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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/446

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John
John
440

a fresh course of study, that of theology, together with logic, under Master Gilbert, the same evidently whom he had known as chancellor of Chartres (Metalog. i. 5, p. 21), and who is famous as Gilbert de la Porrée, the commentator on the books 'de Trinitate,' ascribed to Boethius, and the author of the 'Liber sex Principiorum,' which through the middle ages was accounted an indispensable complement to Aristotle's 'Organon.' Gilbert, however, soon (in 1141) quitted Paris for Poitiers, of which see he became bishop a year later, and John of Salisbury passed from his instruction to that of Robert Pullus, soon to be a cardinal, and of Simon of Poissy, both of whom he heard in theology alone. 'Thus,' he concludes, 'engaged in diverse studies, near twelve years passed by me.'

The word 'duodecennium' or 'duodennium ' here used has raised difficulties which are perhaps best solved by the emendation 'decennium' (Schaarschmidt, pp. 24 f.), since Robert Pullus seems to have been called to Rome, if he was not already made a cardinal, by Innocent II, who died in September 1143, while it is improbable that John should have attended Simon of Poissy for so many as five years continuously. If, on the other hand, we reckon ten years from 1136, and reckon loosely, John's student-life need not be extended beyond 1145, an approximate date which is rendered likely by other considerations. It has, however, been urged by the Abbe Demimuid (pp. 25-7), who is followed by Miss Norgate (i. 481 ff.), that the three years spoken of by John in connection with his beginning teaching (as is suggested, at Provins and Paris) were not the same with, but succeeded, the three years spent under William of Conches and the other Chartres masters. This arrangement is open to several objections: it requires us to distinguish 'Master Gilbert'—as an otherwise unknown person—from Gilbert de la Porrée, whom John elsewhere expressly calls 'Master Gilbert' (Metalog. i. 5), since the latter quitted Paris in 1141; it contradicts John's own statement that in 1159 'nearly twenty years' had elapsed since he ceased to attend lectures on logic (ib. iii. prol. p. 113); and it introduces a new difficulty with respect to Robert Pullus, who cannot well have continued his lectures at Paris long after his creation as cardinal, and who, unless he has been wrongly identified with a namesake (cf. Stubbs, Lectures, pp. 132 f.), was resident at the papal court from the beginning of 1145. A third view, that of Petersen (pp. 70-8), that John's theological studies were carried on at Oxford, is wholly without even plausible foundation, and has been decisively refuted by Schaarschmidt (pp. 14-21). It seems on the whole most probable that the two terms of three years, though mentioned separately, are really the same; in other words, they comprise the interval between John's removal from and his return to Paris. At the same time, if any other events may seem required to make up the total of twelve instead of ten years, it is quite possible that John's presumed stay at Provins took place after he had completed his theological studies at Paris. However this may be, there is no question that for some time previous to 1148 John waa established in the household of his friend, possibly his old pupil, Peter, abbat of Moûtier la Celle, near Troyes, 'nominally, it seems, in the capacity of Peter's "clerk" or secretary, but in reality as the recipient of a generous hospitality which sought for no return save the enjoyment of his presence and his friendship' (Miss Norgate, i. 483; see Peter's epistt. lxxxii. lxxxiii. cv. in Migne's Patrol Lat. ccii. 518, 519, 556; compare his epistt. lxvii-lxxv. throughout, and John's epist. lxxxv.) In the spring of 1148 he was present at the council held by Eugenius III at Rheims, which, as it has been variously maintained, silenced or failed to silence his old master, Gilbert de la Porrée (see Poole, pp. 187-99), and of which John has himself, in the recently recovered 'Historia Pontificalis,' given a vivid description. It was on this, occasion no doubt that he was presented to Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, by no less influential a person than St. Bernard (cf. Bern, epist. ccclxi., Opp. i. 325, ed. Mabillon). When the council was over he apparently attended the pope to Brescia, and in September went on to Rome (cf. Hist. Pontif. xviii. 531 f.); but it cannot have been long before he resolved to return after his many years' absence to his native country. Writing towards the end of 1159 he speaks of having been 'near twelve years' occupied in official business; 'iam . . . annis fere duodecim nugarum esse taedet' (Polier. i. prol. p. 13), where the 'nugæ' are unmistakably 'curiales.' But it does not follow that this official business was all in the court of Canterbury. It is quite possible that John was first for some time employed in the papal court. On the other hand, it is going too far to defer, with Reinhold Pauli (in Dove and Friedberg's Zeitschrift für Kirchenrecht, xvi. 271, 1881), his return until nearly 1153, the year of the death both of Eugenius III and of St. Bernard; for in 1159 he speaks of having ten times crossed the Alps on his road from England ('Alpium iuga transcendi decies, egressus Angliam;' Metalog. iii. prol. p. 113). It is perhaps most probable that he left the