Das Prosimetrum De precepto Prudentie des Nichasius de Planca (gest. vor 1307)

Eine Verteidigung der paganen Poesie im Milieu der Pariser Universität


  • Thomas Haye




Nichasius de Planca, Prosimetrum, Pagan poetry, University of Paris, Boethius, Tournai, Utrecht


Thomas Haye: The Prosimetrum De precepto Prudentie by Nichasius de Planca (d. before 1307). A Defence of Pagan Poetry within the Milieu of the University of Paris

Towards the end of the 13th century, the Flemish Nichasius de Planca was studying theology at the University of Paris. When Jean de Vassogne, Bishop of Tournai (1292 – 1300), withdrew his financial support because of a personal conflict, Nichasius went in search of a new patron. To this end, he wrote the prosimetrum De precepto Prudentie in 1297 and dedicated it to William of Berthout, Bishop of Utrecht (1296 – 1301).
The hitherto unedited work is modelled on Boethius (De consolatione Philosophiae). In the first book, Nichasius describes how he is commissioned by the personified Prudentia to promote within the scholastic milieu the intellectual benefits of the scorned poetry (this refers primarily to the pagan poetry of antiquity). In the second book, the author carries out this mission with the help of Aristotelian methods.
The outstanding importance of this prosimetrum results not only from its elaborate style, but also from its position in literary history. Here, a theologically trained author of the late Middle Ages makes a strong plea for the integration of pagan poetry into the scholastic system.

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