9-25-07 - The state of learning in the early middle ages o...

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The state of learning in the early middle ages o Learning in this period is the job of the church and so the church decides what areas are supposed to be more important and what areas are less important o Much more interested in theological discussions and arguments then you are in something like astronomy o Secular subjects could not really get a footwork o If someone was interested in these subjects then the person really was on their own because no scholarly community Isidore of Seville(Etymologies) - Becomes a very influential text and it was produced in the early 7 th century. He tells us the derivations of words. It is in the form of an encyclopedia. He was copying stuff from other Latin texts that were already in pretty bad shape, and pretty garbled version of for example Euclidian geometry. o Isidore (Bishop of civil, underlines that the only people who were enlightened were the church peopl) gives you a definition of a cylinder – tells us that a cylinder is a rectangle with a semi-circle on top. This means that he has seen in some garbled version of geometry a cylinder that he doesn’t recognize as being a three dimensional object. Doesn’t really do much harm though because he cant really integrate all of this stuff into any system that would mess us up. They are all just free standing statements that don’t affect each other so it is not harmful to have one bad definition. Does, however, tell us that there was not very much high value, and how undemanding and uncritical people were at the time because he was considered an extremely wise man and followed for the next few centuries. Bede (Monk in 700 A.D.) - a scholar in history. He was a church historian above all. During this period history was considered a matter of chronology and determining the exact dates of things in the churches history. This led him into calendrical and astronomical and more mathematical technical issues like this.
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