Die Bettelorden in Mecklenburg: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Franziskaner, Klarissen. Dominikaner und Augustiner-Eremiten im Mittelalterby Ingo Ulpts, and: Die Franziskaner im mittelalterlichen Lüneburgby Silke Logemann (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 83, Number 2, April 1997
- pp. 315-317
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- Additional Information
BOOK REVIEWS315 that went before or came after—sufficiently different, at least, to demand a different name.Thus they claim that there was no natural phUosophy before the invention of natural phUosophy in the thirteenth century f?. 6, 88). One must wonder what it is that Aristotle offered Ui his libri naturales, if not natural philosophy .The branch of tliirteenth-century natural philosophy that French and Cunningham deal with most fully, and on which much of their case for discontinuity rests, is "optics" or "perspectiva." BeUeving (erroneously) that the works of Euclid, Ptolemy, and Ibn al-Haytham were Limited to the mathematical analysis of radiation, they discover radical discontinuity between thirteenth-century perspectiva and aU that went before (pp. 248, 250).They faU to understand that, although motivated by reUgious factors quite different from those present in their ancient Greek and medieval Islamic predecessors, the thirteenth-century perspectivists managed nonetheless to produce a comprehensive synthesis of the content of their predecessors' works (as they themselves repeatedly proclaimed ). If this does not count as continuity, then nothing in the history of early science does. These problems aside, French and Cunningham have made a powerful case for the religious motivation of natural phUosophy within the Dominican and Franciscan orders and within medieval culture more generaUy. I believe that a reading of the Uterary products of medieval natural phUosophy (including that of the mendicants) wUl discredit the suggestion that religion was the only motivating factor. But reUgion was there as an omnipresent element, an important player in the game of natural phUosophy, as it would remain untU weU into the nineteenth century. David C. Lindberg University ofWisconsin—Madison Die Bettelorden in Mecklenburg: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Franziskaner , Klarissen. Dominikaner und Augustiner-Eremiten im Mittelalter. By Ingo Ulpts. [Saxonia Franciscana: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Sächsischen Franziskanerprovinz, Band 6.] (Werl: Dietrich-Coelde-Verlag. 1995. Pp. xiv, 556.) Die Franziskaner im mittelalterlichen Lüneburg. By Silke Logemann. [Saxonia Franciscana, Band 7] (Werl·. Dietrich-Coelde-Verlag. 1996. Pp. xii, 106. 8 black-and-white photographs.) In response to Jacques Le Goff's 1968 charge in theAnnales,both Ingo Ulpts and Silke Logemann attempt to place the mendicants in their urban context. They examine such issues as the foundation of the houses, the convents' topographic location, the social origins of the friars and nuns, relations with the princes, municipal authorities, the burghers, and the secular clergy, the use of the convent buUdings for pubUc ??f?ßeß, the Observant reform, and the dissolution ofthe convents during the Reformation.After the coUapse ofthe German 316BOOK REVIEWS Democratic RepubUc, Ulpts obtained access to the relatively extensive latemedieval archives ofMecklenburg to write the first modern history ofthe mendicant orders in that German state. He ????f?p?eß many of these documents directíy in his text and pubUshes seventy-nine documents for the first time in an appendix. His monograph is divided into three major sections: the foundation ofthe eleven houses,a third ofaU the reUgious foundations in the medieval duchy; the late-medieval accommodation -with urban society; and the Reformation. Ulpts studies the foUowing houses (the dates in parentheses are the foundation dates): the Franciscans in Schwerin (around 1235-36); Rostock (around 1240); Parchim (around 1246); Wismar (1251-52); and Neubrandenburg (around 1260); the Dominicans in Rostock (1256); Röbel (around 1286); and Wismar (1292-93); the Clares in Ribnitz (1323-24); the Austin Friars in Sternberg (1500); and Franciscan Observants in Güstrow (1509). His findings do not change appreciably my dating of the expansion of the Franciscans and Dominicans in the thirteenth century, but as a local historian Ulpts is better able to place the foundations into their specific poUtical and social context, even where direct evidence is lacking.The friars arrived in Mecklenburg only a generation after its effective Christianization, and thus, as I had already pointed out about the East-Elbian lands in general, played a crucial role in the formation of the new Christian and German society.AU of the houses were princely foundations , and in varying degrees retained their ties to the ruling dynasty. For example , several non-regnant members of the family were buried in the church of the Wismar Franciscans...