§ 11 The writings of the humanists are full of surprises. What is a humanist? Convention has it that ahumanist is a man versed in the knowledge of ancient languages, which is superficially correct. But thiskind word conceals, beneath a smile, the finest irony. A humanist, from the Latinhumanus, is not only apoliceman, but also a politician:umên-istêsis also a singer of love, a trouvère. The links betweentroubadourism and Platonism are undeniable. The Greekplastônikoscharacterises an inventor, a finder(trouvère)and a mystifier. Platonic love is therefore one and the same with chivalric love, namelyjobelin, fromkobalein, “to deceive” or “deception”. Love,emmor(readamor), frommenuô, isenvelopment, seduction.“Qui ne sait celer*ne sait aimer” (“Whoever does not know how tosealdoesnot know how to love”), say the Arrests d’amour § 13. Let us now go back a few centuries and recall the troubling quarrel of Father Jean Hardouin, a renowned professor at the Collège de Clermont (now Louis le Grand), who argued that the poems of Virgil and Horace were false. Nowadays, revelations of this kind go unnoticed or unappreciated: the mind is elsewhere. But it was a tempestuous time, and opinion was divided into two bellicose camps; the camp of the bold Jesuit included prominent figures in the Church […]

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