Non-Fiction Books:

Wisdom, Authority and Grammar in the Seventh Century

Decoding Virgilius Maro Grammaticus


Paperback / softback

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Wisdom, Authority and Grammar in the Seventh Century by Vivien Law
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The works of the seventh-century writer Virgilius Maro Grammaticus are among the most puzzling medieval texts to survive. Ostensibly a pair of grammars, they swarm with hymns, riddles, invented words and imaginary writers. Conventionally interpreted either as a benighted barbarian's unfortunate attempt to write a 'proper' grammar, or as a parody of the pedantic excesses of the ancient grammatical tradition, these texts have long been in need of an alternative reading. Why should a grammarian attack the very notion of authority, thereby destabilizing his own position? The search for an answer leads us via patristic exegesis and medieval wisdom literature to the tantalizingly ill-documented reaches of heterodox initiatory traditions. Vivien Law's book opens important new perspectives on the intellectual life of the early Middle Ages and on the decoding of medieval literature in general.
Release date NZ
November 2nd, 2006
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Worked examples or Exercises
Cambridge University Press
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