The Measure of Multitude: Population in Medieval Thought

Paperback | March 25, 2004

byPeter Biller

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By 1300, medieval men and women were beginning to measure multitude, counting, for example, numbers of boys and girls being baptized. Their mental capacity to grapple with population, to get its measure, was developing and this book describes how medieval people thought about populationthrough both the texts which contained their thought and the medieval realities which shaped it. They found many topics, such as the history of population and variations between polygamy, monogamy and virginity, through theology. Crusade and travel literature supplied the themes of Muslim polygamy,military numbers, the colonization of the Holy Land,and the populations of Mongolia and China. Translations of Aristotle provided not only new themes but also a new vocabulary with which to think about population. In this innovative new study Peter Biller challenges the view that medieval thought was fundamentally abstract. He investigates medieval thought's capacity to deal with concrete contemporary realities, and sets academic discussions of population alongside the medieval facts of 'birth, andcopulation, and death'.

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By 1300, medieval men and women were beginning to measure multitude, counting, for example, numbers of boys and girls being baptized. Their mental capacity to grapple with population, to get its measure, was developing and this book describes how medieval people thought about populationthrough both the texts which contained their thou...

Peter Biller is a Professor of History, University of York.

other books by Peter Biller

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Kobo ebook|Oct 21 2013

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.05 inPublished:March 25, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199265593

ISBN - 13:9780199265596

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction to Medieval Demographic ThoughtPart 1: The Church and Generation2. Marriage and the Church's Marriage-Texts3. William of Auvergne4. Equal or Unequal Numbers of Men and Women5. The Precept of Marriage and Sufficient Multiplication6. Avoidance of Offspring (i): The General Picture7. Avoidance of Offspring (ii): Canon Law and Sentences Commentaries8. Avoidance of Offspring (iii): The Pastoral PicturePart 2: The Map of the World9. Inhabitation of the WorldPart 3: Aristotle and Multitude10. Animals and Life-span11. The Politics (i): Reception12. The Politics (ii): Age at Marriage13. The Politics (iii): MultitudeThe Light of Common Day14. The Bulging Circuit of FlorenceEpigraph: The Climate of ThoughtBibliographyIndex of ManuscriptsGeneral Index

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`an impressive piece of scholarship.'Social History of Medicine