Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Michael W Dunne
TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE — TRANSFER OF IDEAS — TRANSFER OF EXPERIENCES LATIN TRANSLATIONS OF GREEK TEXTS FROM THE 11TH TO THE 13TH CENTURY
Influence of Translations on Medieval Education/Knowledge Hubs: The Case of the Parva Naturalia
University of Münster
Oral Presentation
2021
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0
Optional Fields
10-JUN-21
11-JUN-21
The world of higher learning in the first decades of the thirteenth century is marked above all by the arrival and reception of translations into Latin of works of Aristotle on psychology and natural philosophy. At the beginning of the universities (and not without some controversy) there is an attempt to standardize the requirement in the arts faculties for the masters to read the central works of Aristotle. There are also the condemnations throughout the century and some hesitancies along the route of accepting these works into the curriculum. In some places, such as southern Italy the welcome offered to these translations, and the commentaries accompanying them, is more open than elsewhere both at the university and at the courts of princes. Again, it seems that Oxford retains a special interest in natural philosophy. In order to unfold the story of this reception, I will focus on the small treatises of psychology and natural philosophy, known as the Parva Naturalia. These short texts, which became part of the university course in philosophy, but which have been largely passed over by scholars in favor of the commentaries of the masters on the larger works of Aristotle, such as the De anima, Physica, De generatione etc., reveal a unique snapshot across the decades as to the problems faced by translators and commentators as they sought to understand the mind of the Stagirite. However, the commentaries also offer the possibility of a closer understanding of the various stages of the reception of the translations.