Essay - Changing Concepts of Nature and Individual Differences in the Late...

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Changing Concepts of Nature and individual Differences in the late Middle Ages

Explore the ways ***** which the humanities reflect changing concepts of nature and individual differences during the Late Middle Ages. Select specific works to illustrate your view of the changes that have occurred and present explanation ***** how ***** why the concepts characterize the period. Make a connection ***** Ancient Egypt, ***** Greece and Ancient Rome ***** discuss ***** ***** that are evident.

***** would be too easy to generalize that the ancient Greeks and Romans saw ***** as 'good' and that early Christian medieval society did not. Greeks such as Hippocrates celebrated ***** need to c***** of the body, while Platonists disdained the value ***** ***** material, bodily world in contrast to the heavenly sphere of the 'forms.' Roman Stoics stressed mastery of ***** ***** as a w*****y of becoming more harmonious with the natural world and strove not to counteract humanity's innate sense ***** balance ***** nature but the Roman army mastered nature by constructing mighty aqueducts. Later, while ***** ascetics mortified their physical bodies, the natural world could ***** be rejected entirely by Christians as God had created the world, thus ***** world must be good, even if humanity w***** fallen. In fact, the stress upon ***** relics ***** signified the miracles ***** presence of the saints in the material ***** were not unlike ***** religious significance given to the corporal body in Ancient Egypt. Of course, the body itself did ***** ascend to heaven in Christian belief, as it did according to the pagan, *****ian belief system. However, the stress upon creating beautiful ********** to enclose the physical remains of the dead is analogous to Egyptian attitudes.

*****, the divide in human thought regarding the ***** and nature is not as clear as one might be tempted to assume. Particularly ***** the late, as opposed ***** the early Middle Ages, there was a revivification in the interest s*****n towards the classical world, and learning which ***** part ***** a new respect for ***** individual and an accept*****ce of the natural sciences. For example, the ***** Christian philosopher Augustine wrote that although God had created the universe "as nebulous matter, within which lay 'primal seeds'" ***** "grew and developed into the universe and its life *****ms, guided by the ***** laws that ***** had laid down...investigation ***** debate about such matters was ***** encouraged in ***** early Middle Ages; ***** himself wrote, 'Seek not to understand that you may believe, ***** believe that you may understand'" (Waggoner, 1997). But later, Aqu*****as joined the two approaches ***** philosophy and *****ology ***** present a theory of the cosmos. "Reason was no longer conceived as ***** nemesis of Faith...Aquinas [claimed] that both were paths to a single truth: 'God exists'" (Kreis, 2000). Philosophy and reason in general were ***** longer seen as hostile to faith.

***** Late Middle Ages was characterized by interest in anatomy, as is reflected in the more individuated representations of the ***** form in


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