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Court of Love

ladies, courts and troubadours

COURT OF LOVE (Fr. tour d'omour), in mediaeval France and Germany, a tribunal composed of ladies illustrious for their birth and talent, whose jurisdiction, recognized only by courtesy and opinion, extended over all ques tions of gallantry. Such courts existed from the 12th to the 14th century, while the roman tic notions of love which characterized the ages of chivalry were predominant. The decisioni were made according to a code of 31 artideS, which have been preserved in a manuscript entitled 'De Arte Amatoria et Reprobatione Amoris,' written by Andre, royal chaplain of France, about 1170. Some of the troubadours were often present to celebrate the proceedings in verse, and the songs of these minstrels were not unfrequently reviewed and judged by the tribunals. Among the ladies who presided were the Countess De Die, called the Sappho of the Middle Ages; Queen Eleanor of Guienne and her daughter, Marie de Fauce, Countess of Champagne, and Laura de Sade, celebrated by Petrarch. There was such a court in Provence

in the days of the Troubadors. The following case was submitted to their judgment: A lady listened to one admirer, squeezed the hand of a second and touched with her toe the foot of a third. With which of these three was she in love? King Rene of Anjou attempted in vain to revive the courts of love, and the last imita tion of them was held at Ruerl at the instance of Cardinal Richelieu, to judge a question of gallantry, which had been raised in the Hotel de Rambouillet. Consult Meray 'La vie an temps des tours d'amour' (Paris 1876), and Reynouard, (Choix de poesies originates des troubadours' (Vol. II, ib. 1817).


so called because originally applied by ladies of the court as patches on the face; black, flesh-colored or transparent silk varnished over with a solution of isinglass, which is often perfumed with ben zoin. It is used for covering slight wounds.