Meun, John De

, was born at a little town of that name, situated on the river Loire, near Orleans, in 1280, and on account of his ‘lameness acquired the name of Clopinel. His range of study appears to have been very extensive, including philosophy, astronomy, chemistry, arithmetic, but above all, poetry. His talents recommended him to the court of Philip le Bel, which he enlivened by his wit, but often at the same time, created enemies by his satirical remarks. He is supposed to have died about 1364. His name is preserved on account of the share he had in the celebrated “Roman de la Rose” (see Lorris), which the French esteem the most valuable piece of their old poetry. It is, says Warton, far beyond the rude efforts of all their preceding romancers. John of Meun’s share in this poem, however, is inferior in poetical merit to that of Lorris, as he had little of his predecessor’s inventive and poetical vein; but it has strong satire and great liveliness. Chaucer, who translated all that was written by William of Lorris, gives only part of the continuation of John de Meun. Some other works are attributed to the latter, which are of little value unless as curiosities. 2


Dict. Hist. Brunei’s Manuel da Libraire. Wafton’s Hist, of Poetry.