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Medieval Letters
Between Fiction and Document

C. Høgel, E. Bartoli (eds.)
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X+471 p., 22 b/w ill., 156 x 234 mm, 2015
ISBN: 978-2-503-55520-1
Languages: English, Italian, French
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Retail price: EUR 110,00 excl. tax
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Online content: http://www.brepolsonline.net/doi/book/10.1484/M.USML-EB.5.107621
An updated status quaestionis on medieval epistolography, including debates on disputed texts and information about new discoveries

Modern scholarship on medieval letters has often focused on the divide between fictionality and historicity. Attempts have been made to distinguish between ‘real’ letters and those that were used as stylistic models, and discussion has focused on how to make use of these texts as historical sources. In this volume, which draws on the proceedings of the ‘Medieval Letters between Fiction and Document’ conference held in Siena in 2013, scholars including Peter Dronke, Ronald Witt, Joan Ferrante, and Sylvie Lefèvre analyse the historical value of medieval letters in both Latin and other European languages and explore different disciplinary approaches to the field. Comprising contributions on methodology, Latin literature up to the fifteenth century, Byzantine and Romance literature, and courtly letters, this unique book also documents the debate on unedited texts — including women’s love letters — and on celebrated cases of disputed authorship such as the Epistolae duorum amantium and Dante’s Epistola to Cangrande. It thus offers a significant re-evaluation of the huge and partly unpublished heritage of medieval letters across Europe, and provides important insights into the use of these unique sources in social, literary, and legal history.

Table of Contents

Preface - FRANCESCO STELLA and LARS BOJE MORTENSEN

Part I: Methods

Epistolary Voices and the Fiction of History - WIM VERBAAL

Medieval Letters and Letter Collections as Historical Sources: Methodological Questions, Reflections, and Research Perspectives (Sixth-Fifteenth Centuries) WALTER YSEBAERT

Lettere fittizie e lettere autentiche nel medioevo italiano (secoli XII-XIV) PAOLO CAMMAROSANO

Part II: Before ars dictaminis: The Early Middle Ages

La lettera di Ermenrico tra finzione e realtà - FRANCESCO MOSETTI CASARETTO

Un precedente del ars dictaminis medieval: las epistolae de Eginardo - CARLOS PÉREZ GONZÁLEZ

Part III: The Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries: Ars Dictaminis and the ‘epistolary turn’

Il valore sociale dell’ars dictaminis e il self-fashioning dei dettatori communali - FLORIAN HARTMANN

Da Maestro Guido a Guido Faba: autobiografismo e lettera d’amore tra la seconda e la terza generazione di dettatori - ELISABETTA BARTOLI

Il Registrum di Paolo Camaldolese: elementi contenutistici e stilistici - VITO SIVO

Aegidius of Paris and His Two Letters to Bishop Odo - GRETI DINKOVA-BRUUN

Powerful Women in the Epistles of Hildebert of Lavardin - ROBERTO ANGELINI

Part IV: Women and Love Letters

What Really Matters in Medieval Women’s Correspondence - JOAN M. FERRANTE

Il pubblico della Rota Veneris di Boncompagno di Signa - PAOLO GARBINI

Women’s Love Letters from Tegernsee - PETER DRONKE

The Play of Ambiguity in the Medieval Latin Love Letters of the Ovidian Age (Baudri of Bourgeuil and Gerald of Wales) - MAREK THUE KRETSCHMER

Queen Kunhuta’s Epistles to Her Husband - FRANCESCA BATTISTA

Irony and Subtext in Latin Letters of the Eleventh and Twelfth Century - C. STEPHEN JAEGER

Part V: Documents, Literary Letters and Collections in Byzantium and Beyond

From Letter to Literature: A Byzantine Story of Transformation - MICHAEL GRÜNBART

The Actual Words of Theodore Graptos: A Byzantine Saint’s Letter as Inserted Document - CHRISTIAN HØGEL

‘If It Looks Like a Letter, Reads Like a Letter, and Talks Like a Letter’: The case of Nikephoros Gregoras’ Letter Collection - DIVNA MANOLOVA

La lettre et ses adresses - SYLVIE LEFÈVRE

Part VI: The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries and The Diffusion of Epistolary Rhetoric

Ars Dictaminis: Victim of Ars Notarie? - RONALD WITT

Indagine su un disguido epistolare: l’Epistola a Cangrande fra Verona e Padova - THOMAS RICKLIN

Essential Issues Concerning the Epistle to Cangrande - ALBERTO CASADEI

Dalle lettere cancelleresche ai dictamina: processi di finzionalizzazione e tradizione testuale - FULVIO DELLE DONNE

From Letters to Dictamina and Back: Recycling Texts and Textual Collections in Late Medieval Europe (Thirteenth-Fourteenth Centuries) - BENOÎT GRÉVIN

Brown Ink, Red Blood: The Plotting of the Sicilian Vespers - JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY

Part VII: Late Medieval Court Letters

Tra resoconto della quotidianità e progetto di futuro: la lettera come strumento pedagogico nella corte sforzesca della seconda metà del Quattrocento - MONICA FERRARI e FEDERICO PISERI

Christine de Pizan in Correspondence: The Epistolary Exchange Waxes Poetic with Eustache Deschamps - MARIA A. SOLETI

Memorial de Agravios: Letters of Grievances as Documents in Fifteenth-Century Castilian Historiography - SACRAMENTO ROSELLÓ-MARTÍNEZ

Review

"(...) this unique book also documents the debate on unedited texts – including women’s love letters –and on celebrated cases of disputed authorship such as the Epistolae duorum amantium and Dante’s Epistola to Cangrande. It thus offers a significant re-evaluation of the huge and partly unpublished heritage of medieval letters across Europe, and provides important insights into the use of these unique sources in social, literary, and legal history." (in: Studi Medievali Ser. 3, 57, 1, 2016, p. 457)

“the book has much to offer the medievalist working on these highly complex and multiform types of texts. Most importantly, the methodological essays in particular offer highly useful reflections on the nature of medieval letter-writing as well as its use as historical sources. As such (…) the book is a very welcome and valuable addition to the growing body of scholarship on medieval letters as literature as well as crucial and useful sources of historical information.” (Mia Münster-Swendsen, in The Medieval Review, 09.05.2016)

Interest Classification:
Medieval & Modern (Indo-European) Languages & Literatures
Comparative & cultural studies through literature
Literacy
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : main subdisciplines
Cultural & intellectual history

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