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liberal arts

In the context of Renaissance art, a term applied to pursuits that were considered primarily as exercises of the mind rather than of practical skill and craftsmanship. The concept of a ...

liberal arts

liberal arts   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
479 words
Illustration(s):
1

... arts By “liberal arts”, the pedagogues of Antiquity understood the disciplines preparatory to the study of philosophy proper, itself conceived as opening up access to supreme wisdom ; the “liberalarts, proper to the free man, were opposed to the “mechanical” arts which, depending on matter and manual labour , were the business of slaves. The canonical list of the liberal arts was fixed by Martianus Capella in his Marriage of Mercury and Philology ( c. 420 ): he distinguished the arts of the trivium or arts of the word ( grammar , rhetoric , ...

liberal arts

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The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
235 words

... arts In the context of Renaissance art, a term applied to pursuits that were considered primarily as exercises of the mind rather than of practical skill and craftsmanship. The concept of a distinction between ‘liberal’ (worthy of a free man: Lat., homo liber ) and ‘vulgar’ arts goes back to classical antiquity, and survived in one form or another up to the Renaissance, forming the basis of secular learning in the Middle Ages. In the early Renaissance the lowly position accorded to the visual arts was increasingly contested, providing a theoretical...

liberal arts

liberal arts   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)
Length:
233 words

... arts , The seven branches of learning, recognized in late antiquity by scholars such as Augustine , and organized in medieval and Renaissance schools and universities as a preliminary trivium (consisting of grammar, rhetoric , and logic, which is sometimes called dialectic) and an advanced quadrivium (consisting of arithmetic , geometry , astronomy , and music ). ‘Liberal’ has the sense of ‘pertaining to a free man’, and so the liberal arts studied by those of a superior social station were distinguished from the mechanical arts (which included...

liberal arts

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
143 words

... arts According to the canon of classical antiquity, the seven ‘liberalarts comprised arithmetic, astronomy, geometry and music (the theory as opposed to the practice), grammar, rhetoric, and logic. All seven were subordinate to philosophy, the supreme art. The liberal arts were deemed to be exercises of the intellect and therefore placed on a far superior level to such ‘vulgar’ achievements as practical skill and craftsmanship. The visual arts were only raised to the status of a liberal art in the Renaissance . This elevation came about as the result...

Liberal arts

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The Oxford Companion to Western Art

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
1,007 words

... arts , classical term for those areas of learning suitable for study by free men ( artes liberales ), as opposed to crafts practised by slaves ( artes vulgares ). Aristotle made the distinction in Politics 8.2, although the fragmentary nature of this section makes it impossible to decide which arts he had in mind. Subsequent authorities have tended to disagree over which arts are to be classed as liberal. Marcus Terentius Varro ( 116–27 bc ) provides us with a fairly standard list of nine liberal arts; grammar, logic, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic,...

Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Italian Literature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Literature
Length:
133 words

... Arts . Seven in number, the liberal arts constituted the core of the medieval arts syllabus and enshrined the encyclopedic ideal of medieval and Renaissance pedagogy. They were divided between the arts of discourse, the so-called trivium of grammar (which embraced both grammar in the modern sense and the study of literary texts), rhetoric and dialectic, and the more advanced mathematical or philosophical quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. Vocationally tailored to produce clerics and notaries, the domination of dialectic and...

liberal arts

liberal arts   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of Art (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
610 words

...theory of music) and trivium to the arts of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. Collectively these were known as the seven liberal arts, and were subservient to philosophy, the supreme art. In these, as in all classifications that preceded the concept of the fine arts , the word ‘art’ carries a very different signification from that which it bears in normal language today—closer to the meaning that survives in academic terminology such as ‘arts degree’. In the early Renaissance the lowly position accorded to the visual arts was increasingly contested, providing a...

Liberal Arts

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Markus Vinzent

The Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Religion
Length:
4,734 words

... Eastern traditions of the liberal arts. Aug.'s conf ., indeed, do not indicate details about the author's view on the liberal arts, but in doctr. Chr . 2, he expressly deals with the liberal arts, which makes him ‘the first person known to have essayed a large-scale theory of the liberal arts that would integrate them into a Christian programme of education’ (Vessey 18). In doctr. Chr . 2, however, he writes about the liberal arts only within the framework of how best to...

seven liberal arts

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Religion
Length:
60 words

...liberal arts . The group of sciences which formed the staple of secular education in the earlier Middle Ages, consisting of the elementary trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic) and the more advanced quadrivium (music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy). Not until the student had completed his studies in the liberal arts was he held competent to proceed to...

seven liberal arts

seven liberal arts   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
History, Early history (500 CE to 1500)
Length:
482 words

...the fall of *Constantinople in 1453 and the exodus of Greek scholars to the west, led to the Renaissance and the adoption of the seven liberal arts into the early modern curriculum. Leslie S. B. MacCoull P. Abelson , The Seven Liberal Arts: A Study in Medieval Culture (1906). W. H. Stahl and E. L. Burge , Martianus Capella and the Seven Liberal Arts , 2 vols (1971–77). D. L. Wagner , ed., The Seven Liberal Arts in the Middle Ages ...

Liberal Arts, Seven

Liberal Arts, Seven   Reference library

Roger Rees

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

... Arts, Seven A canon of academic disciplines associated with Martianus Capella and his encyclopedic De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii ( On the Marriage of Philology and Mercury ), a Latin text of the 5th century . After two books of introductory allegory , in which the marriage of Mercury and Philologia is arranged, each of the subsequent seven books is dedicated to a liberal art. The first three liberal arts, those concerned with language, Grammar , Dialectic, and Rhetoric, came to be known as the ‘trivium’, and the following four, those...

seven liberal arts

seven liberal arts   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011
Subject:
Literature, Classical studies
Length:
131 words

...liberal arts A loose classification of the subjects comprising the educational curriculum in the West during the Middle Ages, from the late fifth century ad onwards. The name ‘liberal arts’ seems to originate with Aristotle, who in the Politics talks of eleutherai epistemai , ‘branches of knowledge worthy of free men’, the basic knowledge needed for a properly educated citizen. They were divided into the trivium (‘where three ways meet’), namely grammar (i.e. literature), rhetoric, and dialectic (logic), and the more advanced quadrivium (‘where four...

seven liberal arts

seven liberal arts   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3 rev. ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Religion
Length:
142 words

...seven liberal arts . The group of sciences which formed the staple of secular education esp. in the earlier Middle Ages, consisting of the elementary trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic) and the more advanced quadrivium (music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy). This grouping derived from Martianus Capella (early 5th cent.), who drew it up on the basis of the ninefold arrangement of Varro by excluding architecture and medicine, but it did not become generally established until the time of Alcuin . In practice considerably more was covered by the...

Arts, the Liberal

Arts, the Liberal   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of Christian Art and Architecture (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Art & Architecture, Religion
Length:
590 words

..., the Liberal Secular education during the Middle Ages consisted of the Trivium, for the study of language (Grammar, Rhetoric, Dialectic), and the Quadrivium, for the study of the sciences (Geometry, Arithmetic, Music, Astronomy). Originally, there were nine subjects set out by Varro in the 1st century bc in his ‘Disciplinarum Libri IX’, an encyclopaedia of the Liberal Arts, which included architecture and medicine, but these were reduced to seven in the early 5th century ad by Martianus Capella who, between 410 and 429, wrote an allegory in which the...

Seven Liberal Arts

Seven Liberal Arts   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Chaucer

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005

...Liberal Arts , seven subjects of central importance to the medieval university curriculum, comprising the three introductory subjects of the Trivium (originally Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic), and the four mathematically founded subjects of the Quadrivium (Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy, and Music). The Trivium had been taught in more or less the same form from the time of Aristotle , and later in the Roman world, but it reached its summit in the cathedral schools of the 11th and 12th c., notably at Chartres. In these, its earliest phases, the Trivium was...

liberal arts

liberal arts noun   Quick reference

Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
89 words
liberal arts

liberal arts noun   Quick reference

New Oxford American Dictionary (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
94 words
liberal arts

liberal arts noun   Reference library

The Canadian Oxford Dictionary (2 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
29 words
liberal arts

liberal arts  

Reference type:
Overview Page
In the context of Renaissance art, a term applied to pursuits that were considered primarily as exercises of the mind rather than of practical skill and craftsmanship. The concept of a distinction ...
seven liberal arts

seven liberal arts  

The seven liberal arts of the medieval world consisted of the study of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, music, dialectic, rhetoric, and grammar.Devised as an educational curriculum in the ancient ...

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