Page images
PDF
EPUB

CHAP. I. humiliation, and could assert that, if their universities owed

their constitution to Paris, the debt had been more than repaid in the teachers whom Paris had received from England. It is thus that, while the destruction of most of the early records relating to the mental activity of Oxford, and a yet greater blank in relation to Cambridge, present considerable difficulties when we endeavour to trace out the connecting links between these universities and the continent, the comparatively ample data which we possess concerning Paris enable us to some extent to repair the loss, and, in the absence of positive information, to fall back upon reasonable presumptive evidence. It will consequently be needless further to explain why, in the present chapter, we stop to examine the constitution, early fortunes, and intellectual experiences of the university of Paris, before passing on to the universities of our own country.

An important question meets us at this stage of our enquiry, which it is not within our province to investigate, but which cannot be passed by altogether unnoticed. If we accept the representations put forward by one particular school of writers, the rise of the universities would appear to have directly involved the downfal of the episcopal and monastic schools; and the period from Charlemagne to Philip Augustus has been indicated with fond regret, as the time when the Church performed her fitting function, fashioning the whole conception of education, and watching with maternal care over each detail of instruption : Without entering

Did the
Universities
cause the
ruin of the
Episcopal
and Monastic
schools ?

1.Parvenus au règne de Philippe.
Auguste, nous touchons à la fin de
l'existence glorieuse des écoles épi-
scopales et monastiques et à l'avéne-
ment d'un nouvel ordre des choses.
Tous semble des lors conspirer contre
l'education claustrale, pour en ac-
célérer la ruine. Les prélats habi-
tués à la vie tumultueuse depuis les
croisades, se laissent absorber par
les préoccupations temporelles, et bri.
guent l'honneur d'entrer dans les
conseils des princes ou de devenir
leur ministres d'État. Les moines
s'engourdissent dans la relâchement
et l'oisiveté qu'amène toujours après

elle upe trop grande opulence, et se trouvent pas force pour lutter contre les nouveaux ordres religieux qui se sont emparés des chaires de l'en. seignement. Il n'est pas jusqu'à la transformation qui s'opérait alors dans la société féodale qui n'ait eu son influence sur ce dénouement précipité. Ce n'est pas que le zèle des étudiants se soit refroidi, au contraire, jamais il ne fut plus ardent; mais les fils de ceux qui avaient secoué le joug des seigneurs, pour s'ériger en municipalités franches se trouvèrent mal à l'aise sous la discipline du cloître, et voulu

INFLUENCE OF THE FRENCH UNIVERSITIES.

69

into the abstract merits of the question, it is sufficient here CHAP. I. to point out that the facts, as pleaded by Theinerand Léon The afirmaMaitre, have met with a distinct and specific denial. If tained by indeed the guidance of other investigators may be trusted, Léon Maitre. the thread that connects the schools of Charlemagne with the university of Paris is to be traced in unbroken continuity. 'Alcuin,' says Monnier, following in the track of the com- Counter pilers of the Histoire Littéraireand of Mabillon, numbered tion of among his disciples Rabanus and Haymo of Halberstadt. Rabanus and Haymo of Halberstadt were both the preceptors of Lupus Servatus"; Lupus Servatus had for a pupil Eric of Auxerre"; Eric of Auxerre was the master of Remy of Auxerre", who taught in turn both at Rheims and at Paris; at Rheims Remy of Auxerre numbered among his pupils Hildebald and Blidulphus, founders of the schools of Lorraine, and Sigulphus and Frodoard, who carried on the school at Rheims and prepared the way for Gerbert; while at Paris he united the two branches of the Palatial school, the one representing the tradition of Alcuin, the other that of Johannes Scotus,—and interpreted to them the logic attributed to Augustine and the treatise of Capella. His pupil was Odo of Cluny, who rekindled the monastic zeal and trained numerous scholars,—Aymer, Baldwin, Gottfried, Landric, Wulfad, Adhegrin, Hildebald, Eliziard, and, most distinguished of all, John, his biographer. These were the men who, in conjunction with the pupils of Gerbert®, sustained the tradition of instruction in the tenth century, whilst Hucbald of Liège, proceeding from St. Gall, instructed the canons of St. Geneviève at Paris, and taught in the cathedral school. In the eleventh century Abbo of Fleury and 'his

representa

Monnier,

rent respirer l'air libre des grandes
villes. Loin de combattre ces ten-
dances, Philippe-Auguste et ses suc-
cesseurs les encouragèrent en fondant
des universités et en comblant ces
corporations avec priviléges. Inca-
pables de soutenir une concurrence
aussi redoutable, les écoles épiscopa-
les et monastiques furent rapidement
dépossédées du sceptre qu'elles tenai-
ent avec honneur depuis quatre

siècles et s'effacèrent complètement
de la scène de l'histoire.' Léon
Maitre, Écoles Episcopales, p. 170.

1 Hist, des Institutions d'Education
Ecclésiastique, i 181–190.

Hist. Littéraire de la France,v132. 3 Loup de Ferrières, v. pp. 19–21.

4 Hericus or Ericus of Auxerre, il.
circ. 880. Migne, cxxiv 1128.

5 Remy of Auxerre, d. circ. 908.
6 See p. 44.

CHAP. I. pupils Gozelin, Haymo the historian, Bernard, Herveus,

Odalric, Girard, and Thierry, imparted vigour to the culture of their time. Drogo taught with eminent success at Paris; and all the neighbouring schools, Chartres, Tours, and Le Bec, were attracted by the learning of that city, the habitual residence of the Capetian dynasty. The fame of the controversies there carried on soon drew together a crowd of teachers and scholars. Among the pupils of Drogo was John the Deaf, and John the Deaf had Roscellinus for his pupil. Roscellinus was from the school of Ivo of Chartres, and had for his disciples Peter of Cluny, Odo of Cambray, William of Champeaux, and Abelard. The schools of Paris thus became a real federal corporation; Universitas magistrorum et discipulorum, such was the university and thus, in the times when books were rare, the precious legacy of learning was transmitted from hand to hand across the fleeting generations

Whatever value we may be disposed to attach to this conservatism, representation, as a statement of the precise mode of trans

mission, it is certain that unquestionable authority can be quoted to prove that both the monastic and episcopal schools continued to exist long after the rise of the universities”; but it is obvious that if the former represented merely the stationary and conservative element, while the latter attracted to itself whatever lay beneath the ban of unreasoning authority,—whatever, feared at first as a heresy, was soon to be

Progress versus mere

1 Monnier, Alcuin et son Influence,

p. 189.

2 'Enfin, on s'obstine à ignorer les profonds travaux d'un Benedictin, du vénérable fondateur de notre grande Histoire littéraire, qui attestent, sur les meilleures autorités, que les écoles des évêques et celles des monastères avaient continué de fleurir avec les nouvelles sociétés d'études. Il faut, pour n'accuser ainsi que les autres, se laisser faire illusion par la haine contre toute loi civile, contre toute éducation séculière, et même contre tout ordre rel eux qui ne juge point la piété incompatible avec une instruction solide et sincère, ni l'histoire avec la vérité.' V. Le

Clerc, État des Lettres au XIVe Siècle, 1 302. It is however undeniable that though both the Monastic and Episcopal Schools may have continued to exist, they had suffered woful deterioration: Heppe quotes authority to the effect that, in the year 1291, in the monastery of St Gall neither the abbot nor any of the monks could write; and we have it on the statement of a Benedictine himself that in the 13th century it was rare even in his own order to find any one acquainted with grammar. See chapter entitled Die Kloster und Domschulen des Mittelalters in Dr Heppe's Schulwesen des Mittelalters, pp. 15—25.

[ocr errors]

accepted as sound philosophy,-all that widened the domain CHAP. I.
of knowledge or enriched the limits already attained the
comparative importance of the two agencies could not remain
the same. The former must decline in proportion as the
latter increased; and it needs but little penetration to dis-
cern in this illogical confusion of the secondary effects of the
universities with their direct action, a genuine vexation at
the results that necessarily followed upon a blind and suicidal
adherence to the traditions of a bygone age.

At nearly the same era, the latter part of the twelfth Bologna,
century, the historian becomes aware of the recognised exist- Salerno.
ence of three great schools in Europe, -Bologna, Paris, and
Salerno. Of these the first was distinguished as the school
of civil law; the second, as that of the arts and theology;
the third, as that of medicine. It is a significant proof of
the non-relevancy of the term Universitas to the range of meaning of
studies pursued in these ancient seats of learning, that while Universitas.
Paris had completed the circle of her studies long before the
commencement of the thirteenth century, the term univer-
sity is first found applied to her in the year 1215, in the
reign of Philip Augustus'; while Bologna, whose recognition
as a university is of at least equal antiquity, possessed no
chair of theology before the latter half of the fourteenth
century. The term indeed when first employed, had a
different meaning from that which it now conveys. “In the
language of the civil law,' observes one writer, all corpo-
rations' were called universitates, as forming one whole out of
many individuals. In the German jurisconsults universitas
is the word for a corporate town. In Italy it was applied to
the incorporated trades in the cities. In ecclesiastical lan-
guage the term was sometimes applied to a number of
churches united under the superintendence of one archdeacon.
In a papal rescript of the year 688, it is used of the body of
the canons of the church of Pisa?.'

If however we agree to define a university as a corporation for the cultivation of learning formed under legal

1 Savigny, Geschichte des Römi. ? Prof. Malden, Origin of the Uni. schen Rechts, c. xxI sec. 127.

versities, p. 13,

CHAP. I. sanction, we shall find ourselves considerably embarrassed, in

investigating the comparative antiquity of Paris and Bologna, by the fact that long before either received a formal recognition it possessed a vigorous virtual existence'. With the exception of the university of Naples, the spontaneity of

growth in these bodies forms indeed one of the most remarkSavigny's able features of the age. It would,' says Savigny, 'be criticism.

altogether erroneous to compare the earliest universities of the middle ages with the learned foundations of our own times, established by a monarch or a corporation for the benefit of the native population, the admission of strangers being accorded as a favour. A teacher inspired by a love of learning gathered round him a circle of learners. Other teachers followed, the circle increased, and thus by a purely natural process a school was founded. How great must have been the reputation and influence of such schools at a time when they were but few in number, and when oral instruction was nearly the only path to knowledge! How great the noble pride of the professors and the enthusiasm of the scholars, when, from all the countries of Europe, learners flocked to spend long years in Paris and Bologna that they might share in this instruction!

If we look therefore rather to the spontaneous than to

the formal element, Irnerius may be regarded as the founder University of of the university of Bologna, and the movement which he Bologna

initiated is seen acquiring a fresh developement in the lectures on the Decretum of Gratian instituted by Eugenius in the middle of the same century, until the university became officially recognised in the charter of privileges which it

received from the emperor Frederic I, in the year 1158°. Ite charter of In this charter we find provision made for the free admission

of foreign students; for their protection from legal proceedings

1158.

1 'In der That nun kann der An- the time, the words Universitas vestra fang der Universität deswegen nicht meant the whole of you.' Introd. genau bestimmt werden, weil sie gar to Munimenta Academica, 1 xxxiv. nicht von einer willkührlichen Stift- 2 Geschichte des Römischen Rechts, ung ausgieng. Savigny, c. xxI sec. 3. Mr Anstey remarks that in the thir. 3 Bologna is not named in the teenth and fourteenth centuries, Charter, but Savigny shows that restrange as it may appear to those ference could have been intended unacquainted with patent letters of only to that city. Ibid. xxı 63.

c. XXX sec. 60.

« PreviousContinue »