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Speculum: Homo Viator: Mediaeval Ideas on Alienation and Order

Speculum: Homo Viator: Mediaeval Ideas on Alienation and Order

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Published by annelai_
Speculum is the oldest U.S. journal devoted exclusively to the Middle Ages. The chronological boundaries of the medieval period are defined as approximately A.D. 500-1500. The primary geographic focus of the journal is on Western Europe, but Byzantine, Hebrew, Arabic, and Slavic studies are also included. There are no restrictions as to subject matter: the journal publishes articles and book reviews on any and all aspects of the Middle Ages, including art, history, literature, philosophy and theology, music, science, law, and economics. All scholarly methodologies and approaches are welcome.
Speculum is the oldest U.S. journal devoted exclusively to the Middle Ages. The chronological boundaries of the medieval period are defined as approximately A.D. 500-1500. The primary geographic focus of the journal is on Western Europe, but Byzantine, Hebrew, Arabic, and Slavic studies are also included. There are no restrictions as to subject matter: the journal publishes articles and book reviews on any and all aspects of the Middle Ages, including art, history, literature, philosophy and theology, music, science, law, and economics. All scholarly methodologies and approaches are welcome.

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Medieval Academy of America
Homo Viator: Mediaeval Ideas on Alienation and OrderAuthor(s): Gerhart B. LadnerSource:
Speculum,
Vol. 42, No. 2 (Apr., 1967), pp. 233-259Published by:
Stable URL:
Accessed: 19/04/2011 21:36
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SPEC
AJOURNALOFMEDIAEVAL STUDIES
Vol.XT,TTAPRIL 1967No. 2
HOMO VIATOR:MEDIAEVALIDEAS ONALIENATION ANDORDER
BYGERHARTB.LADNER*
HomoViator-manis awayfarer.Heisawanderer betweentwoworlds,butin morethan one sense.Hemayhavearound himself anaura of divinebeinglikethelong-sufferinggodlikeUlyssesorPlato's EleaticStrangerorProspero,Shakespeare'sexiledislandprince.Or hemaybe surroundedbyanatmosphereofdemonic horrorliketheMedusa andCaliban,monstrousbeingswho havebecome,orhavealwaysbeen,deeply estrangedfromgodsand men.Indeed,Homo Viatorcanbesosublime and so low that I wasdoubtful whether Ishouldbringhim to ourbanquettonightineither form. ButalreadyPlatohassug-gestedontheoccasionofanevenmore famousSymposiumthat tothe feastofthe wise both thegoodandthelessgoodunbiddengo-and so Ihopethatyouwill receive withgoodgrace,and not without concernfor hisultimatefate,astrangerandwayfarerwhomaytravelas apilgrimfromand toaneternal orderormay defyorderas analienated rebelormayassumetheguiseof afoolor beavictimofdelusion.Theconceptsofvia,viator,the relatedones ofperegrinus,peregrinatio,andofalienus,alienatioonthe onehand,and ofordo,ordinareontheother,arequiteessentialingredientsofearlyChristian and mediaevalthoughtandlife.Nobodywillexpectmetosketch their entirehistoryduringtheMiddleAgesnor totracefullytheirrelationto modernideas,especiallyto thehypertrophyofalienationideologyinour own time.Modern studiesonalienation outnumberthose onorderfarmore thanahun-dred fold. Theapparentlyinexhaustiblepossibilitiesofapplicationoftheconceptofalienation tothe realitiesof ouragearevividlyillustratedbyGeraldSykes'
*Thispaperissubstantiallyidentical with anaddress,deliveredattheannualdinneroftheMediaevalAcademyofAmerica,28December1965,heldinconnection with theeightiethannualmeetingof the AmericanHistorical AssociationatSan Francisco.Iamgreatlyindebted toDrW.Ehlers,Director of theThesaurusLinguaeLatinae,who sent me theThesaurus material for thewordviator.Iamalsovery gratefultomyResearchAssistant,MrAnthonyGagliano,whogatheredmuchmaterialon theconceptionsofalienationand order and related terms inpatristicandmediaevalLatinwriters;of this materialonlyasmallpartisused here.Finally,Iwant toexpressmysinceregratitudetoProfessor MiltonAnastos,whokindlyreadthepaperbefore itwasdeliveredas an address. The morepersonal styleofan addresshasbeen maintainedalsointheprintedform.238
 
Homo Viator:AlienationandOrder
collectionofexcerptsfrom "alienated" literature.Imayperhapsquotefromhisintroduction:...wearechronologicallyarbeyondthedaywhentheSchoolmen olduswithmediaevalsimplicitythatalienationmeantestrangementromGod[thismediaevalsimplicity,asweshallseesoon,andhardlyoourgreatsurprise,was notalwaysassimplemindeds MrSykeswouldseemtoimply],weare now confrontedwith secularaccusations hatdonolessdamageo ourselfesteem.Rousseauhastoldus,andaromanticchorushasechoed,that welivealienatedromnature;Marxhas toldus,anda Communisthorushasechoed,thatwe live alienatedromsociety; Kierkegaardas toldus,andanExistentialistchorushasechoed,hatwelive alienatedrom ourselves.1Of evengreaterinterestforthephenomenology,andretrospectivelythehistory,of alienationisthequiterecentbookbyKennethKeniston,entitledTheUn-committed,whichdeals with alienatedyouth.2In characteristiccontrast,thereis,Ithink,onlyonegreatcontemporarybookontheidea oforder,EricVoegelin'sOrderandHistory,whichhoweverhasnotyetprogressed beyondJudaicandGreekAntiquity.3AllI canattempttonightistodraw some cross-sectionsfortheMiddleAges,withafewmoregeneralperspectives.Assumingthat the MiddleAges begansomewhere around thetimeofGregorytheGreat,Imayfirst introduceafew utterancesof thisepochalsimplifierofthepatristictradition. These texts willnaturallylead usbackto some ofthe earlierFathers andtoHolyScriptureitself,aswellasforwardtothat half-millenniuminwhichthemonk-pope Gregorywasrecognizedas one ofthegreatmastersofthe West.IntheMoralia,hisgreatcommentaryonthe bookofJob,Gregoryintimatesthat thefallenangelis thealienus,the alienorstranger,parexcellence4 nodoubt becausehe wasconsideredto be thefirstamongthebeingsalienatedfromGod andfromthe divineorderthroughabreakdownoflove.Similarly,thealieni,againstwhomthe biblical writerofthebookofProverbswarns theyoungman,areinterpretedby Gregoryin hisPastoralRuleasspiritusmaligni,asdemons.6AgainintheMoralia,hesays:"Let then theiniquitousflourish,fortheyarealien to the flowerofthe eternalheritage."6
1
G.Sykes,Alienation:TheCulturalClimate fOurTime(NewYork,1964),xiii.
2
K.Keniston,TheUncommitted:lienatedYouthnAmericanocietyNewYork,1965).
3
E.Voegelin,Order ndHistory,vols.(BatonRouge,LouisianaStateUniversityPress,1956f.).Meanwhile,f.theexcellentworkbyJ.Rief,DerOrdobegriffesungenAugustinusPaderborn, 962),also J.Krings,Ordo:Philosophisch-historischerundlegunginerabendldndischendee(Halle,1941).SpecializedStudieson theterminologyndideologyof ordern theMiddleAgesarearealdesider-atum.AbeginninghasrecentlybeenmadebyG. C.Waterson,UneEtude6mantiqueu motordreetquelquesmotsdelamemefamilleansefrangaisdumoyengeGeneve,1965)andbyB.Willsonnthestudiescitedbelow,note 80.4GregoryheGreat,Moraliaxni,36, 41,Migne,PatrologiaLatina(henceforthited:PL)Lxxv,1005C:Quisveroalienusnisiapostatangelusocatur?toJobxv19).Cf.alsoMoralia,xxxiv,
8,
6,
PL, LXXVI,20D(toOseevnI19).
6GregoryheGreat,RegulaPastoralis,II,12(36),Migne,PL,
LXXVII,
67A(toProv. v9).Cf.alsoibid.,III,24(48),PL,LXXVII,5D(toProv.v17 andPs.liii[liv]5).6Moralia,xxi, 4, 8,Migne,PL
IxxvI,
193Cf.:Nunquidnonperditioestiniquoet alienatioope-
234

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