The Philosophers And Theologians Of The Middle Ages

1837 Words May 12th, 2015 8 Pages
The philosophers and theologians of the Middle Ages were aware of the limits of their Western European geography. Possessed with the knowledge of other countries and empires, but unable to actually travel there, these thinkers were tormented by their lack of information. Relying on stories told by merchants and sailors, local tales and legends, as well as varied and inaccurate ancient histories, they tried to cobble together maps, travelogues, and books detailing as much of the world as they knew, or believed existed. From these sometimes accurate and often fanciful accounts of mythical beasts and cities, one can see the development of many elements of modern day thought on race and racial origin. Reports of giants, of pygmies, of people with only one-leg or with their faces on their chests, just to name a few, were declared factual and accepted by the majority of Western Europeans, educated and non-educated alike . These descriptions usually were accompanied by a discussion of humanity, and by and large, most of these other “peoples” were considered inferior, and even “monstrous” simply because of their different physical features or different cultural habits. In this essay, I will examine the works of medieval thinkers and trace the evolution of these legends as they turned into scientific fact, and will also discuss how much of modern race theory and thought are innately rooted in these colorful descriptions and myths. In order to put the Middle Ages in their proper…

More about The Philosophers And Theologians Of The Middle Ages

Open Document