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sapientia'. Such were the alleged motives of the emperor,-
'prétextes', as Ampère regards them, 'qu'il mettait en
avant pour motiver sa réforme.' Gregory could not have
impeached them, though there is sufficient reason for con-
cluding that the emperor's reforms greatly exceeded what
Gregory would have approved.


of Charle

The emperor had already made the acquaintance of Alcuin The Schools at Parma; he now invited him over from England and placed magne. him at the head of the Palace school attached to his own. court. Under Alcuin's directions a scheme of education was drawn up which became the model for the other great schools established at Tours, Fontenelle, Lyons, Osnaburg, and Metz;-institutions which ably sustained the tradition of education on the continent, until superseded by the new methods and the new learning which belong to the commencement of the university era2.

the changes

by the


[The work of Charlemagne may be characterised as one of Character of both renovation and innovation:-renovation as regarded the introduced already existing schools, innovation in the reconstruction of emperor in their methods and the extension of their teaching to other classes. Hitherto the privileges of the monastic schools had been jealously confined by the Benedictines to their own order. By the efforts of Charlemagne they were now thrown open to the secular clergy. The monasteries, in the new movement, made common cause in the work of instruction with the cathedral or episcopal schools3, and a new impulse was thus communicated to education. If we add to these centres of activity the slight element of lay education that

1 Launoy, De Scholis Celebrioribus, etc., p. 7.

2 It has been said that the manuscripts which Alcuin procured from England were the means of forming a special school of transcribers and illuminators at Aix-la-Chapelle, which for many generations preserved the traditionary style of the Anglo-Saxon artists.' Edwards' Memoirs of Libraries, 1 106.

3 A full account of the method and discipline of these schools will be found in Les Écoles Épiscopales

et Monastiques of Léon Maitre, deux-
ième Partie. Gaillard, Histoire de
Charlemagne, 11 87, speaks of them
as écoles que l'université de Paris
peut regarder comme son berceau;'
this, however, is a point with respect
to which much diversity of opinion
prevails; see commencement of Chap-
ter I. Savigny's judgement on the
question is emphatic: ist doch eine
unmittelbare Verbindung derselben
mit der späteren Universität ganz
unerweislich.' Geschichte des Röm.
Rechts, c. XXI sec. 126, note.


INTRO developed itself in the Palace school, where the emperor himself participated in the instruction given, we shall perceive that a very general reform was initiated. The learned Benedictine, Dom Bouquet, dwells with enthusiasm on the benefits thus extended to the whole student class of the period1.

Retirement of Alcuin

from the work.

It seems certain that, for a time at least, the English ecclesiastic heartily seconded the plans of his royal employer; but his zeal evidently declined with advancing age, and after fourteen years of service he was glad to seek refuge from the splendour of the court in the retirement of the monastery at Tours. Guizot has inferred that the demands made upon his energies, and the continual tension at which his mind was kept, by the mental activity and insatiable curiosity of the emperor, urged him to this step, but there would appear to be sufficient reason for surmising that the cause lay someHis apparent what deeper. Those familiar with the history of these Pagan centuries, will remember the frequent feuds between the

mistrust of


Benedictines and the secular clergy, and it would seem doubtful whether Alcuin ever cordially sympathized with the extension of instruction which Charlemagne brought about; his heart appears far more warmly given to the task of refuting the Adoptionists and denouncing image-worship; it is certain that he viewed with dislike the increased attention to pagan literature, which necessarily resulted from the mental activity thus aroused. The large designs and wide

1 Tot enim gentes e Germania cis Rhenum, et ex Italia cis Alpes eruperunt, ut publicæ penitus evanuerint Scholæ, et curam privatarum ad eruditionem Clericorum in Episcopiis gesserint Episcopi, ut Abbates in Coenobiis ad Monachorum instructionem. Unde studia delitescebant in solis Episcopiorum Monasteriorumque claustris. Sed quia tunc quoque en languebant, eas pristino splendori restituere Carolus etiam sategit, directis Epistolis, de quibus supra. Verum cum privatarum hujuscemodi Scholarum aditus Laicis liber non esset, Carolus publicas instituit, et in ipso regio Palatio alias erexit.

Regis exemplum statim secuti sunt Abbates et Episcopi. Publica per Episcopia, per Monasteria mox strepuerunt Scholæ, aliæ Cœnobitis, aliæ Sæcularibus edocendis destinatæ.' Bouquet, Rerum Gallicarum et Francicarum Scriptores, v 621.

2 A full account of the controversy with the Adoptionists will be found in the very able Life of Alcuin by Lorenz, Professor of History at the University of Halle, 1829. The Roman Catholic writers have generally sought to show that the paper found among the Carlovingian Documents against image-worship is spu rious, and have attributed it to

By his



of the em

views of the emperor ranged beyond the conceptions of the INTROsomewhat cold and decorous ecclesiastic. Though an ardent admirer of the De Civitate Dei, Charlemagne had other sentiments sympathies, sympathies which strongly inclined him to that peror. secular learning so strongly condemned by Gregory. directions steps were taken for the collection and revision of manuscripts, a care especially necessary now that Egypt under Saracen occupation no longer furnished the papyrus for the use of Europe. One of the numerous letters of Alcuin consists of a reply to two grammatical questions propounded by the emperor,-the proper gender of rubus, and whether despexeris or dispexeris be the preferable form. The letter attests no contemptible scholarship, supported as its decisions are by references to Priscian and Donatus; it is moreover an important piece of evidence with respect to Alcuin's knowledge of Greek, for it contains seven quotations in that language, and illustrates the force of di, in such Latin compounds as divido, diruo, discurro, by the Greek διά'.

excuse for

pagan literature


its im

Such enquiries on the part of the emperor, together with The special those interesting dialogues wherein Alcuin unfolded to the the neglect of courtly circle at Aix-la-Chapelle the mysteries of logic and succeeded by grammar, unmistakeably evidence the presence of a spirit very founded on different from that of Gregory and altogether in advance of morality. the ecclesiastical ideas of the time. It might seem indeed not unreasonable to suppose that when the dark forebodings that derived their strength from calamity and invasion drew off at the approach of a more hopeful age, and that as the horizon that bounded human life regained the charms that belong to the illimitable and the unknown, men might well again find leisure to draw delight and inspiration from the page of Grecian and Roman genius. Such happiness how

Karlstadt, who heralded the crusade against image-worship that preceded the Reformation.

1 Epist. 27. The tone of this letter, wherein Alcuin mildly expresses his surprise that the emperor should have summoned him from his retire

ment to act as arbiter in a literary
controversy, and should be willing
emeritæ nomen militiæ in castra revo-
care pugnantia, plainly shows how
he sought in his latter life to with-
draw himself from the study of pagan


ever the scholar was not yet destined to enjoy. The course of
events, it is true, had tended to weaken the belief which
Gregory had held', but there had at the same time been
growing up in the Church a subsidiary theory with respect
to pagan literature, which equally served to discredit and
discourage the study. From considerations which led to an
estimate of pagan learning as a thing wherein the Christian.
had no longer part or lot, objectors now turned to considera-
tions derived from the morality of the literature. The spirit
of Tertullian and Arnobius long survived in the Latin Church;
and the most learned ecclesiastics of these centuries are to
be found ignoring that very culture which in a later age has
proved the road to ecclesiastical preferment, on grounds
precisely similar to those assumed by the most illiterate and
bigoted zealots of more modern times. Thus Alcuin himself,
who had been wont as a boy to conceal in his bed his Virgil
from the observation of the brother who came to rouse the

1 It is remarkable how the antici-
pations of Gregory assume at the
hands of Alcuin a comparatively
vague and indefinite character:-
'Quædam videlicet signa, quæ ipse
Dominus in Evangelio ante finem
mundi futura esse prædixit, transacta
leguntur; quædam vero imminentia
quotidie sentiuntur. Quædam itaque
necdum acta sunt, sed futura esse
certissime regnum
Antichristi et crudelitas ejus in sanc-
tos; hæc enim erit novissima perse-
cutio, novissimo imminente judicio,
quam sancta Ecclesia toto terrarum
orbe patietur; universa scilicet civitas
Christi, ab universa diaboli civitate.'
De Fide Sanc. Trinitatis, Bk. III
c. 19. Migne, cr 51. It is easy to
note in this passage, perhaps the
most definite in Alcuin's writings,
how the phraseology of Augustine
continued to be repeated while the
application of his theory was
longer insisted on with the same
distinctness. In his brief commen-
tary on the Apocalypse we observe a
singular reticence in interpreting any
portion of the prophecy by specific
events; and in the Libellus de Anti-
christo, once attributed to him, but
now proved to be by an Abbot of the



monastery at Montier-en-Der, and
written more than a century later,
we find the following remarkable
passage Quicumque enim, sive
laicus, sive canonicus, sive monachus
contra justitiam vivit, et ordinis sui
regulam impugnat, et quod bonum
est blasphemat, Antichristus et mi-
nister Satanæ est.' This brief tract,
successively attributed to Augustine,
Alcuin, and Rabanus Maurus (see
edition of the last named, published
at Col. Agripp. vi 178, also Migne,
CI 1291), while it specifies a definite
period of persecution, assigns the
East as the quarter from whence
Antichrist would appear, and ranges
against him the Western Powers.
The whole has a marked resem-
blance to Lactantius, Institutiones,
Bk. vII.

2 Herwerden, in his Commentatio
De Caroli Magni, etc., one of his
earliest productions, has very happily
characterised this prejudice of the
time: Veteribus Latinis Græcisque
litteris pestifera præsertim erat su-
perstitiosissimi ejus ævi opinio, stu- ^
dium earum et exercitationem Chris-
tiano contumeliosa esse, eique notam
impietatis inurere, quæ æternæ ejus
saluti ac beatitudini nociva sit.'




THE CHURCH STILL HOSTILE TO PAGAN LITERATURE. 17 sleepers to nocturns, lived to set a bann upon the 'impure INTROeloquence' of the poet, and forbade him to his pupils'. The guardian of the library at York, who had once so enthusiastically described its treasures, employed his later years in testifying to the vanity of all pagan learning. The difference we have noted in the spirit of the emperor and the ecclesiastic is apparent to the close. The former withdrew, as far as he was able, from the anxieties of political life, to devote himself with yet greater ardour to his literary labours; the latter put aside his secular learning to cultivate more closely the asceticism of the monastery. The one died while occupied in restoring the text of the Gospels; the other, worn out by the austerities of the cloisters.

If we pursue our enquiry beyond the time of Alcuin it is long before we find this tradition materially impaired.

1 'Sufficiunt divini poetæ vobis, nec egetis luxuriosa sermonis Virgilii vos pollui facundia.' Alcuini Vita, Migne, c 90.

Illic invenies veterum vestigia

Quidquid habet pro se Latio

Romanus in orbe,

Græcia vel quidquid transmisit
clara Latinis;

Hebraicus vel quod populus bi-
bit imbre superno
Africa lucifluo, etc.
Poema de Pontificibus et Sanctis
Ecclesiæ Eboracensis. Migne, c1 843.
This description is of course exag-
gerated; in the actual enumeration
of authors the only Greek pagan
writers mentioned by Alcuin are Ari-
stotle and Aratus; the only Greek
Fathers, Clemens, Chrysostom, and
Athanasius. The poem itself, it may
be observed, is of little historic value,
as it is little more than a versification
of the passages in Bede's history of
the Anglo-Saxon Church relating to
York, with additions respecting those
dignitaries who had filled the archi-
episcopal seat since Bede's time.

3 "La pensée de la mort était devenue pour lui une véritable consolation. En lui s'était réalisé, apres bien des transformations, l'idéal du spiritualiste: il vivait par l'âme. Au sein des grandeurs, le corps ne lui avait semblé qu'une prison, la vie

qu'un exil. Ce qui n'était alors
qu'une sorte de rêve était maintenant
une vérité. Son plus cher désir était
de mourir le jour de la Pentecôte.
En ce jour où les apôtres reçurent
une nouvelle existence, la mort lui
paraissait être le souffle divin qui
réveillerait son âme du sommeil de
la vie humaine. Il avait choisi le
lieu de sa sépulture non loin de
l'église de Saint Martin. Des que la
nuit était venue, il se rendait à la
dérobée dans cet endroit solitaire,
et après avoir récité des prières sur
sa tombe en espérance, il disait: 'O
clef de David, sceptre de la maison
d'Israël, toi qui ouvres pour que
personne ne ferme, toi qui fermes
sans que personne puisse ouvrir,
viens, prends celui qui est enchaîné
dans la prison, qui est assis dans les
ténèbres et à l'ombre de la mort.'
Les fêtes du Carême, de Pâques et
de l'Ascension, ranimèrent ses forces.
Mais la maladie augmenta dans la
nuit de l'Ascension. Il tomba sur son
lit, épuisé et sans mouvement. La
connaissance et la parole lui revive-
rent les jours suivants, et il récita sa
prière: O clef de David, viens.' Et
ce fut le matin du jour de la Pente-
côte, qu'entouré de ses élèves en
larmes, au moment même où il
entrait ordinairement au chœur, il
rendit le dernier soupir." Monnier,
Alcuin et son Influence, pp. 249-50.

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