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Church and Cosmos in Early Ottonian GermanyThe View from Cologne$
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Henry Mayr-Harting

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199210718

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199210718.001.0001

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Arithmetic, Platonism, and Calculation in Bruno's and Ruotger's Cologne

Arithmetic, Platonism, and Calculation in Bruno's and Ruotger's Cologne

(p.145) 6 Arithmetic, Platonism, and Calculation in Bruno's and Ruotger's Cologne
Church and Cosmos in Early Ottonian Germany

Henry Mayr‐Harting

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of Boethius' De Arithmetica, the most important conveyor of ancient arithmetic to the early Middle Ages. It analyses several other Arithmetic manuscripts with glosses, and argues that even in those whose arithmetical interest predominates, that a Platonist streak constantly surfaces. What distinguishes the Cologne glosses is their integrity and consistent sense of purpose in elucidating their Platonist text. No displays of irrelevant knowledge, no flying off at every attractive tangent, no highfaluting intellectual descants for them. And in their purpose — provided we recognize that Platonism may serve to articulate various kinds of holistic views of the world and cosmos — we may have one clue to why Ruotger, and surely Bruno, attached importance to the liberal arts for the sake of rule.

Keywords:   Boethius, De Arithmetica, Platonism, glosses, Ruotger, Bruno

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