Robert Grosseteste at Munich: The "Abbreviatio" by Frater Andreas, O.F.M., of the Commentaries by Robert Grosseteste on the Pseudo-Dionysius. Edition, Translation, and Introduction by James McEvoy (†). Prepared for Publication by Philipp W. Rosemann. x-131 pp., ISBN 978-90-429-2560-1, 38€/US$52.
Robert Grosseteste at Munich contains an edition, translation, and careful study of a short and hitherto completely neglected text from a manuscript in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, MS. clm 8827. This codex—a collection of extracts from a broad range of texts conducive to spiritual contemplation—includes an abbreviatio of Robert Grosseteste’s commentaries on the corpus dionysiacum. Professor McEvoy’s detailed introduction identifies the author of the abridgment as one Friar Andreas, a Franciscan of the southern German province who worked in the second quarter of the fifteenth century. McEvoy is able to identify a series of early owners of the codex, which turns out to be intimately connected with the history of the Franciscan community at Munich—indeed, with the history of Munich itself. For, as McEvoy shows, MS. clm 8827 did not remain unaffected by historical turning-points such as the secularization of 1802 and even World War II.
Friar Andreas’s text is accompanied by the glosses of “Finehand,” a mystically inclined mind who may well have been a Franciscan nun. Finehand represents another layer in the tradition of the reception of the Pseudo-Dionysius, and of Robert Grosseteste’s commentary upon the Pseudo-Dionysius, which this volume minutely chronicles.
James McEvoy (1943–2010) was a distinguished historian of medieval thought best known for his work on Robert Grosseteste and the philosophy of friendship. McEvoy’s career included chairs at the Queen’s University of Belfast, the Université catholique de Louvain, and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He was Maître agrégé at Louvain and a member of the Royal Irish Academy.
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