Without denying the real importance of the more ’traditional’ tasks of a historian of ideas or scholar of literature - the edition of a text and research into its sources and influence - Professor Flint’s objective has been to look sideways from the texts, so into the society to which their authors belonged. Her conviction is that no text, and so no idea to which it gave flight, can be properly understood unless it is placed firmly within its immediate historical context, including, of course, consideration of the patrons who bore the expense of producing such works. Within this framework, the author’s attention is directed above all at the ’Christian propaganda’ - the messages a pastor strove to impart - of the 11th-12th centuries, and the reactions discernable within these to Judaism and, even more, - evident even in scientific treatises - to the continued vitality of pagan beliefs and superstitions.
Contents: Preface, The School of Laon; The Historia Regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth; Thoughts about the context of some early medieval treatises De natura rerum; Monsters and the Antipodes; The career of Honorius Augustodunensis; Heinricus of Augsburg and Honorius Augustodunensis: the same person?; The chronology of the works of H. A.; The original text of the Elucidarius; The Liber Hermetis Mercurii Triplicis de VI rerum principiis and the Imago Mundi of H. A.; The Elucidarius and the reform in late 11th-century England; The commentaries of H. A. on the Song of Songs; The place and the purpose of the works of H. A.; World history in the early 12th century; Anti-Jewish literature and attitudes in the 12th century; Addendum; Indexes.
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