Roman de la Rose Digital Library
October 12, 2010 5:00 PM   Subscribe

The Roman de la Rose Digital Library intends "to create an online library of all manuscripts containing the Roman de la Rose poem." The site currently offers illustrations, transcriptions, and bibliographical data for over one hundred manuscripts. One of the most influential poems of the Middle Ages, the Roman de la Rose was authored in part by Guillaume de Lorris, in part by Jean de Meun (who stepped in four decades later to finish it). Depending on which author is at work, the poem offers very different takes on its allegory of courtly love. The Roman de la Rose soon crossed the Channel as The Romaunt of the Rose, which may or may not be a translation by Geoffrey Chaucer. Notably, the poem's attitude to women spawned what came to be known as the "Quarrel of the Rose," led by Christine de Pizan (in French). In its long afterlife, the poem's influence has been felt everywhere from tapestry to pre-Raphaelite painting to allegorical gardens.
posted by thomas j wise (5 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Of all the books we read in "Great Books" in college, "Romance of the Rose" was my least favorite. I was shocked to read the great Greek tragedies, to which I felt an immediate connection, surprised to read the Roman comedies, where pretty much the same things were funny then as are funny now, and then hit the Middle Ages, and WHAM!, not understand those people at all.
posted by acrasis at 5:27 PM on October 12, 2010

I love Eco.
posted by joost de vries at 7:03 PM on October 12, 2010

I was just trying to use this the other day to look up illustrations. The problem is, I can't see them, only a logo for fsi viewer. Is there something I can do to make them work?
posted by duvatney at 7:37 PM on October 12, 2010

Oh man, we learned so much in high school about Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun and Wolfram von Eschenbach and Hendrik van Veldeken, and earlier Le Chanson de Roland, Karel en de Elegast, Mariken van Nimweghen, Sir Gawain and the Greene Knight, etc etc

Our feminist mefites will appreciate the 13th century Lied van Heer Halewein where women are irresistibly lured by the song of Lord Halewein. A woman pesters her family because she wants to go to him. They caution her that nobody returns from Heer Halewein. And sure enough there are a lot of gallows with women hanging from them. He gives her the choice how to die. She chooses the sword and points out to him that he might want to take of his robe because "virgins blood makes such a mess". "Before he'd taken of his robe his head was lying on the ground" From the ground Haleweins head continues to work his male charm in trying to entice her to magically fix his wound or to fall into a magical trap. But she wants to hear nothing of it and returns victoriously, blowing a horn "like a man" when she arrives at her fathers gate and her return is celebrated with a banquet.

This unwarranted edification courtesy of my bloody insomnia; it's 5 am, almost time to get up.

posted by joost de vries at 8:01 PM on October 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

duvatney: Do you have something like NoScript running, or anything else that interferes w/Java?
posted by thomas j wise at 8:09 PM on October 12, 2010

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