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Courtly Love code of behavior that defined the relationship between aristocratic lovers in Western Europe during the Middle Ages The Idea of courtly love developed among the higher classes of Europe during the late-1100s The idea of courtly love was that a man passionately devoted himself to a lady who was married or engaged to another man Because medieval marriges were made up of little more than business contracts courtly love was dubed as the only true romance in the lives of many Europeans Knights used courtly love as a way to rember their home land and to give them a reson to get back to there land Knights were not the only ones that believed in courtly love Medieval artists troubadors and authors used courtly love as a bas or a theme in much of their work Influenced by contemporary chivalric ideals see Chivalry and feudalism courtly love required adherence to certain rules elaborated in the songs of the troubadours see Troubadours and Trouvres between the 11th and the 13th centuries and stemming originally from the Ars Amatoria The Art of Loving of the Roman poet Ovid According to these conventions a nobleman usually a knight in love with a married woman of equally high birthor often higher rankhad to prove his devotion by heroic deeds and by amorous writings presented anonymously to his beloved Once the lovers had pledged themselves to each other and consummated their passion complete secrecy had to be maintained Because most noble marriages in the Middle Ages were little more than business contracts courtly love was a form of sanctioned adultery sanctioned because it threatened neither the contract nor the religious sacrament of marriage In fact faithlessness of the lovers toward each other was considered more sinful than the adultery of this extramarital relationship Literature in the courtly love tradition includes such works as Lancelot by Chrtien de Troyes Tristan und Isolt 1210 by Gottfried von Strassburg Le Roman
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