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CLASSICS

of Salisbury in 1159; while the Physics and Metaphysics came into notice about 1200. Plato was mainly represented by the Latin translation of the Timaeus. Abelard (d. 1142) was acquainted with no Greek works except in Latin translations, but he has left his mark on the history of European education. The wide popularity of his brilliant lectures in the “schools” of Paris made this city the resort of the many students who were ultimately organized as a “university” (c. 1170). John of Salisbury attended Abelard’s lectures in 1136, and, after spending two years in the study of logic in Paris, passed three more in the scholarly study of Latin literature at Chartres, where a sound and healthy tradition, originally due to Bernard of Chartres (fl. 1120), was still perpetuated by his pupils. In that school the study of “figures of speech” was treated as merely introductory to that of the classical texts. Stress was laid on the sense as well as the style of the author studied. Discussions on set subjects were held, select passages from the classics learned by heart, while written exercises in prose and verse were founded on the best ancient models. In the general scheme of education the authority followed was Quintilian. John of Salisbury (d. 1180), the ripest product of this school, is the most learned man of his time. His favourite author is Cicero, and in all the Latin literature accessible to him he is the best-read scholar of his age. Among Latin scholars of the next generation we have Giraldus Cambrensis (d. c. 1222), the author of topographical and historical writings on Ireland and Wales, and of other works teeming with quotations from the Latin classics. During the middle ages Latin prose never dies out. It is the normal language of literature. In England it is used by many chroniclers and historians, the best known of whom are William of Malmesbury (d. 1142) and Matthew Paris (d. 1259). In Italy Latin verse had been felicitously applied to historic themes by William of Apulia (fl. 1100) and other Latin poets (1088-1247). In the 12th century England claims at least seven Latin poets, one of these being her only Latin epic poet, Joseph of Exeter (d. 1210), whose poem on the Trojan war is still extant. The Latin versifier, John of Garlandia, an Englishman who lived mainly in France (fl. 1204-1252), produced several Latin vocabularies which were still in use in the boyhood of Erasmus. The Latin poets of French birth include Gautier and Alain de Lille (d. c. 1203), the former being the author of the Alexandreis, and the latter that of the Anti-Claudianus, a poem familiar to Chaucer.

During the hundred and thirty years that elapsed between the early translations of Aristotle executed at Toledo about 1150 and the death in 1281 of William of Moerbeke, the translator of the Rhetoric and the Politics, the knowledge of Aristotle had been greatly extended in Europe by means of translations, first from the Arabic, and, next, from the original Greek. Aristotle had been studied in England by Grosseteste (d. 1253), and expounded abroad by the great Dominican, Albertus Magnus (d. 1280), and his famous pupil, Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274). Among the keenest critics of the Schoolmen and of the recent translations of Aristotle was Roger Bacon (d. 1294), whose Opus majus has been recognized as the Encyclopédie and the Organon of the 13th century. His knowledge of Greek, as shown in his Greek Grammar (first published in 1902), was clearly derived from the Greeks of his own day. The medieval dependence on the authority of Aristotle gradually diminished. This was partly due to the recovery of some of the lost works of ancient literature, and the transition from the middle ages to the revival of learning was attended by a general widening of the range of classical studies and by a renewed interest in Plato.

The classical learning of the middle ages was largely second-hand. It was often derived from glossaries, from books of elegant extracts, or from comprehensive encyclopaedias. Among the compilers of these last were Isidore and Hrabanus, William of Conches and Honorius of Autun, Bartholomaeus Anglicus (fl. 1250), Vincent of Beauvais (d. 1264), and, lastly, Brunetto Latini (d. 1290), the earlier contemporary of Dante. For Aristotle, as interpreted by Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, Dante has the highest regard. To the Latin translations of Aristotle and to his interpreters he refers in more than three hundred passages, while the number of his references to the Latin translation of the Timaeus of Plato is less than ten. His five great pagan poets are Homer, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Lucan; Statius he regards as a “Christian” converted by Virgil’s Fourth Eclogue. His standard authors in Latin prose are Cicero, Livy, Pliny, Frontinus and Orosius. His knowledge of Greek was practically nil. Latin was the language of his political treatise, De Monarchia, and even that of his defence of the vulgar tongue, De Vulgari Eloquio. He is, in a limited sense, a precursor of the Renaissance, but he is far more truly to be regarded as the crowning representative of the spirit of the middle ages.

(iv.) The Modern Age.—(a) Our fourth period is ushered in by the age of the Revival of Learning in Italy (c. 1350-1527). Petrarch (1304-1374) has been well described as “the first of modern men.” In contrast with the Italy. Schoolmen of the middle ages, he has no partiality for Aristotle. He was interested in Greek, and, a full century before the fall of Constantinople, he was in possession of MSS. of Homer and Plato, though his knowledge of the language was limited to the barest rudiments. For that knowledge, scanty as it was, he was indebted to Leontius Pilatus, with whose aid Boccaccio (1313-1375) became “the first of modern men” to study Greek to some purpose during the three years that Leontius spent as his guest in Florence (1360-1363). It was also at Florence that Greek was taught in the next generation by Chrysoloras (in 1396-1400). Another generation passed, and the scholars of the East and West met at the council of Florence (1439). One of the envoys of the Greeks, Gemistus Pletho, then inspired Cosimo dei Medici with the thought of founding an academy for the study of Plato. The academy was founded, and, in the age of Lorenzo, Plato and Plotinus were translated into Latin by Marsilio Ficino (d. 1499). The Apology and Crito, the Phaedo, Phaedrus and Gorgias of Plato, as well as speeches of Demosthenes and Aeschines, with the Oeconomics, Ethics and Politics of Aristotle, had already been translated by Leonardo Bruni (d. 1444); the Rhetoric by Filelfo (1430), and Plato’s Republic by Decembrio (1439). A comprehensive scheme for translating the principal Greek prose authors into Latin was carried out at Rome by the founder of the manuscript collections of the Vatican, Nicholas V. (1447-1455), who had belonged to the literary circle of Cosimo at Florence. The translation of Aristotle was entrusted to three of the learned Greeks who had already arrived in Italy, Trapezuntius, Gaza and Bessarion, while other authors were undertaken by Italian scholars such as Guarino, Valla, Decembrio and Perotti. Among the scholars of Italian birth, probably the only one in this age who rivalled the Greeks as a public expositor of their own literature was Politian (1454-1494), who lectured on Homer and Aristotle in Florence, translated Herodian, and was specially interested in the Latin authors of the Silver Age and in the text of the Pandects of Justinian. It will be observed that the study of Greek had been resumed in Florence half a century before the fall of Constantinople, and that the principal writers of Greek prose had been translated into Latin before that event.

Meanwhile, the quest of MSS. of the Latin classics had been actively pursued. Petrarch had discovered Cicero’s Speech pro Archia at Liége (1333) and the Letters to Atticus and Quintus at Verona (1345). Boccaccio had discovered Martial and Ausonius, and had been the first of the humanists to be familiar with Varro and Tacitus, while Salutati had recovered Cicero’s letters Ad Familiares (1389). During the council of Constance, Poggio, the papal secretary, spent in the quest of MSS. the interval between May 1415 and November 1417, during which he was left at leisure by the vacancy in the apostolic see.

Thirteen of Cicero’s speeches were found by him at Cluny and Langres, and elsewhere in France or Germany; the commentary of Asconius, a complete Quintilian, and a large part of Valerius Flaccus were discovered at St Gallen. A second expedition to that monastery and to others in the neighbourhood led to the recovery of Lucretius, Manilius, Silius Italicus and Ammianus