Fraternité et chevalerie dans la version bourguignonne de "Florence de Rome" (Chantilly, Bibliothèque du château, ms. 652)

Les récits de chevalerie du XIVe au XVIe s. en France, Italie et Espagne: production et réception, 2019

Rosalind Brown-Grant 1, 2, 3

1 Le Studium Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies, 45000 Orléans, France
2 POLEN - Pouvoirs - Lettres - Normes
3 University of Leeds, UK


The separation of arma and amor that can be found in the chivalric tales of the fifteenth century allows the authors of these works to devote as much attention to the relationships between knights as to those between a knight and his lady. In particular, the bonds between knights who are also brothers are examined in various texts of the period, such as the Burgundian prose reworking of Florence de Rome, in which the brothers Milon and Esmeré, two young knights from Hungary, vie with each other for the hand of the eponymous heroine. In the version of this romance illustrated by the artist known as the « Wavrin Master » (Chantilly, Bibliothèque du château, ms. 652) the tensions between brotherhood and knighthood are foregrounded in both the narrative and its accompanying miniatures to the extent of taking on a political and ethical dimension. As I argue here, the way in which the two brothers act towards each other can be seen as an indicator of their suitability not only as the lady’s prospective husband but also as the future ruler of a realm, thus providing a trenchant and incisive lesson on chivalric mores at the end of the Middle Ages.


fifteenth century
Florence de Rome
Wavrin Master
Middle Ages