"Plato did not contribute anything to my education". Ambrosius Autpertus, the refusal of Plato and the echo of Byzantine iconoclasm

Francesca Dell'Acqua

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

The monk and briefly abbot Ambrosius Autpertus († 784), active in the central Italian monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno, was of key importance in shaping a new image of Mary in the early medieval West, and is believed to have inspired an innovative Marian iconography in medieval art. This notwithstanding, the cultural and theological roots of his theology have never been investigated, nor have they been connected to the contemporary ‘image struggle’. He has been marginalized by historiography as a consequence of the fact that he lived and worked in a cultural niche, i.e. southern Lombardy, and could not be pigeonholed in the so-called ‘Carolingian Renaissance’. This paper will address his rejection of Plato and the Classical heritage in order to understand his distance from contemporary authors more inclined to plunge into it. As it will be demonstrated, a reassessment of Autpertus’ position in the Kulturgeschichte of the early medieval West is needed to understand the theological and visual developments of the ‘image struggle’ in the West.
Translated title of the contribution"Plato did not contribute anything to my education". Ambrosius Autpertus, the refusal of Plato and the echo of Byzantine iconoclasm
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationIl secolo di Carlo Magno. Istituzioni, letterature e cultura del tempo carolingio
EditorsFrancesco Santi, Ileana Pagani
Place of PublicationFlorence
PublisherSismel Edizioni del Galluzzo
Pages247–72
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)978-8884507013
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Byzantine iconoclasm
  • Charlemagne
  • Ambrosius Autpertus
  • monasticism
  • monastic school and education
  • Plato
  • Early Middle Ages
  • San Vincenzo al Volturno

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