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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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Martianus Capella, De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, CA. 420–490

Martianus Capella, De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, CA. 420–490

Chapter:
(p.148) Martianus Capella, De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, CA. 420–490
Source:
Medieval Grammar and Rhetoric
Author(s):
Rita Copeland, Ineke Sluiter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199653782.003.0008

This chapter discusses De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii (The Marriage of Philology and Mercury), an influential commentary on the liberal arts written by the fifth-century author Martianus Capella. Due to its form, the prosimetrum, and its framework, an allegorised mythography and cosmology, De nuptiis is an ideal source of complete and reliable information about the seven liberal arts. The exposition of the arts is framed by a ‘plot’ whereby Mercury and Philology are to be united in marriage through the efforts of Apollo, with the gods adopting the latter. The contents of book three are consistent with the grammatical knowledge of the fourth and fifth centuries: grammar is first identified, through dense etymologising, with both the elements and attributes of literacy. There is also a chapter devoted to rhetoric.

Keywords:   grammar, commentary, liberal arts, Martianus Capella, prosimetrum, mythography, cosmology, rhetoric

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