Peter Godman
ifk Visiting Fellow

Zeitraum des Fellowships:
15. September 1997 bis 01. April 1998

Humanism in the High Middle Ages and in the Renaissance


The concept of an integrated culture, known to thGreeks as enkyklios paideia and termed concordantia artium in the Latin Middle Ages and Renaissance, was considered in this conference. With the participation of two classicistics, Heinz Hofmann (Tübingen) and Glenn Most (Heidelberg), who played an active role as discussants, attention was focussed on the distinction between enkyklios paideia and encyclopaedism, on the tension between the attempts to assert or maintain the unity of learning and the tendency to specialism and on the composition of the (chiefly clerical) elites by and for which this ideal was produced.

With frequent reference to antiquity, in particular to the lnstitutio Oratoria of Quintillian, the conference began in the twelfth century. John of Salisbury's concept of enkyklios paideia, directed against the educational program of Hugh of Saint-Victor, found its focus in a cultural hero whom its author never knew, Bernard of Chartres. Aimed at a new type of intellectual outside the schools, John's emphasis on the study of language and Iiterature as the central element in an integrated structure of knowledge, discussed by Peter Godman, was set in the context of twelfth-century theories of dialectic and logic, from Abelard to William of Conches and Thierry of Chartres, by Frank BeznerDag Hasse examined the attempt to accommodate the new discipline of psychology within the older hierarchies of learning, with special reference to the Oe anima of Avicenna. Georg Wieland offered a penetrating analysis of the concept of the unity of knowledge in thirteenth century philosophy, complemented by a tripartite account, headed by Roberto Antonelli, of the role of this idea in the work of Dante.

Florentine humanism's emancipation from the traditional encyclopaedism of the schools was considered afresh by Riccardo Fubini, while unknown or unfamiliar Spanish writers on this subject before Raimund Lull were unearthed and described by Jose Martfnez Gazquez. Konrad Vollmann offered a new account of Enea Silvio Piccolomini's (primarily literary) encyclopaedism, and Wilhelm Schmidt-Biggemann ended with reflections on the role of topical thought and historical experiences. The final discussion suggested further lines of approach to this subject which will be developed in other meetings.


Professor für Mittel- und Neulateinische Philologie an der Universität Tübingen


u.a.: Poets and Emperors. Frankish Politics and Carolingian Poetry (Oxford 1987); Latin Literature and the Classics, 400-1700, ed. with 0 . Murray (Oxford!Warburg, 1990); From Poliziano to Machiavelli. Florentine Humanism in the High Renaissance (Princeton, erscheint 1997).