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

Thus, the divide in human thought regarding the individual and nature is not as clear as one might be tempted to assume. Particularly during the *****, as opposed ***** the early Middle Ages, there was a revivification in the interest shown towards the classical *****, and learning which ***** part of a new respect for the ***** and an acceptance of the natural sciences. For example, the ***** Christian philosopher Augustine wrote that although God ***** created the universe "as nebulous matter, within which lay 'primal seeds'" that "grew and developed into the ***** and its life *****ms, guided by ***** natural laws that ***** had laid down...investigation and debate about ***** matters was ***** encouraged in the early Middle Ages; ***** himself wrote, 'Seek not to underst***** that you may *****lieve, ***** believe ***** you may understand'" (Wagg*****r, 1997). But later, Aquinas joined the two approaches ***** philosophy and ********** ***** 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 no longer seen as hostile to faith.

The Late Middle Ages was characterized by *****terest in anatomy, as is reflected in the more individuated re*****ations of the ***** form in

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