Few manuscripts explore Jean de Meun's philosophical anthropology—particularly its engagement with women and sexuality—as directly as does a mid-fourteenth-century miscellany preserved in the Bibliothèque municipale of Dijon, MS 525. Compiled by a scribe named Mathias du Rivau between 1355 and 1362, the miscellany includes a series of texts that either influenced Jean's Rose, or were influenced by it. Satiric and moral in nature, these texts form a counterpoint to the Rose that riffs on Jean's concept of dialectical opposites—contraires choses—particularly in the closing sections (as suggested by Mathias's marginal annotations). Key to the critical dynamic of the miscellany is a group of four texts—identified as prosa mulierum—immediately following the end of the Rose. Scholars who have studied this manuscript have dismissed these texts as misogynistic or even (anachronistically) "anti-feminist." Such readings ignore the dialectical context of Dijon 525. Above all, they ignore the nuanced way that the prosa mulierum engage the disparate panoply of Jean de Meun's perspectives on the subject.


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pp. 90-120
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