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Medieval Latin literature

The Flowering of Medieval Culture

The quality of writing and of scholarship was steadily rising, and the way was being prepared for the great flowering of medieval culture in the 13th cent. Most notable was the full development of scholasticism by St. Bonaventure, St. Albertus Magnus, and St. Thomas Aquinas, together with Duns Scotus, William of Occam, and others. The simple Latin dialogues on the mysteries of Christ's life had become the miracle play.

Secular poetry had since the 11th cent. given rise to well-wrought and exquisitely rhymed lyrics and satires commonly called the Goliardic songs. The type of encyclopedic compendium popular since St. Isidore of Seville's 7th-century Etymologiae was represented by the work of Vincent of Beauvais. The lives of saints were collected in The Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine. Other genres were also represented in Latin: the mock epic, the fabliau, the romance, the beast tale, the folk story.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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