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Chapter 1 - Access through Accessus

Gateways to Learning in a Manuscript of School Texts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 April 2023

Ardis Butterfield
Affiliation:
Yale University
Ian Johnson
Affiliation:
St Andrews University
Andrew Kraebel
Affiliation:
Trinity University
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Summary

As a complement to the work of Alastair Minnis and Brian Scott on a collection of accessus or introductions to pedagogical texts copied on their own in a collection of such ’Literary Prefaces’, this essay examines the accessüs to a typical series of school texts copied together in a single thirteenth-century manuscript, Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Clm 391. The works included in this manuscript were all widely taught during the Middle Ages and are all known to scholars and available in English translations. Yet they are not automatically included in discussions of literary works studied in the Middle Ages and this essay is meant to support the implications of Minnis and Scott’s term for them.The introductory matter, sometimes more than two accessūs, is significantly more extensive at the beginning of the manuscript and as much as possible has been edited and translated in this essay. Ways that we might look positively upon repetition, variation and contradiction are suggested and the implications of the evolving formats of the introductory material throughout the manuscript are explored. It is hoped that this approach may encourage other scholars to look at the accessūs to school texts in other relevant collections.

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Chapter
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Literary Theory and Criticism in the Later Middle Ages
Interpretation, Invention, Imagination
, pp. 24 - 41
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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