Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Medieval Latin literature flouts the boundaries between the expectations of one genre and another in many ways, but this article deals majorly with three genre: the presence of humor in contexts where it might seem incongruous; the uncertain negotiations of meter, rhythm, and rhyme as principles of poetic form; and the importation of vernacular vocabulary and structure and crosslinguistic puns into Latin texts. Despite the general assumption that, because Latinity presupposes an author's clerical status it must involve piety and seriousness, it is in Latin that we most often find a touch of irony or “subversive” laughter, perhaps because the clerical classes were more alert, better trained, and even more skeptical about too much piety. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries a shift in literary taste began that had the effect of a pedagogical contraceptive pill. By reverting to classical standards of Latin grammar, style, orthography, meter, and textual criticism, Humanism put the brake on and eventually stopped most of the inventiveness of late medieval Latin literary endeavors and frivolities.

Keywords: Medieval Latin literature, rhythm, poetic form, vernacular vocabulary, Latinity

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.