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Lee’s Descendant Speaks Out

Of all the statements made following last Saturday’s horrific events in Charlottesville, one of the most helpful and on-target was that of the Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV, ironically, a great-great-great grand nephew of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. It was the general’s statue that served as a rallying point for the neo-Nazis.

Quoted in the HuffPo, Rev. Lee said, “It broke my heart to see a symbol of my family being used to allow such hate. All in the name of what my relative stood for…These statues have morphed into a symbol of racism, a symbol of bigotry, a symbol of the alt-right, a symbol of white nationalist movements. That is not okay and that can never be celebrated or honored in any way, whether you believe you should honor legacy or ancestors or not.”

Wait. It gets better. Lee, a minister in the United Church of Christ in North Carolina, also called out his fellow Christians for their silence and complicity in perpetuating racism.

“It was not safe to be black or a person of color in Charlottesville yesterday. So I have to ask you, what were you doing yesterday? God, who calls us not to silence but to redemption was watching, and if you didn’t see the oppression, if it somehow missed you on social media or the nightly news you only have yourself to blame… If you are silent at a moment like this, if you do not condemn the racism you see through whatever channels and avenues you have, you can leave church now because you’re doing church wrong… When we don’t acknowledge that white bodies matter more than black bodies in America right now, it’s a gross mishandling of the gospel of Jesus Christ. People are dying because we have been complicit in our silence or in our action.”

This is exactly what white Christians needed to hear on Sunday. As pastors we do not have to preach from the headlines every Sunday. That would not be healthy. But there are teachable moments, especially when all eyes, both here and abroad, are fixed on a single event– historical moments, when people both inside and outside the church look to us for wisdom, comfort, and moral direction. Most pastors have sadly abdicated this prophetic role, which is why the church is so often considered as irrelevant (at least) or even part of the problem. This silence and complicity empowered slavery and Jim Crow and made them so long lived; it even helped lead this nation into Civil War, as it may again.

 

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Don’t Be a Sucker

Sucker In 1947 the U.S. War Department produced this short film (Don’t Be a Sucker) educating American citizens about the dangers of fascism and fanaticism. It’s shamefully ironic that we need this reminder, but the film is as timely today as it ever was. (Coincidentally, it was released on the eve of the second Red Scare, which makes it even more relevant). It warns us that we will lose our freedoms if we allow ourselves to be divided by race, religion, ethnicity, politics, or occupation. We protect our rights and freedoms by protecting those of others. Nazi Germany is used as the example, but if we think it can’t happen here, we delude ourselves. It’s already happening before our eyes, and America has much more of a history of racialization than Germany ever had. As a propaganda film, it still holds up. (You may even recognize a few old Hollywood character actors in minor roles.) We owe it to our children to educate them about what makes a healthy society. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

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American Christianity’s Dark Colonial Past (L’histoire sombre de la chrétienté aux É.-U.)

At its annual meeting this week, the Southern Baptist Convention faltered in its condemnation of racism. This Guardian article explains why the failure is more the rule than the exception.  (Lors de sa réunion cette semaine, la Convention baptiste du Sud a été presque incapable de condamner le racisme. Cet article explique pourquoi cet échec est plus souvent la règle que l’exception.)

“It would be a mistake to interpret this fiasco simply as a misstep. The Southern Baptist Convention’s reluctance to condemn racism is not only true to its history but it reflects how white supremacy is built into the very DNA of American Christianity.”

“…Christianity came into America enslaving black people, dispossessing indigenous people of their lands, and committing sexual violence. In doctrine and practice, it justified all of this. Christian faith consolidated itself around the bodies of white, propertied men while dehumanizing others. Trump’s platform might not be a grotesque distortion of American Christianity as much as it is its sins come home to roost”

“At some point, it becomes naïve to see the white supremacy in American Christianity as an exception when it has been the rule. What is needed is more than reform and more than the correction of bad actions attached to otherwise innocent beliefs. Instead, the only alternative is a revolutionary Christianity that becomes something it has never been in the Americas; what is needed is the blossoming of a new kind of faith.”

Read full article here.

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Long Past Time for Christians to Stand Up

Something very sick, creepy, and evil has taken over the Republican party. It makes one’s flesh crawl. A GOP congressional candidate body slams a reporter, then gets elected. GOP lawmakers at the Texas state house call ICE on peaceful protesters, who just happen to have brown skin. One lawmaker threatens to “put a bullet” through his Democratic opponent’s head. A grisly hate crime is perpetrated in Portland and the present administration has to be vehemently coaxed to make a statement denouncing such acts. The violence, intolerance, racism, misogyny, and lack of respect for the poor and suffering are reaching fever pitch, empowering the sickest elements of our society, and one gets the impression from their silence that many of our elected officials actually find it refreshing. Many Christians helped vote these people into office; they are thus partly responsible. If what calls itself “the church” in this country does not stand up and denounce this brand of behavior, one can only assume it is because they approve.

In the U.S., white supremacy and fascist movements have a long history of Christian support. In the 1930s fascism grew apace here, largely with the help of Christians who believed in an America for whites only. It was only WWII (when Hitler and Mussolini became the enemy) that put a stop to their advancement. But they have never entirely disappeared, just gone underground, waiting for the right moment and the right person to empower their voices. Sadly, such support merely demonstrates the complete lack of Christianity in those who call themselves Christians.

Let’s face it, for a significant percentage of Christians (is it a majority? I don’t know. I hope not), things like democracy, free speech, human rights, and the free practice of  religion are sacrosanct when it comes to themselves. When it comes to others’ exercising those same rights, however, many Christians are not so enthusiastic. Nor, really when it comes down to it, are they that committed to democratic ideals. It seems they would much rather have an iron-willed, jack-booted dictator to kick them in the ass and promote “law and order,” (i.e., silence dissent, show minorities their place, and make other undesirables disappear), than to live in a free society where tolerance is required.

Let’s put it simply. Those who call themselves Christians, yet despise everything Jesus stands for (such as mercy, tolerance, kindness, peace, generosity, love for the poorest and weakest, including immigrants), are deeply mistaken. They actually have nothing in common with Jesus, except that they try to use his name to justify their putrid hate and ignorance. To be a follower of Jesus Christ, one must follow his teachings and walk in his ways. The apostle John makes that clear in his first epistle (1 Jn 1:5,6; 2;3,4; 3:16,17).

It is long past time for Christians to stand up and denounce what is being done in their name. If they will not separate themselves from this movement, then they must be prepared to share in its judgment. For “it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God” ( 1 Ptr 4:17).

 

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C’est ce que j’appelle la vraie intelligence militaire (Now this is what I call real military intelligence)…

Ces anciens combattants ont trouvé une meilleure solution à la guerre contre le terrorisme. (These military vets have found a smarter way to fight the War on Terror.)  Un excellent article (Great article). (cliquez ici / click here)

“We just can’t keep killing our way out of this problem”…

“…the United States, for all its battlefield prowess, does not recognize or act on the causes of violence. But the extremists do.”….

“We were going out every night on these snatch-and-grab missions and we began to see we were taking three steps forward, two steps back. The guys we were fighting were out in these villages winning hearts and minds”

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Moving Forward by Looking Back: the Church from the First Century to the Reformation

(copyright 2016, S.J. Munson)

AmbroseThroughout its two millennia of existence, the Christian Church has seen various definitions and taken on a wide variety of manifestations, from the humble house churches of the first century to the ecumenical councils of the imperial period, and from the great medieval monasteries to the vast social experiment of Calvin’s Geneva. Most frequently, the Church has moved forward by looking back. It is the purpose of this paper to outline the various manifestations of what has been called the Church down through the centuries, from the first Christians to the Reformation, and in particular, to determine how and why these churches developed.

The Early Church: 1st to 3rd centuries

In the beginning Jesus’ followers centered themselves in and around Jerusalem, the place of his death and resurrection. As pious Jews they continued to visit the temple and live according to the Mosaic law. Yet the Book of Acts tells us they also lived as a community, sharing meals and possessions and giving to anyone who had need (Ac 2:44). The Twelve Apostles taught and made decisions for the community, and some preference was given to Peter as chief among them, but the risen Christ was their sole Head (Ruzicka, 15).

The Greek word chosen to describe this new community made up of followers of Christ was ekklesia, a word used in the Septuagint to refer to the “assembly” or “congregation” of Israelites during their desert wandering (cf. Acts 7:38). The term reflects the nature of God’s people as “called out” (ek-kaleo) of Egypt and called together for worship. It soon began to be employed to refer to the assembled group of Christians in any particular locale. The Early Church was made up of these separate communities (the church at Philippi, the church at Galatia, etc.), often tied together through the ministry of a particular apostle who founded the community or visited there. There was as yet no formal hierarchy, and churches met in private homes (house churches), rather than in larger, public buildings (Ruzicka, 15).

The Early Church was quite a diverse movement in terms of leadership structure, as well as liturgy. Some church hierarchies were modeled on that of the synagogue, with its normally collegiate leadership (elders), while other smaller churches had only one pastor (poimen, “shepherd”) or overseer (episkopos). The terms overseer, pastor, and elder (presbyteros) in the New Testament seem often to be used interchangeably, or else are employed in a context of local usage (Latourette, 115). In addition, liturgy may also have developed along synagogue lines, or else more informally. Even in the area of doctrine, as reflected in the New Testament and other writings, we see some diversity, as with those churches under strictly Pauline influence and those more closely tied to Jerusalem.

In the writings of the apostle Paul, the church is further described as a new people created from the joining of Jew and Gentile believers, a radical concept in as much as traditional ethnic divisions and hostilities were torn down. Gentiles were “fellow citizens” with Jews in “God’s household” (Eph. 2), and as such were to live lives worthy of their calling (Ruzicka, 15). (Note the place of works in the Christian life as a response to saving faith, a distinction that will be recalled during the Reformation.)

The Early Church also assimilated aspects of both Judaism and the Roman world. Christians were at first viewed by outsiders as merely a sect of Judaism, but with the hostilities engendered on both sides by the Jewish War (AD 66-73) and the overwhelming amount of Gentile converts, this connection became strained and was eventually lost. The church was also very Roman in that it tended to be an urban movement. The merging of different people groups into one civitas communis was, fortunately for the church, also a very Roman concept. The Early Church of the second and third centuries was thus a very diverse movement, with different practices and traditions. One might even speak of “multiple Christianities,” especially when considering the many sects that developed, such as Montanists in Phrygia, Gnostics in Rome and Egypt, Ebionites in Palestine, and Marcionites in Rome (Ruzicka, 15). Along with a series of government-sponsored persecutions in the second and third centuries, these diverging expressions of Christianity, or heterodoxies, also forced the church to circle its wagons, to define what was not “apostolic” teaching, as well as to rely increasingly on a monoepiscopacy to hold their communities together. A distinction began to develop between clergy and laity, as well as a concept of a priesthood along Old Testament lines. Eventually, bishops in more important cities began to gather more authority over other local bishops (hence archiepiskopoi), confirming the election of new bishops and helping to settle disputes. The idea of apostolic succession (that bishops represent an uninterrupted line of succession from the apostles) also became vital to the authority of bishops (Latourette, 183).

The Imperial Church: 4th to 6th centuries

Following his conversion to Christianity, Constantine, along with Licinius, his co-emperor in the East, issued the Edict of Milan (313), declaring the official toleration of Christianity, as well as of all religions. In addition, all church property confiscated during previous persecutions was to be restored. This was the beginning of a new policy of favoritism toward the church. Yet, however sincere his conversion, Constantine had still inherited a pagan empire and the old imperial mindset toward religion. Among his titles was Pontifex Maximus, an honorary high priesthood that emphasized the merging of religious and secular power. Thus the new emperor quite naturally assumed an ultimate supremacy in ecclesiastical affairs (Ruzicka, 13). This attitude manifested itself in Constantine’s summoning of the ecumenical council at Nicaea in 325, as well as the earlier appeals to the emperor made by Donatists (313-314). This caesaropapism was not without its limits, however, for the church still held the power of the keys and of excommunication, illustrated most famously in the conflict between Bishop Ambrose of Milan and the emperor Theodosius (390). In addition, while emperors could summon a general council and force it to settle a matter, they were still bound by the council’s decision once taken (Ruzicka, 13). Thus, during the fourth through eighth centuries eight general councils were summoned and presided over by emperors, and the decisions enforced by threat of imperial banishment.

It was at the First Council of Nicaea (325) that the sees of Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome received special patriarchal designation, granting them authority outside their regions and the ability to summon local synods (Constantinople and Jerusalem were added to the list in 451). Thus, under the Imperial Church and its councils, a more complex ecclesiastical authority structure was taking shape, with bishops, archbishops, patriarchs, and the emperor at the top. A further distinction between clergy and laity was also created through special tax exemptions, elaborate vestments, and other privileges. In addition, while Constantine was largely tolerant of pagan religions (seeing himself as the Shepherd of those outside the church), under his successors pagan practices were progressively banned, until in 380, Christianity was declared the official religion of the empire (Ruzicka, 13).

The Continued Romanization of the Church:

A giant leap in the Romanization of the church began with Constantine’s conversion in 312. Before that time, church liturgy had been translated into Latin, along with the Bible, but the church was still largely that of immigrants and the poor, a Greek-speaking Eastern religion tied to various mother churches in the East (Ruzicka, 13). Constantine lost no time in beginning a building program that would reflect the glory of the church (and its imperial patron). He chose the basilica, a very Roman, civic form of architecture—a break from traditional pagan temple design—which reflected the new ties between Christianity and the seat of power. With the use of processions, incense, bells, and vestments (imported from the old pagan imperial worship), Christianity became an imperial cult, and the house churches of the early church gave way to massive buildings designed to accommodate the crowds that were streaming into the church, whether out of sincere devotion or mere pragmatism. Unable to make a truly Christian capital of the old city, where the old pagan cults were firmly entrenched and the mostly pagan Senate just as stubborn, Constantine moved his capital to the Bosporus one thousand miles away (Krautheimer, 29). There he would build his Christian city, a New Rome.

By the 5th century control of the old capital had been largely placed in the hands of the local pappas or bishop, thus beginning the long history of papal control of the city. Bishop Damasus I (366-384) had appealed to the emperor to be given authority over the other bishops in the West and to be declared a sort of court of appeal for bishops. He also helped transform the old pagan city into a Christian one (something Constantine was not able to do) by building more churches over the tombs of the martyrs and making the catacombs accessible to pilgrims. Damasus also sponsored a new standard Latin translation of the Bible to be used in the churches, thus effectively coopting for Rome what had been heretofore a Greek text (Ruzicka, 12).

The Regular Church: Monasticism

While its historical roots go back to the third century, when St. Anthony (c. 251-356) wrestled with demons in the Egyptian desert, it is no coincidence that monasticism began to develop rapidly during the fourth century. Feeling that imperial patronage had corrupted the church, many longed to return to the heroic days of the martyrs. Yet this desire for a more rigorous, ascetic form of the faith is probably more rooted in Hellenistic dualism, which tended to separate spirit and body more emphatically than Christianity ever had. The early monastic heroes were at first hermetic types, like “spiritual athletes” who lived in isolation, fasted, and prayed to gain victory over the flesh (Ruzicka, 14). St. Pachomius (c. 292-348), however, realized the need for mutual help and encouragement through community, thus giving rise to the coenobitic ideal, which became the most common monastic model. Caves thus began to be replaced by houses.

Once in community, monks realized the necessity of a written list of rules to govern daily life. Although the rule of Benedict of Nursia (c. 480-543) was not the first, it certainly became the most popular and influential in the West (Ruzicka, 14). Compared to the rules of other monastic groups, his seemed more all-encompassing, yet moderate (reasonable rules about everything from eating and sleeping to shared chores, prayer and worship). Such a life seemed attractive not only because of its rigor and sacrifice, its focus on living in true Christian community and selfless obedience to God, but also because every necessary aspect of life was provided for and regulated, thus freeing the individual from the basic anxieties regarding food, clothing, work, and community (Ruzicka,14). Monasteries were self-contained, self-supporting communities, providing their own food through agriculture and their own worship (a church outside the traditional church). In short, monasticism offered stability and spirituality in an age of economic uncertainty and fear following the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West.

By the thirteenth century the Benedictine movement had grown to 30,000 houses throughout Europe. Because of their emphasis on reading and study, Charlemagne found the Benedictines useful in his strategy to develop a literate administrative class, and he enforced adoption of the rule in other monasteries and convents across his empire, thus creating a uniform system (Ruzicka, 14).

Regional Churches: 7th to 10th centuries

With the Muslim conquests of the Near East and North Africa (622-750), Rome and Constantinople effectively became the only remaining patriarchal churches in the West and East respectively. Although Rome had more history and an apostolic past (both Peter and Paul were martyred there), Constantinople had the emperor and thus quickly rose to rival the old capital. Therefore, when threatened, Roman bishops used apostolic succession as their trump card.

Having the emperor in residence, however, could be a mixed blessing. In 730 the Byzantine emperor Leo III began promoting iconoclasm throughout the empire. When the patriarch of Constantinople objected, Leo replaced him with one who was amenable to his control. When the Roman bishops resisted the enforcement of these policies in Byzantine-controlled parts of Italy, Leo attempted to bring them to heel by cutting off papal income from southern Italy (Krautheimer, 107). Without imperial patronage and income, the Roman See lost much of its ability to extend its authority and Western Christendom became all the more divided along regional or national lines (Ruzicka, “Unit2”). Yet, with the alliance of the Roman See with the new Frankish monarchy (751), Rome gained a new imperial champion (protection from invading Lombards) as well as a new status and power as the legitimizer of kings. This new relationship, however, would later become a double-edged sword, since it created a rival for dominance in the secular sphere as the papacy began to vie for greater supremacy over civil power.

The New Imperial Church: mid-10th to mid-11th centuries

The mid-ninth to mid-tenth centuries had been a low point for the Roman See, having fallen prey to the ruthless and squabbling ruling families of Rome. The German king Otto I (962-973) stepped in and restored order, bringing Italy under his control and even deposing and replacing a pope. It was as if the church were witnessing a revival of the old Imperial Church with its caesaropapism. Yet the papacy had a growing set of apologists in the various monastic reformers, such as those of the Cluniac movement, who encouraged the papacy to take the lead in reforming the church as an abbot would inspect the monasteries in his charge. (Ruzicka, 2).

The greatest test of papal power during the Middle Ages was the Investiture Controversy of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, which pitted European monarchs against the papacy over who would appoint bishops within these realms. In one of these conflicts, using the power of excommunication and interdict, Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) brought Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV under submission. Yet the next two centuries would see continued conflict between the spiritual and secular powers. The issue of how popes were chosen had also been a point of contention for centuries (Cushing, 107). From the first century the bishops of Rome were normally elected by the people. Under both empires, however, that process was sometimes circumvented by an emperor. In 1059 Pope Nicholas II issued a bull making papal elections the exclusive responsibility of the College of Cardinals (Corbettt, 29). Now ultimately free from secular control, the papacy began to pursue its ambition to dominate civil power.

The Papal Church: 11th to 13th centuries

Under Innocent III (1198-1216) the doctrine of papal supremacy reached its zenith, with Innocent aspiring, effectively, to be both Caesar and Pope. Ironically, however, this triumph comes late in the game. For just as the church was trying to centralize its power, so were the rulers of such emerging nations as France and England, as well as the Holy Roman Empire. The expansion of papal power parallels the growth of sovereign nation-states ruled by absolute monarchs, a concept viewed by the papacy of the period as a blasphemous usurpation of its imperium (Latourette, 603). From the Dark Ages and the collapse of the Western Roman Empire into petty, squabbling Germanic kingdoms, the church had served as a politically stabilizing and unifying force and the guardian of classical culture and learning. Now the world was changing.

Increasingly, the Church wielded power through the sacraments (and fear), since any disobedience or attack on it could result in an interdict or excommunication, which denied to the impenitent the sacraments necessary for salvation. In his bull Unam Sanctam (1302) Boniface VIII (1294-1303) went further by declaring that not only is there “no salvation outside the church,” but it was “absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman pontiff” (plenitudo potestatis) and that the papacy had been given by God the swords of both spiritual and temporal power (“Unam Sanctam”). In doing so, Boniface was merely building upon the doctrine of the primacy of papal authority maintained by earlier popes, like Gregory VII (1073-1085) who employed it in the Investiture Controversy.

In the medieval church the average worshiper would have lived every moment of the day in the midst of a kind of mystery play, a biblical drama that unfolded daily and appealed to all the senses. In the mass the believer witnessed the reenactment of Christ’s sacrifice, but also participated in a holy mystery or miracle in the transformation of bread into the very body of Christ. In the liturgical calendar, the Temporale (Advent to Pentecost) celebrated events in the life of Christ, while the Sanctorale were the feasts of the Virgin and saints. As for the Daily Office, the whole day functioned around prayers, scriptures, and psalms (Muir, 171-78). This is not to say that the average believer would have been completely absorbed in all of these acts of devotion, like monks, but it was enough to know that this spiritual drama was being played out around you, that daily community life ticked with the rhythms of the church. In addition, with the lectionary, worshipers would have heard the complete Bible (albeit in Latin) over the span of a few years.

Church buildings, in particular the larger cathedrals and abbeys, usually had floor plans based on the old Roman basilica, with its semi-circular apse and long central nave (ideal for episcopal processions which showed the splendor and power of the church). A transept gave the church its cross shape; thus, even the shape of the building spoke of this fundamental symbol of the Christian faith. Stained glass windows, as well as column capitals told cycles of stories from the Old and New Testaments. Thus the entire edifice was a visual Bible for a largely illiterate people. During the Middle Ages architectural innovations brought cathedrals to soaring heights, drawing the thoughts of the worshiper upward. High barrel or rib-vaulted ceilings resembled heaven and were designed to inspire awe, while with the clerestory, shafts of bright sunlight would fall from above in a dramatic fashion. Exterior decoration, too, was like a sermon in stone.

Rise of the Mendicant Orders:

The thirteenth century also saw the rise of the mendicant orders, specifically those of SS. Francis (1181-1226) and Dominic (1170-1221). At this time, the increasing wealth and worldliness of the church, both secular and regular, had alienated many and given rise to the Cathar and Waldensian movements. By looking back to the Gospels to imitate the poverty of Jesus and the Apostles, Francis and Dominic founded monastic movements that spoke to these concerns, and challenged the church from within. Yet in addition to being mendicants, both the Franciscans and the Dominicans were primarily itinerant preachers. Thus the papacy found them useful in combatting the heresy of the Cathars and Waldensians, as well as in creating a kind of spiritual reawakening throughout the church. For, in the eyes of the average churchgoer, these men and women lived humbly like Christ, as shepherds who loved the poor and who laid down their lives to search after the lost sheep—unlike some clergy who lorded it over the flock or who were consumed with power and avarice. Many, like the Observant Franciscan Pierre Jean Olivi (1248-1298), strongly influenced by the prophetic writings of Joachim of Fiore, saw in the emergence of Francis and his movement a new spiritual order, a kind of millenarian heaven on earth that would usher in the second coming of Christ (Latourette, 435).

Avignon Papacy, Western Schism, and the Conciliar Church: 14th to early 15th centuries

Ideally, the Church of the High Middle Ages saw itself as a vast theocracy stretching across Europe from Spain and the British Isles in the West, to Poland and Hungary in the East. God was its Head and the Pope his vicar, with a hierarchy of lower clergy (cardinals, archbishops, and bishops) often wielding much political power. The church’s relationship with secular authority tended to vary according to the particular ruler. In many contexts national identities seemed to take a backseat to membership in a wider Christendom, while in others, the church made itself extremely odious because of its claims to supremacy (“Christendom”).

The pope had his own court, or curia, consisting of cardinals (bishops of important churches in and around Rome) who advised and also elected the pope. Beneath these in rank were the archbishops, who oversaw a number of bishops or dioceses; then bishops, who were the overseers of a number of parishes within a diocese. At the bottom of the pyramid were the local parish priests. There were four large administrative offices within the papal court: the Camera (a treasury), Chancery (which handled all correspondence), Tribunals (the courts), and the Apostolic Penitentiary (which oversaw the assignment of penance). In order to run such a massive political and ecclesiastical machine, the Church collected revenue from its vast land holdings, as well as tithes (a 10% tax on income) and annates (a percentage of the first few years’ income for a new bishop or ecclesiastical office [Ruzicka, 8]).

As claims of papal supremacy increased from the 11th to 14th centuries, so did the need for a more organized and centralized administration. The gradual codification of canon law (based on the Holy Scriptures, the Church Fathers, old Roman law, and papal decrees through the ages) allowed this to occur, giving the church a body of law superior to and more civilized than that of most kingdoms (Pennington). The church also wielded a certain moral authority, as the people tended to look up to church hierarchy as spiritual and learned men who lived in celibacy and were devoted to God. This view, however, was changing, due to the increasing corruption that wealth and absolute power bring.

With the establishment of a new papal court at Avignon (1309-1377), the papacy was ever in need of ready cash to finance its building projects as well as to maintain a growing administration and the lifestyle of monarchy (Ruzicka, 8). With the Western Schism (1378-1417) the church sunk to new lows in the eyes of average Christians across Europe. Thus the continued pretensions to papal supremacy not only rang hollow but also made the church appear even more ridiculous, with two, then eventually three popes, each attempting to levy taxes on the faithful. The church’s hierarchy had long been immune from prosecution in secular courts, but this, too, was being challenged by secular authorities.

The Conciliar Church:

The conciliar movement was born out of crisis. The Western Schism had exposed the basic vulnerability inherent in the doctrine of papal supremacy: If the papacy regulates Christendom, who regulates the papacy, particularly when it is effectively incapacitated? In addition, there were ongoing abuses within the church which, like open sores, had gone unaddressed for centuries. Seeking a solution, many looked back to the Imperial Age, during which great ecumenical councils served to resolve questions that divided the church. In order to establish the authority of a general council and its ongoing role in the fifteenth century, however, the conciliarists found precedents (1) in Scripture (even the apostle Paul brought his gospel for the gentiles before the Council of Jerusalem), (2) in church history (the early church had solved its doctrinal disputes through a series of ecumenical councils), and (3) in civil government (even sovereigns share power with representative bodies [parliaments, diets, etc.] in important public matters, such as war or taxation). In addition, there was the precedent of the College of Cardinals, which selects the pope, but it would take a larger body than this to decide between the two rivals, since most of the cardinals themselves were in one camp or another (“The Great Schism”). While under canon law it was the pope’s prerogative to convene a general council, in this case neither pope was qualified since both disputed the other’s right to the title. Thus it was up to the cardinals to act, for the health and unity of the church, in summoning a general council to end the schism. The crisis itself illustrated not only the need for a general council to solve the dilemma, but also the inherent, de facto superiority of such councils over a monarchical papacy. A general council was deemed as representative of all of the church, from which the papacy derived its power, in trust, for the welfare of the church. The papacy was therefore not an absolute monarchy, but a more limited or constitutional one (“The Council of Pisa”).

The conciliarism imposed by the Council of Constance (1414-1418) was moderate in comparison to that envisaged by others, such as Marsilius of Padua (c.1275-c.1342), who called for a papacy subject to secular authority and shorn of its power to tax and appoint bishops. Instead, the Council maintained that the role of a general council was not to encroach upon the daily functions of the papacy or its power. Rather, as the papacy was meant to serve the good of the whole church, a council served as a watchdog to prevent the abuse of papal power (Oakley). A council was to have not only an extraordinary role in times of crisis, such as papal heresy or a schism (in such emergencies a council could judge, correct, or even depose a pope), but also an ongoing function, convening at least every ten years, under normal circumstances, to address matters central to the welfare of the church (“Council of Constance: Frequens, 1417”). The pope was obligated to address abuses indicated but not addressed by the council (Oakley).

This effort to bring accountability and limits to papal power was short-lived, however, for once the schism was resolved, most European monarchs began to lose interest, since their immediate concern was order and stability. The new pope Martin V (1417-1431), once in office, lost no time in reasserting papal supremacy. A century later the Fifth Lateran Council (1512-1517), under the direction of Julius II, condemned conciliarism, declaring once for all the pope’s supremacy over church councils, and thus making the office all the more impervious to reform (Oakley).

The Renaissance Church: 15th to early 16th centuries

Rome:

The aftermath of the Avignon Papacy and the Western Schism provided a new opportunity for the Roman church to redefine itself. In the absence of the papal court, Rome had become a ramshackle city, with the old Lateran complex (the seat of the papacy for 1000 years) in disrepair. The decision to move the papacy across the river to the Vatican and St. Peter’s was not only practical, it was also part of a new strategy of emphasizing the association of papal power with the keys of St. Peter. Lacking the secular power it had acquired in the eleventh century, the papacy also projected an image of imperial splendor (a longing rather than a reality) through its monumental building programs (Ruzicka, 12).

Florence:

As archbishop of a wealthy mercantile city controlled by the ruthless and iron-fisted Medici, St. Antoninus of Florence (1389-1459) engaged in a dangerous balancing act between powerful money-making interests and the demands of the church and of his own order (Weinstein, 50). Although he had the tact not to call out the powerful moneyed interests by name, in his sermons and writings he had the courage consistently to target the sin of avarice on the one hand, as well as to find some biblical justification for all this wealth. He believed that each person, whether rich or poor, banker or laborer, existed not for himself but for the good of the community; each had been given skills by which to contribute, not only to his own needs, but also to those of others. Profit was acceptable in moderation, but greed and overconsumption were condemned as threats not only to the salvation of the sinner but also to the welfare of the community as a whole. Instead, he urged his hearers to a life of modest “contentment,” in order that there be enough for all, especially the weakest (“St. Antoninus of Florence and Christian Community”). For him a society was only as great as its ability to take care of the needs of all its members.

Antoninus also believed that a Christian leader should lead by example, and thus he saw himself as a servant of the servants of God. Even as an archbishop he lived in humility under the strict observance of the Dominican rule. His habit and furnishings were plain and functional; his transportation a mule (on loan). He even had the ornamental gardens surrounding his archiepiscopal palace torn out and replanted with wheat, which when harvested, was given to the poor. From St. Francis he borrowed the idea that to be loved one must be humble: so he made himself accessible to everyone, listening with great patience, and punishing only when absolutely necessary and for the reformation of the offender—all this in an age when many ecclesiastics lived in luxury like pagan princes, thundering excommunication against any who dared defy them (“St. Antoninus of Florence : a Theologian for Our Times”).

Although also a Dominican, Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498) was less tactful than Antoninus. Yet, like his forerunner, he was also a reformer who believed that individual interests must serve the greater good. Upon the flight of the Medici, he became a kind of de facto dictator in Florence. Immediately, he began removing the marks of tyranny of his predecessors by feeding the starving, providing employment, lowering taxes, pardoning political offenders, and enforcing justice. It was the weight of his influence that helped pass a constitution for the new Florentine republic, one with a Grand Council based on the Venetian model, sans doge (Girolamo Savonarola). Caught up in this massive religious revival, in their enthusiasm many Florentines sold possessions to provide for the poor (like the first Christians), while others burned luxury items in the bonfires.

Savonarola made himself particularly odious to the papacy by preaching that the principal mark of the true church was obedience to God (rather than to Rome) and by directly attacking the venality of perhaps the most ruthless pope in history, Alexander VI, of the infamous Borgia family (1492-1503). Savonarola’s zeal here secured his downfall, and he was betrayed by the Florentines, most of whom had grown weary of the monk’s exacting form of Christianity. In his short rule he tried to reestablish New Testament simplicity in both the private and religious realms, a quality strongly at odds with the quattrocento tendency for luxury and splendor (Armstrong).

The Reformation: 16th century

Martin Luther’s Reforms:

One might ask why, after so many centuries of successfully resisting various reform movements, the Roman Church was unable to stop one German monk from turning its world upside down. Part of the answer lies in the rise of German nationalism. German states within the Holy Roman Empire deeply resented the Church’s heavy taxation. Martin Luther (1483-1546) thus received protection from German princes who saw in his reforms a means of exerting some independence both from Rome and from the empire. Luther was also a prolific writer of books and pamphlets, which were fodder for the new printing press. This new technology enabled Luther’s reforming ideas to spread rapidly and gave the Reformation lift. The new humanism was also a factor. While, in Italy, humanists occupied themselves with the study of ancient Greek and Roman authors, in the Northern countries, Erasmus had sent shock waves through the intellectual and ecclesiastical worlds with his ground-breaking publication of the Greek New Testament and a new Latin translation based on the same. This return to the original text exposed many errors that had crept into the Latin translation, in particular the concept of penance, which was considered the “second plank of salvation” for the medieval Catholic Church, but was an idea foreign to the New Testament (Latourette, 528).

The main points of Luther’s reforms were his rediscovery of the Pauline doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone (sola fides) and the assertion that scripture alone is the final authority on matters of faith and practice (sola scriptura). Luther was both radical and conservative. While he championed the New Testament concept of the priesthood of all believers, he also saw the need for church leadership and hierarchy, in particular after the harrowing experience of the Peasants’ War (1525). Yet the difference between pastor and laity was merely one of function. He also restored the emphasis on preaching, and the role of pastor in the churches, and established a system of regular visitation to see that the people’s needs were being cared for by the clergy. He rejected the Roman conception of the Mass as a sacrifice, all but two sacraments (baptism and Lord’s Supper), and the doctrine of transubstantiation, (preferring consubstantiation, in which the real presence of Christ is “in, on, and upon” the elements). He called for the dismantling of monasticism, which he considered unbiblical. The church he defined not as a hierarchical organization, but as the “community” (Gemeinde) of those saved by grace through faith (Althaus, 288). Considering himself a true churchman, Luther did not originally set out to found a new church. Rather, he thought the church would reform itself once presented with the true gospel. Yet Rome’s recalcitrance to his reforms and its personal attacks against him made secession inevitable.

Zwinglian Reforms :

In Zurich, Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531) built upon the reforms of his German contemporary, although he claimed to have arrived at them independently. Following Matthew 23:8-9, he underscored the equality of all believers, who belong to Christ and to one another, and who have one heavenly Father. Thus he rejected any special class of believers (such as the priesthood or monastic orders). Using the Pauline metaphor, he defined the church first of all as the “body of Christ,” with Christ as its head. All believers connected to Christ through faith were part of this body. As his body, the church was thus the earthly manifestation or representation of Christ (e.g., his hands and feet). As the body can do nothing without being connected to the head, so the church can do nothing on its own without Christ, who nourishes and directs it. Here Zwingli perhaps refers to the various medieval “doctrines and decrees” that had corrupted the church, causing her to become mad and ineffective, losing connection with Christ (Zwingli).

In keeping with the Great Commission, Zwingli considered it the duty of all believers to spread the gospel in all places, and to do so with “their best diligence,” i.e., making it a priority, making an effort, persevering. He also redefined the rite of excommunication, which responsibility is not the prerogative of any one individual (as it was in the medieval Roman church), but of the local corporate church acting together under pastoral leadership. It is significant that he called the pastor a “watchman,” emphasizing the shepherding function, protecting the flock and individual sheep. The church also owed obedience to the secular authority (in accordance with Rom 13), provided that they were not commanded to do anything contrary to Scripture, in which case they must obey God rather than the government. Here, he rejected the teachings of various radicals or Anabaptists who claimed exemption from such obedience (Zwingli).

Zwingli rejected the tradition and office of the papacy or high priesthood, among whose titles was the old Roman imperial Pontifex Maximus, for Christ alone is the Great High Priest. He considered the priesthood an office alien to the New Testament, although he maintained that preachers and pastors should have their basic needs provided for. Like Luther he opposed the idea of the Mass as a continual sacrifice, but unlike Luther he viewed the Lord’s Supper as a memorial of Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice. Prayer was to be made in Jesus’ name alone, without any other mediator (saints), and dietary restrictions (feast or fast days) were man’s decree, not God’s and need not be followed. Likewise, absolution was from God alone; thus the act of confession was merely a seeking of counsel, and the sacrament of penance was abolished, since it detracted from the finished work of Christ (Zwingli).

In addition, all things were to be done with simplicity, thus banning the accumulation of clerical wealth and property and the rich trappings and vestments of the church (Zwingli). Under Zwingli churches and church worship were stripped of all ornamentation, including music, pipe organs, and other decoration. (Luther had no problem with religious art if it aided faith.) In the spirit of reform, as inspired by the humanist cry “ad fontes,” all of the above reforms were meant to bring the church back into agreement with the New Testament and its norms, as Zwingli saw them. Thus a practice or doctrine was only valid if found in Scripture.

Calvin and Geneva:

Active in both Strasbourg and Geneva, John Calvin (1509-1564) agreed with Luther and Zwingli on most points of faith, but disagreed with both in regard to the real presence in the Lord’s Supper, which he regarded as a spiritual act, with Christ present by the Holy Spirit. He also emphasized the role of civil authority, with strict laws regarding behavior. In terms of church leadership, he admitted only pastors and teachers, although he conceded the appearance, from time to time in history, of apostles and prophets (possibly, he considered himself one of these [Calvin, v.2, 1058]).

In his “Prefatory Address to King Francis I,” Calvin argues that, in opposition to the Roman conception of the church as visible within the form of the Holy See and its hierarchy, ‘‘the church can exist without any visible appearance,’’ and that its distinguishing marks are merely the “pure preaching of the gospel and the lawful administration of the sacraments” (Calvin, v.1, 24). Elsewhere, he defines the church as that body ‘”into which none are admitted but those who by the gift of adoption are sons of God, and by the sanctification of the Spirit true members of Christ” (Calvin, v.2, 1021).

Calvin’s definition of the church’s function forms part of his theology of divine accommodation (accommodatio), in which God stoops to aid us in our weakness (Calvin, v.2, 1011). He describes the church as a “Mother,” who gives birth to, nourishes, cares for, and governs her children that they may grow up into maturity. The church is thus one of the external means of grace “by which God invites us into the society of Christ and holds us therein.” Other “aids” are pastors and teachers, church discipline, and the “signs” or sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

As Pauck reminds us, Book III of Calvin’s Institutes is entitled, “The way in which we receive the grace of Christ: what benefits come to us from it, and what effects follow” (17). Like Luther, Calvin made a distinction between justification (which is by faith and which pertains to our legal standing before God) and sanctification or regeneration (which involves the renewing of our minds and the changing of our conduct after the image of Christ, all under the sovereign power of the Holy Spirit [Calvin, v.1, 732]). Although sin no longer reigns in the life of the believer, Calvin believed it continues to exist until our death. It must therefore be our goal to surrender ourselves so completely to the Spirit, so that, in the words of Paul, it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us (Calvin, v.1, 543). Calvin acknowledged that such perfection would never be achieved in this life; yet that should not prevent us from keeping such total obedience as our constant goal (Calvin, v.1, 542). Thus it was essential for the Christian to cooperate diligently with the Holy Spirit in this process of regeneration. It is significant that Calvin put so much emphasis on this process, for he, like Zwingli, was engaged in building an ideal, godly society, laying down strict laws for conduct, including severe punishments for public acts of impiety. In this respect, Geneva was a kind of civic monastic experiment governed by a rule.

England:

It is no accident that, generally speaking, the Reformation took hold most strongly in those countries which had originally been on the fringes of the old Roman empire or had been minimally Romanized, both geographically and culturally (e.g., modern day Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Hungary, England, Scotland). A devout Catholic, Henry VIII allowed Protestant reforms to take place in England only after his failure to secure a divorce from the Holy See (thus threatening the Tudor succession), whereupon he declared himself to be the Supreme Head of the Church in England. While he permitted some major reforms, such as the translation of the Bible into the vernacular and the dissolution of monasteries, for the rest of his reign, he continued to keep an uncomfortable tension between Catholics and Protestants. The old church hierarchy of archbishops, bishops, and priests was maintained (sans pope) within the new structure of a national church, with the sovereign as its head. It was under his heir Edward VI that the English church began finally to reform itself along Continental lines, yet for reasons of stability, Elizabeth I found it expedient to keep something of the former tension between radical Calvinists and Anglo-Catholics, creating a kind of via media between the two (Latourette, 800-10).

Conclusion

In a 2009 address entitled “A Changeless Faith for a Changing World,” the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, noted that the Christian faith has always been both progressive and conservative. “True progress,” he said, “is a balance between preserving the essence of a certain way of life and changing what is not essential” (Bartholomew I). In this study we have seen this tension lived out in the history of the church. In their desire for reform, the key players in this drama frequently looked back to an earlier age in order to reclaim what they thought was original or essential. Often, the Early Church with its simplicity, poverty, and suffering was seen as the model to be imitated. Yet, to others in power, the Apostles, despite their poverty, became a symbol of supreme authority and unity. Still others wished to return to the splendor and protection of the Imperial Church, even though the relationship between crown and miter was ever a contentious one. Despite the actual diversity of the Early Church, later generations ever sought to find in it some justification and authority for their particular ideal of what the Church should be (Latourette, 115).

 

 

Works Cited

Althaus, Paul. The Theology of Martin Luther. Trans. Robert C. Schultz. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966. Print.

Armstrong, E. “Florence (I): Savonarola.” uni.mannheim.de. Web. 9 July 2016.

Bartholomew I, “A Changeless faith for a Changing World.” Georgetown University. 3 November 2009. johnsanidopoulos.com. Web. 22 July 2016.

“Christendom.” Wikipedia. Web. 3 July 2016.

Cushing, Kathleen. Reform and the Papacy in the 11th Century. New York: Manchester University Press, 2005. Print.

Corbett, James A. The Papac: a Brief History. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand, 1956. Print.

“Council of Constance: Frequens, 1417.” Medieval Sourcebook. Fordham University. legacy.fordham.edu. Web. 29 June 2016.

“The Council of Pisa.” Absolute Astronomy. Absoluteastronomy.com. Web. 29 June 2016.

“Girolamo Savonarola.” nndb.com. Web. 9 July 2016.

“The Great Schism.” Lectures in Medieval History. Vlib.us. Web. 5 July 2016.

Krautheimer, Richard. Rome: Profile of a City: 312-1308. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000. Print.

Latourette, Kenneth Scott. A History of Christianity. New York: Harper, 1953. Print.

Muir, Lynette R. The Biblical Drama of Medieval Europe. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Web. 2 July 2016.

Oakley, Francis. “Constance and Its Aftermath: the Legacy of Conciliar Theory.” University of Rochester Library Bulletin, XXXX, 1987-88. Web. 29 June 2016.

Pauk, Wilhelm. “Calvin’s ‘Institutes of the Christian Religion.’” Church History, 15:1 (1946), 17-27. JSTOR.org. Web. 26 June 2016.

Pennington, Kenneth. “A Short History of Canon Law from Apostolic Times to 1917.” Catholic University of America. faculty.cua.edu. Web. 2 July 2016.

Ruzicka, Stephen. “Unit 2: Ecclesiastical History,” n.d., UNCG, Canvas Learning Area. Web. 20 June 2016.

—–. “Unit 6: Constance,” n.d., UNCG, Canvas Learning Area. Web. 29 June 2016.

—–. “Unit 8: Avignon Papacy (1308-1377): The Royal Church,” n.d., UNCG, Canvas Learning Area. Web. 5 July 2016.

—–. “Unit 12: The Church of Rome and the Rome of the Church,” n.d., UNCG, Canvas Learning Area. Web. 14 July 2016.

—–. “Unit 13: Ceremonial/Constantinian Rome,” n.d., UNCG, Canvas Learning Area. Web. 16 July 2016.

—–. “Unit 14: Montecassino,” n.d., UNCG, Canvas Learning Area. Web. 18 July 2016.

—–. “Unit 15: Roman Citizens and Primitive Church,” n.d., UNCG, Canvas Learning Area. Web. 20 July 2016.

“St. Antoninus of Florence and Christian Community.” opcentral.org. Web. 9 July 2016.

“St. Antoninus of Florence: a Theologian for our Times.” ewin.org. Web. 9 July 2016.

“Unam Sanctam.” Wikipedia. Web. 5 July 2016.

Weinstein, Donald. Savonarola. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011. Print.

Zwingli, Huldrych. “The Sixty-Seven Articles of Zwingli.” oll.libertyfund.org. Web. 23 June 2016.

 

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La gaillardise dans la littérature française de l’Âge Classique

Scarron(copyright 2017, S.J. Munson)

Dans son article « Les Folies du Roman Comique », Jolene Vos-Camy écrit que Le Destin, un personnage principal dans le roman par Scarron, « se montre cultivé…[et] qu’il a toutes les qualités (grâce, courage et générosité) nécessaires chez un héros de roman » (55). Dans la littérature française, l’esprit gaillard (vigoureux, vaillant, hardi, enjoué, audacieux, jeune, original) est une caractéristique distinctive, physique et spirituel, non seulement des personnages, mais parfois des auteurs eux-mêmes. Cette analyse a pour objectif d’explorer l’emploi du mot gaillard, ainsi que de la gaillardise comme concept, spécifiquement dans deux ouvrages contemporains du XVIIe siècle : Le Roman comique (1651-57) par Paul Scarron et Voyage dans la lune (1657) par Cyrano de Bergerac.

Pour jeter les bases d’une analyse des textes, il faut d’abord discuter sur les origines des mots en question et l’histoire de leur usage. Les origines des mots français gaillard(e) et gaillardise sont obscures, bien qu’ils existent en d’autres langues romanes, attestés depuis au moins le XIe siècle (occitan : galhart/galhardia ; catalan : gallard/gallardia ; espagnol: gallardo/gallardía ; portugais : galhardo/galhardia ; italien: gagliardo/ gagliardia). Il y a longtemps, l’avis général est que les mots français se dérivent d’une racine gallo-romaine (galia, « force »), mais le suffixe –ard indique une provenance germanique (e.g., étendard, bâtard), peut-étre francique ou wisigothique. Geilhard était un nom propre germanique dérivé de geil ou gail (vieux haut-allemand : « gai », « plein d’entrain ») et hardus (gothique : « brave », « hardi » [« Gagliardo »]). Le nom était populaire pendant le Moyen Âge central en France, d’après, par exemple, des registres de sépultures, ou les noms latinisés des ecclésiastiques (Uckelman). Donc le mot, depuis ses origines, exprime les idées de la gaieté et de la hardiesse.

La première apparence du mot gaillard dans la littérature française est dans la chanson de geste Le Chanson de Roland (c. 1040-1115). Le mot et ses dérivés apparaissent cinq fois dans ce texte, faisant généralement référence à une certaine force, vitalité ou vigueur des corps des chevaliers, une caractéristique externe d’une réalité interne (la hardiesse). Du XIe au XVIIe siècle, le mot gaillard subit des transformations importantes. Il passa d’être un mot ancré dans la hardiesse et la vigueur physique (Wartburg, 30), à l’un des termes les plus chargés dans la littérature de la Renaissance française (Campo, « Ronsard’s Eutrapelian Gaillardise »). Après le déclin de la société féodale et l’arrivée de la presse d’imprimerie, qui fit envoler les idées de la Renaissance, un autre type de guerrier émergea, l’homme de lettres. Dans l’œuvre du poète Pierre Ronsard (1524-85), la gaillardise subit son changement le plus important de l’époque. Entre ses mains, le sens ajoute de plus en plus un aspect spirituel et littéraire qui englobe une certaine urbanité, une vivacité d’esprit, l’enjouement, une créativité inspirée par la muse, une facilité de manipuler la langue, et même l’audace. Un siècle plus tard, à l’Âge Classique, la poésie de Ronsard avait perdu beaucoup de sa popularité, et par conséquent, le mot gaillard apparaît peu fréquemment dans la littérature de l’époque. Le mot ne récupérerait jamais son importance et son étendue. Cependant, la gaillardise en tant que qualité d’esprit continue à développer.

Dans Le roman comique (1651-57) de Paul Scarron, par exemple, le mot gaillard ne fait qu’une apparition, et il est ironique qu’il s’applique à une femme mûre et corpulente, Madame Bouvillon, qui est « gaillardement [de façon jeune et audacieuse] vêtue » pour séduire le héros Le Destin (255). Autrement, la gaillardise est souvent un attribut implicite dans les descriptions des personnages du roman. Par exemple, dans le conte espagnol « Le Juge de sa propre cause » (II.xiv), une « historiette » traduite de l’espagnol et lue par le sénateur breton La Garouffière, l’héroïne Sophie se déguise en homme et se distingue au service dans l’armée de l’empereur : « sa vaillance était si admirable en une si grande jeunesse et son esprit était si charmant » (290). Ce passage est significatif non seulement pour son ironie (une femme se fait passer pour un guerrier gaillard ; le déguisement est un thème important, un expédient narratif, et une source majeure de l’humour dans l’œuvre), mais aussi pour la définition de la gaillardise : ici nous avons les trois grandes qualités qui constituent la gaillardise à cette époque : l’esprit, la vaillance et la jeunesse (Campo, « Scarron, III »).

Le comédien Le Destin est le plus gaillard des personnages principaux du roman. Il s’acquitte si courageusement dans la mêlée du chapitre I.iii, les assistants avouent qu’ « ils n’avaient vu un si vaillant homme » (71). Il « avait bien de l’esprit » (112) et de bonnes manières. En fait, La Garouffière est impressionné qu’un comédien peut conter « comme un homme fort éclairé et qui savait bien son monde », et qu’il a « une si parfaite connaissance de la véritable honnêteté » (251-52). Le père du Destin était aussi un « homme d’esprit et d’invention », c’est-à-dire, de créativité et d’ingéniosité, qui sont aussi de caractéristiques importantes de la gaillardise (117). Un autre comédien, La Rancune, est un homme d’esprit mais trop méchant pour être gaillard au sens classique. Verville, le fils cadet du bienfaiteur du Destin, qui apparaît dans le conte biographique du Destin, est une autre figure gaillarde qui « avait la vivacité de l’esprit et la grandeur de l’âme égales à la beauté du corps » (120). Sa « hardiesse » se manifeste souvent dans la défense de son ami Destin et de son amante (141). Dans un éloge du Nicomède par Corneille, le narrateur dit que, dans cette pièce, le dramaturge « …a le plus mis du sien et a plus fait paraître la fécondité et la grandeur de son génie » (317). Encore, comme avec Ronsard, la gaillardise n’est pas seulement une valeur ou une excellence chevaleresque, mais aussi une bravoure littéraire ou une force intellectuelle, comme la créativité ou l’originalité.

Cependant, plus généralement, dans ce roman la gaillardise se manifeste dans un style narratif créatif de l’auteur. Par opposition aux romans sentimentaux et héroïques populaires de l’époque, Scarron écrit un roman satirique. L’intrigue met en scène une troupe de comédiens qui sont déclenchés contre la population bourgeoise du Maine, où le monde entier est leur théâtre. Les villages et la campagne de la région deviennent la toile de fond pour leurs farces carnavalesques (Merry, 34) ; ils trompent et ils sont trompés à leur tour. L’enjouement des comédiens s’exprime aussi dans une énonciation du texte qui est ludique et créative. Le roman n’est pas seulement picaresque, dans la tradition épisodique des romans espagnols du XVIe et XVIIe siècles ; il est aussi rempli de récits intercalés ou d’histoires à tiroirs, qui interrompent le fil narratif principal. Barbara Merry remarque que le roman comprend trois niveaux distincts de narratif : la narration principale, les histoires autobiographiques racontées par les personnages eux-même, et les contes espagnols (33). Le Destin, par exemple, a du mal à finir de raconter l’histoire de sa vie (I.xiii, I.xviii). Il est sur le point de commencer dans le chapitre I.xii quand une bagarre éclate dans la chambre voisine. Il reprend le fil dans le chapitre suivant, mais il est interrompu deux fois par la narration principale, une technique qui crée un certain suspens ainsi qu’une cohérence structurelle à ce roman picaresque, en particulier à la première partie. Quoique ce récit soit l’histoire qui suscite le plus l’intérêt du lecteur, curieusement, Le Destin ne le continue pas à la deuxième partie. En fait, il ne le finit jamais, à cause de l’interruption finale du roman, la mort de l’auteur (qui est la subversion suprême des attentes du lecteur).

Le narrateur principal ou extradiégétique (qui est peut-être Scarron lui-même) est intrusif ; il commente souvent l’action et laisse ses traces dans le récit. Par exemple, à la fin du chapitre I.vii, il prie le lecteur d’imaginer un changement de scène : « Nous le laisserons reposer dans sa chambre et verrons dans la suivant chapitre ce qui se passait en celle des comédiens » (83). Dans un autre exemple, il défend sa description d’un comédien qui porte une basse viole sur ses épaules comme une tortue :

Quelque critique murmurera de la comparaison, à cause du peu de proportion qu’il y a d’une tortue à un homme ; mais j’entends parler des grandes tortues qui se trouvent dans les Indes et, de plus, je m’en sers de ma seule autorité (66).

Dans d’autres passages, il invite le lecteur prude à sauter une section ou à ne pas lire davantage :

Je suis trop homme d’honneur pour n’avertir pas le lecteur bénévole que, s’il est scandalisé de toutes les badineries qu’il a vues jusques ici dans le présent livre, il fera fort bien de n’en lire pas davantage ; car en conscience il n’y verra pas d’autre chose…

En fait, comme auteur, il avoue qu’il a perdu le contrôle de ses personnages, et il n’est plus responsable de leurs actions : « …comme ceux qui mettent la bride sur le col de leurs chevaux et les laissent aller sur leur bonne foi » (111). Aucune de ces intrusions n’est nécessaire à la narration ni à l’intrigue. C’est seulement l’enjouement et l’originalité de l’auteur, qui aime passer fréquemment sa tête par la fenêtre de la narration pour inviter le lecteur à rire. De cette manière il mine la forme traditionnelle du roman, ainsi que les attentes du lecteur.

Au premier paragraphe du roman, Scarron consacre neuf lignes à la description de la position du soleil au commencement de l’action, tout dans un style périphrastique et précieux, et finit par dire : « Pour parler plus humainement et plus intelligiblement, il était entre cinq et six… » (65). Bien que le burlesque décrive normalement les sujets les plus hauts dans un style le plus bas, Scarron fait souvent le contraire, en décrivant les sujets et les situations les plus bas dans un style le plus digne et sérieux, qui donne au monde bourgeois presque un ton épique ou héroïque. De cette façon, l’histoire entière devient une parodie du genre du roman héroïque. Dans l’« Advertissement aux lecteurs » de son roman Polyandre (1648), Charles Sorel soutien qu’une histoire comique ne devrait pas être faite de « narrations pleines de bouffonneries basses et impudiques, pour aprester à rire aux hommes vulgaires ». Au contraire, elle ne devrait être :

…qu’une peinture naïve de toutes les diverses humeurs des hommes, avec des censures vives de la pluspart de leurs deffaux, sous la simple apparence de choses joyeuses, afin qu’ils en soient repris lors qu’ils y pensent le moins…

Et la plupart, dit-il, peut être écrite « d’un stile facetieux » (cité dans Vos-Camy, 44-45). Donc, ce que Scarron essaie de faire, en mélangeant le style épique avec celui du burlesque, est d’inventer une forme du comique plus subtile que le burlesque.

De plus, les contes espagnols (I.ix, I.xxii, II.xiv, II.xix), en particulier, montrent une structure d’emboîtement, où la narration change souvent de mains (Campo, « Scarron, I »). Par exemple, dans « Le Juge de sa propre cause » (II.xiv), la narration passe entre les mains du sénateur La Garouffière, un personnage dans la narration principale qui a traduit la nouvelle ; puis à Sophie, l’héroïne du conte ; puis à Claudia, sa rivale ; elle revient à Sophie, puis à La Garouffière, puis au héros Don Carlos, et finalement à La Garouffière. Cet emboîtement n’est pas une caractéristique propre à Scarron, mais aux nouvelles espagnoles qui sont ses sources (Merry, 40). Scarron admirait beaucoup les novelas de Alonzo Castillo Solórzano (1584-c.1647) et de Maria de Zayas y Sotomayor (1590-c.1661), qu’il adapte pour ses objectifs satiriques.

La réalité aussi fait souvent intrusion dans l’intrigue du roman. Les contes et les personnages principaux sont fictifs, mais le cadre de l’action est réel et actuel. Scarron, qui avait habité au Mans, ajoute des détails régionaux : des noms de personne du coin, par exemple, qui donnent a l’histoire un aspect de réalité. Dans le chapitre II.xvi, Ragotin menace les Bohémiens « …du prévôt du Mans dont il se dit allié à cause qu’il avait épousé une Portail » (304). Dans le même chapitre, un prêtre lit des épreuves de ce roman chez l’éditeur de Scarron et il corrige ou fournit de plus amples renseignements sur l’histoire de Ragotin. C’est comme un film où un personnage soudain perce l’écran et entre dans notre monde pour interagir avec nous.

Donc le roman n’est pas seulement comique, mais aussi ludique ou enjoué, et Scarron se moque la forme conventionnelle du roman de l’époque (Merry, 40). C’est peut-être cette sorte d’ingéniosité de composition à laquelle l’auteur fait référence dans le passage suivant : « Ce jour-là on joua le Dom Japhet, ouvrage de théâtre aussi enjoué que celui qui l’a fait a sujet de l’être peu » (314). Ici, Scarron fait un clin de l’œil au lecteur en faisant la promotion de sa propre pièce et de son génie. Peut-être qu’il fait aussi référence à ses souffrances physiques, qui étaient insoutenables, un contraste cruel à l’enjouement de ses œuvres.

Relatif à la littérature française, selon Lester Koritz, pendant la Renaissance la satire apparaît dans les œuvres de Rabelais, de Ronsard, et d’autres poètes du XVe siècle, sous forme d’attaques contre les mœurs sociales, de personnes spécifiques, et des institutions. Un siècle plus tard, sous l’autoritarisme du Roi Soleil, on n’oserait pas s’attaquer aux institutions ; donc, Koritz dit, « la psychologie remplaça la polémique. On s’intéressa au genre humain…on était plus moraliste que satirique » (31-32). Dans le cas de La Fontaine et de Molière, dit-il, on trouve une morale qui justifie une œuvre dont l’objectif principal est de divertir. Mais même Molière était bien capable de satiriser la société, bien qu’il préfère prudemment diriger son feu aux cibles plus sûres : l’ascension sociale de la bourgeoisie, les précieuses, l’hypocrisie des dévots, ou l’insolvabilité de la noblesse. En tant que satire sociale, dans Le roman comique Scarron n’ose pas se moquer directement de l’église ou de la cour (quoiqu’il soit aussi capable de le faire, comme le montre sa Mazarinade, si justement attribuée). Il vise la société bourgeoise avec sa suffisance, son simulacre et son incompétence. Par exemple, l’arrivée de la troupe au Mans (II.xvii) provoque beaucoup d’excitation, puisqu’un homme de condition qui adore le théâtre vient et amène ses amis. Le théâtre est l’occasion pour le narrateur principal de se moquer du simulacre des bourgeois qui aiment à imiter les aristocrates et prétendre une relation sociale avec les gens de qualité (313). Dans la même scène, il satirise aussi la vanité des femmes d’un certain âge qui ont de plus en plus du mal à se maquiller (317). Inézille, la narratrice du conte espagnol « Les deux frères rivaux » (II.xix), insère ses critiques sociales. Elle anticipe les critiques des femmes françaises que les deux sœurs sont un peu osées et manquent la discrétion, puisqu’ « en Espagne ce sont les dames qui font les premières avances parce qu’elles sont les dernières à être vues des galants… » (323). C’est une perspective féminine ou féministe un peu audacieuse pour l’époque. Elle critique aussi les privilèges des hommes qui peuvent se marier à leur choix (324).

CyranoDans Le Voyage dans la lune (1657) de Cyrano de Bergerac, c’est encore la gaillardise de l’auteur qui prend une place centrale dans le conte. Au début, le narrateur, qui est probablement Cyrano lui-même, a pris un faux départ et se trouve en Nouvelle-France au Canada au lieu de se poser sur la lune. Lorsqu’il rencontre une compagnie de soldats, ceux-ci lui demandent comment il y arriva. Croyant qu’il est encore en France, il est perplexe, et les soldats pensent qu’il les plaisante. « Ho, ho, disent-ils, vous faites le gaillard ! » (34). C’est la seule apparition du mot dans le texte entier, et ici l’expression faire le gaillard signifie « être plein d’entrain » ou « enjoué ». Cet enjouement du narrateur se manifeste aussi dans sa conversation avec Elie au Paradis. Quand il plaisante qu’ Enoch fut enlevé au ciel parce que Dieu n’avait pas le temps de construire une machine volante, sa témérité irrévérencieuse est la cause de son expulsion du jardin. Avant de partir, il cueille une pomme de l’Arbre de Science. Cet acte de vol représente son insistance que la pensée reste libre, contrairement aux mesures répressives de l’Église de son époque qui s’opposait au progrès scientifique.

Dans un autre exemple, le narrateur est étonné, mais aussi très content d’entendre que les habitants de la lune, où presque tout est renversé, considèrent un grand nez « une enseigne qui dit : Céans loge un homme spirituel, prudent, courtois, affable, généreux et libéral » (107). (L’auteur est réputé pour son proboscis généreux.) Cependant, la gaillardise de l’auteur réside non seulement dans ces qualités courtoises, mais aussi dans l’ingéniosité des détails scientifiques. Le narrateur, par exemple, essaie de monter à la lune avec l’aide des bouteilles remplies de rosée. Comme la rosée s’évapore, montant vers le ciel, elle entraîne le narrateur. Il atteint enfin la lune par hasard, au moyen d’une machine volante à laquelle on a attaché par erreur une quantité de fusées. À bien des égards, Cyrano prévoit le genre de la science-fiction. Dans la lune, le démon de Socrate l’introduit aux plaisirs de la cuisine, qui dans ce monde lunaire n’existe qu’en vapeurs, et il lui montre davantage que dans cette société, les vieux hommes servent les jeunes comme esclaves. L’auteur utilise dans son texte des notes musicales au lieu de noms pour les titres et les endroits lunaires. Il y a aussi une machine compliquée qui fonctionne, pas comme un phonographe, comme Madeleine Alcover imagine (79), mais mieux encore, plus comme un livre sonore. Bien que Cyrano emprunte quelques idées d’autres auteurs, comme le satiriste Lucien (c.125-180 CE) ou son contemporain Francis Godwin (1562-1633), il est néanmoins créatif dans son application des détails.

Dans Voyage dans la lune, la gaillardise se trouve surtout dans l’audace de la satire sociale. Dans ce conte fantastique, au lieu d’attaquer directement les folies de la société, l’auteur crée un autre monde qui est l’envers du nôtre et où les habitants se considèrent supérieurs aux humains terrestres (LaFond, 130). Souvent les habitants lunaires se moquent du sous-développement culturel de notre monde. Ils ridiculisent souvent le géocentrisme de l’Eglise et l’aristotélisme démodé des philosophes français. Le narrateur, par exemple, se trouve dans un pays inconnu où il rencontre des êtres humains qui marchent à quatre pattes. Comme les Houyhnnhms dans les Voyages de Gulliver, bien qu’ils soient bêtes, ils sont une race supérieure. Son apparence attire les foules, qui pensent qu’il est monstre et ressemble à la femelle d’une bête en la possession de la reine. Parce qu’il est bipède, ses hôtes débattent s’il est même humain, et il admet que marcher à quatre pattes est logique. Ici comme souvent dans le texte, Cyrano se moque de l’anthropo-centrisme de l’Eglise, et il présente un relativisme philosophique, où un seul point de vue n’a pas une validité absolue mais seulement par rapport aux autres, c’est-à-dire, que la vérité est multiple. Cela contredit la certitude du dogme religieux de son époque. Le démon de Socrate règle la note à la taverne en payant non pas avec de l’argent mais avec des vers. Ici, l’auteur fait référence au roman L’Histoire comique de Francion de Charles Sorel, qui était un romancier contemporain et qui essayait d’éclipser la popularité des romans pastoraux ou héroïques par ses romans comiques et satiriques. L’idée de payer avec les vers est pour Cyrano un aspect de la société idéale, le contraire de notre monde où les poètes meurent de faim ou bien doivent se transformer en mercenaires en cherchant le mécénat des riches.

Le narrateur devient une exposition comme un animal de cirque, une situation humiliante, mais c’est dans cette difficulté qu’il rencontre le démon de Socrate, qui lui dit, « Hé bien mon fils vous portez enfin la peine des faiblesses de votre monde » (55) : c’est-à-dire, qu’il existe aussi dans cette civilisation tellement supérieure la même ignorance, hostilité et étroitesse d’esprit envers quelqu’un ou quelque chose qui est nouveau ou différent. Le démon décrit son séjour à la terre, qu’il quitta finalement à cause de la stupidité des hommes. Mais il a rencontré des individus de génie, comme Cardano et Campanella, qui étaient des esprits universels pendant la Renaissance et qui furent assignés par l’Inquisition. Il mentionne d’autres noms des occultistes de la Renaissance qui, à son avis, comme les plus grands noms de cette époque, exploraient les limites de la connaissance. Dans son histoire, Cyrano peint souvent les esprits libres, les hommes de génie, comme persécutés, incompris, exclus par une monoculture européenne qui est dominée par l’Église. Il distingue en particulier Tristan L’Hermite, qui à son avis était poète et dramaturge français sans pareil, et qui habitait en exile en Angleterre : « C’est le seul poète le seul philosophe et le seul homme libre que vous ayez » (57). Cette idée de l’homme libre, l’esprit libre, le libre penseur, est peut-être l’équivalent de l’esprit gaillard dans cette section. Le démon dit sur les habitants de la terre que ce qu’ils ne savent comprendre est « spirituel » : « la conséquence est très fausse, mais c’est un témoignage qu’il y a dans l’univers un million peut-être de choses qui, pour être connues, demanderaient en nous un million d’organes tous différents » (59). La section se termine avec un procès ou la nature de son humanité est remise en question. Il distingue les prêtres de la lune pour leur contrôle sur l’esprit public (73-74) Il est mis en cage où il passe le temps en apprenant la langue du pays, mais quand il peut se défendre, il est facilement réfuté par la logique supérieure de cette race, qui se moque de son recours à Aristote, qu’ils considèrent comme faible et inferieur. Pour Cyrano, le problème de la philosophie traditionnelle c’est qu’elle manque la flexibilité pour embrasser les contradictions (DeJean, 227).

Cyrano est présenté à la reine et à son animal, qui s’avère être un autre européen (66), l’espagnol Domingues Gonsalès, le héros du récit fantastique The Man in the Moon (1620) par Godwin, qui était l’inspiration de cette histoire. Il est remarquable et amusant que les deux personnages se rencontrent ici. Gonsalès arriva dans la lune par hasard, avec l’aide des oiseaux, et l’espagnol lui dit que la raison pour laquelle il abandonna la terre « était qu’il n’avait pu trouver un seule pays où l’imagination même fut en liberté » (66). Ici, nous avons encore une critique de l’injustice d’une société dominée par l’église. Selon le narrateur, l’espagnol a « l’esprit joli » (gaillard) (73), et les deux hommes passent le temps en philosophant. Il y a un exemple d’un discours long et ridicule de la part de Gonsalès sur la masse et la densité. Bien que le raisonnement soit erroné et prolixe, le narrateur est tolérant, même indulgent, un exemple de la société libre que les deux amis cherchent.

On remarque aussi le moyen enjoué et créatif de présentation du conteur : par exemple, le style narratif à la première personne. Ici, Cyrano imite peut-être l’Histoire véritable de Lucien, qui décrit aussi son propre voyage à la lune (LaFond, 5). Mais de toute façon, un récit à la première personne est une rupture avec la tradition littéraire du XVIIe siècle (DeJean, 224). Dans son choix de la première personne, l’auteur suit aussi d’autres « auteurs libertins » de l’époque, comme Tristan L’Hermite, qui est couvert d’éloges par le démon de Socrate : « c’est le seul poète, le seul philosophe et le seul homme libre que vous ayez » (57). La narration est fréquemment interrompue par des discours ou de longs dialogues spirituels et pleins d’idées libres. De toutes ces façons, l’auteur s’écarte des attentes normales du lecteur et le surprend avec une œuvre créative et originale.

Le voyage aux territoires inconnus de la lune représente aussi, en grande partie, une exploration des nouvelles espaces pour la littérature et les limites de la pensée humaine. Cependant, comme Cyrano apprend à ses dépens, il y a une limite à la liberté de l’esprit. À la fin du conte, il trouve que le jeune savant athée avec lequel il se dispute n’est pas humain du tout ; c’est en réalité l’Antéchrist lui-même. Cette découverte semble provoquer l’intervention du diable, «un grand homme noir tout velu » (116)  et Cyrano risque d’être traîné aux enfers avec son interlocuteur. On ne peut dire avec certitude si l’auteur fait de l’ironie ici, s’il a ajouté ce dénouement effrayant pour plaire aux critiques ecclésiastiques, ou bien s’il croit qu’il y a une vraie limite au raisonnement et au doute humain. Mais il est clair que l’orgueil et l’arrogance de l’athéisme lunaire méritent le même jugement que leurs équivalents terrestres. LaFond nous rappelle des mots du démon de Socrate : « Il y a du vulgaire ici comme là qui ne peut souffrir la pensées des choses où il n’est point accoutumé » (134). Donc, en fin de compte, la liberté absolue n’existe pas, même dans la lune.

Dans Le roman comique et Voyage dans la lune, deux exemples de l’Âge Classique, des aspects de la gaillardise se manifestent dans les caractères de certains personnages. Le comédien Le Destin, par exemple, peut être considéré comme gaillard puisqu’il manifeste un courage physique ainsi qu’une culture et une générosité d’esprit. Mais comme son ami Verville, il fonctionne pour la plupart comme un personnage héroïque et sérieux, par opposition à Ragotin, qui est une figure ridicule et complètement burlesque (Vos-Camy, 50). La figure la plus enjouée dans ce roman, comme dans celui de Cyrano, est l’auteur lui-même, à cause de l’ingéniosité de la structure narrative et du style ludique de narration. Comme dans les œuvres de Ronsard, poète du siècle passé, la gaillardise s’applique ici à l’originalité et à l’esprit créatif des deux auteurs. Dans ces deux contes imaginatifs, les auteurs mettent en exergue et tirent l’attention sur l’originalité de leur propre esprit et de leur façon enjouée de présenter leurs livres.

Comme auteur, Cyrano est peut-être plus gaillard parce qu’il critique vaillamment la domination du dogme religieux sur la liberté de pensée et des sciences. C’était l’époque bien sûr de l’astronome Galilée et son procès devant l’Inquisition. Cyrano veut dire, comme Galilée, mais d’une manière plus satirique, que ni la terre ni l’homme ne sont le centre de l’univers, que l’homme n’est pas nécessairement le couronnement de la création, et qu’il peut exister d’autres mondes, d’autres créatures avec des caractéristiques humaines et peut-être supérieures. On voit dans le texte une certaine frustration à la part de l’auteur à l’égard de ce manque de liberté intellectuelle. Et que les hommes d’esprit, les esprits libres comme Galilée et les autres nommés dans le texte sont toujours persécutés par ce système corrompu, cette cabale religieuse qui, par crainte, veut contrôler l’esprit de l’homme, son imagination et son ingéniosité. Cette domination est, pour Cyrano, l’ennemi de l’expansion de connaissance et du progrès des sciences. Pour lui, une idée devrait être libre (dans les limites), même si c’est une idée folle, ridicule ou faible, et il n’existe pas seulement une vérité absolue, mais la vérité existe dans une multiplicité et dans une diversité. Même les éléments utopiques du récit (par exemple, les vers poétiques ont cours dans la lune) sont d’aspects de sa satire acerbe. Donc, la satire sociale de Voyage dans la lune est plus polémique et amère que celle du Roman comique, qui consiste en le châtiment de la vanité (Ragotin) et la moquerie de la grandeur de la bourgeoisie. Cependant, celle de Bergerac n’est jamais une satire directe. Il doit créer un autre monde, qui est l’envers, ou le négatif photographique du nôtre, et dont la société contraste avec celle de l’Europe occidentale de l’époque.

 

Œuvres citées

Alcover, Madeleine. La Pensée philosophique et scientifique de Cyrano de Bergerac. Librairie Droz, 1970

Bergerac, Cyrano de. Voyage dans la lune. Garnier-Flammarion, 1970.

Campo, Roberto E. “L’Âge Classique (17e siècle): Paul Scarron, (Part 1).” Seminar in French Literature. UNCG. 21 February 2017. Lecture.

—–. “L’Âge Classique (17e siècle): Paul Scarron, (Part 3).” Seminar in French Literature. UNCG. 7 March 2017. Lecture.

—–. “Ronsard’s Eutrapelian Gaillardise.” Neophilologus, vol. 87, 2003, pp. 529-51. libres.uncg.edu. http://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncg/f/R_Campo_Ronsard_2003.pdf . Retrieved 14 March 2017.

DeJean, Joan E. “Method aMadness in Cyrano de Bergerac’s Voyage dans la lune. French Forum. 2:3 (Spetember, 1977), 224-237.

“Gagliard in Vocabolario Etimologico della Lingua Italiana. Ed. Francesco Bonomi. Dizionario etimologico online. www.etimo.it. Retrieved 3 mai 2017.

Koritz, Lester S. Scarron satirique. Paris : Klincksieck, 1977.

LaFond, J. « Le Monde à l’envers dans les États et Empire de la lune de Cyrano de Bergerac », in L’Image du monde renversé et ses représentations littéraires et para-littéraires de la fin du XVIe siècle au milieu du XVIIe, eds. J. LaFond et A. Redondo. J. Vrin, 1979.

Merry, Barbara L. Menippean Elements in Paul Scarron’s Roman comique. Peter Lang, 1991.

Scarron, Paul. Le roman comique. Edited by Giraud, Yves. Flammarion, 1981.

Uckelman, Sarah L. “Names from 13th- and 14th- century Latin Records from Gascony.” SCA College of Arms on the WEB. http://heraldry.sca.org http://heraldry.sca.org/names/french/earlygasconlatin.html. Retrieved 28 avril 2017.

Vos-Camy, Jolene. « Les Folies du Roman comique ». Cahiers du dix-septième siècle: An Interdisciplinary Journal XI, 2 (2007) : 43-57. http://www.bowdoin.edu. http://se17.bowdoin.edu/files/ VosCamyCahiersXI2_2007.pdf. Retrieved 5 mai 2017.

Wartburg, Walther von, ed. Französischen Etymologischen Wörterbuches. Vol. 4. Bonn, 1922.

 

 

 

 

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