During Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, Western European society went through a number of important transformations. Studies by Banniard, Chin, Courcelle, Gemeinhardt, Irvine, Kaster, Law, Riché and others have shown the complex historical developments of cultural education (‘Bildung’) in the period concerned. However, many aspects of the textual foundations for this process remain to be studied in depth. In this respect, the corpus of Latin language manuals – grammatical, lexicographical and orthographical works – constitutes a rich but still underexplored source of documentation. The manuals at issue were composed by authors including Augustine, Cassiodorus, Isidore, and Bede, who propounded a distinctly Christian education and lifestyle, while at the same time basing themselves directly or indirectly on Donatus and the ‘pagan’ grammatical tradition.
With a view to investigating this corpus in a systematic and comprehensive way, the Center for the Historiography of Linguistics of KU Leuven is organizing an international workshop on Latin language manuals from Western Christianity, 350 to 750, to be held in Leuven on Monday 15 May 2017.