Roman de la Rose

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Roman de la Rose


(Tale of the Rose), a classic of medieval French literature. The first section of the poem was written in the 1220’s by Guillaume de Lorris. The narration is in the form of an allegorical dream, and the characters are personified vices and virtues. The work allegorically recounts the poet’s love for the Rose, which personifies ideal femininity and divine grace.

The second part of the poem was written circa 1260 by the clergyman Jean de Meun. Reviewing the concepts of courtly love as well as a number of contemporary philosophic views, the author champions free love, reason, and equality. At the same time, he proves to be an outstanding satirist and depictor of mores. The Roman de la Rose was popular from the 14th through 16th centuries.


Roman delà Rose, vols. 1–3. Paris, 1965–70.
In Russian translation:
In Khrestomatiia po zarubezhnoi literature: Literatura srednikh vekov. Compiled by V. I. Purishev and R. O. Shor. Moscow, 1953.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946. Pages 150–54.
Jung, M. R. Etudes sur le poème allégorique en France au Moyen Age. Bern, 1971.
Hilder, G. Der scholastische Wortschatz bei Jean de Meun. Tübingen, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.