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The Dicts and Sayings of the Philosophers (Paperback)

P&S History > Medieval World > Medieval Language & Literature

Imprint: Medieval Institute Publications
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9781580441056
Published: 30th November 2006
Casemate UK Academic


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At the forefront of the medieval wisdom tradition was The Dicts and Sayings of the Philosophers, a long prose text that purports to be a compendium of lore collected from biblical, classical, and legendary philosophers and sages. Dicts and Sayings was a well-known work that traveled across many lands and was translated into many languages. It became popular in England in the fifteenth century, and cemented its place in English literary history on 18 November 1477, when William Caxton printed an edition of Dicts and Sayings that was perhaps the first book ever printed in England. Dicts and Sayings is presented as a series of truisms handed down from a wise speaker to a receptive audience. The text introduces its audience to a long series of eminent wise men, with each philosopher’s words of wisdom being preceded by a biographical story that ranges from a few words to several manuscript pages.

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