Medieval Reading: Grammar, Rhetoric and the Classical Text

Overview

This book argues for a radically new approach to the history of reading and literacy in the Middle Ages. It investigates the use of complex literary texts as the basis of elementary instruction in the Latin language and, using medieval teachers' notes (glosses) on a classical text (Horace's Satires) and a selection of other unpublished manuscript materials, it demonstrates that the reading of classical literature was profoundly shaped by the demands of acquiring Latin literacy through the arts of grammar and ...
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Overview

This book argues for a radically new approach to the history of reading and literacy in the Middle Ages. It investigates the use of complex literary texts as the basis of elementary instruction in the Latin language and, using medieval teachers' notes (glosses) on a classical text (Horace's Satires) and a selection of other unpublished manuscript materials, it demonstrates that the reading of classical literature was profoundly shaped by the demands of acquiring Latin literacy through the arts of grammar and rhetoric. The resolutely literal readings of Latin texts found in these educational and institutional contexts call for a reassessment of the relationship of Latin and vernacular discourses in medieval culture, and of some central notions in medieval hermeneutics, notably allegory and authorial intention.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
1 Introduction 1
2 Learning to read: the classics and the curriculum 7
3 Reading and the trivium arts 17
4 Origins and mythologies: the invention of language and meaning 45
5 Reading word by word 1: the role of the vernacular 61
6 Reading word by word 2: grammatical and rhetorical approaches 73
7 From words to the phrase: the problem of syntax 88
8 Government: the theory and practice of a grammatical concept 97
9 Rival orders of syntax: vernacular, natural and artificial 110
10 From the phrase to the text: grammatical and rhetorical approaches again 121
11 Naked intention: satire and a new kind of literal reading 135
12 Literacy: a new model for the classical text in the Middle Ages? 150
Notes 155
Select bibliography 207
General index 230
Index of manuscripts 234
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