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Das Scholarium (2004)

von Claudia Gross

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382537,590 (3.13)4
An overcast, rainy night in Cologne, Anno Domini 1413. A neighborhood is wrenched suddenly from its sleep by piercing screams. On the ground outside is the body of Frederico Casall, a Master of the Seven Liberal Arts and an impassioned champion of the teachings of Thomas Aquinas. The Chancellor of the newly-founded university charges Konrad Steiner, another of the Masters in the Arts faculty, with the investigation of the crime. Who is behind it?… (mehr)
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A much-better-than-average murder mystery. Gross is a German scholar of medieval studies, and her familiarity with the setting (medieval Germany, of course), is evident. Unlike many historical mysteries, the story here seems genuinely to flow from the characters of the times, rather than being a generic mystery plonked down amidst some pretty set-dressing. This can be hard to do, especially when dealing with a strongly feminist character, and I've seen it done badly many times, so I found Gross' believable and interesting portrayal of Sophie Casall, a strong, intelligent, unconventional woman dealing with a very difficult situation, to be very impressive. As stated earlier, this is a murder mystery. Sophie's husband, a Master at a college, is found dead. As he was not well-liked, the list of suspects is difficult to narrow down - but mysterious philosophical notes pertaining to the murder are found that seem to indicate the murder may be related to a philosophical debate within academia. A new and unsophisticated young student, Laurien, finds himself in over his head when he's noticeably attracted to Sophie Casall, and his new roommate and fellow student is a suspect in the killing... Twists, turns, a heretical cult and plenty of action are balanced with philosophy and feminism as the plot unfolds. I liked the book particularly because I've visited Germany many times and have an interest in the medieval period there, but I'd recommend it to any fans of historical mysteries ( )
1 abstimmen AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Translated from German, Claudia Gross' Scholarium (Toby Press, 2004) is a dark mystery set in the turbulent times of early fifteenth-century Cologne. As scholars debate complex philosophical matters, one of their own is found brutally murdered, and the killer - who seems also to hail from the educated community - has left a trail of troubling clues behind.

This book reminded me slightly of The Name of the Rose, and even in a good way. Deeply philosophical and suspenseful, it's an interesting examination of medieval education and scholarship - and the difficult conclusions that were being reached about how the world works. Gross also incorporates the important question of the role of women in academia during the period, as well as some bizarre heretical practices and an alchemical explosion or two.

Aside from a few inconsistencies and what may have been rough patches in the translation here and there, this book was a fascinating read.

http://philobiblos.blogspot.com/2007/05/book-review-scholarium.html ( )
3 abstimmen JBD1 | May 13, 2007 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Claudia GrossHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Atkins, HelenÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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An overcast, rainy night in Cologne, Anno Domini 1413. A neighborhood is wrenched suddenly from its sleep by piercing screams. On the ground outside is the body of Frederico Casall, a Master of the Seven Liberal Arts and an impassioned champion of the teachings of Thomas Aquinas. The Chancellor of the newly-founded university charges Konrad Steiner, another of the Masters in the Arts faculty, with the investigation of the crime. Who is behind it?

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