Don A. Monson

(College of William & Mary / Kenyon College)

Recibido: 19/03/2021
Aprobado: 26/10/2021


The time and place of composition of the medieval Latin treatise on love, De amore, and the identity of Andreas Capellanus (“Andrew the Chaplain”) to whom its authorship is attributed have long been a subject of controversy. There are essentially three hypotheses, each tied to a particular interpretation of the treatise. Following the rediscovery of the work by Gaston Paris in 1883, it was long thought that to have been written in the 1180s at the court of Champagne by a court chaplain at the behest of the countess Marie, an important patroness of courtly literature. Based on new diplomatic evidence and some of the manuscript rubrics, Alfred Karnein renewed the question in 1978 with the theory that the treatise was indeed written in the 1180s, but in Paris at the court of Philip II Augustus, and not to promote the courtly love ethic but to combat it. In 1994 Peter Dronke advanced the theory that Andreas Capellanus is a pseudonym designed to link an anonymous work with a legendary romance lover, André de Paris, and that the treatise was written in the 1230s in the Arts Faculty of the University of Paris as an elaborated erotic joke. Each of these hypotheses has its strengths and weaknesses, and so the question is likely to remain undecided.

Keywords: Andreas Capellanus. De amore. courtly love. humor. irony.


La época y el lugar de composición del tratado medieval latino sobre el amor, De amore, y la identidad de Andreas Capellanus ("Andrés el Capellán"), a quien se atribuye su autoría, han sido objeto de controversia durante mucho tiempo. Existen esencialmente tres hipótesis, cada una de ellas vinculada a una interpretación particular del tratado. Tras el redescubrimiento de la obra por Gaston Paris en 1883, se pensó durante mucho tiempo que había sido escrita en la década de 1180 en la corte de Champaña por un capellán de la corte a instancias de la condesa María, importante mecenas de la literatura cortesana. Basándose en nuevas pruebas diplomáticas y en algunas de las rúbricas de los manuscritos, Alfred Karnein renovó la cuestión en 1978 con la teoría de que el tratado fue escrito en esa época, pero en París, en la corte de Felipe II Augusto, y no para promover la ética del amor cortés, sino para combatirla. En 1994, Peter Dronke avanzó la teoría de que Andreas Capellanus es un seudónimo diseñado para vincular una obra anónima con un legendario amante de romance, André de Paris, y que el tratado fue escrito en la década de 1230 en la Facultad de Artes de la Universidad de París como una elaborada broma erótica. Cada una de las

hipótesis tiene sus puntos fuertes y débiles, por lo que es probable que la cuestión siga sin resolverse.

Palabras clave: Andrés el Capellán. De amore. amor cortés. humor. ironía.


A época e o lugar da composição do tratado latino medieval sobre o amor, De amore, e a identidade de Andreas Capellanus ("André o Capelão") a quem é atribuída a sua autoria há muito que são objecto de controvérsia. Existem essencialmente três hipóteses, cada uma delas ligada a uma interpretação particular do tratado. Após a redescoberta da obra de Gaston Paris em 1883, pensou-se durante muito tempo que ter sido escrita nos anos 1180 na corte de Champagne por um capelão da corte a mando da condessa Marie, uma importante padroeira da literatura cortês. Com base em novas provas diplomáticas e em algumas das rubricas dos manuscritos, Alfred Karnein renovou a questão em 1978 com a teoria de que o tratado foi escrito nessa altura, mas em Paris, na corte de Filipe II Augusto, e não para promover a ética do amor cortês, mas para a combater. Em 1994 Peter Dronke avançou a teoria de que Andreas Capellanus é um pseudónimo concebido para ligar uma obra anónima com um amante lendário do romance, André de Paris, e que o tratado foi escrito nos anos 1230 na Faculdade de Artes da Universidade de Paris como uma elaborada piada erótica. Cada uma das hipóteses tem os seus pontos fortes e fracos, e por isso é provável que a questão permaneça indecisa.

Palavras-chave: André o Capelão. De amore. amor cortês. humor. ironia.

The medieval Latin treatise on love attributed to a certain Andreas Capellanus is arguably among the most important documents of medieval civilization1. In any case, it is certainly among the best known and the most controversial. Much of the controversy centers on the meaning of the treatise, the authorial intention that it embodies, and its implications for the contentious problem of "courtly love." The debate goes beyond these matters, however, to include the very identity of the author whose intentions are in doubt. Indeed, in most discussions the question of the author's identity and that of his intentions are intimately connected.

From the late-nineteenth century well into the second half of the twentieth century, the De amore was generally regarded as a manual of courtly love. The famous article of Gaston Paris (1883) in which he first expounded his theory of amour courtois also played a key role in making the treatise known to medieval scholarship. Although the focus of the article was the Chevalier de la charrette (Lancelot) of Chrétien de Troyes, a significant part of it (pp. 523-532) was devoted to describing Andreas’s treatise. Gaston Paris saw in Chrétien’s romance the first expression in northern French literature of a new attitude towards love between the sexes first developed in southern France by the troubadours, later to be brought north by Eleanor of Aquitaine, granddaughter of William IX of Aquitaine, the first troubadour, and her daughter Marie de Champagne, the patroness to whom the Chevalier de la charrette is dedicated. He also saw the De amore as an early codification of that new attitude, hence the attention paid to the treatise in his article and the central role that it has always played in discussions of courtly love.

After dominating the discussion of medieval love literature for several decades, Gaston Paris’s theory was vigorously challenged in the second half of the twentieth century by scholars such as D. W. Robertson, Jr. (1962: 391-503; 1968), John F. Benton (1968), and E. Talbot Donaldson (1970), who claimed that courtly love was a myth of recent origin and an impediment to understanding medieval texts. Chief among their arguments was a reappraisal of the De amore. Following two books devoted

1 All references to the De amore are to the Latin text of Walsh, 1982, abbreviated as DA, with book, chapter, and paragraph numbers, followed by page numbers in parentheses.

respectively to advice on how to acquire love and how to maintain it, Andreas appended a third book that constitutes a “rejection” or “condemnation” of love (reprobatio amoris), thus creating an apparent contradiction between the two parts of his work. The third book was viewed by earlier scholars such as Pio Ranja (1891: 256-257) and John Jay Parry (1941/1969: 19) as a hypocritical attempt to avoid ecclesiastical censure, but in studies going back to the early 1950s, Robertson (1951, 1952-1953, 1962) argued that the first two books should be seen as ironic condemnation of illicit love (or "concupiscence") in the Christian tradition and thus as supporting the message of book three rather than conflicting with it. More recently Betsy Bowden (1979) has argued that the De amore is a kind of elaborate dirty joke in the Ovidian tradition, consisting of a series of obscene images and puns thinly veiled beneath the surface of the text, an approach that has also attracted a certain number of adherents. Each of these three interpretations of the treatise has spawned its own theory concerning the identity of the author.

Nothing is known about the author of the De amore except the mostly conjectural indications that can be deduced from his work. Including a fragment recently discovered in Macerata (Ciotti, 1987; Knapp, 2006: 299), the treatise is preserved, in whole or in part, in 42 Latin manuscripts (Karnein, 1985: 267- 87; cf. Roy, 1992)2. In about one half of them the work is anonymous, but in addition to several clearly erroneous attributions to Alanus (Alain de Lille), Pogius (Poggio Bracciolini), Enea Silvio (Piccolomini), Albertanus (da Brescia), and Boncompagno (da Signa), the name Andreas (“Andrew”) appears as the author in the rubrics of 11 mss (K 2, 5, 6, 10, 21, 24, 30, 32, 35, 36, 37). All but one of these (K 37) add the title Capellanus ("the Chaplain"), in six cases with some further qualification (Karnein, 1985: 271, Table V). The rubrics of three mss of the medieval Italian translations also ascribe the treatise to Andrea (K 52 & 54) or to Andrea Capellano (K 51).

One ms (K 30) and an incunabulum (K 46) attribute the work to Andreas chaplain of Pope Innocent IV (1243-1254)3. A chaplain to Innocent IV named Andreas was the author of the anti-matrimonial tract De dissuasione uxorationis ("On Dissuasion from Marriage"). Writing in Padua around 1300 the jurist Geremia da Montagnone believed that the papal chaplain was the author of both works, and it is possible that Geremia’s opinion inspired the rubric of K 30, a fifteenth-century ms probably Italian in origin, and that of the incunabulum. However, Rajna (1891: 226-41) has shown that for reasons of content, style, and chronology it is highly unlikely that the two works were by the same author, and this assessment has been generally accepted by scholars.

One ms (K 10) and a 1610 edition (K 47) describe Andreas as “chaplain of the king” (regis capellanus), two others (K 6 & 24) as “chaplain of the king of France” (regis francie capellanus), and yet another (K

2) as “chaplain of the royal French court” (francorum aule regie capellanus) in the incipit but as “chaplain of the queen” (regine capellanus) in the explicit. These rubrics may all be derived from a passage in the seventh dialogue (DA 1.6.385 [152]) in which the man cites the teaching of "Andreas the lover, chaplain of the royal court" (amator Andreas aulae regiae capellanus), an apparent reference to a passage in book one, chapter five of the De amore (DA 1.5.6 [40]).

Nearly one half of the extent mss are preserved in German-speaking countries, a quarter are in Italy, and another quarter in France or Belgium (Karnein, 1985: 269, Table II). All the mss now found in Italy and several of those in Germany or France were certainly or probably produced in Italy, which account for nearly one half of the total production (Karnein, 1985: 269, Table III). Nevertheless, numerous indications point to an origin in northern France. In addition to the previously cited ms rubrics linking the work with the entourage of the French king, there are two references to France (DA 1.6.215 [100], 229 [104]) and one to Paris (DA 1.6.55 [54]) within the text. The Arthurian tale of book two, chapter

2 The manuscripts (hereafter ms. plural mss) and early editions of the De amore are designated according to their numbering in the list of Karnein (1985: 275-287), abbreviated as K followed by ms number.

3 One ms (K 32) attributes the work to Andreas “chaplain of the sacred palace” (sacri palacii capellanus), which appears to stem from a passage in the third dialogue (DA 1.6.142 [78]) concerning a handsome but wicked Italian count whose parents enjoyed the most illustrious eminence in “the sacred palace” (sacro palatio). Arpad Steiner (1938) suggests that this is a reference to William I “the Bad” of Sicily (1154-1166), whose father Roger II, a count and papal vassal, was made king in 1130 by Anti-pope Anacletus II and confirmed in that title in 1139 by Pope Innocent II. William’s son William II was married in 1177 to Joan, daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II of England, hence the possible interest of this allusion for aristocratic circles in northern France in the late-twelfth century. But see below, n. 11.

eight shows that the author was familiar with the Arthurian legends whose earliest literary manifestations occurred in northern France in the second half of the twelfth century. The aristocratic ladies called on to render decisions in the love cases of book two, chapter seven can all be identified with French noblewomen living in the same period4. And a similar conclusion emerges from the fact that, of the many medieval translations and adaptations of the treatise into various vernacular languages, the earliest are all in Old French, including the Franco-Venetian Livre d’Enanchet (before 1252), the Livres d’Amours of Drouart la Vache (1290), and Jean de Meun’s translation of Andreas’s definition of love in the second part of the Roman de la Rose (1270s).

The two or three earliest mss date from the thirteenth century (K 1, [24], 33), with another seven or eight from the fourteenth (K 2, 3, 11, [24], 25, 28, 39/40; Macerata fragment) and about three quarters of the total coming from the fifteenth century (Karnein: 268, Table I; cf. Roy, 1992: 53). A terminus ante quem for the work is provided by the fact that it was quoted extensively by Albertanus of Brescia in 1238 in his De amore et dilectione dei et proximi. The only date within the De amore is that of a letter included in the seventh dialogue, attributed to “M., countess of Champagne,” and dated 1st May 1174. Although the letter itself is considered to be fictitious, its date has generally been regarded as providing a reliable terminus a quo5. This still leaves a span of sixty-four years within which to situate the composition of the treatise.

Gaston Paris (1883: 528) thought that the De amore dated from the beginning of the thirteenth century. He reasoned that it would have taken several years for knowledge of a treatise written in norther France to reach Albertanus in norther Italy. On the other hand, Marie de Champagne, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and the other highborn ladies quoted as authorities in the treatise are described there, in his estimation, as belonging to the past; he cites in that connection the fact that they are always evoked in the past tense. Nevertheless, he sees it as a recent past that can still be remembered, and he correlates this with the fact that the ladies in question all died in the last decade of the twelfth century. He later proposed a more precise date around 1220 (Paris, 1912: 483, 485). It is apparently on his authority that the work is dated from the early-thirteenth century by C. S. Lewis (1936/1958: 32), and more recently by Jean Frappier (1973: 79, 81), who cites Gaston Paris.

Paris’s contemporary Pio Rajna (1891: 265), however, dated the treatise to around 1200, and subsequently most scholars have placed in the last quarter of the twelfth century. Of the various attempts to provide a more precise date, the one most widely recognized concerns a passage from the fifth dialogue (DA 1.6.215 [100]) in which the noblewoman states that she would prefer to live modestly in France rather than to be laden with Hungarian silver but subject to a foreign power. This remark is usually taken to refer to the marriage in 1186 of Princess Margaret of France, daughter of Louis VII, to King Bela III of Hungary. Such an allusion would have been topical shortly after the marriage took place, it is argued, or in 1184-1185 when it was being planned (Eckhardt, 1943; Steiner, 1929, 1938). Although highly speculative, this dating has been widely accepted. It would place the composition of

4 The queen of England (Angliae regina Alinoria) cited in the fourth dialogue (DA 1.6.185 [92]) is undoubtedly Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122- 1204), queen of France from the ascension of Louis VII in 1137 until their divorce in 1152, then queen of England from the ascension of Henry II in 1154 until his death in 1189. She is called on to render judgment in at least three of the love cases of book two (II, VI, VII) and probably in three others (XVII, XIX, XX) ascribed to “the queen” (regina). The M. Campaniae comitissa with whom letters are exchanged in the seventh dialogue (DA 1.6.390, 1.6.395 [154]) is almost certainly Eleanor’s daughter Marie (1145-1198), countess by her marriage in 1164 to Henry I “the Liberal” of Champagne until his death in 1181, then regent countess until 1187 and again in 1190-1198. Seven of the love cases are entrusted to her arbitration (I, III, IV, V, XVI, XXI), and her opinion is cited by the man of the eighth dialogue (DA

1.6.444 [170]), by the queen in deciding love case XVII, and by the author himself (DA 2.6.36 [248]). The countess of Flanders (comitissa Flandrensis) asked to decide love cases XII and XIII is thought to be Isabelle (or Elisabeth) of Vermandois (1143-1183), niece of Eleanor and first cousin of Marie, who held that title by her marriage in 1159 to Philip of Alsace, Count of Flanders. Five of the love cases (VIII, IX, X, XI, XV) are decided by Narbonensis Mengarda, that is, Ermengard, viscountess of Narbonne (1143-1192), a prominent patroness of troubadours. The decision in love case XVIII is attributed to a court of unnamed ladies assembled in Gascony.

5 A fanciful date for a fanciful letter, according to Rajna (1891: 246), May 1st being the day for love par excellence. Based apparently on the date of the letter, Du Cange (1678/1883-1887, vol. 10: IX) lists Andreas as living in 1170, which Fabricius (1734-1746/1962, vol. 1:

86) changes to “circa 1170,” and Raynouard (1816-1821, vol. 2: LXXXI) follows Fabricius with “vers 1170.” Judging the grounds for that finding not very strong, Fauriel (1895: 321) sees Andreas as living at the end of the twelfth century or in the first half of the thirteenth. Also rejecting Raynouard’s dating, Diez (1825: 76) assigns the work to the fourteenth century based on the late dates of the vernacular translations known to him.

the treatise during the reign of Philip II Augustus, who ruled from 1180 to 1223. Unfortunately, no chaplain named Andreas is attested in the royal chancellery during that period.

The De amore is dedicated to a certain Gualterius ("Gautier" or "Walter") who is addressed as venerandus ("venerable"), thus indicating a person of high rank (DA 0.1 [30])6. The only other information given about the addressee is that he is in love, but young and inexperienced, hence his need for instruction. The incipit of one ms (K 6), having previously identified Andreas as chaplain of the king of France, refers to Gualterius as nepos of (presumably the same) memorable king (regis memorati nepos), which is usually taken to mean “nephew,” but it could also refer to a grandson or even to a more distant relative. A rubric of another ms (K 32) calls Gualterius “son of the king” (regis filius). There is no son of a French king named Gautier for the entire period. The only Gautier in the French royal family at the time was Gautier de Charros, grandson of Pierre de Courtenay and thus grandnephew of Louis VII, but he was apparently too young to be Andreas's addressee (Paris, 1912: 484; Trojel, 1888: 107). Outside the royal family the name Gautier was so common that most scholars have given up the search as fruitless (e.g. Vinay, 1951: 207). Many see in the addressee a fictitious character embodying the rhetorical topos of "affected modesty," of which one variant consists in attributing a work's origin to the request of a patron or friend (e.g. Paris, 1912: 485; cf. Curtius, 1953: 83-85).

Among contemporary historical figures the one most often cited in the De amore is Marie, countess of Champagne. In addition to her letter in the seventh dialogue she is asked to decide seven of the love cases of book two, more than any other lady, and her opinions are cited in three other passages of the treatise (see above, n. 4). Like her mother Eleanor (with six love cases and one other reference the second most frequently cited authority in the treatise), Marie was an important patroness of letters (Bezzola, 1967/1984: 374-454; Lejeune, 1979: 455-460). We have seen that Gaston Paris attributed a seminal role to mother and daughter in propagating the new fashion of “courtly love” in the courts of northern France. In addition to Chrétien de Troyes, whose Chevalier de la charrette she commissioned, the courtly authors who enjoyed Marie’s patronage include the romance writer Gautier d’Arras and the lyric poet Gace Brulé, and there are several others in whose works she receives favorable mention. All this has led to speculation about the countess’s possible role in the genesis of the De amore.

Noting the presence of a chaplain named Andreas in the court of Champagne in the mid-1180s, Pio Rajna (1891: 249-252, 258-259) believed that Andreas could have known the countess personally and received some of her pronouncements from her own lips, but that he was writing after her death in 1198, remembering events from ten years earlier. Other scholars such as John Jay Parry (1941/1969: 17) have not hesitated to claim that the treatise was written in the 1180s at the court of Champagne at Marie's behest. Nine charters from the diocese of Troyes during the period 1158-1199 are witnessed by a person or persons named Andreas (Benton, 1962), including two issued by Marie herself in 1182 and 1186 in which Andreas is qualified as capellanus. Louis-André Vigneras (1934-1935) saw this as proof that the author of the De amore was Marie’s chaplain, and John F. Mahoney (1958) has tried to show that this chaplain was the same as Andreas de Luyères, witness to several other charters. Since Marie was the daughter of Louis VII and the half-sister (and maternal aunt by marriage) of Philip Augustus, it is argued, relations would have been close between the courts of Champagne and France, so it would not be surprising for a chaplain employed in Troyes to continue his career in Paris, thus accounting for the rubrics associating Andreas with the royal court (Parry, 1941/1969: 17; Rajna, 1891: 258-259; Schlösser, 1960: 45-46).

The association of the De amore with the court of Champagne has sometimes given rise to great flights of fancy. Vigneras (1934-1935) wrote that, as protégés of the countess, Andreas and Chrétien must have met at her court. Parry (1942/1969: 3) saw Chrétien as Andreas’s “friend and fellow citizen.” Felix Schlösser (1960: 45-49) describes Andreas as Marie’s counselor and traveling companion who took part

6 Gualterius is addressed by name another 14 times in the treatise, and in the fifth dialogue the god of Love recommends “the book addressed to Walter” as a source for additional love precepts (DA 1.6.269 [116]). Gualterius is named as the author in six mss, and in another eight mss the work bears the title Gualterus De amore (see Karnein, 1985: 270-271, Tables IV & V). That is also how it is designated in the earliest reference to the treatise by Albertanus of Brescia and in the work’s 1277 condemnation by Bishop Tempier of Paris.

in discussions concerning Princess Margaret’s marriage to Bela III and recorded the countess’s opposition to the marriage in the remark about Hungarian silver. P. G. Walsh (1982: 3, 15, 244, n. 22) conjectures that Andreas may have been secretly in love with the countess and that disappointment in this regard may account for the about-face in book three. A prominent though much debated feature of the theory saw in the love cases of book two, chapter seven a reflection of actual “courts of love” held not in Troyes, but at Eleanor’s court in Poitiers (e.g. A. Kelly, 1937), but Paul Remy (1955) has traced the development of this “legend” and seemingly laid it to rest.

Having acquired the status of a historical fact for many, the Champagne hypothesis was vigorously contested beginning in the 1960s by scholars such as Benton, Robertson, and Karnein. They stress the fact that the connection with Champagne is not supported by any of the ms rubrics, which associate Andreas rather with the royal court. In a survey of Marie’s literary patronage Benton (1961) puts Andreas Capellanus in the category of authors whose association with the court is doubtful or erroneous. There is no evidence, he argues (p. 586), that Marie could read Latin; no author who addressed her in his work wrote for her in Latin, and she commissioned several translations from Latin into French, which might indicate that her Latin was weak. Benton also sees no evidence that Marie had any contact with her mother after the latter’s divorce, and based on Rita Lejeune’s (1957) early dating for the troubadour Rigaut de Barbézieux, he denies any evidence that the countess had any contact with southern France. Rather than to the secular court of Champagne, argues Karnein (1985: 18-20), this Latin, scholastic treatise must surely be addressed to a learned, clerical audience.

The numerous mentions of Marie de Champagne and Eleanor of Aquitaine should be interpreted, according to these scholars, considering the humor and irony that they see in the treatise as a whole. Our knowledge of the private lives of these ladies is too limited, writes Robertson (1962: 445), for us to grasp all implications of the love cases, but he offers two examples in which “Andreas’ satiric intention is clear.” In love case VI, Eleanor rules that a man who has already proved his worth should be preferred to a younger, less-accomplished man who seeks to enhance his worth through love, which Robertson, following Benton (1961: 581), sees as casting an ironic light on her 1152 divorce from the 32-year-old Louis VII and her subsequent marriage to the future Henry II, then 19 years old. And having left Louis on grounds of consanguinity, the queen denounces in case VII even unwittingly incestuous love relationships, although Henry was almost as closely related to her as was Louis7. When the man of the fourth dialogue cites Eleanor’s opinion that a woman should be free to choose between two suitors of equal merit (DA 1.6.185 [92]), Robertson (1962: 420, n. 57) sees this as “a rather obvious thrust at the lady’s widely alleged ‘freedom of choice.’” Karnein (1978: 5; 1985: 26) see in Marie a possible target of hidden irony as an erstwhile adversary of her half-brother Philip Augustus8. To illustrate what he sees as political-literary satire in the love cases Karnein (1985: 100-104) suggests that the dating of Marie’s letter to 1174 was perhaps made to coincide with Henry’s imprisonment of Eleanor. In love case XIII the countess of Flanders rules that a faithless knight should return to the woman who has made a worthy man of him, and Karnein sees this decision as an ironic commentary on the fact that the countess’s husband, Philip of Flanders, courted Marie briefly after they were both widowed but went on to marry a Portuguese princess.

The question of the place of origin of the De amore was substantially renewed thanks to a new hypothesis by Alfred Karnein (1978; 1985: 21-39) situating it firmly in the royal court. In addition to the three ms rubrics, Karnein cites the presence in the French chancellery in the mid-1180s of a young official, Gautier le Jeune, who would have been of an appropriate age, rank, and education to be the recipient of

7 Louis and Eleanor were third cousins once removed, being separated from their common ancestors, King Robert II of France and Constance of Arles, by four and five generations, respectively. Henry and Eleanor were also third cousins, though their respective great- grandparents, Fulk IV of Anjou and Hildegard of Burgundy, were only half-siblings, children by different fathers of the royals’ common ancestor, Ermengard of Anjou. Louis VII subsequently married his second cousin, Constance of Castile. The real reason for his and Eleanor’s divorce was probably her failure to produce a male heir, with consanguinity a convenient excuse. See Bouchard, 2003.

8 Upon ascending the throne, Philip confiscated the dower lands of his mother Adèle, Marie’s sister-in-law, and he married Isabelle of Hainaut, who had been promised to Marie’s son Henry (II), prompting a conflict with the entire Champagne family in which Marie took the side of her in-laws against her half-brother. The conflict was eventually resolved, in part by the marriage of Henry to Isabelle’s younger sister. See Evergates, 2019: 30-33.

Andreas's advice9. Moreover, there are two inventories of royal charters from the mid-fourteenth century which mention the De amore among the documents dating from before the time of Saint Louis, where Karnein suggest that it could have been placed by Gautier le Jeune himself. Finally, several royal charters from 1190-1191 are witnessed by a certain Andreas Cambellanus ("Andrew the Chamberlain"). Pondering the possibility of a connection with the De amore, Alexander Cartellieri (1899-1900, vol. 1: 230, n. 3) suggested a possible mix-up in the mss between the two titles, but Karnein hypothesizes that Andreas could have written the treatise at an earlier stage of his career, when he was only a chaplain and not yet a chamberlain. Indeed, Gautier le Jeune followed just such a career path, according to Karnein10, who sees this new Sitz im Leben as supporting a Robertsonian view of the treatise as an ironic condemnation of love.

Despite the new diplomatic evidence marshalled by Karnein, his conclusions have not been universally accepted, and the Champagne hypothesis still has many partisans. They include, to cite but two, Graziano Ruffini and Ursula Liebertz-Grün. Ruffini (1980, pp. IX-XVI) accepts Karnein's affirmation that Marie did not know Latin but points out that many of her courtiers did, citing the numerous translations carried out in her court. Moreover, he continues, the advice of the woman in the first dialogue (DA 1.6.55 [54]) that the man should go to Paris to get educated excludes the French court as the place of the work's composition (to which Karnein, 1985: 26, later replied that the passage indicates the location of the lady of the first dialogue, not that of Andreas). If, as Karnein argues, courtly vernacular literature was foreign to the royal chancellery, Ruffini asks, how could a work so imbued with courtly culture have been produced there? He concludes that the De amore must have been composed in stages: having begun it in the courtly entourage of the countess of Champagne, Andreas must have finished it in the royal court, where his career had subsequently taken him, dedicating it to Gautier le Jeune, whom he had met there. Thus, Ruffini redeploys Karnein's documentary evidence and his scenario for the Chaplain's career advancement to construct a kind of synthetic compromise between hypotheses.

A much more fundamental challenge to Karnein’s theory comes from Ursula Liebertz-Grün (1987). She disputes Benton's and Karnein's assertion that Marie did not know Latin, citing a passage from one of the countess's translators in praise of her ability to read and understand. The three ms rubrics invoking the French court are probably a development from the passage internal to the treatise describing Andreas as chaplain to the royal court, she further argues, and that passage probably refers to the court of King of Love described in the Fifth Dialogue, which would deprive those rubrics of any historical value. As for the copy of the De amore found in the royal archives, she sees it as much less likely that Gautier put it there than that it was put there to save it from destruction in 1277, when the work was condemned as heretical by the Bishop of Paris. Having thus disposed of Karnein’s hypothesis, Liebertz-Grün reaffirms the traditional view that the treatise was written at the request of the countess of Champagne.

Liebertz-Grün’s reading of the passage in the seventh dialogue according to which Andreas is chaplain of the royal court not of France but of Love had previously been suggested by Henry Ansgar Kelly (1975: 36). It is embraced enthusiastically by Fritz Peter Knapp (2006: 302-304), who claims that a close examination of the wording hardly allows any other interpretation. The same sentence that identifies Andreas as chaplain “of the royal court” (aulae regiae) also mentions the “court of Love” (Amoris curia), which Knapp sees as two references to the same entity. He points to the proximity of curia and aula to

9 Karnein dates the De amore from the passage on Hungarian silver and the 1186 royal marriage, all the more so since that coincides with the “youth” (in Duby’s, 1973, sense of an adult not yet married) of Gautier le Jeune, born around 1163. He also derives from that date an argument against the Champagne hypothesis: 1186 is the last date for which Andreas is attested at the court of Champagne, so even with the supposition of a transfer from Troyes to Paris, the treatise must have been written far from Marie, he contends (1978: 4; 1985: 25). This argument is open to several objections. Karnein claims that the work must have been written after the 1186 wedding, but Steiner (1938) places its composition in 1184-1185, during the marriage negotiations, which were very much about Hungarian silver (Bela III sent to Paris in 1184 a detailed report of his income and possessions). Karnein’s scenario also assumes that Andreas would have set out for Paris immediately upon witnessing his last charter in Troyes, which doesn’t necessarily follow. 1186 was also the year of Gautier le Jeune’s own marriage, according to Karnein, so if the treatise was written after that date, Gautier would no longer have qualified as a “youth” in Duby’s sense, and it is doubtful that he would have still had need of instruction in love.

10 Having conducted extensive research on the court of Philip Augusts, John Baldwin (1994: 275, n. 52) finds the attempt to link Andreas capellanus with an Andreas cambellanus unconvincing, and the confusion of the clerical priestly office of chaplain with the lay domestic office of chamberlain he sees as highly unlikely. He also sees no corroborating evidence that the Gualterius capellanus noster cited in Genoa in an 1190 act of Philip II became the chamberlain Gautier the Young.

refer to the court of Love at DA 1.6.217 (102) and to the frequent use of the expressions aula Amoris and rex Amoris (“king of Love) throughout the treatise11. Knapp sees the rubrics associating Andreas with the royal court of France as the result of a misinterpretation of the expression “chaplain of the royal court” by scribes who assumed that the court in question could only be that of the cultural area in which the treatise is obviously based12. If the royal court is an allegorical fiction, he continues, then it is highly likely that the chaplain is as well, which would render futile any attempt to identify the author of the treatise with a court chaplain attested in either Troyes or Paris. Consequently, Knapp rightly points out Libertz-Grün’s inconsistency in clinging to the Champagne hypothesis.

The most recent hypothesis is that proposed by Peter Dronke (1994), who rejects both earlier theories, pointing instead to the legend of André de Paris. The troubadour lyric presents numerous allusions to a medieval romance, now lost, in which Andrieu de Paris, also called Andreu de Fransa or Andrevet, dies for love of the queen of France13. Earlier scholars such as Jacob Grimm (1866/1965, pp. 43-44) had suggested that André de Paris and Andreas Capellanus could be the same person, that is, that the author of the De amore could have inspired the lost romance, but Trojel (1889) argues persuasively that since the earliest allusions to André de Paris date from the late-twelfth century, the Chaplain would scarcely have had time after writing his treatise to die of love and become a legend known primarily to the troubadours. Dronke turns the proposition around, however, arguing that Andreas is a pseudonym designed to link the work with the legendary lover.

The passage in the seventh dialogue that invokes the teachings of the chaplain of the royal court (DA

1.6.385 [152]) refers to him as “Andrew the lover” (amator Andreas), and Dronke sees in this expression an attempt by the author to identify himself with the hero of the romance. The term capellanus, he argues, is used here in the metaphorical sense of “devotee” or “votuary,” attested elsewhere to refer to devotees of the Virgin Mary or the devil; the reference to the royal court he sees as reflecting the fictional hero's attachment to the queen. In support of this hypothesis Dronke invokes a passage in book two (DA 2.6.18 [242]) where the author refers in the third person to Andreas (presumably himself) and to what the latter most desires and without which he cannot be happy (presumably love); Dronke links this passage with another a little further along (DA 2.6.22 [244]) in which the author describes his own languishing for a love so lofty that it can only bring him suffering and with a passage from the troubadour Gaucelm Faidit referring to André de Paris and his love for the queen. Dronke views all this as a witty literary subterfuge in line with the playful self-references that abound throughout the treatise. Neither the internal references nor the rubrics have any historical value, he believes, and the work must be considered anonymous.

These circumstances do not prevent Dronke from offering his own hypothesis concerning the identity of the author. The first citation of the De amore was in 1238, and Dronke believes it was written near that date, in the 1230s. He also believes that it was written in Paris, not because of Karnein's evidence but because it was condemned there in 1277 be Bishop Tempier. It is more likely that a text circulating in Paris in the 1230s would be condemned there a generation later, he argues, than that such a condemnation would strike a work written in Champagne nearly one hundred years earlier. Its principal audience, he suggests, was composed of the students, clerks, and clerics of the Arts Faculty who could appreciate the scholastic casuistry and clerical humor that abound in the work. A rapid characterization of the De amore's content and tone stresses the differences that separate it from vernacular courtly poetry. Dronke

11 Occurring 11 times each, the expressions aula Amoris and curia Amoris are used interchangeably to refer to the court of Love. Aula is used alone one other time (DA 1.6.217 [102]) and curia five other times with the same meaning. There are 11 occurrences of rex Amoris, plus two of rex alone, referring to the king of Love, in alternation with deus Amoris, “god of Love,” attested three time, plus deus used once alone in this sense. There are also seven attestations of palatium Amoris (“palace of Love”), plus four of palatium alone with the same reference, and that may well be the meaning of sacro palatio at DA 1.6.142 (78). See above, n. 3.

12 The Occitan tradition offers a somewhat similar case of ms rubrics reflecting an apparent scribal confusion between the author of a courtly didactic work and the god of Love. See Monson, 1981: 99-100.

13 Following Riquer (1971, vol. 1: 174-176), Dronke cites 13 allusions to the legend; Chambers (1971: 45-46) records such references in 22 poems by 20 different poets. Gaston Paris (1872) drew attention to the only reference in Old French, from the Chastoiement d’un père à son fils, which adds the details that André died in Paris for lack of courage to declare his love. There is also an allusion to the legend in Lambert of Ardres’s chronicle of the counts of Guines, which Georges Duby (1978: 412 & n. 12) mistakenly takes as an indication that the De amore was known in that court in the late-twelfth century.

concludes by outlining the various levels of humor that he sees operating in the work, citing with approval, albeit with minor reservations, the search for bawdy puns carried out by Betsy Bowden.

To my knowledge there has not been much critical response to Dronke’s hypothesis, which radically challenges previous opinions on the subject. Knapp (2006: 303-305) appears to agree with Dronke’s reading of the ms rubrics and the passage that apparently inspired them. Knapp believes that the connection with André de Paris can neither be affirmed nor ruled out, however, and that either way Andreas could be either a pseudonym or the authentic name of an author about whom practically nothing else can be known, including the title of chaplain, which cannot be taken for granted. Knapp expresses no opinion concerning the association of the treatise with the Paris Arts Faculty of the 1230s.

Dronke's suggestions are certainly interesting and stimulating, particularly in that his radical skepticism underlines the fragility of all the speculation on the subject. Nevertheless, it seems to me that some reservations are in order. The idea that the author of the De amore could count on his audience to recognize the expression "Andreas the lover" as a sufficiently clear reference to André de Paris is possible but hardly seems likely. Already in his "Preface" (DA 0.3 [30]) the author stresses his experience in love, and he returns to this subject later in the treatise, not only in the passage cited by Dronke, but also in relating his experience with a nun in which he claims to be "abundantly experienced in the art of love" (DA 1.8.5 [212]); perhaps his readers would have seen such declarations as the reference for amator. The author's further qualification of himself as "chaplain of the royal court" could scarcely have helped his readers in identifying him with a hero of romance, for they would first have had to translate that expression as “lover of the queen,” hardly an obvious interpretation. Dronke's flippant dismissal (p.

52) of Karnein's hypothesis with the statement "a chamberlain is not quite the same as a chaplain" could easily inspire the observation that a royal chaplain is not quite the same as a queen's lover. If the aula regia of the seventh dialogue refers not to the royal court of France but to that of Love, as Liebertz- Grün and Knapp have suggested, that would take us even further from the queen and her lover.

If the treatise is indeed anonymous, any identification of the time and place of its composition must be conjectural, as Dronke (p. 52) acknowledges. Consequently, it could have been written as easily in Troyes as in Paris and as easily at the French court as at the university. Dronke uses the internal reference to the royal court to dismiss the Champagne hypothesis, but if that reference is fictitious, as he subsequently argues, it can have no bearing on the matter, and so cannot serve to exclude a possible connection with Troyes. Dronke's hypothesis leave several unanswered questions, such as how the treatise could have reached Albertanus da Brescia in northern Italy less than a decade after its composition, or how a thirteenth-century scholastic and his clerical audience could be so well informed about the nobility of the preceding century. Robertson, who assumes an immediate audience for the treatise contemporary with the courtly society that it depicts, suggests that if we knew more of the details we would get more of the jokes, but the clerics frequenting the University of Paris in the 1230s quite possibly knew even fewer of the details than we do. Would they have recognized in the mention of Hungarian silver a witty allusion to a royal wedding of a half century earlier? As Karnein (1985: 104, n.

71) points out, by the end of the thirteenth century the historic references had become so meaningless that Drouart la Vache didn’t hesitate to change the name of the countess of Champagne to that of the countess of Boulogne (v. 6005) to meet the needs of the rhyme.

In the absence even of a solid name to which to attach it, any speculation about the work's author must depend heavily on how one reads the work itself, and the history of the scholarship shows that the De amore is sufficiently complex and ambiguous to be susceptible of several very different readings. Dronke’s reading of the treatise combines two elements, scholasticism, and humor, neither of which is unproblematic, alone, or especially in combination. Long neglected in favor of the courtly elements, the scholastic dimension of the De amore has been increasingly recognized in recent years. In some parts of the treatise, such the definition of love in the first chapter, the level of the scholastic philosophizing is quite high (see Monson, 2005, chap. 5), but in other places it is much less so. Are the less satisfactory passages to be seen as inadvertently so, and thus ascribed to deficiencies in the author’s philosophical

training and skill, perhaps associated with the early scholasticism of the twelfth century? Should they be seen rather as conscious attempts to create clerical humor?

Humorous and ironic readings of the De amore are very much in fashion these days, but neither of the two most prominent strands of that tendency, the Christian irony championed by the Robertsonians and the search for bawdy puns initiated by Betsy Bowden, has been able to demonstrate anything like a sustained pattern throughout the entire treatise (see Monson, 2005, chap. 4). Both two schools display a few samples of their reading method, leaving it to others to extend the analysis to the rest of the work. It is significant that Robertson, Benton, and Karnein all limit themselves largely to repeating the same two or three example of statements by Eleanor of Aquitaine that they see as ironic. Likewise, Dronke sees all varieties of irony and humor extending across all three books of the treatise, a kind of elaborate game, a send-up of both secular love concepts and clerical misogyny, but aside from the self-references, he offers few concrete examples to show how he reached that conclusion.

Having summarized the debate, what conclusions can we draw? It hardly seems likely that a consensus will be reached any time soon. Each of the three hypotheses advanced has solid arguments in its favor, but also serious weaknesses. Despite another 130 years of discussions, we have not progressed much beyond Trojel’s (1892/1972: II) pronouncement: Quis hic fuerit Andreas et quo tempore librum scripserit, adhuc sub judice est (“Who this Andreas was and when he wrote his book is still undecided”). Nevertheless, I shall venture two suggestions.

The first is that we try to separate as far as possible, at least provisionally, the historical question of the author’s identity from the hermeneutic question of authorial intentions. Even if we knew for certain that the De amore was composed in Troyes or at the French court or in the university, that would not prove that it is a manifesto of courtly love, or an ironic clerical attack on secular love, or a jocular erotic spoof, and the passions aroused by the various interpretations of the work have tended to undermine any impartial weighing of the evidence for the identity of the author. I am not very optimistic about the implementation of this suggestion, for the history of research on the subject shows just how difficult it is to separate the author from his text.

Since so much of the argumentation depends on evidence internal to the treatise, the most urgent task is a new critical edition of the De amore (see Monson, 2018; Roy & Ferzoco, 1993). Of the forty-two extant mss, thirty contain a more-or-less complete text, but Trojel knew only 12 mss when making his edition (Trojel, 1899, later acknowledged awareness of three others), and he used only nine of them. The oldest ms (K 1), from the thirteenth century, was unknown to Trojel, and it was long inaccessible in a private collection, but it is now available in the State Archive in L’Aquila; mutilated at the beginning and the end, it contains about two thirds of the text. Trojel did use three fourteenth-century mss, one of them (K 3) closely related to the L’Aquila ms, but adopting a questionable stemma, he based his edition on another family of mss, all from the fifteenth century. He also pieced together a composite text from various mss, and he corrected spellings according to classical norms, editorial practices that were common in his day but have long since been abandoned. Trojel’s edition had rendered immeasurable service over more than a century, but it is now high time to replace it with one using all the extant mss and the early editions as well as the latest editorial methods, also considering the medieval translations and the critical comments and suggestions of the various translators and scholars who have occupied themselves with the text. Regardless of its bearing on the question of the identity of the author, such an edition would undoubtedly make a significant contribution to the more important task of understanding the treatise itself.

It is, of course, impossible to predict what new evidence, if any, a new edition would provide concerning the author, or what might come from other sources. In any case, the speculation is likely to continue, along with the ideological divisions. Especially considering the most recent research, however, it seems prudent to reckon with the possibility that we may never know for sure who wrote the De amore. As a matter of convenience, we shall continue to refer to Andreas Capellanus as the author of the treatise, but quite possibly without knowing much else about him, without even knowing for certain whether either

the name or the title is authentic, whether we are dealing with a pseudonym. Far from detracting from the work’s appeal, the uncertainty surrounding the identity of its author adds one more dimension to the general aura of mystery and fascination surrounding one of the most intriguing creations bequeathed to us by the Middle Ages.


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