Symkyn’s place in the Reeve’s Tale

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Woods, William F.

Symkyn’s Place in the Reeve’s Tale Woods, William F. The Chaucer Review, Volume 39, Number 1, 2004, pp. 17-40 DOI: 10.1353/cr.2004.0018


Albert of Saxony was born in Helmstedt, Germany, around 1316. He was a prolific author. Symkyn is a miller. This article develops a context for Albert's lines, and perhaps for Symkyn's, by describing the theological reaction to Aristotelian philosophy in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and the changes in ideas, especially the idea of place, that resulted from this conflict. This general discussion of place leads one to particular problems of containment that are implied by Albert's reference to the dimensions of inner space. Aristotle's logic provided a powerful method for thinking about theology, and his science offered precepts that continued to be in general use throughout the Middle Ages.

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