Rules of Courtly
The following set of rules is based on the De
Amore of Andreas Capellanus, as adapted in Appendix 1
of Ann S. Haskell's A Middle English Anthology (Detroit:
Wayne State UP, 1985). To
find out more about Andreas Capellanus, click here.
1. Marriage should not be a deterrent to love.
2. Love cannot exist in the individual who cannot
3. A double love cannot obligate an individual.
4. Love constantly waxes and wanes.
5. That which is not given freely by the object
of one's love loses its savor.
6. It is necessary for a male to reach the age
of maturity in order to love.
7. A lover must observe a two-year widowhood
after his beloved's death.
8. Only the most urgent circumstances should
deprive one of love.
9. Only the insistence of love can motivate
one to love.
10. Love cannot coexist with avarice.
11. A lover should not love anyone who would
be an embarrassing marriage choice.
12. True love excludes all from its embrace
but the beloved.
13. Public revelation of love is deadly to love
in most instances.
14. The value of love is commensurate with its
difficulty of attainment.
15. The presence of one's beloved causes palpitation
of the heart.
16. The sight of one's beloved causes palpitations
of the heart.
17. A new love brings an old one to a finish.
18. Good character is the one real requirement
for worthiness of love.
19. When love grows faint its demise is usually
20. Apprehension is the constant companion of
21. Love is reinforced by jealousy.
22. Suspicion of the beloved generates jealousy
and therefore intensifies love.
23. Eating and sleeping diminish greatly when
one is aggravated by love.
24. The lover's every deed is performed with
the thought of his beloved in mind.
25. Unless it please his beloved, no act or
thought is worthy to the lover.
26. Love is powerless to hold anything from
27. There is no such thing as too much of the
pleasure of one's beloved.
28. Presumption on the part of the beloved causes
suspicion in the lover.
29. Aggravation of excessive passion does not
usually afflict the true lover.
30. Thought of the beloved never leaves the
31. Two men may love one woman or two women
For a good translation, see Capellanus, Andreas,
Andreas Capellanus on Love, translated P.G. Walsh,
For further information, see A. J. Denomy's
"Courtly Love and Courtliness" in Speculum,
XXVIII (1953), 44-63; A. J. Denomy's The Heresy
of Courtly Love, NY: 1947; E. T. Donaldson's "The
Myth of Courtly Love," Ventures V (1965), 16--23,:
W. T. H. Jackson's "The De Amore of Andreas
Capellanus and the Practice of Love at Court," Romanic
Review, XLIX (1958), 243-51; C. S. Lewis' The Allegory
of Love, New York, 1958; and J. J. Parry, trans. The
Art of Courtly Love, New York, 1941 (Records of Civilization,