“How shall the world be served?” Aspects of the Medieval secular world.
1.X. – 1.XI.2012,
Saint Louis (MO), Vatican Film Library, Pius XII Memorial Library.
The exhibit takes its title from the sentiment expressed by the monk of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, whose lavish clothing and yen for hunting set him at odds with the discipline for solemn study and physical labor followed by his fellow Benedictines. This exhibit of medieval manuscript facsimiles focuses on secular themes in vernacular and Latin manuscripts, featuring copies of Dante's Italian epic poem Divina Commedia; the Spanish adventure narrative El Caballero Zifar; the French book of aristocratic leisurely pursuits called The Hunting Book of Gaston Phébus; human-animal relations as shown in a Latin medieval bestiary; medical practices depicted in the German Wellcome Apokalypse; and adaptations of classical literature in the St. Petersburg copy of the Roman de Troie.
This exhibit is curated by Ashley Nolan, doctoral candidate in the Department of English and research assistant in the Vatican Film Library. It is held in conjunction with the annual Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12-13. For more information on the exhibit or the conference, contact the Vatican Film Library.