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Christine de Pizan's Livre du chemin de lonc estude. At The Crossroads Of Medieval Travel Writing And Political Allegory

Sailing to Byzantium

Christine de Pizan’s Vision of Constantinople in Le Livre du chemin de lonc estude
Lori J. Walters
p. 117-131

Abstracts

This paper argues that the two passages on Constantinople in Le Livre du chemin de lonc estude of 1402-1403 are crucial to understanding Christine’s text. In the first passage she reports on the splendors and ruins of the present-day capital of the Byzantium Empire; in the second, she expresses her hopes for the city’s future. Christine praises the current governance of Constantinople by Jean de Châteaumorant

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Excerpt

Full text document will be published online on December 2019.

First lines

Over half a millennium before William Butler Yeats, Christine de Pizan (1365-ca. 1430) also figuratively sailed through the heavens on a visionary voyage to Byzantium, which, like Yeats, she portrays as the cradle of civilization. Although at first glance the two passages on Constantinople that she includes in her Livre du chemin de lonc estude of 1402-1403 might appear to be inconsequential, they prove critical to an understanding of her text. In the Chemin the protagonist, named Christine, like the author, accompanies the Cumean sibyl on a visionary journey that ends in the heavenly sphere, where the protagonist transcribes the proceedings of a debate about the character traits incumbent upon a world leader. The author here refers to prophecies concerning the exemplary universal monarch destined to reign over Christendom during the Last Days. One such prophecy was evoked by Dante, whom Christine pointedly names as her forerunner on the “path of long study”. The poet of the Divine ...

References

Bibliographical reference

Lori J. Walters, « Sailing to Byzantium », Cahiers de recherches médiévales et humanistes, 32 | 2016, 117-131.

Electronic reference

Lori J. Walters, « Sailing to Byzantium », Cahiers de recherches médiévales et humanistes [Online], 32 | 2016, Online since 08 December 2019, connection on 24 September 2017. URL : http://crm.revues.org/14090 ; DOI : 10.4000/crm.14090

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About the author

Lori J. Walters

Florida State University
Lori J. Walters est professeur au département des langues et de la linguistique modernes à l’université de Floride et chercheur invité au Centre d’études médiévales de l’université de Toronto. Ses recherches portent surtout sur Chrétien de Troyes, le Roman de la Rose et Christine de Pizan. Elle prépare actuellement une étude sur Christine de Pizan en tant que chef de son propre atelier

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Copyright

© Cahiers de recherches médiévales et humanistes

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