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Title: Fin’ amors, Arabic learning, and the Islamic world in the work of Geoffrey Chaucer
Authors: Jagot, Shazia
Supervisors: D'Arcy, Anne
Da Rold, Orietta
Award date: 11-Mar-2014
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis examines the influence of Arabic learning, in Latin translations, on Chaucer’s oeuvre. That Chaucer drew on Arabic sources has long been acknowledged by Chaucerians, but there has been little scholarly engagement with them, particularly in relation to his highly technical, diagnostic concept of fin’ amors. This study demonstrates Chaucer’s portrayal of fin’ amors is informed by Arabic learning in the related fields of medicine, natural philosophy, astrology and alchemy, disseminated through Latin translations from the Iberian Peninsula in particular. This study demonstrates that whilst Chaucer has the utmost respect for the scholarly achievements of the Islamic world, he adopts a condemnatory attitude toward the religious milieu that gave birth to these achievements, grounded in the contemporary context of the later crusades. Chapter One considers the influence of Arabic medical texts on Chaucer’s diagnosis of amor hereos, love as a life-threatening illness, in Troilus and Criseyde and the Knight’s Tale. Chapter Two examines Aristotelian natural philosophy and the effect of the 1277 Condemnations at the University of Paris on the genesis of love as a cerebral illness. Chapter Three turns to the diagnostic aspect of Arabic astronomy evinced in the Treatise on the Astrolabe, focusing on judicial astrology and saturnine melancholia in the Knight’s Tale. Chapter Four concentrates on the technical transmission of Arabic alchemical sources in the Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale, which act as a metaphor for fin’ amors. Chapter Five examines Chaucer’s dichotomous attitude toward Arabic learning and Islam as a religion.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of English
Leicester Theses

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