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361
SCHOOLS

interests, which he saw happen in many places where teachers are hired by the public” (preceptores publice conducuntur). The choice of the master he left to the parents. Later historians say that the emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) assigned offices and salaries (honores et salaria) for rhetoricians throughout the provinces; and that Alexander Severus did the same, and also established exhibitions for poor boys, with the limitation, curiously repeated a thousand years later in the statutes of All Souls College and of Eton, modo ingenuos, i.e. provided only that they should be free-born.

There were complaints that the masters were ill-paid. The only definite statement as to tuition fees appears to be a line of Horace (Sat.i.6. 76), who says his father took him to school at Rome as he did not care to send him where the sons of his country neighbours went, at 8 asses a month, said to represent 4d. a month, equivalent to “about a shilling”; even this is founded on a disputed reading. Quintilian made a fortune by his school, but Juvenal calls him in this respect a white crow. As in modern times the winning jockey, so then the victorious charioteer, received more pay for a single race than the master for a whole year's labours.

Grammar and rhetoric schools spread throughout the Roman world and continued substantially unchanged in method and subject to the days of Gregory the Great and Augustine the apostle of the English. The Confessions of St Augustine of Hippo, a schoolmaster at Carthage, Rome and Milan, before his baptism in the year 387, and the poems of his contemporary Ausonius, educated in the grammar school at Toulouse, and himself a schoolmaster at Bordeaux before becoming prefect of Illyria and of Gaul, show that the schools were much the same in the 4th century as in the first. Ausonius celebrated in verse all the Bordeaux schoolmasters, some coming from schools at Athens, Constantinople, Syracuse and Corinth, one the son of a Druid at Bayeux, others schoolmasters from Poitou, Narbonne, Toulouse, who went to Lerida and other places in Spain. Ausonius had for his pupil the emperor Gratian, who in 376 established a legal tariff for schoolmasters' salaries. “In every town which is called a metropolis, a noble professor shall be elected.” The rhetoric master (rhetor) was to have at least 24 annonae (an annona being a year's wages of a working man); while the grammar masters were to receive half that. But at Trier, then the capital of the Western empire, the rhetor was to have 30, the Latin grammarian 20, and the Greek grammarian, if one can be found, I2 annonae (Cod. Theod. xiii. 3. 11). The works of Ennodius, bishop of Pavia, 513-521, preserve many school declamations delivered in Milan school. The same century saw Priscian, a schoolmaster at Constantinople, compose the Latin grammar, which, itself for the most part a mere translation from Greek, reigned without a rival till the Reformation, and is represented by over 1000 MSS. Venantius Fortunatus, educated in the grammar school at Treviso, wrote in 570 a life of St Martin of Tours in three books of hexameter verse, and lives of saints and bishops. His era was one of transition, and marks the passing of the schools from secular to ecclesiastical control. His contemporary Pope Gregory rates Desiderius, “bishop of Gaul,” at Vienne (Ep. xi. 54), because “as we cannot relate without shame, it has come to our knowledge that your brotherhood teaches grammar to certain persons: which we take all the worse as it converts what we formerly said in your favour to lamentation and mourning, since the praise of Christ cannot lie in one mouth with the praise of Jupiter. Consider yourself what a crime it is for bishops to recite what would be improper for religiously minded laymen”—words which are an adaptation of a sentiment of Jerome at his worst.

This letter is the more remarkable, because it ends with commending to Desiderius the monks whom Gregory was sending with Laurence the priest and Mellitus the abbot to Augustine of Canterbury, thus bringing the grammar-school-teaching bishop into direct connexion with the conversion of the English, and the foundation of the first English school.

English Schools.—St Augustine of Canterbury landed in Kent in 596, and the king of Kent, Ethelbert, was christened two years later. He “did not defer giving his teachere a settled residence in his metropolis of Canterbury, with such possessions as were necessary for their subsistence,” says Bede. We may therefore attribute the establishment of the Church of England and the first English school to the year 598. For as nowadays the first thing modern missionaries do is to establish a school, so did Augustine. Indeed a school was even more necessary then. Now the Scriptures are always translated into the native tongue, and services conducted in it. But in those days the converted heathen, to understand the church service and to read the Scriptures, had to learn Latin and begin with Latin grammar; and indeed as the kyrie, the creed and the gloria were still rendered in Greek, if he was thoroughly to comprehend it he had to learn some Greek.

The first actual mention of Canterbury school is in 631. Sigebert of Essex, Bede tells us (Eccl. Hist. iii. 18, ed. Plummer, p. 162), while in exile in Gaul, was baptized. “On his return, as soon as he obtained the kingdom (of the East Saxons), wishing to imitate what he had seen well done in Gaul, he founded a grammar school (scolam in qua pueri litteris erudirentur), with the assistance of Bishop Felix, whom he had received from Kent, who provided them with ushers and masters (pedagogos et magistros) after the manner of the Canterburians (more Cantuariorum).” If the last words are translated Kentish folk the meaning is the same, as naturally the first and chief school of the Kentish folk was at Canterbury. Felix was a Burgundian, who had come over to Honorius, one of the last survivors of the original band of Augustine, who became archbishop in 627. The East Saxon see was placed at Dunnoc, now Dunwich, and the school there has been claimed by patriotic Suffolk historians as the first school in England. Though long before the Conquest Dunwich had ceased to be an episcopal see, being deposed in favour of Thetford, while half of it was swallowed up by the sea, yet, when between 1076 and 1083 the priory of Eye was founded by Robert Malet, he appropriated to it all the churches of Dunwich “the tithes of the whole town both of money and herrings . . . the school also of the same town.” So the school of Sigebert and Felix was still existing 400 years afterwards. It afterwards perished at the dissolution of the priory, to which it had been handed over.

As the model must be older than the copy, Canterbury school must be allowed the primacy over Dunwich. Being spoken of as an existing institution, with no suggestion that it was then newly established, we need not doubt that it was founded by St Augustine as part of the cathedral establishment of Christ Church, Canterbury. This church was not then monastic, but like all other cathedrals, a college of priests, the monks being placed apart, outside the city walls in the abbey, first called St Paul's, afterwards known as St Augustine's. Enthusiastic “Grecians” have attributed Canterbury school rather to the Greek archbishop, the monk Theodore, who reached Canterbury on the 27th of May 669. “Soon after” he “travelled through the whole English parts of the island,” and first established a united church of England, being “the first archbishop whom the whole English church consented to obey.” He travelled with Hadrian, a Latin-African monk, who had been first offered the archbishopric, and was sent by the pope to look after Theodore “lest after the fashion of Greeks he should introduce something against the true faith.” “Because both were abundantly learned in sacred and profane literature, they collected crowds of disciples, and streams of saving knowledge daily flowed from them, as together with holy writ they gave their hearers instruction both in the arts of metre and astronomy and ecclesiastical arithmetic,” or, as the Anglo-Saxon translation has it, “meter craft, tungolcraft and grammaticraft” (Bede, Eccl. Hist. iv. 2). “The proof is,” says Bede, “that even to this day,” c. 735, “some of their pupils survive who know Latin and Greek as well as their own language in which they were born.” It is a strange misconception of this passage which has narrowed a triumphant record of the first metro political visitation of England, the very point of which is that the archbishop left Canterbury to travel to the farthest parts of the heptarchy, into the foundation of a school at Canterbury. Though it is clear that Theodore did not found, there is evidence that he did actually teach in the school at Canterbury, since Albinus, who succeeded Hadrian as abbot of St Paul's, is said to have been “the most learned man of his time in everything, having been educated in the church of Canterbury” (not, it may be noted, in the monastery of St Paul's) by Theodore and Hadrian. Tobias, who died bishop of Rochester in 726, is also described as “a most learned man, for he was a pupil of Theodore and Hadrian, and so, together with a knowledge of literature ecclesiastical and general, Greek and Latin were as familiar to him as his native tongue.” We may therefore credit Rochester with its school at least as early as Toby's episcopate.

Of schools still existing, we must give the precedence after Canterbury and Rochester to St Peter's school, the cathedral grammar school at York. If it was originally started by Paulinus, the Roman