Alain de Lille


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Alain de Lille

(älăN` də lēl), c.1128–c.1202, French scholastic philosopher, a Cistercian, honored by his contemporaries as the Universal Doctor. He was born in Lille; he taught at Paris and Montpellier before retiring to Cîteaux. Alain attempted to give rational support to the tenets of Christian faith in his writings. He held that the mind unaided by revelation can know the universe, but by faith alone can man know God. Although his thought was largely Neoplatonic, he made use of numerous Aristotelian and neo-Pythagorean elements. The mathematical and deductive method had an important place in the working out of his theology. One of his chief works, De fide catholica contra haereticos, was written in order to refute heretics and unbelievers. Alain de Lille was also one of the foremost didactic poets of his day; his chief poem Anticlaudian (tr. 1935) is a complicated allegory. He is also called Alanus de Insulis, the Latin form of his name.
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87) Alain de Lille praised Nature herself: "Her teeth by a certain uniformity in colour resembled a configuration in ivory.
88 Alain de Lille, Deplanctu naturae 121-22 (prose); trans.
Although the Old High German Georgslied is treated, the same is not true of the Gallusfied (where the relationship between vernacular and Latin comes more to the fore) To include Ruodlieb would have given historical depth to the discussion of the romance, whilst the chapter on allegorical writing could only have profited from an article on, say, Alain de Lille (in view of his affiliations with the romance and with Gottfried's Tristan in particular).
It is convincingly shown how this vernacular work is consciously written within the tradition of mediaeval Latin allegorical epic -- via Bernardus Silvestris, Alain de Lille, Johannes de Hauvilla and others -- casting its figures within the framework of the crucial contrast between the spirit directed towards God and the flesh as the source of evil, the blessed bride and the wretched whore, Mary and Venus, which gives rise also to the tide of this study.
Economou, |The character Genius in Alain de Lille, Jean de Meun, and John