The description of the voyage of Beowulf in his "foamy-necked" ship along the " swan-path " of the ocean, of his arrival at the Norwegian court, and his narrative of his own exploits, are in a very similar style to the ancient Scandinavian Sagas. The versification of this, as well as of all Saxon poetry in general, is exceedingly peculiar; and the system upon which it is constructed for a long time defied the ingenuity of philologists.
With them it was sufficient to constitute verse, that in any two successive lines - which might be of any length - there should be at least three words beginning with the same letter. This very peculiar metrical system is called alliteration. The term Anglo. But why English became the exclusive appellation of the language spoken by the Saxons as well as the, Angles, is not altogether clear. Anglo-Saxon literature, see Notes and Ilhnuratioma. Another hypothesis is, that, as the new inhabitants of the island became first known to the Roman see through the Anglian captives who were carried to Rome in the sixth century, the name of this tribe was given by the Romans to the whole people, and that the Christian missionaries to Britain would naturally continue to employ this r.
But, as has been already observed in a previous work of the present series, "a change of nomenclature like this would expose us to the inconvenience, not merely of embracing within one designation objects which have been conventionally separated, but of confounding things logically distinct: for, though our modern English is built upon and mainly derived from the Anglo-Saxon, the two dialects are now so discrepant, that the fullest knowledge of one would not alone suffice to render the other intelligible to either the eye or the ear.
For a long period the Saxon colonization of Britain was carried on by detached Teutonic tribes, who established themselves in such portions of territory as they found vacant, or from which they ousted less warlike occupants; and in this way there gradually arose a number of separate and independent states or kingdoms. This epoch of our history is generally denominated the Heftarchy, or Seven Kingdoms, the names of the principal of which may still be traced in the appella tions of our modern shires, as Essex and Northumberland. As might easily have been foreseen, one of these tribes or kingdoms, growing gradually more powerful, at last absorbed the others.
This important event took place in the ninth century, in the reign of Egbert, from which period to the middle of the eleventh century, when there occurred the third great invasion and change of sovereignty to which the country was destined, the history of the Anglo-Saxon monarchy presents a confused and melancholy picture of bloody incursions and fierce resistance to the barbarous and pagan Danes, who endeavored to treat the Saxons as the Saxons had treated the Celts. It is there shown that the common account of the imposition of the name of England upon the country by a decree of King Egbert, is ansupported by any contemporaneous or credible testimony; and that the title of Anglice or Anglorum Rex, is much more naturally explained by the supposition that England and English had been already adopted as the collective nampe of the country and its inhabitaRts,.
L would appear bt posterity almost fabulous, were they not handed down in the minute and accurate records of a biographer who knew and served him well. The two fierce races, so obstinately contending foi mastery, were too nearly allied in origin and blood for their amalgama tion to have produced any very material change in the language or institutions of the country. In those parts of England, principally in the North and East, as in some of the maritime regions of Scotland, where colonies of Danes established themselves, either by conquest or by settlement, the curious philologist may trace, in the idiom of the peasantry and still more clearly in the names of families and places evident marks of a Scandinavian instead of an Anglo-Saxon population.
As examples of this we may cite the now immortal name of Havelock, derived from a famous sea-king of the same name, who is said to have founded the ancient town of Whitby, the latter being the Scandinavian Hvilby.
As to memorials of the Saxons, preserved in the inames of men, families, or places, or in the less imperishable monunients of architecture, they are so numerous that there is hardly a locality in the whole extent of England where a majority of the names is not pure and unaltered Saxon; the whole mass of the middle and lower classes of the population bears unmistakable marks of pure Saxon blood: and the sound and sterling vigor of the popular language is so essentially Saxon, that it requires but the re-establishment of the now obsolete inflections of the Anglian grammar, and the substitution of a few Teutonic words for their French equivalents, to recompose an English book into the idiom spoken in the days of Alfred.
It would be, however, an error to suppose that all the words of Latin origin found even in the earlier period of the English language were introduced after the introduction into England of the NormanFrench element; that is to say, after the conquest of the country by William in the eleventh century. For a long time previous to that event the cultivation of the Latin literature in the monasteries and among the learned, as well as the employment of the Latin language in the services of the Church, must have tended to incorporate with the Saxon tongue a considerable number of Latin words.
Alfred, we know, visited Rome in his youth, acquired there a considerable portion of the learning which he unquestionably possessed, and exhibited his patriotic care for the enlightenment of his countrymen by translating 'nto Saxon the " Consolations " of Boethius. The Venerable Bede, and other Saxon ecclesiastics, composed chronicles and legends in Latin, and we may therefore conclude that, though the sturdy Teutonic nationality of the Anglo-Saxon language guarded it from being corrupted by any overwhelming admixture of Latin, yet a considerable influx of Latin words may have become perceptible in it before the appearance of Normans on our shores.
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It is also to be remarked that the superior civilP ation of the French race must have exerted an influence on at ir the aristocratic classes; and the family connections between the S on dynastj and the neighboring dukes of Normandy, of whichi. In tracing the influence of that mighty revolution on the language, the institutions, and the national character of the people, it will be advisable to advert separately to its effects as regarded from a political, a social, and a philological point f view.
The most important change consequent upon the subjugation of th country by the Normans was obviously the establishment in England of the great feudal principle of the military tenure of land, of the chivalric spirit and habits which were the natural result of feudal institutions, and lastly, of the broad demarcation which separated society into the two great classes of the Nobles and the Serfs.
It is unnecessary to say that the feudal institutions, which lay at the bottom of all these modifications, were totally unknown to the original Saxons who established themselves in England, and were indeed utterly repugnant to that free democratic organization of society which they brought with them from their native Germany, and which Tacitus shows to have universally prevailed among the primitive dwellers of the Teutonic swamps and forests. The Scandinavian pirates, who carried devastation over every coast accessible to their " sea-horses," and who, under the valiant leadership of Hrolf the Ganger, wrested from the feeble and degenerate successors of Charlemagne the magnificent province to which they gave their own North-man appellation, adopted, from the force of circumstances, that strong military organization which could alone enable a warlike minority to hold in subjection a more numerous but less vigorous conquered people.
Like the Lombards in Italy, like a multitude of other races in different parts of the world and in different historical epochs, they found feudal institutions an indispensable necessity of their position; and what had been forced upon them at their original occupation of Normandy they naturally practised on their irruption into England. But as the invasion of William was carried on under at least a colorable allegation of a legal iight to the inheritance of the English throne, his investiture of the crown was accompanied by a studied adherence to the constitutional forms of the Saxon monarchy; and it was perhaps only the obstinate resistance of the sullen, sturdy Saxon people, that at length wearied him into treating his new acquisition with all the rigor of a conquering invader.
The whole territory was by his orders carefully surveyed and zegistered in that curious monument of antiquity, which still exists, entitled Domesday Book: the severest measures of police, as for example the famous institution of the Curfew which was, however, no new invention of William to tyrannize over the enslaved country, but a very common regulation in feudal states , were introduced to keep down the rising of the people; the territory was divided into 6,0ooo fiefs; the original Saxon holders of these lands were as a general rule ousted from their estates, which were distributed, on the feudal conditions of tamage and general defence, to the warriors who had enabled him to.
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L subjugate the country; vast tracts of inhabited lands were depopulated and transformed into forests for the chase, and the higher functions of the Church and State were with few exceptions confided to men of Norman blood. The natural consequence of such a state of things, when it continued, as it did in England, through the reigns of the long series of Norman and Plantagenet sovereigns, was to create in the country two distinct and intensely hostile nationalities.
The Saxon race gradually descended to the level of an oppressed and servile class; but being far superior in numbers to their oppressors, they ran no risk of being absorbed and lost in the dominant people. The high qualities, too, of the Norman race, qualities which made them greatly superioi in valor, wisdom, and intellectual activity, to any other people then existing on the continent of Europe, no less saved them from gradually disappearing in the subjugated population. It required several ages to amalgamate the two nationalities; but, partly in consequence of their high, though very different merits, and partly in consequence of a most peculiar and happy combination of circumstances, they -were ultimately amalgamated, and formed the most vigorous people which has ever existed upon earth.
In the present case the two nationalities were not dissolved in each other, but like some chemical bodies their affinities combined to form a new and powerful substance. But for several centuries the two fierce and obstinate races felt nothing but hatred towards each other, a hatred cherished by the memory of a thousand acts of tyranny and contempt on the one part, and savage revenge and sullen degradation on the other. Macaulay has well observed that, "so strong an association is established in most minds between the greatness of a sovereign and the greatness of the nation which he rules, that almobt every historian of England has expatiated with a sentiment of exultation on the power and splendor of her foreign masters, and has lamented the decay of that power and splendor as a calamity to our country.
This is, in truth, as absurd as it would be in a Haytian negro of our time to dwell with national pride on the greatness of Lewis XIV. The Conqueror and his descendants to the folrth generation were not Englishmen: most of them were born in ance: their ordinary speech was French: almost every high office -,.
The family names of the highi Aristocracy in England are almost universally French, while those of thle middle and lower orders are as unmistakably German. Under the Norman re'gime the Saxon subdivisions of the country were transformen fiom the demo. The ancient Saxon witanagemote, or thing, was metamorphosed into the feudal Parlement, the members of which occupied theil seats, not as elective representatives of the peop.
Thus the great ecclesiastical dignitaries took part of right in the deliberations of the legislative body, in their quality of holders of lands, and as stch dirposing of a certain contingent of military force. But it is with the effects of the Norman Conquest upon the language. On their arrival in Normandy, the piratical followers of Hrolf the Ganger had found themselves exposed to the civilizing influences which a small minority of rude conquerors, placed in the midst of a subject population superior to them in numbers as well as intellectual cultivation, can never long resist with success.
Like the hordes of barbarian invaders who shared among them the territories of the Roman empire, the Northmen, with the Christianity of the conquered nation, imbibed also the language and civilization so intimately connected with that Christianity, and in an incredibly brief space of time exchanged for their native Scandinavian dialect a language entirely similar, in its words and grammatical forms, to the idiom prevalent in the northern division of France. It was a repet4tion of the introduction of Greek art and culture into republican Rome:Gracia capta ferum victorem cepit et artes.
The language thus communicated by the subject to the conquered nation was a dialect of that great Romance speech which extended during the Middle Ages from the northern shore of the Mediterranean to the British Channel, and which may be defined as the decomposition of the classical Latin. It was soon divided into two great sister-. The former of these languages, spoken to the south of this river, was closely allied to the Spanish and Italian, and was subsequently called the Provencal; the latter was the parent of the French.
The language of ancient Rome, a highly inflected and complicated tongue, naturally lost all, or nearly all its inflections and grammatical complexity. Thus the Latin substantive and adjective lost all those terminations which in the original language expressed relation, as the various cases of the different declensions; these relations being thenceforward indicated by the simpler expedient of prepositions.
The literary models introduced:nto England by the Norman invasion were no less important than the linguistic changes consequent upon the admixture of their Romance dialect with the Saxon speech. Together with the institutions of feudalism the Normans brought with them the poetry of feudalism, that is, the poetry of chivalry. The lais and romances, thefabliaux and the legends of mediaeval chivalry soon began to modify the rude poetical sagas and the tedious narratives of the lives of saints and hermits which had formed the bulk of the iiterat-Ire of Saxon England.
Few subjects have excited more lively controversy among the learned than the origin and specific zharacter i f the Romance literature. In particular the distinction between thb. Trouvere and Troubadour are obviously the two forms of the same word as pronounced respectively by the population who spoke the Langue-d'Oil and the Langue-d'Oc. The natural and picturesque definition of a poet as a finder or inventor bears some analogy with the term Skald, or olisher of language, by which the same idea was represented among the Scandinavians, with the Greek trotJyTzS, a term exactly reproduced in the Maker of the Lowland Scots; and the beautiful qualification of the poetic art as el gay saber and la guaye science, no less faithfully corresponds to the idea contained in the Saxon term gleeman, applied to the singer or bard, whose invention furnished the joy of the banquet.
Now, if we keep in mind the characteristic differences which are universally found to distinguish a Northern as compared with a Southern people, we shall generally find that in the former the imagination, the sentiments, and the memory are most developed, while the latter will be more remarkable for the vivacity of the passions and the intensity - and consequently also the transitory duration-- of the affective emotions. We might therefore predict A priori, given respectively a Northern aiTd a Southern population, that among the former an imagihative or poetical literature would have a natural tendency to take a narrative, and among the latter a lyric, form: for narrative is the necessary type in which the firstmentioned class of intellectual qualities would clothe themselves, while arde it and transitory passion would as inevitably express itself in the lyric form.
And this is what we actually find, on comparing the [ revailing literary type of the Trouvbre with that of the Troubadout literature. It is evident that the composition of long narrative recitalh Ltf real or imaginary events would require a certain degree of literar culture, as well as a considerable amount of leisure; and therefort many of the interminable romances of the Trouveres may be traced to the ecclesiastical profession; wnile the shorter and more lively lyric and satiric effusions which constitute the bulk of the Troubadour lite - ature wero irequently the productions of princes, knights, and ladies,.
E1 28 the power of writing verse being considered as one of the necersary accomplishments of a gentleman: - "He coude songes make, and wel endite. Each of these theories has been supported with much ingenuity, and defended with an immense display of learning: but they are all equally obnoxious to the reproach of having been made too exclusive: the existence of the well-marked general features of Chivalric Romance long before the European rnations acquired, by the Crusades, any familiarity with the imagery and scenery of the East renders the first hypothesis untenable in its full extent; while the second is in a great measure invalidated by the comparatively barbarous state into which the Celtic tribes had generally fallen at the time when the Chivalric literature began to prevail, and the little knowledge which the Romance populations of Europe possessed of the ancient Gaulic language and historical legendary lore.
It is true that the Trouveres almost invariably pretend to have found the subjects of their narratives in the traditions, or among the chronicles of the " olde gentil Bretons," just as Marie de France refers her reader to the Celtic or Armorican authorities; but this was in all probability in general a mere literary artifice, like that which induced other poets to place the venue of their wondrous adventures in some distant and unknown region: - " In Sarra, in the lond of Tartarie.
B , Anglo-Norman Literature. The most important change, which converted the Anglo-Saxon into Old English, and which consists chiefly in the substitution of the vowel 0, for the different inflections, was not due in any considerable degree to the Norman conquest, though it was probably hastened by that event. It commenced even before the Norman conquest, and was owing to the same causes which led to similar changes in the kindred Gp'smn dialects.
The large introduction of French words into English 4ates from the time when the Normans began to speak the language of the conquered race. It is, however, an error to represent the English language as springing from a mixture of Anglo-Saxon and French; since a mixed language, in the strict sense of the term, may be pronounced an impossibility. The English still remained essentially a German tongue, though it received such large accessions of French words as materially to change its character. To fix with precision the date when this change took place is manifestly an impossible task.
It was a gradual process, and. In remote and less frequented districts the mass of the population long preserved their pure Saxon speech. This is sufficiently proved by the circumstance, that even in the present day, the inhabitants of such remote, or unland districts, still show in their patois an evident preponderance of the Saxon element, as exhibited in the use of many old German words which have long ceased to form part of the English vocabulary, and in the evident retention of German peculiarities of pronunciation. For when we compare the earliest English of the thirteenth century with the Anglo-Saxon of the twelfth, it seems hard to pronounce why it should pass for a separate language, rather than a modification or simplification of the former.
We must conform, however, to usage, and say that the Anglo-Saxon was converted into English: I. Of these the second slone, I think, can be considered as sufficient to describe a new form of,language; and this was brought about so gradually, that we are not relieved of much of our difficulty, whether some compositions shall pass for the latest. It is curious to see, on examining the grammar and vocabulary of the early English language, as exhibited in the writings of our old pcets and chroniclers, how often the primitive Saxon forms continued vert gradually lobecome effaced, while the French orthography and pronunciation of the newly introduced words have not yet become harmonized, so to s;peak, with the general character of the new idiom.
Thus, in the following lines of Chaucer:SThe sleer of himself yet saugh I there, His herte-blood hath bathed al his here; The nayl y-dryve in the shode a-nyght; The colde deth, with mouth gapyng upright. Amyddes of the tempul set mischaunce, With sory comfort and evel contynaunce. The old German is found running into, as it were, and overlapping the lately-introduced Gallicism.
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Such was the state in which Chaucer found the national idiom at the beginning of the fourteenth century, and the admirable genius of that great poet may be said to have put the last touch to the consolidation of the English language. For a considerable period after his time, however, such writings as were addressed to the sympathies of the lower classes continued to retain much of the Saxon characteristics in orthography, grammatical structure, and versification; for example, traces of the peculiar alliterative system are perceptible for a period long subsequent to the reign of Richard II.
Though it is impossible to assign any exact date to the change of Anglo-Saxon into English, the chief alterations in the language may be arranged approximately under the following epochs:I. Anglo-Saxon, from A. Semi-Saxon, from A. OldEnglish, from A. Middle English, from A. Modern English, from A. The three first periods scarcely belong to a history of English literature, and consequently only a brief account of them is given in the Notes and Illustrations appended to the present chapter.
The earliest literature of the Anglo-Saxons bears the impress of the religious culture under which it was formed. Unlike theirbrethren, who sung their old heroic lays in their primeval forests, the conquerors of the rich provinces of Britain had sunk from action to contemplation, and their literature was artificial. There was but little difference of time in the development of poetry and prose; and the works produced were, with only three exceptions, the elaborate compositions of educated men, rather than the spontaneous products of genius, inspired by a people's ancient legends.
The chief subjects were moral, religious, historical, and didactic. Under the tutelage of the Church, the most lasting monuments of Anglo-Saxon prose literature were written in Latin; and the vernacular tongue was chiefly employed in translating the learned works of such men as Bede and Alcuin.
What value it possesses is chiefly for its matter; for it almost entirely wants that beauty of form, which alone raises literature to an art. We have olythree specimens of old national songs, written in the spirit of the continental Germans, and probably composed, in part at least, before their migration to England. The first of these is the Lay of Beowulf, which is fully described in the text. Its spirit is that of the old heathen Germans. It seems to have been originated at the primitive seat of the Angles, in Sehleswig, and to have been brought over to England about the end of the fifth century.
The other two are the Traveller's Song, and the Battle of Finnesburg, the scene of which seems to be on the Continent. It is only in the tenth century that we again meet with compositions of this class, in the patriotic poems on Athelstane's Victory at Brunanburgh A. Of Religious Poetry, the r. But whatever be the date, it is a striking poem, and appears to have supplied Milton with some hints One passage strikingly resembles Milton's soliloquy of Satan in hell. CYNEWULF in Latin Kenulphus , a monk of Winchester, and abbot of Peterborough in , is highly eulogized by a local historian; but we have only two short poems which preserve his name in a sort of aeromst of Runic characters.
These poems were preserved orally, not only by the minstrels, but as exercises of memory by the monks. Hence the MSS. It waAhe product of foreign ecclesiastical influence. The earliest missionaries were imbued with the learning of the Western Church and great schools were soon founded in Kent and the South, and afterwards in Northumbria. In the eighth century, bboks rere so multiplied, that Alcuin complains to Charlemagne of the literary poverty of France as corn pared with England. He also gives an accounm oi the great library at York, from which and othel lists we can see what writers formed the taste of the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries.
There was a decided preference for the Greek authors above the Latin. The classical poets were read, but with a religious suspicion, and the works most valued were those of the Fathers and the Christiai poets, whose faults are closely imitated in the Latit poetry of the Anglo-Saxon churchmen. The ecclesiastical taste was strengthened and the literary treasures increased by the habit of visiting Rome, which became frequent in the eighth century. Many women were celebrated for their learning. His poetry is turgid and full of extravagant conceits.
He wrcle in hexameters De Laude Virginitatis besides a prose treatise on the same theme , a book of rsnift mata in imitation of Symposius, and a poem on the Seven Cardinal Virtues. These, with a few letters, are all his extant works. His style is simpler than Aldhelm's, but less animated. His best pcem is an Elegy on ths Destruc. The long poem on the Church of York has also some good descriptive passages. He also wrote Epigrams, Elegies, and AEnigmata. Columban, Boniface, Bede, and Cuthbert, wrote some Latin verses; and, pasaing.
Sver a few o'Gers, the list concludes, in the tenth century, with the Life of St. He wrote in Latin several theological treatises, some poems, and five letters. The story of his coming to England on Alfred's invitation is more than doubtful. At the age of seven he was placed under the teaching of Benedict Biscop, in the monastery of Wearmouth; became a deacon at nineteen, and a priest at thirty. Whether he visited Rome is uncertain. He only left his monastery on zare visits to other religious houses; and his dying moments were divided between religious exercises and dictating the last sentences of a work which he just lived to finish.
His works embrace the whole compass of the learning of his age. Numbering no less than fortyIve, they may be divided into four classes: Theoi. The History of his own Monastery and the Life of St. Cuthbert deserve mention; but his great work is the Ecoiesistical Histury of the Anglo-Saxons from tho'e r first settlement in England.
He used the aid t,, tn most learned men of his time in collectingthe docu. His writings are chiefly on points of discipline, and two of them, the Confessionale and Poenitentiale, were published in Anglo-Saxon as well as in Latin. He 'was born at York, and, like Bede, was placed in a convent in his infancy. Trained in the school oipkrchbishop Egbert, he became the favorite pupil of that prelate's kinsman and successor, Albert, on whose appointment to the archbishopric A.
Eanbald, a pupil of Alcuin, on succeeding to the archbishopric A. His works were commentaries, dogmatic and plactical treatises, lives of saints, and several atry interesting letters. His Latin poems have bean al. He is chiefly important in th,- His. The name of AssER. Bishop of Sherborne d. Of his contemporaxy ODO d. A few other names might still be mentioned. His early love for the old national poetry, the growing neglect of Latin even by the priests, and the eager desire, of which he himself tells us, that the people might enjoy the treasures of learning collected in the churches for security from the invaders, urged imn to the culture of the native tongue for popular inSstruction.
While inviting over learned men to repair the decay of scholarship, the king himself set the example of translating existing works into the vernacular. Having learned Latin only late in life, he did not disdain the help of scholars, such as Bishop Asser, in clearing up grammatical difficulties, while he brought to the work untiring industry, great capacity of comprehending the author's genSeral meaning, and sound judgment upon points needing ill istration.
His most important transla. According to William of Malmesbury, Alfred had commenced an Anglo-Saxon version of the Psalms shortly before his death. Among the works falsely attributed to him are Alfred's Proverbs, a translation of. Esop's Fables asd a metrical version of the Metres of Dsnhiaus. Many works were translated by the king's order or after his example; for instance, the Dialogues of St. Gregory, by Werfred, Bishop of Worcester. The new intellectual impulse, given by Alfred's policy of calling foreign scholars into th e realh, which was followed by other kings down to the eve of the Conquest, sustained the revival of Anglo-Saxon literature in full activity for some time.
His eighty Homilies are his chieflWjork. He also translated the Books of Moses, and wrote other theological treatises. As a grammarian lie labored to revive the neglected study of Latin by his Latin Grammar from Donatus and Priscian , his Gloseary and Colloquium a conversation book. He appears as a scientific writer in the Manual of Astronomy, if it is rightly assigned to him.
He is often confounded with two other Alfrics, the name being common among the Anglo-Saxons. There was an Alfric, Abbot of Malmesbury d. It remains to notice two great monuments of Anglo-Saxon prose literature, the Chronicle and the Laws. The Saxon Chronicle is a record of the history of the people, compiled at first, as is believed, for Alfred, by Plegmund, Archbishop of Canteroury, who brought it down to A. Thence it was continued, as a contemporary record, to the and of the Anglo-Saxon period, in the middle of the twelfth century.
It breaks off abruptly in the first year of Henry II. This want of historical talent, as the same writer observes, prevents our learning from it much of our ancestors' social life, or of the practical working of their institutions. The fragments of the Anglo-Saxon Laws contain some as early as the reign of Ethelbert, King of Kent, reduced, however, to the language of a later age. Alfred, who began the work, says that, with the advice of his Witan, he rejected what did not please him, but added little of his own. The work was then Lstbmitted to and adopted by the Witan.
The Norman Conquest had both a destructive and a reconstructive influence on the literature of the country. The ordinance, forbidding the Saxon clergy to aspire to any ecclesiastical dignity, confined the literary activity that was left to the monasteries, except in the case of those who were willing to adapt themselves to the new state of things, The Anglo-Saxon learning gradually died out by the middle of the twelfth century; its chief work being the completion of the Saxon Chronicle in the monastery of Peterborough.
The chief works of learning were composed in Latin; while for lightel compositions the English adopted the language of their conquerors. The fifty years preceding the Conquest had witnessed a great revival of learning on the Continent, originating from the Arabs, who had themselves become imbued with the Greek learning of the conquered East. Thus the revival of letters in the eleventh century, like the brighter revival in the fifteenth, owed its source to the ancient Greeks; but with this great difference: while, in the latter case, inspiration was drawn from the great poets and orators, the Arabs were chiefly attracted by the physical, logical, and metaphysical works of the school of Aristotle.
The Aristotelian logic and spirit of systematizing were eagerly applied to theology, especially in France. Indeed Anselm is often regarded as the founder of the Scholastic Philosophy, which was the fruit of the new movement. But he is only a connecting link. The old method of treating theology, followed by the Fathers, was based on the foundation of faith in the dogmatic statements of Scripture.
The scholastic philosophy aspired to establish a complete system of truth by a chain of irrefragable reasoning. Anselm only applied its methods to the estabiishment of separate doctrines; while ABELARD, breaking away from the old foundation of faith, which Anselm tacitly assumed, made the same methods the instruments of scepticismi.
Arnold Eng. Thus the same age produced St. Bernard, the last of the Fathers, and Peter Lombard, the first of the schoolmen. In England there is no trace of the new learning before the Conquest, though she had helped to prepare for it by sending forth such men as Erigena and Alcuin. Erigena, indeed, as early as the ninth century, had employed philosophical methods in religious discussion; but he was a Platonist; the schoolmen were Aristotelians.
William, ate Stigand. The displacement of the Saxon whereby he founded a new school of science arebishops and abbots seems to have arisen from con- literature in England. His great work was the tempt for their illiteracy, as well as from political Treatise aga. Many of Lslfdane's works ar. His eagerness for learning lns of St.
Most of hl works were comosni; wio founded a school at Dunstable, and acted, with here, while he gained the highest reputrtion fl ' his scholars, a drama of his own on the Life of St. On his second visil Catharine. Numerous as were the Saxon monas- to England, in A. All of these, as well as the four years.
Anselm's troubles in the primacy becathedrals, had schools for those destined to the long to history rather than literature; but amidst church, and general school were founded in the them all he continued to write and teach. It is untowns and villagen. The twelfth century witnessed necessary to enumerate his many works, which the foundation of our two great Lniversities; but are less important than his influence on the learnthey were at first regardet. They consist of theological and continental Universities, to which English subjects dialectic treatises, homilies, devout meditations, resorted in great numbers, especially to Paris, anul letters.
His claims to a share in the Hymwhere they formed one of the four " nations. About the same time, the invention of A. The English Schoolmen to be shown in the formation of a truly English were for the most part of the Anglo-Saxon race, but literature in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, lived chiefly abroad. Literature was the teacher of St. An age of violence and d. Emperor, whose cause he maintained against the 1. Theologians and School- Scotus, he was the head of the school of the Nomise. Avracches A. IHe soon found a wider field for powder.
His Opus Majvs is an inquiry into " the his ambition as the counsellor of Duke William; roots of wisdom;" namely, language, mathematics, and being sent by him on a mission to Rome, he optics, and experimental science. John Keats and the Medical Imagination. Front Matter Pages i-xviii. Pages The Beauty of Bodysnatching. Keats, Mourning and Melancholia.
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