: Traill, David A.
: 9780674660250 0674660250 9780674980976 0674980972
: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press,
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The Carmina Burana is by far the largest and best-known anthology of Medieval Latin verse. It contains songs not only about springtime, love, sex, gaming, gambling, and drinking, but also about crusading, the corruption of Rome, and the failings of the clergy; there are also plays about the birth of Christ and the events leading to his crucifixion and resurrection. The anthology provides fascinating insights into the values, attitudes, and social life of Europeans in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. More than half of the poems in the Carmina Burana manuscript are not preserved elsewhere, though at least one of them is to be found in some three hundred manuscripts. The collection includes some Middle High German, usually in the form of one or two stanzas added to the end of Latin poems. A few poems mix Latin and German, and three poems and one prose passage are entirely in German. The German content amounts to only about seven per cent of the total. In addition, one macaronic (mixed language) poem combines French and Latin. Finally, a few French words are scattered elsewhere.--