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Rotariu Alexandru Daniel

Discussion Group I

Literature and Science: Middle Ages


Pamela Gossin, Encyclopedia of Literature and Science

The period from A.D. 500 to 1400. Medieval science and philosophy viewed nature as the universe created by God. Human beings has an assigned place in nature- a divine order In order to express moral order (to theorise it) the poetic mode was developed, based on allegory/ metaphor The moral level of meaning interprets heterogeneous natural phenomena Alan de Lille's Complaint of Nature : faults human pervesity in two areas: language and sexuality. Alan de Lille offers a clearer illustration of allegory in the poetic mode in his Anticlaudianus: the cart and the seven liberal arts. In the poetic mode, literature, philosophy, and science are not treated separately but in a special kind of medieval writing called "fabulous narrative." Aristotelian cosmology: o Earth was a sphere sitting in a much larger also spherical universe. o Earth in the center of the Universe o From Earth to the Moon was the sublunary realm: things were perpetual; prime matterwas thought to be inert and to possess no properties. But had four qualities that made it sensible: hot, cold, dry, and moist. o beyond the sphere of the Moon: changeless realm. Aristotles doctrine of natural place: the world below the moon was structured into four concentric regions or proper places. Moving from the moon downward we have fire, air, water, and finally earth Dante: Aristotelian version of Christian universe; God as the prime mover Chauser: natural vs. judicial astronomy o Natural astronomy: the influence of planets on weather; o Judicial astronomy: influence of planets on human destiny. Mars as Infortuna Minor, Saturn as Infortuna Major