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The Ages of Man – A Study in Medieval Writing and Thought - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Ages of Man: A Study in Medieval Writing and Thought

J. A. Burrow


Medieval Europe inherited from antiquity a rich and varied tradition of thought about the aetates hominum. Scholars divided human life into three, four, six, or seven ages, and so related it to larger orders of nature and history in which similar patterns were to be found. Thus, the seven ages correspond to and are governed by the seven planets. These ideas flowed through the Middle Ages in many channels: sermons and Bible commentaries, moral and political treatises, encyclopaedias and lexicons, medical and astrological handbooks, didactic and courtly poems, tapestries, wall-paintings, and sta ... More

Keywords: Medieval Europe, human life, seven ages, Middle Ages

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1988 Print ISBN-13: 9780198117551
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198117551.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

J. A. Burrow, author
University of Bristol

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