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CHAP. I. expeditions widely differed however from those originally contemplated by Urban II. Long residence in an enervating climate, under conditions of so extraordinary and novel a character, could scarcely prove favourable to the habits and morals of those engaged. Whatever benefits the Crusades conferred on Christendom were probably more than counterbalanced by results of a different nature. If invasion was repelled from Europe, and a bond of union created among the nations of Christendom in the place of internecine strife,if chivalry traces back its origin to the spirit then evoked,—it is equally certain that an inlet was afforded to many baneful influences. The attempted conversion of the Saracen not only proved fruitless, but, as a recent writer has observed, it seemed, at one time, much more likely that the converters would become converted. The Manicheistic tendencies which infected the Christianity of the fourth and fifth centuries reappeared; the belief in magic and the practice of the magician's arts became widely extended; the Communistie excesses of these times have been attributed, with no small probability, to the indirect influences of the Crusades. Everywhere might be discerned the workings of a genuine but ill-regulated enthusiasm. The austerities and doctrines of the rival sects of the Patarins, the Cathari, Bons Hommes, Josephins, Flagellants, Publicani, and Waldenses, were regarded by the orthodox with apprehension and dismay1.
The Orders of St. Domi
Scarcely however had these secondary symptoms become nic and St. manifest, when another movement lent new prestige to the Church and revived the hopes of the faithful. Long before St. Louis breathed his last on the coast of Africa, in that final expedition on behalf of the beleaguered Christian settlements
'invented the Crusades as a new
1 See Professor Brewer's preface
those of the 'Everlasting Gospel' as attributable to the same influences. The Crusades appear rather to have increased than diminished the number of those who took refuge in the monasteries. See Michaud, Hist. des Croisades, IV 255; also Milman, whose view of their collective and final effects is somewhat more favorable. Hist. Latin Christianity, Bk. VII c. 6.
in Syria, to which he had roused the flagging enthusiasm of CHAP. I. his countrymen, he had beheld with admiration the rise and rapid growth of those two great orders to whose untiring zeal the Church of Rome was so largely indebted in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Within less than ten years of each other, were founded the order of St. Dominic and the order of St. Francis of Assisi. The sagacious glance of Innocent III had distinguished between the genuine devotion that characterised the earlier spirit of these orders and the fanaticism of preceding sects; he had discerned the valuable aid thus presented to the Church; and it was nearly his last act to bestow upon the humble followers of St. Francis his sanction and benediction.
tion of these
two The concep orders essen
that of the
The whole spirit in which the institution of these orders was conceived stood in startling contrast to the then associated with the religious life. For isolation from mankind there was now exemplified a spirit of evangelism worthy of the apostolic age; for princely edifices the renunciation of a settled habitation; for the allurements of pagan learning an all-absorbing devotion to theology; for luxury and self-indulgence the meanest fare and the coarsest raiment; wherever vice and misery had their abode, amid the squalor, poverty, and suffering of the most wretched quarters of the town, the Dominican and the Franciscan laboured on their Characteris errand of mercy. The fiery eloquence of the former, whose Dominicans exemplar was St. Paul, drew around him numerous and Franciscans enthusiastic audiences; the latter, who professed to imitate rather the spirit of the 'beloved disciple,' won men by his devotion and the spell of a mystic theology'. The contrast
1 The habits of the two orders, great as were their outward resemblances, were essentially and radically different. To organize and systematize was the taste and business of the one. To bring out the human, sentimental, individual aspects of theology and of humanity was the characteristic effort of the other. The Dominican was always verging upon the hardest intellectualism; but he was exempt from much of the superstition to which the Fran
ciscan yielded. He was liable to all
tics of the
Rapid progress of the
CHAP. I. presented by both orders to the inactivity of the Benedictines necessarily appealed with singular force to the wants and sympathies of the poor amid the vicissitudes of that tempestuous century. The two orders extended themselves with new Orders. marvellous rapidity over Europe and yet remoter regions. Their convents multiplied not only in more civilized countries, but also in Russia, Poland, and Denmark; their missionaries penetrated to the heart of Palestine, to the inaccessible fastnesses of Abyssinia, and the bleak regions of Crim Tartary. In a few years,' says Dean Milman, 'from the sierras of Spain to the steppes of Russia; from the Tiber to the Thames, the Trent, the Baltic sea; the old faith in its fullest mediæval, imaginative, inflexible rigour, was preached in almost every town and hamlet'.' In England the Dominicans met with less success, but this was fully comThe Francis- pensated by the rapid progress of the Franciscans. Very soon after the establishment of the latter order, they had formed a settlement at Oxford under the auspices of Grosseteste, and had erected their first rude chapel at Cambridge. Within thirty years from their first arrival in the country, they numbered considerably more than a thousand and had established convents in most of the more important towns. If your holiness,' says Grosseteste, writing to Gregory IX in 1238, 'could see with what devotion and humility the people run to hear the word of life from them, for confession and instruction as to daily life, and how much improvement the clergy and the regulars (clerus et religio) have obtained by imitating them, you would indeed say that they that dwelt in the shadow of death upon them hath the light shined.' Even by the existing religious orders they and their work were regarded, in the first instance, with far from unfriendly sentiments; or, if jealousy were felt, it was deemed prudent
cans in England.
they served to shew forth the count-
intellectual energy, without which those ages would have been very barren.' Prof. Maurice, Mediæval Philosophy, pp. 165-166.
1 Hist. Latin Christianity, Bk. ix c. 9.
2 Luard, Preface to Grosseteste Epistolæ, p. xxii; see also Epist. 58.
to repress its manifestation while the current of popular CHAP. I. feeling flowed so strongly in their favour. Roger of Wendover, prior of the Benedictine convent of Belvoir, declares that the labours of the new missionaries 'brought much fruit to the Lord'.'
tality of the
and the Jews
With the activity of the Dominicans is associated the Instrumenother great movement of this century,-the introduction of Dominicans the new philosophy. The numerous foundations planted by in bringing in them in the East, brought about an increased intercourse Aristotle. between those regions and Western Europe; the influence of the Crusades, as we have already seen, was tending to a like result; the barriers which, in the time of Gerbert, interposed between Mahometan and Christian thought, were broken down; and, simultaneously with these changes, the labours of Averroes, who died at Morocco in 1198, were spreading among the Arabs a deference for the authority of Aristotle such as no preceding commentator or translator had inspired. Another widely scattered body supplied the link that brought these labours home to Christendom. The Jews of Syria, and those who, under the scornfully tolerant rule of the Saracens in Spain, found refuge from the persecution and insult which confronted them in the great cities of Christian Europe, were distinguished by their cultivation of the new philosophy, and their acquaintance with both Arabic and Latin enabled them in turn to render the works of Averröes accessible to the scholars of the Romance countries. It would seem to be a well established conclusion Aristotle that the philosophy of Aristotle was first made known to to Europe as the West mainly through these versions. The rarity, at this through period, of a knowledge of Greek, and the attractions offered sources. by the additional aid afforded in the Arabic commentaries, secured for these sources a preference over whatever had as yet appeared that was founded upon an immediate acquaint
1 'Crevit igitur in brevi hic ordo fratrum prædictorum, qui Minores dicuntur, per orbem universum; qui in urbibus habitantes et castellis, deni et septeni exierunt in diebus illis, per villas et ecclesias parochi
ales, verbum vitæ prædicantes, et
Previous knowledge in Europe of his writings.
ance with the Greek originals'. A considerable interval elapsed before translations direct from the Greek appeared in sufficient number to rival those from the Arabic, and here it will be well before we proceed with the consideration of the interpretation of Aristotle adopted by the earliest teachers of our universities, to discriminate the sources from whence their inspiration would appear to have been derived.
We have already had occasion to notice that the Aristotle of the schoolmen, prior to the twelfth century, was nothing more than probably two of his treatises on Logic,-the Categories and the De Interpretatione; the remaining portion of the Organon, as translated by Boethius, being first made known at the beginning of that century. It remains to explain by what means the Middle Age translations from the Arabic and those from the Greek have been distinguished and identified. The theories of different scholars on this question were for a long time singularly at variance. It could not be doubted that the source from whence those who first introduced the philosophy of Aristotle into Christian Europe derived their knowledge, were Latin translations; but in what instances these translations had been made directly from the Greek, and in what instances they were derived from the labours of the Arabians, was in considerable dispute. Brucker, in his History of Philosophy, put forth only a confused and unsatisfactory statement; Heeren inclined to the opinion that the revival
1 'On puisait plus volontiers à cette source qu'à l'autre, parce que les traductions de l'hébreu et de l'arabe étaient plus littérales, et qu'on y trouvait des explications que l'obscurité du texte rendait trèsnécessaires.' Jourdain, Recherches Critiques, etc. p. 16.
2 The first known translation direct from the Greek is that of Jacques de Venise, 1128. Jacobus, clericus de Venitia, transtulit de græco in latinum quosdam libros Aristotelis et commentatus est, scilicet Topica, Analyticos priores et posteriores, et Elenchos, quamvis antiqua translatio super eos haberetur.' Roberti de
might be traced to sources
Monte, abbatis S. Michaelis, Chronica. (quoted by Jourdain, p. 58). This however would, of course, add little to the actual knowledge of Aristotle.
3 These portions of the Organon, that is to say, the Prior and Posterior Analytics, the Topica, and the Elenchi Sophistici became known as the Nova Logica, the Categories and the De Interpretatione as Vetus Logica. See Bulæus, 111 82. Prantl observes that in Duns Scotus this distinction appears to have been that by which the respective treatises were generally known. Geschichte der Logik, III 206.