Medieval Criticism: Poetics, Aesthetics, and Hermeneutics

38 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2014

Date Written: 1991


This paper offers an overview of the main figures and subjects in medieval criticism in the Western tradition, covering both secular poetics and those topics in theological reflection and Biblical commentary which have some relevance for literary theory. The first section deals with medieval poetics, discussing literature theory with reference to the trivium and the quadrivium, with a special focus on the poetics of Geoffrey de Vinsauf. This is followed by a short section on aesthetics and a more detailed treatment of medieval hermeneutics. The main figures and topics in this section include Augustine, pseudo-Dionysius, Aquinas, Dante, and Boccaccio, with a discussion of the theological dimension of literature, of symbolism, allegory, and of the modes of hermeneutical interpretation.

Keywords: Literary theory, Criticism, Medieval criticism, Medieval philosophy, Theology, Biblical criticism, Interpretation, Poetics, Hermeneutics, Scholasticism

Suggested Citation

Garcia Landa, Jose Angel, Medieval Criticism: Poetics, Aesthetics, and Hermeneutics (1991). Available at SSRN: or

Jose Angel Garcia Landa (Contact Author)

Universidad de Zaragoza ( email )

Gran Via 2
Zaragoza, 50005


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