Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Aneignungen Des Humanismus: Institutionelle Und Individuelle Fraktiken an der Universität Ingolstadt Im 15. Jahrhundert

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Aneignungen Des Humanismus: Institutionelle Und Individuelle Fraktiken an der Universität Ingolstadt Im 15. Jahrhundert

Article excerpt

Aneignungen des Humanismus: Institutionelle und individuelle Fraktiken an der Universität Ingolstadt im 15. Jahrhundert. By Maximilian Schuh. [Education and Society in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Vol. 47.] (Boston: Brill. 2013. Pp. xiv, 286. $140.00. ISBN 978-9-004-23095-8.)

In this careful and nuanced study Maximilian Schuh documents the dissemination and appropriation of humanism within the faculty of arts at the University of Ingolstadt during the last quarter of the fifteenth century. Deliberately eschewing the traditional focus on Conrad Celtis, the so-called German arch-humanist, Schuh instead looks to the individual university teachers and students who appropriated elements of the humanist agenda without fully abandoning established medieval texts and approaches. Thus, Schuh argues, despite the rhetoric of Conrad Celtis and his circle, the most consequential appropriations of humanistic ideas occurred, not within narrow humanist sodalities, but within the framework of the faculty of arts.

Schuh's approach owes much to the influence of Michel de Certeau, whose conception of appropriation (Aneignung) he clearly references in the title of the work. As Schuh demonstrates through painstaking analysis of surviving manuscripts and library catalogs, the ideals and methods developed within the context of Italian humanists' circles were not simply transplanted across the Alps unchanged. Rather, individuals appropriated and employed elements of the humanist agenda in ways that reflected the structures, political context, and economics of Ingolstadt, as well as the desires, aesthetics, and traditions of its students and faculty members. In this way, Schuh grounds his history of humanist ideas in the specificities of time and place. Perhaps most important, Schuh shows that the introduction of humanism was not driven by a narrow elite, but reflected the interests of individuals across the university spectrum, including those on the lowest levels of the academic hierarchy.

Schuh divides his study into five chapters of radically disparate lengths. The first chapter surveys the secondary literature and surviving sources. The second chapter describes the curriculum of the University of Ingolstadt, its institutional structures, and the status of poetry and rhetoric within the institution. …

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