The Renaissance of the Twelve Century

The Renaissance of the Twelve Century brought a revival in interest to learn and study for personal profit. The main focus of the people during this time was upon science, legal science and law, and philosophy, more than religion.

One of the most important revivals made during the twelve century was that of the translation and interpretation of the Latin classics. There were several famous authors who had not been read for centuries due to lack of book copies. Among these authors were Livy, Horace, Ovid, St. Augustine, and Virgil. Once resuscitated, these books had a widespread audience and became one of the most popular past times. However, there was a problem with the books and teachings of Aristotle as they contradicted some of the Catholic Church’s doctrine.

Horace
Horace

Translating the ancient Latin classics was a popular but hard job, most often performed by monks in monasteries. This caused a great shortage of copies.

Roman law was also revisited. The people were tired of feudalism and wanted one legal standard for all. Therefore government officials and reigning monarchs read and re-read all texts written by ancient Roman rulers and began to practice them in their own separate kingdoms.

However, there was a problem with the method of study of scientific and political subjects. The people, students and even monarchs would merely read the text and believe it word for word. There was no questioning, no testing: there was no critical thinking. Therefore, when universities came to be, the students, though well versed and knowledgeable, would merely be parrots of century-old scholars.

The Rise of Universities in the twelve century began the tradition, continued today, of studying the seven liberal arts. These were grammar, logic, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, music and astronomy. A few of the most famous universities of that time were Cambridge, Paris (theology), Oxford, and Bologna (law school). In order to teach at these universities one had to have a degree that could be earned after several years study in one of these colleges.

University of Paris
University of Paris

 

 

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