The Art of Words: Bede and Theodulf  book cover
1st Edition

The Art of Words: Bede and Theodulf

ISBN 9781138375284
Published January 3, 2019 by Routledge
352 Pages

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Book Description

Medieval art is wordy; inscriptions and poems, commentaries and chronicles accompany and adorn it. The Art of Words presents a series of detective stories by a renowned explorer of medieval philological evidence who here examines the thought and objects of the Venerable Bede and Theodulf of Orleans. What physical objects did Bede have in mind, for example, when writing about the paintings of his monastic churches? How did he conceive of the division of biblical books into chapters? Why was the famous Libri Carolini made for Charlemagne never published? Indeed what did it mean in the Middle Ages to publish something? Pursuing the story of Bede's calendar shows how Valentine's Day began with a reference to birds. To unravel the meaning of the image of Ezra in the Codex Amiatinus the author then demonstrates the importance of knowing the books that Bede knew and wrote. The final topic is the celebrated Apse mosaic of Germigny-des-Prés, how it was saved from destruction and how Theodulf's words explain what we see. Words matter and, in these studies Paul Meyvaert constantly delights the reader with careful excavations of that place in medieval art and thought where images and words connect and collide.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Bede and the church paintings at Wearmouth-Jarrow; Bede's Capitula Lectionum for the Old and New Testaments; 'In the footsteps of the fathers': the date of Bede's 30 Questions on the Book of Kings to Nothelm; Discovering the calendar (annalis libellus) attached to Bede's own copy of De Temporum Ratione; Bede, Cassiodorus and Codex Amiatinus; The date of Bede's In Ezram and his image of Ezra in the Codex Amiatinus; Dissension in Bede's community shown by a quire of Codex Amiatinus; The meaning of Theodulf's apse mosaic at Germigny-des-Prés (with Ann Freeman); Maximilen Théodore Chrétin and the apse mosaic at Germigny-des-Prés; Théodulfe et Bède au sujet des blessures du Christ (with A. Davril); Medieval notions of publication: the 'unpublished' Opus Caroli Regis Contra Synodum and the Council of Frankfort (794); Indexes.

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Paul Meyvaert was Executive Director of the Medieval Academy of America, and is Associate of the Department of the Classics at Harvard University, USA


’The papers gathered here involve careful linguistic and artistic detective work, presented in an engaging, often personal style, and are well worthy of careful study.’ Journal of Theological Studies