Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Wow Oh my gosh what a wild ride. I could not put this book down until I finished.. Kim Currie rated it really liked it Dec 28, Kat rated it liked it Oct 31, Marie rated it really liked it Nov 15, Kandi Candelas rated it it was amazing Mar 24, Lindalee rated it really liked it Dec 11, Ewald Rau rated it it was amazing May 19, Saranja rated it really liked it Dec 19, Danica rated it really liked it Oct 08, TP rated it it was ok Oct 04, Tammy rated it it was amazing Dec 26, Pam rated it it was amazing Jan 12, Kristin S.
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Day 3: Explore Prague Rise and shine, time to get that goulash. Tour St. Vitus Cathedral—a church so old, that if you had one beer for every year since construction began on it, you would have beers, but please do not actually attempt to drink beers. Today's Highlights: Get out there and see that one thing your friend who visited here raved about, or ask your Tour Director for their free time recommendations.
Give three cheers for Czech beers and join in on an optional beer tasting and Bohemian feast. Day 5: Travel to Munich via Pilsen Think you know your lagers from your ales? Taste unfiltered pilsner beer straight from the source—the freshest it can get without letting you put your mouth on the spigot. Day 6: Tour Munich Pull out your lederhosen and get ready to experience Munich with a local guide. Today's Highlights: Stop at the Rathaus-Glockenspiel, which tells two stories from 16th-century Germany atop a giant cuckoo clock.
Today's Highlights: Wake up and smell the sauerkraut, begin to plan your biergarten-hopping route through the city. Today's Highlights: Grab your seat at one of Oktoberfest's best tents. Take part in year-old traditions with your group and others from all around the globe. Listen and dance to the beautiful German Oompah music not to be confused with the foreboding music of the Oompa Loompas.
Drink beers bigger than your face and eat pretzels the size of dinner plates. Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply. See full itinerary. Both there and in Italy the towns gave themselves republican statutes reflecting the new monetary economy that had freed them from feudal controls. The lords in control of the countryside tolerated the heretical sects of Albigensians and Valdensians that flourished within the towns, at times even sympathizing with them.
Hence in the south the ideological opposition between cortesia and vilania did not involve the merchants, as it did in the north, but only the lowly peasants. In Italy, too, through the tenth and eleventh centuries the German emperors pursued a steady policy of transferring authority from local secular feudatories to the bishops, so that by most leading bishops in northern Italy enjoyed the judicial powers of the former counts.
When Conrad II — tried to depose the proud and powerful archbishop of Milan, Ariberto d'Intimiano, Ariberto, supported by the local nobility and the burghers, refused to give up. The imprisonment of the bishops of Cremona, Vercelli, and Piacenza by order of the same emperor provoked enmity in those cities, too. On the other hand, most Tuscan, Emilian, and Lombard bishops remained loyal to Henry IV even during his struggle against the pope, whereas the populace grew increasingly sympathetic to papal authority, which appeared as the natural champion of territorial independence.
We must not, however, underestimate the ideological power of the nobility. Not only did the burghers of the communes adopt many of the cultural ideals of the knightly caste, as would be the case throughout European society for centuries to come, but even in practical terms the nobility dominated the communes through the end of the twelfth century. Although cities were not enfeoffed and had no lords within the feudal order, it was not until the end of the thirteenth century that the popolo, to wit, the organized class of wealthy merchants and entrepreneurs, managed to take control of most communes.
Even so, the popolo' s almost complete triumph in such city-states as Florence and Bologna was exceptional. In most of the towns, the popolo could not wrest from the hands of the nobility and the knights more than one third or at best one half of the voting rights and public offices, and in one of the largest communes, Milan, the popular faction succumbed to a strong counterattack from its traditional enemy. This occurred in , when Archbishop Ottone Visconti reentered the city at the head of a victorious army of noblemen and quickly proceeded to turn back to the knighted class all the most prized dignities, including cathedral canonries.
Even in Florence, though less so than in most communes, the presence of noblemen was real and conspicuous, with the difference that they were highly urbanized, hence closely tied to business activities. Starting in Germany in the tenth century, the clerical circles at court developed an ideology that contrasted with that of the warrior class. The opposition between the mores of warriors and those of court clerics is somewhat similar to the opposition between the consorterie of nobles or magnati that controlled the Italian communes in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and the new merchant guilds that emerged at the end of the twelfth century.
The theme had enjoyed great popularity among the troubadours, and in its abstract form as rhetorical topos it had an ancient history going back to Juvenal. Even though the burghers' guilds first asserted themselves by imitating the aggressiveness and bellicosity of the armed magnati, they soon recognized that their interests were best served through the peaceful means of influence and control.
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Where money is power, the merchant prevails over the soldier. In fact, peaceloving merchants often did prevail, sometimes to the extent that they compelled the nobles to give up their warlike ways and accept the powerfully symbolic razing of their forbidding high towers within city walls.
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Just the same, the established methods of governance remained for the most part unruly, grasping, and violent: to ensure the safety of their own money, the burghers had little choice but to imitate their opponents and do their best to grab power for themselves. Daily life in the communes thus remained one of constant dissent and strife, always verging on civil war and war with neighbors. Within the walls of the Italian communes the more civilized side of courtliness and courtesy could be felt more as an idea the literati's protests in favor of the nobility of heart, mind, and manners than in fact.
All in all, the grabbing of lucrative positions as well as the exercise of political and fiscal rights remained more a matter of organized power than of merit- and law-based apportionment. When knights were ousted from their positions of control, they could find a substitute form of employment in the mercenary armies which spread throughout Italy in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
It was an occupation and social function somewhat similar to that of the impoverished knights who attached themselves to the twelfth-century courts. We must remember that Castiglione's court of Urbino belonged to a lordly dynasty of captains commanding richly rewarding mercenary armies generation after generation, beginning with Guido da Montefeltro of Dantesque memory.
Yet even the Montefeltro's power was originally based on landed wealth. Their ability to draw authority from feudal land ownership and power from the armed men at their disposal was typical. As early as the Montefeltro could put three hundred men into the field. Similarly, Salinguerra Torelli took control of Ferrara before through the help of a force of eight hundred horsemen, holding it until the Estensi ejected his family in Manfredi Lancia attempted to establish tyranny in Milan by making use of his thousandman mercenary cavalry in The Genoese chronicler Caffaro ca.
The same commune of Genoa dubbed two hundred knights to serve against the Malaspina in War had been and remained the business of noblemen, and the popular communes often entrusted themselves to noble leaders to ensure their defense, as they did with the Della Torre in Milan and the Della Scala in Verona. The middle class preferred to tend to business and leave warfare to others, thus becoming the best clients for the mercenary army leaders, often men of noble origin.
Dino Compagni Cronica 1. Some historians describe Italian city-states of the thirteenth century as often made up of two contiguous and competing communes. This second commune had its own courts, notarial agencies, armed citizen companies, trade guilds, and even electoral structures. The transition through each stage of the commune, from the consular and then the podestarial form, both dominated by the noblemen, to the popular form, dominated by the merchant guilds, and finally to the signorie, which around the end of the thirteenth century usually returned the power to an aristocratic family of ancient or recent blood, varies from region to region but shows common patterns, with occasional alliances between aristocratic and high ecclesiastical interests.
In Milan the Della Torre were followed by the Visconti bishops; in Verona and Mantua the new signori got their power riding on the shoulders of the local guilds and the popolo, but soon, as was usual everywhere, they proceeded to divest the popular institutions of their influence and to ground the new government on the support of the signori's natural allies, the local aristocracy.
In Ferrara the new lord Obizzo d'Este suppressed the guilds outright in There, as in Mantua, large scale patronage sealed the victory of despotism by turning over to the new lord's allies and acolytes all sorts of confiscated rural properties. He immediately banned the rival Castelli feudal clan, leaders of the Red Ghibelline party, and confiscated their property. Starting early in the thirteenth century, the education of the ruling classes, which had passed from the hands of chaplains on to the cathedral schools and then to the courts, was shared, especially in Italy, by rhetoricians and masters of ars dictandi.
The later humanists would inherit this role, since humanists were often lawyers and notaries who pursued their philological interests alongside their bureaucratic and administrative careers. In Italy, too, the cult of knighthood survived the loss of the military functionality of court knights, and chivalric models remained operative for centuries in everyday life. Huizinga's The Waning of the Middle Ages described the impassioned ritualization of chivalry at the court of Burgundy in the fifteenth century, but that court was only extreme, not unique: similar patterns of thinking and behaving were widespread, and Renaissance Italy was no exception.
Aragonese knights who found the Italian courts a logical setting for bloody duels fought under extremely elaborate rules of chivalry. Splendid festivities followed, with dancing attended by Sigismondo's famous mistress, Isotta degli Atti. It was difficult enough for regional powers to resist the onslaught of national foreign neighbors, but perhaps more decisive were the inner tensions of nobility versus high bourgeoisie, with the lower popolo being unwilling to display loyalty to systems that kept it outside any decision-making mechanism and oppressed it economically and fiscally.
Spain and France could count on armies of citizens that felt much more united under their kings than was the case for any Italian populace. In the meantime, the disoriented and stunned ruling castes emulated the court aristocracy made up of old nobility, high clergy, and ennobled high bourgeoisie with a feeling of idealized cultural self-satisfaction that made them cling ever more tightly to their egotistical privileges, while their economic productivity had become disrupted and depressed by political and military vicissitudes.
The world of the courtiers was also the world of Italian diplomacy, which has been recognized as influential in shaping the typology of this varied profession for centuries. The cleric and the courtier hoped to dominate knight and soldier and bend them to their interests. In vain, we now know. In any event, in Italy and elsewhere court life changed and yet continued to show certain similarities of patterns between A. European courts gradually evolved from the feudal and then chivalric type to the monarchic centralism of Louis XIV, where both noblemen and high bourgeois administrators became dependent subjects of the king to a degree that had not yet been seen.
Francis I marked the point of transition, when France saw the birth of aristocratic society. Some large fiefs still remained, but the king's law courts, staffed by the bourgeois personnel of the parlements,. At the same time Francis I built up, beside the landowning nobility with its hierarchy of fiefs, a new titular nobility extending from the simple noblemen to the princes and peers of France. As early as the second half of the sixteenth century almost all the names of the aristocracy are new names.
What the king rewarded in this manner was military service. It seems fair to assimilate the changes in Italian society to this grand pattern of evolution. The secular courts of Castiglione or the ecclesiastical ones of Paolo Cortesi were, in their mixture of new aristocrats of the sword, bourgeois mercantile tycoons, and high bureaucrats, analogous to the French court and different from the displaced medieval feudal nobility.
At the same time they harbored cultural and moral images which were an adapted inheritance from medieval chivalry. Should we choose to look further, we would find French society growing stronger from the sixteenth century on, just as Italian society declined with the waning strength of its independent entrepreneurial merchant class after The French bourgeoisie continued to play a vital role through the nobility of the robe centered in the parlements, for which there was no equivalent in Italy after The relative cul-. Despite its extended ideological impact, the feudal regime enjoyed a relatively short life in western Europe, achieving its full maturity in the twelfth century.
But besides the vertical ramifications that, as we shall see, extend feudalism up and down a long chronological span even to our own time, our theme can also have horizontal ramifications that overlap its European geographic boundaries. Indeed, the study of the triangular relationship among feudal structures, chivalric ideology, and literature should gain by being extended beyond Europe.
To illustrate the avenues that would open up to a comparative exploration of feudalism's cultural dimensions it should suffice to extract some elements that parallel the ones I am about to retrace in western Europe. Knights and clerics were cosmopolitan classes in the Middle Ages, and good travelers, too. The Norman horsemen about whom we shall hear a good deal were active from Norway to northern France, Sicily, and Anatolia in the tenth and eleventh centuries. They operated by the thousands as mercenary soldiers in the Byzantine empire. The generals were large provincial landowners with long military experience through many generations.
Not unlike the western ministerials, the bureaucrats, mostly around the court of Constantinople, were clerics, intellectuals like Psellos, intimate of Michael VII Ducas, emperor since , and functionaries, some with landed property to back up their influence and power. The dissension between the two parties prompted both to seek support outside the regular army, in mercenary armies of foreigners like Normans, Slavs, and even Turks, with the result that foreign armed groups managed, as they had once done within the Roman empire, to take advantage of their entry into the state system until they could openly go to the attack and eventually overrun the whole region.
Since these latter acquired progressive exemptions from the taxes that the free peasants had been paying, the state was deprived of precious tax moneys. The peasants, now disenchanted and less productive, became serfs paroicoi of the secular and church magnates. The most extensive experiments in feudal organization probably took place in eastern Asia, and I shall summarize them in a way that demonstrates some of the analogies with European phenomena treated in the forthcoming analysis.
In its centuries-long variations, the Confucian doctrine which dominated Chinese life generally emphasized loyalty chu in Japan , moral reform, reason as distinct from alternatively opposed to or cooperating with instinct or desire the basis of violence and warfare , subordination of private to public good, and the cult of family ko in Japan and ancestors. These were some of the more elementary teachings of Confucius B. It is easy to see the analogy of such principles with those of western curiality and courtliness which shall be described presently. The Confucian cult of ancestors displaced the Chinese aristocratic tradition of regarding ancestors as the divine source of power and privilege.
Believing that the individual is responsible for his own actions, that only the virtuous and capable are entitled to govern, and that ability and character are developed by education through formal schooling, Confucius taught that those in power must be able to choose capable ministers like the western courtiers and ministerials to whom to delegate all administrative authority. His most influential successor, Mencius late fourth century B. Belief in the inherent goodness of human nature was the humanistic foundation of this moral philosophy.
The Orthodox Neo-Confucianism of Chu Hsi — became the official state doctrine in China from his time to the end of the empire in , with a relative revival after the conservative victory of Chang Kai-shek in Above them sat the shoguns, who derived their authority directly from the emperor at Kyoto.
The samurai or professional warriors, developing into a class since the tenth century, ranked immediately below the daimyo. Like the emperor and the shoguns, the daimyo held court at their towns of residence, at the center of the territory they owned hereditarily and governed as military leaders, provincial magistrates, legislators, and judges. Their court culture included the aptitude to administer according to the learned ways of the imperial court, and consisted of a combination, developed under Chinese influence, of the arts of war bu with the arts of peace bun , the latter serving as a way to legitimize the former.
This is in close parallel with the combination of knightly militarism and the civilizing arts of courtesy and humaneness that we shall observe in the West. The regime of the daimyo, which superseded the previous system of public domain, fragmented the country into a set of personal power centers subjected to the nominal authority of the shoguns.
The fourteenth-and fifteenth-century shugo daimyo were appointed by the Ashikaga shoguns, a dynasty of hereditary military warlords, and in turn they appointed their own vassals to rule over minor fiefs. After a period of chronic civil war set in, with sengoku daimyo ruling independently together with their vassals and waging war against their neighboring rivals. In Tokugawa Ieyasu d. By administrative and juridical measures Ieyasu managed to constrain the daimyo as well as the imperial court nobles, the clerics, and his own vassals.
To ensure his succession, in he made his son Hidetada supreme shogun or generalissimo. Hidetada managed to force the daimyo to build a huge new palace at Edo present-day Tokyo at their expense and with their labor; by Edo had become the Versailles of Japan, with the daimyo living in nearby mansions as court nobles and practically as hostages. The analogy with Versailles is striking. The daimyo, who toward the end of the period became a parasitic aristocratic class, were classified by their relationship to the ruling shogun, that is, as kinsmen, hereditary vassals fudai , or allies.
Their spiritual and martial education took place mainly in the temples and focused on writing, reading, philosophy, religion, literature, and the fine arts. Neo-Confucianism, originally. It would be rewarding to interpret the courtly and knightly elements in the literatures of China and Japan by comparing them systematically to their analogous manifestations in the West. Court novels and diaries reached an unparalleled degree of sophistication in Japan around the year , the period of such masterpieces as Lady Murasaki Shikibu's ca.
One wonders about the analogies that might result from an investigation of the cultural and literary constants emerging from the literature of such disparate yet inherently similar feudal societies. Although the evidence is limited, it seems clear that at least since Carolingian times a court was conceived as a formative milieu. In his highly descriptive household book De ordine palatii A. In Germany and France the period — saw the emergence of remarkable teachers in royal courts curiae as well as in cathedral schools largely influenced by the royal courts.
Their numerous extant biographies share the rhetorical image of educators whose effectiveness rested on eloquence and example, even in the absence of original or substantive content. As Fleckenstein has emphasized, Otto the Great found a new use for scholars. No longer merely teachers, as at Charlemagne's court, nor simply erudite men of God, as the monastic schools conceived them, they became the building blocks of a solid administrative foundation for the empire.
As to the content of their teaching, the apparent connection with later humanism is a Platonic emphasis on ethics as the core of education and learning: even physics, cosmology, and astronomy could be conceived as proof of the divine order of the universe, which man must imitate in his moral and aesthetic behavior.
Jaeger — sees this as the true reason for the popularity of Plato's Timaeus in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in both Germany and France. Typically those teachers, down to the masters of Chartres, emphasized the coupling of letters and virtue, litterae et mores, aiming at character formation rather than mere instruction or Christian doctrine. He not only managed to turn himself into the object of a Europe-wide personality cult even before his writings had become widely accessible, but also professed the clear superiority of eloquence or rhetoric to philosophy by extolling the power of moral improvement inherent in poetic texts such as Virgil's, in contrast to Aristotle's pragmatic aridity, even when dealing with virtue in the Nicomachean Ethics.
The masters of curialitas, future imperial bishops, had typically been, first, magistri scholarum or headmasters, namely the practical teachers subordinated to the scholasticus Fr. If the magister's main concern was boni or nobiles mores, that is, the moral content of indoctrination, he had to reach it through the propaedeutic curriculum of the liberal arts, more specifically the arts of the Trivium which were centered on the reading of literary auctores. The substance of the curriculum was a combination of litterae and mores in varying degrees.
By the twelfth century, cathedral schools like the one at Chartres had overtaken imperial chapels and episcopal courts as the primary centers of education for statesmen and bureaucrats through the instillation of the curial ideology. The considerable number of surviving biographies of bishops document the standards of morality and social conduct for court-appointed bishops and high prelates.
We could list them as: formositas beauty , eruditio education or learning , virtus encompassing eloquence as eloquentia or facundia , mansuetudo, discretio or reticentia, amabilitas, and mensura Jaeger: 30— Mansuetudo, surely an unheroic quality, included patience in the face of offense: the Roman de la rose 1. Mensura —also moderamen or moderatio, originally the Aristotelian mesotes, balance between opposite extremes—also included a sort of diplomacy that allowed the subject to survive under the most trying circumstances without taking a dangerous stand on matters of principle. The whole was made effective by a cultivated personal charm of the type that we would now call charisma Jaeger Kalokagathia, rooted in the classical notion of symbiosis of the beautiful and the good, and deeply embedded in the Greek paideia ever since Isocrates, could be defined as perfect rectitude united with urbanity and good breeding.
It implied qualities clearly at work in the images of the Ottonian and Salian royal bishops. Capellanus seemed to have such a distinction in mind when he coupled curialitas as the outer refinement that, together with liberalitas, makes the lover socially attractive with. They signified the kind of elegant self-control that distinguishes the moral makeup and outward behavior of the sophisticated courtier. Somewhat paradoxically, the resolution of the investiture conflict in favor of the Church did not strengthen but, rather, scaled down the once lofty moral and cultural status of the bishops.
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The Bamberg schoolmaster Hugo of Trimberg eloquently lamented the decline of the episcopate toward the end of the thirteenth century, nostalgically evoking the imposing personalities of the past. Their likes were no longer thinkable because the Church, now free to place its own candidates, had no more reason to select strong personalities with the impressive courtly qualities once at home at the imperial court:. Otto of Bamberg, St. Anno of Cologne, St. Godehard of Hildesheim, and St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury attained high honor at court by their courtesy and their good works.
These were, indeed, some of the great figures whose vitae allow us to reconstruct the court ambiance from which courtly behavior had issued. At the same time that this decay in high ecclesiastical offices was taking place, the literary romances lost their roots in social reality, among both the clergy and the laity. The thirteenth century is one of imitation and. With its largely Stoic philosophical content, Cicero's De officiis was a major source of ethical speculation in the Middle Ages, its impact being enhanced by the important intermediary of St.
Ambrose's version of it. The term officia appeared in the titles of numerous derivations from St. Ambrose, starting with St. Isidore, whose De ecclesiasticis officiis turned the focus further toward Christian cult, down to the two treatises De divinis officiis by Rupert of Deutz twelfth century and Durand de Mende thirteenth. In book 3 Cicero argued at length that honestum and utile cannot be in conflict: when properly understood they practically coincide.
Speaking of the apt use of speech 2. The qualities analyzed in De officiis especially 1. All these qualities, together with affabilitas and iocunditas or hilaritas, affability and good disposition, win friendship, and act both through decorous speech, which includes facetia, iocus, and urbanitas Gr. Castiglione's grazia. Cicero ascribed this type of behavior particularly to the statesman, whose public service it aids and enhances, thus making him a more valuable member of society and a more heroic citizen than the warrior with his military prowess f.
We must next speak of the one remaining part of honestas, wherein we find reverence verecundia and a certain ornament of life, temperance, modesty, and all restraint of the perturbations of the soul, together with a sense of measure in all things. Here is contained what Latins call decorum, the Greeks prepon. The force of this quality is such that it cannot be separated from honesty: indeed, what is becoming is honest, and what is honest is becoming.
Similar is the nature of fortitude. For what is done with a manly and great soul appears worthy of a man and dignified, whereas whatever is contrary to this is morally ugly, hence unbecoming. Hence poets will see what is becoming in the great variety of their characters, even the vicious ones; as to ourselves, whatever nature has given us in the form of constancy, moderation, temperance, and reverence, and since nature teaches us not to overlook the manner in which we act toward others, it is clear how wide the realm of dignified behavior decorum is, to wit what is part and parcel of honesty as a whole, as well as what pertains to every single kind of virtue.
We all partake of reason and of that quality by which we are above the beasts, from which we derive all honesty and dignity honestum decorumque as well as the method of finding out what duty is. Note this gathering of key concepts: verecundia, ornatus, temperantia, modestia, decorum, fortitudo, animus magnus, constantia, honestum, ratio, and also the closeness of decorum or its synonym decor and honestum, yielding an insight into their ethical and social connotations. Besides the De officiis, Cicero's Disputationes Tusculanae was the source of ethical teaching for a number of didactic tracts from Germany and, later, France between and Acclaimed by Meinhard of Bamberg as the foremost work of philosophy from ancient Rome, it was a suitable source for teachers of state administrators, inculcating the twofold message that we must make ready for the trials of public life.
Furthermore, in that work Cicero assessed the originality of Roman practical ethics in terms that suited the great moral teachers of curiality in the eleventh century, since teaching by doing and by example kept both early Romans and medieval masters too busy to write philosophical speculations. It did so by stressing, as the medieval literature of curiality repeatedly did, the coupling of virtue and beauty, the moral and the aesthetic, inner and outer behavior.
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The life of the wise public man was perceived as beautiful in itself and successful precisely by virtue of its aesthetically attractive and persuasive qualities. Admittedly, the tenor of the De officiis is rather remote from the specific context of the courtier's behavior: a comparative reading of pertinent works bears out the originality of the literature of courtliness and courtesy. The more concrete traits of the courtier bishop could hardly be derived from the rather non-specific, relatively vague compilatory lucubrations of the great orator and influential moralist.
Yet, the impact of Cicero's ethical framework on later developments concerning civil service is clear and widespread. This explains how, even while a liberal education was tra-. The Homeric cycles and Virgil, for example, were annotated as allegories of civic wisdom and social leadership. What we perceive as original, individual poetic qualities were downplayed or ignored.
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In essence, the medieval civic ethos derived, through Cicero and other authorities, from the classical mostly Stoic system of the cardinal virtues of prudence, fortitude, justice, and temperance as reinterpreted by the Christian fathers. This civic ethos would later be extended from the formation of the curial courtier to that of the knight.
In the process, in both courtly and chivalric ethics, prudence was commonly defined as knowing what is fitting and acting accordingly; temperance as moderation from excess and pride; fortitude as valor and bravery; and justice as service to the weak and the needy, especially if they were victims of injustice. Prudence came to include cunning in courtliness while fortitude became daring adventurousness in chivalry, as a means to prove one's true worth. Of course, the classical, traditional sense was betrayed here, since the typical excesses of the knights' adventurousness defied prudence and also contravened the attendant virtue of moderation or measure.
Nevertheless, the knight who exceeded i. Moderation, in turn, was a standard virtue in the Middle Ages. One explicit example is John of Hauteville's Architrenius, a moral allegory of — dedicated to John of Coutances, bishop of Lincoln, and dealing with Architrenius's search for Nature to overcome the evils of the world.
From the late tenth century on, a pattern of behavior appropriate to a successful life at court was a prerequisite for the pursuit of an episcopal seat. Another term, humanitas, also occurs early in contexts that betray their Ciceronian heritage with a ring of later humanistic perceptions. Victor ca. These were not mere rhetorical topoi conventionally repeated, since they occur within specific pragmatic contexts.
This emphasis on the aesthetic aspects of virtue and on the importance of outer signs of inner dispositions was clearly part of the political dimension of the special ethos for public administrators and social leaders. The idea was powerful enough to affect the sensibilities of contemporaries in other social and intellectual spheres. Bernard of Clairvaux d. Is it perhaps what we call moral beauty honestum? But whenever the luminosity claritas of this beauty fills the heart's inner depths, it must needs overflow and surge outward,. Similarly, in a letter of Guido de Basochis cleric of St.
The courtly code is an assurance of the courtier's aptitude or fitness idoneitas for the fulfillment of his political function. We are dealing here with a shifting code for the ruling classes. In the Middle Ages clerical commoners protested their inner nobility and nobility of manners against the privileges of the aristocracy. In the Renaissance, this elegantia morum became the distinguishing trait of a new, non-feudal court nobility. The perception of the courtier's role is a chapter in the history of the ancient, medieval, and Renaissance debate on the relative merits of vita activa and vita contemplativa.
A relevant text is a small treatise from the s in the genre of education of princes, to wit Johannes of Limoges's Morale somnium Pharaonis. Is it not more glorious to die in the active struggle for justice than to wait passively for sickness and old age to produce the same effect? This ethic of worldly service developed by court clerics eventually contributed to the civilizing of the nobility and the formulation of the type of knight and lover that we find in the courtly lyric and the chivalric romance; it is still detectable as background to the model Renaissance courtier.
Orthodox ascetic monasticism took a critical stance of varying sharpness against the worldliness of these attitudes, with Peter Damian Petrus Damiani as the foremost among such early critics Contra clericos aulicos, ca. All along, clerics had been exerting their civilizing influence by functioning as court educators, so that when chivalry was adopted by the nobles, it was also a sublime ideal resulting from intellectual education and character formation. The canonical literature of court criticism was part of the large motif of the topsy-turvy world that in the seventeenth century would become a major topic of baroque literature.
One must, however, keep in mind that this distaste for courtly ways did not affect the reformers' attitudes toward secular authority's divinely-sanctioned role, which the Church viewed as an essential part of the social order. Peter Damian, for one, displayed full respect for the role of milites saeculares, including the need for bellatores as defensores of Church people, and he regretted that, in the absence of adequate defense from the weak secular authorities, clerics were forced into the distasteful task of defending themselves by bearing arms.
To this im-. After a lively and contrasted career as a courtier, Peter of Blois spoke of envy and avarice as the scourges of courts, and of himself as their victim. It was he who coined the phrase miseriae curialium, later borrowed by Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini as title for his own anticourt tract, the De curialium miseriis epistola. The orthodox ascetic milieus had always held to an austere view of moral life that took issue with one distinct feature of courtliness: hilaritas or iocunditas.