Sempiternity, Angelic Time, and the Aevum
This chapter examines the import and meaning of the terms sempiternitas, perpetuitas, and aeviternitas or aevum. The terms sempiternitas and perpetuitas were often used interchangeably since they were basically used to refer to limitless particulars and their durations. Medieval figures recognized two types of limitlessness: durations which had no end and durations which had neither a beginning nor an end. As the terms perpetuitas and sempiternitas could be used of both kinds of durations, it is not unusual to find them used of God, angels, souls, and heavenly bodies. The terms aeviternitas and aevum were often used in a similar way, and were sometimes used synonymously with perpetuitas and sempiternitas. Nevertheless, there were serious disagreements amongst 13th century thinkers about the nature of the aevum, in particular whether it was extended or not.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.