Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/839

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763

ARTS


763


ARTS


in the Diocese of Halbersladt, where he devoted liimself to the liberal arts from 1109 to 1114. In his "Didascalicuin", VI, 3, lie \vrit(>s, "1 make hold to say that I never have desi)is<.'il anything belong- ing to enidition, but have learned much which to others seemed to be trilling and foolish. I rememlK-r how, as a schoolboy, I endeavoured to ascertain the names of all objects which I saw, or which came under my hands, and how I formulated my own thoughts concerning them [prrpendrns /iVxrc], namely: that one cannot know the nature of things before having learned their naine^. How often liave I set myself as a voluntary daily task the study of problems [nojihLimata] which I had jotted down for the sake of brevity, by means of a catchword or two [dictionibux] on the page, in order to commit to memory the solution and the number of nearly all the opinions, <iuoslions, and objections which I had learned. I invented legal cases and analyses with pertinent objections [dispositiones ad inncem contrni'ersiis], and in doing so carefully distin- guished between the methods of the rhetorician, the orator, and the sophist. I represented numbers by pebbles, and covered the floor with black lines, and proved clearly by the diagram before me the differ- ences between acute-angled, right-angled, and obtuse- angled triangles; in like manner I ascertained whether a square has the same area as a rectangle two of whose sides are multiplied, by stepping off the length in both cases [utrohiqiie prncurrente podixmo]. I have often watched through the winter night, gazing at the stars [horoscopus — not astrological forecasting, which was forbidden, but pure star-study]. Often have I strung the niagada [Or. fuiyaSis, an instru- ment of 20 strings, giving ten tones] measuring the Ftrings according to numerical values, and stretching them over the wood in order to catch with my ear the difference between the tones, and at the same time to gladden my heart with the sweet melody. This was all done in a boyish way, but it was far from usele.ss, for this knowledge was not burdensome to me. I do not recall these things in order to boast of ray attainments, which are of little or no value, but to show you that the most orderly worker is the most skilful one [ilium incedere aptixsime qui incedit ordinate], unlike many who, wishing to take a great jump, fall into an abyss: for as with the virtues, so in the sciences there are fixed steps. But, you will say, I find in histories much useless and forbidden matter; why shoidd I busy myself therewith? Very true, there arc in the Scriptures many things which, considered in themselves, are apparently not worth acquiring, but which, if you compare them with others connected with them, and if you weigh them, bearing in mind this connection [in toto sua trutinare caperii], will prove to be necessary and useful. Some things are worth knowing on their own ac- count; but others, although apparently offering no return for our trouble, should not be neglected, because without them the former cannot be thor- oughly mastered [enucleate sciri non possunt]. Learn evcrj'thing; you will afterwards discover that nothing is superfluous; limited knowledge af- fords no enjoyment [coarctata scieniia jucunda non est]."

The connection of the Aries with philosophy and wisdom was faithfully kept in mind during the Middle Ages. Hugo says of it: "Among all the de- partments of knowledge the ancients assigned seven to be studied by beginners, because they found in them a higher value than in the others, so that whoever has thoroughly mastered them can after- wards master the rest rather by research and prac- tice than by the teacher's oral instruction. They are, as it were, the best tools, the fittest entrance through which the way to philosophic tnith is opene<l to our intellect. Hence the names trii-ium and quadrivium,


because here the robust mind progresses as if upon roads or paths to the secrets of wisdom. It is for tliLS rea.son that there were among the ancients, who followed this path, so many wise men. Our schoolmen [scholaxlici] are disinclined, or do not know while studying, how to adhere to the appro- priate method, whence it is that there are many who labour earnostlv [sludentes], but few wise men" (Didascalicum, 111, "3).

St. Bonaventure (1221-74) in his treatise "De Reductione artium ad theologiam " proposes a profound explanation of the origin of the Artes, iiK-luding philosophy; basing it upon the method of Holy Writ as the method of all teaching. Holy Scripture speaks to us in three ways: by speech (,ser;;io), by instruction (dodrina), and by directions for living {vila). It is the source of truth in speech, of truth in things, and of truth in morals, and there- fore equally of rational, natural, and moral philoso- phy. Rational philosophy, having for object the spoken truth, treats it from the triple point of view of expression, of communication, and of impulsion to action; in other words it aims to express, to teach to persuade {eiprimere, doccre, movere). These ac- tivities are represented by sermo congntus, verus, omatus, and the arts of grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. Natural philosopliy seeks the truth in things themselves as rationcs seminales, the truth in the mind as rationes inlellecluates, and the truth in God as ratioiux idealen, and accordingly it is divided into physics, mathematics, and metaphysics. Moral philosophy determines the rerilax rj'to for the life of the individual as monnntiea (liSyos alone), for the domestic life as a^conomica, and for society as politica.

To general erudition and eiu'yclopedic learning medieval education has less close relations than that of Alexandria, principally liecause the Trivium had a formal character, i. e. it aimed at training the mind rather than imparting knowledge. The reading of classic authors was considered as an appendix to the Trivium. Hugo, who, as we have seen, does not undervalue it, includes in his reading poems, fables, histories, and certain other elements of instruction (poemata, fahula, hisloria, didaxcaliw qnwdam). The science of language, to use the expression of Au- gustine, is still designated as the key to all positive knowledge; for this reason its position at the head of the Arts (Artes) is maintained. So John of Salis- bury (b. between 1110 and 1120; d. 1180, Bishop of Chartres) says: "If grammar is the key of all literature, and the mother and mistress of language, who will be bold enough to turn her away from the threshold of philosophy? Only he who thinks that what is written and spoken is unnecessary for the student of philosophv" (Metalogicus, I, 21). Richard of St. Victor (d. 1173) makes grammar the servant of history, for he writes, "All arts ser\'e the Divine Wisdom, and each lower art, if rightly or- dered, leads to a higher one. Thus the relation existing between the word and the thing required that grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric should minister to history" (Rich., ap. Vincentium Bell., Spec. Doctrinale, XVlI, 31). The Quadrivium had, natu- rally, certain relations to the sciences and to life; this was recognized by treating geography as a part of geometrj', and the study of the calendar as a part of astronomy. We meet with the development of the Artes into encyclopedic knowledge as early as Isidore of Seville and Rabanus Maurus, especially in the latter's work, "De I'niverso". It was com- pleted in the thirteenth century, to which belong the works of Vincent of Beauvais (d. 1264), instructor of the children of St. Louis (IX). In his "S|>eculura Natur.de" he treats of God and nature; in the "Speculum Doctrinale", starting from the Trivium, he deals with the sciences; in the "Speculum Morale" he discusses the moral world. To these a continuator