Medieval Writings on Sex between Men

Peter Damian’s The Book of Gomorrah and Alain de Lille’s The Plaint of Nature


What happens if a cleric breaks his vows of sexual abstinence? What happens if the cleric in question does so repeatedly with other men of his vocation? Eleventh-century theologian Peter Damian provides a response.
What happens if an author uses metaphor as a metaphor signifying and excoriating male same-sex relations, yet does so in a text showing an exuberant and unabashed orientation towards metaphorical language? Is the author in question rhetorically perpetrating precisely the so-called affront to nature he grammatically denounces? Twelfth-century poet Alain de Lille enacts an ambiguously enigmatic response.

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David Rollo (Ph.D. Princeton, 1988), is Professor of English at the University of Southern California. He has previously taught English at the Université Française de l’Océan Indien (La Réunion) and French at Dartmouth College. His books are Historical Fabrication, Ethnic Fable and French Romance in Twelfth-Century England(1998), Glamorous Sorcery: Magic and Literacy in the High Middle Ages(2000), and Kiss my Relics: Hermaphroditic Fictions of the Middle Ages(2011).

General Introduction
 1 Peter Damian, The Book of Gomorrah
 2 Alain de Lille, The Plaint of Nature
 3 Importance to Medieval Studies
 4 Existing Translations
 5 Approach to Translation, Notes, and Sources
 6 Terminology

Part 1: Peter Damian, The Book of Gomorrah (Liber Gomorrhianus)

Peter Damian: Life
 Critical Commentary

Part 2: Alain de Lille, The Plaint of Nature (De planctu Naturae)

Alain de Lille: Life
 Critical Commentary
Undergraduate and graduate students in medieval literature and culture, specialists in eleventh- and twelfth-century sexual relations.
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