Session 5: False Joys and the Wheel of Fortune

Syllogism A deductive argument consisting of two propositions (namely the major premise, e.g. “all humans are mortal”, and the minor premise, e.g. “Socrates is human”) and a conclusion (e.g. “therefore, Socrates is mortal”)
Three estates The notion, popular in the Middle Ages, that society divides into three (sometimes divinely instituted) classes: those who pray (oratores), those who fight (bellatores), and those who work (laboratores)
Wheel of fortune The image of a wheel, typically rotated at will by a personified Lady Fortune, representing either the arbitrariness or the fickleness with which worldly goods are distributed and redistributed. Atop the wheel sits a king enthroned (regno); on its falling side a former king, tumbling down (regnavi); below it, a destitute man (sum sine regno); and on its rising side, a climbing man (regnabo). The image was widespread in late Roman Antiquity and has Boethius to thank for its medieval popularity.