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  • Las Leys d'amors, redazione lunga in prosa ed. by Beatrice Fedi
  • Wendy Pfeffer
Fedi, Beatrice, ed. Las Leys d'amors, redazione lunga in prosa. Archivio romanzo 35. Firenze: Edizioni del Galluzzo per la Fondazione Ezio Franceschini, 2019. viii + 910 pp. ISBN: 978–8450–967–3. €120.

It is impossible to work with medieval Occitan texts and not be familiar with the Leys d'amors, the fourteenth-century guide to Occitan and to poetry composed in Toulouse. The text exists in multiple formats (prose and verse), in manuscripts found in Toulouse and in Barcelona. With this new edition, Beatrice Fedi seeks to offer the scholarly community a version of the text that pulls the numerous sources together, in a single volume. She deserves our profound thanks.

The Toulouse Consistori del gai saber has been the subject of some research and some questions. What is certain is that the group of individuals comprising the Consistori left us several works: a Flors d'amors, the first prose version of their rulebook for composition, Toulouse Bibliothèque municipale 2884, "a good first draft" (Pfeffer 193) that was published by Adolphe-Félix Gatien-Arnoult in 1841; a second, shorter prose version with the title Leys d'amors, Toulouse Bibliothèque municipale 2883, edited by Joseph Anglade in 1919, and a verse version, the Flors del gay saber, Barcelona, Biblioteca de Catalunya 239 and Madrid Biblioteca nacional 13405, edited by Anglade (1926) and available on Ricketts's COM2. Fedi's edition offers something of a composite version. Her base manuscript is the earliest and longest text, Toulouse 2884 (her manuscript T), into which she inserts elements from Barcelona manuscript Arxiu de la Corona d'Aragó, Sant Cugat del Vallès 13 (her manuscript B) and from Toulouse 2883 (her manuscript T2). She has also used copies of these texts, such as that made by Raynouard (now in the Archives départementales de la Haute-Garonne, in Toulouse, formerly Académie des Jeux floraux shelf mark 500.020), and medieval works that cite the Leys, such as the Glosari al Doctrinal de trobar by Raimon de Cornet and Lluis de Averçó's Torcimany.

The scholarly community long ago agreed to use the same sigla for the various troubadour manuscripts, but the sigla for the Leys have not been fixed (see Pfeffer 193 and Zufferey 37). Fedi has [End Page 186] adopted sigla of her own, the explanation of which is somewhat hidden (see 3n1 and 127); I note that one possible witness, Madrid, Biblioteca nacional 13405, a copy of the verse Flors del gay saber, is not included.

The edition opens with the requisite information, starting with a general discussion of the text, its transmission history, and a very detailed description of the base manuscript. Fedi believes that no extant version represents the definitive text (37), a justification for the somewhat Lachmannian editorial approach she adopted. She reviews the compositional history to confirm that Leys d'amors is the title of the prose version, Flors d'amors the title of the version in verse (94), seconding earlier scholars. Based on a careful review of internal references, Fedi confirms the dating of the prose works as between 1328–1356 (99); she dates the Flors between 1328 and 1338 (100). The editor also reviews attribution of the works; the authorship of Guilhem Molinier, assisted by Bortolomieu Marc (84) and / or by a team (89) is not contested.

Fedi limits her linguistic study to her Toulouse manuscript, arguing that her manuscript B had been carefully studied by Gérard Gonfroy in his unpublished doctoral thesis.

The editor explains carefully and in detail how she has used various elements of typography to represent the witnesses and interventions in her edition (115–123). These include parenthesis, square brackets, curly brackets, single and double underlining, bold and italics, which appear in the text and in the apparatus. She calls our attention to the use of punctuation by the scribes of her T; the manuscript's use of punctuation aids our understanding of the text (124).

The bibliography is fairly complete, though reference to Laura Kendrick's survey of the Consistori would have been a useful addition.

Fedi offers...


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