Transfer of knowledge in the Middle Ages

December 07, 2007

The arrival of Christianity from the Mediterranean basin to North-West Europe brought with it the written word, sometimes literally by cartloads. Much of this written material was focused on gaining a better understanding of the Bible as the Word of God and of Nature as God's creation. The world and the nature of the Bible obviously did not resemble the environment in which the missionaries and their converts lived.

The aim of this project was to acquire a better understanding of the different forms by which the transfer of Greek and Roman knowledge about the natural world took place. This varied from explanations of Biblical weights and measures, and glossaries of difficult words in the Vulgate, to proto-encyclopaedias and descriptions of the world in words and pictures.
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Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

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