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already there, also “set up their chairs” and began to teach. Other teachers and more students came. In this way a _studium_ was created. About these teachers in time collected other university servants– “bedells, librarians, lower officials, preparers of parchment, scribes, illuminators of parchment, and others who serve it,” as Count Rupert enumerated them in the Charter of Foundation granted, in 1386, to Heidelberg (R. 103). At Salerno, as we have already seen (p. 199), medical instruction arose around the work of Constantine of Carthage and the medicinal springs found in the vicinity. Students journeyed there from many lands, and licenses to practice the medical art were granted there as early as 1137. At Bologna, we have also seen (p. 195), the work of Irnerius and Gratian early made this a great center for the study of civil and canon law, and their pupils spread the taste for these new subjects throughout Europe. Paris for two centuries had been a center for the study of the Arts and of Theology, and a succession of famous teachers–William of Champeaux, Abelard, Peter the Lombard–had taught there. So important was the theological teaching there that Paris has been termed “the Sinai of instruction” of the Middle Ages.

By the beginning of the thirteenth century both students and teachers had become so numerous, at a number of places in western Europe, that they began to adopt the favorite mediaeval practice and organized themselves into associations, or guilds, for further protection from extortion and oppression and for greater freedom from regulation by the Church. They now sought and obtained additional privileges for themselves, and, in particular, the great mediaeval document–a charter of rights and privileges. [4] As both teachers and students were for long regarded as _clerici_ the charters were usually sought from the Pope, but in some cases they were obtained from the king. [5] These associations of scholars, or teachers, or both, “born of the need of companionship which men who cultivate their intelligence feel,” sought to perform the same functions for those who studied and taught that the merchant and craft guilds were performing for their members. The ruling idea was association for protection, and to secure freedom for discussion and study; the obtaining of corporate rights and responsibilities; and the organization of a system of apprenticeship, based on study and developing through journeyman into mastership, [6] as attested by an examination and the license to teach. In the rise of these teacher and student guilds [7] we have the beginnings of the universities of western Europe, and their organization into chartered teaching groups (R. 100) was simply another phase of that great movement toward the association of like-minded men for worldly purposes which began to sweep over the rising cities in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. [8]

The term _universitas_, or _university_, which came in time to be applied to these associations of masters and apprentices in study, was a general Roman legal term, practically equivalent to our modern word _corporation_. At first it was applied to any association, and when used with reference to teachers and scholars was so stated. Thus, in addressing the masters and students at Paris, Pope Innocent, in 1205, writes: “_Universis magistris et scholaribus Parisiensibus_”, that is, “to the corporation of masters and scholars at Paris.” Later the term _university_ became restricted to the meaning which we give it to-day.

The university mothers. Though this movement for association and the development of advanced study had manifested itself in a number of places by the close of the twelfth century, two places in particular led all the others and became types which were followed in charters and in new creations. These were Bologna and Paris. [9] After one or the other of these two nearly all the universities of western Europe were modeled. Bologna or Paris, or one of their immediate children, served as a pattern. Thus Bologna was the university mother for almost all the Italian universities; for Montpellier and Grenoble in southern France; for some of the Spanish universities; and for Glasgow, Upsala, Cracow, and for the Law Faculty at Oxford. Paris was the university mother for Oxford, and through her Cambridge; for most of the northern French universities; for the university of Toulouse, which in turn became the mother for other southern French and northern Spanish universities; for Lisbon and Coimbra in Portugal; for the early German universities at Prague, Vienna, Cologne, and Heidelberg; and through Cologne for Copenhagen. Through one of the colleges at Cambridge–Emmanuel–she became, indirectly, the mother of a new Cambridge in America–Harvard–founded in 1636. Figure 61 shows the location of the chief universities founded before 1600. Viewed from the standpoint of instruction, Paris was followed almost entirely in Theology, and Bologna in Law, while the three centers which most influenced the development of instruction in medicine were Salerno, Montpellier, and Salamanca.


While the earlier universities gradually arose as the result of a long local evolution, it in time became common for others to be founded by a migration of professors from an older university to some cathedral city having a developing _studium_. In the days when a university consisted chiefly of master and students, when lectures could be held in any kind of a building or collection of buildings, and when there were no libraries, laboratories, campus, or other university property to tie down an institution, it was easy to migrate. Thus, in 1209, the school at Cambridge was created a university by a secession of masters from Oxford, much as bees swarm from a hive. Sienna, Padua, Reggio, Vicenza, Arezzo resulted from “swarmings” from Bologna; and Vercelli from Vicenza. In 1228, after a student riot at Paris which provoked reprisals from the city, many of the masters and students went to the studium towns of Angers, Orleans, and Rheims, and universities were established at the first two. Migrations from Prague helped establish many of the German universities. In this way the university organization was spread over Europe. In 1200 there were but six _studia generalia_ which can be considered as having evolved into universities–Salerno, Bologna, and Reggio, in Italy; Paris and Montpellier, in France; and Oxford, in England. By 1300 eight more had evolved in Italy, three more in France, Cambridge in England, and five in Spain and Portugal. By 1400 twenty-two additional universities had developed, five of which were in German lands, and by 1500 thirty-five more had been founded, making a total of eighty. By 1600 the total had been raised to one hundred and eight (R. 100, for list by countries, dates, and method of founding). Some of these (approximately thirty) afterwards died, while in the following centuries additional ones were created. [10]

PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES GRANTED. The grant of privileges to physicians and teachers made by the Emperor Constantine, in 333 A.D. (R. 26), and the privileges and immunities granted to the clergy (_clerici_) by the early Christian Roman Emperors (R. 38), doubtless formed a basis for the many grants of special privileges made to the professors and students in the early universities. The document promulgated by Frederick Barbarossa, in 1158 (R. 101), began the granting of privileges to the _studia generalia_, and this was followed by numerous other grants. The grant to students of freedom from trial by the city authorities, and the obligation of every citizen of Paris to seize any one seen striking a student, granted by Philip Augustus, in 1200 (R. 102), is another example, widely followed, of the bestowal of large privileges. Count Rupert I, in founding the University of Heidelberg, in 1386, granted many privileges, exempted the students from “any duty, levy, imposts, tolls, excises, or other exactions whatever” while coming to, studying at, or returning home from the university (R. 103). The exemption from taxation (R. 104) became a matter of form, and was afterwards followed in the chartering of American colleges (R. 187). Exemption from military service also was granted.

So valuable an asset was a university to a city, and so easy was it for a university to move almost overnight, that cities often, and at times even nations, encouraged not only the founding of universities, but also the migration of both faculties and students. An interesting case of a city bidding for the presence of a university is that of Vercelli (R. 105), which made a binding agreement, as a part of the city charter, whereby the city agreed with a body of masters and students “swarming” from Padua to loan the students money at lower than the regular rates, to see that there was plenty of food in the markets at no increase in prices, and to protect the students from injustice. An instance of bidding by a State is the case of Cambridge, which obtained quite an addition by the coming of striking Paris masters and students in 1229, in response to the pledge of King Henry III (R. 109), who “humbly sympathized with them for their sufferings at Paris,” and promised them that if they would come “to our kingdom of England and remain there to study” he would assign to them “cities, boroughs, towns, whatsoever you may wish to select, and in every fitting way will cause you to rejoice in a state of liberty and tranquillity.”

One of the most important privileges which the universities early obtained, and a rather singular one at that, was the right of _cessatio_, which meant the right to stop lectures and go on a strike as a means of enforcing a redress of grievances against either town or church authority (R. 107). This right was for long jealously guarded by the university, and frequently used to defend itself from the smallest encroachments on its freedom to teach, study, and discipline the members of its guild as it saw fit, and often the right not to discipline them at all. Often the _cessatio_ was invoked on very trivial grounds, as in the case of the Oxford _cessatio_ of 1209 (R. 108), the Paris _cessatio_ of 1229 (R. 109), and the numerous other _cessationes_ which for two centuries [11] repeatedly disturbed the continuity of instruction at Paris.

DEGREES IN THE GUILD. The most important of the university rights, however, was the right to examine and license its own teachers (R. 110), and to grant the license to teach (Rs. 111, 112). Founded as the universities were after the guild model, they were primarily places for the taking of apprentices in the Arts, developing them into journeymen and masters, and certifying to their proficiency in the teaching craft. [12] Their purpose at first was to prepare teachers, and the giving of instruction to students for cultural ends, or a professional training for practical use aside from teaching the subject, was a later development.

Accordingly it came about in time that, after a number of years of study in the Arts under some master, a student was permitted to present himself for a test as to his ability to define words, determine the meaning of phrases, and read the ordinary Latin texts in Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic (the _Trivium_), to the satisfaction of other masters than his own. In England this test came to be known by the term _determine_. Its passage was equivalent to advancing from apprenticeship to the ranks of a journeyman, and the successful candidate might now be permitted to assist the master, or even give some elementary instruction himself while continuing his studies. He now became an assistant or companion, and by the fourteenth century was known as a _baccalaureus_, a term used in the Church, in chivalry, and in the guilds, and which meant a _beginner_. There was at first, though, no thought of establishing an examination and a new degree for the completion of this first step in studies. The bachelor’s degree was a later development, sought at first by those not intending to teach, and eventually erected into a separate degree.

When the student had finally heard a sufficient number of courses, as required by the statutes of his guild, he might present himself for examination for the teaching license. This was a public trial, and took the form of a public disputation on some stated thesis, in the presence of the masters, and against all comers. It was the student’s “masterpiece,” analogous to the masterpiece of any other guild, and he submitted it to a jury of the masters of his craft. [13] Upon his masterpiece being adjudged satisfactory, he also became a master in his craft, was now able to define and dispute, was formally admitted to the highest rank in the teaching guild, might have a seal, and was variously known as master, doctor, or professor, all of which were once synonymous terms. [14] If he wished to prepare himself for teaching one of the professional subjects he studied still further, usually for a number of years, in one of the professional faculties, and in time he was declared to be a Doctor of Law, or Medicine, or of Theology.


THE TEACHING FACULTIES. The students for a long time grouped themselves for better protection (and aggression) according to the nation from which they came, [15] and each “nation” elected a _councilor_ to look after the interests of its members. Between the different nations there were constant quarrels, insults were passed back and forth, and much bad blood engendered. [16] On the side of the masters the organization was by teaching subjects, and into what came to be known as _faculties_. [17] Thus there came to be four faculties in a fully organized mediaeval university, representing the four great divisions of knowledge which had been evolved–Arts, Law, Medicine, and Theology. Each faculty elected a _dean_, and the deans and councilors elected a _rector_, who was the head or president of the university. The _chancellor_, the successor of the cathedral school _scholasticus_, was usually appointed by the Pope and represented the Church, and a long struggle ensued between the rector and the chancellor to see who should be the chief authority in the university. The rector was ultimately victorious, and the position of chancellor became largely an honorary position of no real importance.

[Illustration: FIG. 63. NEW COLLEGE, AT OXFORD One of the oldest of the Oxford colleges, having been founded in 1379. The picture shows the chapel, cloisters (consecrated in 1400), and a tall tower, once forming a part of the Oxford city walls. Note the similarity of this early college to a monastery, as in Plate 1.]

The Arts Faculty was the successor of the old cathedral-school instruction in the Seven Liberal Arts, and was found in practically all the universities. The Law Faculty embraced civil and canon law, as worked out at Bologna. The Medical Faculty taught the knowledge of the medical art, as worked out at Salerno and Montpellier. The Theological Faculty, the most important of the four, prepared learned men for the service of the Church, and was for some two centuries controlled by the scholastics. The Arts Faculty was preparatory to the other three. As Latin was the language of the classroom, and all the texts were Latin texts, a reading and speaking knowledge of Latin was necessary before coming to the university to study. This was obtained from a study of the first of the Seven Arts– Grammar–in some monastery, cathedral, or other type of school. Thus a knowledge of Latin formed practically the sole requirement for admission to the mediaeval university, and continued to be the chief admission requirement in our universities up to the nineteenth century (R. 186 a). In Europe it is still of great importance as a preparatory subject, but in South American countries it is not required at all.

Very few of the universities, in the beginning, had all four of these faculties. The very nature of the evolution of the earlier ones precluded this. Thus Bologna had developed into a _studium generale_ from its prominence in law, and was virtually constituted a university in 1158, but it did not add Medicine until 1316, or Theology until 1360. Paris began sometime before 1200 as an arts school, Theology with some instruction in Canon Law was added by 1208, a Law Faculty in 1271, and a Medical Faculty in 1274. Montpellier began as a medical school sometime in the twelfth century. Law followed a little later, a teacher from Bologna “setting up his chair” there. Arts was organized by 1242. A sort of theological school began in 1263, but it was not chartered as a faculty until 1421. So it was with many of the early universities. These four traditional faculties were well established by the fourteenth century, and continued as the typical form of university organization until modern times. With the great university development and the great multiplication of subjects of study which characterized the nineteenth century, many new faculties and schools and colleges have had to be created, particularly in the United States, in response to new modern demands. [18]

NATURE OF THE INSTRUCTION. The teaching material in each faculty was much as we have already indicated. After the recovery of the works of Aristotle he came to dominate the instruction in the Faculty of Arts. [19] The Statutes of Paris, in 1254, giving the books to be read for the A.B. and the A.M. degrees (R. 113), show how fully Aristotle had been adopted there as the basis for instruction in Logic, Ethics, and Natural Philosophy by that time. The books required for these two degrees at Leipzig, in 1410 (R. 114), show a much better-balanced course of instruction, though the time requirements given for each subject show how largely Aristotle predominated there also. Oxford (R. 115) kept up better the traditions of the earlier Seven Liberal Arts in its requirements, and classified the new works of Aristotle in three additional “philosophies”–natural, moral, and metaphysical. From four to seven years were required to complete the arts course, though the tendency was to reduce the length of the arts course as secondary schools below the university were evolved. [20]

In the Law Faculty, after Theology the largest and most important of all the faculties in the mediaeval university, the _Corpus Juris Civilis_ of Justinian (p. 195) and the _Decretum_ of Gratian (p. 196) were the textbooks read, with perhaps a little more practical work in discussion than in Arts or Medicine. The Oxford course of study in both Civil and Canon Law (R. 116 b-c) gives a good idea as to what was required for degrees in one of the best of the early law faculties.

In the Medical Faculty a variety of books–translations of Hippocrates (p. 197), Galen (p. 198), Avicenna (p. 198), and the works of certain writers at Salerno and Jewish and Moslem writers in Spain–were read and lectured on. The list of medical books used at Montpellier, [21] in 1340, which at that time was the foremost place for medical instruction in western Europe, shows the book-nature and the extent of the instruction given at the leading school of medicine of the time. It was, moreover, customary at Montpellier for the senior students to spend a summer in visiting the sick and doing practical work. We have here the merest beginnings of clinical instruction and hospital service, and at this stage medical instruction remained until quite modern times. The medical courses at Paris (R. 117) and Oxford (R. 116 d) were less satisfactory, only book instruction being required.

[Illustration: FIG. 64. A LECTURE ON CIVIL LAW BY GUILLAUME BENEDICTI (After a sixteenth-century wood engraving, now in the National Library, Paris, Cabinet of Designs)]

Both Law and Medicine were so dominated by the scholastic ideal and methods that neither accomplished what might have been possible in a freer atmosphere.

In the Theological Faculty the _Sentences_ of Peter Lombard (p. 189) and the _Summa Theologiae_ of Thomas Aquinas (p. 191) were the textbooks used. The Bible was at first also used somewhat, but later came to be largely overshadowed by the other books and by philosophical discussions and debates on all kinds of hair-splitting questions, kept carefully within the limits prescribed by the Church. The requirements at Oxford (R. 116 a) give the course of instruction in one of the best of the theological faculties of the time. The teachers were scholastics, and scholastic methods and ideals everywhere prevailed. Roger Bacon’s (1214-1294) criticism of this type of theological study (R. 118), which he calls “horse loads, not at all [in consonance] with the most holy text of God,” and “philosophical, both in substance and method,” gives an idea of the kind of instruction which came to prevail in the theological faculties under the dominance of the scholastic philosophers.

Years of study were required in each of these three professional faculties, as is shown by the statement of requirements as given for Montpellier, Paris (R. 117), and Oxford (R. 116 a).

[Illustration: FIG. 65. LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF LEYDEN, IN HOLLAND (After an engraving by J. C. Woudanus, dated 1610) This shows well the chained books, and a common type of bookcase in use in monasteries, churches, and higher schools. Counting 35 books to the case, this shows a library of 35 volumes on mathematics; 70 volumes each on literature, philosophy, and medicine; 140 volumes of historical books; 175 volumes on civil and canon law; and 160 volumes on theology, or a total of 770 volumes–a good-sized library for the time.]

METHODS OF INSTRUCTION. A very important reason why so long a period of study was required in each of the professional faculties, as well as in the Faculty of Arts, is to be found in the lack of textbooks and the methods of instruction followed. While the standard textbooks were becoming much more common, due to much copying and the long-continued use of the same texts, they were still expensive and not owned by many. [22]

[Illustration: PLATE 4. A LECTURE ON THEOLOGY BY ALBERTUS MAGNUS An illuminated picture in a manuscript of 1310, now in the royal collection of copper engravings, at Berlin. The master in his chair is here shown “reading” to his students.]

To provide a loan collection of theological books for poor students we find, in 1271, a gift by will to the University of Paris (R. 119) of a private library, containing twenty-seven books. Even if the students possessed books, the master “read” [23] and commented from his “gloss” at great length on the texts being studied. Besides the mere text each teacher had a “gloss” or commentary for it–that is, a mass of explanatory notes, summaries, cross-references, opinions by others, and objections to the statements of the text. The “gloss” was a book in itself, often larger than the text, and these standard glosses, [24] or commentaries, were used in the university instruction for centuries. In Theology and Canon Law they were particularly extensive.

All instruction, too, was in Latin. The professor read from the Latin text and gloss, repeating as necessary, and to this the student listened. Sometimes he read so slowly that the text could be copied, but in 1355 this method was prohibited at Paris (R. 121), and students who tried to force the masters to follow it “by shouting or whistling or raising a din, or by throwing stones,” were to be suspended for a year. The first step in the instruction was a minute and subtle analysis of the text itself, in which each line was dissected, analyzed, and paraphrased, and the comments on the text by various authors were set forth. Next all passages capable of two interpretations were thrown into the form of a question; _pro_ and _contra_, after the manner of Abelard. The arguments on each side were advanced, and the lecturer’s conclusion set forth and defended. The text was thus worked over day after day in minute detail. Having as yet but little to teach, the masters made the most of what they had. A good example of the mediaeval plan of university instruction is found in the announcement of Odofredus, a distinguished teacher of Law at Bologna, about the middle of the thirteenth century, which Rashdall thinks is equally applicable to methods in other subjects. Odofredus says:

First, I shall give you summaries of each title before I proceed to the text; secondly, I shall give you as clear and explicit a statement as I can of the purport of each Law (included in the title); thirdly, I shall read the text with a view to correcting it; fourthly, I shall briefly repeat the contents of the Law; fifthly, I shall solve apparent contradictions, adding any general principles of Law (to be extracted from the passage), and any distinctions and subtle and useful problems arising out of the Law with their solutions, as far as the Divine Providence shall enable me. And if any Law shall seem deserving, by reason of its celebrity or difficulty, of a Repetition, I shall reserve it for an evening Repetition.

It will be seen that both students and professors were bound to the text, as were the teachers of the Seven Liberal Arts in the cathedral schools before them. There was no appeal to the imagination, still less to observation, experiment, or experience. Each generation taught what it had learned, except that from time to time some thinker made a new organization, or some new body of knowledge was unearthed and added.

Another method much used was the debate, or disputation, and participation in a number of these was required for degrees (R. 116). These disputations were logical contests, not unlike a modern debate, in which the students took sides, cited authorities, and summarized arguments, all in Latin. Sometimes a student gave an exhibition in which he debated both sides of a question, and summarized the argument, after the manner of the professors. As a corrective to the memorization of lectures and texts, these disputations served a useful purpose in awakening intellectual vigor and logical keenness. They were very popular until into the sixteenth century, when new subject-matter and new ways of thinking offered new opportunities for the exercise of the intellect.

[Illustration: FIG. 66. A UNIVERSITY DISPUTATION (From Fick’s _Auf Deutschland’s Hoehen Schulen_)]

In teaching equipment there was almost nothing at first, and but little for centuries to come. Laboratories, workshops, _gymnasia_, good buildings and classrooms–all alike were equally unknown. Time schedules of lectures (Rs. 122, 123) came in but slowly, in such matters each professor being a free lance. Nor were there any libraries at first, though in time these developed. For a long time books were both expensive and scarce (Rs. 78, 119, 120). After the invention of printing (first book printed in 1456), university libraries increased rapidly and soon became the chief feature of the university equipment. Figure 65 shows the library of the University of Leyden, in Holland, thirty-five years after its foundation, and about one hundred and fifty years after the beginnings of printing. It shows a rather large increase in the size of book collections [25] after the introduction of printing, and a good library organization.

[ILLUSTRATION: FIG 67. A UNIVERSITY LECTURE AND LECTURE ROOM (From a woodcut printed at Strassburg, 1608)]

VALUE OF THE TRAINING GIVEN. Measured in terms of modern standards the instruction was undoubtedly poor, unnecessarily drawn out, and the educational value low. We could now teach as much information, and in a better manner, in but a fraction of the time then required. Viewed also by the standards of instruction in the higher schools of Greece and Rome the conditions were almost equally bad. Viewed, though, from the standpoint of what had prevailed in western Europe during the dark period of the early Middle Ages, it represented a marked advance in method and content–except in pure literature, where there was an undoubted decline due to the absorbing interest in Dialectic–and it particularly marked a new spirit, as nearly critical as the times would allow. Despite the heterogeneous and but partially civilized student body, youthful and but poorly prepared for study, the drunkenness and fighting, the lack of books and equipment, the large classes and the poor teaching methods, and the small amount of knowledge which formed the grist for their mills and which they ground exceeding small, these new universities held within themselves, almost in embryo form, the largest promise for the intellectual future of western Europe which had appeared since the days of the old universities of the Hellenic world (R. 124). In these new institutions knowledge was not only preserved and transmitted, but was in time to be tremendously advanced and extended. They were the first organizations to break the monopoly of the Church in learning and teaching; they were the centers to which all new knowledge gravitated; under their shadow thousands of young men found intellectual companionship and in their classrooms intellectual stimulation; and in encouraging “laborious subtlety, heroic industry, and intense application”, even though on very limited subject-matter, and in training “men to think and work rather than to enjoy” (R. 124), they were preparing for the time when western Europe should awaken to the riches of Greece and Rome and to a new type of intellectual life of its own. From these beginnings the university organization has persisted and grown and expanded, and to-day stands, the Synagogue and the Catholic Church alone excepted, as the oldest organized institution of human society.

The manifest tendency of the universities toward speculation, though for long within limits approved by the Church, was ultimately to awaken inquiry, investigation, rational thinking, and to bring forth the modern spirit. The preservation and transmission of knowledge was by the university organization transferred from the monastery to the school, from monks to doctors, and from the Church to a body of logically trained men, only nominally members of the _clerici_. Their successors would in time entirely break away from connections with either Church or State, and stand forth as the independent thinkers and scholars in the arts, sciences, professions, and even in Theology. University graduates in Medicine would in time wage a long struggle against bigotry to lay the foundations of modern medicine. Graduates in Law would contend with kings and feudal lords for larger privileges for the as yet lowly common man, and would help to usher in a period of greater political equality. The university schools of Theology were in time to send forth the keenest critics of the practices of the Church. Out of the university cloisters were to come the men–Dante, Petrarch, Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Calvin, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton–who were to usher in the modern spirit.

The universities as a public force. Almost from the first the universities availed themselves of their privileges and proclaimed a bold independence. The freedom from arrest and trial by the civil authorities for petty offenses, or even for murder, and the right to go on a strike if in any way interfered with, were but beginnings in independence in an age when such independence seemed important. These rights were in time given up, [26] and in their place the much more important rights of liberty to study as truth seemed to lead, freedom in teaching as the master saw the truth, and the right to express themselves as an institution on public questions which seemed to concern them, were slowly but definitely taken on in place of the earlier privileges. Virtually a new type of members of society–a new Estate–was evolved, ranking with Church, State, and nobility, and this new Estate soon began to express itself in no uncertain tones on matters which concerned both Church and State. The universities were democratic in organization and became democratic in spirit, representing a heretofore unknown and unexpressed public opinion in western Europe. They did not wait to be asked; they gave their opinions unsolicited. “The authority of the University of Paris,” writes one contemporary, “has risen to such a height that it is necessary to satisfy it, no matter on what conditions.” The university “wanted to meddle with the government of the Pope, the King, and everything else,” writes another. We find Paris intervening repeatedly in both church and state affairs, [27] and representing French nationality before it had come into being, as the so- called Holy Roman Empire represented the Germans, and the Papacy represented the Italians. In Montpellier, professors of Law were considered as knights, and after twenty years of practice they became counts. In Bologna we find the professors of Law one of the three assemblies of the city. Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, and the Scottish universities were given representation in Parliament. The German universities were from the first prominent in political affairs, and in the reformation struggle of the early sixteenth century they were the battle-grounds.

In an age of oppression these university organizations stood for freedom. In an age of force they began the substitution of reason. In the centuries from the end of the Dark Ages to the Reformation they were the homes of free thought. They early assumed national character and proclaimed a bold independence. Questions of State and Church they discussed with a freedom before unknown. They presented their grievances to both kings and popes, from both they obtained new privileges, to both they freely offered their advice, and sometimes both were forced to do their bidding. At times important questions of State, such as the divorce of Philip of France and that of Henry VIII of England, were submitted to them for decision. They were not infrequently called upon to pass upon questions of doctrine or heresy. “Kings and princes,” says Rashdall, in an excellent summary as to the value and influence of the mediaeval university instruction (R. 124), “found their statesmen and men of business in the universities, most often, no doubt, among those trained in the practical science of Law.” Talleyrand is said to have asserted that “their theologians made the best diplomats.” For the first time since the downfall of Rome the administration of human affairs was now placed once more in the hands of educated men. By the interchange of students from all lands and their hospitality, such as it was, to the stranger, the universities tended to break down barriers and to prepare Europe for larger intercourse and for more of a common life.

On the masses of the people, of course, they had little or no influence, and could not have for centuries to come. Their greatest work, as has been the case with universities ever since their foundation, was that of drawing to their classrooms the brightest minds of the times, the most capable and the most industrious, and out of this young raw material training the leaders of the future in Church and State. Educationally, one of their most important services was in creating a surplus of teachers in the Arts who had to find a market for their abilities in the rising secondary schools. These developed rapidly after 1200, and to these we owe a somewhat more general diffusion of the little learning and the intellectual training of the time. In preparing future leaders for State and Church in law, theology, and teaching, the universities, though sometimes opposed and their opinions ignored, nevertheless contributed materially to the making and moulding of national history. The first great result of their work in training leaders we see in the Renaissance movement of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, to which we next turn. In this movement for a revival of the ancient learning, and the subsequent movements for a purer and a better religious life, the men trained by the universities were the leaders.


1. Why would the _studia publica_ tend to attract a different type of scholar than those in the monasteries, and gradually to supersede them in importance?

2. Show how the mediaeval university was a gradual and natural evolution, as distinct from a founded university of to-day.

3. Show that the university charter was a first step toward independence from church and state control.

4. Show the relation between the system of apprenticeship developed for student and teacher in a mediaeval university, and the stages of student and teacher in a university of to-day.

5. Show how the chartered university of the Middle Ages was an “association of like-minded men for worldly purposes.”

6. To what university mother does Harvard go back, ultimately?

7. Show how the English and the German universities are extreme evolutions from the mediaeval type, and our American universities a combination of the two extremes.

8. Do university professors to-day have privileges akin to those granted professors in a mediaeval university?

9. What has caused the old Arts Faculty to break up into so many groups, whereas Law, Medicine, and Theology have stayed united?

10. Do universities, when founded to-day, usually start with all four of the mediaeval faculties represented?

11. Which of the professional faculties has changed most in the nature and character of its instruction? Why has this been so?

12. Enumerate a number of different things which have enabled the modern university greatly to shorten the period of instruction?

13. Aside from differences in teachers, why are some university subjects today taught much more compactly and economically than other subjects?

14. After admitting all the defects of the mediaeval university, why did the university nevertheless represent so important a development for the future of western civilization?

15. What does the long continuance, without great changes in character, of the university as an institution indicate as to its usefulness to society?

16. Does the university of to-day play as important a part in the progress of society as it did in the mediaeval times? Why?

17. Is the chief university force to-day exerted directly or indirectly? Illustrate.

18. What is probably the greatest work of any university, in any age?

19. Compare the influence of the mediaeval university, and the Greek universities of the ancient world.

20. Explain the evolution of the English college system as an effort to improve discipline, morals, and thinking. Has it been successful in this?

21. Show how the mediaeval university put books in the place of things, whereas the modern university tries to reverse this.

22. Show how the rise of the universities gave an educated ruling class to Europe, even though the nobility may not have attended them.

23. Show how, in an age of lawlessness, the universities symbolized the supremacy of mind over brute force.

24. Show how the mediaeval universities aided civilization by breaking down, somewhat, barriers of nationality and ignorance among peoples.

25. Show how the university stood, as the crowning effort of its time, in the slow upward struggle to rebuild civilization on the ruins of what had once been.


In the accompanying _Book of Readings_ the following selections are reproduced:

100. Rashdall and Minerva: University Foundations before 1600. 101. Fr. Barbarossa: Privileges for Students who travel for Study. 102. Philip Augustus: Privileges granted Students at Paris. 103. Count Rupert: Charter of the University of Heidelberg. 104. Philip IV: Exemption of Students and Masters from Taxation. 105. Vercelli: Privileges granted to the University by the City. 106. Villani: The Cost to a City of maintaining a University. 107. Pope Gregory IX: Right to suspend Lectures (_Cessatio_). 108. Roger of Wendover: a _Cessatio_ at Oxford. 109. Henry III: England invites Scholars to leave Paris. 110. Pope Gregory IX: Early Licensing of Professors to teach. 111. Pope Nicholas IV: The Right to grant Licenses to teach. 112. Rashdall: A University License to teach. 113. Paris Statutes, 1254: Books required for the Arts Degree. 114. Leipzig Statutes, 1410: Books required for the Arts Degree. 115. Oxford Statutes, 1408-31: Books required for the Arts Degree. 116. Oxford, Fourteenth Century: Requirements for the Professional Degrees.
(a) In Theology. (c) In Civil Law. (b) In Canon Law. (d) In Medicine.
117. Paris Statutes, 1270-74: Requirements for the Medical Degree. 118. Roger Bacon: On the Teaching of Theology. 119. Master Stephen: Books left by Will to the University of Paris. 120. Roger Bacon: The Scarcity of Books on Morals. 121. Balaeus: Methods of Instruction in the Arts Faculty of Paris. 122. Toulouse: Time-Table of Lectures in Arts, 1309. 123. Leipzig: Time-Table of Lectures in Arts, 1519. 124. Rashdall: Value and Influence of the Mediaeval University.


1. What does a glance at the page giving the university foundations before 1600 (100) show as to the rate and direction of the university movement?

2. How do you account for the very large privileges granted university students in the early grants (101, 102) and charters (103)? Should a university student to-day have any privileges not given to all citizens? Why?

3. Do universities, when founded to-day, secure a charter? If so, from whom, and what terms are included? Do normal schools? What form of a charter, if any, has your university or normal school?

4. Compare the freedom from taxation granted to masters and students at Paris (104) with the grant to professors at Brown University (187b). Was the Brown University grant exceptional, or common in other American foundations?

5. Do any American cities to-day maintain colleges or universities, as did the Italian cities (105)? Normal schools? Are somewhat similar ends served?

6. What does the _cessatio_, as exercised by the mediaeval university (107, 108), indicate as to standards of conduct on the part of teachers and students?

7. Why is the licensing of university professors to teach not followed in our American universities? What has taken the place of the license? What did the mediaeval license (110, 111, 112) really signify?

8. Compare the license to teach (112) with a modern doctor’s diploma.

9. Compare the requirements for the Arts degree (113, 114, 115) with the requirements for the Baccalaureate degree at a modern university.

10. Compare the additional length of time for professional degrees (116, 117).

11. How do you account for the American practice of admitting students to the professional courses without the Arts course? What is the best American practice in this matter to-day, and what tendencies are observable?

12. Characterize the medical course at Paris (117) from a modern point of view.

13. Compare the instruction in medicine at Paris (117) and Toulouse (122). How do you account for the superiority shown by one? Which one?

14. What does the extract from Roger Bacon (118) indicate as to the character of the teaching of Theology?

15. What was the nature and extent of the library of Master Stephen (119)? Compare such a library with that of a scholar of to-day.

16. Show how the Paris statute as to lecturing (121) was an attempt at an improvement of the methods of instruction and individual thinking.

17. What do the two time-tables reproduced (122, 123) reveal as to the nature of a university day, and the instruction given?

18. Show how Rashdall’s statement (124) that lawyers have been a civilizing agent is true.


Boase, Charles William. _Oxford_ (Historic Towns Series). Clark, Andrew. _The Colleges at Oxford_. Clark, J. W. _Libraries in the Medieval and Renaissance Periods_. * Clark, J. W. _The Care of Books_.
Corbin, John. _An American at Oxford_. * Compayre, G. _Abelard, and the Origin and Early History of the Universities_.
* Jebb, R. C. _The Work of the Universities for the Nation_. Mullinger, J. B. _History of the University of Cambridge_. * Norton, A. 0. _Readings in the History of Education; Medieval Universities_.
* Paetow, L. J. _The Arts Course at Mediaeval Universities_. (Univ. Ill. Studies, vol. in, no. 7, Jan. 1910). * Paulsen, Fr. _The German Universities_. Rait, R. S. _Life of a Mediaeval University_. * Rashdall, H. _Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages_. Sandys, J. E. _History of Classical Scholarship_, vol. I. Sheldon, Henry. _Student Life and Customs_.






THE PERIOD OF CHANGE. The thirteenth century has often been called the wonderful century of the mediaeval world. It was wonderful largely in that the forces struggling against mediaevalism to evolve the modern spirit here first find clear expression. It was a century of rapid and unmistakable progress in almost every line. By its close great changes were under way which were destined ultimately to shake off the incubus of mediaevalism and to transform Europe. In many respects, though, the fourteenth was a still more wonderful century.

The evolution of the universities which we have just traced was one of the most important of these thirteenth-century manifestations. Lacking in intellectual material, but impelled by the new impulses beginning to work in the world, the scholars of the time went earnestly to work, by speculative methods, to organize the dogmatic theology of the Church into a system of thinking. The result was Scholasticism. From one point of view the result was barren; from another it was full of promise for the future. Though the workers lacked materials, were overshadowed by the mediaeval spirit of authority, and kept their efforts clearly within limits approved by the Church, the “heroic industry” and the “in tense application” displayed in effecting the organization, and the logical subtlety developed in discussing the results, promised much for the future. The rise of university instruction, and the work of the Scholastics in organizing the knowledge of the time, were both a resultant of new influences already at work and a prediction of larger consequences to follow. In a later age, and with men more emancipated from church control, the same spirit was destined to burst forth in an effort to discover and reconstruct the historic past.

During the thirteenth century, too, the new Estate, which had come into existence alongside of the clergy and the nobility, began to assume large importance. The arts-and-crafts guilds were attaining a large development, and out of this new burgher class the great general public of modern times has in time evolved. Trade and industry were increasing in all lands, and merchants and successful artisans were becoming influential through their newly obtained wealth and rights. The erection of stately churches and town halls, often beautifully carved and highly ornamented, was taking place. Great cathedrals, those “symphonies in stone,” of which Notre Dame (Figure 53) is a good example, were rising or being further expanded and decorated at many places in western Europe. Mystery and miracle plays had begun to be performed and to attract great attention. In the fourteenth century religious pageants were added. “All art was still religion,” but an art was unmistakably arising amid cathedral-building and the setting- forth of the Christian mysteries, and before long this was to flower in modern forms of expression in painting, sculpture, and the drama.

THE NEW SPIRIT OF NATIONALITY. The new spirit moving in western Europe also found expression in the evolution of the modern European States, based on the new national feeling. As the kingly power in these was consolidated, the developing States, each in its own domain, began to curb the dominion of the universal Church, slowly to deprive it of the governmental functions it had assumed and exercised for so long, and to confine the Pope and clergy more and more to their original functions as religious agents. The Papacy as a temporal power passed the maximum period of its greatness early in the thirteenth century; in the nineteenth century the last vestiges of its temporal power were taken away.

New national languages also were coming into being, and the national epics of the people–the Cid, the Arthurian Legends, the _Chansons_, and the _Nibelungen Lied_–were reduced to writing. With the introduction from the East, toward the close of the thirteenth century, of the process of making paper for writing, and with the increase of books in the vernacular, the English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German languages rapidly took shape. Their development was expressive of the new spirit in western Europe, as also was the fact that Dante (1264-1321), “the first literary layman since Boethius” (d. 524), wrote his great poem, _The Divine Comedy_, in his native Italian instead of in the Latin which he knew so well–an evidence of independence of large future import. New native literatures were springing forth all over Europe. Beginning with the _troubadours_ in southern France (p. 186), and taken up by the _trouveres_ in northern France and by the _minnesingers_ in German lands, the new poetry of nature and love and joy of living had spread everywhere. [1] A new race of men was beginning to “sing songs as blithesome and gay as the birds” and to express in these songs the joys of the world here below.

TRANSFORMATION OF THE MEDIAEVAL MAN. The fourteenth century was a period of still more rapid change and transformation. New objects of interest were coming to the front, and new standards of judgment were being applied. National spirit and a national patriotism were finding expression. The mediaeval man, with his feeling of personal insignificance, lack of self-confidence, “no sense of the past behind him, and no conception of the possibilities of the future before him,” [2] was rapidly giving way to the man possessed of the modern spirit–the man of self-confidence, conscious of his powers, enjoying life, feeling his connection with the historic past, and realizing the potentialities of accomplishment in the world here below. It was the great work of the period of transition, and especially of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, to effect this change, “to awaken in man a consciousness of his powers, to give him confidence in himself, to show him the beauty of the world and the joy of life, and to make him feel his living connection with the past and the greatness of the future he might create.” [3] As soon as men began clearly to experience such feelings, they began to inquire, and inquiry led to the realization that there had been a great historic past of which they knew but little, and of which they wanted to know much. When this point had been reached, western Europe was ready for a revival of learning.

THE BEGINNINGS IN ITALY. This revival began in Italy. The Italians had preserved more of the old Roman culture than had any other people, and had been the first to develop a new political and social order and revive the refinements of life after the deluge of barbarism which had engulfed Europe. They, too, had been the first to feel the inadequacy of mediaeval learning to satisfy the intellectual unrest of men conscious of new standards of life. This gave them at least a century of advance over the nations of northern Europe. The old Roman life also was nearer to them, and meant more, so that a movement for a revival of interest in it attracted to it the finest young minds of central and northern Italy and inspired in them something closely akin to patriotic fervor. They felt themselves the direct heirs of the political and intellectual eminence of Imperial Rome, and they began the work of restoring to themselves and of trying to understand their inheritance.

[Illustration: FIG. 68. PETRARCH (1304-74) “The Morning Star of the Renaissance”]

In Petrarch (1304-74) we have the beginnings of the movement. He has been called “the first modern scholar and man of letters.” Repudiating the other-worldliness ideal and the scholastic learning of his time, [4] possessed of a deep love for beauty in nature and art, a delight in travel, a desire for worldly fame, a strong historical sense, and the self-confidence to plan a great constructive work, he began the task of unearthing the monastic treasures to ascertain what the past had been and known and done. At twenty-nine he made his first great discovery, at Liege, in the form of two previously unknown orations of Cicero. Twelve years later, at Verona, he found half of one of the letters of Cicero which had been lost for ages. All his life he collected and copied manuscripts. His letter to a friend telling him of his difficulty in getting a work of Cicero copied, and his joy in doing the work himself (R. 125), is typical of his labors. He began the work of copying and comparing the old classical manuscripts, and from them reconstructing the past. He also wrote many sonnets, ballads, lyrics, and letters, all filled with a new modern classical spirit. He also constructed the first modern map of Italy.

[Illustration: FIG. 69. BOCCACCIO (1313-75) “The Father of Italian Prose”]

Through Boccaccio, whom he first met in 1350, Petrarch’s work was made known in Florence, then the wealthiest and most artistic and literary city in the world, [5] and there the new knowledge and method were warmly received. Boccaccio equaled Petrarch in his passion for the ancient writers, hunting for them wherever he thought they might be found. One of his pupils has left us a melancholy picture of the library at Monte Cassino, as Boccaccio found it at the time of his visit (R. 126). He wrote a book of popular tales and romances, filled with the modern spirit, which made him the father of Italian prose as Dante was of Italian poetry; prepared the first dictionaries of classical geography and Greek mythology; and was the first western scholar to learn Greek.

“In the dim light of learning’s dawn they stand, Flushed with the first glimpses of a long-lost land.”

A CENTURY OF RECOVERY AND RECONSTRUCTION. The work done by these two friends in discovering and editing was taken up by others, and during the century (1333-1433) dating from the first great “find” of Petrarch the principal additions to Latin literature were made. The monasteries and castles of Europe were ransacked in the hope of discovering something new, or more accurate copies of previously known books. At monasteries and churches as widely separated as Monte Cassino, near Naples: Lodi, near Milan; Milan, itself; and Vercelli, in Italy: Saint Gall and other monasteries, in Switzerland: Paris; Cluny, near the present city of Macon; Langres, near the source of the Marne; and monasteries in the Vosges Mountains, in France: Corvey, in Westphalia; and Hersfeld, Cologne, and Mainz in Germany–important finds were made. [6] Thus widely had the old Latin authors been scattered, copied, and forgotten. In a letter to a friend (R. 127 a) the enthusiast, Poggio Bracciolini, tells of finding (1416) the long-lost _Institutes of Oratory_ of Quintilian, at Saint Gall, and of copying it for posterity. This, and the reply of his friend (R. 127 b), reveal something of the spirit and the emotions of those engaged in the recovery of Latin literature and the reconstruction of Roman history.

The finds, though, while important, were after all of less value than the spirit which directed the search, or the careful work which was done in collecting, comparing, questioning, inferring, criticizing, and editing corrected texts, and reconstructing old Roman life and history. [7] We have in this new work a complete break with scholastic methods, and we see in it the awakening of the modern scientific spirit. [8] It was this same critical, constructive spirit which, when applied later to Christian practices, brought on the Reformation; when applied to the problems of the universe, revealed to men the wonderful world of science; and when applied to problems of government, led to the questioning of the theory of the divine right of kings, and to the evolution of democracy. We have here a modern spirit, a craving for truth for its own sake, an awakening of the historical sense, [9] and an appreciation of beauty in literature and nature which was soon to be followed by an appreciation of beauty in art. A worship of classical literature and classical ideas now set in, of which rich and prosperous Florence became the center, with Venice and Rome, as well as a number of the northern Italian cities, as centers of more than minor importance.

THE REVIVAL OF GREEK IN THE WEST. With the new interest in Latin literature it was but natural that a revival of the study of Greek should follow. While a knowledge of Greek had not absolutely died out in the West during the Middle Ages, there were very few scholars who knew anything about it, and none who could read it. [10] It was natural, too, that the revival of it should come first in Italy. Southern Italy (_Magna Graecia_) had remained under the Eastern Empire and Greek until its conquest by the Normans (1041-71), and to southern Italy a few Greek monks had from time to time migrated. With southern Italy, though, papal Italy and the western Christian world seem to have had little contact. In 1339, and again in 1342, a Greek monk from southern Italy visited the Pope, coming as an ambassador from Constantinople, and from him Petrarch learned the Greek alphabet. In 1353 another envoy brought Petrarch a copy of Homer. This he could not read, but in time (1367) a poor translation into Latin was effected. Boccaccio studied Greek, being the first western scholar to read Homer in the original.

Near the end of the fourteenth century it became known in Florence that Manuel Chrysoloras (c. 1350-1415), a Byzantine of noble birth, a teacher of rhetoric and philosophy at Constantinople, and the most accomplished Greek scholar of his age, had arrived in Venice as an envoy from the Eastern Emperor. Florentine scholars visited him, and on his return accompanied him to Constantinople to learn Greek. In 1396 Chrysoloras was invited by Florence to accept an appointment, in the university there, to the first chair of Greek letters in the West, and accepted. From 1396 to 1400 he taught Greek in the rich and stately city of Florence, at that time the intellectual and artistic center of Christendom. For a few years, beginning in 1402, he also taught Greek at the University of Pavia. He had earlier written a _Catechism of Greek Grammar_, and at Pavia he began a literal rendering of Plato’s _Republic_ into Latin. From his visit dates the enthusiasm for the study of Greek in the West.

OTHER GREEK SCHOLARS ARRIVE IN ITALY. Chrysoloras returned to Constantinople for a time, in 1403, and Guarino of Verona, who had been one of his pupils, accompanied him and spent five years there as a member of his household. When he returned to Italy he brought with him about fifty manuscripts, and before his death he had translated a number of them into Latin. He also prepared a Greek grammar which superseded that of Chrysoloras. In 1412 he was elected to the chair at Florence formerly held by Chrysoloras, and later he established an important school at Ferrara, based largely on instruction in the Latin and Greek classics, which will be referred to again in the next chapter.

A rage for Greek learning and Greek books now for a time set in. Aurispa, a Sicilian, went to Constantinople, learned Greek, and returned to Italy, in 1422, with 238 Greek manuscripts. Messer Filelfo, of Padua, after seven years at Constantinople, returned, in 1427, with forty manuscripts and with the grand-niece of Chrysoloras as his wife. In 1448 Theodorus Gaza (c. 1400-75), a learned Greek from the city of Thessalonica, who had fled from his native city just before its capture by the Turks (1430), came to Ferrara as the first professor of Greek in the university there. He made many translations, prepared a very popular Greek grammar, and in 1451 became professor of philosophy at Rome.

Another Greek of importance was Demetrius Chalcondyles of Athens (1424- 1511), who reached Italy in 1447. In 1450 he became professor of Greek at Perugia, and of his lectures there one of his enthusiastic pupils [11] wrote:

A Greek has just arrived, who has begun to teach me with great pains, and I to listen to his precepts with incredible pleasure, because he is a Greek, because he is an Athenian, and because he is Demetrius. It seems to me that in him is figured all the wisdom, the civility, and the elegance of those so famous and illustrious ancients. Merely seeing him you fancy you are looking on Plato; far more when you hear him speak.

In 1463 Demetrius transferred to Padua as professor of Greek, and was the first professor of Greek in a western European university to be paid a fixed salary. He also taught for a time at Milan, and from 1471 to 1491 was professor of Greek at Florence.

A number of other learned Greeks had reached Italy prior to the fall of Constantinople (1453) before the advancing Turks, [12] and after its fall many more sought there a new home. Many of these found, on landing, that their knowledge of Greek and the possession of a few Greek books were an open sesame to the learned circles of Italy.

[Illustration: FIG. 70. DEMETRIUS CHALCONDYLES (1424-1511) (Drawn from a picture of a fresco by Ghirlandajo, painted in 1490, on the walls of the church of Santa Maria Novella, at Florence)]

ENTHUSIASM FOR THE NEW MOVEMENT; LIBRARIES AND ACADEMICS FOUNDED. The enthusiasm for the recovery and restoration of ancient literature and history which this work awakened among the younger scholars of Italy can be imagined. While most of the professors in the universities and most of the church officials at first had nothing to do with the new movement, being wedded to scholastic methods of thinking, the leaders of the new learning drew about them many of the brightest and most energetic of the young men who came to those universities which were hospitable to the new movement. [13] Greek scholars in the university towns were followed by admiring bands of younger students, [14] who soon took up the work and superseded their masters. Academies, named after the one conducted by Plato in the groves near Athens, whose purpose was to promote literary studies, were founded in all the important Italian cities (R. 129). The members usually Latinized their names, and celebrated the ancient festivals. In Venice a Greek Academy was formed in which all the proceedings were in Greek, and the members were known by Greek names. The _Academia of Aldus_, at Venice, of which his celebrated press was a department, became a veritable university for classical learning, and to participate in its proceedings scholars came from many lands. It was the curious and enthusiastic Italians who, more than the Greek scholars who taught them the language, opened up the literature and history of Athens to the comprehension of the western world.

The financial support of the movement came from the wealthy merchant princes, reigning dukes, and a few church authorities, who assisted scholars and spent money most liberally in collecting manuscripts and accumulating books. Says Symonds:

Never was there a time in the world’s history when money was spent more freely upon the collection and preservation of MSS., and when a more complete machinery was put in motion for the sake of securing literary treasures. Prince vied with prince, and eminent burgher with burgher, in buying books. The commercial correspondents of the Medici and other great Florentine houses, whose banks and discount offices extended over Europe and the Levant, were instructed to purchase relics of antiquity without regard for cost, and to forward them to Florence. The most acceptable present that could be sent to a king was a copy of a Roman historian. The best credentials which a young Greek arriving from Byzantium could use to gain the patronage of men like Palla degli Strozzi was a fragment of some ancient; the merchandise insuring the largest profit to a speculator who had special knowledge in such matters was old parchment covered with crabbed characters. [15]

Cosimo de’ Medici (1393-1464), a banker and ruler of Florence, spent great sums in collecting and copying manuscripts. Vespasiano, a fifteenth- century bookseller of Florence, has left us an interesting picture of the work of Cosimo in founding (1444) the great Medicean library [16] at Florence (R. 130) and of the difficulties of book collecting in the days before the invention of printing.

(Drawn from a photograph)
This library was founded in 1444. It contains to-day about 10,000 Greek and Latin manuscripts, many of them very rare, and of a few the only copies known. The building was designed by Michael Angelo, and its construction was begun in 1525. The bookcases are of about this date. It shows the early method of chaining books to the shelves, and cataloguing the volumes on the end of each stack.]

Under Cosimo’s grandson, Lorenzo the Magnificent, who died in 1492, two expeditions were sent to Greece to obtain manuscripts for the Florentine library. Vespasiano also describes for us the books collected (c. 1475-80) for the great ducal library at Urbino (R. 131), the greatest library in the Christian world at the time of its completion, and the work of Pope Nicholas V [17] (1447-1455) in laying the foundations (1450) for the great Vatican Library at Rome (R. 132). Nicholas was an enthusiast in the new movement, and formed a plan for the translation of all the Greek writers into Latin. A later Pope, Leo X (1513-1521), planned to make Rome the international center for Greek learning.

THE MOVEMENT EXTENDS TO OTHER COUNTRIES. Petrarch made his first great find in 1333, and up to 1450 the Revival of Learning, often termed the Renaissance, was entirely an Italian movement. By that date the great work in Italy had been done, and the Italians were once more in possession of the literature and history of the past. With them the movement was literary, historical, and patriotic in purpose and spirit. With them the movement was known as _humanism_, from an old Roman word (_humanitas_) meaning culture, and this term came to be applied to the new studies in all other lands. In their work with the literatures, inscriptions, coins, and archaeological remains of the Greeks and Romans, their own literature, history, mythology, and political and social life was reconstructed. The methods employed were the methods used in modern science, and the result was to develop in Italy a new type of scholar, possessed of a literary, artistic, and historical appreciation unknown since the days of ancient Rome, and with the greatest enthusiasm for Latin as a living language.

By the time the revival had culminated in Italy it began to be heard of north of the Alps. France was the first country to take up the study of Greek, a professorship being established at Paris in 1458. There was but little interest in the subject, however, or in any of the new studies, until two events of political importance, forty years later, brought Frenchmen in close touch with what had been done in northern Italy. In 1494 Charles VIII, of France, claiming Naples as his possession, took an army into Italy, and forcibly occupied Rome and Florence. Four years later his successor, Louis XII, claimed Milan also and seized it and Naples, maintaining a French court at Milan from 1498 to 1512. Though both these expeditions were unsuccessful, from a political point of view, the effect of the direct contact with humanism in its home was lasting. New ideas in architecture, art, and learning were carried back to France, French scholars traveled to Italy, and early in the sixteenth century Paris became a center for the new humanistic studies. In Greek, France completely superseded Italy as the interpreter of Greek life and literature to the modern world.

In 1473 a Spanish scholar, Mebrissensis (1444-1522), returned home after twenty years in Italy and introduced Greek at Seville, Salamanca, and Alcala.


RUDOLPH AGRICOLA (1443-85) Early Dutch Humanist. Lectured at Heidelberg (From a contemporary engraving)

THOMAS LINACRE (c. 1460-1524) English Professor of Medicine and Lecturer on Greek (From a portrait in the British Museum)]

About 1488 Thomas Linacre (c. 1460-1524) and William Grocyn (1446-1514), two Oxford graduates, went to Florence from England, studying Greek under Demetrius Chalcondyles, and, returning, introduced the new learning at Oxford. [18] Linacre, as professor of medicine, translated much of Galen (p. 198) from the Greek, and he and Grocyn lectured on Greek at the University. From Oxford the new learning was transmitted to Cambridge, and, over a century afterward, to Harvard in America. A third Oxford man to study Greek in Italy was John Colet (1467-1519), who studied in Florence from 1493 to 1496, and returned home an enthusiastic humanist. He was the first Englishman to attract much attention to the new studies, and to him is chiefly due their introduction into the English secondary school.

The first German of whom we have any record as having studied in Italy was Peter Luder (c. 1415-74), who returned in 1456, and lectured on the new learning at the Universities of Heidelberg, Erfurt, and Leipzig, but awakened no response. In 1470 Johann Wessel (1420-89) and in 1476 Rodolph Agricola (1443-85), two noted Dutch scholars, studied in Italy. On returning, Agricola, [19] who has been called “the Petrarch of German lands,” did much “to spread the great inheritance of antiquity and the new civilization to which it had given birth among his uncouth countrymen” (_barbari_, he calls them). He made Heidelberg, for a time, a center of humanistic appreciation. Johann Reuchlin (1455-1522), a German by birth, studied in Florence and elsewhere in Italy in 1481 to 1490, and there learned Hebrew. Returning, he became a professor at Heidelberg and the father of modern Hebrew studies. In 1506 he published the first Hebrew grammar. In 1493 the University of Erfurt established a professorship of Poetry and Eloquence, this being the first German university to countenance the new learning. In 1523 the first chair of Greek was established at Vienna. Thus slowly did the revival of learning spread to northern lands.

THE REVIVAL AIDED BY THE INVENTION OF PAPER AND PRINTING. Very fortunately for the spread of the new learning an important process and a great invention now came in at a most opportune time. The process was the manufacture of paper; the invention that of printing.

The manufacture of paper is probably a Chinese invention, early obtained by the Arabs. During the Mohammedan occupation of Spain paper mills were set up there, and a small supply of their paper found its way across the Pyrenees. The Christians who drove the Mohammedans out lost the process, and it now came back once more from the East. By about 1250 the Greeks had obtained the process from Mohammedan sources, and in 1276 the first paper mill was set up in Italy. In 1340 a paper factory was established at Padua, and soon thereafter other factories began to make paper at Florence, Bologna, Milan, and Venice. In 1320 a paper factory was established at Mainz, in Germany, and in 1390 another at Nuremberg. By 1450 paper was in common use and the way was now open for one of the world’s greatest inventions.

This was the invention of printing. From the difficulty experienced in securing books for the great libraries at Florence, Urbino, and Rome, as we have seen (Rs. 130, 131, 132), and the great cost of reproducing single copies of books, we can see that the work of the humanists of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Italy probably would have had but little influence elsewhere but for the invention of printing. To disseminate a new learning involving two great literatures by copying books, one at a time by hand, would have prevented instruction in the new subjects becoming general for centuries, and would have materially retarded the progress of the world. The discovery of the art of printing, coming when it did, scattered the new learning over Europe.

[Illustration: FIG. 73. AN EARLY SIXTEENTH-CENTURY PRESS “The prynters have founde a crafte to make bokis by brasen letters sette in ordre by a frame.” An engraving, dated 1520. The man at the right is setting type, and the one at the lever is making an impression. A number of four-page printed sheets are seen on the table at the right of the press.]

SPREAD AND WORK OF THE PRESS. The dates connected with this new invention and its diffusion over Europe are:

1423. Coster of Harlem made the first engraved single page. 1438. Gutenberg invented movable wooden types. 1450. Schoeffer and Faust cast first metal type. 1456. Bible printed in Latin by Gutenberg and Faust at Mainz. This the first complete book printed. [20]
1457. The Mayence Psalter, the first dated book, printed. [21] 1462. Adolph of Nassau pillaged Mainz, drove out the printers, and in consequence scattered the art over Europe. 1465. Press set up in the German monastery of Subiaco, in the Sabine Mountains, in Italy.
1467. This press moved to Rome.
1469. Presses at Paris and Vienna. 1470. Printing introduced into Switzerland. 1471. Presses set up at Florence, Milan, and Ferrara. 1473. Printing introduced into Holland and Belgium. 1474. Printing introduced into Spain.
1474-77. Printing introduced into England. Caxton set up his press in 1477.
1476. First book printed in Greek at Milan. 1490. The Aldine press established at Venice, by Aldus Manutius. 1501. First Greek book printed in Germany, at Erfurt. 1563. First newspaper established, in Venice.

Inventions traveled but slowly in those days, yet in time the press was to be found in every country of Europe. The professional copyists made a great outcry against the innovation; presses were at first licensed and closely limited in number; in France the University of Paris was given the proceeds of a tax levied on all books printed; and in England the beginnings of the modern copyright are to be seen in the necessity of obtaining a license from the ecclesiastical authorities to be permitted to print a book.


In cutting and casting the first type a style of heavy-faced letter, much like that written by the mediaeval monks–the so-called _Gothic_–was used. Caxton, in England, used this at first, and the Germans have continued its use up to the present time. The Italians, however, soon devised a type with letters like those used by the old Romans–the so- called Roman type, this type which was soon accepted in all non-German European countries. The Italians also devised a compressed type–the _Italic_–which enabled printers to get more words on a page.

Venice, almost from the first, became the center of the book trade, and books literally poured from the presses there. By 1500 as many as five thousand editions, often of as many as a thousand copies to an edition, had been printed in Italy. [22] Of this number 2835 had been printed in Venice, and most of them by the Aldine press of Aldus Manutius, and edited by the _Academia_ (p. 250) connected therewith. [23] By 1500 many books had also been printed in a number of northern cities, [24] and Lyons, Paris, Basel, Nuremberg, Cologne, Leipzig, and London soon became centers of the northern book trade. Caxton in England soon vied with Aldus in Venice as a printer of beautiful books. When we remember that it required fifty-three days (Sandys) to make by hand one copy of Quintilian’s _Institutes_, and forty-five copyists twenty-two months to reproduce two hundred volumes for the Medicean Library at Florence (R. 130), the enormous importance of an invention which would print rapidly a thousand or more copies of a book, all exactly alike and free from copyist errors, can be appreciated. It tremendously cheapened books, [25] made the general use of the textbook method of teaching possible, and paved the way for a great extension of schools and learning (R. 134). From now on the press became a formidable rival to the pulpit and the sermon, and one of the greatest of instruments for human progress and individual liberty. From this time on educational progress was to be much more rapid than it had been in the past. From an educational point of view the invention of printing might almost be taken as marking the close of the mediaeval and the beginning of modern times.

RISE OF GEOGRAPHICAL DISCOVERY. The new influences awakened by the Revival of Learning found expression in other directions. One of these was geographical discovery, itself an outgrowth of that series of movements known as the _Crusades_, with the accompanying revival of trade and commerce. These led to travel, exploration, and discovery. By the latter part of the thirteenth century the most extensive travel which had taken place since the days of ancient Rome had begun, and in the next two and a half centuries a great expansion of the known world took place.


Marco Polo and Sir John Mandeville made extended travels to the Orient, and returning (Polo returned, 1295) described to a wondering Europe the new lands and peoples they had seen. The _Voyages_ of Polo and the _Travels_ of Mandeville were widely read. By the beginning of the fourteenth century the compass had been perfected, in Naples, and a great era of exploration had been begun. In 1402 venturesome sailors, out beyond the “Pillars of Hercules,” discovered the Canary Islands; in 1419 the Madeira Islands were reached; in 1460 the Cape Verde Islands were found; in 1497 Bartholomew Diaz rounded the southern tip of Africa; and in 1497 Vasco da Gama discovered the long-hoped-for sea route to India. Five years later, sailing westward with the same end in view, Columbus discovered the American continent. Finally, in 1519-22, Magellan’s ships circumnavigated the globe, and, returning safely to Spain, proved that the world was round. In 1507 Waldenseemueller published his _Introduction to Geography_, a book that was widely read, and one which laid the foundations of this modern study.

The effect of these discoveries in broadening the minds of men can be imagined. The religious theories and teachings of the Middle Ages as to the world were in large part upset. New races and new peoples had been found, a round earth instead of a flat one had been proved to exist, new continents had been discovered, and new worlds were now ready to be opened up for scientific exploration and colonization.

ABOUT 1500 A STIMULATING TIME. The latter part of the fifteenth century and the earlier part of the sixteenth was a stimulating period in the intellectual development of Christian Europe. The Turks had closed in on Constantinople (1453) and ended the Eastern Empire, and many Greek scholars had fled to the West. Though the Revival of Learning had culminated in Italy, its influence was still strongly felt in such cities as Florence and Venice, while in German lands and in England the reform movement awakened by it was at its height. Greek and Hebrew were now taught generally in the northern universities. Everywhere the old scholastic learning and methods were being overturned by the new humanism, and scholastic teachers were being displaced from their positions in the universities and schools. The new humanistic university at Wittenberg, founded in 1502, was exerting large influence among German scholars and attracting to it the brightest young minds in German lands. Erasmus was the greatest international scholar of the age, though ably seconded by distinguished humanistic scholars in Italy, France, England, the Low Countries, and German lands. The court schools of Italy (R. 135) and the municipal colleges of France (R. 136) were marking out new lines in the education of the select few. Colet was founding his reformed grammar school (1510) at Saint Paul’s, in London (R. 138), the first of a long line of English humanistic grammar schools. Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michael Angelo were adding new fame to Italy, and carrying the Renaissance movement over into that art which the world has ever since treasured and admired.

The Italian cities, particularly Genoa and Venice, had become rich from their commerce, as had many cities in northern lands. Everywhere the cities were centers for the new life in western Christendom. England was rapidly changing from an agricultural to a manufacturing nation. The serf was evolving into a free man all over western Europe. Italian navigators had discovered new sea routes and lands, and robbed the ocean of its terrors. Columbus had discovered a new world, soon to be peopled and to become the home of a new civilization. Magellan had shown that the world was round and poised in space, instead of flat and surrounded by a circumfluent ocean. The printing-press had been perfected and scattered over Europe, and was rapidly multiplying books and creating a new desire to read (R. 134). The Church was more tolerant of new ideas than it had been in the past, or soon was to be for centuries to come. All of these new influences and conditions combined to awaken thought as had not happened before since the days of ancient Rome. The world seemed about ready for rapid advances in many new directions, and great progress in learning, education, government, art, commerce, and invention seemed almost within grasp. Unfortunately the promise was not to be fulfilled, and the progress that seemed possible in 1500 was soon lost amid the bitterness and hatreds engendered by a great religious conflict, then about to break, and which was destined to leave, for centuries to come, a legacy of intolerance and suspicion in all lands.


1. In what way was the fact that Dante wrote his _Divine Comedy_ in Italian instead of Latin an evidence of large independence?

2. Was it a good thing for peace and civilization that the modern languages arose, instead of all speaking and writing Latin? Why?

3. Of what value to one is a “sense of the past behind him, and a conception of the possibilities of the future before him,” by way of giving perspective and self-confidence? Do we have many mediaeval-type people to-day?

4. Show how the work of Petrarch required a man with a strong historic sense.

5. Show the awakening of the modern scientific spirit in the critical and reconstructive work of the scholars of the Revival.

6. Of what was the exposure of the forgery of the “Donation of Constantine” a precursor?

7. Contrast the modern and the mediaeval spirit as related to learning.

8. Suppose that we should unexpectedly unearth in Mexico a vast literature of a very learned and scholarly people who once inhabited the United States, and should discover a key by which to read it. Would the interest awakened be comparable with that awakened by the revival of Greek in Italy? Why?

9. What does the fact that no copy of Quintilian’s _Institutes_, a very famous Roman book, was known in Europe before 1416 indicate as to the destruction of books during the early Christian period?

10. What does the fact that the Christians knew little about Greek literature or scholarship for centuries, and that the awakening was in large part brought about by the pressure of the Turks on the Eastern Empire, indicate as to intercourse among Mediterranean peoples during the Middle Ages?

11. How do you explain the fact that the recovery of the ancient learning was very largely the work of young men, and that older professors in the universities frequently held aloof from any connection with the movement?

12. Compare the financial support of the Revival in Italy with the support of universities and of scientific undertakings in America during recent times.

13. Explain the long-delayed interest in the Revival in the northern countries.

14. Trace the larger steps in the transference of Greek literature and learning from Athens, in the fifth century B.C., to its arrival at Harvard, in Massachusetts, in 1636.

15. What was the importance of the rediscovery of Hebrew?

16. Show how the invention of printing was a revolutionary force of the first magnitude.

17. Why should a license from the Church have been necessary to print a book? Have we any remaining vestiges of this church control over books?

18. Do you see any special reason why Venice should have become the early center of the book trade?

19. Show how the printing-press became “a formidable rival to the pulpit and the sermon, and one of the greatest instruments for human progress and liberty.”

20. One writer has characterized the Revival of Learning as the beginnings of the emergence of the individual from institutional control, and the substitution of the humanities for the divinities as the basis of education. Is this a good characterization of a phase of the movement?

21. Counting each edition of a printed book at only three hundred copies, how many volumes had been printed before 1500 at the places listed in footnote 3, page 257?


In the accompanying _Book of Readings_ the following selections are reproduced:

125. Petrarch: On copying a Work of Cicero. 126. Benvenuto: Boccaccio’s Visit to the Library at Monte Cassino. 127. Symonds: Finding of Quintilian’s _Institutes_ at Saint Gall. (a) Letter of Poggio Bracciolini on the “Find.” (b) Reply of Lionardo Bruni.
128. MS.: Reproducing Books before the Days of Printing. 129. Symonds: Italian Societies for studying the Classics. 130. Vespasiano: Founding of the Medicean Library at Florence. 131. Vespasiano: Founding of the Ducal Library at Urbino. 132. Vespasiano: Founding of the Vatican Library at Rome. 133. Green: The New Learning at Oxford. 134. Green: The New Taste for Books.


1. Is it probable that Petrarch’s explanation (125) of why many of the older Latin books were copied so infrequently, psalters being preferred instead, is correct?

2. How do you explain the later neglect of so valuable a library as that at Monte Cassino (126) or Saint Gall (127 a)?

3. Was Lionardo Bruni’s letter to Poggio (127 b) overdrawn?

4. Was there anything unnatural about the work and customs of the Italian societies for studying the classics (129)? Compare with a modern literary or scientific society, or with the National Dante Society.

5. What does the extract from Vespasiano, telling how he got books for Cosimo de’ Medici (130), indicate as to the scarcity of books in Italy toward the middle of the fifteenth century?

6. The library of the Duke of Urbino (131) was the most complete collected up to that time. List the larger classifications of the books copied, as to the lines represented in a great library of that day.

7. What does the work of Pope Nicholas V, in establishing the Vatican Library (132), indicate as to his interest in the new humanistic movement?

8. Show from the selection from Green (133) that the revival movement in England was essentially a religious revival.

9. Explain Green’s cause-and-effect theory, as given in selection 134.


* Adams, G. B. _Civilization during the Middle Ages_. Blades, William. _William Caxton_.
Duff, E. G. _Early Printed Books_. * Field, Lilian F. _Introduction to the Study of the Renaissance_. * Howells, W. D. _Venetian Days_ (Venetian commerce). * Keane, John. _The Evolution of Geography_. La Croix, Paul. _The Arts in the Middle Ages and at the Period of the Renaissance_.
* Loomis, Louise. _Mediaeval Hellenism_. Oliphant, Mrs. _Makers of Venice_.
* Robinson, J. H., and Rolfe, H. W. _Petrarch, the First Modern Scholar and Man of Letters_.
Sandys, J. E. _History of Classical Scholarship_, vol. II. * Sandys, J. E. _Harvard Lectures on the Revival of Learning_. Scaife, W. B. _Florentine Life during the Renaissance_. Sedgwick, H. D. _Italy in the Thirteenth Century_. * Symonds, J. A. _The Renaissance in Italy_; vol. II, _The Revival of Learning_.
Thorndike, Lynn. _History of Mediaeval Europe_. Whitcomb, M. _Source Book of the Italian Renaissance_. * Walsh, Jas. J. _The Thirteenth, Greatest of Centuries_.



SIGNIFICANCE OF THE REVIVAL OF LEARNING. It is often stated that the roots of all our modern educational practices in secondary education lie buried deep in the great Italian Revival of Learning. If we limit the statement to the time preceding the middle of the nineteenth century we shall be more nearly correct, as tremendous changes in both the character and the purpose of secondary education have taken place since that time. The important and outstanding educational result of the revival of ancient learning by Italian scholars was that it laid a basis for a new type of education below that of the university, destined in time to be much more widely opened to promising youths than the old cathedral and monastic schools had been. This new education, based on the great intellectual inheritance recovered from the ancient world by a relatively small number of Italian scholars, dominated the secondary-school training of the middle and higher classes of society for the next four hundred years. It clearly began by 1450, it clearly controlled secondary education until at least after 1850. Out of the efforts of Italian scholars to resurrect, reconstruct, understand, and utilize in education the fruits of their legacy from the ancient Greek and Roman world, arose modern secondary education, as contrasted with mediaeval church education.

Mediaeval education, after all, was narrowly technical. It prepared for but one profession, and one type of service. There was little that was liberal, cultural, or humanitarian about it. It prepared for the world to come, not for the world men live in here. The new education developed in Italy aimed to prepare directly for life in the world here, and for useful and enjoyable life at that. Combining with the new humanistic (cultural) studies the best ideals and practices of the old chivalric education– physical training, manners and courtesy, reverence–the Italian pioneers devised a scheme of education, below that of the universities, which they claimed prepared youths not only for an intellectual appreciation of the great and wonderful past of which they were descendants, but also for intelligent service in the two great non-church occupations of Italy in the fifteenth century–public service for the City-State, and commerce and a business life. This new type of education spread to other lands, and a new type of secondary-school training, actuated by a new and a modern purpose, thus came out of the revival of learning in Italy.

THE MOVEMENT IN ITALY PATRIOTIC. The inspiration for the revival of learning in Italy did not originate with the universities. Even the new chairs when established in the universities were regarded as inferior, and, in true university fashion, the occupants were tolerated by the other professors rather than approved of by them. Some of the universities– Pavia and Bologna, in particular–had practically nothing to do with the new movement. [1] Even in the rich and learned city of Florence, the head and front of the revival movement, the church scholars and many university men took little or no part in the restoration of the old studies. The learned archbishop, Saint Antoninus, who presided over the cathedral at Florence during the brightest days of that city’s history, pursued his mediaeval scholastic instruction undisturbed, and even wrote a _Summa Theologica_ of his own.

[Illustration: FIG. 76. SAINT ANTONINUS AND HIS SCHOLARS Saint Antoninus (1380-1459) was the learned and pious Archbishop of Florence from 1446 until his death. The picture of him giving instruction is from the Venice (1503) edition of his _Summa Theologica_.]

The revival movement, on the contrary, was directed in its beginnings by a small group of patriotic Italians possessed of a modern spirit, and was financed by intelligent and patriotic merchants, bankers, and princes. Surrounded on all sides by monuments and remains testifying to Roman greatness, and with Roman speech in constant use by the scholars of the Church, the revival of Latin literature meant more to Italian scholars than to those of any other country. It seemed to them still possible to revive Roman life and make Roman speech once more the language of the learned world. The revival of Latin literature, too, meant much more to them than the revival of Greek. The chief value of the latter was to open up a still greater past, and through this to illuminate Roman life and literature. After about 1500 the enthusiasm for Greek rapidly died out in Italy, and the further interpretation of Greek life and thought was left to the northern nations.

In this effort to revive the old Roman world the Italian scholars received the sympathy of the great men of wealth, and of some of the popes of the time. It was the Medici family at Florence who aided the movement liberally there, rejuvenated the university of Florence along new humanistic lines, accumulated libraries there (R. 130) and at Venice, and aided scholars all over Italy. At Milan the Visconti family paid the expenses of a chair of Latin and Greek, established in the university there in 1440. Popes Nicholas V and Leo X were prodigal in their support of the new learning at Rome (R. 132), and the university there was reconstructed along modern lines. At Venice the rulers gave large financial and other support to the leaders of the new learning. Academies (R. 129), under the patronage of the nobility, were founded in almost all the northern Italian cities, and those in political power did much to make their cities notable centers for classical studies.

NEW SCHOOLS CREATED. The “finds” began with Petrarch’s discovery of two orations of Cicero, in 1333, and by the time “the century of finds” (1333- 1433) was drawing to a close the materials for a new type of secondary education had been accumulated. Not only was the old literature discovered and edited, but the finding of a complete copy of Quintilian’s “Institutes of Oratory” at Saint Gall (R. 127), in 1416, gave a detailed explanation of the old Roman theory of education at its best. A number of “court schools” now arose in the different cities, to which children from the nobility and the banking and merchant classes were sent to enjoy the advantages they offered over the older types of religious schools.


(Drawn from a photograph of a contemporary painting. School at Ferrara, 1429-1460)

(Drawn from a medallion in the British Museum. School at Mantua, 1423-46)]

Two of the most famous teachers in these court schools were Vittorino da Feltre, who conducted a famous school at Mantua from 1423 to 1446, and Guarino da Verona, who conducted another almost equally famous school at Ferrara from 1429 to 1460. Taking boys at nine or ten and retaining them until twenty or twenty-one, their schools were much like the best private boarding-schools of England and America to-day. Drawing to them a selected class of students; emphasizing physical activities, manners, and morals; employing good teaching processes; and providing the best instruction the world had up to that time known–the influence of these court schools was indeed large. Many of the most distinguished leaders in Church and State and some of the best scholars of the time were trained in them. By better methods they covered, in shorter time, as much or more than was provided in the Arts course of the universities, and so became rivals of them. The ultimate result was that, with the evolution of a series of secondary schools which prepared for admission to the universities, the gradual “humanizing” of the universities, and the introduction of printed textbooks, the Arts courses in the universities were advanced to a much higher plane. We have here one of the first of a number of subsequent steps by means of which new knowledge, organized into teaching shape, has been passed on down to lower schools to teach, while the universities have stepped forward into new and higher fields of endeavor.

THE HUMANISTIC COURSE OF STUDY. The new instruction was based on the study of Greek and Latin, combined with the courtly ideal and with some of the physical activities of the old chivalric education. Latin was begun with the first year in school, and the regular Roman emphasis was placed on articulation and proper accent. After some facility in the language had been gained, easy readings, selected from the greatest Roman writers, were attempted. As progress was made in reading and writing and speaking Latin as a living language, Cicero and Quintilian among prose writers, and Vergil, Lucan, Horace, Seneca, and Claudian among the poets, were read and studied. History was introduced in these schools for the first time and as a new subject of study, though the history was the history of Greece and Rome and was drawn from the authors studied. Livy and Plutarch were the chief historical writers used. Nothing that happened after the fall of Rome was deemed as of importance. Much emphasis was placed on manners, morality, and reverence, with Livy and Plutarch again as the great guides to conduct. Throughout all this the use of Latin as a living language was insisted upon; declamation became a fine art; and the ability to read, speak, and compose in Latin was the test. Cicero, in particular, because of the exquisite quality of his Latin style, became the great prose model. Quintilian was the supreme authority on the purpose and method of teaching (R. 25). Greek also was begun later, though studied much less extensively and thoroughly. The Greek grammar of Theodorus Gaza (p. 248) was studied, followed by the reading of Xenophon, Isocrates, Plutarch, and some of Homer and Hesiod.

This thorough drill in ancient history and literature was given along with careful attention to manners and moral training, and each pupil’s health was watchfully supervised–an absolutely new thought in the Christian world. Such physical sports and games as fencing, wrestling, playing ball, football, running, leaping, and dancing were also given special emphasis. Competitive games between different schools were held, much as in modern times.

The result was an all-round physical, mental, and moral training, vastly superior to anything previously offered by the cathedral and other church schools, and which at once established a new type which was widely copied. A number of these new teachers, called _humanists_, wrote treatises on the proper order of studies, the methods to be employed, the right education of a prince, liberal education, and similar topics. [2] One of these, Battista Guarino, describing the education provided in the school which his father founded at Ferrara (R. 135), laid down a dictum which was accepted widely until the middle of the nineteenth century, when he wrote:

I have said that ability to write Latin verse is one of the essential marks of an educated person. I wish now to indicate a second, which is of at least equal importance, namely, familiarity with the literature and language of Greece. The time has come when we must speak in no uncertain voice upon this vital requirement of scholarship.

HUMANISM IN FRANCE. From Italy the new humanism was carried to France, along with the retreating armies that had occupied Naples, Florence, and Milan (p. 252), and when Francis I came to the French throne, in 1515, the new learning found in him a willing patron. Though there had been beginnings before this, the new learning really found a home in France now for the first time. Here, too, it became associated with court and noble, and the schools created to furnish this new instruction were provided at the instigation of some form of public authority. The greatest humanistic scholar in France at the time, Budaeus, was made royal librarian, in 1522. His study of the old Roman coinage, upon which he spent nine years, would pass to-day as a study representing a high grade of scholarship, and was in marked contrast with the scholastic methods of the university. In his writings Budaeus set forth for France the dictum that every man, even if he be a king, should be devoted to letters and liberal learning, and that this culture can be obtained only through Greek and Latin, and of these, unlike the Italians, he held Greek to be the more important. Other scholars now helped to transfer the center for Greek scholarship to Paris, where it remained for the next two centuries.

[Illustration: FIG. 78. GUILLAUME BUDAEUS (1467-1540)]

A royal press was set up in Paris, in 1526, to promote the introduction of the new learning. Libraries were built up, as in Italy. Humanist scholars were made secretaries and ambassadors. The _College de France_ was established at Paris, by direction of the King, with chairs in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and mathematics. To Hebrew the Italians had given almost no attention, but in France, and particularly in Germany, Hebrew became an important study. The development of schools in northern France was hindered by the dissensions following the religious revolts of Luther and Calvin, but in southern France many of the cities founded municipal colleges, much like the court schools of northern Italy in type. The work of the city of Bordeaux in reorganizing its town school along the new lines was typical of the work of other southern cities. Good teachers, liberal instruction, and a broad-minded attitude on the part of the governing authorities [3] made this school, known as the _College de Guyenne_, notable not only for humanistic instruction, but for intelligent public education during the second half of the sixteenth century. The picture of this college (school) left us by its greatest principal, Elie Vinet (R. 136), gives an interesting description of its work.

[Illustration: FIG. 79. COLLEGE DE FRANCE Founded at Paris, in 1530, by King Francis I. for instruction in the new humanistic learning]

HUMANISM IN GERMANY. The French language and life was closely related to that of northern Italy, and French religious thought had always been so closely in touch with that of Rome that something of the Italian feeling for the old Roman culture and institutions was felt by the humanists of France. In Germany and England no such feeling existed, and in these countries any effort to discredit the rising native languages was much more likely to be regarded as mere pedantry. In both these countries, though, Latin was still the language of the Church, of the universities, of all learned writing, and the means of international intercourse, and after the new humanism had once obtained a foothold it was welcomed by scholars as a great addition to existing knowledge. Erasmus, the foremost scholar of his day, not only labored hard to introduce the new learning in the schools, but welcomed the restored Roman tongue as an international language for scholarship, as a potent weapon for destroying barriers of language, religion, law, and possibly in time governments based on nationality, and for the promise it gave of peace in international relationships. In both Germany and England, in place of the patriotic fervor of the Italians, religious zeal, as we shall see later on, was kindled by the new humanistic studies.

[Illustration: FIG. 80. JOHANN REUCHLIN (1455-1522) “Father of modern Hebrew Studies”]

Among the universities Vienna, Heidelberg, Erfurt, Tuebingen, and Leipzig (see Figure 61) were foremost in the introduction of the new learning. Erfurt became the center of a group of humanistic scholars during the closing years of the fifteenth century, and the first Greek book printed in Germany appeared there, in 1501. At both Tuebingen and Heidelberg Reuchlin (p. 254) taught for a time, and both institutions early became centers for the study of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. At Leipzig the reigning duke brought various humanistic scholars to the university to lecture, after 1507, and in 1519 entirely reformed the university by subordinating the mediaeval disciplines to the new studies. Four new universities– Wittenberg (1502), Marburg (1527), Koenigsberg (1544), and Jena (1558)– were established on the new humanistic basis, and from their beginning were centers for the new learning. At Wittenberg, Martin Luther had been made Professor of Theology, in 1508, when but twenty-five years of age, and to Wittenberg the Electoral Prince, in 1518, brought the young Melanchthon, then but twenty-one, as Professor of Greek. The universities of Germany were more profoundly affected by the introduction of the new learning than were those of any other country. The monastic orders and the Scholastics, who had for long controlled the German institutions, were overthrown by the aid of the ruling princes, and by the close of the first quarter of the sixteenth century the new humanism was everywhere triumphant in German lands.

GERMAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS. The enthusiasm of the humanists for the new learning led them to urge the establishment of humanistic secondary schools in the German cities. The schools of “The Brethren of the Common Life” (Hieronymians), a teaching order founded by Gerhard Grote at Deventer, Holland, in 1384, and which had established forty-five houses by the time the new learning came into the Netherlands from Italy, at once adopted the new studies, soon trebled the number of its houses, and for decades supplied teachers of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew to all the surrounding countries. [4] Wessel, Agricola, Hegius, Reuchlin, and Sturm were among their greatest teachers, and Erasmus their greatest pupil. Here and there in German cities Latin schools, teaching the subjects of the _Trivium_, but principally the elements of Latin and grammar, had been established in the course of the later Middle Ages, and to these scholars trained in the new learning gradually made their way, secured employment, and thus quietly introduced a purified Latin and the intellectual part of the new humanistic course of study. Up to 1520 this method was followed entirely in German lands.

As in Italy, the commercial cities were among the first to provide schools of the new type. In 1526 the commercial city of Nuremberg, in southern Germany, opened one of the first of the new city humanistic secondary schools, Melanchthon being present and giving the dedicatory address. A number of similar schools were founded about this time in various German cities–Ilfeld, Frankfort, Strassburg, Hamburg, Bremen, Dantzig–among the number. Many of these failed, as did the one at Nuremberg, to meet the needs of the people in essentially commercial cities. Whatever might have been true in more cultured Italy, in German cities a rigidly classical training for youth and early manhood was found but poorly suited to the needs of the sons of wealthy burghers destined to a commercial career. The rising commerce of the world apparently was to rest on native languages, and not on elegant Latin verse and prose. The commercial classes soon fell back on burgher schools, elementary vernacular schools, writing and reckoning schools, business experience, and travel for the education of their sons, leaving the Latin schools of the humanists to those destined for the service of the Church, the law, teaching, or the higher state service.

[Illustration: FIG. 81. JOHANN STURM (1507-89) (After a contemporary engraving by Stofflin)]

THE WORK OF JOHANN STURM. The most successful classical school in all Germany, and the one which formed the pattern for future classical creations, was the _gymnasium_ [5] at Strassburg, under the direction (1536-82) of the famous Johann Sturm, or Sturmius, as he came to call himself. This was one of the early classical schools founded by the commercial cities, but it had not been successful. In 1536 the authorities invited Sturm, a graduate of the University of Louvain, and at that time a teacher of classics and dialectic at Paris, where he had come in contact with the humanism brought from Italy, to become head of the school and reorganize it. This he did, and during the forty-five years he was head of the school it became the most famous classical school in continental Europe. His _Plan of Organization_, published in 1538; his _Letters to the Masters_ on the course of study, in 1565; and the record of an examination of each class in the school, conducted in 1578, all of which have been preserved, give us a good idea as to the nature of the organization and instruction (R. 137).

Sturm was a strong and masterful man, with a genius for organization. Probably adopting the plan of the French colleges (R. 136), he organized his school into ten classes, [6] one for each year the pupil was to spend in the school, and placed a teacher in charge of each. The aim and end of education, as he stated it, was “piety, knowledge, and the art of speaking,” and “every effort of teachers and pupils” should bend toward acquiring “knowledge, and purity and elegance of diction.” Of the ten years the pupil was to spend in the _gymnasium_, seven were to be spent in acquiring a thorough mastery of pure idiomatic Latin, and the three remaining years to the acquisition of an elegant style. Cicero was the great model, but Vergil, Plautus, Terence, Martial, Sallust, Horace, and other authors were read and studied. Except that the Catechism was first studied in the native German, Latin was made the language of the classroom. Great emphasis was placed on letter-writing, declamation, and the acting of plays. Rhetoric, too, was made a very important subject of study. Greek was begun in the fifth year of school and continued throughout, all instruction in Greek being given through the medium of the Latin. [7] The instruction in both Latin and Greek was much like that of the court schools of Italy, except that in Greek the New Testament was read in addition. The plays and games and physical training of the Italian schools, however, were omitted; much less emphasis was placed on manners and gentlemanly conduct; and in educational purpose a narrow drill was substituted for the broad cultural spirit of the French and Italian schools.

Sturm was the greatest and most successful schoolman of his day. In clearly defined aim, thorough organization, carefully graded instruction, good teaching, and sound scholarship, his school surpassed all others. Sturm’s aim was to train pious, learned, and eloquent men for service in Church and State, using religion and the new learning as means, and in this he was very successful. In a short time after taking charge his _gymnasium_ had six hundred pupils, and in 1578 there were “thousands of pupils, representing eight nations,” in attendance. Sturm became widely known throughout northern Europe, and scholars and princes passing through Strassburg stopped to visit his school and secure his advice. He corresponded with scholars in many lands, and the influence of his institution was enormous. He was the author of many school textbooks, and of half a dozen works on the theory and practice of education. He fixed both the type and the name–_gymnasium_–of the German classical secondary school, which to-day is not very materially changed from the form and character which Sturm gave it. Sturm’s work deeply influenced many later foundations in Germany, and also helped to mould the educational system devised later on by the Jesuits.

[Illustration: FIG. 82. DESIDERIUS ERASMUS (1467-1536) A contemporary portrait by the German artist, Hans Holbein the Younger, in the Louvre, Paris]

HUMANISM IN ENGLAND. Grocyn, Linacre, and Colet had introduced the new learning at Oxford, as we have already seen (p. 253), in the closing years of the fifteenth century (R. 133), but had made but little impression. They were ably seconded by Erasmus, who taught Greek at Cambridge (1510- 14), and who labored hard to substitute true classical culture for the poor Latin and the empty scholasticism of his time. He wrote textbooks [8] to help introduce the new learning, urged the importance of history, geography, and science as serving to elucidate the classics, edited editions of the classical authors, wrote two treatises of importance on education, [9] and in two other books [10] ridiculed those who mistook the form for the spirit of the ancient learning. His Latin Greek edition of the New Testament definitely fixed the place of the New Testament in the humanistic schools.

In spite of the opposition of monks and scholastics in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and in the face of the coming religious turmoil in the days of Henry VIII, the new learning made steady progress in the universities, [11] with the court, and among the scholars and statesmen of the time. With the coming of Elizabeth to the throne, [12] in 1558, the court, from the Queen down, was imbued with the spirit of the new learning (R. 139). Elizabeth appointed new chancellors for the two universities, and these institutions were soon transformed from places for the training of mediaeval scholars and theologians into places for the production of a “due supply of fit persons to serve God in Church and State.” As Sir Thomas Elyot so well expressed it, in his _The Governour_ (1544)–a book on the education of rulers for a State, and which was permeated by the new spirit–“the new political order requires qualified instruments for its administration, and a trained governing class must henceforth take the place of the privileged caste and the clerk [cleric] education under the mediaeval disciplines.”

COLET AND SAINT PAUL’S SCHOOL. The first real establishment of the new learning in England came through the secondary schools, and through the refounding of the cathedral school of Saint Paul’s, in London, by the humanist John Colet, in 1510. Colet had become Dean of Saint Paul’s Church, and Erasmus urged him to embrace the opportunity to reconstruct the school along humanistic lines. This he did, endowing it with all his wealth, and in a series of carefully drawn-up Statutes (R. 138), which were widely copied in subsequent foundations, Colet laid special emphasis on the school giving training in the new learning and in Christian discipline. Erasmus gave much of his time for years to finding teachers and writing textbooks for the school. William Lily (1468-1522), another early humanist recently returned from study in Italy, and the author of a widely known and much used textbook [13]–_Lily’s Latin Grammar_ (R. 140) –was made headmaster of the school.

[Illustration: FIG. 83. SAINT PAUL’S SCHOOL, LONDON]

The course of study was of the humanistic type already described, coupled with careful religious instruction. In place of the monkish Latin pure Latin and Greek were to be taught, and the best classical authors took the place of the old mediaeval disciplines. The school met with much opposition, was denounced as a temple of idolatry and heathenism by the men of the old schools, and even the Bishop of London tried twice to convict Colet of heresy and suppress the instruction. Notwithstanding this the school became famous for its work, not only in London but throughout England. From its desks came a long line of capable statesmen, learned clergy, brilliant scholars, and literary men.

[Illustration: FIG. 84. GIGGLESWICK GRAMMAR SCHOOL One of the chief schools of Yorkshire, England, and dating back to 1499. This building was erected in 1507-12 by a chantry priest named James Carr (Ker). Drawn from an old print. On the front of the building was a Latin tablet (shown in the drawing), now in the British Museum, which, translated, read: “Kindly mother of God, defend James Ker from ill. For priests and young clerks this house is made, in 1512. Jesus, have mercy on us. Old men and children praise the name of the Lord.”]