In the first chapter, Lewis traces the development of the idea of courtly love from the Provençal troubadours to its full development in the works of Chrétien de Troyes . It is here that he sets forth a famous characterization of "the peculiar form which it [courtly love] first took; the four marks of Humility, Courtesy, Adultery, and the Religion of Love"—the last two of which "marks" have, in particular, been the subject of a good deal of controversy among later scholars. In the second chapter, Lewis discusses the medieval evolution of the allegorical tradition in such writers as Bernard Silvestris and Alain de Lille .
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