Medieval Reading: Grammar, Rhetoric and the Classical Text

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This book investigates how people learned to read in the Middle Ages. It uses glosses—medieval teachers' notes—on classical Latin texts to show how these complex works were used in a very basic and literal way in the classroom, and argues that this has profound implications for our understanding of medieval literacy and hermeneutics. Suzanne Reynolds discusses issues including the relationship of Latin and vernacular languages, the role of classical texts in medieval culture, ideas of allegory in the Middle Ages, and medieval literary theory.

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Editorial Reviews

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"Linguists will find much of value in [Reynolds's] close examination of these grammatical practices, while literary historians will at least find new support for some established ideas in this book's final chapters." Robert S. Sturges, Arthuriana

"Medieval Reading is a treasure of a book. It is so well executed, in every regard..." Ralph Hexter, Modern Philology

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; Part I. Contents for reading: 2. Learning to read: the classics and the curriculum; 3. Reading and the trivium arts; Part II. Reading Practice: 4. Origins and mythologies: the invention of language and meaning; 5. Reading word by word (1): the role of the vernacular; 6. Reading word by word (2): grammatical and rhetorical approaches; 7. From words to the phrase: the problem of syntax; 8. Government: the theory and practice of a grammatical concept; 9. Rival orders of syntax: vernacular, natural and artificial; 10. From the phrase to the text: grammatical and rhetorical approaches again; 11. Naked intention: satire and a new kind of literal reading; 12. Literacy: a new model for the classical text in the middle ages?; Bibliography.

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