The Scientific Works of Robert Grosseteste, Volume 1: Knowing and Speaking: Robert Grosseteste's De artibus liberalibus 'On the Liberal Arts' and De generatione sonorum 'On the Generation of Sounds'

Thomas Charles McLeish, Giles E M Gasper, Hannah E Smithson, Cecilia Panti

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Few figures of the Middle Ages command the attention of so many modern disciplines as Robert Grosseteste (c. 1170-1253). Theology, Philosophy, History, and Science are all areas which his life and thought continue to have significance and to inspire re-interpretation. Accompanied by a series of original commentaries, this new edition of Grosseteste's work, with English translation, draws together the perspectives of modern scientists and medieval specialists. Volume I of a six volume series, Knowing and Speaking presents two of the earliest of Grosseteste's works, the treatises On the Liberal Arts and On the Generation of Sounds. These are accompanied by a significant Middle English treatise on the Seven Liberal Arts whose anonymous fifteenth-century author translated and excerpted passages from Grosseteste's treatises in a re-imagining of their structure and function.

Each work is treated separately within the volume, which is constructed in three parts. On the Liberal Arts sets Grosseteste's thoughts on the arts subjects and emphasises moral concerns about the purpose of learning. On the Generation of Sounds builds on the theories and statements of On the Liberal Arts in connection to the production of sound, elaborating the earlier position, relating the generation of sounds to human vocal and speech production.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages576
ISBN (Print)9780198805519
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2019

Publication series

NameThe Scientific Works of Robert Grosseteste
PublisherOxford University Press

Bibliographical note

Tom McLeish co-leads the Ordered Universe project, a large interdisciplinary collaboration re-examining scientific treatises from the 13th century


  • Medieval Science
  • History of Science
  • Sound
  • theory of knowledge

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