The Sacred and the Obscure: Greek in the Carolingian Reception of Martianus Capella

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Abstract

Carolingian scholars paid considerable attention to the Greek found in Martianus Capella’s De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, a late antique Latin work full of obscurities in language and imagery. This article, focusing on glosses on De nuptiis from the oldest gloss tradition, demonstrates that a range of material was available to ninth-century scholars to elucidate Martianus’s Greek and that Greek seems, at times, to have served as a means to obscure. I argue that their interest in obscurity reflects a widespread epistemology and strategy of concealment, hence their intellectual investment in Martianus. For ninth-century readers, then, the Greek in the glossed Martianus manuscripts, however decorative it may have been, also operated at the core of medieval hermeneutics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-94
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Medieval Latin
Volume22
Issue numbernull
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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