Theses Doctoral

Cum dicit auctoritas: Quotational Practice in Two Bilingual Treatises on Love by Gérard of Liège

Azab, Adham B.

“Cum dicit auctoritas: Quotational Practice in Two Bilingual on Love by Gérard of Liège” is the first dedicated study of two oft discussed and poorly understood thirteenth-century love treatises known mainly for their unusual, syntactically integrated mixture of Latin and Old French. In addition to providing the first complete translation into any modern language of the treatises—Septem remedia contra amorem illicitum valde utilia (Seven Very Useful Remedies for Illicit Love) and De divino amore (On Divine Love, formerly Quinque incitamenta ad Deum amandum ardenter)—this dissertation aims to shed light upon Gérard’s practice of quotation, particularly as it pertains to the construction of authority. Each chapter takes a particular category of quotation as its subject, and shows not only how that category functions within Gérard’s treatises, but also how it may inform current scholarship in medieval studies.
The first chapter contains the translation of both treatises. In the second chapter, “The Poetic Practice of Gérard of Liège in De divino amore,” I reexamine the Old French refrain corpus in light of what I call Gérard’s “refraining”—a poetic and quotational practice that bridges the sacred-profane divide in his treatise De divino amore. The third chapter, “Cum vulgo dicitur: Proverbs and the Language of Authority,” concerns the changing relationship of linguistic authority between French and Latin in the thirteenth century. The fourth chapter, “Quoting and Rewriting the Church Fathers: The Making of Thirteenth-Century Authority,” examines some of the most emotionally disturbing and striking quotations in Gérard’s treatises in order to explain how Gérard establishes his own authority; in addition, this chapter presents a new perspective on the concepts of auctoritas and authorship as they pertain to medieval religious texts. In the fifth and final chapter, “Septem remedia amoris: Classical Latin Poetry in the Treatises of Gérard of Liège,” I focus on Gérard’s much maligned first treatise—the Septem remedia contra amorem illicitum—to uncover its deep, Ovidian underpinnings, and I ask why Classical Latin poetry is almost entirely absent from the second treatise, De divino amore.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
French and Romance Philology
Thesis Advisors
Zingesser, Eliza
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 9, 2019