Allegory in the Middle Ages was a vital element in the synthesis of Biblical and Classical traditions into what would become recognizable as Medieval culture. People of the Middle Ages consciously drew from the cultural legacies of the ancient world in shaping their institutions and ideas, and so allegory in Medieval literature and Medieval art was a prime mover for the synthesis and transformational continuity between the ancient world and the "new" Christian world. An allegory (from αλλος allos "other" and el αγορευειν agoreuein "to speak in public" is a figurative mode of representation Medieval literature is a broad subject encompassing essentially all written works available in Europe beyond and during the Middle Ages (encompassing the one thousand Medieval art covers a vast scope of time and place over 1000 years of Art history in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. People of the Middle Ages did not see the same break between themselves and their classical forbears that modern observers see; rather, they saw continuity with themselves and the ancient world, using allegory as a synthesizing agent, bringing together a whole image.
There were four categories of allegory used in the Middle Ages, which had originated with the Bible commentators of the early Christian era. The first is simply the literal interpretation of the events of the story for historical purposes with no underlying meaning. The second is called typological, which is connecting the events of the Old Testament with the New Testament; in particular drawing allegorical connections between the events of Christ's life with the stories of the Old Testament. Typology is a theological doctrine of theory of types and their antitypes found in Scripture. In Western Christianity, the Old Testament refers to the books that form the first of the two-part Christian Biblical canon. The third is moral (or tropological), which is how one should act in the present, the "moral of the story". A moral is a message conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event See also Figure of speech In linguistics trope is a rhetorical Figure of speech that consists of a play on words i The fourth type of allegory is anagogical, dealing with the spiritual or mystical as it relates to future events of Christian history, heaven, hell, the last judgment; it deals with prophecies. Anagoge is a Greek word suggesting a "climb" or "ascent" upwards
Thus the four types of allegory deal with past events (literal), the connection of past events with the present (typology), present events (moral), and the future (anagogical).
Dante describes the four meanings, or senses, of allegory in his epistle to Can Grande della Scala. An epistle (pronounced) ( Greek επιστολη epistolē "letter" is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of persons usually a letter He says the allegories of his work are not simple, but:
|“||Rather, it may be called "polysemous", that is, of many senses [allegories]. Polysemy ( or) (from the Greek πολυσημεία = "multiple meaning" is the capacity for a sign (e A first sense derives from the letters themselves, and a second from the things signified by the letters. We call the first sense "literal" sense, the second the "allegorical", or "moral" or "anagogical". To clarify this method of treatment, consider this verse: When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a barbarous people: Judea was made his sanctuary, Israel his dominion (Psalm 114). Now if we examine the letters alone, the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt in the time of Moses is signified; in the typological sense, our redemption accomplished through Christ; in the moral sense, the conversion of the soul from the grief and misery of sin to the state of grace; in the anagogical sense, the exodus of the holy soul from slavery of this corruption to the freedom of eternal glory. . they can all be called allegorical.||”|
Medieval allegory began as a Christian method for synthesizing the discrepancies between the Old Testament and the New Testament. While both testaments were studied and seen as equally divinely inspired by God, the Old Testament contained discontinuities for Christians — for example the Jewish kosher laws. God is the principal or sole Deity in Religions and other belief systems that worship one deity. The Old Testament was therefore seen in relation to how it would predict the events of the New Testament, in particular how the events of the Old Testament related to the events of Christ's life. The events of the Old Testament were seen as part of the story, with the events of Christ's life bringing these stories to a full conclusion. The technical name for seeing the New Testament in the Old is called typology. Typology is a theological doctrine of theory of types and their antitypes found in Scripture.
One example of typology is the story of Jonah and the whale from the Old Testament. According to the Hebrew Bible ( Tanakh / Old Testament) and Qur'an, Jonah (; Arabic: يونس, Yunus or Medieval allegorical interpretation of this story is that it prefigures Christ's burial, with the stomach of the whale as Christ's tomb. Jonah was eventually freed from the whale after three days, so did Christ rise from his tomb after three days. Thus, whenever one finds an allusion to Jonah in Medieval art or literature, it is usually an allegory for the burial and resurrection of Christ. Another common typological allegory is with the four major Old testament prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. Isaiah (; Greek:, Ēsaiās; Arabic: اشعیاء, Ash-ee-yaa; "Salvation of/is YHWH " is Jeremiah ( jirmɛ'jahu; Septuagint Greek: Ἰερεμίας was one of the 'greater prophets ' of the Hebrew Bible. According to religious texts Ezekiel ((יְחֶזְקֵאל Yehezkel, jəx Daniel (; Persian: دانيال, Dâniyal or Danial, also Dani, داني; Arabic: دانيال These four prophets prefigure the four Apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. Matthew the Evangelist (מתי/מתתיהו "Gift of Yahweh " Standard Hebrew and Tiberian Hebrew: Mattay or Mattithyahu "Saint Mark" redirects here For other uses see Saint Mark (disambiguation. Luke the Evangelist ( Hebrew: לוּקָֻא Greek: Loukás) was an early Christian leader who is said by tradition to be the author of Saint John the Apostle ( Greek Ιωάννης, see Names of John) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. There was no end to the number of analogies that commentators could find between stories of the Old Testament and the New.
There also existed a tradition in the Middle Ages of mythography—the allegorical interpretation of pagan myths. A mythographer, or a mythologist, according to a strict dictionary definition is a compiler of myths Mythography (from Greek μυθογραφία Virgil's Aeneid and Ovid's Metamorphoses were standard textbooks throughout the Middle Ages, and each had a long tradition of allegorical interpretation. Publius Vergilius Maro ( October 15, 70 BCE &ndash September 21, 19 BCE later called Virgilius, and known in English as Virgil or For the group of nine Ancient Egyptian deities see Ennead. The Aeneid (əˈniːɪd in Publius Ovidius Naso ( March 20, 43 BC – 17 AD was a Roman poet known to the English -speaking world as Ovid who wrote on many topics including The Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid is a narrative poem An illustrative example can be found in Sienna in a painting of a Christs crucifix (Sano di Pietro's Crucifix, 15th c). For the Italian city see Siena. Sienna is a form of Limonite Clay most famous in the production of oil paint At the top of the cross can be seen a bird pecking its own breast, blood pouring forth from the wound and feeding its waiting chicks below. This is the pelican whose "story" was told by the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder. A pelican is a large water Bird with a distinctive pouch under the beak belonging to the Bird family Pelecanidae. Gaius or Caius Plinius Secundus, ( AD 23 – August 25, AD 79 better known as Pliny the Elder, was an ancient Author Thus by analogy to a "pagan" source, Christ feeds his own children with his own blood. Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller rustic" is a word used to refer to various religions and religious beliefs from across the world
Allegory was even seen in the natural world, as animals, plants, and even non-living things were interpreted in books called bestiaries as symbols of Biblical figures and morals. A bestiary, or Bestiarum vocabulum is a compendium of beasts Bestiaries were made popular in the Middle Ages in illustrated volumes that described various animals For example, in one bestiary stags are compared to people devoted to the Church, because (according to medieval zoology) they leave their pastures for other (heavenly) pastures, and when they come to broad rivers (sin) they form in line and each rests its head on the haunches of the next (supporting each other by example and good works), speeding across the waters together. A deer is a Ruminant Mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. 
Before the 5th century the traditions of allegorical interpretations were created in a time when rhetorical training was common, when the classics of mythology were still standard teaching texts, when the Greek and Roman pantheon of Gods were still visible forms (if not always fully recognized by the more learned populace), and when the new religions such as Christianity adopted or rejected pagan elements by way of allegoresis (the study and interpretation of allegory).
It was in this period that the first pure, freestanding allegorical work was written in about 400 AD by Prudentius called Psychomachia ("Soul-War"). Aurelius Prudentius Clemens was a Roman Christian Poet, born in the Roman Province of Tarraconensis (now Northern The Psychomachia ( Battle of Souls) by the Late Antique Latin Poet Prudentius is probably the first and most influential The plot consists of the personified "good" virtues of Hope, Sobriety, Chastity, Humility, etc. fighting the personified "evil" vices of Pride, Wrath, Paganism, Avarice, etc. The personifications are women, because in Latin words for abstract concepts are in the feminine gender; an uninformed reader of the work might take the story literally as a tale of many angry women fighting one another, because as the first "pure" allegory Prudentius provides no context or explanation of the allegory.
In this same period of the early 5th century three other authors of importance to the history of allegory emerged: Claudian, Macrobius and Martianus Capella. Claudian (lat Claudius Claudianus) was a court Poet to the Emperor Honorius and Stilicho. This article is about Macrobius the author for Macrobius the bishop of Seleucia and Calycadnum see Macrobius of Seleucia Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius "Martianus" redirects here For the beetle Genus, see Martianus (beetle. Little is known of these authors, even if they were truly Christian or not, but we do know they handed down the inclination to express learned material in allegorical form, mainly through personification, which later became a standard part of medieval schooling methods.
Claudian's first work In Rufinum was an attack against the ruthless Rufinus and would become a model for the 12th century Anticlaudianus, a well known allegory for how to be an upstanding man. Rufinus may refer to Rufinus of Assisi, 3rd century saint and martyr Rufinus (French saint (d As well his Rape of Prosperpine was a litany of mythological allegories, personifications, and cosmological allegories. Macrobius wrote Commentary of the Dream of Scipio providing the Middle Ages with the tradition of a favorite topic, the allegorical treatment of dreams. Lastly Martianus wrote Marriage of Philology and Mercury, the title referring to the allegorical union of intelligent learning with the love of letters. It contained short treatises on the "seven liberal arts" (grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, music) and thus became a standard textbook, greatly influencing educators and students throughout the Middle Ages.
Lastly, perhaps the most influential author of Late Antiquity was Boethius, in whose work Consolation of Philosophy we are first introduced to the personified Lady Philosophy, the source of innumerable later such personified figures (Lady Luck, etc. Late Antiquity (c 300-600 is a Periodization used by historians to describe the transitional centuries from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages, in Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (480&ndash524 or 525 was a Christian philosopher of the 6th century Consolation of Philosophy ( Consolatio Philosophiae) is a philosophical work by Boethius, written in about the year AD 524. . )
After Boethius there exists no known work of allegory literature until the 12th century, and although allegorical thinking and elements and artwork abound during this period, not until the rise of the Medieval university in the High Middle Ages does sustained allegorical literature appear again.
The earliest works were by Bernard Silvestris (Cosmographia, 1147), and Alanus ab Insulis (Plaint of Nature, 1170, and Anticlaudianus) who pioneered the use of allegory (mainly personification) for the use of abstract speculation on metaphysics and scientific questions. Bernard Silvestris, also known as Bernardus Silvestris, was a Medieval Platonist philosopher and poet of the 12th century Cosmographia (also known as De mundi universitate) is a Latin philosophical allegory, dealing with the creation of the universe, by Alain de Lille (or Alanus ab Insulis) (c 1128 - 1202 French theologian and Poet, was born probably in Lille, some years before
The High and Late Middle Ages saw many allegorical works and techniques. There were four "great" works from this period.