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Intellectual and Cultural Life

Seminar Questions

  • In what sense was there a Twelfth-Century Renaissance?


  1. Science: Adelard of Bath: The Impact of Muslim Science and Theophilus: An Essay Upon Diverse Arts, c. 1125
  2. Art and Architecture: Abbot Suger: On what was done in his administration and Bernard of Clairvaux: Apology
  3. Abelard and Heloise: Letter II

Introductory Reading

Barber, The Two Cities, Chapters 16 and 17; 'The Medieval World View' and 'Intellectual Life'.

Bartlett, The Making of Europe, 198-220, 288-291

Power, The Central Middle Ages, 149-177


Further Reading


Bolgar, R.R., The Classical Heritage and its Beneficiaries (London, 1973)

Colish, Marcia L., Medieval Foundations of the Western Intellectual Tradition 400-1400 (New Haven and London, 1997)

Gombrich, Ernst, The Story of Art, 14th ed. (Oxford, 1984)

Huizinga, J., The Waning of the Middle Ages (Harmondsworth, 1955)

Le Goff, Jacques, Intellectuals in the Middle Ages, trans. T.L. Fagan (Cambridge, Mass., 1993)

Murray, A., Reason and Society in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1985) [2002 ed online]

Panofsky, E., Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art (London, 1972)

Piltz, A., The World of Medieval Learning, trans. David Jones (Oxford, 1981)

Price, B.B., Medieval Thought: An Introduction (Oxford, 1992)

Sekules, Veronica, Medieval Art (Oxford, 2001)

Southern, Richard, Medieval Humanism and Other Studies (Oxford, 1970)

The Twelfth Century Renaissance

Abulafia, Anna Sapir, Christians and Jews in the twelfth-century Renaissance (Routledge, 1995)

Benson, Robert, et al. (eds.), Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century (Oxford, 1982)

Brooke, Christopher, The Twelfth Century Renaissance (Thames and Hudson, 1969)

Haskins, Charles Homer, The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century (Cambridge, Mass., 1927)

Swanson, R.N., The Twelfth-Century Renaissance (Manchester, 1999)

Noble, Thomas F.X and John Van Engen, eds. European Transformations: The Long Twelfth Century (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012)