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Editing Robert Grosseteste

Editing Robert Grosseteste

Evelyn A. Mackie
Joseph Goering
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    Editing Robert Grosseteste
    Book Description:

    Thirteenth-century theologian, philosopher, and church leader, Robert Grosseteste was one of the most learned men and respected scholars of his time. Elected as the Bishop of Lincoln in 1235, a post he held until his death in 1253, Grosseteste was something of a polymath, exploring subjects ranging from the natural sciences (physics, cosmography, etc.) to pastoral care and speculative theology. More than 1000 medieval manuscripts of his works are scattered in libraries throughout Europe, and as a result there are immense challenges faced by editors who wish to provide modern critical editions of his works.

    This collection of essays, in the series on Editorial Problems, offers historical and contextual discussions of several of Grosseteste's works, including theSuper Psalterium,Le Chateau d'amour, and Grosseteste's translation of the pseudo-DionysianEcclesiastical Hierarchy, among others. In addressing specific aspects of the editorial process - questions of authenticity, chronology, textual transmission, editorial practice, and contemporary sources and influences - the contributors provide new insight into Grosseteste's work through the use of both traditional and cross-disciplinary approaches.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7427-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction: Editing Robert Grosseteste
    (pp. xi-2)

    Among the great editorial projects of medieval texts in the past century, one of the most demanding, and most intriguing, has been the edition of the works of Robert Grosseteste (†1253). The difficulty and the intrigue lie partly in the nature of the writer and the breadth of his interests and expertise. As Sir Richard Southern has said of Grosseteste: ʹNo other individual embraced so powerfully, or with such independent power, the whole range of contemporary learning, passing successively from music and medicine, to astronomy and cosmology, to the study of ... Aristotle, to the Latin and Greek Fathers, and...

  6. 1 Robert Grosseteste: The Man and His Legacy
    (pp. 3-30)

    Would not each scholar who has some acquaintance with Robert Grosseteste, the Chancellor and Bishop, be inclined to evaluate his significance in a rather particular way? While acknowledging the existence of common ground, is it likely that, say, Ezio Franceschini, Samuel Harrison Thomson, Alasdair Crombie, Servus Gieben, Richard Dales, Leonard Boyle, and R.W. Southern (supposing we could put them all together) would be able to agree on where exactly the significance of Robert Grosseteste is to be found? Or, if we could roll back the intervening centuries, would Matthew Paris, Roger Bacon, and Thomas of Eccleston be able to reach...

  7. 2 The Super Psalterium in Context
    (pp. 31-60)

    For the last half-century, students of the life and works of Robert Grossesteste have employed the descriptor ʹscholar and bishopʹ as a means of summarising this English thinkerʹs long and remarkable life.¹ It has also guided modern readers through the large corpus of writings that Grosseteste penned. Grosseteste was a scholar of the natural world, who wrote treatises on cosmology, meteorology, and optics – to name but three major fields of his research.² He was also a philosophical scholar who committed to vellum his reflections on Aristotelian logic, mathematical theory, metaphysics, and philosophical psychology.³ His accomplishments as bishop were equally...

  8. 3 Scribal Intervention and the Question of Audience: Editing Le Château dʹamour
    (pp. 61-78)

    Robert Grosseteste is widely known for his theological and scientific writings in Latin, but he is also credited with a handful of vernacular works. Harrison Thomson, inThe Writings of Robert Grosseteste, lists eight Anglo-Norman texts attributed to the bishop.² Not all of the ʹtextsʹ listed by Thomson are independent works. They can be divided into two categories: three are brief passages or vernacular phrasings embedded in Latin works or accompanying them (and arguably therefore not texts at all), and five are longer works which circulated independently and primarily, it seems, outside the latinate community. The shorter pieces are all...

  9. 4 Robert Grosseteste and the Corpus Dionysiacum: Accessing Spiritual Realities through the Word
    (pp. 79-102)

    Robert Grossetesteʹs engagement with the texts of Dionysius the Areopagite constitutes at once one of the most significant dimensions of his intellectual life and, for the modern interpreter, one of the most challenging to effectively explicate. A testament to the character of Grossetesteʹs intellectual and spiritual inclinations, which are observable as predominantly comprehensive and inclusive, his work with the Dionysian corpus reveals his deepest convictions concerning the sacred dimension of human nature and the visible cosmos, and the right relationship of creatures to the Creator. In form, it reveals the actual nature of Grossetesteʹs approach to inquiry about God evident...

  10. 5 Robert Grossetesteʹs Notes on the Physics
    (pp. 103-134)

    By the end of the twelfth century, the majority of Aristotleʹs writings had been translated into Latin. Twelfth-century thinkers were well acquainted with the works included in the ʹold logic,ʹ which had been available since the days of Boethius, and had written numerous commentaries on them. They had also written some commentaries on the more recently available works included in the ʹnew logic,ʹ but virtually none on thelibri naturales, Aristotleʹs writings on natural philosophy. With a few exceptions, these works began to be the subject of Latin commentaries only in the first half of the thirteenth century.²

    Robert Grosseteste...

  11. 6 Robert Grossetesteʹs Early Cosmology
    (pp. 135-166)

    It is well known that cosmology was one of the main philosophical interests of Robert Grosseteste dating from his early years as a scholar. Although the chronology of his scientific writings is still a matter of debate, it is generally assumed that Grosseteste, before elaborating his original light-cosmology presented in theDe luceand in important theological and philosophical works, wrote someopusculaon astronomical and astrological subjects, and treatises where astronomy played a fundamental role. The aim of this paper is to present some specific philological problems I came across in my edition of three of these works:De...

  12. 7 On Not Editing Grosseteste
    (pp. 167-184)

    According to S. Harrison Thomson, Grosseteste wrote four works on the calendar, each revising the one that went before, in the following order:Computus I,Kalendarium,Compotus correctorius,Compotus minor.¹ My contention is that only one of these, theCompotus correctorius, is indubitably his. Behind theCompotus correctorius, which Grosseteste did write, and theKalendariumattributed to him, which he did not, lies a host of more or less neglected, unpublished material – including the treatise which I have calledCompotus ecdesiasticus, the ʹEcclesiastical Compotus.ʹ² The two other texts attributed to Grosseteste, theCompotus IandCompotus minor, are, in...

  13. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 185-198)
  14. Index of Ancient and Medieval Names and Works
    (pp. 199-202)
  15. Index of Modern Names
    (pp. 203-206)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 207-208)