Medieval Europe 814-1450: Literature - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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Origins, Definitions, and Categories of Romance

The New-Found Power of Women.

The invention of the romance genre occurred because of a confluence of historical events, cultural developments, and shifts of literary taste and audience. When Pope Urban II called for the first Crusade in 1095, the lords of hundreds of demesnes (manorial lands) throughout Europe answered the request of their religious lord and marched or sailed to the Middle East to spend years in military combat. These aristocrats and their followers were exposed to Eastern and Arabic cultural and literary influences, as well as opportunities for economic exploitation and importation of the luxury goods, spices, and exquisite fabrics from the region. Literary forms of the first half of the twelfth century, such as the chanson de geste, not only reflected the heroic warrior ethic of European Crusaders, but also provided textual vehicles for Crusading propaganda...

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This section contains 2,687 words
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Buy the Medieval Europe 814-1450: Literature Encyclopedia Article
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Arts and Humanities Through the Eras
Medieval Europe 814-1450: Literature from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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