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Introduction The Writing Of Prosimetrum In The Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

While prosimetrum, text that includes both verse and prose, was not unknown to the Romans or to the earlier Middle Ages, the vogue for writing in this manner waxed and waned throughout the Middle Ages. The new wave of literary-philosophical prosimetrum that crested around 1140 is the subject of this book. The book examines the relationship of the twelfth-century saturae to their late-antique models, concentrating especially on Boethiuss Consolation of Philosophy, and some possible reasons why its readers began to model their own lengthy compositions on it. It focuses on the role the authorial persona (or his stand-in) in the prosimetra, intertwined as it is with the anthropological, didactic, and narrative-autobiographical aspects of the texts. The book examines inherent difficulties of practicing fabulous philosophy in the twelfth century and points out several different trajectories along which the literary impulses that motivated Boethian prosimetrum continued in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Keywords: Boethius; Consolation of Philosophy; twelfth-century prosimetrum



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