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The Thirteenth And Fourteenth Centuries

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Chapter Summary

This chapter starts with a survey of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century treatises devoted to the cardinal virtues in particular, followed by an evaluation of the main genres of sources relevant to late medieval virtue theory-academic theology and philosophy, theological and philosophical compendia, treatises on the virtues and vices, religious moral literature, anthologies of moral sayings and exempla, theological dictionaries, and moral concordances on the Bible. The differentiation of moral thought in the Late Middle Ages is better illustrated by concentrating on a number of specific topics which gave rise to debate. The chapter discusses the attempts of moral writers to preserve the scheme of the cardinal virtues despite the existence of alternative arrangements, in particular Aristotle's classification of the virtues. It examines how the twelfth-century conceptualization of the cardinal virtues as both naturally acquired and gratuitous habits was continued in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

Keywords: Aristotle; fourteenth centuries treatises; Late Middle Ages; thirteenth century treatises



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