Chapter

The Love Song of the Millennium: Medieval Christian Apocalyptic and the Song of Songs

E. Ann Matter

in Scrolls of Love

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225712
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237067 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225712.003.0017
The Love Song of the Millennium: Medieval Christian Apocalyptic and        the Song of Songs

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The Latin Middle Ages was a period of great Christian interest in the Song of Songs. Judging from the surviving texts, at least twenty Latin line-by-line expositions of Solomon's love songs were written between the seventh and the eleventh centuries, and over thirty survive from the twelfth century alone. These are curious works of literature in a number of ways. For one thing, they were the product of an intellectual elite made up entirely of celibate men living in religious (usually monastic) communities. For another, the treatises were developed out of a rhetorical system that assumed multiple layers of allegorical readings, one in which the poems of the Song of Songs were turned from human love songs into spiritual tales which contained at least three linked themes on passion.

Keywords: Latin; Middle Ages; Song of Songs; Solomon; love songs; intellectual elite; allegorical readings

Chapter.  4983 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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