere. The scientification led to other important specialist books such as the “Chirurgia magna” by Guido von Chauliac († 1368), the social theory “Yconomica” by Konrad von Megenberg and to encyclopedias such as the “Catena aurea” Heinrich von Herford, but narrowed down in late scholasticism to subtle treatment of special philosophical and theological questions or to commenting on comments. On the other hand, the educated public became more interested in practical things in life and in distant lands, in entertainment and edification; Works such as the one on agriculture by Petrus de Crescentiis, the allegorical chess book by Jacob von Cessole, the collection of examples “Lumen anime”, the stories of the “Gesta Romanorum”, the “Legenda aurea”, pilgrimage and travel reports were spread across Europe.

The Middle Latin literature v. Chr. a. in historiography, in religious poetry and in mystical literature. From the abundance of city, state and world chronicles, the works of the Habsburgs, such as Johannes von Viktring († 1345) and Matthias von Neuenburg, as well as the autobiographical report of Charles IV and the pamphlets on the best form of government, the Aegidius of Rome in the world domination of the Pope, Dante in his “Monarchia” and the circle of scholars around Ludwig IV, Bavaria, with Marsilius of Padua, Wilhelm von Ockham, Lupold von Bebenburg saw in the universal empire. In the sacred lyric poetry, the rhyming office, psaltery and hymn of Mary were written; this new bloom wasborneby poets such as the Cistercian Christan von Lilienfeld († after 1330), the Carthusian Konrad von Haimburg and the Benedictine U. Stöckl. The striving for internalization went v. a. from the works of the great mystics (Meister Eckhart, Ludolf von Sachsen, G. Groote,Nikolaus von Kues, Thomas von Kempen).

By the 13th century, the influence of antiquity in Middle Latin literature had largely disappeared. After 1300, the spiritual counter-movement began in Italy, humanism: Roman literature was consciously taken as a model again (Petrarch) and newly discovered Greek texts were translated (schooled by M. Chrysoloras). Humanistic literature initially remained a branch within Middle Latin literature; only through the penetration of humanism into other European countries and v. a. through his conscious distancing from the spirit and language of late scholasticism, neo-Latin literature developed at the end of the 15th century.

Middle Latin Literature 4