Submitted to Pope Clement V in 1307, Het‘um’s La flor des estoires de la terre d’Orient soon became one of the texts about the East that was most widely known in Western Europe. The medieval circulation and long-lasting popularity of this work are well documented by numerous manuscript copies and early modern translations. The multi-layered character of La flor was the reason for the inclusion of this text in different types of miscellaneous volumes. This paper examines how the reception of La flor noticeably changed over time. The composition and material characters of a selection of manuscripts reveal that whereas Het‘um’s contemporaries used the text in order to promote the organization of a new Crusade, later readers instead appreciated its contribution to historical and ethnographic knowledge about the East. The reception of La flor changed again in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Whereas the argument in favour of the Crusades soon lost its attraction and timeliness, early modern readers instead used Het‘um in order to satisfy a literary fascination and curiosity for exotic lands and populations. Het‘um was thus responsible for bringing to the West a new and long-lasting body of knowledge about the East, which was received and interpreted from changing viewpoints and perspectives.

Crusade, history, and exotic fascination: the circulation and reception of La flor des estoires de la terre d’Orient by Het‘um of Koṙykos

BUENO, IRENE
2014

Abstract

Submitted to Pope Clement V in 1307, Het‘um’s La flor des estoires de la terre d’Orient soon became one of the texts about the East that was most widely known in Western Europe. The medieval circulation and long-lasting popularity of this work are well documented by numerous manuscript copies and early modern translations. The multi-layered character of La flor was the reason for the inclusion of this text in different types of miscellaneous volumes. This paper examines how the reception of La flor noticeably changed over time. The composition and material characters of a selection of manuscripts reveal that whereas Het‘um’s contemporaries used the text in order to promote the organization of a new Crusade, later readers instead appreciated its contribution to historical and ethnographic knowledge about the East. The reception of La flor changed again in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Whereas the argument in favour of the Crusades soon lost its attraction and timeliness, early modern readers instead used Het‘um in order to satisfy a literary fascination and curiosity for exotic lands and populations. Het‘um was thus responsible for bringing to the West a new and long-lasting body of knowledge about the East, which was received and interpreted from changing viewpoints and perspectives.
Bueno, Irene
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/516523
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