Beauty in the Middle Ages: A Forgotten Transcendental?

Beauty in the Middle Ages: A Forgotten Transcendental?

Aertsen, Jan A.

Medieval Philosophy and Theology, vol. 1 (1991)


Ήabent sua fata libelli” (Books have their own fates). This saying is especially applicable to the scholarly work of Umberto Eco. In the fifties he published in Italian studies of Thomas Aquinas’s aesthetics and of beauty in the Middle Ages that shared the lot of so many scholarly publications: they attracted attention only in a restricted circle. But after the success of Eco’s novel, The Name of the Rose, his earlier studies too have gained a large audience among publishers and the public. In 1986, Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages appeared, followed in 1988 by the English translation of Eco’s dissertation, The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas.

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