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Parabola VI, De Aethiopissa Quam Filius Regis Duxit Uxorem

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Chapter Summary

In Parabolae (Par) VI, Bernard has left the simple figurative outline for a much more intricate allegorical scope. Par VI resembles Par IV in that it treats the four wounds of the Church. Par VI, however, is structured around the vertical movements of the king's son. First he inspects the lower realms of his father and then returns to court, then he overtakes Gabriel as he goes down (descendo) to Mary, and eventually he ascends, leaving his bride in Jerusalem. The parable is set in four stages. The first one implies a move between the heavenly Jerusalem and Babylon. The second is the nuptial donation of symbolic and allegorical gifts. The third is set in Jerusalem and describes the four tribulations of the Church. The fourth and last stage describes contemporary everyday activity of the Devil.

Keywords: Babylon; Bernard; Church; Jerusalem; Parabolae (Par) VI



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