Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Pietro Alfonsi: Disciplina Clericalis. Sapienza Orientale E Scuola Delle Novelle

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Pietro Alfonsi: Disciplina Clericalis. Sapienza Orientale E Scuola Delle Novelle

Article excerpt

Pietro Alfonsi: Disciplina clericalis. Sapienza orientale e scuola delle novelle, ed. Cristiano Leone, with a preface by Laura Minervini, Testi e documenti di letteratura e di lingua XXXI (Rome: Salerno Editrice, 2010). xciv + 187 pp. ISBN 978-88-8402-689-7. euro28.00. Petrus Alfonsi, an early twelfth-century Spanish convert from Judaism to Christianity, figures at the centre of the transfer of multicultural learning from the court of Alfonso I, King of Aragon and Navarre, to England. Although so strongly redolent of the mixed Latin, Hellenistic, Semitic, Indo-Persian, and Arabic Hterary culture and learning of Spain, the Disciplina clericalis appears to have originated during the author's prolonged sojourn at the court of Henry I of England (d. 1135). The Disciplina clericalis inaugurated the west European tradition of literary collections of interlinked exemplary narratives, dicta, and similitudes (in particular of animals), providing a model for literary form as well as a quarry for material on which many later writers drew. The work is now known from eighty-five manuscripts. …

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