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284
SCALIGER

natural system of classification, and he rejected with the utmost arrogance and violence of language the discoveries of Copernicus. In metaphysics and in natural history Aristotle was a law to him, and in medicine Galen, but he was not a slave to the text or the details of either. He has thoroughly mastered their principles, and is able to see when his masters are not true to themselves. He corrects Aristotle by himself. He is in that stage of learning when the attempt is made to harmonize the written word with the actual facts of nature, and the result is that his works have no real scientific value. Their interest is only historical. His Exercitationes upon the De subtilitate of Cardan (1557) is the book by which Scaliger is best known as a philosopher. Its numerous editions bear witness to its popularity, and until the final fall of Aristotle's physics it continued a popular textbook. We are astonished at the encyclopedic wealth of knowledge which the Exercitationes display, at the vigour of the author's style, at the accuracy of his observations, but are obliged to agree with G. Naudé that he has committed more faults than he has discovered in Cardan, and with Charles Nisard that his object seems to be to deny all that Cardan affirms and to affirm all that Cardan denies. Yet Leibnitz and Sir William Hamilton recognize him as the best modern exponent of the physics and metaphysics of Aristotle. He died at Agen on the 21st of October 1558.

2. Joseph Justus Scaliger (1540–1609), the greatest scholar of modern times, was the tenth child and third son of Julius Caesar Scaliger and Andiette de Roques Lobejac. Born at Agen in 1540, he was sent when twelve years of age, with two younger brothers, to the college of Guienne at Bordeaux, then under the direction of jean Gelida. An outbreak of the plague in 1555 caused the boys to return home, and for the next few years Joseph was his father's constant companion and amanuensis. The composition of Latin verse was the chief amusement of Julius in his later years, and he daily dictated to his son from eighty to a hundred lines, and sometimes more. Joseph was also required each day to write a Latin theme or declamation, though in other respects he seems to have been left to his own devices. But the companionship of his father was worth more to Joseph than any mere instruction. He learned from him to be not a mere scholar, but something more-an acute observer, never losing sight of the actual world, and aiming not so much at correcting texts as at laying the foundation of a science of historical criticism.

After his father's death, he spent four years at the university of Paris, where he began the study of Greek under Turnebus. But after two months he found he was not in a position to profit by the lectures of the greatest Greek scholar of the time. He determined to teach himself. He read Homer in twenty-one days, and then went through all the other Greek poets, orators and historians, forming a grammar for himself as he went along. From Greek, at the suggestion of G. Postel, he proceeded to attack Hebrew, and then Arabic; of both he acquired a respectable knowledge, though not the critical mastery which he possessed in Latin and Greek. The name of jean Dorat then stood as high as that of Turnebus as a Greek scholar, and far higher as a professor. As a teacher he was able not only to impart knowledge, but to kindle enthusiasm. It was to Dorat that Scaliger owed the home which he found for the next thirty years of his life. In 1563 the professor recommended him to Louis de Chastaigner, the young lord of La Roche Pozay, as a companion in his travels. A close friendship sprang up between the two young men, which remained unbroken till the death of Louis in 1595. The travellers first went to Rome. Here they found Marc Antoine Muretus, who, when at Bordeaux and Toulouse, had been a great favourite and occasional visitor of Julius Caesar at Agen. Muretus soon recognized Scaliger's merits, and introduced him to all the men that were worth knowing. After visiting a large part of Italy, the travellers passed to England and Scotland, taking as it would seem La Roche Pozay on their way, for Scaliger's preface to his first book, the Canjectanea in Varronem, is dated there in December 1564. Scaliger formed an unfavourable opinion of the English. Their inhuman disposition, and inhospitable treatment of foreigners, especially impressed him. He was also disappointed in finding few Greek manuscripts and few learned men. It was not until a much later period that he beca.me intimate with Richard Thompson and other Englishmen. In the course of his travels he had become a Protestant. On his return to France he spent three years with the Chastaigners, accompanying them to their different chateaux in Poitou, as the calls of the civil war required. In 1570 he accepted the invitation of Cujas, and proceeded to Valence to study jurisprudence under the greatest living jurist. Here he remained three years, profiting not only by the lectures but even more by the library of Cujas, which filled no fewer than seven or eight rooms and included five hundred manuscripts.

The massacre of St Bartholomew—occurring as he was about to accompany the bishop of Valence on an embassy to Poland—induced him with other Huguenots to retire to Geneva, where he was received with open arms, and was appointed a professor in the academy. He lectured on the Organon of Aristotle and the De finibus of Cicero with much satisfaction to the students but with little to himself. He hated lecturing, and was bored with the importunities of the fanatical preachers; and in 1574 he returned to France, and made his home for the next twenty years with Chastaigner. Of his life during this period we have interesting details and notices in the Lettres françaises inédites de Joseph Scaliger, edited by M Tamizey de Larroque (Agen, 1881). Constantly moving through Poitou and the Limousin, as the exigencies of the civil war required, occasionally taking his turn as a guard, at least on one occasion trailing a pike on an expedition against the Leaguers, with no access to libraries, and frequently separated even from his own books, his life during this period seems most unsuited to study. He had, however, what so few contemporary scholars possessed—leisure, and freedom from pecuniary cares. It was during this period of his life that he composed and published the books which showed that with him a new school of historical criticism had arisen. His editions of the Catalecta (1575), of Festus (1575), of Catullus, Tibullus and Propertius (1577), are the work of a man who not only writes books of instruction for learners, but is determined himself to discover the real meaning and force of his author. He was the first to lay down and apply sound rules of criticism and emendation, and to change textual criticism from a series of haphazard guesses into a "rational procedure subject to fixed laws" (Pattison). But these works, while proving Scaliger's right to the foremost place among his contemporaries as Latin scholar and critic, did not go beyond mere scholarship. It was reserved for his edition of Manilius (1579), and his De emendation temporum (1583), to revolutionize all the received ideas of ancient chronology-to show that ancient history is not confined to that of the Greeks and Romans, but also comprises that of the Persians, the Babylonians and the Egyptians, hitherto neglected as absolutely worthless, and that of the Jews, hitherto treated as a thing apart, and that the historical narratives and fragments of each of these, and their several systems of chronology, must be critically compared, if any true and general conclusions are to be reached. It is this which places Scaliger on so immeasurably higher an eminence than any of his contemporaries. Yet, while the scholars of his time admitted his pre-eminence, neither they nor those who immediately followed seem to have appreciated his real merit, but to have considered his emendatory criticism, and his skill in Greek, as constituting his claim to special greatness. His commentary on Manilius is really a treatise on the astronomy of the ancients, and it forms an introduction to the De emendatione temporum, in which he examines by the light of modern and Copernican science the ancient system as applied to epochs, calendars and computations of time, showing upon what principles they were based.

In the remaining twenty-four years of his life he at once corrected and enlarged the basis which he had laid in the De emendation. With incredible patience, sometimes with a happy audacity of conjecture which itself is almost genius, he succeeded in reconstructing the lost Chronicle of Eusebius—one of the most precious remains of antiquity, and of the highest value for ancient chronology. This he printed in 1606 in his