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CE N T. nent writers who illustrated, in their learned pro. Xill. ductions, the Aristotelian system. But it was the

disciple of ALBERT, THOMAS AQUINAS, the Angelic Doctor, and the great luminary of the scholastic world, that contributed most to the glory of the Stagirite [6], by inculcating, illustrating, and enforcing his doctrines, both in his lectures and in his writings; and principally by engaging one of his learned colleagues to give, under his inspection, a new translation of the works of the Grecian sage, which far surpassed the former version in exactness, perspicuity, and elegance [c]. By these means the philosophy of ARISTOTLE, notwithstanding the opposition of several divines, and even of the Roman pontifs themselves, who beheld its progress with an unfriendly eye, triumphed in all the Latin schools, and absorbed all the other systems that had flourished before this

literary revolution. The limits · IX. There were, however, at this time in of science Europe several persons of superior genius and pe

nd. netration, who, notwithstanding their veneration cd by several eminent for ARISTOTLE, thought the method of treating

philosophy, which his writings had introduced, dry, inelegant, and proper to confine and damp

. the [6] The Dominicans maintain, that this Angelic Doctor was the disciple of ALBERT the Great, and their opinion seems to be founded in truth. See ANTOINE TOURON, Vie de St Themas, p. 99. The Franciscans, however, maintain as obstinately, that ALEXANDER HALES was the master of THOMAS. See WADDINGII Annales Minorum, tom. iii. p. 133.

[c] It has been believed by many, that WILLIAM DE MOERBEKA, a native of Flanders, of the Dominican order, and archbishop of Corinıb, was the author of the new Latin translation of the works of ARISTOTLE, which was carried on and finished under the auspicious inspection of THOMAS AQUINAS. See J. ECHARD, Scriptores Dominican. tom. i. p. 338. Casim. OUDI. NUS, Comm. de Scriptor. Eccles. tom. iii. p. 468. Jo. FRANC. FOPPENS, Bibliotheca Belgica, tom. i. p. 416. Others, however, suppose, though indeed with less evidence, that this translation was composed by HENRY KOSBEIN, who also was a Dominican See ECHARD, Script. Dominic. tom. i. p. 469.

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the efforts of the mind in the pursuit of truth, c E N T. and who, consequently, were desirous of enlarg

6 PART II. ing the sphere of science by new researches and new discoveries [d]. At the head of these noble adventurers we may justly place Roger BACON, a Franciscan friar, of the English nation, known by the appellation of the admirable doctor, renowned on account of his most important discoveries, and who, in the progress he had made in natural philosophy, mathematics, chemistry, the mechanic arts, and the learned languages, soared far beyond the genius of the times [e].

[d] BACON's contempt of the learning that was in vogue in his time may be seen in the following passage quoted by JEBB, in his Preface to the Opus Majus of that great man : “ Nunquam,” says he, “ fuit tanta apparentia sapientiæ, nec tantum exercitium studi in tot facultatibus, in tot regionibus, sicut jam a quadraginta annis ; ubique enim doctores sunt dispersi ... in omni civitate, et in omni castro, et in omni burgo, præcipue per duos ordines studentes (he means the Franciscans and Dominicans, who were almost the only religious orders that distinguished themselves by an application to study) quod non accidit, nisi a quadraginta annis aut circiter, cum tamen nunquam fuit TAN. TA IGNORANTIA, TANTUS ERROR ... Vulgus studentium langu. et et asininat circa male translata (by these wretched versions he understands the works of ARISTOTLE, which were most mi. serably translated by ignorant bunglers) et tempus et studium amittit in omnibus et expensas. Apparentia quidem sola tenet eos, et non curant quid sciant, sed quid videantur scire coram multitudine insensata.” Thus, according to Bacon, in the midst of the most specious appearance of science, the greatest ignorance and the grossest errors reigned almost universally..

el That Bacon deserves this high rank in the learned world appears evidently from his book, entitled Opus Majus, which was dedicated to the Roman pontif, CLEMENT IV. and which Doctor JEBB published at London in 1733, from a manuscript which still exists in the university of Dublin, enriching it with a learned Preface and a considerable number of judicious observations. The other works of Bacon, which are very numerous, lie as yet for the most part concealed in the libraries of the cus rious. For a farther account of this eminent man, see Wood, Antiq. Oxon, tom. i. p. 136.-WADDINGI Annales Minor. tom. iv. p. 264. tom. v. p. 51.-THOM. GALE ad Yamblichumi de Mysteriis Ægyptior. p. 255. General Hiso. and Crir. Dictionary, at the article Bacon. VOL. III. - M



· CENT. With him we may associate ARNOLD of Villa

, Nova, whose place of nativity is fixed by some in France, by others in Spain, and who acquired a shining reputation by his knowledge in chemistry, poetry, philosophy, languages, and physic [f]; as also PETRUS DE ABANO, a physician of Padua, who was surnamed the Reconciler, from a book he wrote with a design to terminate the dissensions and contests that reigned among the philosophers and physicians [8], and who was profoundly versed in the sciences of philosophy, astronomy, physic, and mathematics [b]. It must, however, be observed, to the eternal dishonour of the age, that the only fruits which these great men enjoyed of their learned labours, and their noble, as well as successful, efforts for the advancement of the arts and sciences, were the furious clamours of an enraged and superstitious multitude, who looked upon them as heretics and magicians, and thirsted so eagerly after their blood, that they escaped with difficulty the hands of the public executioner. BACON was confined many years to a loathsome prison; and the other two were, after their death, brought before the tribunal of the inquisition, and declared worthy of being committed to the flames for the novelties they

had introduced into the republic of letters. The study X: The state of theology, and the method of of law and teaching and representing the doctrines of Chrisphysic.

tianity [f] See Nic. ANTONII Bibliotb., vetus Hispan. tom. i. lib. ix. c. i. p. 74.-PIERRE JOSEPH Vie d'Arnaud de Ville neuve, Aix, 1719.-NICERON, Memoires des hommes illustres, tom. xxxiv. p. 82.--Nicol. EYMERICI Directorium Inquisitorum, p. 282. where, among other things, we have an account of his errors.

[8] This book was entitled, Conciliator Differentiarum Philosophorum et Medicorum,

[h] There is a very accurate account of this philosopher given by Joh. Maria MAZZUCHELLI Notizie Storiche e Critiche intorno alla vita di Pietro d' Abano, in ANGELI CALOGERÆ Opusculi Scientifci et Philologici, tom. xiii. p. i.-liv.

tianity that now prevailed, shall be mentioned in CE N T.

XIII. their place. The civil and canon laws held the parts first rank in the circle of the sciences, and were studied with a peculiar zeal and application by almost all who were ambitious of literary glory. These sciences, however, notwithstanding the assiduity with which they were cultivated, were far from being, as yet, brought to any tolerable degree of perfection. They were disfigured by the jargon that reigned in the schools, and they were corrupted and rendered intricate by a multitude of trivial commentaries that were designed to illustrate and explain them. Some employed their labours in collecting the letters of the Roman pontifs, which are commonly known under the title of Decretals [i], and which were looked upon as a very important branch of ecclesiastical law. RAIMOND of Pennafort, a native of Barcelona, was the most famous of all these compilers, and acquired a considerable reputation by his collection of the Decretals in five books, which he undertook at the desire of GREGORY IX. and which has been since honoured with the name of that pontif, who ordered it to be added to the Decretals of GRATIAN, and to be read in all the European colleges [k). Towards the conclusion of this century, BONIFACE VIII, had a new collection made, which was entitled, The Sixth Book of Decretals, because it was added to the five already mentioned.

M 2

C H A P.

[ż ] Jee BOULAY, Hist. Academ. Paris. tom. iii. p. 98.

[l] GERH. A MASTRICHT, Historia juris Ecclesiastici, sect. 353. p. 384.-Jo. CHIFLET, De juris utriusque Archiltciis, cap. vi. p. 60.- ECHARD et QUETIF, Scriptores Dominicani, tom. i. p. 106.- Acia Sanctor, Antwerp. tum. i. Januarii ad d. viia p. 404.


Concerning the doctors and ministers of the church,

and its form of government, during this century.

CENT.I. D OTH the Greek and Latin writers, proXIII.

D voked, beyond measure, by the flagitious

lives of their spiritual rulers and instructors, comThe cor

of plain loudly of their licentious manners, and the clergy. load them with the severest reproaches ; nor will

these complaints and reproaches appear excessive to such as are acquainted with the history of this corrupt and superstitious age [l]. Several eminent men attempted to stem this torrent of licentiousness, which from the heads of the church had carried its pernicious streams through all the members ; but their power and influence were unequal to such a difficult and arduous enterprize. The Grecian emperors were prevented from executing any project of this kind by the infelicity of the times, and the various calamities and tumults, that not only reigned in their dominions, but even shook the throne on which they sat; while the power and opulence of the Roman pontifs, and the superstition of the age hindered the Latins from accomplishing, or even

attempting, a reformation in the church. And of the II. The history of the popes, presents a lively Roman

and horrible picture of the complicated crimes that dishonoured the ministers of the church, who were peculiarly obliged, by their sacred office, to exhibit to the world distinguished mo

dels SI] See the remarkable letter of the Roman pontif, GRE. GORY IX. to the archbishop of Bourges, which was written in the year 1227, with a design to reprove and reform the vices which had infested all the various orders of the clergy, and which is published by DioN. SAMMARTHANUS, in his Gallia Christiana, tom, ii. in Append. p. 21.---See also Du FRESNE, Adnotai, in Vitam Ludovici Sti. p. 99.


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