Imagined Communities: Constructing Collective Identities in Medieval Europe offers a series of studies focusing on the problems of conceptualisation of social group identities, including national, royal, aristocratic, regional, urban, religious, and gendered communities. The geographical focus of the case studies presented in this volume range from Wales and Scotland, to Hungary and Ruthenia, while both narrative and other types of evidence, such as legal texts, are drawn upon. What emerges is how the characteristics and aspirations of communities are exemplified and legitimised through the presentation of the past and an imagined picture of present. By means of its multiple perspectives, this volume offers significant insight into the medieval dynamics of collective mentality and group consciousness.
Contributors are Dániel Bagi, Mariusz Bartnicki, Zbigniew Dalewski, Georg Jostkleigrewe, Bartosz Klusek, Paweł Kras, Wojciech Michalski, Martin Nodl, Andrzej Pleszczyński, Euryn Rhys Roberts, Stanisław Rosik, Joanna Sobiesiak, Karol Szejgiec, Michał Tomaszek, Tomasz Tarczyński, Przemysław Tyszka, Tatiana Vilkul, and Przemysław Wiszewski.
Ten leading scholars team up to produce the first book-length treatment of the philosophical thought of James of Viterbo, one of the key thinkers at Paris in the late thirteenth century. The book examines all major areas of James’s philosophical thought, exploring his connections with other important masters of the time and highlighting his originality in the context of late medieval philosophy.
Contributors are: Antoine Côté, Stephen D. Dumont, R. W. Dyson, Mark D. Gossiaux, Mark Henninger, Thomas Osborne Jr., Martin Pickavé, Eric L. Saak, Jean-Luc Solère, and Gianpiero Tavolaro.
This paper reconstructs and analyzes Thomas Aquinas’ intriguing views on transeunt causal activity, which have been the subject of an interpretive debate spanning from the fifteenth century up until the present. In his Physics commentary, Aquinas defends the Aristotelian positions that (i) the actualization of an agent’s active potential is the motion that it causes in its patient and (ii) action and passion are the same motion. Yet, in other texts, Aquinas claims that (iii) action differs from passion and (iv) “action is in the agent” as subject. This paper proposes a solution for how to reconcile Aquinas’ varying claims about what transeunt causal activity is in reality. In addition to advancing understanding of Aquinas’ views on causal activity, the paper also offers insights into more general topics in his thought, such as the relationship between actualities and accidents and the nature of extrinsic accidents.
This article considers the attempt by a prominent fifteenth-century follower of Thomas Aquinas, Dominic of Flanders (a.k.a. Flandrensis, 1425-1479), to address John Duns Scotus’ most famous argument for the univocity of being. According to Scotus, the intellect must have a concept of being that is univocal to substantial and accidental being, and to finite and infinite being, on the grounds that an intellect cannot be both certain and doubtful through the same concept, but an intellect can be certain that something is a being while doubting whether it is a substance or accident, finite or infinite. The article shows how Flandrensis’ reply in defence of analogy of being hinges on a more fundamental disagreement with Scotus over the division of the logically one. It also shows how Flandrensis’ answer to this question commits him to a position on the unity of the concept of being that lies between the positions of Scotus and of Flandrensis’ earlier Thomistic sources.
Aristotelian cosmology implies the plurality of celestial motion for the process of generation and corruption in the sublunar world. In order to investigate the structure of the cosmos and the degree of dependence of the sublunar on the supralunar region, medieval Latin commentators on Aristotle explored the consequences of the cessation of celestial motion. This paper analyses the position of some philosophers of the fourteenth-century Parisian school, namely Nicole Oresme, John Buridan and Albert of Saxony.
The famous Epistola Luciferi, written in late 1351 or early 1352, caused quite a stir in the Avignon of Pope Clement vi, quickly became a medieval best-seller, and thereafter remained topical, being copied and printed down to the present day. Traditionally ascribed to Nicole Oresme or Henry of Langenstein, the letter was attributed to the Cistercian Pierre Ceffons by Damasus Trapp in 1957. Trapp merely took Ceffons’ authorship for granted, however, and in the most thorough study of the Epistola Luciferi and of the entire genre of Devil’s letters, her 1982 PhD dissertation, Helen C. Feng rejected the attribution. Presenting codices and works of Ceffons of which Trapp was unaware, this article argues in favor of Ceffons’ responsibility for the Epistola Luciferi, while offering a new critical edition of the letter, an English translation, and a supplemental list of manuscripts and editions.