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John of Salisbury as a Writer

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Chapter Summary

John of Salisbury's enduring reputation depends chiefly on his writings, on his status as a man of letters. Even as a young man he was recommended for an administrative post on the basis of a meritorious way of life and literary learning. His impressive acquaintance with classical literature and Sacred Scripture enabled John of Salisbury to establish an intellectual link between himself and his audience, for he wrote not only for literate men, but for literary men. The Metalogicon is a prose treatise in four books. John of Salisbury himself bestowed its title and declared its purpose to be the defense of logic. In the autumn of 1159, John of Salisbury dispatched a copy of his Policraticus to Peter of Celle, appealing for his dear friend's approval and emendation for "a book on the frivolities of courtiers and footprints of philosophers".

Keywords: classical literature; John of Salisbury; Metalogicon; Peter of Celle; sacred scripture



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