Thoroughly interdisciplinary in approach, this volume examines how concepts such as the exercising of power, the distribution of justice, and transgression against the law were treated in both textual and pictorial terms in works produced and circulated in medieval French manuscripts and early printed books. Analysing texts ranging from romances, political allegories, chivalric biographies, and catalogues of famous men and women, through saints lives, mystery plays and Books of Hours, to works of Roman, canon and customary law, these studies offer new insights into the diverse ways in which the language and imagery of politics and justice permeated French culture, particularly in the later Middle Ages. Organized around three closely related themes - the prince as a just ruler, the figure of the judge, and the role of the queen in relation to matters of justice - the issues addressed in these studies, such as what constitutes a just war, what treatment should be meted out to prisoners, what personal qualities are needed for the role of lawgiver, and what limits are placed on women's participation in judicial processes, are ones that are still the subject of debate today. What the contributors show above all is the degree of political engagement on the part of writers and artists responsible for cultural production in this period. With their textual strategies of exemplification, allegorization, and satirical deprecation, and their visual strategies of hierarchical ordering, spatial organization and symbolic allusion, these figures aimed to show that the pen and paintbrush could aspire to being as mighty as the sword wielded by Lady Justice herself.
Sommaire
 
Rosalind Brown-Grant
Introduction
 
Anne D. Hedeman
Translating power for the Princes of the Blood : Laurent de Premierfait’s Des cas des nobles hommes et femmes
 
Rosalind Brown-Grant
How to wield power with justice : the 15th-century Roman de Florimont as a Burgundian « Mirror for Princes »
 
Michelle Szkilnik
The just captain in the Jouvencel by Jean de Bueil
 
Kristin Bourassa
Reconfiguring queen truth in Paris, BnF, Ms. fr. 22542 (Songe du vieil pelerin)
 
Cynthia J. Brown
Allegorical design and political image-making in late medieval France
 
Lydwine Scordia
The wolf, the shepherd, and the whale : critiquing the king through metaphor in the reign of Louis XI
 
Barbara Denis-Morel
Passing sentence : variations on the figure of the judge in French political, legal, and historical texts from the 13th to the 15th century
 
Maïté Billoré and Esther Dehoux
The judge and the martyr : images of power and justice in religious manuscripts from the 12th to the 15th century
 
Mary Beth Winn
Beastly power, holy justice in late medieval France : from Robert Gobin’s Loups ravissans to Books of Hours
 
Kathleen Wilson-Chevalier
The queen on trial : spectacle of innocence, performance of beauty
 
Yasmina Foehr-Janssens
Claude of France : justice, power, and the queen as advocate for her people