This Breviari is an Occitan grammar consisting of 35.600 octosyllables. Matfre Ermengaud, a Franciscan friar, legist, and troubadour from Béziers, began this work in 1288. His purpose was the reconciliation of the love for God with the erotic love, as it’s typical of the troubadours and their literature.
The book is structured as a tree of love, and divided into parts. It consists of twelve codices and many fragments.
From the original French it was translated into Castilian and Limous dialects. The artist affirmed, though, that it would have been better written in Latin.
The first section of the book is the Study of God and the Creation: it depicts the Trinity, the angels, the demons, the zodiac, and the planets.
The next is the Study of Nature, in which Matfre discusses the proper way of worshipping God, and the temptations that Christian have to avoid at all cost. Everything is explained through examples from everyday life.
The third one is the Love of God, in which can be found the Christian creeds, the life of Christ, and numerous life of saints.
The last section is structured as a dialogue between the defenders of Love and its critics. It has many citations of other troubadours and trouvères, Matfre himself included.
Matfre is said to have been the first, along with Ferrari da Ferrara, to put in writing the songs of the troubadours.
We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Breviari d'Amor de Matfre Ermengaud": Breviari d'Amor de Matfre Ermengaud facsimile edition, published by AyN Ediciones, 2003