The Intellectual Awakening of Medieval Europe
Europe experienced a major intellectual growth during the central Middle Ages. In the primitive society of early medieval Europe, where everyone's main concern was staying alive, little value had been placed upon the affairs of the mind. This chapter discusses that the landed nobles became a social class during the central Middle Ages and tried to develop an ethic of their own moral virtue and superiority. It describes the term 'scholasticism' which is used loosely to indicate the method of argument used in the schools of medieval Europe: a proposition was stated, and contrary arguments, with their justifications from the sources, were apposed to it. The chapter explains the international popularity of French literature which slowed the development of Italian as a literary language until the thirteenth century, but it then spread rapidly. It talks about the vernacular literature that circulated at noble courts consisted of epics and romances, both of which were stylized and patronized, and lyric poetry.