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Cultures courtoises en mouvement

Isabelle Arseneau
Francis Gingras

Discours et contre-discours de la courtoisie

Beyond the Realm of the Living: Rewriting Chivalric Values from Chrétien’s Perceval to Gautier de Coinci’s Marian Lyric

Christopher Callahan

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Chivalric society in the 12th century faced a major conceptual challenge when both its constitutive purpose–arms–and its formative mythology – fin’amor–came under concerted attack by the Church. Measures such as the Peace of God (AD 994) and the Truce of God (AD 1054) had been notably less effective in limiting conflict than contemporary canons regulating sexual mores. The Church successfully inveighed against war, however, with the establishment of the Crusader State and the formation of the Knights Templar. Bernard of Clairvaux’s De Laude Novae Militiae of ca. 11301 thus unequivocally laid out the consequences–perdition–for fighting and dying in an unjust conflict (i.e., among Christians and for material gain); this was followed by papal sanctions pronounced at the Council of Rheims in 1131 against participation in tournaments. This condemnation would doubtless not have resonated with Europe’s hereditary military aristocracy as deeply as it did had there not existed an alternative...


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