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guage, and the one qualification which it lacked in classical times for philosophic use, the presence of a full and exact terminology, was supplied in the Middle Ages by the fearless barbarism (as pedants call it) which made it possible and easy first to fashion such words as aseitas and quodlibetalis, and then, after, as it were, lodging a specification of their meaning, to use them ever afterwards as current coin. All the peculiarities which ignorance or sciolism used to ridicule or reproach in the Scholastics—their wiredrawnness, their lingering over special points of verbal wrangling, their neglect of plain fact in comparison with endless and unbridled dialectic—all these things did no harm but much positive good from the point of view which we are now taking. When a man defended theses against lynx-eyed opponents or expounded them before perhaps more lynx-eyed pupils, according to rules familiar to all, it was necessary for him, if he were to avoid certain and immediate discomfiture, to be precise in his terms and exact in his use of them. That it was possible to be childishly as well as barbarously scholastic nobody would deny, and the famous sarcasms of the Epistolae Obscurorum, Virorum, two centuries after our time, had been anticipated long before by Satirists. But even the logical fribble, even the logical jargonist, was bound to be exact. Now exactness was the very thing which languages, mostly young in actual age, and in all cases what we may call uneducated, unpractised in literary exercises, wanted most of all. And it was impossible that they should have better teachers in it than the few famous, and even than most of the numerous unknown or almost unknown, philosophers of the Scholastic period. It has been said that of those most famous almost all belong specially to this our period. Before it there The gra, is, till its very latest eve, hardly one ex* cept John Scotus Erigena; after it none, except Occam, of the very greatest. But during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries there is scarcely a decade without its illustration. The first champions of the great Realist and Nominalist controversy, Roscellinus and William of Champeaux, belong to the eleventh century in part, as does their still more famous follower, Abelard, by the first twenty years of his life, while almost the whole of that of Anselm may be claimed by it." But it was not till the extreme end of that century that the great controversy in which these men were the front-fighters became active (the date of the Council of Soissons, which condemned the Nominalism of Roscellinus as tritheistic is 1092), and the controversy itself was at its hottest in the earlier part of the succeeding age. The Master of the Sentences, Peter Lombard, belongs wholly to the twelfth, and the book which gives him his scholastic title dates from its very middle. John of Salisbury,
* Some exacter dates may be useful. Anselm, 1033-1109; Roscellin, 1050 -1125; William of Champeaux, *-1121 ; Abelard, 10791142; Peter Lombard, ob. 1164; John of Salisbury, 7-1180 ; Alexander of Hales, !-1245; Vincent of Beauvais, 7-1265 : ; Ronaventura, 1221-1274; Albertus Magnus, 1195-1280; Thomas Aquinas, 1225 1274; Duns Scotus, 1270 ?-1308 ; William of Occam, !-1347; Roger Bacon, 1214-1292; Petrus Hispanus, -1277; Raymond Lully, 12351315.
one of the clearest-headed as well as most scholarly of the whole body, died in 1180. The fuller knowledge of Aristotle, through the Arabian writers, coincided with the latter part of the twelfth century: and the curious outburst of Pantheism which connects itself on the one hand with the little-known teaching of Amaury de Bène and David of Dinant, on the other with the almost legendary “Eternal Gospel” of Joachim of Flora, occurred almost exactly at the junction of the twelfth and thirteenth. As for the writers of the thirteenth century itself, that great period holds in this as in other departments the position of palmiest time of the Middle Ages. To it belong Alexander Hales, who disputes with Aquinas the prize for the best example of the Summa Theologiae; Bonaventura, the mystic; Roger Bacon, the natural philosopher; Vincent of Beauvais, the encyclopædist. If, of the four greatest of all, Albert of Bolstadt, Albertus Magnus, the “Dumb Ox of Cologne,” was born seven years before its opening, his life lasted over four-fifths of it; that of Aquinas covered its second and third quarters; Occam himself, though his main exertions lie beyond us, was probably born before Aquinas died; while John Duns Scotus hardly outlived the century’s close by a decade. Raymond Lully (one of the most characteristic figures of Scholasticism and of the mediaeval period, with his “Great Art” of automatic philosophy), who died in 1315, was born as early as 1235. Peter the Spaniard, Pope and author of the Summulae Logicales, the grammar of formal logic for ages, died in 1277.
Of the matter which these and others by hundreds put in forgotten wealth of exposition, no account will be expected here. Even yet it is comparatively unexplored, or else the results of the exploration exist only in books brilliant, but necessarily summary, like that of Hauréau, in books thorough, but almost as formidable as the original, like that of Prantl. Even the latest historians of philosophy complain that there is up to the present day no “ingoing” (as the Germans say) monograph about Scotus and none about Occam." The whole works of the latter have never been collected at all: the twelve mighty volumes which represent the compositions of the former contain probably not the whole work of a man who died before he was forty. The greater part of the enormous mass of writing which was produced, from Scotus Erigena in the ninth century to Gabriel Biel in the fifteenth, is only accessible to persons with ample leisure and living close to large and ancient libraries. Except Erigena himself, Anselm in a few of his works, Abelard, and a part of Aquinas, hardly anything can be found in modern editions, and even the zealous efforts of the present Pope have been less effectual in divulging Aquinas than those of his predecessors were in making Amaury of Bena a mystery. Yet there has always, in generous souls who have some tincture of philosophy, subsisted a curious kind of sympathy and yearning over the work of these generations of mainly disinterested scholars who, whatever they were, were thorough, and whatever they could not do, could think. And there have even, in these latter days, been some graceless ones who have asked whether the Science of the nineteenth century, after an equal interval, will be of any more positive value—whether it will not have even less comparative interest than that which appertains to the Scholasticism of the thirteenth. However this may be, the claim, modest and even meagre as it may seem to some, which has been here once more put forward for this Scholasticism—the claim of a far-reaching educative influence in mere language, in mere system of arrangement and expression, will remain valid. If, at the outset of the career of modern languages, men had thought with the looseness of modern thought, had indulged in the haphazard slovenliness of modern logic, had popularised theology and vulgarised rhetoric, as we have seen both popularised and vulgarised since, we should indeed have been in evil case. It used to be thought clever to moralise and to felicitate mankind over the rejection of the stays, the fetters, the prison in which its thought was mediaevally kept. The justice or the injustice, the taste or the
* Rémusat on Anselm and Cousin on Abelard long ago smoothed the way as far as these two masters are concerned, and Dean Church on Anselm is also something of a classic. But I know no other recent monograph of any importance by an Englishman on Scholasticism except Mr R. L. Poole's Erigema. Indeed the “Erin-born " has not had the ill-luck of his country, for with the Migne edition accessible to everybody, he is in much better case than most of his followers two, three, and four centuries later.