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After LaviniaA Literary History of Premodern Marriage Diplomacy$
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John Watkins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501707575

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501707575.001.0001

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From Chronicle to Romance

From Chronicle to Romance

Interdynastic Marriage in the High Middle Ages

(p.70) Chapter 3 From Chronicle to Romance
After Lavinia

John Watkins

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on interdynastic marriage during the High Middle Ages. In particular, it examines the new emphasis on peacemaking in marriage diplomacy and its competition with other, generally negative attitudes toward marriage diplomacy. The chapter first considers how theological and devotional developments in the eleventh and twelfth centuries attributed a new sanctity to marriages between former belligerents by honoring brides as types of the Virgin Mary. It then discusses Dudo of Saint-Quentin's chronicle De moribus et actis primorum Normanniæ ducum, along with another Christian encounter with non-Christian representations of marriage and desire, the courtly love tradition, with its roots in Arabic and Ovidian accounts of erotic despair. The chapter shows that, by the High Middle Ages, the ideals that would support the great marriage treaties of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were in place.

Keywords:   interdynastic marriage, High Middle Ages, peacemaking, marriage diplomacy, brides, Virgin Mary, Dudo of Saint-Quentin, marriage treaties

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