Work in Ancient and Medieval Thought

Ancient Philosophers, Medieval Monks and Theologians and their Concept of Work, Occupations and Technology


The main object of this study is to find out whether the differences between classical and medieval thinking about work, occupations and technology are so significant that we are justified in speaking of a real break between Antiquity and the Middle Ages in this connection; or whether there is a possible continuity of ideas. From a comparative perspective five themes are being researched to shed light on this ques-tion. In the first two chapters the author looks into the traditional view of negative ideas about work in Antiquity. Chapter three subsequently deals with monks and their attitude towards labour. In chapter four the place of the so-called artes mechanicae in medieval classifications of knowledge is being studied. In chapter five we find an analysis of twelfth-century sermons ad status. These three chapters principally deal with the question whether Christianity brought about a change in attitude towards work.


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