Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0302-5160
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9781
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The Absoluta is a Summa on Priscian's Institutiones grammaticae, Books XVII-XVIII, which deal with syntax, so called from its opening word. The author was probably Petrus Hispanus, who is otherwise unknown. The work was presumably written in Paris in the third quarter of the 12th century. It survives in 14 manuscripts spread widely over Europe, and dating from ca. 1200 to the 14th century. The same author perhaps wrote a Summa on Priscian, Books I-XVI, known also from its opening words as Strenuum negotiatorem, of which only a fragment of the beginning survives in a single manuscript. In the Absoluta the author follows the order of treatment of subjects in Priscian, but proceeds chiefly by raising questions on doubtful points. He emphatically distinguishes the tasks of the grammarian and of the dialectician, yet makes much use of the methods of the latter. Thus, in the discussion of the case to be used after the verb substantive, the rule is propounded and argued on logical grounds. His theoretical framework is that of the Summa of Petrus Helias (mid-12th cent.), which he uses freely, and though he makes some advances, as in the use of the term modus significandi and of the concept of suppositio, he is still at the stage where they do not bear their later technical sense.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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