I ask because I became curious about what the meaning of the word was originally and it seems to refer to song. What I've found so far is that it simply means "fiction", or "novel", (romans in French).
I have a keen interest to learn more about Pythagoras, a counter of notes, and supposedly the Hyperborean Apollo who invented music. I bring up the potentially fictional man because he is mentioned in relation to the root of the original Old French word rimance, the latin word rima. And apparently the spelling of rimance was changed to romance.
Oxford Dictionaries lists the origin of the adjective romance as being "vernacular language of France", and in fact the word romance at one point simply meant "French".
The current word romance is attributed to 17th-century chivalry, though it is from an older French word, which is confusing. I do not like the concept that upon adoption of a word, it becomes a new word. Romance is a French word, not an English word. Much the same as adore, and assassin.
Middle English: from Romance, originally denoting a composition in the vernacular as opposed to works in Latin. Translate romance to French
vivre eun roman d'amour
Source: Google Translator https://translate.google.com/m/translate#fr/en/roman https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/licensing/google
. . . And that's pretty romantic.
My request is specifically aimed at reference material regarding the story, novel, or fiction, as a Frenchman might put it, which the word romance is intended to describe. I believe it specifically relates to Plato and Arostotle's famous debate regarding the fiction of platonic love, and may have something to do with the Hyperborean Apollo.
Interesting that Merriam-Webster's Dictionary lists the first known use being the 14th century, contradicting Oxford Dictionaries which lists the origin as 17th century chivalry.
And this is the best explanation I've found.
It all began with the Greeks. Pythagoras noticed that many things could be measured or counted, which caused him to attribute to numbers (ῥυθμός=hruthmos) a mystical nature. Two of the things that could be counted or measured were music and verse. Pay attention to this, here is the thread that will take us to the word you want.
Greek verses were divided into sections called “metra” (singular “metron”). Each metron had a defined number of long and short syllables. Each line had a given number of metra and verses grouped certain number of lines. The Romans nicknamed the metra “feet”, because poets and singers used to mark the counting (ῥυθμός) with their feet while they sung.
. . .
This type of verse, based on repetitions of endings was called rimance in Old French. The word later changed to “romance”. The verse ends that sounded same were then called “rimas” (this word didn’t change).
The point is, I'm purplexed that given the obviously romantic origin, lexographers refer to chivalry as the origin, how can that be correct?