Daily Draw: The Book of Thoth Etteilla Tarot, Seven of Wands
Oh these naughtily insistent cards. I drew this at 9am couldn't think of an immediate history post so left it till tonight, shuffled and drew again - guess what same card :D
Pourparler - exchange of ideas. The more I read about medieval intellectuals the more I am impressed by their polymathy and productivity. Example - Roger Bacon who circa 1237-47 accepted an invitation to teach at the University of Paris and subsequently lectured on Latin Grammar, Aristotelian logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy and Music. Who in our modern university system could do this now?
In 1267 or 1268, Bacon sent the Pope his Opus Majus. This formed part of larger body of scholarly work of around a million words in about a year - an extraordinary example of academic productivity.
Encompassing work on mathematics, optics, alchemy and astronomy the Opus was divided into seven sections and was intended as a proposal for the reform of the university curriculum, the establishment of a library and the employment of experts to compose definitive texts on such topics as optics, astronomy (astrology) alchemy, agriculture (botany and zoology) medicine, experimental science - a philosophy of science to guide the others.
And so the seeds were sown for the destruction of polymathy. Expertise, specialisation, being definitive. The emergence of a cadre of academics able to speak to only one subject (and within that probably only their own research tribe).