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Letter to Guillaume Budé, March 4, 1521
François Rabelais (1494?-1553) was a French Renaissance writer remembered for his comic masterpiece, Gargantua and Pantagruel. This letter is the first known text by Rabelais. It was written in 1521, when Rabelais was a young monk at the Franciscan monastery of Fontenay-le-Comte, and deeply immersed in the study of Greek and the humanities. The letter is addressed to Guillaume Budé, a classical scholar whom Rabelais admired. Intended to attract Budé’s attention and elicit his encouragement, the letter employs the conventional motifs of classical humanism. Rabelais left the cloister ...
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National Library of France
Three Books on the Soul
Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn Rushd (also known by the Latinized version of his name, Averroes, 1126–98) was a Muslim jurist, physician, and philosopher from Cordoba, Spain, best known in the West for reintroducing Aristotle to Europe and in the East for his medical works. He studied theology, law, and medicine, and wrote important works in all of these fields. He served as the religious judge of Seville in 1169–72 and as the chief judge of Cordoba in 1172–82. In 1169, Ibn Rushd began writing a series of ...
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Qatar National Library
On Monastic Vows
De votis monasticis (On monastic vows) is Martin Luther’s attack on the monastic life. Coming just four years after he posted his 95 theses in Wittenberg, the work was an important component of his broader plans for reforming the Christian church in the West. In this booklet, which was written during his stay at Wartburg Castle in 1521—a time when Luther was moving beyond his attacks on indulgences to other issues—the great reformer argued that monks and nuns can violate their vows without committing a sin, since ...
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Hill Museum & Manuscript Library