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The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages / Edition 1
     

The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages / Edition 1

by Robert Bartlett
 

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ISBN-10: 0521702550

ISBN-13: 9780521702553

Pub. Date: 03/31/2008

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

How did people of the mediaeval period explain physical phenomena, such as eclipses or the distribution of land and water on the globe? What creatures did they think they might encounter: angels, devils, witches, dogheaded people? This fascinating book explores the ways in which mediaeval people categorized the world, concentrating on the division between the natural

Overview

How did people of the mediaeval period explain physical phenomena, such as eclipses or the distribution of land and water on the globe? What creatures did they think they might encounter: angels, devils, witches, dogheaded people? This fascinating book explores the ways in which mediaeval people categorized the world, concentrating on the division between the natural and the supernatural and showing how the idea of the supernatural came to be invented in the Middle Ages. Robert Bartlett examines how theologians and others sought to draw lines between the natural, the miraculous, the marvelous, and the monstrous and the many conceptual problems they encountered as they did so. The final chapter explores the extraordinary thought-world of Roger Bacon as a case study exemplifying these issues. By recovering the mentalities of mediaeval writers and thinkers, the book raises the critical question of how we deal with beliefs we no longer share.

About the Author:
Robert Bartlett is Bishop Wardlaw Professor of Mediaeval History at the University of St. Andrews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521702553
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
03/31/2008
Series:
Wiles Lectures Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
180
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.47(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     vii
Preface     ix
The Boundaries of the Supernatural     1
"The Machine of This World": Ideas of the Physical Universe     35
Dogs and Dog-heads: The Inhabitants of the World     71
"The Secrets of Nature and Art": Roger Bacon's Opus maius     111
Bibliography of Works Cited     149
Index     165

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