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Art and Academe

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Art and Academe
Cover illustration for Art and Academe
Product Information
Rules Edition: Fifth
Abbreviation: AA
Product Type: Sourcebook
Author(s): Matt Ryan and Mark Shirley
Publisher: Atlas Games
Product Number: AG0287
ISBN: 1-58978-101-5
Release date: January 2008
Format: Hardcover or PDF, 144 pages
Availability: PDF only

Art and Academe is an ArM5 sourcebook on universities, scholarship, and the artistic pursuits in Mythic Europe.

Subject and contents[edit]

The material is largely dedicated to education; the academic abilities of artes liberales, philosophiae and medicine; a form of natural magic dubbed Experimental Philosophy; as well as various forms of the arts. Material on education focuses on Mythic Europe with particular focus on university education, though earlier and alternative forms of education are also discussed.

Chapter 1- Introduction and History of Academic Abilities[edit]

The first chapter is the Introduction and provides the development, loss, and rediscovery of knowledge and history of education in Mythic Europe. It provides information on the very broad schools of thought stemming from Plato and Neoplatonism and the New Aristotle. One page is dedicated to how magi might view magic and its effect on the world through the two schools of thoughts as well as potential breakthroughs in Hermetic Magic based on incorporation of either thought more directly into Hermetic practice.

Chapters 2 through 4- Artes Liberales, Philosophiae, and Medicine[edit]

The second chapter discusses artes liberales, describing each aspect of the ability- grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, music geometry, astronomy, and language- separately. Authorities, what are considered the ultimate and sometimes penultimate authors and works on the subject are also provided.

The third chapter provides information on philosophiae, including metaphysics, natural philosophy (geography, meteorology, and biology), understanding of the function of the human mind, and moral philosophy (ethics and the conscience). About three pages in this chapter provide guidelines and spells for Mentem magic based on the understanding of the human mind presented in the chapter.

The fourth chapter is titled Medicine and discussed the understanding of the human body. It also presents various practitioners of what we would call medicine today, though practitioners of less formal, more folk, form of healing, herbalists, are also included.

Chapter 5- Experimental Philosophy[edit]

The fifth chapter discusses a form of natural magic dubbed experimental philosophy. Its practice can produce magic like effects, but it only uses a understanding of the natural world, even if it a not well known understanding. Minor effects, or ligatures, require a few hours and can simply add a bonus to dice rolls for specific uses of artes liberales, philosophiae and medicine. More complicated effects, formulae, require a lab season to prepare, but can created doses or uses of astrology to make inquiries that duplicate a more limited form of Intellego spells, using astronomy (artes liberales), alchemical preparations to change matter using philosophiae, or pharmaceutical preparations to relieve pain, help recovery from wounds or disease, cure diseases or wounds using medicine. The same skill in medicine can also create poisons.

Chapter 6- Institutional Education[edit]

The sixth chapter gives background of the various forms and schools of education, not including universities, but including Muslim and Jewish schools. Manner of teaching, subjects and culture may be included for each type of school. Part of the chapter is also dedicated to how a teaching position can be obtained.

Chapter 7- Universities[edit]

The seventh chapter is about universities. It provides information on structures of universities in general, as well as for two types- those run by or catering to the demands of the students and those run by the faculty. Life for both student and master is presented. Also included are relations between universities and the Church, kings, and the Order of Hermes, new virtues and flaws reflecting or associated with universities, and rules for disputatio, which used either by academics or in courts. The chapter ends with information on the major universities in Mythic Europe in 1220 as well as a list of universities that will arise in the upcoming years.

Chapter 8- Art and Artists[edit]

The eighth and final chapter is dedicated to artists. It starts with information on production art- Cathedrals/architecture, metal works, painting, and vernacular literature- and follows with performance art- jugglers and acrobats, animal trainers, miracle plays, musicians and minstrels. Each section provides information about each field, and some provide rules for the respective field. Next comes information and rules for creating and performing art. Following that are rules on artistic reputation, including association with one of the supernatural realms at higher levels. Information and rules on the role of artistic patrons and benefactors follow the information on reputation. The final part of the chapter deals with magic and art. It starts with rules for using hermetic magic to create arts. It then introduces a new supernaturally associated mythic companion, the maestro. It ends with rules for magi and certain maestros to use when instilling effects into works of arts.

Appendices[edit]

Appendix A provides information on various authorities and commentators, including their works with game information- whether they are summae or tractae and their statistics.

Appendix B is a one page glossary of terms.

Appendix C on page 144 provides a bibliography of works used in preparing Art and Academe. One of those works is in the public domain. See below.

Commentary and Reviews[edit]

Timothy Ferguson, a regular writer for ArM5, has noted his dislike for the book because it limits what authors can do in canon: "it's a great book, but it's the big book of "Timothy, you can't do that." when I'm writing ... there really shouldn't be a book telling me why I can't make a firearm (even though the Chinese have them in 1220), or why I can't discover the Earth goes about the sun (even though some ancient Greeks had worked it out)"[1]. Note that while A&A may limit writing for canon, it does not limit fan work or personal sagas, which are not bound by canon. And while A&A may limit canon, it also makes the setting more distinct as Mythic Europe rather that a standard fantasy setting.

External links[edit]

Public Domain Works[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Quoted from a 2013 post on the official forums.