Models of the Dignity of the Human Being in the Middle Ages

34 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2010

See all articles by Antonio Pele

Antonio Pele

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Date Written: June 3, 2010


This article aims to show the existence of a discourse on the dignity of the human being throughout the Middle Ages. This discourse will be more developed during the Renaissance, with in particular the treaties upon the “dignitas hominis”. However, from the High Middle Ages, began to take shape different approaches that create various models of the dignity of the human being. Thus, a medieval humanism based on a new interpretation of the biblical sources and other sources of the classical philosophy, defends an inherent dignity of all human beings. This defense of the dignity of man aims to supplement and criticize other positions that claim the misery of human beings.

Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.

Keywords: Human dignity, Humanism, Middle Ages, St. Augustine, Grégoire de Nice, Nemesius of Emesa, Johannes Scotus Eriugena, Anselm of Canterbury, Bernard of Chartres, John of Salisbury, Thomas Aquinas, Bernard of Clairvaux, Arnobius, Lotario de Segni, dignitas hominis, miseria hominis

JEL Classification: K3

Suggested Citation

Pele, Antonio, Models of the Dignity of the Human Being in the Middle Ages (June 3, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Antonio Pele (Contact Author)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid ( email )

CL. de Madrid 126
Getafe (Madrid), Madrid 28903
+ 34 91 624 96 65 (Phone)


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