By Siân Echard
This booklet takes a special examine the Latin Arthurian culture, putting authors reminiscent of Geoffrey of Monmouth within the context of Latin histories, monastic chronicles, saints' lives, and different Latin prose Arthurian narratives. putting them opposed to a historical past of the Angevin court docket of Henry II, the publication introduces a brand new set of texts into the Arthurian canon and indicates the way to comprehend their position in that culture. The unusual works are summarized for the reader, and there are huge quotations, with translations, all through.
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Additional resources for Arthurian Narrative in the Latin Tradition
75 Meriadoc, whose adventures are discussed in chapter 5, exclaims, after a particularly strange set of events, that he has experienced a dies fantastica, a fantastic day. Meriadoc's experiences have turned the world of both knight and audience upside down, while also leading to situations which comment on kingship and knighthood. All the works in this study present a similar atmosphere and similar opportunities. Sometimes the focus is most clearly on the "message"; at other times, the experience of the text itself seems primary.
W h a t m a y appear a rather casual segue from " E n g l a n d " t o " A n g e v i n e m p i r e " is in fact a fairly c o m m o n practice; w h e n C l a n c h y writes that " t h e experience of literacy in England at this time is quite coherent because of t h e domination of t h e royal bureaucracy" (Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record, p . 5), h e is of course speaking of the Angevin bureaucracy. 22 Latin Arthurian narrative and the Angevin court classifying these works generically is part of this experience.
The first is that, for most of the texts in this study, such integration cannot happen until the texts come to be better known than they now are. Second, there is a certain consistency imposed by the Latin language, because of the context in which it tended to be learned and employed. Intellectuals had national affiliations, certainly, but the common characteristics of their education can be traced in their employment of their lingua franca. We return then to the discussion of the characteristics of court language above, as well as to the general sense of the ludic possibilities of Latin, possibilities which have not always been explored because of Latin's perceived status as the tongue of the Fathers.