cruel Lubias is wicked wife in medieval epic Ami et Amile

In the medieval epic Ami et Amile, Lubias was asleep with her husband Count Ami in their city of Blaye. The daughter of a rich and powerful man, she in marriage had brought him much land and gold. She expected him to fulfill his marital debt to her. However, Ami suddenly jumped out of bed and grabbed his sword. Lubias awoke. She asked her husband what troubled him. He explained that he had dreamed that his dear friend and nearly identical twin Count Amile was being mortally assaulted by her uncle Hardré. He said that he must leave immediately to help his friend.

Lubias offered no sympathy. Instead, she jealously assailed Amile:

“Sir,” she said, “well I know what you think.
Now you would like to be in the city of Paris
at the house of Count Amile, that perjuring glutton,
who kisses and embraces the daughter of Charlemagne
while my body is cast away in contempt.
I wish that I would be told evil news of her —
that her body would be delivered to evil whoredom!”

{ “Sire,” fait elle, “bien sai que voz panséz.
Or voldriéz iestre a Paris la cité,
Au conte Amile le glouton parjuré,
La fille Charle baisier et acoler,
Dont li miens cors est cheüz en vilté.
Males nouvelles m’en puisse l’on conter,
A mal putaige soit li siens cors livréz!” }[1]

Medieval women and men relished sex. Hardré alleged that Amile had sex with Princess Belissant, Charlemagne’s daughter:

I caught him naked with Belissant naked,
in the way of a wife with her husband,
and she did all the passion of love under him.

{ Qu’o Belissant nu a nu le reprins
Si faitement com fame a son mari,
Et la folie toute suz li fist il }

Lubias was jealous that she would be deprived of such pleasurable passion while Ami was with his friend Amile. But Ami’s trip was a matter of life and death for Amile. Truly loving wives should support their husbands’ friendships with men.

bird as decorated initial in medieval manuscript

The man whom Lubias thought was her husband Ami soon returned home to Blaye from Paris. She greeted him and asked him for his sword. Lubias was the sort of wife who felt that she owned her husband’s sword. Declining to give it to her, he turned away. She then peevishly assailed him:

“Sir,” she said, “You have me under much contempt.
Now you have returned from the court at Paris,
you kissing and making pleasure with the daughter of Charlemagne,
while my body is held under contempt.
I pray to God, the Father who never lies,
that I be allowed yet to hear evil news of her —
that her body would be taken for evil whoredom!”

{ “Sire,” dist elle, “moult m’avéz enpor vil.
Or revenéz de la cort de Paris
La fille Charle baisier et conjoïr,
Dont li miens cors est tenus enpor vil.
Dex doinst, li Peres qui onques ne menti,
Males nouvelles m’en laist encor oïr,
A mal putaige soit li siens cors reprins.” }

The way a wicked wife slanders a husband’s friend, she will soon slander him. That’s what Lubias did to her husband. Of course, she would forgive him for her slander that if she got what she wanted from him. That night, they went to bed, naked as usual. “She expected to embrace him as her lover {elle le cuide acoler com son dru}.” She felt his hard, naked rod, but it was his steel sword! She recoiled in fear. He had placed it between them.

How could a husband be as cruel to his wife in bed as Margery Kempe was to her husband? The Middle English version of the story highlights her anger and astonishment at her husband’s lack of sexual interest in her:

The lady then looked upon him
angrily with her two eyes.
She thought her husband was insane.
“Sir,” she said, “why are you behaving so?
Thus you were never accustomed to do.
What has changed your way?”

{ The levedi loked opon him tho
Wrothlich with her eighen tuo,
Sche wend hir lord were wode.
“Sir,” sche seyd, “whi farstow so?
Thus were thou noght won to do,
Who hath changed thi mode?” }[2]

In the French epic Ami et Amile, Lubias angrily accused her husband and demanded a divorce:

“Sir,” she said, “what have you discovered about me?
You have brought your sword to kill me,
but by the faith I owe to my mother’s soul,
if I live until the dawn of the next day,
I will tell my cousins and my brothers,
and they will take me immediately in front of the bishop,
by such way to be separated from you
and from your companionship.”

{ “Sire,” dist elle, “ou m’avéz voz trouvee?
Por moi ocirre aportastez espee,
Mais par la foi que doi l’ame ma mere,
Se je vif tant que veingne l’ajornee,
Gel conterai mes couzins et mes freres,
Devant l’evesque m’averont tost menee.
Par tel engieng serai de voz sevree,
De vostre compaignie.” }

He in response lied that a doctor gave him medicine for a serious fever and forbid him to have sexual intercourse during the next thirty days. Apparently seeking to assert her sexual worth and provoke him to possessiveness, she lied that his friend Amile had sexual assaulted her.[3] He in turned lied to her that he would seek to cut off his friend’s head.

two faces: decorated initial from a medieval manuscript

Medieval men didn’t merely listen and believe women. Medieval men knew that women, like men, sometimes lie. In fact, the man who was claiming to be Lubias’s husband Ami was actually her husband’s nearly identical friend Amile. They had swapped places so Ami could fight a judicial duel for Amile. At the level of body organs, all men function essentially the same. Lubias didn’t value her husband Ami extensively enough to be able to distinguish him from his friend Amile.

After substituting for his friend Amile in the judicial duel, Ami returned to his wife Lubias in Blaye. Amile, pretending to be Ami, urged Lubias to greet hospitably this visitor, whom she thought was Amile. To that reasonable request, she responded:

Gladly, sir, but only if you make the assurance
that tonight in your bed you would lie with me
and you wouldn’t put there your naked sword.

{ Volentiers, sire, mais que seüre fuisse
Qu’en vostre lit anquenuit me geüsse,
Que n’i fust mise la vostre espee nue. }

That’s straight-forward sexual coercion, with an ironic double-entendre using a brutalizing figure of a man’s penis. Amile readily made that promise. He knew of Ami’s love for his wife Lubias. He knew that Ami, not he, would be the one in bed with her. That night Lubias and Ami in bed together had sex. They “sufficiently enjoyed and delighted each other {gabé ont asséz et delitié}.”

face looking upward: decorate initial in medieval manuscript

Despite relishing sex with her husband, Lubias treated him wickedly. She threatened to have his friend Amile arrested and imprisoned for allegedly cheating in the judicial duel. Only Ami warning Amile to flee saved Amile from that fate. Evidently Lubias, not Ami, controlled the penal system of their realm.

Ami developed leprosy as a result of the deception he carried out to save his friend from judicial combat. Lubias responded to her husband’s terrible illness with hatred for him:

Lubias conceived for him such hate
— the evil lady, whom God can damn to evil —
that she would no longer deign to see him nor keep him
nor serve him with her body or honor him,
because she had no concern for God.

{ … Lubias le coilli en tel héz,
La male damme, cui Dex puist mal donner,
Que nel deingna veoir ne esgarder
Ne de son cors servir ne honorer,
Car de Deu nen ot cure. }

God is merciful, and those who respect God should also be merciful. Ami called out to his wife Lubias, “Come lie down, lady, don’t cease to sleep with me {Venéz jesir, damme, ne m’esveilliéz}.” She came to her husband:

Fully clothed, she sat by the count
and took to the arranging of her deceptions.
“Sir,” she said, “it has since much amazed me.
You married me seven years ago from yesterday.
Then you were healthy and solid and in good form.
Now I see you so totally enfeebled
that you can’t even walk or ride a horse.
I wish to ask you, sir, that you would let me go
in front of the bishop. You would be very good to agree.”

{ Toute vestue léz le conte s’assiet,
De ses losenges le prinst a arraisnier:
“Sire,” dist elle, “moult me puis merveillier.
Voz me preïstez set ans ot avant ier.
Dont estiiéz sains et saus et haitiéz,
Or voz voi si dou tout affoibloier,
Ne poéz mais aler ne chevauchier.
Proier voz voil, sire, que me laissiéz
Devant l’evesque, moult bien voz feriiéz.” }

In short, she asked him to agree to a divorce. For Lubias, marriage was not for better or for worse. Ami called her “totally savage and hard-hearted {tout sauvaige et grief}.” He appealed to God for help. She called him foolish.

Lubias was a strong, independent woman. She summoned two knights to take Ami before the bishop. There she denounced him and humiliated him. She probably claimed that he was unable to fulfill his marital debt to her. She declared:

Sir noble bishop,
my husband is totally ill and leprous.
Now take care sir, blessed bishop,
to decree separation between me and Ami.
I will give you my little Arabian mule
and thirty pounds of Parisian coins.

{ … Sire evesques gentiz,
Touz est malades et delgiéz mes maris.
Or en panséz, sire evesques benis,
Dou dessevrer entre moi et Ami.
Je voz donrai mon murlet arrabi
Et trente livres de deniers parisis }

The bishop was outraged. He refused to be bribed to treat a husband so cruelly. Lubias then exerted her authority as the wealthy, ruling woman of the city:

Lubias was made to behave madly
when the bishop of the city so presented himself.
She said, “Mine is this city and the honors taken here.
This land is at my command.
No bishop here can refuse to do my desire.
No man here knows authority over me.
Let go of your crosier. I forbid it to you.”

{ Lubias fu de fol contenement
Quant a l’evesque de la ville se prent:
“Moie est la ville et l’annors qu’i apent,
Ceste terre est a mon conmandement.
N’i a evesque, ne face mon talent,
Nus hom n’i a par maistrie noient.
Laissiéz la croce, que je la voz deffenz.” }

The bishop defied her. She then showed him her power:

And so Lubias sought out allies.
She gave rich men money
and had the town-dwellers equipped with robes of marten fur.
Such persons entered the church
and all together cried out to the bishop,
“Why have you humiliated our lady,
that you have made her intimate with a leper?”

{ Et Lubias si s’est tant poralee,
As riches homes a donnees soudees
Et as borjois piauls de martre affumblees,
Icelle gens s’est el monstier entree
Et tuit ensamble a l’evesque crierent:
“Por qu’avéz voz nostre damme avillee,
Qu’a un mezel l’avéz faite privee?” }

Struggling to oppose Lubias and her allies, the bishop convened in the city a panel of four bishops. Those four bishops implored God’s blessing upon Ami. They also allowed Lubias to send her husband away to a hovel outside their city of Blaye.[4]

women wearing hats and with red breath: decorated initial in medieval manuscript

Only Ami’s seven-year-old son Girard remained loyal to him. When he could, Girard took bread from the table and brought it to his father. But his kindness was discovered:

His mother saw him do that kindness and threatened him,
saying she would throw him on the ground and pinch him and with her palms
hit him such that the marks would appear there on his body.
“Son of a leper, of a cripple, and of a beggar!
I won’t let a day pass without beating you for him.
I will not see a month pass after Easter
that I don’t hang on your neck such a stepfather
that if he doesn’t kill you for your love of your father,
he’ll be too much of a coward.”

{ Voit le sa mere, si le chose et menace,
Qu’encontre terre et a poins et a paumes
Le batra tant que i parront les traces.
“Fiz a mezel, a delgiet et a ladre!
Ja n’iert uns jors que por lui ne voz bate.
Ja ne verréz un mois apréz la Pasque
Que sor le col te metrai tel parrastre,
S’il ne te tue, il fera trop que lasches,
Por l’ammor de ton pere.” }

Girard fought back against the men supporting his evil mother. He bashed four of them on the head with a club. Then he rushed into the kitchen and demanded a peacock for his father. The cook refused, explaining that Lubias would kill him for providing it. Girard then smashed the cook’s head with a club and killed him. Two other cooks saw this and were terrified. They agreed to bring provisions to Ami. Whether Lubias subsequently killed them isn’t mentioned. Ordinary men’s deaths attract relatively little interest in medieval literature.

Girard brought his father food. He kissed his father on the mouth and nose despite his father’s leprosy. His father told him to move away to avoid risk of leprosy. The son refused to obey his father:

You speak madness.
Your flesh would never be vile to me.
Much to the contrary, to me it’s sweet, very good, and pleasant,
and by the apostle whom God gave a fine blessing,
if you would see to flee and go,
I will go with you, if I’m not then turned back.
A more loyal man than me cannot be found here.
Food and some bread I will seek by God —
willingly I will do it.

{ De folie parléz.
La vostre chars ne m’iert ja en vilté,
Ansoiz m’est douce et moult bonne et soéz,
Et par l’apostre cui Dex donna bon gré,
Se voz en voi ne fuïr ne aler,
G’irai o voz, se je m’en puis torner;
Plus loial home de moi n’i trouveréz.
De la vitaille, dou pain querrai por Dé,
Volentiers le feroie. }

Ami decided to go, but he insisted that his son remain. Ami wanted his son to become a knight and receive his inheritance.

leading figure: decorated initial in medieval manuscript

Like vicious anti-meninists, Lubias had no pity for her son or her husband. Her young, noble, innocent son she abused and imprisoned:

The wicked mother threatened Girard and knocked him
to the ground with her fists and her feet.
She summoned two lord knights,
who by right of force took him and bound him
and put him in a cellar under a tower.

{ La male mere le menace et sel fiert
Encontre terre et as poinz et as piés.
Elle en apelle douz barons chevaliers,
Par droite force le fait panre et liier,
Desoz la tor l’ont mis en un celier. }

When her starving husband met Lubias returning from church service outside of Blaye, he begged her for some crumbs from her table. She scorned him:

Sir invalid, you are tiring me too much.
How quickly you now have taken to begging!
When I had you thrown outside of Blaye,
my steward and knights assured me
that you would die quickly, that you would scarcely live.
Now I see you so healthy and solid and in good form.
May God who judges all not be pleased
that you might live yet an entire month!
I am too tired of you.

{ Sire malades, trop poéz anuier.
Tost avéz ores aprins a porchacier.
Quant je voz fiz fors de Blaivies gietier,
Disoient moi serjant et chevalier
Que morriéz tost, gaires ne viveriéz ;
Or voz voi si sain et sauf et haitié.
Ja Deu ne place qui tout a a jugier
Que vouz soiéz passéz un mois entier!
Trop en sui annuiie. }

She decreed that no one could give anything to Ami or to have anything to do with him. She wanted him to die of hunger and thirst. But two loyal serfs asked Lubias that they be allowed take Ami to beg with them in foreign lands. They promised that she would never see him again. With that promise, she permitted them to care for her starving, sick husband. She refused Ami’s request to see his son for one last time before he left.[5]

Literary evaluations of Lubias underscore the direction of medieval literary studies. Commenting on bitter words from Amile, William Calin in a scholarly study published in 1966 declared:

Lubias’ actions no doubt merit the diatribe. The list of her major crimes — seeking to bribe the bishop to annul her marriage, turning Ami out of house and home, wishing he were dead and to that end ordering that he be starved, beating and imprisoning their son Girard, threatening Girard with the prospect of a harsh stepfather, preventing father and son from seeing each other, from saying goodbye — is of a wickedness seldom matched in the chanson de geste.[6]

In an introductory essay published in 1981, the authors warned of “a certain anti-feminism” in this medieval story. They meant that it depicted a woman as thoroughly evil:

Lubias is unmitigatedly evil, a sensual, cruel, and mendacious woman, as incapable of love for her son Girard as for her husband Ami, and as intent upon destroying the bond between father and son as that between the two friends.[7]

To avoid anti-feminism under current scholarly standards, Satan, devils, and other completely evil beings must be depicted as male. A scholarly article published in 1990 explicitly drew upon Georges Duby’s dubious medieval history to declare Lubias a victim and a chattel passed among men. Naturally, “Lubias’s indignation is better founded than she knows.” Moreover, “Lubias speaks more truly than she knows” when she falsely accuses Amile of sexually assaulting her.[8]

With closely focused analysis, three other scholarly articles also found an “antifeminist, misogynistic element” in the depiction of Lubias. The good man William Calin, then recognized as a leading scholar of the chanson de geste, in response published in 1991 a scholarly article with a section headed “In defense of Lubias.” Calin first defined Lubias to be “evil incarnate” through no fault of her own. She was evil because she was the niece of the evil man Hardré, or because of misogyny. Literary scholars are rationalizing animals:

Lubias dislikes {her husband’s friend} Amile for defendable reasons: he declined the offer of her hand in marriage and passed her on to Ami {whom she didn’t have to agree to marry}; later, of course, she believes it is he who slew her uncle {who was trying to kill him}. She comes to dislike her husband Ami because he will not listen to her {or he listens to her and realizes that she’s lying}, because he prefers Amile to her {or perhaps not}, placing a higher price on friendship than on marriage {which should include friendship}.[9]

In Calin’s new interpretation, Lubias, who claimed to have hit Amile in the face and knocked him to the ground, can only use words as a weapon:

In opposition to the man’s coldness, to his physical mastery and refusal of her sexuality, the woman responds verbally. Lubias the woman resorts to speech, the only weapon that she can wield against her husband à armes égales, the only weapon with which she can wound him in turn.[10]

Words were not enough to have Ami expelled from his home into a hut outside of Blaye. Words were not enough to have their son Girard shackled and imprisoned underneath a tower. Lubias needed men to listen to her words and follow her directions. Men are remarkably willing to follow the directing words of even evil women. Calin concluded:

we are meant to comprehend and to empathize with Belissant and even, should one so wish, with Lubias.

In literary criticism over the past few decades, scholars have very much wished to empathize with despicably wicked women like Lubias.

Both women and men can act as if they are Satan-possessed. Both women and men can be cruel spouses. That’s reality painful to recognize, particularly for men in relation to women. Nonetheless, truly loving another human being requires appreciating the full extent of our humanity.

* * * * *

Read more:


[1] Ami and Amile {Ami et Amile}, Continental version in decasyllabic verses {Version continentale en décasyllabes}, vv. 882-8 (50), Old French edition of Dembowski (1969), my English translation, benefiting from that of Rosenberg & Danon (1996). The verse numbers are followed by laisse in parentheses. Ami et Amile is also known as Amis and Amiles {Amis et Amiles}.

The daughter of Charlemagne is Belissant. Although she raped Amile, he forgave her and they married. Belissant compassionately supported Amile’s friendship with Ami. She also cared for Ami when he became a leper.

The Anglo-Norman version, Amis and Amilun {Amis et Amilun}, is more explicit about the wealth of the (unnamed) woman corresponding to Lubias. She was a count’s daughter. Amis (corresponding to Amile) benefited materially and in status by marrying her:

By inheritance she received
half the revenue of the count.

Amis, as very quickly as he could,
took leave respectfully and traveled
to his country, toward his beloved,
whom he loved like his life.
Now he had risen to a high state,
because he accrued through marriage
great power and great honor.
Great estates were under his rule,
three counties and a half,
as soon as the count had died.

{ Par heritage la meite
Li fu acheu del counte.

Amis, al plus tost qu’il poeit,
Conge ad pris si s’en aloyt
En sun pais vers sa amie,
Ke tant ama come sa vie.
Or est mounte en haut estage,
Kar cru li est par mariage
Grant seignurie e grant honur;
De grant terres ert il seingnur,
De treis contez e demi,
Si tost com li quens ert fini. }

Amis and Amilun {Amis et Amilun}, Anglo-Norman verse version, vv. 173-4, 771-80, Old French (Anglo-Norman) text from Kölbing (1884) pp. 129-30, my English translation, benefiting from that of Weiss (2009).

Subsequent quotes above, unless otherwise noted are similarly from the chanson de geste Ami et Amile. Those quotes are vv. 1420-2 (73) (I caught him naked…), 1125-31 (62) (“Sir,” she said, “You have me under much contempt…”), 1163 (64) (She expected to embrace…), 1169-76 (65) (“Sir,” she said, “what have you discovered about me?…”), 1986-8 (99) (Gladly, sire, but only if…), 2005 (100) (sufficiently enjoyed…), 2062-66 (103) (Lubias conceived for him such hate…), 2070 (104) (Come lie down…), 2072-80 (104) (Fully clothed, she sat by the count…), 2092 (104) (totally savage and hard-hearted), 2119-24 (107) (Sir noble bishop…), 2132-8 (108) (Lubias was made to behave madly…), 2153-9 (109) (And so Lubias sought out allies…), 2235-43 (113) (His mother saw him do that kindness…), 2299-2307 (115) (You speak madness…), 2312-6 (116) (The wicked mother threatened Girard…), 2347-55 (117) (Sir invalid, you are tiring me…).

[2] Amis and Amiloun, Middle English verse version, vv. 1165-70, Middle English text from Foster (2007), my English modernization. For a complete English modernization of Amis and Amiloun, Eckert (2015).

The story of Amelius and Amicus, as represented in a Latin verse summary that Raoul Le Tortier {Radulphus Tortarius} wrote about 1090, depicts the Lubias-character’s ardent, vigorous desire to have sex with her husband:

When at night he was lying with her in one bed,
very frequently she pushed at the young man’s side.
He averted his face, afraid even to give her a kiss.
Because of her persistence during the night, he placed a bared sword
between them. So she was made exceedingly sad.

{ Cum qua dum strato de noctibus incubat uno,
Crebrius et pulsat illa latus iuvenis,
Avertit faciem, metuit dare basia saltem;
Sed sibi dum semper illa molesta foret,
Noctibus assiduis nudus deponitur ensis
Inter eos, tristis unde fit ipsa nimis. }

Radulphus Tortarius, Letters {Epistulae} 2, “To Bernarnd {Ad Bernardum},” vv. 173-8, Latin text from Ogle & Schullian (1933) p. 261, my English translation, benefiting from that of Leach (1937) Appendix A, “The Amis and Amilous Story of Radulfus Tortarius.”

[3] Lubias claimed that she slapped Amile in the face and knocked him to the ground when he attempted to sexually assault her. Medieval women weren’t afraid to defend themselves against men acting wrongly.

[4] The early Latin version underscores the Lubias-character’s cruelty to her husband in response to him becoming leprous:

For that reason, your most cruel wife expelled you
like sweepings or waste from the house.

{ Peppulit idcirco tua te sevissima coniux
Purgamenta velut quisquiliasve domus. }

Radulphus Tortarius, “Ad Bernardum,” vv. 293-4, my English translation, benefiting from that of Leach (1937) Appendix A,

[5] In Ami et Amile, Ami is miraculously cured of his leprosy and returns to Blaye. He publicly denounces Lubias for her treachery. He orders her exiled to the hovel in which she exiled him, but he provides her with a meager daily ration of bread. After a week passes, overcome with pity for Lubias, he restores her to her domain. Forgiveness is a fundamental Christian value.

[6] Calin (1966) pp. 73-4. Exasperated at Lubias’s lie that he sexually assaulted her, Amile bitterly declared:

So entirely crazy is one who trusts many women
and who tells a woman about any of his secrets.
Now I know well that Solomon told the truth:
among seven thousand women, there isn’t three or four
very perfect ones, whom I would wish to trust.

{ Tant par est fox qui mainte fame croit
Et qui li dist noient de son consoil.
Or sai je bien, Salemons se dist voir:
En set milliers n’en a quatre, non trois,
De bien parfaitez, qui croire les voldroit. }

Ami et Amile, vv. 1218-22 (67). No human woman or man is perfect. The alleged Solomonic wisdom that Amile cited is obviously ridiculous.

[7] Rosenberg & Danon (1996) p. 13 (Introduction, first published in 1981). Preceding the above quote is the phrase: “indeed, one may even speak of a certain anti-feminism in the poem.”

[8] Kay (1990) pp. 138, 140. Ford commented on the Lubias-character and added a sarcastic observation for the learned:

Her vindictiveness, even malignity, provides an interesting contrast, implied rather than specified, to Belisaunt’s original amorality and her later generosity. So much for “token” wives.

Ford (2007), from introduction to the Middle English Amis and Amiloun. Cf. Kay (1990) p. 132.

[9] Calin (1991) p. 83, with my interpolated glosses within braces. For the heading “In defense of Lubias,” the characterization “evil incarnate,” and the general exculpation, id. p. 82. Calin was responding explicitly to Vesce (1973), Zink (1987), Rosenberg (1987), and Kay (1990). Id. p. 78.

Preceding the above quote is the prefatory phrase, “In general terms, I said in The Epic Quest that….” Here “general terms” seems to mean blaming Hardré for Lubias’s wickedness. Calin (1966) p. 77. Earlier Calin at least observed that Lubias “remains oblivious to her husband’s inner soul, her ignorance symbolized by a parallel substitution of husbands.” Id. p. 97.

To distance himself from extremists, Calin warned, “the absolute pervasiveness of both clerical and feudal misogyny ought not to be exaggerated.” Calin (1991) p. 88. If misogyny really were absolutely pervasive, one could scarcely exaggerate it.

In the 1996 preface to Ami and Amile, first published in 1981, the authors declared:

The primacy of the companions’ friendship, however defined, not only displaces two strong female characters but raises the whole question of women’s roles in Old French narrative.

Rosenberg & Danon (1996) p. vii. Men’s friendship has scarcely been permitted to have significance beyond its relevance to strong female characters and the “whole question of women’s roles.”

[10] Calin (1991) p. 85. The subsequent quote above is from id. p. 88. It’s from the last sentence in the penultimate paragraph of that scholarly article.

[images] Decorated initials from a manuscript of the chanson de geste Ami et Amile made in 1465 in Artois, northern France. From folios 169v, 99v, 171r, 186r, and 103v of Arras, Bibliothèque municipale MS. 0704 (CGM 696).


Calin, William. 1966. The Epic Quest: Studies in Four Old French Chansons de Geste. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press.

Calin, William. 1991. “Women and Their Sexuality in Ami et Amile: An Occasion to Deconstruct?Olifant. 16(1/2): 77–89.

Dembowski, Peter F., ed. 1969. Ami et Amile. Paris: Champion. Online in Base de français médiéval.

Eckert, Kenneth. 2015. Middle English Romances in Translation: Amis and Amiloun | Athelston | Floris and Blancheflor | Havelok the Dane | King Horn | Sir Degare. Havertown: Sidestone Press.

Foster, Edward E., ed. 2007. Amis and Amiloun; Robert of Cisyle; and Sir Amadace. Second edition. Middle English Texts Series. Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications.

Kay, Sarah. 1990. “Seduction and Suppression in ‘Ami et Amile.’” French Studies. 44(2): 129–142.

Kölbing, Eugen, ed. 1884. Amis and Amiloun, Zugleich Mit Der Altfranzösischen Quelle. Nebst Einer Beilage: Amícus ok Amilíus Rímur. Heilbronn: Gebr. Henninger.

Leach, MacEdward, ed. 1937. Amis and Amiloun. Early English Text Society 203. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1937.

Ogle, Marbury B. and Dorothy M. Schullian, eds. 1933. Rodulfi Tortarii Carmina. Papers and Monographs of the American Academy in Rome, 8. Rome: American Academy in Rome.

Rosenberg, Samuel N. 1987. “Lire Ami et Amile: le regard sur les personnages féminins.” Pp. 67-78 in Jean Dufoumet, ed. Ami et Amile: Une chanson de geste de l’amitié. Paris: Champion.

Rosenberg, Samuel N, and Samuel Danon, trans. With a new afterword by David Konstan. 1996. Ami and Amile: A Medieval Tale of Friendship. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Originally published by French Literature Publications Co., 1981.

Vesce, Thomas E. 1973. “Reflections on the Epic Quality of Ami et Amile: Chanson de Geste.” Mediaeval Studies. 39: 129–45. Reviewed by Samuel N. Rosenberg in Olifant 3(3) (March 1976): 221-5, with Vesce’s response.

Weiss, Judith. 2009. The Birth of Romance in England: The Romance of Horn, The Folie Tristan, The Lai of Haveloc, and Amis and Amilun; Four Twelfth-Century Romances in the French of England. Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMRS).

Zink, Michel. 1987. “Lubias et Belissant dans la Chanson d’Ami et Amile.” Littératures. 17: 11-24.

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