Translated by Ellie Schleussner
asp on a volume of his poems which he sent as a present to his inamorata.
At the famous Courts of Love, the most extraordinary questions were seriously discussed and decided. A favourite subject for debate was the relationship between love and marriage, and some of the decisions which have been preserved for us prove without a doubt that those two great factors in the emotional life were considered irreconcilable. At the Court of the Viscountess Ermengarde of Narbonne, the question whether the love between lovers was greater than the love between husband and wife was settled as follows: "Nature and custom have erected an insuperable barrier between conjugal affection and the love which unites two lovers. It would be absurd to draw comparisons between two things which have neither resemblance nor connection."
The contrast between the new, spiritualised love and the older, sexual, instinct created that dualism so characteristic of the whole mediaeval period. Sexuality and love were felt as two ini