Historia scholastica  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Historia Scholastica is a twelfth-century Biblical paraphrase written in Medieval Latin by Petrus Comestor. Sometimes called the "Medieval Popular Bible", it draws on the Bible and other sources, including the works of classical scholars and the Fathers of the Church, to present a universal history (universal, that is, from the perspective of medieval Europe).

The Historia Scholastica was a required part of the core curriculum at the University of Paris, Oxford and other universities, and a significant secondary source of popular biblical knowledge through the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. It was translated into every major Western European vernacular of the period. Numerous paraphrases and abridgements were produced, in Latin and vernacular languages.

It was among the earliest printed works, with editions appearing c. 1470 in both Strasbourg and Reutlingen.

De suggestione serpentis sive daemonis.

Serpens erat callidior cunctis animantibus terrae (Gen. III), et naturaliter, et incidenter. Incidenter, quia plenus erat daemone. Lucifer enim dejectus a paradiso spirituum, invidit homini quod esset in paradiso corporum, sciens si faceret eum transgredi, quod et ille ejiceretur. Timens vero deprehendi a viro, mulierem minus providam et certam, in vitium flecti aggressus est. Et hoc per serpentem, quia tunc serpens erectus est ut homo, quia in maledictione prostratus est, et adhuc, ut tradunt, phareas erectus incedit. Elegit etiam quoddam genus serpentis, ut ait Beda, virgineum vultum habens, quia similia similibus applaudunt, et movit ad loquendum linguam ejus, tamen nescientis, sicut, et per fanaticos, et energumenos loquitur, nescientes, et ait: Cur praecepit vobis Deus ut non comederetis de omni ligno paradisi, id est, ut comederetis de ligno, sed non de omni. Quaerit ut ex responsione occasionem inveniat dicendi ad quod venerat. Et sic factum est. Cum enim quasi dubitando dixit mulier: Ne forte moriamur, quia dubitans ad quamlibet partem de facili flectitur, unde securus de imperatione ait: Nequaquam moriemini: imo Deus nolens vos similari ei in scientia, et sciens quod cum comederetis ex ligno hoc eritis sicut dii, scientes bonum et malum, quasi invidus prohibuit. Et elata mulier volens similari Deo, acquievit.




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