Latin was also spread to areas such as Ireland and Germany , where Romance languages were not spoken, and which had never known Roman rule. Works written in those lands where Latin was a learned language, having no relation to the local vernacular, also influenced the vocabulary and syntax of medieval Latin.
Since subjects like science and philosophy, including Argumentation theory and Ethics pre-law , were communicated in Latin, the Latin vocabulary that developed for them became the source of a great many technical words in modern languages. English words like abstract, subject, communicate, matter, probable and their cognates in other European languages generally have the meanings given to them in medieval Latin.
The high point of the development of medieval Latin as a literary language came with the Carolingian renaissance , a rebirth of learning kindled under the patronage of Charlemagne , king of the Franks. Alcuin was Charlemagne's Latin secretary and an important writer in his own right; his influence led to a rebirth of Latin literature and learning after the depressed period following the final disintegration of the authority of the Western Roman Empire.
Although it was simultaneously developing into the Romance languages, Latin itself remained very conservative, as it was no longer a native language and there were many ancient and medieval grammar books to give one standard form. On the other hand, strictly speaking there was no single form of "medieval Latin". Every Latin author in the medieval period spoke Latin as a second language, with varying degrees of fluency and syntax.
Grammar and vocabulary, however, were often influenced by an author's native language. This was especially true beginning around the 12th century, after which the language became increasingly adulterated: late medieval Latin documents written by French speakers tend to show similarities to medieval French grammar and vocabulary; those written by Germans tend to show similarities to German, etc.
For instance, rather than following the classical Latin practice of generally placing the verb at the end, medieval writers would often follow the conventions of their own native language instead.
Unlike classical Latin, where esse "to be" was the only auxiliary verb, medieval Latin writers might use habere "to have" as an auxiliary, similar to constructions in Germanic and Romance languages.
The accusative and infinitive construction in classical Latin was often replaced by a subordinate clause introduced by quod or quia.
This is almost identical, for example, to the use of que in similar constructions in French. In every age from the late 8th century onwards, there were learned writers especially within the Church who were familiar enough with classical syntax to be aware that these forms and usages were "wrong" and resisted their use. Thus the Latin of a theologian like St Thomas Aquinas or of an erudite clerical historian such as William of Tyre tends to avoid most of the characteristics described above, showing its period in vocabulary and spelling alone; the features listed are much more prominent in the language of lawyers e.
However the use of quod to introduce subordinate clauses was especially pervasive and is found at all levels. This resulted in two major features of Medieval Latin compared with Classical Latin, though when it is compared to the other vernacular languages, Medieval Latin developed very few changes.
Second, many lesser scholars had a limited grasp of "proper" Latin or were increasingly influenced by Vulgar Latin, which was mutating into the Romance languages. Word order usually tended towards that of the vernacular language of the author, not the artificial and polished word order of Classical Latin.
Conversely, an erudite scholar might attempt to "show off" by intentionally constructing a very complicated sentence. Because Latin is an inflected language, it is technically possible to place related words at opposite ends of a paragraph-long sentence, and owing to the complexity of doing so, it was seen by some as a sign of great skill. In the copying process, there was typically a division of labor between the monks who readied the parchment for copying by smoothing and chalking the surface, those who ruled the parchment and copied the text, and those who illuminated the text.
Sometimes a single monk would engage in all of these stages to prepare a manuscript. Comparisons of characteristic regional, periodic as well as contextual styles of handwriting do reveal social and cultural connections among them, as new hands developed and were disseminated by travelling individuals, respectively what these individuals represented, and by the examples of manuscripts that passed from one cloister to another.
Recent studies follow the approach, that scriptoria developed in relative isolation, to the extent that the paleographer is sometimes able to identify the product of each writing centre and to date it accordingly. However, the practical consequences of private workshops, and as well the invention of the printing press vis-a-vis monastic scriptoria is a complex theme.
References in modern scholarly writings to 'scriptoria' typically refer to the collective written output of a monastery, somewhat like the chancery in the early regal times is taken to refer to a specific fashion of modelling formulars, but especially traditional is the view that scriptoria was a necessary adjunct to a library, as per the entry in du Cange, 'scriptorium'.
Cassiodorus' description of his monastery contained a purpose-built scriptorium, with a sundial , a water-clock , and a "perpetual lamp," that is, one that supplied itself with oil from a reservoir. Cassiodorus also established a library where, at the end of the Roman Empire , he attempted to bring Greek learning to Latin readers and to preserve texts both sacred and secular for future generations.
As its unofficial librarian, Cassiodorus collected as many manuscripts as he could, he also wrote treatises aimed at instructing his monks in the proper uses of texts. In the end, however, the library at the Vivarium was dispersed and lost, though it was still active around The creation of a library here initiated the tradition of Benedictine scriptoria, where the copying of texts not only provided materials needed in the routines of the community and served as work for hands and minds otherwise idle, but also produced a marketable end-product.
Maimonides , born in Cordoba, Spain , and Rashi , born in Troyes , France , are two of the best-known and most influential of these Jewish authors.
Secular[ edit ] The first page of Beowulf Secular literature in this period was not produced in equal quantity as religious literature.
They relate to myths or certain 6th-century events, but the surviving manuscripts date from centuries later—Y Goddoddin from the late 13th century, Preiddu Annwfn from the early 14th century, Beowulf from c.
Prose tales first emerged in Britain: the intricate Mabinogi quartet about princely families, notably anti-war in theme, and the romantic adventure Culhwch and Olwen , famous for the earliest mention of King Arthur. The Mabinogi is not the same as the Mabinogion , a collection of disconnected prose tales, which does, however, include both the Mabinogi and Culhwch and Olwen.
These works were compiled from earlier oral tradition c. At about the same time a new poetry of " courtly love " became fashionable in Europe. The songs of courtly love often express unrequited longing for an ideal woman, but there are also aubades dawn farewells by lovers and humorous ditties. Following the earliest epic poems, prose tales, and romances, more long poems were crafted—the chansons de geste of the late 11th and early 12th centuries.
Medieval Literature Themes Medieval authors and bards explored various themes to come up with their respective masterpieces. Some of the most commonly tackled medieval literature themes were courtly love and chivalry, which were depicted several times in various Arthurian works.
It could also be observed that Medieval literature discussed culture a great deal. In fact, it was at the heart of almost every piece of literature. Medieval authors were keen to highlight important manifestations of culture like music, art, architecture and liturgy but, on a side note, could well be an attempt to unify and squelch brewing internal strife. Medieval writers also enjoyed exploring themes on family, kinship and many other values important in that era.
Discusses the debate between Islamic philosophers Avicenna and al-Ghazali, and the resistance of Catholic leaders to accept the doctrine when at the same time they were relying on some of its tenets.
Briefly discussed are the influences of rural to urban life and the ensuing governmental changes, the rise of cultural and educational pursuits, and the new influence of the church. Bibliography lists six sources. The writer uses Dante's Inferno as a primary source, and describes how Dante presented the noble class. Bibliography cites four sources.
Bibliography lists 11 sources. Bibliography lists 1 source. One source cited. This is contrasted with Nobles- who were not treated as heroes in this genre of literature.
Specific examples from the story are provided. Stresses that the middle age authors who passed on the stories paid little attention to historical setting and that therefore the question of the reality of King Arthur is difficult to answer.
The case involved a widower seeking to retain her dowry -- against the will of her late husband's family who wanted it for themselves. The case itself is not available. No Bibliography. The paper provides a description of the basis of drama and how it was incorporated into the Roman Catholic Church to teach Bible stories to the congregation.
Sheets of parchment or vellum were cut down to the appropriate size. From one point of view, the variety of forms which flourished from the 10th to the 12th century can be seen as the high point from which the narrowing into the academic forms of the 13th and 14th centuries seems like a loss, not only in variety but from the connection to the larger spiritual and existential concerns treated in, for example, the allegories of Boethius or Avicenna and the meditations of Anselm. The popularity of these public spectacles shows the importance and influence of scholastic disputation on the larger culture. See below, section 2. On the other hand, strictly speaking there was no single form of "medieval Latin". Bibliography included.
It is not a distortion or disservice to an authoritative source to put its views in a new context, making them appropriate to contemporary issues and fitting that source into the picture of the truth as it is presently known.
Nevertheless, Medieval literature greatly contributed to and had a lasting influence on modern-day works of fiction. This feature is already found on coin inscriptions of the 4th century e.
The Mabinogi is not the same as the Mabinogion , a collection of disconnected prose tales, which does, however, include both the Mabinogi and Culhwch and Olwen. Moreover, as interpreters began to collect different interpretations of biblical texts, they tended to deal with conflicts between authorities by attempting to harmonize different opinions rather than simply keeping some and discarding others. Hudry ed. The literature concerning these kinds of problems ranges from formal disputes on the propositions which attempt to solve or avoid the problem posed by the statements to treatises or rules about how to solve the puzzles the disputes over them reveal.
The same question could, of course, be meaningfully asked about dialogue in antiquity, in non-Christian religious traditions, and in the modern era.