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Printed Commonplace-Books and the Structuring of Renaissance Thought$
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Ann Moss

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198159087

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198159087.001.0001

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Midwives to the Commonplace-Book

Midwives to the Commonplace-Book

Chapter:
(p.83) 4 Midwives to the Commonplace-Book
Source:
Printed Commonplace-Books and the Structuring of Renaissance Thought
Author(s):

Ann Moss

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198159087.003.0004

Nearly thirty years separate the writing of Rodolphus Agricola's De formando studio from its first appearance in print, which almost coincides with the publication of the first edition of a work which was to be crucial for the development of the commonplace-book. The recipient of Agricola's letter detailing his blueprint for study and composition was assumed to be someone working on his own. Desiderius Erasmus was to set an agenda for schools all over northern Europe. Within the interval between these two works pedagogic practice in northern Europe had changed in such a way as to make it receptive to the instruction in rhetoric and dialectic mediated by Erasmus and Agricola and to their prescriptions for the commonplace-book, which was to become its primary working tool. The change which had occurred was led by a change in language-teaching at its most elementary level, in the grammar class.

Keywords:   Rodolphus Agricola, commonplace-book, Desiderius Erasmus, schools, northern Europe, grammar class

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