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Naturalism and the Troubadour Ethic

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Donald Kenneth Frank

This study examines the troubadour ethic as expressed in the Provençal lyrics and the De Amore of Andreas Capellanus. It addresses, in particular, the question of the singularity and origin of the courtly love ideals and the relation of these ideals to the twelfth-century thought of western Europe. It defines and discusses many aspects of the waxing Naturalism of the period-nominalism, autobiography, the new historiography, the uses of rationality, a closed system of natural explanations, etc. - , and concludes that the development of a 'unique' courtly love ethic is directly associated with and may in large part take its origin from a naturalistic influence penetrating into every avenue of twelfth century thought.
Contents: This study addresses the question of the singularity and origin of the courtly love ideals found in the troubadours and Andreas Capellanus, and the relation of these ideals to twelfth-century thought. It discusses many aspects of the waxing Naturalism of the period and concludes that the development of a 'unique' courtly love ethic parallels and may in large part take its origin from the naturalistic trend of the period. The study is unique in presenting a theory of origin which is both reasonable and never before considered.