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Medieval Grammar and RhetoricLanguage Arts and Literary Theory, AD 300 -1475$
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Rita Copeland and Ineke Sluiter

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199653782

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199653782.001.0001

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Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum, CA. 540, and Institutiones, CA. 562

Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum, CA. 540, and Institutiones, CA. 562

(p.210) Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum, CA. 540, and Institutiones, CA. 562
Medieval Grammar and Rhetoric
Rita Copeland, Ineke Sluiter
Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Expositio Psalmorum (Exposition of the Psalms) and Institutiones, written by Cassiodorus Senator around 540 and 562, respectively. The Expositio Psalmorum attempts to marry the rhetorical learning of late Roman culture to the theological revelation of the Psalms. It expresses Cassiodorus's belief that the secular arts originated in sacred Scripture, and treats the Psalms as a complement to the theoretical statements about rhetoric (and about grammar and logic) in the Institutiones. In Expositio Psalmorum, the Psalms are classified according to the genres of oratory: deliberative (political), judicial (forensic), and epideictic (demonstrative, or praise and blame). Institutiones is comprised of two books, ‘Divine Readings’ and ‘Secular Readings’. The first book is devoted to sacred matters and the second to the secular liberal arts. Institutiones offers a very brief treatment of grammar.

Keywords:   grammar, Expositio Psalmorum, Institutiones, Cassiodorus Senator, Psalms, Scripture, rhetoric, oratory, liberal arts

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