Tuesday, March 3, 2009

1200 to 1299: Summa Theologica to Guy of Warwick

Thomas Aquinas. Medieval. 1265/1274. Philosophy. Summa Theologica. “Summary of All Theology.” Uses the methodology of Aristotelian logic. Systematizes and quotes from works of classical and early Christian thinkers. Evidence for the nature of God and the universe, moral philosophy, and the role of Jesus and the Sacraments. Uses logical argument in matters of reason. Uses revelation through scripture and Church pronouncements.

Jean DeMeun. French. 1275. Poem. Romance of the Rose, Part 2. Part Two is a series of satires against friars, superstitions and glorifying women in courtly love.

Anonymous. England? 1275 (?). Latin collection of tales. Gesta Romanorum (Deeds of the Romans). Popular in the Middle Ages. 100 to 200 tales. Episodes assigned to the reign of a Roman emperor. Little real history. “Moral” or application after each tale, but not a religious work. Chaucer and Shakespeare drew on it.

Dante. Italian. 1293. Poetry. The New Life. Autobiographical narrative of his love for Beatrice which inspired this collection of poems. Meets her only twice, but adores her from afar. Dedicates himself to her after her death. Love for a woman is the first step in the soul’s spiritual progression toward divine love.

1300 to 1399.

Anonymous. British. 1300. Romance. Guy of Warwick. Non-Arthurian hero. Adventures. Married. Adventures again. Hermit. beggar. Reveals identity on deathbed.

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