Composed in Paris in the late 1120’s, Hugh of St. Victor’s Didascalicon provided intellectual and practical orientation for students of varying ages and levels of attainment who came in numbers to the newly founded Abbey of Saint Victor. As students took up studies at their different levels, this “medieval guide to the arts” offered a survey of all they should ultimately read, and of the order, manner, and purpose which should govern their reading, both in the arts or disciplines, and in Sacred Scripture. Jerome Taylor provides an in-depth introduction to The Didascalicon of Hugh of St. Victor where he discusses the life of Hugh of St. Victor, the translation process from Latin to English, and the various original manuscripts still in existence.
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This treatise, produced in the early years of the twelfth-century Renaissance by one of its most important theologians and educators, offers a vision of human knowledge as an integrated whole that works to perfect the human person. It is a crucial text for those interested in the study of the Bible in the Middle Ages, in the history of schools and pedagogy, and in the survival of the classical tradition in the West.
—Caroline Walker Bynum, Columbia University
Hugh of St. Victor (c. 1096–1141) taught at the Augustinian Abbey of Saint Victor in Paris after which he is named. His numerous theological works and commentaries on Augustine were highly regarded, and the hundreds of original works that have survived in libraries all across Europe today reflect how popular and influential they were.
Jerome Taylor was a professor of medieval studies at Notre Dame University. He has translated, edited, or contributed to numerous books, including Medieval English Drama: Essays Critical and Contextual, Chaucer Criticism: An Anthology, and Nature, Man, and Society in the Twelfth-Century: Essays on New Theological Perspectives in the Latin West.