Two Different Views of Knighthood in the Early Fifteenth-Century: Le Livre de Bouciquaut and the Works of Christine de Pizan
By Zeynep Kocabıyıkoğlu Çeçen
The Journal of Military History, Volume 76, 2012
Abstract: The claim that the renowned medieval military theorist Christine de Pizan (1363-1430) was the author of the biography of Jean le Meingre Bouciquaut (or Boucicaut), a famous marshal of France in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, has been debated by scholars for a long time. Although the current academic view tends towards rejecting Christine’s authorship of the book, the arguments both for and against have not contained any discussion of the respective views of knighthood reflected in the biography and in Christine’s works.
In spite of scholars’ recognition that there were different views of knighthood circulating among authors in this period, the assumption that Christine and the author of the biography shared similar views really has never been challenged. This article contends that the view of knighthood defended by the author of the biography was strikingly different in many ways from that held by Christine, a further reason for rejecting Christine as the biography’s author. At the same time, the article also contributes to the discussion of those different views of knighthood during the period.