The Architrenius is a vivacious and influential Latin satirical poem in nine books dating from 1184. It describes the journey of a young man (the "Arch-Weeper") on the threshold of maturity, confronting the ills of the church, the court, and the schools of late twelfth-century Europe. Dramatizing the human tendency towards vice and the vanity of worldly things, the poem is full of social commentary and flights of brilliant description. There are characteristic scenes in which a desire that combines prurience with frank sexuality is set against a quasi-religious idealism. The directness with which the poem engages social and psychological problems anticipates the work of the great vernacular writers Boccaccio and Chaucer. Winthrop Wetherbee's prose translation is presented alongside the original Latin, and augmented by an introduction and extensive notes.
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Al-Farghani Alan of Lille Alan's amor amplexus animi animo Architrenius arcu ardua astris auro Avernos Bacchus belly Bernardus Silvestris bestowed cedit Codrus Corineus cuius Democritus earth eyes face factura facundia fame fati favor feast Fortune gifts give gladio glory gluttony gods gracia grows hand heaven honor ignes illa iubar Johannes John of Salisbury Jove labor lacrimas Libra lingue Livor maior manus medieval mense mentis mind minus moras morum mundum Nature never nulla nullo numquam nunc ocellis oculis oculos omne omni omnia Oracio orbe orbem ortus pectore Phebi Phoebus poem Policraticus pondus potest praise quam quicquid quid quod recipit rerum rich robe Schmidt sibi spirit stars studii sunt superis surgit sweet sword tamen tears things thirst tibi usus Valerius Maximus venit Venus vice viciis virtue vultus Walter of Chatillon wealth weeping Xenocrates