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Jean Mabillon's Middle Ages: On Medievalism, Textual Criticism, And Monastic Ideals

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on Jean Mabillon, one of the most prominent connoisseurs of medieval texts in the late seventeenth century, a founding father of textual criticism and the discipline of diplomatics. The main concern lies with his approach to medieval texts, but the chapter also focuses on the challenges implied in considering this approach as a matter of medievalism. The Traité des études monastiques is a composite work in three parts. The first part lists the ways in which study had been incorporated in monastic life. The second part of Mabillon's treatise describes the kinds of studies and disciplines in which monks might usefully engage. The third part embraces the first two in an overall monastic perspective, with an exposé on the knowledge of truth and the love of justice as the primary goals of monastic study.

Keywords: Jean Mabillon; medievalism; monastic ideals; textual criticism



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