The Envy of Angels
Cathedral Schools and Social Ideals in Medieval Europe, 950-1200
C. Stephen Jaeger
Winner of the 1995 Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History
"Important and stimulating."—History
"This book is concerned with the shaping of the scholarly tradition in the West, and as such it is a brilliant exposition of the charismatic ideals and the intellectual aspirations of the masters and scholars who brought it into being, and whose influence was to linger on almost down to our own time and place."—Journal of Religious History
"Jaeger has brought together an impressive collection of documents that few know and understand as well as he."—Speculum
"[Jaeger] is utterly convincing on his main points, especially his analysis of eleventh-century materials, where he successfully moves beyond the analysis of literary genre and image to the description of a living educational environment that until now has been difficult to grasp fully. The importance and value of this accomplishment can scarcely be admired enough."—History of Education Quarterly
"Few medievalists command classical and medieval writings on ethics, morality, manners, ecclesiastical and secular culture, as well as pertinent vitae and correspondence, as does Jaeger. . . . Rich, engaged, and fluently written."—Journal of English and Germanic Philology
"Jaeger has produced a fulsome study of a largely unknown era in the history of ideas and higher learning in the Middle Ages. . . . A departure from much of the literature on medieval learning."—American Historical Review
Before the rise of universities, cathedral schools educated students in a course of studies aimed at perfecting their physical presence, their manners, and their eloquence. The formula of cathedral schools was "letters and manners" (litterae et mores), which asserts a pedagogic program as broad as the modern "letters and science." The main instrument of what C. Stephen Jaeger calls "charismatic pedagogy" was the master's personality, his physical presence radiating a transforming force to his students. In The Envy of Angels, Jaeger explores this intriguing chapter in the history of ideas and higher learning and opens a new view of intellectual and social life in eleventh- and early twelfth-century Europe.
C. Stephen Jaeger is Professor of Germanics and Comparative Literature at the University of Washington. He is the author of Ennobling Love: In Search of a Lost Sensibility and The Origins of Courtliness: Civilizing Trends and the Formation of Courtly Ideals, 939-1210, both published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.