The Metalogicon of John of Salisbury: A Twelfth-Century Defense of the Verbal and Logical Arts of the Trivium

The Metalogicon of John of Salisbury: A Twelfth-Century Defense of the Verbal and Logical Arts of the Trivium

The Metalogicon of John of Salisbury: A Twelfth-Century Defense of the Verbal and Logical Arts of the Trivium

The Metalogicon of John of Salisbury: A Twelfth-Century Defense of the Verbal and Logical Arts of the Trivium

Synopsis

"The work has been well done, and it was worth doing. For the Metalogicon, revealing at all points the individuality of its distinguished author, is probably the best extant exposition and defence of the medieval educational system based upon the Trivium and the Quadrivium. It is fitting, therefore, that it should now be available in its entirety to readers only of English." Times (London) Literary Supplement

Excerpt

Horace admonishes us to wait nine years before publishing the product of our pen:

. . . If ever you write anything,
. . . Keep it to yourself for nine years,
For what has never been divulged can be destroyed,
But once published, it is beyond recall
.

The somewhat dure prescription of the author of the Ars Poetica has been more than fulfilled in the present work, begun in 1937, completed in its original form in 1940, and now submitted to publication. During the interim, since 1940, in imitation of many a mediaeval craftsman, the writer has returned to labor on his opus whenever indulgent fate has allowed. Additional sources have been consulted and old references more thoroughly studied, the advice of competent specialists has been solicited, and several revisions have been effected in the interests of accuracy and clarity.

At length the work is dispatched with fond farewell. Admittedly imperfect, as any translation, especially of this sort, must be, it begs the reader's indulgence. The confession of shortcomings that John of Salisbury quotes from Martial, may well be echoed here, with the same realistic remark that: "Otherwise, oh Avitus, there would be no book."

In accomplishing the present project, the writer has incurred a vast indebtedness. Professor David K. Bjork of the University of California, Los Angeles, his master in mediaevalia and sage mentor, has consistently encouraged and guided oft faltering footsteps o'er the arduous ways of scholarship. Professor Emeritus Ernest Carroll Moore, former Provost of the same University, who originally suggested this particular endeavor, has ever remained its staunch and efficacious supporter. Without his generous coöperation and that of . . .

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