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most ancient Latin historians have patronage it was printed at Rome, either perished, or are come down in 1515; he afterwards deposited to us mutilated and imperfect. it in the Vatican library, where it
“ Sallust wrote a Roman Hise is still preserved. Thus posterity tory, but there are only some frag- is probably indebted to the above ments of it preserved.
magnificent pontiff for the most “ Livy's Roman History con- valuable part of the works of this sisted of one hundred and forty, inimitable historian. or, as some authors say, of one “ The epitome of Trogus Pomhundred and forty-two books; peius, by Justin, may be deemed of this excellent work one hun- only a mere shadow of Trogus. dred and seven books must have « Ammianus Marcellinus wrote perished, as only thirty-five re. thirty-one books, extending from main. Though we have an epic the accession of Nerva to the tome of one hundred and forty death of Valens; but the first books, yet this is so short, that it thirteen are wanting. only serves to give us a general “ Many other losses are record. idea of the subject, and to im- ed in two excellent tracts, · De press us with a more lively sense Historicis Græcis et Latinis,' by of our loss.
the celebrated Gerard Vossius. To “The elegant compendium of these might be added a great numthe Roman History, by Velleius ber of works in different branches Paterculus, is very imperfectly of science and polite arts. transmitted to us, great part of “ The Justinian Code had been that work having perished. in a manner unknown from the
« The first and second books of sixth till the twelfth century, when Q. Curtius are entirely lost, and Amalk, a city of Calabria, being there are several chasms in some taken by the Pisans, an origiira) of those which are preserved. MS. was discovered there by ac
“ The emperor Tacitus ordered cident. ten copies of the works of his re “ Varro, who is styled the most lation the historian to be made learned of all the Romans, and every year, which he sent into the who excelled in grammar, history, different provinces of the empire; and philosophy, is said to have and yet, notwithstanding his en- written near five hundred volumes, deavours to perpetuate these inesti- amongst which were the lives of mable works, they were buried in seven hundred illustrious Romans, oblivion for many centuries. Since enriched with their portraits. the restoration of learning, an “ Atticus, the great friend of ancient MS. was discovered in a Cicero, who was one of the most monastery in Westphalia, which honourable, hospitable, and friend. contained the most valuable part ly men of the times in which he of his Annals; but in this unique lived, wrote many pieces in Latin manuscript, part of the fifth, se. and Greek, which last language he venth, ninth, and tenth books are cultivated much after his retiredeficient, as are part of the ele ment to Athens. The loss of his venth, and the latter part of the work on the actions of the great sixteenth. This MS. was pro
men amongst the Romans, which cured by that great restorer of he ornamented with their por. learning pope Leo X. under whose traits, is much to be deplored, as
he had a great taste for the polite the patronage of the camphs, the arts; and we may conceive that works of the most valuable Greek both the portraits in Varro's work, authors, in different branches of as well as those we are now speak science, were translated into Ara. ing of, were well executed, be- bic. In philosophy, those of Plato cause we cannot doubt but those and Aristotle. In mathematics, great men would employ the best those of Euclid, Archimedes, A. artists; and that there were artists pollonius, Diophantus, and others. capable of producing the most In medicine, Hippocrates, Galen, excellent workmanship, appears and the best professors in this from the Roman coins of that age, branch of science. In astronomy, still extant, which must have been Ptolemy, and other authors. The drawn before they were engraven on Arabian literati not only translated metals. So much the more there the works of the Greeks, but -sefore it is to be lamented that these veral of them composed original last works are irrecoverably lost. pieces; as, Abulfeda, Abulphara.
“ It is now time to change the gius, Bohadin, and others. For painful task of recording the suc an account of the Arabian writers cessive disasters which have be- and literature, see Mr. Harris's fallen the commonwealth of letters, posthumous works, vol. i. chaps. vi. for the pleasing office of relating vii. and viii. the events and circumstances which “ It will hereafter appear that have contributed to the revival and it was from the Arabians that these restoration of learning.
western parts became first acquaint. “ The Arabians or Saracens, ed with the Greek philosophy ; whose wild and barbarous enthu. and from them several branches of siasm had destroyed the Alexan- science were introduced into Eudrian library in the seventh cen- rope as early as the ninth century, tury, were the first people who and even into Britain before the were captivated with the learning end of the eleventh, in which, and arts of Greece ; the Arabian and the three succeeding centu. writers translated into their own ries, several Englishmen travelled language many Greek authors, and into Arabia and Spain, in search from them the first rays of science of knowledge; amongst others, and philosophy began to enlighten Adelard, a monk of Bath; Rothe western hemisphere, and in bert, a monk of Reading: Reti. time dispelled the thick cloud of nensis, Shelly, Morley, and others, ignorance which for some ages had of whom mention is made in the eclipsed literature,
seventh chapter of this work. “The caliph Almanzur was a “ Several foreigners also tralover of letters and learned men, velled in search of science; amongst and science of every kind was others, Gerbert, a native of France, cultivated under his patronage. who enriched these western parts His grandson, Almamun, ob with the knowledge which he had tained from the Greek emperors obtained from learned Arabians. copies of their best books, em. The abilities of this great man ployed the ablest scholars to trans raised him to the archiepiscopal late them, and took great pleasure see of Rheims, then to that of in literary conversations. Under Ravenna, and at length to the pa.
pal chair, which he filled from rance persecuted his fame be. the year 998 to 1003: but such yond the grave; for the confessor was the bigotry and superstition of of his widow, taking advantage those times, that these great lumi- of her piety, obtained leave to naries of science, though most of peruse his manuscripts, of which them ecclesiastics, were accused of he destroyed such as in his judgemagic by the ignorant herd of ment were not fit to be allowed. their brethren. Even pope Ger “ This short digression will in bent himself, as bishop Otho grave- some measure account for the slow ly relates of him, obtained the progress towards the restoration pontificate by wicked means; for of science, and therefore we must ihe bishop assures us that he had not expect to find that mary libragiven himself up wholly to the ries were formed during the dark devil, on condition he might ob- ages of Christianity : some few tain what he desired; and that it manuscripts, however, escaped was to this circumstance, and not the general plunder of the Ro. to the patronage of the emperor man libraries by the Goths. Otho Ill., who had been his pu. “ Cassiodorus, the favourite pil, nor to that of Robert, the minister to Thcodoric, king of French king, his great benefac- the Ostrogoths, was a lover of tor, that he owed his election. A learning; he collected a library, cardinal Benno also accuses this and wrote a book on orthography. great man of holding an inter- Pope Hilary placed a collection of course with demons. Nor did sul- books in the church of St. Hilary perstition and bigotry cease to per- at Rome, about the year of Christ secute science and genius till the 465. end of the seventeenth century.
“ Some few learned men exist“ Our Roger Bacon, a Fran- ed in different parts of Europe, ciscan monk, who flourished in the throughout these times of ignothirteenth century, was accused rance ; our countryman Bede, of magic, and was cast into a who was born about 661, and died French prison, where he remained in 724, was well versed both in for many years.
sacred and prophane history, as « Franciscus Petrarch was su his numerous works testify. spected of magic; and John Faust, “ St. Egbert, archbishop of who was either the inventor, or York, was a disciple of venerable amongst the first practisers of the Bede; he was a man of great art of printing, was obliged to learning, and founded a noble lireveal his art, to clear himself brary at York about 735, which from the accusation of having had was casually burnt in the reign of recourse to diabolical assistance. king Stephon, with the cathedral,
* But the great Galileo met the monastery of St. Mary's, and with the hardest fate, for he was several other religious houses. not only imprisoned by the inqui * Alcuin, called also Albinus sition, but was also under the ne- Flaccus, was born in Northumcessity of publicly denying those berland; he was the disciple of philosophical truths which he had archbishop Egbert, whom lie sucinvestigated ; and what is worse ceeded in the charge of the fafor posterity, superstition and igno- mous school which that prelate
had opened at York. Alcuin wa “ There were a few learned men in all respects the most learned in different parts of Europe from man of the age in which he lived; the time of Charlemagne till the he was an orator, historian, poet, general restoration of learning in mathematician, and divine : the the fifteenth century ; but it would fame of his learning induced exceed the limits of our design to Charlemagne to invite him to his mention even all those of our own court; by his assistance, that em- country ; and therefore we must peror founded, enriched, and in- refer our readers to Cave's Histostructed the universities of Tours rin Literaria, bishop Nicolson's and Paris. In 794 he was one of Historical Library, and to bishop the fathers of the synod of Franc- Tanner's Bibliotheca Britannicu : fort, and died at his abbey at however, it may not be improper Tours in 804. In his epistle to briefly to mention a few of them. Charlemagne, he mentions, with “ Ingulphus tells us in his Hisgreat respect, his master Egbert, tory, that he studied grammar at and the noble library which he had Westminster, and that he was affounded. (See bishop Tanner's terward sent to Oxford, where he Bibl. Brit.)
read the works of Aristotle, and “ Towards the latter end of the the rhetoric of Cicero. This wri. same century, flourished our great ter says, that the Confessor's queen king Alfred, who engaged the Edgitha was admirable for her learned Grimbald, and other fo- beauty, her literary accomplishreigners of distinguished abilities, ments, and her virtue. He rein his service: he founded the uni- lates, that many a time when a versity of Oxford, and restored boy, he met the queen as he was learning in England.
coming from school, who would “ There were in the times of the dispute with him concerning his Saxons several valuable libraries in verses, that she had a peculiar this island : amongst others, those pleasure to pass from grammar to at Canterbury and Durham, and logic, in which she had been inin the abbies of St. Alban and structed, and that she frequently Glastonbury, were the most con- ordered one of her attendants to siderable.
give him two or three pieces of “ About the middle of the money, or to be carried to the eighth century, pope Zachary, royal pantry, and treated with a who was a Greek of much erudi- repast. tion, placed a library in the church “ John of Salisbury, who lived of St. Peter at Rome.
in the reigns of Stephen and “ The library at Fulda, near Henry the Second, appears to Hesse Cassel, was founded by Pe. have been very conversant in the pin, in the pontificate of pope Latin classics, as also in gramZachary, in which many ancient mar and philosophy. There were manuscripts are still preserved. other respectable writers of the Charlemagne, and his son Lewis eleventh century ; an account of the Pious, added much to this li- whom may be seen in lord Lyt. brary; the former of these princes telton's Life of Henry the Sehad a noble library at Barba, near cond, vol. iii. and in the Philolo. Lyons
gical Inquiries of the late Mr. Harris. K 4
“ Several writers of good re- Trebizonde, Lascaris, Besarion, pute flourished in this country in and John Argyropilus, appointed the twelfth century; amongst preceptor to Laurence de Medicis, others, William of Malmesbury by his father Cosmo. is said to have been a learned “ In a short time after this man, as well as an historian; and event, the inhabitants of the westSimeon of Durham was reckoned ern parts of Europe made great one of the most learned men of progress in all branches of literathat age.
ture, and the invention or intro“ Matthew Paris flourished in duction of printing, which soon the thirteenth century; he was followed, completed the triumph remarkable for his learning and of learning over barbarism and ingenuity; he was skilled in divi- ignorance. nity, architecture, mathematics, “ Much praise is due to the history, and painting; he was a sovereigns who reigned in this and good poet and orator, for the age the following century, whose ge. in which he lived.
nerous patronage of letters and “ Geoffrey Chaucer lived in the learned men greatly contributed fourteenth and fifteenth centuries: to the restoration of science. he was not only an excellent scho. Learning, like a tender plant, relar, but a mathematician, as well quires the cheering rays of royal as a poet. After he had finished sunshine. his studies at Oxford, he travelled “ The greatest discoveries and into foreign parts in search of improvements in arts, sciences, knowledge; on his return to En- and literature, have ever owed gland he became a student in the their establishment to the encou. Inner Temple, and in his latter ragement and protection of princes, days wrote his Treatise on the who participated in the honour of Astrolabe, which was much esteem- those discoveries, and thereby ac. ed. Many eminent writers are quired more real glory than could necessarily' omitted; but it is suf- have accrued to them by the most ficient for the present design to extensive conquests. have shewn that the lamp of “ Many of the advantages prolearning was prevented from be- ceeding from the taking of Con ing entirely extinguished by a few stantinople, and from the circum. great men whosucceeded each other. stances which attended it, will ap
“ The taking of Constantino- pear, from a short account of the ple, by the Turks, in the begin. principal manuscript libraries which ning of the fifteenth century, as have been formed since that event. has been already related, was an “ The chair of St. Peter was in event which contributed to the ge- the fifteenth and sixteenth centu. neral restoration of learning; at :ies filled by several pontiffs, who that time many learned Greeks successively protected learning and fied for protection into Italy and learned men. Nicholas V., Pius II., Germany, where they were kind- Leo X., Clement VII., and Sixly received, and where they dif. tus V., will be remembered with fused science with great success. gratitude by posterity, for the paAmongst others, were Theodore tronage they afforded to literature, Gaza, Emanuel Chrysoloras, George “ The first of these may be