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state of learning among his countrymen, essayed to rekindle CHAP. I. at Oxford some acquaintance with Latin and a love for letters. The Sententiarum Libri Octo of Robert Pullen have been Robert supposed to have suggested the Sentences of Peter Lombard. His SentenThey are however characterised by strong points of difference; Octo. an absence of the dialectical element and the elaborately established distinction,' less exclusive regard to Patristic authority, and a more generally scriptural method of interpretation. His name is brought forward by Anthony Wood to prove that Aristotle was studied at that period at Oxford'. The same writer, on the authority of Leland, informs us that 'Pulleyne taught daily in the Schools, and left no stone unturned whereby the British youth might flourish in the learned tongues. Which good and useful labours continuing several years, multitudes came to hear his doctrine, profiting thereby so exceedingly that in a short space the University proceeded in their old method of Exercises, which were the age before very rarely performed. There appears to be no reason why the general fact here recorded should be rejected. Pulleyne, according to the consent of various authorities, Original conwas for some years a student at Paris, and it is sufficiently oxford with credible that what he had there learnt he should teach at sity of Paris. Oxford. There also appears to be good reason for believing that long before the thirteenth century, schools existed at Oxford (tradition points to the Benedictines as their founders) and that these were presided over by teachers from Paris3. Mr Anstey, who has devoted considerable attention to the subject, regards it as almost beyond dispute that the earliest statutes of his university were borrowed from the "The transition,' he says, 'from mere grammar
nexion of the schools of
1 Wood's conclusion rests on a rather narrow induction:-'Robert Pulleyne who flourished an. 1146, did before that time read at Oxford optimarum Artium disciplinas which without Aristotle he could not well do.' Annals, 1 280.
Annals, 1 142.
See Mr Anstey's Introduction to Munimenta Academica, 1 xxix. The foundation of the University of Ox.
ford by King Aelfred must be classed
CHAP. L schools to a studium generale, or, as we call it, an university, cannot be traced; the probability however, almost amounting to a certainty, is that it was effected by a nearly wholesale adoption of the regulations of the university of Paris'.
Earliest recognition of the
The earliest authentic legal instrument,' to use the University of language of Cooper, containing any recognition of Cambridge as a university, is a writ of the second year of Henry III, addressed to the sheriff of the town, commanding all clerks who had been excommunicated for their adhesion to Louis the son of the King of France, and who had not been absolved, to depart the realm before the middle of Lent; those who failed to yield obedience to this mandate to be arrested. If,' observes Cooper, (as seems very probable) the word clerk is used in this writ as denoting a scholar, this appears to be the earliest authentic legal instrument referring to the existence of a University in this place. Our university history would accordingly seem to date from the commencement of our true national history, from the time when the Norman element having become fused with the Saxon element, and the invader driven from our shores, the genius of the people found comparatively free scope, and the national character began to assume its distinctive form. Galling evidence of the Conquest still exhibited itself, it is true, in the Poitevin who ruled in the royal councils, and the Italian who monopolized the richest benefices; but the isolation from the Continent which followed on the expulsion of Prince Louis could not fail to develope in an insular race a more bold and independent spirit. The first half of the thirteenth century in England has been not inaptly designated 'the age of Robert Grosseteste.' The cold commendation with which Hallam dismisses the memory of that eminent reformer must appear altogether inadequate to those familiar with more recent investigations of the period. The encourager of Greek learning, the interpreter of Aristotle, the patron of the mendicant orders, the chastiser of monastic corruption, the fearless champion of the national
1 Munimenta Academica, p. xliv.
2 Annals, 1 37.
as a thinker.
cause against Papal aggression, the leader of thought at the CHAP. I. sister university, deserves a foremost place in the history of his times. Probably no one,' remarks his most recent editor, 'has had a greater influence upon English thought His influence and English literature for the two centuries which followed his age'. Those familiar with the literature of those centuries will bear witness how often the name of Lincolniensis, the bishop par excellence, appears as that of an independent authority. Grosseteste died in the year 1253; and the half century wherein he had been so prominent an actor had witnessed those two great events, both inseparably associated with his name, which gave a new aspect to learning and to the institutions of the Church,-the introduction of the new Aristotle into Christian Europe, and the rise of the Franciscan and the Dominican orders.
The evils that rarely fail to accompany the growth of corporate bodies in wealth and influence, had followed upon the aggrandisement of the Benedictines, and are attested by evidence too unanimous to be gainsaid, especially by the successive institution of subordinate orders, which, while adhering to the same rule, initiated or restored a severer discipline. The Cluniac and the Cistercian orders, those of the Camuldules and the Celestines, of Fontevrault and Grandmont, are to be regarded rather as reformed than as rival societies,-attempts to do away with grave causes of
1 Preface to Roberti Grosseteste Epistole by Rev. H. R. Luard (Rolls Series).
2 Even so late as in the course of studies prescribed for the University of Tübingen by King Ferdinand, in 1525, the name of Linconicus' appears with those of Averroës, Avicenna, Albertus Magnus, Aquinas, Scotus and Occam. See Sammlung der Württembergischen Schul Gesetze, dritte Abtheilung, p. 91.
3 Respecting the origin of some of the minor orders, we have no satisfactory information, but those of Cluny and the Cistercians undoubtedly took their rise in the spirit indicated in the text. The reformation,' says Tanner, 'of some things which seemed too remiss in St Be
nedict's rule, begun by Bernon, abbot
the formation of the later
CHAP. L Scandal, while the traditions of monasticism remained. Selfperfection was still the professed aim of the monk; devotion, humility, seclusion and obedience, his cardinal virtues; and as he illumined the scroll or chanted the intercessory prayer, he held himself well absolved from the duties of a secular life. The isolation practised by the followers of Pacomius and Antony in the fifth, widely differed however from that of the Benedictine in the thirteenth century. The former, by shunning intercourse with their fellows, sought to escape the temptations of the flesh; the latter, while they jealously guarded their privileged seclusion, found for the most part a Degeneracy solace in unmitigated sensual indulgence. The great Benedictine movement in Normandy in the eleventh century, and the great Cistercian movement in England in the twelfth, had failed to effect anything more than a partial and evanescent reform. The intense selfishness of a life which evaded the social duties only to indulge, with less restraint, the individual appetites, arrested the attention even of that gross and uncritical age', and a striking picture of the actual state of affairs at the latter part of the twelfth century has been preserved to us by the graphic pen of Giraldus Cambrensis.
In the year 1180, when a young man, he became a guest on Description his return from the Continent to London, at the famous
Cambrensis. monastery of St. Augustine at Canterbury. He was hospitably
1 Witness application by Giraldus Cambrensis of the comparison instituted by Jerome between the monk and the secular priest to his own times. Giraldus was himself ecclesiastic and an aspirant to the see of St David's. "Monachus enim tanquam unius custos, vel singularis dictus, sui solius curam agit. Clericus vero circa multorum curam solicitari tenetur. Est itaque monachus tanquam granum tritici solum manens; est autem clericus tanquam granum germinans, et in horrea Domini multum fructum afferens.' Topographia Hibernica, Bk. III c. 30. The broad satire of the friend of Giraldus, Walter Map, points in the same direction. Map was archdeacon of Oxford in the reign of Richard
I, a keen wit, a jovial pluralist, but a man of culture and true earnestness. He had a living at Westbury-onSevern, very near the Cistercian abbey in the forest of Dean. Encroachment by the Cistercians on his clerical rights may have added to the indignation of his satire. When on his rounds, as Justice in Eyre for the King, he was wont when taking the oath that he would do equal justice to all, to except Jews and Cistercians, as men to whom equal justice was an abomination. His Apocalypse of bishop Golias is a fierce satire on the debauchery and sensuality of the order. Bishop Golias is represented as actuated by the fondest hope that he might die drunk in a tavern,
entertained, but his astonishment at what he witnessed was CHAP. I. intense. The conversation and manners of the monks, he affirms, were such that he thought himself among players and jesters. The table at dinner was regularly laid with sixteen covers. Fish and flesh, roast and boiled, highly seasoned dishes, piquant sauces, and exquisite cookery, stimulated the flagging appetite. Though the ale of Kent was of the best, it was rarely tasted where claret, mead, and mulberry wine were constantly flowing'. There is ample evidence that his is no exaggerated description, and that the monastery at Canterbury was far from exceptional in its character. A variety of causes, it would seem, had combined Causes which to produce this laxity of discipline. Lyttelton in his History of the Reign of Henry II attributes to the civil war in the preceding reign the over-aggrandisement of the monastic orders: the weak and the timid took refuge where alone it was to be found; while those who participated in the struggle often committed atrocities for which, consciencestricken, they sought in after years to atone by founding or enriching religious houses. In some instances, the wealthier and more powerful foundations had obtained exemption from all episcopal control and were responsible only to the Pope and his legate3.
favoured this corruption.
The inevitable effects of such wide-spread corruption in Influence of undermining the popular faith, were, for a time, to some extent counteracted by two important movements. The vast impulse communicated by the Crusades to Christian Europe had subserved a double purpose,-it had rekindled the flame of religious enthusiasm, and had afforded to the more reckless and lawless members of society the opportunity of reconciliation to the Church,—not, indeed, by the alienation of worldly wealth, but by appealing to those very instincts wherein excess and criminality took their rise,-the love of adventure and excitement'. The ultimate effects of these memorable
1 De Rebus a se Gestis, Bk. 11 c. 5. 2 Hist. of the Reign of King Henry II, p. 330.
Even the garb of the monk, that last external sign of compliance with
discipline, appears to have been
'God,' says the abbat Guibert,