VOLUME 7 ISSUE 2 FALL 2021

5 0 S p i r i t ua l i t y S t u d i e s 7 - 2 Fa l l 2 0 2 1 1.1 Three Fundamental Types of Allegory This study is focused on medieval reading associated with the interpretation of allegory as a basis of spirituality (Lat. sensus spiritualis ). Regarding this topic, I would primarily like to touch on the term allegory [1], which was granted quite a generous space in the Middle Ages and stood at the birth of new spiritual schools. We should especially direct our at- tention to the three fundamental types of allegory used most frequently in the Middle Ages. The first type is understood rhetorically , and it was developed in antiquity in relation to the Stoics. Rhetoric used it with the aim of persuasion (Lat. ars persuandi ) as well as the aim of leading the listener to- ward thinking and transformation. The second type of allego- ry is integumental allegory , which is a specific kind of allegory used mostly by the authors from monastic schools (e.g. , from Chartres). They used ancient, even pagan legend and myth, seen as a preimage of the Christian message. And finally, let us shed some light on the third type of allegory – the tropo- logical or moral allegory – experiencing its rise in the works of authors of the 13 th century, who wanted to lead man towards inner reflection and imitation of Christ (Lat. imitatio ). We will illustrate each of these types of allegory in relation to a spe - cific author to make our reflections more concrete and to provide a proper explanation. 1.2 Allegory as an Instrument of the New Interpretation It is necessary to underline that allegory was also a vastly used instrument in the past. It was implemented mostly when some important message from the past had to be un- derstood anew during a certain essential event (Detel 2011, 52), for example, during the transition from the most ancient to late antiquity, from Judaism to Christianity, or from an- tiquity to the Middle Ages. This was also the case of Homer, whose authority declined after the arrival of the first natural philosophers (Thales and others, 6 th century BC), because his work described a mythic pantheon of gods. Natural philoso - phers did not consider the explanation of the world’s origin based on its creation by several gods as reasonable, as they were looking for a “single” cause. Suddenly, the authority of Homer started to lack credibility, so authors like Metrodoros of Lampsacus (6 th century BC) decided to explain this Ho- meric pantheon (mainly the part about the Trojan war) in an allegorical way. They began to interpret deities as fundamen- tal natural forces: Achilles was a symbol of the Sun, Hector of the Moon, Helen of the Earth, Paris of the air; Agamemnon was seen as the Aether, Troy as the city of the gods – was perceived as a human body with various functions. In this way Metrodoros allegorically confirms the credibility of the epics written by Homer that were threatened by the arrival of first critically thinking natural philosophers.

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy MzgxMzI=