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For the Archpriest of Hita, covetousness is the root of all evil. Although from Hieronymus’ translation of the Bible onwards the notions of the sins of covetousness and avarice became interchangeable, this paper highlights both sins in the context of the commercial and urban development reached by the late medieval society at a moment when the sharp desire for worldly possessions acquired an unprecedented visibility. After briefly analyzing the examples of both sins in the Libro de buen amor in relation to the Augustinian thought that pervades the book, this paper focuses on the different shades of meaning and social connotations of the worldly cupiditas, as opposed to Christian caritas, to conclude that the gesture of «good love» performed by Juan Ruiz is a expression of Christian caritas at a time when the intellectual class and universities in Europe were fashioning themselves.


This work was originally published in Lemir.



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