From Liber versuum to Poetria nova: The Evolution of Geoffrey of Vinsauf’s Masterpiece

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Abstract

Geoffrey of Vinsauf’s early thirteenth-century Poetria nova was the preeminent textbook on rhetorical composition in prose and verse for nearly three centuries. Before he created his masterpiece Geoffrey had taught for some twenty-five years and written two textbooks in prose. The popularity of the poem that Geoffrey wrote in response to King Richard Lionheart’s sudden death in 1199 seems to have instilled a new sense of his poetic powers that sparked a creative re-engagement with his pedagogy and its sources. The immediate result was an anthology of rhetorical poems, as suggested by references to it as a “book of verses” in the anonymous Tria sunt ; but within a few years this had evolved into a concise and memorable textbook in hexameter verse that came to be regarded as the legitimate heir to Horace’s Ars poetica .
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalThe Journal of Medieval Latin
Volume21
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

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Verse
Textbooks
Poem
Rhetoric
Prose
Anthology
Heir
Pedagogy
Ars Poetica
Poetics
Hexameters
Teaching

Cite this

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title = "From Liber versuum to Poetria nova: The Evolution of Geoffrey of Vinsauf’s Masterpiece",
abstract = "Geoffrey of Vinsauf’s early thirteenth-century Poetria nova was the preeminent textbook on rhetorical composition in prose and verse for nearly three centuries. Before he created his masterpiece Geoffrey had taught for some twenty-five years and written two textbooks in prose. The popularity of the poem that Geoffrey wrote in response to King Richard Lionheart’s sudden death in 1199 seems to have instilled a new sense of his poetic powers that sparked a creative re-engagement with his pedagogy and its sources. The immediate result was an anthology of rhetorical poems, as suggested by references to it as a “book of verses” in the anonymous Tria sunt ; but within a few years this had evolved into a concise and memorable textbook in hexameter verse that came to be regarded as the legitimate heir to Horace’s Ars poetica .",
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AB - Geoffrey of Vinsauf’s early thirteenth-century Poetria nova was the preeminent textbook on rhetorical composition in prose and verse for nearly three centuries. Before he created his masterpiece Geoffrey had taught for some twenty-five years and written two textbooks in prose. The popularity of the poem that Geoffrey wrote in response to King Richard Lionheart’s sudden death in 1199 seems to have instilled a new sense of his poetic powers that sparked a creative re-engagement with his pedagogy and its sources. The immediate result was an anthology of rhetorical poems, as suggested by references to it as a “book of verses” in the anonymous Tria sunt ; but within a few years this had evolved into a concise and memorable textbook in hexameter verse that came to be regarded as the legitimate heir to Horace’s Ars poetica .

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