A Parallel between Le Roman de Flamenca and Dante's Purgatorio (IV, vv. 1-13)

Harvitt, Helen J.

The following parallel between the opening lines of Purgatorio IV and the Provençal narrative poem Le Roman de Flamenca is specially interesting, because, according to P. Meyer, "no one in the middle ages has ever spoken of the poem and but one manuscript of it is known." M. Meyer fixes the date of Flamenca between 1220 and l25o–early enough for Dante to have known the work, if it had found its way into Italy.

From Dante's own statement we know that he was familiar with the poems of some of the most important and well known Provençal writers, such as Arnaut Daniel, Giraut de Borneil, Aimeric de Belenai, Bertran de Born, Peire d'Alvernhe and others, whose productions were a part of the intellectual heritage of the thirteenth century in Italy. The fact that Dante in no way makes mention of Flamenca, of which the author and original title are uncertain, does not of course exclude the possibility of his having known the poem as a whole or in part. But to draw more positive conclusions would be presumptuous.

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Romanic Review

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French and Romance Philology
Columbia University Press
Published Here
June 24, 2015


Source: / Bibliothèque nationale de France