'Flower of the lily': late-medieval religious and heraldic symbolism in Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France, MS francais 146
Caldwell, Mary Channen
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Mary Channen Caldwell (2014). 'Flower of the lily': late-medieval religious and heraldic symbolism in Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, MS francais 146. Early Music History, 33, pp 1-60. doi:10.1017/S0261127913000119.
Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France, MS francais 146 (fr. 146), a manuscript well known for its inclusion of the Roman de Fauvel, also provides an important, albeit understudied, contribution to the history surrounding the allegorical `flower of the lily', or fleur-de-lis - a floral symbol central to fourteenth-century theology and French royal heraldry. In medieval France, the fleur-de-lis emerges through text and music as a symbol capable of invoking, and being invoked by, the Holy Trinity, the Virgin Mary and the Virtues, all in the interest of supporting the religious and monarchical well-being of France. This study argues that the persistent return to the fleur-de-lis throughout the dits, the Chronique metrique and most especially the music and text of Fauvel in fr. 146 offers a necessary link between sacred and heraldic symbology both within the manuscript as well as within the larger historical development of this allegorical flower.
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