The Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain
John Wiley & Sons
Grammar and rhetoric were the disciplines charged with teaching correct and effective use of language in antiquity. In the Middle Ages, these disciplines served to maintain Latin as a language of culture, religion, and administration over much of Europe. Grammatical studies flourished in medieval England following the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. Subsequent developments in grammatical and rhetorical studies in Britain in the Middle Ages track deep changes in the social conditioning of literacy and social demands upon literacy. Among the medieval English innovations in these disciplines were the teaching of Latin as a foreign language, the cultural accommodation of grammar and rhetoric to Christianity, the creation of new genres of rhetorical textbooks, and the development of bilingual pedagogies that paired Latin with vernacular languages.
Ian Cornelius, “Grammars and Rhetorics,” in The Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain, ed. Siân Echard and Richard Rouse (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2017), 912–25.
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