Contributions of contemporary science to Chaucer’s work

Contributions of contemporary science to Chaucer’s work

By Beatrice Mary Binder

Master’s Thesis, University of Saskatchewan, 1959

Abstract: In this study I have endeavoured to explore the various branches of the mainstream of Medieval Sciences and to present a survey of the currents of scientific thought in the Chaucerian period.

I have attempted to make an assessment of Chaucer’s use of the sciences in his poetry and to form an estimate of his own attitude toward them. In these respects, new scholarly investigations of astrology, alchemy, and magic that appeared in this decade, along with the recent publication of an English translation from the Greek of Claudius Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos, have been invaluable, as well as Lynn Thorndike’s exhaustive study of A History of Magic and Experimental Science.

The thesis shows that the Medieval Sciences made a significant contribution to Chaucer’s mind and art, and that Chaucer shared the attitude of great scholars before and after him: he accepted some of the prevailing ideas of his time and he rejected others that did not appear reasonable or just.

Click here to read this thesis from the University of Saskatchewan

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