Medieval France. An Encyclopedia

(Darren Dugan) #1


. A word or phrase formed by transposing the letters of another word or phrase, anagrams
appear in French texts from the mid-13th century and were generally used to identify the
poet, the patron, or the poet’s lady. Anagrams can be embedded in specified lines of text
or in individual words or phrases. Although poets give instructions for the solution of
anagrams, these are sometimes so complicated that the puzzles remain unsolved. It may
be necessary to split letters in half (e.g., forming two i’s from an n) or to invert them
(forming a u from an n). Particularly elaborate anagrams appear in the Roman de la
Poire, the Bestiaire d’amour rimé, and the works of Guillaume de Machaut and Christine
de Pizan. Earlier examples of devices related to the anagram include Jean Renart’s use of
wordplay to name himself at the end of the Guillaume de Dole (early 13th c.) and
Tristan’s adoption of the pseudonym Tantris in Thomas d’Angleterre’s Roman de Tristan
(mid-12th c.). Anagrams reflect delight in the manipulation of the written word, an index
of increasing literacy within the aristocratic audience for vernacular poetry.
Sylvia Huot
[See also: ACROSTIC]


. The largest printed collection of medieval Latin liturgical poetry, edited by Guido Maria
Dreves, Henry Marriott Bannister, and Clemens Blume. The volumes are organized in
several ways: some are devoted to a single genre, others to a particular genre of poetry
from one region, others, more rarely, to the works of a particular poet or group of poets.
In general, hymns are found in Vols. 2, 4, 11, 12, 14, 16, 19, 22, 23, 27, 41a, 43, and 51;
sequences in Vols. 7, 8, 9, 10, 34, 37, 39, 40, 41a, 42, 44, 53, 54, and 55; tropes in Vols.
47 and 49; rhymed offices (hystoriae) in Vols. 5, 13, 17, 18, 24, 25, 26, 28, 41a, and 45a.
Also included are religious songs and motet texts, rhymed prayers, and rhymed psalter
texts. The index, prepared by Max Lütolf, contains alphabetized incipits for all texts and
indices for genre and for liturgical assignment. Analecta hymnica can be supplemented
by the index in Chevalier’s Repertorium hymnologicum; trope texts are now being edited
in the several volumes of the Corpus troporum. Although Analecta hymnica remains
useful, many of the sources listed in the lemmata are misdated, and there are frequent
errors in the reporting of variants.
Margot Fassler
Chevalier, Ulysse. Repertorium hymnologicum: catalogue des chants, hymnes, proses, séquences,
tropes en usage dans l’église latine depuis les origines jusqu’à nos jours. Vol. 1, Louvain:
Lefever, 1892. Vol. 2, Louvain: Polleunis & Ceuterick, 1897. Vol. 3, Polleunis & Ceuterick,

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