Limits to learning : the transfer of encyclopaedic knowledge in the early Middle Ages
- edited by Concetta Giliberto and Loredana Teresi.
- Leuven : Peeters, 2013.
Where to find it
In the history of early medieval culture in Western Europe, limits and boundaries define the intellectual landscape. These landmarks range from manuscript contexts to 'genres', from authorial shortcomings to the paucity of books and means, from moral or doctrinal constraints to self-imposed limitations for didactic purposes, and from the origin of the world (Genesis) to its conclusion (Doomsday) - the temporal limits of the Christian narratio of human history. Sometimes these confines were perceived as being too narrow, inviting extension and transgression. At other times, they were seen as necessary and functional, especially for didactic or pedagogical reasons. Boundaries, in short, constitute frameworks which help us understand the significance or role of a given text in a given context. The essays here gathered focus on the production, adaptation and recontextualisation of letters, words, texts or clusters of texts in the context of the early medieval intellectual tradition. Hailing from either the vernacular or the classical tradition, such wholesome learning was often modified to create new systems of scholarship, for new purposes, in new cultural milieux. Subject to the perimeters of these cultural environments, this reinterpretation of scholarship often served to reduce tensions between different conceptual frameworks, such as between secular learning and religious orthodoxy, between pagan vestiges and Christian belief, or, simply, between two different didactic approaches. The articles in this volume were first presented at the third workshop of the 'Storehouses of Wholesome Learning' project (Leeuwarden, 2007). Once put together, like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the articles - whether devoted to such writers as Bede, Alcuin and 'lfric, or to, for example, the anonymous De diebus malis - provide an overall picture. The 'limits to learning' are often overcome, but there is a keen awareness of the difficulties faced by a medieval author who had to cope with languages such as Greek and Latin, and deal with works such as the Bible or the De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii. As witnesses to the circulation of these texts, manuscripts also set their physical boundaries. It is within a codex or even within a single folio that an image, an alphabet series, a colophon, a comment or a text lived and is given new life. A renewed awareness of the spatial collocation of the works under examination in this volume has allowed its contributors to look beyond the limits of the past.
Limits of learning : an introduction / Concetta Giliberto and Loredana Teresi -- The limits of Bede's learning in his sources, purpose, and transmission / George Hardin Brown -- Aelfric on the planets in the Interrogationes Sigewulfi in Genesin / Filippa Alcamesi -- The dynamics of the image of love : the ancient god of love in a Christian encyclopaedic setting / Esther Mulders -- Seduced by pagan poets and philosophers : suspicious learning in the early Middle Ages / Mariken Teeuwen -- Alphabets in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts / Kees Dekker -- Some curious interpretations of letter names in seven Greek alphabets : stretching the bounds of a tradition / Alan Griffiths -- Aelfric and the authorship of the Old English De diebus malis / László Sándor Chardonnens -- Aelfric's downsized version of Alcuin's Quaestiones in Genesim : enough is enough / Rolf H. Bremmer Jr. -- Rare words in the Old English Heptateuch / Richard Marsden -- The poem "Nauta rudis..." in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts : more than a colophon / Patrizia Lendinara -- Where do they belong? : typology and meaning of the signs of the last judgement in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts / Concetta Giliberto -- Books and learning in the prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England database / Francesca Tinti.
This item is about
- Mediaevalia Groningana ; new ser., v. 19
- Leuven : Peeters, 2013.
- Proceedings from the third workshop of the project, Storehouses of Wholesome Learning, held in Leeuwarden in June-July 2007.
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
- xvii, 291 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
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