The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages by Robert Bartlett Online

The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages
Title : The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780521702553
Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 170

How did people of the medieval period explain physical phenomena, such as eclipses or the distribution of land and water on the globe? What creatures did they think they might encounter: angels, devils, witches, dogheaded people? This fascinating book explores the ways in which medieval people categorized the world, concentrating on the division between the natural and theHow did people of the medieval period explain physical phenomena, such as eclipses or the distribution of land and water on the globe? What creatures did they think they might encounter: angels, devils, witches, dogheaded people? This fascinating book explores the ways in which medieval people categorized the world, concentrating on the division between the natural and the supernatural and showing how the idea of the supernatural came to be invented in the Middle Ages. Robert Bartlett examines how theologians and others sought to draw lines between the natural, the miraculous, the marvelous and the monstrous, and the many conceptual problems they encountered as they did so. The final chapter explores the extraordinary thought-world of Roger Bacon as a case study exemplifying these issues. By recovering the mentalities of medieval writers and thinkers the book raises the critical question of how we deal with beliefs we no longer share.


The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages Reviews

  • Gordon

    A brief but interesting rummage through scholastic philosophers' and mediaeval explorers' ideas of the natural, the supernatural and the nature of the differences between them.I like Robert Bartlett as a television presenter and as a writer. This book is too short for him really to get his teeth into the subject but his humour still comes through.Be warned, while the book is 170 pages, the last 22 pages are bibliography and index, and a large proportion of many of the pages is taken up by Latin [...]

  • N.W. Martin

    A group of lectures converted into a monograph. Bartlett's research is informative if a bit lacking anything new to add. Good work but definitely not as groundbreaking as the Making of Europe.

  • Amy

    I read and reviewed this book for my medieval history class. I chose to read this book because of its length, or rather, its lack thereof. I know, I know: that is not a good excuse to read a book! However, it seemed like a good idea at a time when I was struggling with a math class and taking another class that involved a lot of writing. Needless to say, when I went through the list of books to choose from and typed the candidates that I had narrowed down into the search bar on , the fact that t [...]

  • Mark

    Interesting discussion of how the natural and supernatural was defined and how beliefs varied. In particular Bartlett shows that belief in the power of the heavens to influence events could in fact be seen as perfectly natural and part of God's plan. The main conclusion is that beliefs varied and that actually the idea of witchcraft being real and something to be feared developed later in the middle ages and produced the witch-hunts of the early modern period. Medieval thinkers actually thought [...]

  • Thomas

    Four lectures by Bartlett on medieval understandings of natural and supernatural, concepts of the universe, "marvels" like dog headed people, and Roger Bacon. Bartlett is always interesting and incredibly well-sourced: a rare scholar of the old school who values primary documentation and so has mastered a vast body of medieval literature. The lectures are diverse enough that someone looking for a focused discourse on the titular topic might be disappointed to find the wide spread of subject matt [...]

  • Maan Kawas

    Very interesting book, which addressed the natural and supernatural in the Medieval age (e.g. marvels, miracles, and magic), the geography and the inhabited world, the world as a machine, the moon and eclipses, and people with dog head, people with one foot, or people whose faces are in their chests, and so. I found the book interesting, as it showed how people viewed and interpreted things differently throughout history, which in turn affected their beliefs, conduct, and attitudes.