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The Book of Peace

By Christine de Pizan

Edited by Karen Green, Constant J. Mews, and Janice Pinder

Publication Year: 2008

Christine de Pizan, one of the earliest known women authors, wrote the Livre de paix (Book of Peace) between 1412 and 1414, a period of severe corruption and civil unrest in her native France. The book offered Pizan a platform from which to expound her views on contemporary politics and to put forth a strict moral code to which she believed all governments should aspire. The text’s intended recipient was the dauphin, Louis of Guyenne; Christine felt that Louis had the political and social influence to fill a void left by years of incompetent leadership. Drawing in equal parts from the Bible and from classical ethical theory, the Livre de paix was revolutionary in its timing, viewpoint, and content. This volume, edited by Karen Green, Constant J. Mews, and Janice Pinder, boasts the first full English translation of Pizan’s work along with the original French text. The editors also place the Livre de paix in historical context, provide a brief biography of Pizan, and offer insight into the translation process.

Published by: Penn State University Press

Front Cover

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Copyright

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

List of Abbreviations

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pp. ix-xii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-32

Christine de Pizan (1364–1430) stands out in the history of women’s ideas as a rare example of a late medieval woman—one who mastered the literary and scholarly conventions of her time in order to produce highly valued texts that demonstrate her command of contemporary Latin and vernacular wisdom....

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Literary Sources of Le Livre de paix

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pp. 33-40

Among the writings of Christine de Pizan, the Livre de paix is unusual for its use of Latin texts cited at the opening of every chapter, as well as for its quotation and paraphrase of these sources within the French text. The extent of these Latin quotations, mostly from the Bible and from a range of classical ...

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Description of the Manuscripts

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pp. 41-52

Christine de Pizan’s Livre de paix has survived in three manuscripts, two of which are in public collections. The first of these, found in the Bibliothèque royale de Belgique in Brussels (ms 10366), is contemporary with the author and was copied and corrected by Christine some time during the period...

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Note on the Text

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pp. 53-56

In the French text reproduced here we have attempted to provide as accurate a reading as possible of the manuscript Brussels, Biblioth

The Book of Peace

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Part 1

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pp. 58-92

Here begins the table of contents of the Book of Peace, which is dedicated to the noble and excellent prince the Duke of Guyenne, eldest son of the King of France. Begun on the first day of September, after peace was sworn between our lords of France at the city of Auxerre, in the year 1412.1...

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Part 2

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pp. 93-121

Here begins the table of contents of the second part of this book, begun on the third day of September, after the articles of peace were reconfirmed in the town of Pontoise, and our lords of France came in great joy and peace to Paris in the year of grace 1413.1 This second part speaks again in...

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Part 3

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pp. 122-198

Here begins the table of the third part of this book, which speaks of the good government of the people and the polity in relation to three other virtues: clemency, liberality, and truthfulness....

Le Livre de paix

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Part 1

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pp. 200-229

(fol. 1r) Cy commence la table des rubriches du livre de paix, lequel s’adrece a tres noble et excellent prince monseigneur le duc de Guyenne, ainsné filz du roy de France, encommencié le premier jour de septembre, aprés l’apointement de la paix juree en la cité d’Auxerre entre noz seigneurs de France en l’an de grace mil iiii cent et douze....

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Part 2

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pp. 230-254

(fol. 28r) Cy commence la table des rubriches de la iie partie de ce livre. Laquelle iie partie fu commenciee le iiie jour du mois de septembre aprés les convenances de paix rejurees en la ville de Pontoise, et que noz seigneurs de France vindrent a grant joye et paix a Paris, en l’an de grace mil iiii...

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Part 3

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pp. 255-322

Cy commence la table de la tierce partie de ce livre qui parle de bien gouverner le peuple et la chose publique sur trois autres vertus. C’est assavoir clemence, liberalité, et verité....

Appendix: Table of Sources

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pp. 323-328

Bibliography

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pp. 329-340

Index

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pp. 341-348

Back Cover

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p. 349-349


E-ISBN-13: 9780271021782
E-ISBN-10: 0271021780
Print-ISBN-13: 9780271033969
Print-ISBN-10: 0271033967

Page Count: 360
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: Penn State Romance Studies

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • France -- Politics and government -- 1328-1589 -- Sources.
  • France -- History -- Charles VI, 1380-1422 -- Sources.
  • France -- History -- 15th century -- Sources.
  • Christine, de Pisan, ca. 1364-ca. 1431 -- Political and social views.
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