Unformatted text preview: I. The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century. A. In some ways the term, coined by Haskins, is inadequate. It suggests a rather narrow recovery of ancient literature and thought. 1. Owed much to agricultural revolution, reform of the church, especially the papacy, the growth of larger and better organized polities. 2. Movement was more than a simple process of recovery; the chief accomplishments of the age represent rather a "sifting" of ancient culture in order to build something new. 3. Several original thinkers flourished during this age and many important developments in vernacular literature, theology, architecture and education were achieved. Since the publication of The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century by Charles Homer Haskins in 1927, scholars have scrutinized and accepted, with some amending, his observations regarding the salient features of the twelfth-century renaissance. As defined by Haskins the movement was limited to the cultural achievements of the age: 1. The reception and glossing of the Digest of Justinian. 2. The codification of the canon law. 3. Translations into Latin of the works of Aristotle and other Hellenistic or Islamic philosophers and scientists. 4. A renewed and general interest in Latin letters and poetry. 5. The appearance of the first universities. 6. More recently, Gothic architecture, medieval romance literature, and poly-phonic music have been included in the list of phenomena associated with the twelfth-century renaissance. B. II. The revival of law. A. As far as the revival of jurisprudence is concerned, the renaissance of the twelfth century began indeed when the Digest turned up in Bologna, about 1070. Stephen Kuttner has even asserted that: "it is unthinkable that a science of law could have taken shape in the medieval west without the rediscovery of Justinian's Digest". Medieval scholars absorbed this vast exposition of rules, examples, and the opinions of the great jurisconsultants of the Roman Empire over about a generation. 1. Found in Northern Italy: either in Bologna, Pisa, or Rome. Possibly it was uncovered due to an inquiry of Gregory VII; indeed, it is likely that copies remained but forgotten in Ravenna and Rome. B. Irnerius and the glossators. 1. Glossing and apparatus. Teaching followed pattern used in biblical studies, teacher read the text and then commented to his students on the passage from marginal glosses. The glosses themselves were published and became authoritative texts--the gloss was therefore the teaching apparatus, the actual lectures in published form. 2. Irnerius (d.1125), was a pioneer in the method, not only did he explain the passage, but then applied the law to a contemporary situation. 3. Universitas of masters and students at Bologna, established by the end of the eleventh century. C. Roman law: rules of evidence, testimony of witnesses. 1. Judge centered, can become engine of despotism: the courts are an arm of the civil service. 2. Europe was emerging from a period of private warfare and corporate communities alien in spirit from the state. Rulers were just beginning to wrestle with juristic points of law: the source of law, rules of evidence, inheritance. Roman civil law provided a complete, intellectually erudite and sound legal system, one that would continue to provide Europeans with answers to issues that would only arise as Europe further emerged from agrarianism. 3. The study of Roman law also proved beneficial to Europeans because students learned to think critically and analytically. Roman law provided basic training for most royal and papal officials, Roman law replaced Germanic law everywhere but England by the early fourteenth century. D. Canon law studies also centered on Bologna; after ca. 1150 most popes were trained in Canon law.
2 1. Canon law citations from the Digest begin perhaps in 1088, with a judgment of Urban II. 2. Gratian's Concordance of Discordant Canons (commonly called the Decretum) was published about 1140; his work displaced earlier compilations. 3. The papal chancery, however, continued to record rulings of pontiffs on hundreds of matters. These papal decretals were officially codified and published during the administrations of Innocent III (1198-1216) and Gregory IX (1227-1241). III. The translations. A. B. The teaching of logic initiated by Gerbert and his students resulted in a thirst for more works of the ancients, especially those of Aristotle. The works filtered through Arab intermediaries, not in general from Byzantium. The centers of translation were: 1. Toledo (recaptured in 1080's), especially noted as a center for translating philosophical and ethical works. 2. Sicily, especially scientific and technical literature and medicine. C. The philosophical works translated include: 1. The entire corpus of Aristotle. 2. Commentaries (on Aristotle) by the famous Arab philosophers Avicenna (980-1037) (Abu Ali al Husayn Ibn Abdullah ibn Sina in Arabic), and Averroes (11261198) (Abu al-Walid Muhammed ibn Ahmad ibn Rushd). 3. Avicenna: 276 works attributed; famous doctor (Ulcers, brain tumors tuberculosis & meningitis all identified by him). A. Canon of Medicine & Book of Healing (Kitab al Shifa) 4 books, Natural philosophy, Logic, math, and metaphysics. 4. Averroes: "The Commentator" the law commands the study of philosophy. Three categories of truth, 1) what must be
3 accepted; 2) unclear, error is permissible; 3) must be interpreted according to one's own capacity. a. Taught the eternity of the world. b. Defended Ibn Sina from charges of heresy. D. Many scientific works were also translated; these include: 1. (ca. 825) Muhammed ibn Musa Al-Kwarizmi: Compendious Book of Calculation by Completion and Balancing (part of Arabic title was "al Jabr"). This becomes known in Latin as Liber Algebra. 2. Al-Kwarizmi also wrote the book: [Method of] Calculation with the Hindu(Numerals) exact title is unknown. By 12th century not only Hindu numerals but Himdu methods of calculation and zero had appeared. Gerbert & disciples continued to use abacus, not place value system. Blank space was used by Indian Mathematicians and Arabic ones, but no special symbol was devised for centuries (blank space was called sunya/sifr in Sanskrit/Arabic respectively). Several 12th century translations of De numero Indorum (by 1143). 3. Leonard of Pisa, Liber Abaci, first complete account of Hindu numbers in Latin to use the place-holding system (ca. 1202). 4. Euclid, Elements. 5. Hiero of Alexandria, Pneumatica. 6. Archimedes, De Mensura Circuli. 7. Ptolemy, Almagest, Optica. 8. Galen, various treatises; reputedly authored more than 500, including some on logic, ethics and grammar: 83 genuine extant treatises, 19 doubtful, 45 spurious, and 19 fragments. 9. Hippocrates, Aphorisms and other treatises. 10. Alhazen (ca. 965-1037), Opticae Thesaurus. IV. Impact of Aristotelian logic. A. Platonic idealism had made possible a "marriage between reason and faith". 1. St. Anselm (1033-1109) and the ontological argument for God's existence: Since ideas are res--"things" (from Plato)--and since we have in our minds the idea of "that which nothing greater can be
4 thought, or God," then god must exist, since "that which does not exist cannot either be described nor conceived.” 2. Medieval Platonists were called "realists", because they felt that ideas were real. 3. Aristotle had disagreed with his mentor Plato, but even before detailed knowledge of his thought penetrated western Europe, scholars were using the new logic to test the premises of Platonic Christianity. 4. Shortly after 1120, Roscelin, a master at Paris, declared that ideas were not "things" but only "words" or "names", hence, nominalism. 5. Such questioning of universals was bound to result in a dichotomy between the world of reason and the world of faith. V. Peter Abelard (ca. 1079-1142), a famous lecturer and philosopher, brash, arrogant, accused of deeming "himself able by human reason to comprehend God altogether." He has been called "the first European intellectual." A. A minor noble's son of Breton blood, renounced his inheritance and found his way to the new schools of philosophy and theology at Paris and Chartres. After taking a course, he set himself up as a teacher and contradicted his former masters, his classes were always full and made many enemies. B. His genius was such that scholars all over Europe waited to see what he would say about the realist/nominalist debate. He came out with what could be called a conservative nominalism: universals were "confused general images", developed in the mind through extrapolation from particular impressions; in his view, therefore, universals were neither things nor names, but conceptions, useful but not necessarily real. C. Earned the enmity of the ruling class, a marked man, St. Bernard accused him of heresy & had his writings condemned twice, at Soissons (1121) and Sens (1140). D. Heloise, a niece of a canon of the Paris cathedral, had a child by Abelard, Astrolabe; forced to marry; he encouraged her to enter a
5 convent; this enraged her uncle who had thugs castrate Abelard (1118?). E. Abelard's thought: "for by doubting we are led to questions, by questioning we arrive at the truth." F. Master of dialectic. Sic et Non, arranged contradictory propositions and biblical and patristic citations. Should human faith be based on reason, or no? Is god one, or no? Is God a substance, or no? Is sin pleasing to God, or no? Is God the author of evil, or no? Is God all-powerful, or no? Can God be resisted, or no? Has God free will, or no? Was the first man persuaded to sin by the devil, or no? Was Adam saved, or no? G. Tackled the doctrine of the trinity--something that western scholars avoided due to the danger of falling into Greek style heresy— authored Theologia "Summi Boni" (condemned in 1121), Theologia "Scholarium" (condemned in 1140); also his famous autobiography, Historia Calamitatum, Ethica, a commentary on Paul's epistle to the Romans, 133 hymns. H. Abelard on knowledge: "Some sciences are concerned with action, others with understanding; that is, some consist in constructing things, others in analyzing compound things. For many people are practiced in action but have little scientific understanding: they have tested the healing powers of medicines and are good at healing because of their experience alone, but they do not know much about natural causes....Many people on the other hand, have understanding but not practical ability and these can impart knowledge to others but cannot put it into practice themselves. The man of understanding is he who has the ability to grasp and ponder the hidden causes of
6 things. By hidden causes we mean those from which things originate, and are investigated more by reason than by sensory experience." VI. St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153). A. Bernard came from the upper nobility, yet a true mystic. He felt called to contemplative life but was unsuited to it. He was in the forefront of the popular religious revival, haranguing kings, electing popes, preaching crusade. B. Guilty of his love of power and influence. C. Citeaux and the Cistercians, they represented a backlash against Cluny's wealth and power. They refused to own serfs, depending instead on a subsidiary order of lay brothers; they favored wastelands, pioneered many innovative techniques in farming and sheep herding. Bernard was abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Clairvaux. D. Instrumental in rallying kings of Europe around a second crusade, bitterly disappointed at its failure. E. In 1130, when Bernard's favorite papal candidate for pope received a minority of votes, Bernard reminded the electors of the ancient practice of the church to regard not the quantity of the votes cast, but the quality of those who cast the ballots; his candidate, Innocent II, prevailed. F. He had no use for the new learning and secular knowledge and led the prosecution of Abelard. He suspected those who learned "merely in order that they may know” condemning “such curiosity [as] blamable" The mere vanity of wishing to appear learned. VII. Suger of St. Denis (ca. 1091-1152). A. Son of peasants, carried by ability to position of power & influence. Suger became adviser to 2 French kings, biographer of Louis VI, & tutor to Louis VII.
7 B. St. Denis maintained a special relationship with the Capetian kings: the abbey church housed the coronation regalia. C. Most famous for organization of the effort to rebuild the old Carolingian church of St. Denis. D. Beginning of new architecture can be seen about 1000. Norman buildings show many new features, ribbed vaulting and height. F. Essential features: long nave, very high and vaulted ceilings, stainedglass windows--lots of light. G. A kind of transcendental experience, entering a Gothic cathedral is uplifting, the purpose is to make the worshipper feel closer to God. H. During the thirteenth century, the new architecture would begin to supplant the older style. VIII. The rise of the university. A. By late tenth century, many cathedral schools had been founded or refounded. The usual practice was for a bishop to hire teachers & then license the teacher. B. Paris' cathedral school became famous as a center for philosophical and theological studies. Unlicensed teachers set up shop and competed with the masters. Thus a corporation of faculty was formed to regulate the granting of licenses. C. At Bologna, renowned for its legal studies, the power was in the hands of the locals, who both filled the master's chairs and also provided room and board. There the corporation was formed around a nucleus of students, who tried by this act to ensure that they would receive fair instruction for their tuition and reasonable accommodations in the town without being gouged by the good citizens of Bologna. D. Salerno, famous as a school of medicine, was patronized by the Norman kings of Sicily and it was also founded early, but its history is
8 not as colorful because of its close association with the royal house of Sicily. E. Other universities established before 1250 include Oxford and Naples. 9 ...
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- Winter '10
- Canon Law, Roman law, Bologna, Peter Abelard, twelfth century