User:Brian P. Long/sandbox

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Articles to write

Gerbert of Aurillac

Alfanus of Salerno

Constantinus Africanus

Adelard of Bath

Hermann of Carinthia

Robert of Ketton

Peter the Venerable

Daniel of Morley

Roger of Hereford

Alfred of Shareshill

Robert Grosseteste

Jacopo Berengario da Carpi

Byzantine Science


Gutas - Greek Thought, Arabic Culture Hunger - Die hochsprachliche profane Literatur der Byzantiner Mavroudi - A Byzantine book on dream interpretation: the Oneirocriticon of Achmet and its Arabic sources - in Byzantium, faith, and power (1261-1557): perspectives on late Byzantine art and culture Magdalino et al. (eds.) - The occult sciences in Byzantium Magdalino, Paul - "The Byzantine Reception of Classical Astrology." in Literacy, Education and Manuscript Transmission in Byzantium and Beyond, Brill, 2002. Magdalino, Paul - "The Porphyrogenita and the astrologers," Lemerle, Paul - Byzantine humanism: the first phase. 1986. Tihon, Anne.

Important works

The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century

The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II

Greek Thought, Arabic Culture


Charles Homer Haskins

Valentin Rose

Frederic William Maitland

Lynn Thorndike

Marie-Dominique Chenu

Joseph R. Strayer

Franz Rosenthal

Norman Daniel

Alexander Kazhdan

Richard W. Southern

Southern's Making of the Middle Ages (1953) was a seminal work, and established Southern's reputation as a medievalist. This pioneering work, sketching the main personalities and cultural influences that shaped the character of Western Europe from the late tenth to the early thirteenth century and describing the development of social, political, and religious institutions, opened up new vistas in medieval history, and has been translated into many languages.

Southern made major contributions to the areas he studied, and was not afraid to attack long-held views. Southern's monographic studies of St Anselm and Robert Grosseteste, for example, have had significant influences on their historiography. Never afraid of controversy, Southern's interpretation of Grosseteste made a dramatic attempt to revise the chronology of Grosseteste's life. Further, Southern saw him as a particularly English figure (in contrast to earlier scholarship which had seen Grosseteste's connections to French schools as being of particular importance).[1] Similarly, Southern also took a revisionist line in his re-interpretation of the School of Chartres, an argument stated first in his Medieval Humanism and then refined in his Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe. Southern argued that scholars in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had built the "School of Chartres" into a romanticized edifice out of all proportion with the documentary record. The figures in the School of Chartres were actually much more active in Paris than in Chartres itself, according to Southern; Chartres did indeed have a school, but it did not surpass the usual level of cathedral schools of the time. Southern's revisionist or iconoclastic approach was continued by some of his students. Valerie Flint, for example, attempted to make significant revisions to the interpretation of Anselm of Laon.

Southern's final major work, Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe, was unfortunately destined to remain unfinished at his death. Southern never managed to finish the third volume of the work. The first two volumes of the work do represent a major contribution to medieval scholarship, however. In the work, Southern argues that, from the twelfth century on, medieval scholars aspired to systematize all human knowledge in a comprehensive system. Furthermore, this scholarly vision (the "scholastic humanism" of the title) was to have a major influence on Western culture beyond the schools, as scholars and school-educated men moved out of the schools and took important roles in the government and the church.

In addition to these major works, Southern also wrote several works that have not had quite as much influence on medieval scholarship. His brief Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages represents a relatively early effort to describe medieval attitudes towards Islam, identifying three stages in their development. His Medieval Humanism and Other Studies states first several themes that would be later developed in Scholastic Humanism. His Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages is a textbook survey like The Making of the Middle Ages, but has not received quite as much attention as his earlier work.

Other articles

High Medieval Translation Movement


Not all of Genoa's merchandise was so innocuous, however, as medieval Genoa became a major player in the slave trade.[2]

The collapse of the Crusader States was offset by Genoa’s alliance with the Byzantine Empire. As Venice's relations with the Byzantine Empire were temporarily disrupted by the Fourth Crusade and its aftermath, Genoa was able to improve its position. Genoa took advantage of this opportunity to expand into the Black Sea and Crimea. Internal feuds between the powerful families, the Grimaldi and Fieschi, the Doria, Spinola, and others caused much disruption, but in general the republic was run much as a business affair. In 1218–1220 Genoa was served by the Guelph podestà Rambertino Buvalelli, who probably introduced Occitan literature to the city, which was soon to boast such troubadours as Jacme Grils, Lanfranc Cigala, and Bonifaci Calvo. Genoa's political zenith came with its victory over the Republic of Pisa at the naval Battle of Meloria in 1284, and with a temporary victory over its rival, Venice, at the naval Battle of Curzola in 1298.

Genoa was able to stabilize its position as it moved into the sixteenth century, particularly thanks to the efforts of Andrea Doria,

According to Felipe Fernandez-Armesto and others, the practices Genoa developed in the Mediterranean (such as chattel slavery) were crucial in the exploration and exploitation of the New World.[3] Christopher Columbus, for example, was a native of Genoa

Compagnia dei Bardi

The Compagnia dei Bardi was a Florentine banking and trading company which was started by the Bardi family. The Bardi company was one of three major Florentine banking companies (called "super-companies" by some modern scholars) that assembled large amounts of capital and established wide-ranging, diversified business networks, doing business throughout the Mediterranean and in England. The Bardi traded oil and wine, and had close economic ties to southern Italy and Sicily. Their chief product, however, was high-quality woolen cloth. The Bardi were the largest of these super-companies, however, and seem to have been 50 percent larger than their closest rival, the Peruzzi company.[4]

The bankruptcy of the Bardi and Peruzzi companies marked an end of the medieval super-companies. In the future, smaller, more agile companies would be the dominant economic actors.

Problems (Pseudo-Aristotle)

The Problems (or Problemata) are an ancient medical text. The work is written in the form of a series of questions and then speculations about answers, and was long attributed to Aristotle.

The date of composition has been a topic of scholarly debate, with some scholars believing that parts of the work may go back to Aristotle's lifetime, and others placing the work at a later date. In refactoring (?) the work of other scholars, Vivian Nutton notes that the language and philosophical content of the work suggest work was largely written around 250 BC. The work betrays many influences from the Hippocratic corpus, attesting to the refinement of medical thought (continuing project of medical speculation?) in the Hellenistic period and its spread within intellectual life of the time.[5]

The Problems enjoyed a rich afterlife, as well. Question and answer texts (under the influence of the Problems?) were widespread in medieval Arabic and Hebrew medicine. After being translated into Latin, the work circulated widely, and played an important role in medieval medicine from the late thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries. It was an important text in the teaching of medicine (and natural philosophy more broadly-- NEED CIT) in the medieval university, but beyond the university, it also had an influence on medical thought and practice and even aristocratic culture (?).[6] In the Renaissance, in the fifteenth century, the work was translated in quick succession by both George of Trebizond and Theodore Gaza, and led the often combative George to attack Theodore's translation methods. (Later Renaissance/Early Modern reception?)


The Problems themselves:

  • Nutton, Vivian, Ancient Medicine, 144-7.
  • Forster, E.S. "The pseudo-Aristotelian Problems ", Classical Quarterly 22 (1928): 162-5.
  • Marenghi, G. Aristotele, Problemi di medicina, Milan: Istituto editoriale italiano, 1964.
  • Flashar, H. Aristoteles, Problemata Physica, Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1962. (an edition?)
  • Jouanna, Jacques. "Hippocrate et les Problemata d'Aristote", in Hippokratische Medizin und antike Philosophie, ed. Wittern and Pellegrin, 1996, 273-94.
  • The Problemata Physica attributed to Aristotle: the The Arabic Version of Ḥunain ibn Ishāq and the Hebrew Version of Moses ibn Tibbon, ed. L.S. Filius, Brill, 1999.

The medieval Arabic and Latin reception:

  • Lawn, Brian. The Salernitan Questions, p. ? ff.
  • Aristotle's Problemata in Different Times and Tongues, ed. Pieter de Leemans & Michèle Goyens, Leuven University Press, 2006.

Further Reading

The operations of the Bardi company (along with the other "super-companies") are discussed in:

  • Hunt, Edwin S. The Medieval Super-companies: A Study of the Peruzzi Company of Florence. Cambridge University Press, 1994.
  • Hunt & Murray, A History of Business in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550, Cambridge University Press, 1999 (especially chapter 5).

Kingdom of Sicily ?

Under the Kingdom, Sicily's products went to many different lands. Among these were Genoa, Pisa, the Byzantine Empire, and Egypt. Over the course of the twelfth century, Sicily became an important source of raw materials for north Italian cities such as Genoa. As the centuries went on, however, this economic relationship seems to have become less advantageous to Sicily, and some modern scholars see the relationship as frankly exploitative.[7] Furthermore, many scholars believe that Sicily went into decline in the late Middle Ages, though they are not agreed on when this decline occurred. Clifford Backman argues that it is a mistake to see the economic history of Sicily in terms of victimization, and contends that the decline really began in the second part of the reign of Frederick III, in contrast to earlier scholars who believed that Sicilian decline had set in earlier.[8] Where earlier scholars saw late medieval Sicily in continuous decline, Stephen Epstein argued that Sicilian society experienced something of a revival in the fifteenth century.[9]


During the Norman reign, several different religious communities coexisted in the Kingdom of Sicily. They were: Latin Christians (Roman Catholics), Greek-speaking Christians (Eastern Orthodox), and Muslims. Although local religious practices were not interrupted, the fact that Latin Christians were in power tended to favor Latin Christianity (Roman Catholicism). Bishops of the Eastern Orthodox rite were obliged to recognize the claims of the Latin Church in Sicily, while Muslim communities were no longer ruled by local emirs. Greek-speaking Christians, Latin Christians, and Muslims interacted on a regular basis, and were involved in each other's lives, economically, linguistically, and culturally. Some intermarried. Christians living in an Arabic-speaking area might adopt Arabic or even Muslim names.[10] In many cities, each religious community had its own administrative and judicial order. In Palermo, Muslims were allowed to publicly call for prayer in mosques, and their legal issues were settled by qadis, judges who ruled in accordance with Islamic law.

After the establishment of Hohenstaufen authority Latin- and Greek-speaking Christians maintained their privileges, but the Muslim population was increasingly oppressed. The settlements of Italians brought from northern Italy (who wanted Muslim property for their own) led many Muslim communities to revolt or resettle in mountainous areas of Sicily. These revolts resulted in some acts of violence, and the eventual deportation of Muslims, which began under Frederick II. Eventually, the government removed the entire Muslim population to Lucera in Apulia and Girifalco in Calabria, where they paid taxes and served as agricultural laborers, craftsmen, and crossbowmen for the benefit of the king. The colony at Lucera was finally disbanded in 1300 under Charles II of Naples, and many of its inhabitants sold into slavery.[11] The Jewish community was expelled after the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition from 1493 to 1513 in Sicily. The remaining Jews were gradually assimilated, and most of them converted to Roman Catholicism.


  1. It must be noted that Southern's interpretation of Grosseteste has not found universal support. Several reviews of the work when it first came out noted problems with his argument, and James McEvoy did not find all of Southern's revisions to Grosseteste's biography compelling. Cf. McEvoy, Robert Grosseteste (2000), c. 2.
  2. Steven A. Epstein, Speaking of Slavery: Color, Ethnicity, and Human Bondage in Italy (Conjunctions of Religion and Power in the Medieval Past
  3. Before Columbus: Exploration and Colonization from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, 1229-1492
  4. Hunt & Murray, A History of Business in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550, 104-5.
  5. Nutton, Ancient Medicine, 144-7. For more on the question of dating, cf. Nutton, p. 366, n. 40.
  6. Joan Cadden, Preliminary Observations on the Place of the Problemata in Medieval Learning, in Leemans & Goyens, ed., 1-19
  7. Henri Bresc (in Un monde mediteranéen) claims that Sicily was reduced to an agricultural hinterland for wealthier northern Italian cities, and sees the Sicilian people as an early proletariat
  8. Backman, The Decline and Fall of Medieval Sicily, 1995.
  9. Epstein, An Island for Itself: Economic Development and Social Change in Late Medieval Sicily, (2003).
  10. Metcalfe, Alex. Muslims and Christians in Norman Sicily. Arabic Speakers and the End of Islam, (2003).
  11. The best discussion of the fate of Sicilian Muslims can be found in Julie Taylor, Muslims in Medieval Italy: The Colony at Lucera (2003), but is also discussed in Alex Metcalfe, The Muslims of Medieval Italy (2009).


Along with what Tony said, I think we should also be trying hard to communicate with graduate students, to get them sympathetic and on board. It's hard to contribute lots of content early in your career, I think, but we should be trying to let graduate students (and younger faculty) know that we're out there.

I sent out scads of emails to Biology departments and faculty in the run-up to the Biology Week effort, and the response was abysmal. I think it's fine if we try to bring some of these folks around (as Tony suggests) but I suspect we may have more success with younger scholars.

The other group I suspect we might receive a sympathetic hearing from is librarians. All of the librarians I've talked to about CZ have thought that it was a great idea and would love to see it really get going.

Brian P. Long 21:23, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Sources for Eastern Orthodox Church article: Hussey Kolbaba Angold