«The Divine Comedy» as a Medieval Vision of the Universe
II. The Convivio – theology and cosmology
1) Aristotelianism in medieval Europe
At the end of the twelfth century, the papacy reached the peak of its political and social power in the European medieval feudal world. This happened primarily due to the earlier actions of Pope Gregory VII and the institutions established by the legates, that provided significant help in exemption of individual bishops from secular jurisdiction and keeping them united with Papacy39. The thirteenth century was, therefore, the period of stabilization in certain ecclesiastical, political and social structures of the Middle Ages. The emerging communities – whether a city or a state – prompt reflection on coexistence between people and their mutual relationship, as well as that to power – both secular and spiritual. In a natural way the opportunities for scholars (clergy and lay) to undertake various analyzes of theological philosophical, political and social issues presented themselves40. In this situation universities become a place where important theological, philosophical, and political-legal disputes occurred, invigorating the greatest minds of the Middle Ages.
At the meeting point between Arab and Christian culture, in medieval Iberia (especially in Toledo), as well as in Venice, Naples and Bari – the centers of trade and shipping, where merchants established their regular contacts – the rediscovery of Aristotle’s writings and thought took place in the twelfth century, when a vast body of philosophical and scientific literature by Greek and Arabic authors was translated from Arabic into Latin. Arab scholars had almost the entire body of Aristotle’s writings already translated before the...
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