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Time and Eternity in Mid-Thirteenth-Century Thought$
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Rory Fox

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285754

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199285756.001.0001

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The Language of Time

The Language of Time

(p.10) 1 The Language of Time
Time and Eternity in Mid-Thirteenth-Century Thought

Rory Fox

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines some of the key language and terminology used by 13th century thinkers. Thirteenth-century thinkers distinguished between logically indivisible boundaries and divisible parts. As applied to time, this distinction allowed them to identify and refer to two temporal elements: temporal parts and temporal boundaries. Altogether, they seem to have deployed 10 basic terms to refer to temporal elements: instans, praesens, nunc, periodus, momentum, duratio, mora, diurnitas, protensio, and quando. Although each of these words have what appear to be obvious English translations, the medieval Latin terms often contained multiple nuances which were not always reflected in the typical English words used to translate them.

Keywords:   language, temporal terminology, 13th century, time, Aristotle, Aquinas

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