Chartres as an intellectual and cultural force in the Renaissance of the twelfth century has engaged the attention of critics and scholars from R. L. Poole through Gilson, Curtius, and Huizinga to, most recently, Peter Dronke. Its importance as a poetic tradition is now reviewed by Winthrop Wetherbee, first as it developed at Chartres, then as it influenced later poetry, French as well as Latin. Mr. Wetherbee analyzes, and supports with his own translations, the poetry notably of Bernardus Silvestrus and Alain dc Lille: he defines the intellectual milieu of the Chartrian poets and their Platonic conception of nature, man, and poetry. Myth, philosophy, and the literary statement that gives them poetic being are Mr. Wetherbee’s essential concern, as they were in fact the concern of the poets he discusses.
Originally published in 1972.
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