Sie sind hier
Storehouses of Wholesome Learning
"This project will study early medieval miscellanies of scholian texts as integrated productions of scholarly activity with special attention to the reciprocal cohesion between texts and to the relation between texts and book. Hitherto, such miscellanies have not usually been treated integrally. Instead, the nineteenth-century scholars who rediscovered these manuscripts often regarded them either as vessels of separate individual texts, most of them uninteresting, or at best as quarries of vernacular interlinear glosses. As a result of this narrow interest, the function of these collections in the dissemination of scholarship and the distribution of culture in early medieval Europe (manuscripts or their compilers often travelled) have never been studied in a way comparable to later medieval encyclopaedic texts. The rationale of their compilation has remained equally obscure, even though similar collections of religious texts, such as the Collectio Hibernensis, show that compilations were not random, and suggest instead that regional and hermeneutic factors may well have played a role. The scientific importance of this project is that miscellanies of early medieval encyclopaedic and scholian texts will be evaluated along modern interdisciplinary lines, in an integrated way as storehouses of learning which functioned as vehicles of culture in a time when mediterranean minds and methods made a decisive contribution to building the foundations of European culture.
The project will focus on three major aspects:
Foundations of learning: A recontextualisation of the seventh-century Italian mission to England will be attempted within the light of scholars and their books as conveyors of late Classical and early Medieval scholarship and culture. Instigated by the Sicilian-born Pope Gregory I, the mission formed the cultural blood-line along which such texts were transferred to North-Western Europe. The Greek archbishop of Canterbury (669–690), Theodore of Tarsus, and the Latin speaking African Hadrian, Abbot of Canterbury (671–709x10), introduced such genres as the Abecedarium, scholion and glossary to the Anglo-Saxons (see e.g. Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, M. 79 sup.). The Anglo-Saxons, in turn, contributed to the dissemination of such texts in Francia and Germany, through their roles as missionaries and, later, as contributors to the Carolingian Renaissance. Eventually, the genre began to spread from Latin to the vernacular, as withnessed by e.g. British Library, Cotton Tiberius A. iii and Cambridge, Corpus Christi College 391. This continuous process of distribution, collection, redistribution and vernacularisation of texts resulted in variegated collections preserved in manuscripts of which the genre needs to be redefined on the basis of a modern interdisciplinary and dynamic (= nonstatic) approach.
The practice of learning: In the context of the manuscripts found, the nature and contents of such miscellanies will be questioned according to whether they were basic school texts or sophisticated tools for the advanced scholar. A central focus of attention will be the mutual relation and/or exclusion of texts in Latin, the then Lingua Franca, texts in the vernacular, and texts clarified through glosses. Each type played a particular part within the collections, which may have been signified by its linguistic treatment within the book or the genre. Important representative examples of such miscellanies found in the Low Countries are: Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, MSS Vossius Lat. F. 24, Vossius Lat. Q. 69, Vossius Lat. O. 88; Brussels, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, MSS 1828 30, 8654-72; Antwerp, MS Plantin-Moretus 47. These manuscripts will serve as case studies. The conclusions based on the study of these manuscripts can then function as guiding directives for further research.
The limits of learning: A fundamental aim of our research will be to trace the development through time and place of this genre of books, and thence to map the evolution of this scholarly and cultural repertory through the early Middle Ages (ca. 500-1200). The assessment of the rationale behind the compilation of these miscellanies, of the hermeneutical principles behind their compilation and interpretation, as well as of any diachronic developments and synchronic differences, requires first of all a revaluation of the role of the scribe/scholar in the ultimate selection of abecedaria, encyclopedic texts (such as Isidore’s Etymologiae), glossaries, scholia, epigrams, biblical realia, liturgical directions, etc. In addition, the influence of the centres of learning in which such scribes were working - their establishment, flourishing and decline - are of crucial importance to our understanding of the scholarly output and its appreciation during the period. Monastic politics and theological and philosophical preferences, together with an ever-changing political landscape, form an essential background to a proper understanding of the nature of these encyclopaedic miscellanies.
The fruits of learning: The presence of encyclopaedic miscellanies and miscellaneous encyclopaedic texts in centres of learning throughout the early Middle Ages is testament to a cross-pollenation between such miscellaneous materials and the larger works from which glosses, scholia, notes and extracts, epigrams, etc. were derived or on which they were based. On the one hand, major texts (e.g. the works of Augustine, Gregory the Great, Isidore, Bede, Aldhelm, Hrabanus Maurus) were glossed and excerpted or served as quarries for the building blocks of miscellanies. At the same time such encyclopaedic knowledge was learned and appreciated in centres of intellectual activity and must have informed the output of scribes and scholars. The fruits of their learning are visible in the scholarly prose, didactic verse that they produced, both in Latin and in the vernacular, as well as in the manuscripts intended for instruction and codification of knowledge, both in compilation and in illustration. Different ages and different centres of learning produced a variety of scholarly works that incorporated the intellectual processing of such information. Our workshop this time aims to delineate and contextualise the appreciation of encyclopaedic knowledge in the early medieval world of learning.
Prof. dr Rolf H. Bremmer (Leiden), Anglo-Saxonist, Old Germanic Studies, Medievalist
Dr. Kees Dekker (Groningen), Anglo-Saxonist, Old Germanic Studies, Medievalist
Dr. Karin E. Olsen (Groningen), Anglo-Saxonist, Old Germanic Studies, Medievalist
Dr. Sandor Chardonnens (Nijmegen), Anglo-Saxonist, Medievalist
Dr. Mariken Teeuwen (Constantijn Huygens Instituut, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Den Haag, Utrecht), Medievalist, Latinist
Alan Griffiths Ma (Leiden), Anglo-Saxonist, Medievalist
Prof. Patrizia Lendinara (Palermo), Professore Ordinario di Filologia Germanica
Prof. Loredana Lazzari (Rome, L.U.M.S.A), Professore Ordinario di Filologia Germanica
Prof. Concetta Giliberto (Palermo), Old Germanic Studies, Latin/Old High German
Prof. Carmela Rizzo (Palermo), Professore associato di Filologia Germanica
Prof. Loredana Teresi (Palermo), Professore associato di Filologia Germanica
Prof. Claudia di Sciacca (Udine), Professore associato di Filologia Germanica
Dr. Filippa Alcamesi (Palermo)"