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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/184

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MELANIA


154


MELANIA


seniions proaclicci in c liuich. This was the origin -of his "Postillrn" (homilios). Finally, he was the author of the first Protestant treatise on the method of theological study.

(4) Mel.vnchtiion as Professor and Pedagogue. — Molanchthon was the embodiment of the entire in- tellectual culture of his time. His learning covered all the branches of knowledge as it then existed, and what is more remarkalile, ho jiossessed the gift of im- parting liis knowledge always in the simjjlest, clearest and most practical form. On t his accovmt the numer- ous manuals and guides to the Latin and Greek gram- mars, to dialectics, rhetoric, ethics, physics, politics, and history, which he produced in addition to his many editions of, and conunentaries on, classical authors, were quickly adopted, and were retained for more than a century. The exposition shows the ut- most care; the stylo is natural and clear. In his aca- demic teaching also, he disdained all rhetorical devices. His power lay not in brilliant oratory, but in clearness and in the choice of the most appropriate expression {proprietas sermonis). He did not look upon learning and literature as ends in themselves, but as means for inculcating morality and religion. The union of knowledge with the spirit of religion, of humanism with the " Gospel", was ever the kejTiote of his pvililic activity, and through him it became for centuries the educational ideal of " Kvangehcal " Germany, even, in a certain sense, of Germany as a whole. It is not easy therefore to overrate Melanchthon's importance in this field. By tliis many-sided practical acti\ity and his work as an organizer he became the founder of higher education in " EvangeUcal" Germany; the elementary school lay outside liis sphere. Numerous Latin schools and universities owed to him their es- tablishment or reorganization; and in numberless cases he was written to for advice, or was called on to recommend competent instructors, to settle contro- versies, or to give his opinion on the advantage or necessity of courses of study. His ideas on teaching in the three-class Latin schools are more fully set forth in the " Unterricht der Visitatoren " (152S) already re- ferred to, and the " Wittenberger Kirchen-und Schul- ordnung" (1533). Their novelty lies partly in the selection of subjects, but chiefly in the method. Latin naturally holds the place of honour.

Melanchthon put an end to grammatical torture and the Doctrinale" of Alexander de Villa Dei; gram- mar exercises were appended to the texts. He him- self had a Latin school, the Schola Privata, in his own house for ten years, in which he prepared a few boys for the university. In 1526, he founded a second grade of the more advanced school, the Obere Schule, in Nuremberg near St. vEgidien. He looked on this as a connecting link between the Latin school and the university. It comprised dialectics and rhetoric, readings from the poets, mathematics, and Greek. This type of school, however, did not meet with any great success. The reorganization of universities, as advocated by Melanchthon, afTected chiefly the arts and theological courses. The faculty of Arts became wholly humanistic. Logic, till then dominant in edu- cation, gave way to the languages, and Greek and Hebrew assumed, more prominence. As sources of philology the classic authors replaced the writers of the Middle Ages. For the scholastic study of the liberal arts a more simple and practical course in dia- lectics and rhetoric was substituted. Likewise in theology, Scriptural interpretation was brought to the fore. Dogmatic principles were developed by exe- gesis; to these then were gradually added special lec- tures on dogma. The essential fact was a decitled re- turn to original sources. This transformation was wrought not only in the University of Wittenberg, but also in that of Tubingen, where Melanchthon himself took part in the work of reform, in those of Frankfort, Leipzig, Rostock, and Heidelberg, where in 1557 he


took part in the deliberations concerning the \miver- sity statutes. Wherever he could not appear in per- son he sent his advice in writing, while liis disciples, for whom he obtained professorships, taught in ac- cordance with his ideals and his method. The new universities of Marburg (1527), Konigsberg (1544), and Jena (1548), which were founded under the Reformation, also found in Melanchthon a guide and a counsellor. Hence his title, "Pra^ceptor Ger- manise".

Worka of Melanchthon, edited bv Brf.tschneider and Bind- SEIL in Corpus Rcrnrmntanw,, I-XXVIII (Leipzig, 18;i4-60);

SOHMII'T ;■' 'win V- '.!',-' "nr frlli.rfold, 1861); HABTFELnEIl,

Me/,,,,,' , ;■ . ■ I, r (Berlin, 1889); Ellinger,

Ph .1/, ' ' ' il.rl!, I Ml ^]\.i.KR, Lehrbuch der Kirch-

engcx.h: ■/., ,-<! ..I, ill, . 1 K^hkhau (Tubingen. 1907); Krijukk. i'ln,,,,i> M'i„r,u,lN.,„ I i hiUe, 1906); Janssen, Wis- lory oj Ihr UL-rman I'mitle (.Loudon, 1901S-09), passim.

Klemens Loffler.

Melania, Saint (the Younger), b. at Rome, about 3.S3; d. in Jerusalem, 31 December, 439. She was a member of the famous family of Valerii. Her parents were Publicola and Albina, her paternal grandmother of the same name is known as Melania, Senior. Little is known of the saint's childhood, but after the time of her marriage, which occurred in her thirteenth year, we have more definite information. Through obedience to her parents she married one of her relatives, Pinianus a patrician. During her mar- ried life of seven years she had two children who died young. After their death Melania's inclination to- ward a celibate life reasserting itself, she secured her husband's consent and entered upon the path of evan- gelic perfection, parting little by little with all her wealth. Pinianus, who now assumed a brotherly position toward her, was her companion in all her efforts toward sanctity. Because of the Visigothic in- vasions of Italy, she left Rome in 408, and for two years lived near Messina in Sicily. Here, their life of a monastic character was shared by some former slaves. In 410 she went to Africa where she and Pinianus lived with her mother for seven years, during which time she grew well acquainted with St. Augus- tine and his friend Alypius. She devoted herself to works of charity and piety, especially, in her zeal for souls, to the foun<lation of a nunnery of which she be- came superior, and of a cloister of which Pinianus took charge. In 417, Melania, her mother, and Pinianus went to Palestine by way of Alexandria. For a year they lived in a hospice for pUgrims in Jerusalem, where she met St. Jerome. She again made generous donations, upon the receipt of money from the sale of her estates in Spain. About this time she travelled in Egypt, where she visited the jirincipal places of mo- nastic and eremetical life, and u])on lier return to Jeru- salem she lived for twelve years, in a hermitage near the Mount of Olives. Before the death of her mother (431), a new series of monastic foundations had begun. She started with a convent for women on the Mount of Olives, of which she a-ssumed the maintenance while refusing to be made its superior. After her husband's death she built a cloister for men, then a chapel, and later, a more ))retentious church. During this last period (Nov., 43(5), she went to Constantinople where she aided in the conversion of her pagan uncle, Volu- sian, ambassador at the Court of 'Theodosius II, and in the conflict with Nestorianism. An interesting episode in her later life is the jouniey of the Empress Eudocia, wife of Theodosius, to Jerusalem in 438. Soon after the empress's rctuni Melania ilied.

"The Greek Church began to venerate her shortly after her death, but she was almost unknown in the Western Church for many years. She has received greater attention since the publication of her life by Cardinal R.ampolla (Rome, 1905). In 1908, Pius X granted her office to the congregation of clergy at Somascha. This may be considered as the beginning of a zealous ecclesiastical cult, to which the saint's .