| Questions to Consider
The Rules of Love?
Andreas Capellanus (flourished c. 1170-1190) probably wrote De arte
(The Art of Loving Honorably) as a member of the rich
and sophisticated court of Champagne at Troyes. Although we know
little about the man, "André le Chapelain" leaves us a puzzle
in a list of rules detailing and defining love as a philosophy of
life. Although some consider his work to be the definitive example of
twelfth-century courtly love, others question its sincerity and see
it as a witty satire on the romantic literature of the time.
Questions to Consider
Do you think that this is a serious set of rules or satire? Do
you agree with any of these rules?
If this selection is an accurate reflection of the ideology of
courtly love, what does it tell you about the nature of court life
for the feudal nobility?
- Marriage is no real excuse for not loving.
- He who is not jealous cannot love.
- No one can be bound by a double love.
- It is well known that love is always increasing or
- That which a lover takes against the will of his beloved has no
- Boys do not love until they arrive at the age of maturity.
- When one lover dies, a widowhood of two years is required of the
- No one should be deprived of love without the very best of
- No one can love unless he is impelled by the persuasion of
- Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice.
- It is not proper to love any woman whom one would be ashamed to
seek to marry.
- A true lover does not desire to embrace in love anyone except
- When made public love rarely endures.
- The easy attainment of love makes it of little value; difficulty
of attainment makes it prized.
- Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his
- When a lover suddenly catches sight of his beloved his heart
- A new love puts to flight an old one.
- Good character alone makes any man worthy of love.
- If love diminishes, it quickly fails and rarely revives.
- A man in love is always apprehensive.
- Real jealousy always increases the feeling of love.
- Jealousy, and therefore love, are increased when one suspects
- He whom the thought of love vexes eats and sleeps very
- Every act of a lover ends in the thought of his beloved.
- A true lover considers nothing good except what he thinks will
please his beloved.
- Love can deny nothing to love.
- A lover can never have enough of the solaces of his
- A slight presumption causes a lover to suspect his
- A man who is vexed by too much passion usually does not
- A true lover is constantly and without intermission possessed by
the thought of his beloved.
- Nothing forbids one woman being loved by two men or one man by
Andreas Capellanus, Art of Courtly
Love, trans. J. J. Perry (New York: Columbia University Press,