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A. Luhtala
The Art of Grammar in the Middle Ages

approx. 160 p., 156 x 234 mm
ISBN: 978-2-503-55245-3
Languages: English, Latin
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The medieval art of grammar and its subgenres.

In the Middle Ages, grammar formed an established part of a broad educational scheme, the Liberal Arts. Defined as their foundation, grammar was a gateway to literary culture, both secular and religious. Grammatical treatises taught how to use the Latin language correctly and additionally provided technical tools for interpreting literature. Medieval grammarians inherited from Antiquity a large number of textbooks, of which the works of Donatus and Priscian became authoritative. Donatus’ Ars minor provided the model for teaching the basic language skills at the secondary level, while Priscian’s Institutiones grammaticae established itself as the principal object of commentary at a more advanced level. All levels of teaching underwent a heavy influence of logic in the Middle Ages.

The two principal genres within which medieval teachers developed their ideas on language were the ars grammatica and commentary. However, specimens of other ancient approaches to language teaching also enjoyed a continuous popularity. They include regulae (’rules’, ’patterns’), and parsing grammars. Some new medieval forms of grammar writing also arose, such as verse grammars, lexicographical treatises, and quaestiones. By describing the evolution of all the subgenres of medieval grammar writing, this book aims at creating a balanced picture of grammar teaching in medieval Europe.

Anneli Luhtala is University Lecturer in the Department of World Cultures at the University of Helsinki. Her interests include ancient and medieval pedagogical grammar, syntactical theory and philosophy of language. She has published two monographs on ancient language theories as well as a large number of articles on various aspects of medieval grammatical tradition. Her work on the reception of Priscian's Institutiones grammaticae in the Carolingian Renaissance brought forth a new continuous Priscian commentary from the ninth century (1992), whose attirbution to Iohannes Scottus Eriugena has been widely accepted. She has published a partial edition of this commentary as well as a large of ninth century glosses to Priscian's Institutiones grammaticae (2000). More recently, her research interests have focussed on late medieval and Humanist grammar. 
Table of Contents

I. Bibliography

II. Definition of the Genre
2.         Introduction
2.1.      Authoritative Texts
2.2.      Some Salient Features of Grammatical Treatises

III. Evolution of the Genre
3.          Introduction
3.1.       Ars grammatica
3.1.1     Pedagogical grammar
3.1.1.1. Donatus minor
3.1.1.2. Insular Latin Grammars
3.1.1.3. Italian Elementary Grammars in the Early Middle Ages
3.1.1.4. Pedagogical Grammar in the High and Late Middle Ages in Northern Europe
3.1.1.5. Pedagogical Grammar in the High and Late Middle Ages in Italy
3.2.       Verse Grammar
3.3.        Donatus maior and Barbarismus
3.4.        Commentaries
3.4.1.     Donatus Commentaries
3.4.2.     Early Medieval Commentaries on Priscian’s Institutiones grammaticae
3.5.        Parsing Grammar
3.6.        Regulae -type of Grammar
3.7.        Excerpta and Florilegia
3.8.        Summa
3.9.        Quaestiones
3.10.      Lexicography
3.11.      Speculative grammar of the Modistae

IV. Critical Evaluation of the Art of Grammar
4.1.        The Author
4.2.        Manuscript tradition
4.3.        Editions
4.4.        Grammar’s relationships with other branches of learning
4.5.        Pedagogy and educational forms

V. Influence of the Art of Grammar

 

Interest Classification:
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)

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