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diocese of Basil, wrote an heroic poem in Latin verse, entitled LIGURINUS, which is scarce inferior to the PHILIPPID of Guillaume le Breton, or the ALEXANDREID of Gualtier : but not so polished and classical as the TROJAN War of our Josephus Iscanus. It is in ten books, and the subject is the war of the emperor Frederick Barbarossa against the Milanese in Liguria He had before written a Latin poem on the expedition of the emperor Conrade against the Saracens, and the reco very of the holy sepulchre at Jerusalem by Godfrey of Bulloign, which he called SOLYMARIUM'. The subject is much like that of the ANTIOCHEIS; but which of the two pieces was written first it is difficult to ascertain.
While this spirit of classical Latin poetry was universally prevailing, our countryman Geoffrey de Vinesauf, an accomcontain names, and other circumstances, Qui moritur ? Præsul. Cur? pro Grege, which perhaps may lead to point out the
&c. age if not the name of the author.
Prol. pr. f. 29. They were never before printed. Tu quoque digneris, precor, aspirare Detineant alios Parnassi culmina Cyr
Plausus, Pieridum vos, Heliconis opes. Flos cleri, MARTINE, meo; qui talis es inter
De partu Virginis. f. 28. b. Abbates, qualis est patronus tuus inter
Nectareum rorem terris, &c.
S. Birinus, f. 42.
The author of the life of Birinus says, Illi promeruit, &c.
he was commanded to write by Peter, Tuque benigne Prior, primas, et prime probably Peter de Rupibus, bishop of Priorum,
Winchester. Perhaps he is Michael Qui cleri, Rogere, rosam geris, annuo Blaunpayne. Alexander Esseby wrote vati, &c.
lives of saints in Latin verse. See MSS. Tuque Sacrista, sacris instans, qui jure Harl. 1819. 591. vocaris
First printed August. Vindel. 1507. Symox, id est humilis, quo nemo benig. fol. And frequently since. nior alter
' He mentions it in his LIGURIUM, Abbatis præcepta sui velocius audit,
lib. i. v. 13. seq. v. 648. seq.
See also Tardius obloquitur : qui tot mea car Voss. Poet. Lat. c. vi. p. 73. It was mina servas
never printed. Gunther wrote a prose Scripta voluminibus, nec plura requirere history of the sack of Constantinople by
Baldwin: The materials were taken Præteritos laudas, præsentes dilige ver- from the mouth of abbot Martin, who
was present at the siege, in 1204. It The manuscript is Bibl. Bodl. A. 1.2. B. was printed by Canisius, Antiqu. Lect. (Langb.-5. p. 6.) This piece begins at tom. iv. P. ii. p. 358. Ingolstad. 1604. f. 57. Other pieces precede, in Latin 410. Again, in a new edition of that poetry: 15 VITA SANCTORUM. T. Becket. compilation, Amst
. 1725. fol. tom. iv. f. 3.
See also Pagi, ad A.D. 1519, 11. xiv.
plished scholar, and educated not only in the priory of Saint Frideswide at Oxford, but in the universities of France and Italy, published while at Rome a critical didactic poem entitled De Nova POETRIA', This book is dedicated to pope Innocent the Third: and its intention was to recommend and illustrate the new and legitimate mode of versification which had lately begun to flourish in Europe, in opposition to the Leonine or barbarous species. This he compendiously styles, and by way of distinction, The New Poetry. We must not be surprised to find Horace's Art of Poetry entitled HORATII Nova POETRIA, so late as the year 1389, in a catalogue of the library of a monastery at Dover,
Even a knowledge of the Greek language imported from France, but chiefly from Italy, was now beginning to be diffused in England. I am inclined to think, that many Greek manuscripts found their way into Europe from Constantinople in the time of the Crusades: and we might observe that the Italians, who seem to have been the most polished and intelligent people of Europe during the barbarous ages, carried on communications with the Greek empire as early as the reign of Charlemagne. Robert Groşthead, bishop of Lincoln, an universal scholar, and no less conversant in polite letters than the most abstruse sciences, cultivated and patronised the study of the Greek language. This illustrious prelate, who is said to have composed almost two hundred books, read lectures in the school of the Franciscan friars at Oxford about the year 1230w. He translated Dionysius the Areopagite and Damascenus into Latin . He greatly facilitated the knowledge of
• It has been often printed. I think p. 758. archiv. Oxon. Yet all Horace's it is called in some manuscripts, De writings were often transcribed, and not Arte dictandi, versificandi, et transferendi. unfamiliar, in the dark ages. His odes See Selden, Præfat. Dec. SCRIPTOR. are quoted by Fitz-Stephens in his Dr.p. xxxix. And Selden, Op. ii. 168. SCRIPTION of London. Rabanus MauHe is himself no contemptible Latin rus above mentioned quotes two verses poet, and is celebrated by Chaucer. See from the Art of Poetry. Op. tom. ü. Urry's edit. p. 468. 560. He seems to p. 46. edit. Colon. 1627. fol. have lived about 1200.
w Kennet, Paroch. Antiq. p. 217. t Ex Matricula Monach. Monast. * Leland, Script. Brit. p. 289. Dover. apud MSS. Br. Twyne, notat. 8.
Greek by a translation of Suidas's Lexicon, a book in high repute among the lower Greeks, and at that time almost a recent compilation'. He promoted John of Basingstoke to the archdeaconry of Leicester ; chiefly because he was a Greek scholar, and possessed many Greek manuscripts, which he is said to have brought from Athens into England 2. He entertained, as a domestic in his palace, Nicholas chaplain of the abbot of Saint Alban's, surnamed GRÆCUS, from his uncommon proficiency in Greek; and by his assistance he translated from
y Boston of Bury says, that he trans These new versions were perhaps little lated the book called Suda. Catal. more than corrections from those of the Script. Eccles. ROBERT. LIncoLx. Bos- early Arabians, made under the inspecton lived in the year 1410. Such was tion of the learned Spanish Saracens. their ignorance at this time even of the To the want of a true knowledge of the name of this lexicographer.
original language of the antient Greek 2 Lel. Script. Brit. p. 266. Matthew philosophers, Roger Bacon attributes Paris asserts, that he introduced into the slow and imperfect advances of real England a knowledge of the Greek nu- sience at this period. On this account meral letters. That historian adds, their improvements were very inconsi“ De quibus figuris hoc MAXIME ADMI- derable, notwithstanding the appearance RANDUM, quod unica figura quilibet nu of erudition, and the fervour with which merus repræsentatur : quod non est in almost every branch of philosophy had Latino vel in Algorismo.” Hist. edit. been now studied in various countries Lond. 1684. p. 721. He translated for near half a century. See Wood, Hist. from Greek into Latin a grammar which Antiq. Univ. Oxon. i. 120. seq. Demphe called DONATUS GRÆCORUM. See ster, xii. 940. Baconi Op. Maj. per Pegge's Life of Roger de Weseham, Jebb, i. 15. ii. 8. Tanner, Bibl. p. 526. p. 46, 47. 51. And infr. p. 281, He And MSS. Cotton. C. 5. fol. 138. Brit. seems to have flourished about the year Mus. 1230. Bacon also wrote a Greek gram A learned writer affirms, that Aristomar, in which is the following curious tle's books in the original Greek were passage : “ Episcopus consecrans eccle- brought out of the east into Europe about siam, scribat Alphabetum Græcum in the year 1200. He is also of opinion, pulvere cum cuspide baculi pastoralis : that during the crusades many Eurosed omnes episcopi Qui GRÆCUM IGNO- peans, from their commerce with the RANT, scribant tres notas numerorum Syrian Palestines, got a knowledge of quæ non sunt literæ," &c. GR. GRAM. Arabic: and that importing into Eucap. ult. p. iii. MSS, Apud MSS. Br. rope Arabic versions of some parts of Twyne, 8vo. p. 649. archiv. Oxon. See Aristotle's works, which they found in what is said of the new translations of the east, they turned them into Latin. Aristotle, from the original Greek into These were chiefly his Ethics and Politics. Latin, about the twelfth century. Sect.ix. And these NEW TRANSLATORS he further vol. ii.p.128. infr. I believe the translators supposes were employed at their return understood very little Greek. Our coun- into Europe in revising the old translatryman Michael Scotus was one of the tions of other parts of Aristotle, made first of them; who was assisted by An- from Arabic into Latin. Euseb. Redrew a Jew. Michael was astrologer naudot, De Barbar. Aristot. Versionib. to Frederick emperor of Germany, and apud Fabric. Bibl. Gr. xii. p. 248. See appears to have executed his translations also Murator. Aniq. Ital. Med. Æv. iii. at Toledo in Spain, about the year 1220. 986.
Greek into Latin the testaments of the twelve patriarchsa. Grosthead had almost incurred the censure of excommunication for preferring a complaint to the pope, that most of the opuJent benefices in England were occupied by Italiansb. But this practice, although notoriously founded on the monopolising and arbitrary spirit of papal imposition, and a manifest act of injustice to the English clergy, probably contributed to introduce many learned foreigners into England, and to propagate philological literature.
Bishop Grosthead is also said to have been profoundly skilled in the Hebrew language. William the Conqueror . permitted great numbers of Jews to come over from Rouen, and to settle in England about the year 10874. Their multitude soon encreased, and they spread themselves in vast bodies throughout most of the cities and capital towns in England, where they built synagogues. There were fifteen hundred at York about the year 1189. At Bury in Suffolk is a very complete remain of a Jewish synagogue of stone in the Norman style, large and magnificent. Hence it was that many of the learned English ecclesiastics of these times became acquainted with their books and language. In the reign of William Rufus, at Oxford the Jews were remarkably numerous, and had acquired a considerable property; and some of their rabbis were permitted to open a school in the university, where they instructed not only their own people, but many Christian students, in the Hebrew literature, about the year 1054". Within two hundred years after their admission or establishment by the Conqueror, they were banished the kingdom 8. This circumstance was highly favourable to the circulation of their learning in England. The suddenness of their dismission * See MSS. Reg. Brit. Mus. 4 D. vii. 4.
& Hollinsh. ibid. sub ann. Wood, Hist. Antiq. Univ. Oxon. i. 82. p. 285, a. Matthew of Westminster says And M. Paris, sub anno 1242.
that 1.511 were banished. Flor, Hist. Godwin, Episc. p. 348. edit. 1616. ad an. 1290. Great numbers of Hebrew
He is mentioned again, Sect. ii. rol.s and charts, relating to their estates p. 63. 81. infr.
in England, and escheated to the king, d Hollinsh. Chron. sub ann. p. 15. a. are now remaining in the Tower among e Anders. Comm. i. 93.
the royal records. i Angl. Judaic. p. 8.
obliged them for present subsistence, and other reasons, to sell their moveable goods of all kinds, among which were large quantities of rabbinical books. The monks in various parts availed themselves of the distribution of these treasures. At Huntingdon and Stamford there was a prodigious sale of their effects, containing immense stores of Hebrew manuscripts, which were immediately purchased by Gregory of Huntingdon, prior of the abbey of Ramsey. Gregory speedily became an adept in the Hebrew, by means of these valuable acquisitions, which he bequeathed to his monastery about the year 1250 h. Other members of the same convent, in consequence of these advantages, are said to have been equal proficients in the same language, soon after the death of prior Gregory: among which were Robert Dodford, librarian of Ramsey, and Laurence Holbech, who compiled a Hebrew Lexicon' At Oxford, great multitudes of their books fell into the hands of Roger Bacon, or were bought by his brethren the Franciscan friars of that universityk.
But, to return to the leading point of our enquiry, this promising dawn of polite letters and rational knowledge was soon obscured. The temporary gleam of light did not arrive to perfect day. The minds of scholars were diverted from these liberal studies in the rapidity of their 'career; and the arts of composition and the ornaments of language were neglected, to make way for the barbarous and barren subtleties of schon lastic divinity. The first teachers of this art, originally founded on that spirit of intricate and metaphysical enquiry which the Arabians had communicated to philosophy, and which now became almost absolutely necessary for defending the doctrines of Rome, were Peter Lombard archbishop of Paris, and the celebrated Abelard: men whose consummate abilities were rather qualified to reform the church, and to restore useful
Leland, Script. Brit. p. 321. And 1 Bale, iv. 41. ix. 9. Lel. ubi supr. MSS. Bibl. Lambeth. Wharton, L. P. 452.
“Libri Prioris Gregorii de Wood, Hist. Antiq. Univ. Oxon. Ramesey. Prima pars Bibliothecæ He- i. 77. 132. See also. Sect. ix. vcl. ii. braicæ," &c.
p. 126, infr.