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Abstract

At the end of the fifteenth century, the Castilian-Aragonian Eli Habilio wrote what is now the only extant, complete, and original Hebrew commentary on the entire Metaphysics of Aristotle. This commentary is short, about 15 folio pages long, and consists almost entirely of quotations from Averroes’ Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics in the early fourteenth-century translation of Qalonimos ben Qalonimos. Yet Habilio elsewhere expresses only disdain for Averroes and hopes that Jews will turn away from Averroes to read Scotus’ metaphysical works instead. The author’s claim is that Habilio’s Commentary is intended to supplement his translation of Antonius Andreas’ questions on the Metaphysics and provide a Hebrew summary of the most read Hebrew version of the Metaphysics (viz., Averroes’ Middle Commentary) that would choose its words in such a way as not to contradict Scotus and in some cases even to encourage its readers to seek out a Scotist approach.

In: Vivarium

Abstract

In recent decades the publication of additional documentary sources and doctrinal and prosopographical studies for the University of Paris in the 1330s has radically expanded our information about theologians in what was once an obscure decade. Using a variety of evidence, this article outlines what we now know about bachelors of the Sentences active at Paris in the 1330s, part of what the author once called “the dormition of Paris.”

In: Vivarium
A Companion to William of Saint-Thierry provides eight new studies on this noted twelfth-century Cistercian writer by some of the most prolific English-language William scholars from North America and Europe and is structured around William’s life, thought, and influence.
A Benedictine abbot who became a Cistercian monk, William of Saint-Thierry (c. 1085-1148) lived through the first half of the twelfth century, a time of significant reform within western Christian monasticism. Although William was directly involved in these reforming efforts while at the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Thierry, his lasting legacy in Christian tradition comes through his written works, many as a Cistercian monk, that showcase his keen intellect, creative thinking, and at times profound insight for spiritual life and its fulfilment.

Contributors: David N. Bell, Thomas X. Davis, E. Rozanne Elder, Brian Patrick McGuire, Glenn E. Myers, Nathaniel Peters, Aage Rydstrøm-Poulsen, and F. Tyler Sergent.
Historiographic Debates about Samuel Cometopoulos and His State (10th-11th Century)
This book is a revisionist account of Samuel’s State and the legendary struggle between Samuel Cometopoulos and Basil II (10th-11th century). It goes beyond the standard approach to the study of state formation, presenting an entirely new analytical framework which interrogates how contemporaries in the Balkans at different times, ranging from the Byzantine and Balkan elites of the medieval centuries to later voices in the early modern and modern periods, have represented Samuel’s polity in the service of their own political agendas and territorial aspirations towards Macedonia. The wide-ranging relationship between culture, identity and power are addressed, making use not just of Balkan literary and artistic traditions but on writings from across the Slavic world and western political and intellectual contexts. Demonstrating the conflicted legacy of the Samuel’s State in the Balkans, Mitko B. Panov questions established scholarly opinion and offers new interpretations that reconsider its place in Byzantine and Balkan history and imagination.
The Medieval Rhetors and Their Art 400–1300, with Manuscript Survey to 1500 CE
Classical Rhetoric in the Middle Ages: The Medieval Rhetors and Their Art 400-1300, with Manuscript Survey to 1500 CE is a completely updated version of John Ward’s much-used doctoral thesis of 1972, and is the definitive treatment of this fundamental aspect of medieval and rhetorical culture. It is commonly believed that medieval writers were interested only in Christian truth, not in Graeco-Roman methods of ‘persuasion’ to whatever viewpoint the speaker / writer wanted. Dr Ward, however, investigates the content of well over one thousand medieval manuscripts and shows that medieval writers were fully conscious of and much dependent upon Graeco-Roman rhetorical methods of persuasion. The volume then demonstrates why and to what purpose this use of classical rhetoric took place.
In Cristoforo Landino: His Works and Thought Bruce McNair examines the writings, lectures and orations of Landino (1424-98), Renaissance Florence’s famous teacher of poetry and rhetoric. McNair studies Landino’s lecture notes, public orations, poetry, philosophical works and most popular commentaries to show how Landino’s allegorical interpretations of Virgil and Dante grew in complexity as he studied philosophy and theology and how he understood Dante’s Commedia as completing and surpassing Virgil’s Aeneid. McNair also shows how Landino draws upon a wide range of thinkers such as Aristotle, Plato, Aquinas, Ficino, Argyropoulos and Bessarion, and how he incorporates his increasing knowledge of Plato into a scholastic framework and is better considered as a Dantean than a Neoplatonist.
In The Grey Falcon, Hamza Malik offers an account of the life and teaching of the twelfth century scholar and Sufi of Baghdad, and eponym of the Qadiri order, Shaykh ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī (1077-1166). The question of whether Jīlānī was a Sufi, or simply a scholar appropriated by later Sufis as has been sometimes suggested, is tackled through an analysis of his three most popular works, the Ghunya li Ṭālibī Ṭarīq al-Ḥaqq, the Futūḥ al-Ghayb, and the Fatḥ al-Rabbānī. Malik identifies and presents Jīlānī’s Sufi thought and theological stance, and furthermore attempts to paint a picture of the character and personality of Jīlānī, as might be ascertained solely from the works analysed.
Political and Sociocultural Dynamics in Latin-Byzantine Constantinople
In The Horoscope of Emperor Baldwin II Filip Van Tricht presents a microstudy of political, social and cultural life in Latin-Byzantine Constantinople and Romania. A ‘new’ set of sources is used to question the traditionally negative view of the Byzantine capital under Latin rule. Combined with an analysis of other underused historical materials, mid-13th century Latin-Byzantine Constantinople is redefined as a city that—in spite of the Western conquest during the Fourth Crusade—remained dynamic, with vibrant internal and international politics, and with interesting developments in the social, religious, artistic, and scientific spheres. Against the background of a shared Roman past the metropolis on the Bosporus became a fascinating laboratory of Latin-Byzantine interaction.

Abstract

Thirteenth-century views on consequences have not yet received much attention. Authors of this period deserve closer scrutiny, because of their profound interest in the nature of consequence. The fundamental feature of a consequence was captured in the claim that its antecedent is the cause of its consequent. At the same time authors systematically discussed consequences in terms of truth-preservation. This paper considers the requirements of syllogistic argument and consequences in general, including the role of ‘cause’ in the identification of syllogisms proper, looks at different descriptions of consequence, moves on to discussions of the syncategorema ‘si’ – in syncategoremata treatises by Peter of Spain, Henry of Ghent, Nicholas of Paris and William of Sherwood, as well as some sophismata tracts – and explores what thirteenth-century authors make of the truth-functional characterisation of consequence, showing how it clashes with the authors’ insistence on a causal connection between antecedent and consequent.

In: Vivarium