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ed in this century.

and the incursions and victories of the Normans, which afflicted Europe during the whole course of this century, were so fatal to the culture of the arts and sciences, that in most of the European provinces, and even in France, there remained but a small number who truly deserved the title of learned men.' The wretched and incoherent fragments of erudition that yet remained among the clergy were confined to the monasteries, and to the episcopal schools; but the zeal of the monkish and priestly orders for the improvement of the mind, and the culture of the sciences, diminished in proportion as their revenues increased, so that their indolence and ignorance grew with their possessions.

VI. It must however be confessed, that several examExamples or ples of learned men, whose zeal for the sciences We are ouro was kindled by the encouragement and munifi

cence of Charlemagne, shone forth with a distin

guished lustre through the darkness of this barbarous age. Among these, the first rank is due to Rabanus Maurus, whose fame was great through all Germany and France, and to whom the youth resorted, in prodigious numbers, from all parts to receive his instructions in the liberal arts and sciences. The writers of history, whose works have deservedly preserved their names from oblivion, are Eginhard, Freculph, Thegan, Hamo, Anastasius, Ado, and others of less note. Florus, Walafridus, Strabo, Bertharius, and Rabanus excelled in poetry. Smaragdus and Bertharius were eminent for their skili in grammar and languages, as was also the celebrated Rabanus already mentioned, who acquired a very high degree of reputation by a learned and subtile treatise concerning the causes and the rise of languages. The Greek and Hebrew erudition was cultivated

with considerable success by William, Servatus Lupus, Scotus, and others. Eginhard, Agobard, Hincmar, and Servatus Lupus, were much celebrated for the eloquence which appeared both in their discourses and in their writings.


y Servati L upi Epistolæ xxxiv. p. 69. Conringii Antiq. Acad. p. 322. Histoire Litèr. de la France, tom. iv. p. 251.

2 Such as are desirous of a more circumstantial account of these writers, and of their various productions, may consult the Histoire Literaire de la France, tom. iv. p. 251 to 271. Or the more ample account given of them by the celebrated Le Beuf, in his Etat des Sciences en France depuis Charlemagne jusqu' au Roi Robert, which is published in his Recueil de divers ecrits pour servir d'Eclaircissement a l'Histoire de France, tom. ii. p.

Paris, 1738, en 8vo.

vil. The philosophy and logic that were taught in the European schools during this century, scarcely Jobannes Scodeserved such honourable titles, and were little lus Erigena. better than an empty jargon. There were however to be found in various places, particularly among the Irish, men of acute parts, and extensive knowledge, who were perfectly well entitled to the appellation of philosophers. The chief of these was Johannes Scotus Erigena, a native of Ireland, the friend and companion of Charles the Bald, who delighted so much in his conversation as to honour him with a place at his table. Scotus was endowed with an excellent and truly superior genius, and was considerably versed both in Greek and Latin erudition. He explained to his disciples the philosophy of Aristotle, for which he was singularly well qualified by his thorough knowledge of the Greek language: but as his genius was too bold and aspiring to confine itself to the authority and decisions of the stagirite, he pushed his philosophical researches yet farther, dared to think for himself, and ventured to pursue truth without any other guide than his own reason. We have yet extant of his composition, Five books concerning the division of nature, an intricate and subtile production, in which the causes and principles of all things are investigated with a considerable degree of sagacity, and in which also the precepts of Christianity are allegorically explained, yet in such a manneras to show that their ultimate end is the union of the soul with the Supreme Being. He was the first who blended the scholastic theology with the mystic, and formed them into one system. It has also been imagined, that he was far from rejecting the opinions of those who consider the union of God and nature, as similar to the union that subsists between the soul and the body, a notion much the same with that of many ancient philosophers, who looked upon the Deity as the soul of the world. But it may perhaps be alleged, and not without reason, that what Scotus said upon this subject amounted to no more than what the realists, as they are called,

a Erigena signifies properly a native of Ireland, as Erin or Irin, was the ancient name of that kingdom.

Dob The Realists, who followed the doctrine of Aristotle with respect to universal ideas, were so called in opposition to the Nominalists, who embraced the hypothesis of Zeno and the Stoics upon that perplexed and intricate subject. Aristotle held, against Plato, that previous to, and independent on matter, there were no universal ideas or essences; and that the ideas or exemplars, which the latter supposed to have existed in the divino mind, and to have been the models, of all created things, had been eternally

maintained afterward, though it must be allowed that he has expressed himself in a very perplexed and obscure manner. This celebrated philosopher formed no particular sect, at least as far as is come to our knowledge ; and this will be considered, by those who are acquainted with the spirit of the times he lived in, as a proof that his immense learning was accompanied with meekness and modesty.

About this time there lived a certain person named Macarius, a native of Ireland, who propagated in France that enormous error, which was afterward adopted and professed by Averroes, that one individual intelligence, one soul, performed the spiritual and rational functions in all the hu

This error was confuted by Ratram, a famous monk of Corbey.' Before these writers, flourished Dungal, a native of Ireland also, who left his country, and retired into a French monastery, where he lived during the reigns of Charlemagne and Lewis the Meek, and taught philosophy and astronomy with the greatest reputation. Heric, a monk of Auxerre, made likewise an eminent figure among the learned of this age; he was a man of uncommon sagacity, was endowed with a great and aspiring genius, and is said in many things to have anticipated the famous Des Cartes in the manner of investigating truth."

man race.


impressed upon matter, and were coeval with, and inherent in their object. Zeno and bis followers, departing both from the Platonic and Aristotelian systems, maintained that these pretended universals had neither form nor essence, and were no more than mere terms and nominal representations of their particular objects. The doctrine of Aristotle prevailed until the eleventh century, when Roscelinus embraced the Stoical system, and founded the sect of the nominalists, whose sentiments were propagated with great success by the famous Abelard. These two sects differed considerably among themselves, and explained, or rather obscured, their respective tenets in a variety

c The work here alluded to was published at Oxford, by Mr. Thomas Gale; in 1681. The learned Heuman has made several extracts from it, and given also an ample and learned account of Scotus, in his Acts of the Philosophers, written in German, tom. iii.

d Mabillon, Præf. ad Sæc. part ii. Actor. SS. Ord. Benedicti. Ş 156, p. 53.
e Histoire Literaire de la France, tom. iv. p. 493.

f Le Beuf, Memoires pour l'Histoire d'Auterre, tom. ii. p. 481. Acta Sanctorum, tom. iv. M. Junii ad d. xxiv. p. 829, et ad d. xxxi, Júl. p. 249. For this philosopher has oh. tained a place among the saintly order.

of ways.

p. 858.




The cor

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1. The impiety and licentiousness of the greatest part of the clergy arose at this time to an enormous height, and stand upon record, in the unanimous puis ar lite complaints of the inost candid and impartial' writers of this century. In the east, tumult, discord, conspiracies, and treason, reigned uncontroiled, and all things were carried by violence and force. These abuses appeared in many things, but particularly in the election of the patriarchs of Constantinople. The favour of the court was become the only step to that high and important office; and as the patriarch's continuance in that eminent post depended upon such an uncertain and precarious foundation, nothing was more usual than to see a prelate pulled down from his episcopal throne by an imperial decree. In the western provinces, the bishops were become voluptuous and effeminate to a very high degree. They passed their lives amidst the splendour of courts, and the pleasures of a luxurious indolence, which corrupted their taste, extinguished their zeal, and rendered them incapable of performing the solemn duties of their function;" while the inferior clergy were sunk in licentiousness, minded nothing but sensual gratifications, and infected with the most heinous vices, the flock, whom it was the very business of their ministry to preserve, or to deliver from the contagion of iniquity. Beside, the ignorance of the sacred order was in many places so deplorable, that few of them could either read or write; and still fewer were capable of expressing their wretched notions with any degree of method or perspicuity. Hence it happened that when letters were to be penned, or any matter of consequence was to be committed to writing, they had commonly recourse to some person who was supposed to be endowed with superior abilities, as appears in the case of Servatus Lupus.

g See Agobardus, De privilegiis et jure Sacerdotii, § 13, p. 137, tom. i. opp. ed. Baluzii.

the reader will be convinced of this by consulting Agobard, passim, and by looking over the laws enacted in the Latin councils for restraining the disorders of the cler gy. See also Servatus Lupus, Epist. xxxv. p. 73, 281, and Stepb. Baluz. in Adnot. p. 378.

i See the works of Servatus Lupus, Epist. xcviii. xcix. p. 126, 142, 148, as also his Life. See also Rodolphi Bituricensis Capitida ad Clerum sium, in Baluzii Miscellanies. com. vi. p. 139, 149. VOL. IL


The causes of this cor ruprion,

11. Many circumstances concurred, particularly in the

European nations, to produce and augment this corruption and licentiousness, so shameful in an

order of men, who were set apart to exhibit examples of piety to the rest of the world. Among these we may reckon, as the chief sources of the evil under consideration, the calamities of the times, even the bloody and perpetual wars that were carried on between Lewis the Meek and his family, the incursions and conquests of the barbarous nations, the gross and incredible ignorance of the nobility, and the affluence and riches that flowed in upon the churches and religious seminaries from all quarters. Many other causes also contributed to dishonourthe church, hy introducing into it a corrupt ministry. A nobleman, who, through want of talents, activity, or courage, was rendered incapable of appearing with dignity in the cabinet, or with honour in the field, immediately turned his views toward the church, aimed at a distinguished place among its chiefs and rulers, and became, in consequence, a contagious example of stupidity and vice to the inferior clergy." The patrons of churches, in whom resided the right of election, unwilling to submit their disorderly conduct to the keen censure of zealous and upright pastors, industriously looked for the most abject, ignorant, and worthless ecclesiastics, to whom they committed the cure of souls. But one of the circumstances, which contributed in a particular manner to render at least the higher clergy wicked and depraved, and to take off their minds from the duties of their station, was the obligation they were under of performing certain services to their sovereigns, in consequence of the possessions. they derived from the royal bounty. The bishops and heads of monasteries held many lands and castles by a feudal tenure; and being thereby bound to furnish their princes with a certain number of soldiers in time of war, were obliged also to take the field themselves at the head of these troops," and thus to act in a sphere that was utterly inconsistent with the nature and duties of their sacred character. Beside all this, it often happened

k Hincmarus, Oper. Posterior. contra Godeschalcum, cap. xxxvi. tom. i. opp. p. 318. Servatus Lupus, Episi. Ixxix. p. 120.

| Agobardus, De privilegiis et jure Sacerdotum, cap. xi. p. 341, tom. i. opp.

m Steph. Baluzii Appendix Actor. ad Servatum, p. 508. 'Muratori. Antiq. Ital. medii avi, tom. ii. p. 446. Mabillon, Annabr Benedict. tom. vi. p. 587. Fresne, ad Joinvillii Hist. Ludovici S. p. 75, 76

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