Liberal Arts

20140719_090058IMG_1323The next Ordered Universe symposium will take place at Bishop Grosseteste University, in Lincoln, 8th-10th April, 2015. Jack Cunningham and his team at BGU will be taking the helm for the symposium, dedicated to the two earliest of Grosseteste’s works, a second series of sessions on the De generatione sonorumOn the Generation of Sounds, and a first outing for the mysterious and rather beautiful De artibus liberalibusOn the Liberal Arts. The outline programme is available here (some of the details may change slightly!), and includes a public lecture from Richard BowerComparative Cosmologies: Robert Grosseteste and Modern Cosmology, which will take place on Thursday 9th April at 17.15.

We’re very excited to be embarking on a new treatise, as well as continuing to explore the De generatione sonorum. David Howard will have some new research on vocal tracts, and the text has been further established by Sigbjørn, with quite a lot of help and suggestions from Brian Tanner and Neil Lewis. The De artibus liberalibus takes us all the way back to Grosseteste’s early career, and to Hereford in particular. We’ll take the wonderful poem by Simon du OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFresne as our guide to this flourishing city of learning, as it was in the 1180s and 1190s, an active centre for astronomical and astrological learning (including, perhaps, a female exponent of the arts, Dinah) and mathematical knowledge, within the context of the liberal arts (the Trivium: Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric; and the Quadrivium: Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy and Music). Grosseteste’s interest in music emerges strongly in these texts, in the notions of harmony, and the relation of the cosmos to the human. These texts pre-date his knowledge of new Aristotelian learning, so we encounter him in late 12th century company and a society defining its curricula and modes of learning.

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