It has often been held that scholasticism destroyed the literary
theory that was emerging during the twelfth-century Renaissance,
and hence discussion of late medieval literary works has tended to
derive its critical vocabulary from modern, not medieval, theory.
In Medieval Theory of Authorship, now reissued with a new
preface by the author, Alastair Minnis asks, "Is it not better to
search again for a conceptual equipment which is at once
historically valid and theoretically illuminating?"
Minnis has found such writings in the glosses and commentaries on
the authoritative Latin writers studied in schools and universities
between 1100 and 1400. The prologues to these commentaries provide
valuable insight into the medieval theory of authorship. Of special
significance is scriptural exegesis, for medieval scholars found
the Bible the most difficult text to describe appropriately and
Subjects: Language & Literature
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