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circumstantial reply. The 'Histories' are accordingly a kind INTROof abstract of the De Civitate,-the theory of Augustine without his philosophy, his eloquence, and his fertility of exposition. Such was the origin of the volume which afterwards became the school history of the Middle Ages, and it must be owned that it is a decidedly sombre treatise. It was the object of the writer to shew, over and above the exposition of his main theory, that the times were by no means so exceptional as to justify the hypothesis of paganism; that in all ages the Supreme Ruler had, for His own inscrutable purposes, tried mankind by calamities even greater than those that the pestilence and barbaric invasion were then inflicting. His pages are consequently filled with famines, plagues, earthquakes, sieges, and battles; the tragic and the terrible make up the volume; there is no place for the tranquil days of the old Republic or for the sunny age of the Antonines. It is difficult not to infer that, when generation after generation was left to derive its knowledge of history from such a book, the effect could scarcely have been otherwise than too much in assonance with ideas like that which has already come so prominently before us.
The treatise of Martianus Capella, De Nuptiis Philologie Martianus et Mercurii et de Septem Artibus Liberalibus Libri Novem, is fl. circ. 424. the work of a native of Carthage, a teacher of rhetoric and a treatise De Nupliis. contemporary probably of Orosius. It is characterised by the usual mannerisms of the African rhetoricians, an obscure and forced diction, a turgid rhetoric, and endless artifices of metaphor and expression, such as belong to the school of Appuleius and Arnobius. The treatise, as the title implies, is cast in an allegorical form: and the first two books are The allegory. almost exclusively devoted to a somewhat tedious account of the celebration of the marriage of Mercury with Philologia, the goddess of speech. Jupiter, warned by the oracles, con
1 Nactus enim sum præteritos dies non solum æque ut hos graves, verum etiam tanto atrocius miseros, quanto longius a remedio veræ religionis alienos. Præfatio ad Aurelium Augustinum, Migne, xxx1 667.
A recent editor of Martianus
(Eyssenhardt, Lipsia, 1866) considers
INTRO- venes a meeting of the gods and demands the rights of naturalization for one hitherto but a mortal virgin; and Mercury assigns to his bride seven virgins as her attendants, each of whom is in turn introduced at the marriage banquet and descants on that particular branch of knowledge represented by her name. Such is the fantastic allegory wherein was transmitted to the universities of Europe the ancient division of the trivium and quadrivium'. To modern readers neither the instruction nor the amusement thus conveyed will appear of a very high order. The elaborateness of the machinery seems out of all proportion to the end in view, the allegorical portion of the treatise occupying more than a fourth part of the entire work. The humour, if not altogether spiritless, is often coarse, and when we recollect not only that such allurements to learning were deemed admissible, but that the popularity of this treatise in the Middle Ages is probably mainly attributable to these imaginative accessories, we need seek for no further evidence respecting the standard of literary taste then prevalent.
A course of study embracing Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy, would appear a far from contemptible curriculum; it is only when we examine what was really represented under each of these branches, that we become aware how inadequately they corresponded to modern conceptions of such studies. The definition, indeed, given by Martianus of grammar, would lead us to anticipate a comprehensive treatment of the Grammar. subject,-it is not only docte scribere legereque, but also
1 See Hauréau, De la Philosophie
Crit. Phil. III 957. This division of
2 As specimens the following may
the loud snores of Silenus asleep under the influence of his deep potations. The kiss wherewith Rhetorica salutes Philologia is heard throughout the assembly, nihil enim silens, ac si cuperet, faciebat. John of Salisbury (see Metalogicus, Lib. 1v) frequently illustrates his discourses by a reference to this allegory as especially familiar to his age. Les imaginations vives, remarks Léon Maitre, donnaient leur préférence à Martianus Capella. Écoles Episc. p. 211.
erudite intelligere probareque. The actual information is meagre in the extreme'; the physiology of articulation, it is true, is analysed with a care that M. Jourdain's tutor might. have envied; but the writer appears to confuse quantity with accentuation, and it indicates the neglect into which Cicero's writings had already fallen that, in treating of the comparison of adverbs, the author affirms that impune has no comparative. Under Dialectics both logic and Dialectica. metaphysics are included. In the former we have the old definitions of genus and differentia, accidens and proprium, and the diagram familiar to students of Aldrich or Whately, illustrating the relations of the four kinds of logical propositions. The portion devoted to Rhetoric contains the rules Rhetoric. and figures of the art, taken chiefly from Cicero, and profusely illustrated from his writings. Geometry consists of little more than geography, a short compend from Pliny with a Geometry.
1 Kopp here observes, ea elegisse videtur, in quibus vel dissentiret a superioribus grammaticis, vel clarius se docere posse putaret,' an explanation hardly warranted, I think, when we compare the treatment with that of similar writers like Cassiodorus and Isidore. C. F. Hermann, in his preface to Kopp's edition, expresses his belief that Martianus drew largely from Varro, 'quæ si recte observavi, fieri poterit ut ex Martiano si nihil aliud tamen aliquas principis eruditionis Romanæ reliquias lucremur.'
2 The causes that led to the singularly meagre treatment of Logic by these writers have been thus described by a very competent critic:
It was only indeed in the time of Cicero, that Aristotle's writings were brought to light from the long obscurity in which they were buried. And it is not asserting too much to say, that, even had the Romans been disposed to encourage a speculative philosophy there was then no one competent either justly to value, or fully to explain, his logical doctrines. An art of logic had long been current in use, the Dialectic of the Stoics, which so far from opening the mind to the reception of a truly philoso
phical method, had diverted men
INTRO few simple propositions concerning the properties of lines, plane figures, and solids, towards the close. Some of the blunders are amusing. For instance, Pliny had stated that the Northern Ocean had been explored under the auspices Illustrations of Augustus: Martianus, by way of embellishment, tells us geographical that Tiberius had, in his own person, traversed the whole of the period. extent of the Northern Ocean and had penetrated to the country of the Scythians and the Arctic regions, magno dehinc permenso ad Scythicam plagam ac rigentes undas usque penetravit, a statement for which we can only account by supposing that he had Germanicus in his mind. Other details, too numerous to be noticed here, have a certain interest as illustrative of the knowledge and nomenclature of the times. Egypt he refers to, in common with other geographers, as Asia caput; and, while admitting that the sources of the Nile are unknown, makes mention of a tradition that it takes its rise in a lake situated in the lower regions of Mauretania. In speaking of Syria he refers to the Essenes, but Palestine and Galilee fail to suggest the name of Arithmetic. Christianity. The science of Arithmetic is discussed chiefly with reference to the properties of numbers, mystically interpreted after the manner of Pythagoras. 'Music' includes the subject of metre, together with a brief account of harmony Astronomy, and of the scale of musical notation. Astronomy is treated according to the traditions of Ptolemy, and contains a short account of the heavenly bodies, and an investigation, by far the most philosophical portion of the treatise, into the supposed laws that regulate the movements of the planets, the sun, and the moon'.
1 It is, however, very remarkable that superficial as is his treatment of astronomy, he yet appears to have to some extent anticipated the Copernican theory. The passage deserves quotation:- Licet generaliter sciendum, cunctis orbibus planetarum eccentron esse tellurem, hoc est non tenere medium circulorum; quoniam mundi centron esse non dubium; et illud generale septem omnibus advertendum, quod quum mundus ejusdem ductus rotatione unimoda tor
queatur, planetæ quotidie tam loca quam diversitates arripiant circulorum. Nam ex his nullum sidus ex eo loco unde pridie ortum est elevatur. Quod si est, dubium non est, centum octoginta tres circulos habere Solem, per quos aut ab solstitio in brumam redit, aut ab eadem in solstitialem lineam sublevatur; per easdem quippe mutationes commeat circulorum. Sed quum Sol prædictum numerum habeat, Mars duplos circulos facit, Iovis stella duodecies
If, as has been conjectured', the allegory presented in the De Consolatione Philosophia of Boethius was conceived in Boethius. imitation of the allegorical treatment adopted by Martianus, b. circ. 475. the fact would alone point to a wide and early popularity gained by the latter writer,-a popularity largely attributable to the predilection for abridgements, making small demands on the time and attention of the student, which characterised that degenerate age. The reputation acquired by Boethius rests upon a more satisfactory foundation. The services His great which that distinguished statesman rendered to posterity learning. have been suffered, to a great extent, to pass from recollection ever since that infusion of learning which, in the thirteenth century, superseded his philosophical treatises and led to their comparative neglect from that time2; but it is only just to remember that to Boethius we owe the transmission down to that era, of that element of purely Greek thought which, imperfect and insignificant though it may now appear, was, during seven centuries, nearly the sole remaining tradition of the Aristotelian philosophy preserved by Western Europe.
If we compare the treatise by Boethius with that of Martianus Martianus, we shall probably incline to the conclusion that compared. Boethius wrote for a different and a higher class. The
exercet, octies vicies cumulatur Saturnus, eos circulos qui paralleli dicuntur circumcurrens; qui motus omnium cum mundo proveniunt, et terras ortibus occasibusque circumeunt. Nam Venus Mercuriusque licet ortus occasusque quotidianos ostendant, tamen eorum circuli terras omnino non ambiunt sed circa Solem laxiore ambitu circulantur; denique circulorum suorum centron in Sole constituunt, ita ut supra ipsum aliquando, infra plerumque propinquiores terris ferantur, a quo quidem signo uno et parte dimidia Venus disparatur; sed quum supra Solem sunt, propinquior est terris Mercurius, quum infra Solem, Venus, utpote quæ orbe castiore diffusioreque curvetur.' c. viii, p. 856, ed. Kopp. On dit,' says Delambre, 'qui c'est ce peu de lignes qui a été pris par Copernic pour le sujet de ses meditations, et qui l'a conduit à son système du monde; en ce cas Mar
tianus aurait rendu à l'astronomie
1 See article by Dean Stanley,
"Both of the great esteem in which the Consolation of Boethius was held by the Church of the Middle Ages, and of the great influence of the monastic schools, Dr Pauli finds evidence in the fact, that 'as soon as a newly formed language began to produce, we meet with a version of Boethius in it; this is also the case with all the most ancient remains of the old High Germans, the Provençals, and the Northern French; even Chaucer formed himself upon it when he gave England its language."" Morley's English Writers, Vol. 1 pt. 1, p. 399.