This prose translation of the medieval French verse narrative Ami and Amile recounts the legendary friendship of two valiant knights who are as indistinguishable as twin brothers. Ami and Amile serve Charlemagne together, face together the hatred of an archetypal villain, confront the daunting challenges of women and love, and accept extraordinary sacrifices for each other's sake. Miracles mark the end of their lives, and their shared tomb becomes a pilgrims' shrine.
The compelling translation by Samuel N. Rosenberg and Samuel Danon is accompanied by an introduction on the background, genre, and general sense of the tale. The volume also includes an afterword by David Konstan, which examines the medieval work's concept of friendship within a perspective extending back to classical antiquity.
This translation will reveal Ami and Amile as a major work of the French Middle Ages. In elegant and forceful prose, it weaves together the themes of friendship and love and the status of women, of sin and punishment, the moral problem of doing wrong for the right reason, and the mythic affliction of leprosy. The work will foster lively literary and philosophical discussion.
Ami and Amile is of interest to a wide range of readers, including students of history, comparative literature, and gender studies. Medievalists will find it a welcome addition to their libraries and a captivating experience for their students.
The volume is published in the series Stylus: Studies in Medieval Culture, edited by Eugene Vance, University of Washington. Samuel N. Rosenberg is Professor of French and Italian at Indiana University; Samuel Danon is Professor of French at Reed College.
Reveries of Community reconsiders the role of epic poetry during the French Wars of Religion, the series of wars between Catholics and Protestants that dominated France between 1562 and 1598. Critics have often viewed French epic poetry as a casualty of these wars, arguing that the few epics France produced during this conflict failed in power and influence compared to those of France’s neighbors, such as Italy’s Orlando Furioso, England’s Faerie Queene, and Portugal’s Os Lusíadas. Katherine S. Maynard argues instead that the wars did not hinder epic poetry, but rather French poets responded to the crisis by using epic poetry to reimagine France’s present and future.
Traditionally united by une foi, une loi, un roi (one faith, one law, one king), France under Henri IV was cleaved into warring factions of Catholics and Huguenots. The country suffered episodes of bloodshed such as the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, even as attempts were made to attenuate the violence through frequent edicts, including those of St. Germain (1570) and Nantes (1598). Maynard examines the rich and often dismissed body work written during these bloody decades: Pierre de Ronsard’s Franciade, Guillaume Salluste Du Bartas’s La Judit and La Sepmaine, Sébastian Garnier’s La Henriade, Agrippa d’Aubigné’s Les Tragiques, and others. She traces how French poets, taking classics such as Virgil’s Aeneid and Homer’s Iliad as their models, reimagined possibilities for French reconciliation and unity.