Chapter 6

And with your inclinations
Of Jupiter soft conditions
Look what you have; it will make you better,
When you keep your own in order.

Gloss

As it is said, poets, who worshipped many gods, believed that the planets of heaven were special gods and from the seven planets they took the names of the seven days of the week. They worshipped and held Jouis or Jupiter for their greatest god, because he is set in the highest sphere of the planets under Saturn. The day of Thursday is named of Jouis.1 And the philosophers also compared the virtues of the seven metals to the seven planets, and named the terms of their sciences after the same planets, as a man may see in Jeber and Nicholas and other authors of that science. To Jupiter is given copper or brass. Jupiter is a planet of soft traits, amiable and favorable to sanguine complexion.2 Therefore Othea, also known as Prudence, says that a good knight should have the traits of Jupiter, and so should every noble man have pursuing knighthood. To this purpose says Pictagoras that a king should be graciously conversant with his people and show to them a glad visage, and on the same wise it is to understand of all worthy people tending to worship.

Allegory

Now let us explain through allegory the properties of the seven planets. Jupiter is a soft and amicable planet, and the good knight should have many of these traits, namely mercy and compassion that Jesus Christ, the great knight, had. For Saint Gregory says in the Epistle of Poncian: I remember not, says he, that ever I heard or read that he did of evil death that had will to fulfill the deeds of mercy, for mercy had many prayers and it is impossible but that many prayers most needs be exhausted. To this purpose our Lord says in the Gospell: Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.

  1. Jouis is an archaic word for Thursday in French, but even in French today, the word “Jeudi” for Thursday derives from Jupiter.
  2. This concept of sanguine complexion derives from the medical theory of the four humors.
  3. This passage comes from Matthew 5:7. Christine’s original Latin reads “Beati mise ricordes, quoniam misericordiam consequentur.”

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