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Medieval Education

Medieval Education

Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 234
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  • Book Info
    Medieval Education
    Book Description:

    This volume offers original studies on the subject of medieval education, not only in the formal academicsense typical of schools and universities but also in a broader cultural sense that includes law, liturgy, and the new religious orders of the high Middle Ages. Its essays explore the transmission of knowledge during the middle ages in various kinds of educational communities, including schools, scriptoria, universities, and workshops.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-4736-3
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    (pp. ix-xviii)
    Ronald Begley and Joseph W. Koterski

    The essays that make up this volume were originally delivered as lectures at the twentieth annual Medieval Studies Conference at Fordham University, held in March 2000, on “Education in the Middle Ages.” Like the conference, this book is dedicated to Father Louis B. Pascoe, S.J., for many years a professor of medieval history (now professor emeritus) at Fordham and long an inspiration to those who work in this field.

    The contributions of Father Pascoe to our understanding of medieval education are well known to generations of students at Fordham. The author of books and articles on Jean Gerson and Pierre...


    • CHAPTER 1 Bishops, Barbarians, and the “Dark Ages”: The Fate of Late Roman Educational Institutions in Late Antique Gaul
      (pp. 3-19)

      During the late Roman period public schools enjoyed imperial patronage resulting to a great degree from a need for educated persons to fill posts in the expanding imperial bureaucracy (MacMullen 1962; Jones 1964; Pedersen 1970; Nellen 1977; Kaster 1988). In 376, for example, the emperor Gratian issued legislation providing for the establishment of grammarians and rhetors “throughout each diocese in the most populated cities” (Codex Theodosianus13.3.11). Gaul was one of the primary beneficiaries of such policies (Haarhoff 1920; van Sickle 1934). In cities that did not enjoy this imperial largess, other public schools operated that were dependent on municipal...

    • CHAPTER 2 Liturgy as Education in the Middle Ages
      (pp. 20-34)

      This volume is devoted to the theme of education in the Middle Ages. Here, for the most part, the termeducationis taken in the modern English sense of the word: education consists of learning things in a school-type setting. The practice of reading and the contents of books are central to what is learned in schools and thus to what is discussed under the topic of education.

      This essay is concerned with a different concept of education, a different kind of learning environment, and a different purpose to the educational endeavor. These pages take the termeducationin its...

    • CHAPTER 3 Revisiting Ancient Practices: Priestly Training before Trent
      (pp. 35-49)

      The Council of Trent is frequently criticized for entrenching the Church in response to Protestant challenges, but even its critics acknowledge that Trent’s creation of seminaries was innovative. Is this conventional wisdom true, however? In his close study of Trent’s plans for clerical education and their immediate influences, James O’Donohoe pointed to a more plausible and medieval answer. The seminary legislation of Trent’s twenty-third session “was fundamentally a return to the ancient practice of grouping candidates for the priesthood around their bishop and having them thus formed morally and intellectually under his supervision” (O’Donohoe 1957, 171). Pursuing this “ancient practice”...

    • CHAPTER 4 Interpreting Medieval Literacy: Learning and Education in Slavia Orthodoxa (Bulgaria) and Byzantium in the Ninth to the Twelfth Centuries
      (pp. 50-67)

      One important way to study the role of learning in medieval society is to focus on the “learning mind,” that is, the person engaged in the process of learning. This essay will use that perspective to examine attitudes toward learning in Bulgaria during the ninth to the twelfth centuries. Usually an educational process is examined through such components of literacy as learning, writing, and reading; scholarship on Western medieval literacy draws on a wealth of extant sources for monastic educational activities of the time—Benedict’s Rule, for instance. But it is more difficult to determine attitudes toward learning in the...

    • CHAPTER 5 Reason, Rhetoric, and Redemption: The Teaching of Law and the Planctus Mariae in the Late Middle Ages
      (pp. 68-80)

      InThe Making of the Middle AgesR. W. Southern contended that, following Anselm’s repudiation of Satanic prerogatives inCur Deus Homo, the issue of the Devil’s rights was universally rejected (1953, 234–37). According to this view, Anselm shifted the focus of thepretium redemptionisfrom ransom owed the Devil to the satisfaction owed God. Satan’s due was nothing other than punishment for his crimes, and therefore there was no need to defeat his claims justly. But recent scholarship, most notably that of C. W. Marx (1995) and Brian Patrick McGuire (1970), has demonstrated that earlier theories of the...


    • CHAPTER 6 Sermons and Preaching in/and the Medieval University
      (pp. 83-98)

      Sermons and preaching¹ had long and well-established ties with medieval schools and universities. There were institutional ties wherein preaching within the university was governed by statute. Ties between town and gown were created by university masters who also preached in the surrounding community. Moreover, there were the essential ties between sermon-making and the study of Scripture. Although masters in the schools did not devote much time in their lectures toinstructionon preaching per se, they were teachers by example and in the composition of a variety of preaching aids that came to be identified with thears praedicandi. Sermons...

    • CHAPTER 7 The Formation of a Thirteenth-Century Ecclesiastical Reformer at the Franciscan Studium in Paris: The Case of Eudes Rigaud
      (pp. 99-120)

      In his 1957 bookLes intellectuels au moyen âge, the medieval historian Jacques Le Goff, then a young man, suggested that the thirteenth-century intellectual was in danger of completely removing himself from the larger medieval society. According to Le Goff, the scholastic’s language—Latin—and his abstract and technical ideas distanced him from the masses of laymen and -women, their problems, and their psychology. “Attached to abstract and eternal truths, the scholastic risked losing contact with history, with what was contingent, moving, and evolving. One of the great risks of the scholastic intellectuals was forming an intellectual technocracy” (Le Goff...


    • CHAPTER 8 Educational Communities in German Convents of the Franciscan and Dominican Provinces before 1350
      (pp. 123-132)

      This essay will treat, first of all, the mendicant orders at the universities of Europe in the thirteenth century and then turn to some specific examples from Germany in the fourteenth (Rüegg 1996; Patschovsky and Rabe 1994; Cobban 1975). Additionally, rather than treating the intellectual history of mendicant learning, I will be focusing primarily on the history of the mendicant movements in medieval society and academic life (Maierù 1994; Hoenen, Schneider, and Wierland 1995). I am looking at the schools not as institutions but as organized groups of individuals who formed, inhabited, and constituted the convents as educational communities. I...

    • CHAPTER 9 Aquinas’s Summa theologiae as Pedagogy
      (pp. 133-142)

      TheSumma theologiaeof Thomas Aquinas suffers from the fact that it is his best-known work. Scholars and students, graduate and undergraduate, usually first learn of Thomas’s doctrine on a subject by reading texts from this masterwork—texts often thought to be Thomas’s “definitive treatment” simply because they are found in theSumma. Readers get little contextualizing information about the book—its pedagogical goals, its intended audience, or its literary genre—because little is deemed necessary. TheSummais, after all, his most translated, most read, most commented-upon work. True, during his twenty-one–year writing career, Thomas wrote all sorts...

    • CHAPTER 10 Education in Dante’s Florence Revisited: Remigio de’ Girolami and the Schools of Santa Maria Novella
      (pp. 143-181)

      Many years ago, in an effort to trace possible schoolroom influences upon the great poet Dante Alighieri, Charles T. Davis examined the schools of Florence as they existed at the turn of the fourteenth century (Davis 1965). Dante himself, in a familiar passage in theConvivio, claimed that there was a period, which scholars place in the 1290s, during which he frequented “the schools of the religious” as well as the “disputations of the philosophers” in Florence.¹ This directed Davis’s attention to the important Franciscan community at Santa Croce and to the Dominicans of Santa Maria Novella. He pointed out...

    • CHAPTER 11 Moral Philosophy and Dominican Education: Bartolomeo da San Concordio’s Compendium moralis philosophiae
      (pp. 182-196)

      TheNicomachean Ethics, Politics, Rhetoric, andEconomicswere among the last of the works either by or purporting to be by Aristotle to be translated into Latin during the Middle Ages. TheEthics, whose first three books were translated from Arabic and achieved some degree of circulation in the latter part of the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, did not circulate in its entirety until Robert Grosseteste translated all ten of its books from the Greek in the late 1240s. ThePoliticsandRhetoricwould have to await the ministrations of William of Moerbeke in the 1260s, while the pseudo-Aristotelian...

  5. Appendix: Publications of Louis B. Pascoe, S.J.
    (pp. 203-204)