Ralph Hexter

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Latin Literature

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394016
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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  • Classical Studies
  • Classical Reception
  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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This article focuses on the problematics of a medieval Latin canon and medieval Latin literary history, emphasising the idea of “minor literature” that Deleuze and Guattari reference in their subtitle. Given the dominance of the classical, one might well say that medieval Latin literature does not need to have either its own literary history or canon. Medieval Latin would then be appropriately treated as a mere phase of Latin literary history. It depends on a canon of auctores. Yet among the challenges of mapping medieval Latin literary history and its canon, it can be noted that there is no new and complete set of medieval Latin auctores or masters. Medieval Latinity is a literary culture content to have inherited the great majority of its masters and, further, one that, while affording the role of auctor supremacy, understands literary culture as involving a much more collective sense of authoring, including all the other functions involved or implicated in the processes of copying, annotating, and commenting.

Keywords: medieval Latin canon; minor literature; auctores; Medieval Latinity; Deleuze and Guattari

Article.  10000 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Reception ; Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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