Session grouped by John Dillon (7/10/03):
Abstract Paper -a:
This paper attempts to answer the question of why a highly mannered prose style arose in Medieval Latin, and how an audience of readers could come to consider it a good form of expression. It was not a matter of the influence of authors like Sidonius Apollinaris, but rather the remaking of Latin prose that started in the high Carolingian period under the influence of insular scholars working in an official capacity. (Here I acknowledge the influence of Roger Wright.) For where Latin was learned as a written second language, we can see the rise of a totally literary phenomenon like the extreme mannerism of Rather of Verona. Authors discussed include Aldhelm, Alcuin and Goscelin.
Abstract Paper -b:
I argue that the accessus ad auctores, the introductory schema that medieval commentators used in their introductions to the texts of others, underlies the preface of Peter Abelard’s Collationes or Dialogue between a Philosopher, a Jew, and a Christian. I examine the consequences of Abelard’s use of this schema for a text of his own and conclude that the schema provides the characters with textual rather than human qualities. I also discuss how the underlying accessus structure increases the authority of the text and its author, and, paradoxically, of reasoning itself.
Abstract Paper -c:
The late twelfth and thirteenth century collections of distinctiones have been described as providing the various literal, figurative and symbolic meanings of words that are found in Scripture, illustrating each meaning with a scriptural passage. In my paper I propose to make a brief survey of how various authors of these distinction collections handled the explanation of the interpretation of the four senses of the Scripture. I will concentrate on the first sense, the historical or literal meaning, upon which the interpretation of the rest of the senses is built. In this context I will rectify some of the erroneous readings which result from scribal interference, and which modern scholars continue to face when dealing with the available printed sources of distinction collections. The main focus of this paper will be the collection Quot modis by Alan of Lille, though I will also make some use of other collections: Alphabetum in artem sermocinandi by Peter of Capua, Summa Abel by Peter the Chanter, Angelus by Warner of Rochefort, Distinctiones fratriis Mauricii by Maurice of Provins, the Distinctiones of Radulf de Longo Campo, Nicholas Gorran, and the Distinctiones Monastice. This paper will be based on study of original manuscripts augmented with readings from the few printed versions.