Date of Award

Spring 1936

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures


For centuries the Middle Ages have been looked upon as a period of ignorance and stagnation. The twelfth century in particular, often known as the century of St. Bernard, has been regarded as an epoch when humanity, like a pilgrim along the highways of the world, intent upon the horrors of sin, death and judgement, rode on, unconscious of the beauties of the road, or of the blessings of life. Only in recent years have historians begun to realize and to admit that the Middle Ages were less dark and less static than was commonly supposed. The twelfth century, the epoch of the Crusades, of the rise of towns, and of the origin of the first European universities, left its impress upon higher education, on scholastic philosophy, on European systems of law, of architecture, sculpture and poetry. Like other products of his age, Hugh of St. Victor has, until recent years been looked upon with contempt as a narrow-minded mystic, out of touch with the world of thought and study, who hampered rather than helped scientific progress. A careful examination of his works, however, has led to a truer examination of one who has since been called "the most influential theologian of the twelfth century". It is the purpose of this thesis to give to the English reader an opportunity to evaluate for himself one of the important works of Hugh of St. Victor, for, as far as the writer has been able to discover, no translation of the Didascalion has ever appeared.