Courtliness

Courtliness (cortezia) is the ideal of moral and social decorum of the courts and the nobility. It is a virtue arising from pure love (fin’amore). Every courtly deed has its origin in love. One who does not love cannot be courtly.

A man with courtly manners acts sincerely in all his actions, and cherishes goodness in speech and action, generosity, humility and moderation. One who is not able to recognize the golden measure (mesura) between extremes of excess and deficiency,  and runs into every possible possession; lacks moderation, and cannot be courtly.

Cortezia is closely linked to youth, jovens. Jovens is a moral quality represented by largeness, liberality, fidelity and pure love. Love keeps one away from meanness and grossness. A courtly person has no interest in self-praise, material greediness and false nobility; one who plays at courtliness at the expense of another and is miserly with his own goods has no claim to be regarded as courtly. When such corrupted people pretending to have courtly manners are praised, cortezia and jovens descent to vilanatge.courtly love effects on behaiviour prohibitas morum

Cortezia, Cortesia should not be confused with courtly love; while the earliest record of the term courtois comes from 12th century Provence, the term Courtly Love was not used by troubadours. For them, their love was simply love and there was no need for using the term amour courtoise, which was introduced in the 19th century.

From: Courtly Love and Courtliness by Alexander J. Denomy

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