§ 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 and the world. Nevertheless, to the honour of belles-lettres, the author of the esclandre was diagnosed as having a weakened mind. Just as Galileo, the perceptive man proclaimed by the Bishop of Rochester to be the “portentum orbis litterari“, had to make amends. But no matter! Since then, there has been a gnawing worm in our classics, and we are beginning to notice it with concern. Moreover, the idea is gaining ground, and is now being acclimatised in school textbooks.  § 14. Opinions don’t change overnight, and for a long time to come this truth will be seen as a paradox. What, we may ask, is the purpose of all this suspicious antiquity? The motive is obvious: it was necessary to combat nascent Christianity by any means necessary, and it was for this purpose that the Floral Games, from fluaros, “mystifier”, were instituted at the beginning of our era. In Italian, “fiorire“, to flower, means to deceive. In ancient comedy, the Flower was the type of jester. Criticised by the Fathers of the Church, the Jeux Floraux are, on the contrary, praised with fervour by Macrobius, Pliny and Varron, though not without some misgivings. The Venusian festivals held under this name served as a pretext. It was at this point that Catharism – a pun on the Latin “fluor“, the Cathar – took off from the Platonic school of Alexandria to cover the world with a poisonous shadow like that of the mancenilla tree. And the peremptory proof is to be found in the body of the crime itself: the absolute silence of secular writers with regard to the preaching of the Gospel and the hecatombs of martyrs who shed their blood for the triumph of the Faith. The historian Dion Cassius clearly hints at this when he writes that an […]
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