Volume 40, 2019
“Lo Sen e·l Saber e la Conoissensa”
Reevaluating the Razos for Bertran de Born
This essay reexamines the uniquely extensive corpus of prose commentaries (razos) for the twelfth-century troubadour Bertran de Born that accompany his poems in several extant Italian manuscripts from the thirteenth century. It argues that commentaries testify to a debate among Italian readers about how to interpret this poet’s distinctive political and moral messages. The essay shows Bertran’s razos to have been key texts in the reception of troubadour literary culture in Italy at a crucial moment in its development, and sheds light on the role of Occitan lyric in the politics of patronage at Italian courts.