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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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Seventeenth Century: Consolidation

Seventeenth Century: Consolidation

Chapter:
(p.215) 8 Seventeenth Century: Consolidation
Source:
Printed Commonplace-Books and the Structuring of Renaissance Thought
Author(s):

Ann Moss

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198159087.003.0008

For Latin vocabulary, phraseology, and style, the commonplace-book remained in the 17th century as important a source as ever it had been in the preceding century. However, some features in the procedure recommended by John Brinsley, though not necessarily new, indicated trends which would be consolidated in the ensuing period. Latin was taught not only in the vernacular, but through the vernacular. Translation was the key to understanding and the ‘natural’ medium through which pupils learnt to manipulate the phraseology of ‘rhetorically’ contrived Latin. Moreover, Brinsley's teaching of Latin by translation was aimed quite explicitly at bringing the English language within the scope of the verbal competence inculcated by the classroom method. However, his insistence on printed commonplace-books, in particular his choice of O. Mirandula, backed up by dictionaries of phrases, epithets, adages, and so on, opened the way to the much more eclectic Latin which, as Politian and many another had realized, was invariably produced by roaming through florilegia.

Keywords:   Latin, vocabulary, phraseology, style, commonplace-books, John Brinsley, translation, O. Mirandula, florilegia

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