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Grant number like: FT-56867-09

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Sarah-Jane Murray
Baylor University (Waco, TX 76798-7284)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2009 – 8/31/2009

The Ovide moralise: Texts and Contexts

The Ovide moralise is an Old French translation of the Metamorphoses. To each tale, the translator (most likely a Franciscan friar and who, I believe, was attached to a royal court and maintained close contact with the university circles of Paris) adds a moralization (and often an allegory), interpreting his source from a Christian perspective. (Thus, the fall of Phaethon in Book I gives way to a discussion of Lucifer and the sin of pride.) My book will provide a sustained reading of the medieval poem in its manuscript, theological, and philosophical contexts. In broader terms, my project will engage questions such as: What happens when a fourteenth-century Christian reads Ovid? What does this teach us about the concept of translation in the later Middle Ages? How do the scribes and illuminators participate in this process? Why is such a project important to medieval audiences? How might the Ovide moralise be understood as the Old French counterpart to Dante's Divine Comedy?