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with the scholarship of Linacre, that he concluded it was not necessary to go to Italy to study Greek, but presently, when poverty no longer pinched so hard, he undertook to visit the ancient libraries, meet men whom he admired, and pursue his favorite study of Greek at Venice, Florence, and other centres.
In 1510 Erasmus became the professor of divinity at Cambridge, where he also taught Greek. He helped Colet establish what later became the famous school of St. Paul's, London, and he undertook to found a college at Louvain, but, when the Reformation and its controversies began, he withdrew into learned retirement at Basel, the home of humanism and printing, and although he could not be persuaded, even by Luther, to speak for the Reformation, he contributed powerfully to its cause by means of his writings—all in Latin.
By means of satires, with innocent titles, he exposed the terrible laxity of faith and morals in church and society, and thus aided the Reformation. In 1516 he published an edition of the New Testament, accompanied by a Latin translation and notes, that gave learned Europe the gospel as it was preached by Christ and his apostles, thus serving the cause of the Reformation directly through his expert knowledge of the Greek language.
The man who had thus called attention to the real content, or thought, of the Scriptures, also called attention to the content, or thought, of Cicero as a writer, emphasizing this content above style, no matter how inimitable and excellent the latter might be. He advised the “Ciceronians," as his imitators were then beginning to be called, to correlate the study of "nature" and "history” with the study of the classics, as means to ends.
He contributed valuable works on the various phases of general education, proposing courses of study that made for piety, learning, moral uplift, and good manners, teachers selected for their personal worth and professional fitness, methods of study whose merits have stood the test of later pedagogy, discipline based on love and common sense rather than on force, and the education of girls in wholesome and natural environment rather than in convents. Indeed, if the same subjects had not since then been treated in still fuller harmony with the dictates of modern psychology and Christian idealism, we should hardly find it necessary to look elsewhere than to Erasmus for our professional training as teachers.
The earliest patron of humanism in England was Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. Through his efforts younger humanists were brought from Italy to translate the classics, and Italian masters who would not come north were remunerated for help rendered. He also managed to give Greek and Latin books and manuscripts to Oxford, where he himself had been a student.
Oxford.—As a result of Humphrey's endeavors, Oxford students began to visit Italy by the middle of the fifteenth century, but near its close (1488) three Oxford men, Grocyn, Linacre, and Latimer, devoted friends, went to Florence to study Greek, and returned to England determined to introduce Greek in their homeland. How much this determination was due to the religious ideas of Savonarola, the atmosphere of whose spirit filled Florence at the time, we do not know.
Grocyn.-Grocyn (1442-1519) was fortunate enough to become the first lecturer on Greek at Oxford, where he found Duke Humphrey's contribution of books most helpful. Grocyn also began to ally Greek with the study of the Bible and thus was a forerunner of the larger movement that resulted in the Reformation.
Linacre.-Linacre (1460-1524) who, like Grocyn, had given much attention to the classics, rhetoric, and logic, while in Italy, became interested in Aristotle, and thus concluded to take a course in natural science and medicine at Padua, where he also lectured. On his return to England he lectured on medicine at Oxford, but gave some of his time to teaching Latin and Greek, and helped Grocyn train Erasmus, More, and Colet. Erasmus, as noted, could not praise him enough.
Cambridge.--Bishop Fisher, who had become Chancellor, encouraged Erasmus, professor of divinity (1510-1514), to lecture on Greek just as "a labor of love." In 1514 Sir John Cheke succeeded to a new professorship of Greek in the university. Like Grocyn at Oxford, he allied Greek with the interpretation of the New Testament, and was especially interested in Matthew's Gospel.
Roger Ascham succeeded Cheke in 1515, when the latter became tutor to Prince Edward. Four years later Ascham became tutor in Greek and Latin to Princess Elizabeth. In his “Scholemaster," written to prove that the cruel discipline then prevalent could be cured by better teaching, Ascham offered the method of "double translation" in the study of the classics. According to this plan the student was to translate his Latin lesson into English, and an hour later back into Latin, which was then to be compared by the master with the original.
Henry VIII, through the influence of More and Wolsey, became the first patron of humanism at the court.
Probably the most far-reaching impulse was given to humanism in English, and thus to American education, by Dean Colet of St. Paul's Cathedral. The school which he established allied the classics with religion and morals, and became the type of similar schools into which the Reformation converted numerous monasteries, as well as of new foundations.
Influence.--In the north, as we have seen, the Renaissance lost its extreme individualism and became the most active ally of religious reform and moral uplift, and thus contributed powerfully to the Reformation of the sixteenth century.
Unfortunately, as we shall discover, this northern humanism became as despotic in content and as mechanical in method as scholasticism before it, and thus had to be reformed itself in course of time.
REFERENCES 1. Myers' "General History." 2. Lord's “Beacon Lights of History.” 3. Adams' “Civilization of the Middle Ages." 4. Monroe's "Cyclopedia of Education." 5. Monroe's "Text-Book in the History of Education.” 6. Graves' “History of Education,” vol. II. 7. Parker's "History of Education.” 8. Reeves' “Petrarch." 9. Mrs. Oliphant's "Dante.” 10. Leclerc's “Life of Erasmus."
QUESTIONS 1. What was the Renaissance? Explain its causes and spirit pretty fully.
2. Distinguish humanism from its associated art revival.
3. Explain the special causes of the revival of learning in Italy.
4. Account for the “making” of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, and then explain the contributions of each one to the cause of learning.
5. In what favor was Greek held in the Middle Ages? How did it begin to come into favor?
6. How did Chrysoloras become the great missionary of Greek humanism in Italy, and what did he accomplish?
7. Who was Vittorino ? Trace his career up to the time when he was called to Mantua. Account for his call, and describe the purpose, courses, methods, and worth of his court school at Mantua.
8. When did the Italian Renaissance reach its high tide ? Explain fully.
9. How did the Italian court schools leaven the universities with humanism?
10. What were the relations between Italian humanism and Christian faith? Illustrate.
II. From what high organic perfections to what mechanical leanness did Italian humanism finally sink?
12. Account for the spread of humanism north of the Alps.
13. How early did Paris become interested in the Renaissance ? Describe the services which French kings rendered to the cause.
14. Describe the work and influence of the college of Guyenne. 15. Account for the arrival of humanism in Germany.
16. What was the origin of the “Brethren of the Common Life,” and their work before they became the champions of humanism?
17. Describe the course which they offered afterward, together with their great success. What was their effect on the universities of Germany? What great leaders did they produce?
18. Account for “the making” of Agricola, and his call to Antwerp. What was the outcome? What was the worth of his advice?