[PDF Notes] The chief features of the medieval world-picture may be summarized as follows

The chief features of the medieval world-picture may be summarized as follows:

(a) The universe was still conceived, according to the old Ptolemaic astronomy, as a vast system of concentric spheres with the earth at the centre.

(b) Frome more matter upto God there stretched a continuous ‘chain of being’ in which man formed the vital central link.

(c) A complicated harmony was manifest in constant correspondences between different planes of existence. Man was the ‘microcosm’, a little world, reflected in miniature the organization of the whole universe.

(d) Human temperament was the result of varying blends of the four corresponding bodily fluids or ‘humours’, choler, blood, phlegm and melancholy (black bile).

(e) In such a conception of the world and man’s place in it, physics, physiology, psychology, philosophy and religion seem to the modern mind to be hopelessly intermingled.

(f) Knowledge was still based to a considerable extent on the authority of earlier writers, on traditional theology, or on analogies. The road to learning was still the traditional one of grammar, rhetoric, and logic, and university education was still largely medieval in conception and method.

(g) Above all, Faith and Reason were not commonly set in opposition to each other, and their spheres were not sharply distinguished.

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