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CABASILAS surnaematics and astro

from the tracts of THEODORUS METOCHITA in CENT: what manner they explained the principles and par tenets of the Stagirite. Plato also had his fol. pod lowers, especially among those who were fond of mysticism, which had for many ages been held in the highest veneration by the Greeks. In the sublime sciences of mathematics and astronomy Nicolas CABASILAS surpassed all his contemporaries. BAKLAAM adopted the sentiments and precepts of the Stoics with respect to the obligations of morality and the duties of life, and digested them into a work of his, which is known by the title of Ethica ex Stoicis [9].

III. In all the Latin provinces, schemes were the state laid and carried into execution with considerable of learning

among the success, for promoting the study of letters, im- Latins. proving taste, and dispelling the pedantic spirit of the times. This laudable disposition gave rise to the election of many schools and academies, at Cologn, Orleans, Cahors, Perusia, Florence, and Pisa, in which all the liberal arts and sciences, distributed into the same classes that still subsist in those places were taught with assiduity and zeal. Opulent persons founded and amply endowed particular colleges, in the public universitics, in which, besides the monks, young men of narrow circumstances were educated in all the branches of literature. Libraries were also collected, and men of learning animated to aspire to fame and glory, by the prospect of honourable rewards. It must be confessed indeed, that the advantages arising to the church and state, from so many professors and learned nien, did not wholly answer the expence and care bestowed on this uldertaking by men of rank and fortune: yet we are by no means to conclude as many have rashly done, that all the doctors of this age, who ruse'

[9] Henrici Canisir Lectiones Antiquæ, tom. iv. p. 405. Vol. III.

X , gradually


CEN T.gradually from the lower to the higher and more

, honourable stations, were only distinguished by PART II.

their stupidity and ignorance. he state IV. CLEMENT V. who was now raised to the of languages. pontificate, ordered the Hebrew, and other Ori

ental languages, to be taught in the public schools, that the church might never want a sufficient number of missionaries properly qualified to dispute with the Jews and Mahometans, and to diffuse the divine light of the gospel throughout the east [r]: in consequence of which appointment, some eminent proficients in these tongues, and especially in the Hebrew, flourished during this age. The Greek language, which hitherto had been much neglected, was now re. vived, and taught with general applause, first of all by LEONTIUS PILATUS, a Calabrian, who wrote a commentary upon HOMER, and a few others [s], but afterwards, with far greater success and reputation, by MANUEL CHRYSOLORAS [t], a native of Constantinople. Nor were there wanting some extraordinary geniuses, who, by their zeal and application, contributed to the restoration of the ancient and genuine eloquence of the Latins, among whom the excellent and justly-renowned PETRARCH held the first place [u],


[ro] See Ant. Wood, Antiq. Oxoniens. tom. i. p. 156. 159.

[s] See Humph. Hody, De Græcis illustribus, Lingua Græcæ Literarumque humaniorum instauratoribus, lib. i. p. 5, Londini, 1742, in 8v0.--CALOGERA, Opusculi Scientfici, tom. XXV. p. 258.

[t] Hody, loc. cit. lib. i. p. 10.-Angeli CALOGHRÆ loc. cit. p. 248.- And more especially Christ. Frid. BORNERI Lib. de Græcis Literarum Græcarum in Italia instauratoribus.

[u] See Jac. Puil. THOMASINI vita Petrarchi in Jo. GERH. MEUSCHEN Vitæ claror. viror. tom. iv, who in his Preface enumerates all the other writers of his life. Of the celebrated poet DANTE, several have treated, particularly his translator BenEVENUTUS of Imola, from whence MURATORIUS, has borrowed large extracts in his Antiquit. Ital. medii ævi, tom. i. p. 1036. v.




and DANTE ALIGHIERI the second. Full of this C ENT. worthy design, they both acted as if they had received an extraordinary commission to promote the reign of true taste and the progress of polite learning; and their success was answerable to the generous ambition that animated their efforts; for they had many followers and admirers, not only among their countrymen, but also among the French and Germans.

V. The writings of this age furnish us with a of the olong list of Grammarians, historians, lawyers, and ther scicam physicians, of which it would be easy to give a circumstantial account: but as it is quite foreign to our purpose, it will be sufficient to inform our readers, that there were but few of this vast multitude, whose labours were in any great degree useful to society. Great numbers applied themselves to the study of the civil and canon law, because it was the readiest way to preferment both in church and state. Such as have any tolerable acquaintance with history, cannot be entirely strangers to the fame of BARTOLUS, BALDUS, ANDREAS, and other doctors of laws in this century, who reflected honour on the universities of Italy. But, after all, it is certain that the jurisprudence ofthis age was a most intricate disagreeable study, unenlivened either by history or language, and destitute of every allurement that could recommend it to a man of genius. As for the mathematics, they were cultivated by many ; yet, if we except Doctor THOMAS BRADWARDINE, the acute and learned archbishop of Canterbury, there were but few who acquired any reputation worth mentioning by this kind of study.

VI. The vast number of philosophers, who of philosorather disgraced than adorned this century, looked" upon ARISTOTLE as their infallible oracle and guide; though they stript him of all those excellencies that really belonged to him, and were 1 X 2



CEN T.incapable of entering into the true spirit of his per u. writings. So great was the authority of the pe peripatetic philosophy, that, in order to diffuse

the knowledge of it as widely as possible, even kings and eniperors ordered the works of ARISTOTLE to be translated into the native language of their respective dominions. Among the most eminent of this class was CHARLES V. king of Frunce, who ordered all the writings of the ancients, and especially those of ARISTOTLE, to be translated into French by NICHOLAS ORESME [W]. Those, however, who professed themselves philosophers, instead of being animated by the love of truth, were inflamed by a rage of disputation, which led them to perplex and deform the pure, simple doctrines of reason and religion, by a multitude of idle subtilties, trifling questions, and ridiculous distinctions. It is needless to enlarge on the barbarity of their phraseology, in which they supposed the whole strength of their art consisted; as also on that utter aversion to every branch of polite learning in which they foolishly gloried. Those who have a mind to be acquainted with their methods of argumentation, and whatever else relates to this wrangling tribe, need only consult JOHN SCOTUS, or Walter BULÆUS. But though they all followed one common track, there were several points on which they differed among

themselves. The Rea VII. The old disputes between the Realists and

Nominglists, which had lain dormant a long time, ists. were now revived with unextinguishable ardour,

by an English Franciscan friar of the severer Onder, named WILLIAM OCCAM, who was a follower of the great Scotus, and a doctor of divi


lists and Nominal

[W] Jo. LAUNOIUS, Hist. Gymnas. Navarr. tom. iv. opp. part I. p. 504.-Boulay, Histor. Acad. Paris. tom. iv. p. 379.

LE BOEUF, Dissert, sur l'Hist. I.ccles, et Civile. Par. tom. iii. p. 456. 463. s. •

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nity at Paris. The Greeks and Persians never C E N T. fought against each other with more hatred and på fury, than these two discordant sects, whose angry bird disputations subsisted without any abatement, till the appearance of LUTHER, who soon obliged the scholastic divines to terminate their mutual wranglings, and to listen to terms of accommodation. The Realists despised their antagonists as philosophers of a recent date, branding them with the name of Moderns, while, through a great mistake, they ascribed a very high antiquity to the tenets of their own party. The Nominalists, on the other hand, inveighed against them as a set of doating visionaries, who, despising' substantial matters, were pursuing mere shadows. The Nominalists had the most eloquent, acute, and subtile doctors of Paris for their leaders, ac mong whom, besides Occam, the famous JOHN BURIDAN [x] was very eminent; nevertheless, through the countenance given them by successive popes, the Realists prevailed. For when OCCAM joined the party of the Franciscan monks, who strenuously opposed JoẠN XXII. that pope himself, and his successors after him, left no means untried to extirpate the philosophy of the Nominalists, which was deemed highly prejudicial to the interests of the church [y]: and hence it was, that, in the year 1339, the university of Paris, by a public edict, solemnly condemned and prohibited the philosophy of OCCAM, which was that of the Nominalists[x]. But, as it is natural for


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[ac] Rob. GUAGINUS wrote a particular account of this famous man, as we learn from Jo. Launoius, in his Historia Gymnasii Navarreni, tom. iv. opp. part I. p. 722. see also p. 296, 297. 330. and BOULAY, Histor. Acad. Paris. tom. iv. p. 282. 307. 341, &c.

[y] STEPH. BALUZII Miscellanea, tom. iv. p. 532. .

1%] BOULAY, Hist. Acad. Paris. tom. iv. p. 257. tom. V. p. 708.-CAR. PLESS. D’ARGENTRE, Collectio judiciorum de no. vis erroribus, &c. see MOSHEIM.

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