George D. Economou
“Economou’s The Goddess Natura in Medieval Literature is one of the little classics of medieval literary scholarship, ranking with works by C.S. Lewis and E.K. Rand.” John Ganim, University of California, Riverside
The concept of the goddess Naturaone of the most significant allegorical figures of medieval Latin and vernacular poetrydrew upon many strands of classical and Christian thought, from Plato’s Timaeus to Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy. In what is perhaps the best history of the goddess Natura, George Economou provides a full-length study of her philosophical background and the literary traditions that contributed to her image.
Economou’s work focuses on the renaissance of the twelfth century, when a new kind of allegory appeared that celebrated and explored the nature of the cosmos. He analyzes the central role that Natura played in the writings of Bernard Silvestris, Jean de Meun, Alain de Lille, and Geoffrey Chaucer.
“Economou’s study remains unsurpassed as a survey and analysis of the Christian intellectual, theological, and poetic traditions that formulated Nature as a deity who is also the mediator of the Divine purpose. The Goddess Natura in Medieval Literature is a work of solidly grounded intellectual history and of real literary sensitivity.” Robert W. Hanning, Columbia University
This edition features a new introduction by the author and an updated bibliography.