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The Sources of Wisdom: Robert Holcot’s Political Theology

By Erin Walsh

The Dominican preacher, exegete, and philosopher, Robert Holcot (b. circa 1290) trained at Oxford and there completed his regency (c. 1338). At this point in his career he became acquainted with Richard de Bury, the bishop of Durham and scholar often credited with composing the Philobiblion. His relationship with the house of Richard de Bury provided Holcot access to classical texts which feature prominently in his later commentary on the Twelve Prophets.

Commenting on pagan wisdom: the last medieval commentaries on the Distichs of Cato

By W. Martin Bloomer

A fundamental challenge facing not simply this panel but the medieval reader was the difference between wisdom literature on the one hand and the interpretation of literature as wisdom on the other. The accessus tradition and more importantly the approach to literature taught in the schools that it reflects has the reader consider of whatever piece of literature is before him, cui parti philosophiae subponatur. The answer for most pagan literature is ethics.

Book IV of the Dialogues attributed to Gregory the Great as a commentary on Ecclesiastes 9

By Charles Kuper

If there a consensus among readers of the corpus of wisdom literature, it is that a proper understanding of these texts requires interpretation. For Gregory the Great (d. 604), one of the earlier writers on wisdom literature, this drive often took the traditional form, commentaries composed in the form of a treatise such as the monumental Moralia in Iob and In Canticum Canticorum.