« PreviousContinue »
opposed at first by Rome.
INTRO. should, in the first instance, have been viewed with such DUCTION.
disfavour at Rome. Already, before the appearance of the The study
Pandects of Amalfi, it had been forbidden to the religious orders, and the interdict was renewed in 1139 and again in 1163. In 1219 Honorius III banished it from the university of Paris, and thirty-five years later Innocent ili reiterated the papal anathemas in France, England and Spain? In our own country the superior clergy appear to have advocated its
reception, and it is unquestionable that Vacarius lectured on Oxford circ. the Pandects at Oxford?; he was silenced however by the
mandate of king Stephen, and John of Salisbury informs us that many of his own acquaintance regarded the new learning with so much animosity that they destroyed all the textbooks that came within their reacho: The opposition of Stephen is attributed by Selden to the monarch's personal dislike of archbishop Theobald, who had shewn a disposition to introduce the study. This state of feeling however was
'Ces prohibitions furent vaines. Chez nous, au centre et au nord, se propageait en langue vulgaire la rédaction des coutumes, qui, non moins variées que les divisions féodales, conservaient presque la méthode et souvent même les dispositions des lois romaines. Ces lois, dans les pays de coutumes, furent étudiées comme raison écrite, et, dans les pays de droit romain, adoptées comme lois. En Languedoc, elles étaient le droit commun du pays; Toulouse et Montpellier les enseignaient, même avant l'institution de leurs universités. L'école de Paris, qu'on avait voulu préserver de cette innovation, s'enhardit jusqu'à reconnaître à l'un et à l'autre droit une sorte d'égalité ; lorsqu'elle dut, en 1408, après la déclaration de neutralité entre les papautés rivales, fixer les conditions necessaires pour posséder les bénéfices, elle exigea indifféremment des évêques et des chefs d'ordres le grade de docteur ou de licencié soit en théologie, soit en droit canonique, soit en droit civil.' V. Le Clerc, État des Lettres au 14° siècle, p. 510.
2 Vacarius appears to have taught at Oxford about the year 1149, al. most exactly the same time that
Gratian published his Decretum. The fact that Vacarius taught at Oxford has been called in question, but the evidence appears sufficiently conclusive. Gervaise of Canterbury, a contemporary writer says:- Tunc leges et causidici in Angliam primo vocati sunt, quorum primus erat ma. gister Vacarius. Hic in Oxonefordia legem docuit.
3 Savigny's criticism throws addi. tional light upon the circumstance :
Mehrere haben Anstosz daran gefun. den, dass bei einem Streit unter Geistlichen über geistliche Gegenstände gerade Römisches Recht wichtig und unentbehrlich gefunden worden sey; sie haben daher angenommen, es sey zugleich das canonische Recht mit verpflanzt worden, ja Manche haben den Unterricht des Vacarius lediglich auf das canonische Recht beziehen wollen. Allein diese ganze Schwierig. keit scheint mir ohne Grund. Das canonische Recht war stets als Theil der Theologie von der Geistlichkeit erlernt worden, so dass weder die Abfassung des Decrets von Gratian, noch dessen Erklärung in der Schule von Bologna, hierin einen ganz neuen Zustand hervorbrachte. Anders verhielt es sich mit dem Römischen
by the clergy.
but transitory; before the expiration of the twelfth century INTROthe attractions and direct importance of a science a knowledge of which had become essential to those concerned in extensive's
a the conduct of proceedings before ecclesiastical tribunals, later period prevailed over all prejudices; St. Bernard complains, even in his day, of the ardour with which the clergy betook themselves to its pursuit; and a century later, as we shall hereafter see, the study had assumed such proportions as the path to emolument and high office, that it seemed likely to bring about an almost total neglect of theology and the canon Combined law. In England indeed the canon law was mainly preserved the Canon from the neglect into which it fell at a yet later period on the continent, by the fact that the canonist and civilian were often united in the same person, and did not, as in France and Germany, represent distinct and separate professions. It is to this combination that we owe the title, which still survives, of LL.D. (formerly J.U.D. or Doctor Utriusque Juris).
If we now turn to follow the faintly marked path of learning and philosophy from the time of Charlemagne, we shall soon perceive indications of an awakening activity of thought that promised better things than the conceptions of a Gregory or an Alcuin. How far the system which the latter initiated at Tours influenced the course of subsequent
Recht, welches, in seiner Wieder. herstellung durch die Glossatoren, in der That etwas Neues war. Zugleich aber ist es unverkennbar, dass der Prozess, auch in geistlichen Gerichten, groszentheils auf Römisches Recht gegründet war. klärt es sich, dass die Englische hohe Geistlichkeit durch ihre Prozesse vor der Römischen Curie veranlaszt werden konnte, Legisten und Handschriften des Römischen Rechts aus Italien in England einzuführen, währen kein ähnliches Bedürfniss in Ansehung des canonischen Rechts empfunden wurde.' C. xxxvI sec. 125. Roger Bacon, who was prejudiced against the study by the abuse with which it had become associated in his day, sought to found upon Ste. phen's opposition an argument against its claims ;-Rex quidam An.
gliæ Stephanus, allatis legibus Italia in Angliam, publico edicto prohibuit, ne ab aliquo retinerentur. Si igitur laïcus princeps laïci principis alterius leges respueret, igitur multo magis omnis clericus deberet respuere leges laïcorum. Addo etiam quod magis concordant jura Franciæ cum Anglia, et e converso, propter vicini. tatem regnorum, et communicatio. nem majorem gentium istarum, quam Italiæ et illarum. Igitur deberent magis clerici Angliæ subjicere se legibus Franciæ, et e converso, quam legibus Lumbardiæ.' Compendium Studii Philosophiæ, c. 4. It seems difficult to believe that this passage could have been written by the same pen that has so admirably pointed out, in the Opus Tertium, the relations of the Romance language to each other and to their common parent!
fl. circ. 850.
INTRO. speculation it is difficult accurately to decide', but it is DUCTION.
certain that, before the ninth century closed, there were symptoms of returning vigour which plainly indicated that
the traditional limits would ere long be broken through. Paschasius The dogma maintained by Paschasius concerning the real
presence, and that which Godeschalchus reasserted, on the authority of Augustine, concerning predestination, attest how men's minds were again essaying to grapple with the profoundest questions appertaining to the Christian faith; the solutions propounded, it is true, were, after the fashion of the time, conceived in conformity to the requirements of a formal logic rather than in unison with the wants of men's inner nature, but the controversies they were designed to set at rest were not the less the commencement of that great effort to bring about a reconciliation between reason and authority, belief and dogma, which underlies the whole history of the
scholastic philosophy? It is impossible to look upon the Ratramnus, arguments of Paschasius and his able opponent Ratramnus
as a mere phase of bygone habits of thought when we remember that they inaugurated a controversy which has lasted to the present day; which has exercised, perhaps more than any other, the learning of Rome and the intellect of protestantism; and in connexion with which these two writers long represented the armoury whence combatants on either side most frequently equipped themselves for the contest?.
In John Scotus Erigena, on whom it devolved to uphold the less rigid interpretation against both Paschasius and
wrote circ. 870.
Professor Maurice, speaking of the theological disputes of this time, does not hesitate to say, 'It was a war of logic, of formal proposition on this side and on that. This was the character which the schools of Alcuin and Charlemagne almost inevitably gave to it.' Medieval Philosophy, p.
the Church of the ninth century, and
? Hampden, Scholastic Philosophy, p. 37. See also M. Barthélemy SaintHilaire, De la Logique d'Aristote,
3 Bellarmine has unfairly represented Ratramnus as the inaugurator of the controversy; but the doctrine of transubstantiation was a heresy in
Godeschalchus, we have a metaphysician of the Platonic ÎNTROschool appearing in somewhat singular contrast to the quasi-Aristotelian succession of the western Church. In his treatise De Divisione Naturæ, he shews from St. Augustine that the Categories fail altogether in the investigation of the divine nature; he maintains, in his theory of primordial causes, an essentially different conception from that put forth in the Ethics and the Metaphysics; and his mental affinities to the Platonism of the eastern Church are sufficiently indicated by his attempt to prove that the first chapter in Genesis represents, not the creation of the visible world, but the evolution of the typical ideas in the creative mind. With the exception of a Latin translation by Chalcidius of a portion of Plato's Timæus, Augustine was undoubtedly the source from whence John Scotus derived his philosophy; with John Scotus respect to the general character of that philosophy it is the d. 875(1). less necessary to go into detail, inasmuch as, though he was probably the first distinctly to indicate the main theory of scholasticism, his method was not that which scholasticism adopted’, and his somewhat singular eclecticism and Platonic affinities became lost to view amid the vastly extended influence which yet awaited the authority of Aristotle. His most marked relation to posterity is to be traced in the attention he directed to the writings falsely attributed to Dionysius the Areopagite. Legend, already busy in the Church, though the time of its greatest activity was still distant, had ascribed to the Dionysius mentioned in the Acts of The Pseudothe Apostles, and afterwards first bishop of Athens, the conversion of Gaul, as the earliest Apostle to that country; and in the ninth century there was in circulation a manuscript, a forgery of the fifth century, sent by Michael the writers on this question.' See Bel. equally unlike the pure Socratic Plalarmine, De Sac. Euch. Bk. I o. 1. tonism of which that was a corruption, Milman, Hist. of Latin Christianity,
different in most important respects Bk, viii c. 3.
from the Augustinian Platonism, or 1. Der früheste namhafte Philo. from that of the Greek Fathers with soph der scholastischen Zeit,' says
which it stands in much closer af. Ueberweg. See his Geschichte der finity.' Maurice, Medieval PhilosoPhilosophie, 113 103— 111.
phy, p. 68. See also Christlieb, It was exceedingly unlike the Leben und Lehre des Joh. Scotus Alexandrian Platonism from which Erigena, Gotha, 1860. it has been supposed to be derived, 3 Acts xvII 34.
INTRO- Stammerer, emperor of Byzantium, to Louis le Débonnaire,
which was asserted with equal truth to be the work of this same Dionysius. The production, from whatever pen it proceeded, is of small intrinsic value, being devoted to speculations respecting the celestial hierarchy and the exposition of a bighly mystical interpretation of Scripture; but its translation into Latin from the Greek, undertaken by John Scotus, in order, in all probability, to gratify the feelings of his patron Charles the Bald, by rendering more accessible to the subjects of the latter a treatise attributed
to their national Apostle,- is an event of considerable Estimation in importance in the history of European studies. From this treatise was period the Pseudo-Dionysius occupied a foremost place in
the estimation of the theologian, and it is melancholy to note how long it continued to impose on the judgement and to inspire the labours of some of the ablest scholars of successive generations'.
With the tenth century the darkness in France and England attained its greatest intensity; it was the nadir of the intellect in Europe. Spain alone, under the beneficent rule of the Ommiades, offers to our notice any signs of general culture and refinement, the instances observable elsewhere presenting themselves as isolated and rare pheno
mena, Of these the most remarkable is unquestionably that Pope Sylves: of Gerbert, afterwards pope Sylvester II, and the valuable ter 11. d. 1003.
additions recently made to our knowledge respecting this eminent man may be deemed sufficient excuse for attempting briefly to embody them in the present sketch. It is now nearly thirty years ago that antiquarian research brought to light the long lost history of his times by his pupil Richerus,
and the information therein contained, together with the Researches of admirable life prefixed by M. Olleris to the more recently
published magnificent edition of his works?, has somewhat
1 Dean Milman truly observes that the effect of this work on the whole ecclesiastic system, and on the popular faith, it is almost impossible justly to estimate.' Hist. of Latin Chris. tianity, Bk. VIII c. 5.
2 Curres de Gerbert, Pape sous le
nom de Sylvestre II., Collationées sur les Manuscrits, Précédées de sa Biographie, suivies de Notes Critiques et Historiques, par A. Olleris, doyen des Facultés de Lettres, Clermont-Fer. rand, 1867.