Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Medieval Grammar and Rhetoric: Language Arts and Literary Theory, AD 300-1475

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Medieval Grammar and Rhetoric: Language Arts and Literary Theory, AD 300-1475

Article excerpt

Medieval Grammar and Rhetoric: Language Arts and Literary Theory, ad 300-1475, ed. Rita Copeland and Ineke Sluiter (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). xii + 972 pp. ISBN 978- 0-19-8 18341-9. £95.00. Rita Copeland and Ineke Sluiter have produced a very welcome coUection of translations of forty-nine texts aiming to 'make newly visible to its readers, as comprehensively as possible, the long roots of medieval literary culture and rhetoric' (p. v). The selected materials are organized into six parts, foUowing principles that are diachronic and composite in Une with the twin aims of presenting foundational texts in each period and then 'texts that exempUfy the impact of newer discipUnary approaches' (p. 2). Part I, 'Arts of language, 300-950', includes selections from fourteen seminal works such as Donatus' Ars minor, Martianus CapeUa's De nupHis Philologiae et Mercurii; parts of Boethius' De topids differentiis, Isidore's Etymologiae, and Bede's De arte metrica. Part II, 'Dossiers on the ablative absolute and etymology', compiles shorter references from numerous sources from the third to the fourteenth centuries charting developments in understanding of the former 'tool' and latter 'task' of the medieval grammarian. Part III, 'Sciences and curricula of language in the twelfth century, provides ten textual samples ranging from the eleventh-century Glosule and WilUam of Conches's twelfth-century commentary on Priscian's InsHtuHones to Alexander Neckham's Ust of foundational textbooks for students of the liberal arts as given in his Sacerdos ad altare (12 10). …

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