Here is presented for the first time an extraordinary medieval text, the first Old French Vie des Peres. The Vie des Peres is in fact a collective text comprising three branches and, at its fullest, over seventy individually enclosed pious tales / miracles. The first Vie - the first forty-one or -two tales - dates from the first third of the thirteenth century. It is a vitally significant but hitherto neglected part of the Old French canon. Indeed, in his preface to this volume Michel Zink, one of the most respected medievalists of his generation, notes that the qualities of the Vie des Pers `devraient valoir a son auteur une place au voisinage de celle qu'occupent pour nous celui de la Chanson de Roland ou Chretien de Troyes.' The tales are remarkably well written and offer fascinating glimpses of thirteenth-century life and spirituality. They were also extremely popular in Medieval France. Sharing close links with a number of traditions - fabliaux, Saints' Lives, Miracles of the Virgin, Romance, Sermons - the Vie des Peres has value for those interested in many branches of vernacular literature, codicology, lexicography, art history, theology and philology. Tales of Vice and Virtue - the first sustained analysis of the entire first Vie des Peres to be published - is a groundbreaking book providing readers new to the text with detailed commentaries, offering abundant intertextual information for romance philologists, and suggesting many new areas for further research.
Notes on References and Abbreviations Acknowledgements Preface by Michel Zink Introduction Part One: The Ten Commandments Chapter One Thou shalt have no other gods than me Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image Chapter Two Thou shalt not take the name of the lord in vain Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy Honour thy father and thy mother Chapter Three Thou shalt not kill Thou shalt not commit adultery Chapter Four Thou shalt not steal Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house [...] wife, nor [...] anything that is thy neighbour's Part Two: The Seven Deadly Vices and the Seven Cardinal Virtues Chapter Five Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Envy Chapter Six Gluttony, Anger, Sloth Chapter Seven Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, Justice Chapter Eight Faith, Hope, Charity Conclusion Appendix: Editions of the First, Second and Third Vies Bibliography