Far from being a closed question, the problem of European medieval ballads constitutes even today a wide-ranging item of debate. Anonymous creations in rhyming verses (couplets or quatrains, plus epic formulæ and refrain), they tell love-stories and personal dramas, jousts and skirmishes, miracles and historical remakes. They are a complex mixture of poetry, dance and tunes that flourished during the Middle Ages, but were witnessed in written records only from the 14th century on, particularly in Scandinavia. Here they reached an unchallenged richness and success, which make this area (primarily Denmark) the real center of this multiform cultural event. The origin of the ballads — Danish (folke)viser — has not yet met unanimity of judgement: Germanic epic tradition as well as French medieval influence, Arthurian-cycle, carole and German Minnesang, have been called in turn to explain a phenomenon deeply rooted in the oral culture. Yet their oral character poses so many questions about their ways of transmission which cannot be satisfactorily solved simply resorting to literary aids. Minstrel culture, popular tradition, aristocratic literacy, history, rural vs. urban economy and the involvement of new elements like the press play an undisputed role in the definition of this genre. By deep and thorough study of the matters involved it results clearly how this cultural event cannot be enclosed under a simple literary label, but on the other hand it deserves its own dignity and position side by side with the other and more famous mouthpieces of the Scandinavian culture as eddic poetry, skaldic poetry and sagas.

Le 'folkeviser' danesi ed il fenomeno della ballata popolare nel tardo Medioevo scandinavo. Osservazioni preliminari per una ricerca

BATTAGLIA, MARCO
1994

Abstract

Far from being a closed question, the problem of European medieval ballads constitutes even today a wide-ranging item of debate. Anonymous creations in rhyming verses (couplets or quatrains, plus epic formulæ and refrain), they tell love-stories and personal dramas, jousts and skirmishes, miracles and historical remakes. They are a complex mixture of poetry, dance and tunes that flourished during the Middle Ages, but were witnessed in written records only from the 14th century on, particularly in Scandinavia. Here they reached an unchallenged richness and success, which make this area (primarily Denmark) the real center of this multiform cultural event. The origin of the ballads — Danish (folke)viser — has not yet met unanimity of judgement: Germanic epic tradition as well as French medieval influence, Arthurian-cycle, carole and German Minnesang, have been called in turn to explain a phenomenon deeply rooted in the oral culture. Yet their oral character poses so many questions about their ways of transmission which cannot be satisfactorily solved simply resorting to literary aids. Minstrel culture, popular tradition, aristocratic literacy, history, rural vs. urban economy and the involvement of new elements like the press play an undisputed role in the definition of this genre. By deep and thorough study of the matters involved it results clearly how this cultural event cannot be enclosed under a simple literary label, but on the other hand it deserves its own dignity and position side by side with the other and more famous mouthpieces of the Scandinavian culture as eddic poetry, skaldic poetry and sagas.
Battaglia, Marco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/21731
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