Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tracing the Movements of Medieval Thinkers

A few months ago, I have found a webpage called The Philosophy Family Tree. Somebody thought it would not be pointless to draw a map of contemporary thinkers by tracing their "official dissertation advisors". Something similar has attempted David Chalmers for Australasian Philosophy (see here). Personaly, I didn't think that this project will prove anything as long as the influence of a thinker upon another is not easy to indentify. But I admit that it was the starting point for my current proposal: TRACING THE MOVEMENTS OF MEDIEVAL THINKERS. Today, biographies give you some idea about the places where your author travelled or worked; but what if we can place in the same monastery, scriptorium or university two other friars? Would this help at establishing the context of a certain text of your author? The same principle should apply for manuscripts: proving that a certain manuscript was written or stored in a certain place can give us have some ground in claiming that a certain author read that manuscript/version and not another. And if you combine this kind of information, I might be able to say, for example, what version of Aristotle's Ethics Aquinas read while he was at Napoli as a young student.

Medieval Manuscripts in Romanian Libraries, 1: Romanian Academy, Library (Bucharest)

A few weeks ago, at Prof. Panzaru's suggestion and with his support, I have contacted the President of the Library of the Romanian Academy planning to help them digitalize the Latin Manuscripts. I have been surprised to find out that there are no Latin mss dating before the 14th century and all the existent mss are worthless. Moreover, no catalogue of the Latin mss has been published so far.
The Greek mss, although catalogued, are almost in the same situation. There is only one manuscript dating before the 14th century (if I remember right, from the 9th cent.).
More suprising, the scanner they use does not belong to the Romanian Academy, but to an institution of the Romanian Ministry of Culture and Cults, i.e. CIMEC. One more argument: they do not have any specialist in Latin, Greek or Arab Paleography.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Some notes on Odo Rigaud

I am posting some of my notes on Odo Rigaud and his concept of auctoritas on my website (see the "Research Resources" section). I am trying to find Cod. Vat. lat. 4263 containing his Quaestiones theologicae, but it seems impossible to access the manuscript from Bucharest. If someone can help me, please, contact me via e-mail.