Anticlaudianus was written by French theologian and poet Alain de Lille. This lengthy, symbolic poem is about creation as well as the edification of the human soul by God, nature, theology, and philosophy. Alain is also well-known for another poem of his titled De plants naturae ("Lament of Nature"), which is a satire about human indecency.
Alain was born during c. 1128 in Lille, France and died in 1202 in Citeaux, France. He studied and taught in Paris and temporarily lived in Montpellier. He eventually became a member of the Cistercians, a group of Benedictine monks from the abbey of Molesme, in Citeaux. His theologian work, during the second half of the 12th century, consisted of mystic opposition against Scholastic philosophy. Instead, he adhered to an eclectic Scholasticism consisting of rationalism and mysticism. Regarding his theologian beliefs, he created apologetic works known as Tractatus contra haereticos (“Treatise Against Heretics”) and Theologicae regular (“Maxims of Theology”).
Alain de Lille's Anticlaudianus is a lengthy and complex poem that is divided into three sections that focus on three topics: creation, the soul, and God. The first part of the poem is focused on the creation and the beauty of the world. It is a didactic poem that emphasizes the relationship between physical and spiritual nature. He uses the metaphor of a garden to explain how God is the creator of the world and how it is His gift to humanity. The second part of the poem focuses on the edification of the human soul and its journey toward perfection. Alain argues that the soul is created in the image of God and that it must be nurtured and educated to reach perfection. Finally, the third part of the poem is devoted to the praise of God and the discussion of how humans should respond to His gifts. The poem is written in symbolic and metaphorical language that emphasizes the importance of religious and moral education.
In addition to Anticlaudianus, Alain de Lille wrote numerous other works. One of his most famous works is De plants naturae ("Lament of Nature"), a satire that focuses on human indecency and the need for moral reform. Alain also wrote several religious treatises such as Tractatus contra haereticos and Theologicae regular. He also wrote several works on philosophy, such as De Divina Sapientia ("On Divine Wisdom") and De felicitates religionis ("On the Falsehood of Religion"). Alain wrote these works to emphasize the importance of moral reform and the need for humans to be educated to reach perfection. His writings are still studied and debated by theologians and philosophers today.