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modified the conclusions previously formed respecting both INTROthe individual and his age,-the obscure period of transition when the sceptre passed from the Carlovingian to the Capetian dynasty.
of the moderu
That the method of numerical notation employed by Employment Gerbert was identical with that of our modern era, and that, numerical at the same time, his knowledge was not derived from the by Gerbert. Saracens, would appear to be equally well ascertained facts. The dislike and dread with which the Mahometan race had been regarded ever since the Crescent and the Cross contended for the possession of France at Poitiers, and the consequent rarity of their intercourse with Christian Europe', the entire absence of Arabic words and of everything suggestive of Arabic influences in his writings, render it in the highest degree improbable that Gerbert was indebted M. Olleris' to such sources for his method. That method, M. Olleris with respect considers, may have very well been derived from those whence Gerwriters whom we have already passed under review as ledge. constituting the manuals of the Middle Ages, and especially to the one by whose name, as the new Boethius,' Gerbert was known among his admiring contemporaries. Under
1 M. Guizot has pointed out the remarkable contrast observable in the writings of the chroniclers of the first Crusades, such as Albert d'Aise, Robert le Moine, and Raymond d'Agiles, and the accounts of the later Crusades, belonging to the later half of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, by Guillaume de Tyr and Jaques de Vitry. By the former the Mahometans are spoken of only with contempt and hatred, the hatred and contempt of ignorance; in the writings of the later chroniclers they are no longer regarded as monsters; it is evident that a certain amount of intercourse had been going on between the Christian and the Saracen, and a corresponding amount of sympathy has been developed; the morals of the latter are even favourably contrasted with those of the countrymen of the writers. See Hist. de la Civilisation en Europe, 111 204–207.
2 With respect to the period of Gerbert's residence at Barcelona, M.
Olleris says:-'Le voile épais qui
to the sources
bert derived his know
INTRO. the patronage of the princes of the house of Saxe, Gerbert taught with great success at Rheims, and the account given by Richerus of the system he employed and the authors upon whom he commented, is deserving of quotation; it must however be observed, that such instruction, at this period, can only be regarded, in its thoroughness and extent, His teaching as of an entirely exceptional character:-Dialecticam ergo ordine librorum percurrens, dilucidis sententiarum verbis enodavit. Imprimis enim Porphirii ysagogas, id est introductiones secundum Victorini rhetoris translationem, inde etiam easdem secundum Manlium' explanavit; cathegoriarum, id est prædicamentorum librum Aristotelis consequenter enucleans. Peri ermenias vero, id est de interpretatione librum, cujus laboris sit, aptissime monstravit. Inde etiam topica, id est argumentorum sedes, a Tullio de Greco in Latinum translata, et a Manlio consule sex commentariorum libris dilucidata, suis auditoribus intimavit. Nec non et quatuor de topicis differentiis libros, de sillogismis cathegoricis duos, de ypotheticis tres, diffinitionumque librum unum, divisionum æque unum, utiliter legit et expressit. Post quorum laborem, cum ad rhetoricam suos provehere vellet, id sibi suspectum erat, quod sine locutionum modis, qui in poetis discendi sunt, ad oratoriam artem ante perveniri non queat Poetas igitur adhibuit, quibus assuescendos arbitrabatur. Legit itaque ac docuit Maronem et Statium Terentiumque poetas, Juvenalem quoque ac Persium Horatiumque satiricos, Lucanum etiam historiographum. Quibus assuefactos, locutionumque modis compositos, ad rhetoricam transduxit.
l'arabe? Il faut donc reconnaître
1 'Manlius' is, of course, Boethius; see infra, pp. 51-53. It would scarcely be necessary to make this observation had not Hock in his Histoire du Pape Sylvester II, traduite par M. l'Abbé J. M. Axinger, supposed a totally different person to be designated.
2 M. Olleris correctly observes, 'Richer se trompe quand il les prend pour une traduction.'
3 Richeri (E.) Historiarum Quatuor Libri, Lib. III c. 46 & 47. Reims, 1855.
Pope Gerbert lived to see the commencement of the eleventh century and the inauguration of what may fairly be regarded as a less gloomy period, but the years which the close of immediately followed on the thousandth Christian year were nium. clouded by a recurrence of that same terrible foreboding which occupied our attention in the earlier part of our enquiry. The Millennium was drawing to its close; and the monks, as they turned with trembling hand the mystic page of the Apocalypse, declared that they could only interpret the solemn prediction which marks the opening of the twentieth chapter, into an announcement that the end of all things must now be looked for. A panic not less severe Panic than that of the age of Jerome or of Gregory seized upon Christian men's minds. The land was left untilled; the pursuits of business and pleasure were alike disregarded; the churches were thronged by terrified suppliants seeking to avert the Divine wrath. The paroxysm subsided indeed subsided indeed as the use to which seasons revolved with their accustomed regularity, but the impression clergy skilfully converted the predominant feeling into chan- verted by the nels that well subserved the interests of the Church. The ordinary preamble to deeds of gift of this period,—Mundi appropinquante termino, Intonante jam per universum globum evangelica tuba,-attests the widespread character and the reality of the conviction; and from this time we may date the commencement of that great architectural movement which subsequently reared in the proudest cities of Europe the monuments of Christian art and of Christian. self-devotion.
ever The anticipaThe end of the
tion of the
In no subsequent age do we find this belief, though and anon recurrent, operating with an equal power. theory has been revived by the student of prophecy by the charlatan, but it has never since so far attracted popular attention as to paralyse the activities of a nation. and to divert multitudes from the ordinary avocations of life. It is only indeed in facts like these that we realise how closely the avowed belief of those ages was interwoven with their action, and, when we find conviction thus potent to restrain the ardour of the warrior and to arrest the industry
from this agitate the
of the peasant, we begin in some measure to comprehend how great must have been its power in the cloister where it Importance was born. We begin to discern how all education, conceived as an element and directed as it was by those who upheld and inculcated racter of the this belief, must necessarily have reflected its influence; and
of this belief
in the cha
Berengar, b. 1000, d. 1088.
conceding, as we well may, that in no other period in the known history of our race have events more emphatically seemed to favour the construction thus placed upon them, we may claim that this conviction carried with it something to justify as well as to explain the narrow culture of those times. And further, if we add to this consideration the recollection how imperfect was the possession then retained of the literature of antiquity, the indifference with which that literature was regarded by the majority, and the difficulties under which it was studied and transmitted, it may perhaps occur to us that the censure and the sarcasm so often directed against these ages, might well give place to something more of reverence and gratitude towards the heroic few who tended the lamp amid the darkness and the storm1.
The eleventh century saw the revival of the controversy which Paschasius had initiated. In contravention of the extreme theory which he had supported, Berengar, an archdeacon of Tours and head of the great school founded by Charlemagne which still adorned that city, maintained the entirely opposed view which regarded the Lord's Supper
1 It is somewhat remarkable that so well-informed a writer as Mr Lecky, in his able sketch of the belief of these centuries (see Hist. of Rationalism, Vol. 1) should have left this theory almost altogether unnoticed. M. Digot, Recherches sur les Écoles Épiscopales et Monast, de la province de Trères, has indeed inclined to the opinion that its influence has been exaggerated, but Léon Maitre quotes satisfactory evidence to show that the reconstruction of the ruined churches and monasteries in France was not attempted until after the year 1000; of the change that then took place he thus writes: Lorsque l'heure qui devait
être fatale eut sonné sans catastrophe, les hommes, animés d'une ardeur inaccoutumée, semblèrent apprécier davantage le bienfait de l'existence. De toutes parts les écoles sortirent de leur long assoupissement; on se mit à reconstruire les églises et les monastères en ruine, enfin les lettres et les arts prirent subitement un essor nouveau.' Les Ecoles Episcopales, etc. p. 96. M. Olleris has forcibly characterised the sentiment before prevalent:- Personne ne songeait à s'instruire. A quoi bon cultiver son esprit ? Pourquoi transcrire des livres qui allaient périr dans la conflagration universelle?' Vie de Gerbert, p. 21.
assumed by this thinker.
b. 1005 (?),
as purely emblematical. This interpretation was as old as Clemens and Origen, but the principle which Berengar concurrently asserted startled and aroused the Church. While New position familiar with the writings of the Fathers, for he was one of the most learned men of his time, he refused implicit deference to their authority, and declared that in the search for truth reason must be the guide. The sacred writings themselves attested, he urged, that the highest of all truth had been inculcated by the Divine Master in a form that recognised this fundamental law. Such was the commencement of a fresh controversy which, though familiar to modern ears, seemed strange and portentous to the eleventh century. Lanfrane, The position which Berengar was led finally to assume d. 1089. aroused a host of antagonists. Foremost among them was Lanfranc, the archbishop of Canterbury, an ecclesiastic who having once contemplated the profession of the jurist, and studied the civil law at Bologna, had afterwards taken upon himself the religious life and uncompromisingly espoused its most rigid interpretation. From the vantage ground of learning superior even to that of Berengar, he assailed in language of stern rebuke the assumptions of the latter. right faith, he maintained, did not exhaust itself in to reconcile to the understanding mysteries above human Berengar. comprehension, and of these was that of the Real Presence. 'God forbid,' he exclaimed, 'that I should rely rather on human reasoning than on the truth and the authority of the holy Fathers.' Ne videar magis arte quam veritate sanctorumque Patrum auctoritate confidere'. In the sarcasm here implied in the use of arte in its technical sense, we are reminded of that prevalent conception of proof, as essentially a dialectical achievement in compliance with certain rules, which perhaps more than anything else fettered the spirit of enquiry in this age. A wide interval had been traversed
1 De Sacra Cona, c. 7. The reply of Berengar in the long lost treatise discovered by Lessing is worthy of nota: 'Maximi plane cordis est, per omnia ad dialecticam confugere, quia confugere ad eam ad rationem est confugere, quo qui non confugit,
The He maintains efforts vative view in
cum secundum rationem est factus