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The search for a metalanguage: the tower of Babel
An illustration for the chapter "De lingua"
in Rabanus Maurus,
De rerum naturis.
Montecassino, MS 132, p. 394
© Archivio dell’Abbazia, Montecassino

These ambiguities, redundancies, and deficiencies recall those attributed by Dr Franz Kuhn to a certain Chinese encyclopedia called the Heavenly Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. In its distant pages it is written that animals are divided into (a) those that belong to the Emperor, (b) embalmed ones, (c) those that are trained, (d) suckling pigs, (e) mermaids, (f) fabulous ones, (g) stray dogs, (h) those that are included in this classification, (i) those that tremble as if they were mad, (j) innumerable ones, (k) those drawn with a very fine camel's hair brush, (l) others, (m) those that have just broken a flower vase, (n) those that resemble flies from a distance."
— JORGE LUIS BORGES, "John Wilkins' Analytical Language" (1942)


Alphabetical Index of Principal Webpages and PDF Files

American Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies Corporation
Application forms:
   Mellon fellowships • Licence • Visiting scholars
Benefactions and bequests
Boyle Chair in Manuscript Studies
Calendar
Catalogue of Publications:
   Series (HTML)  • Subject (PDF)
Directory, telephone and email
Electronic Publishing
E–Mail Alerts (for new titles from Publications)
Doctors of Letters, honoris causa
Fellows, visiting:
   current •  Archive, 2002–2012
Friends of the Library
Gifts: see Benefactions and bequests
Gilson Lecture
Guide for visiting fellows
History of the Institute
Internet resources: local • internet
Johannes Scottus Eriugena: Periphyseon
Late Medieval Liturgical Offices
Library: general information • the collectionsmanuscripts and rare books
Licence in Mediaeval Studies
Mediaeval Studies (journal)
Mellon postdoctoral fellowships
Monumenta Liturgica Beneventana
New titles
Order form (for Publications)
President's Report:
    2008–20102007–20082006–20072005–20062004–20052003–2004
Publications programme
Research by fellows and staff
Sine nomine: Ensemble in residence
Staff and officials of the Institute
Visiting scholars programme
William of Conches: Opera omnia
Website, history and organization

 


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