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CHAPTER III.

THE SECOND PERIOD OF THE RENAISSANCE

(1450-1600).

Trotzendorf; Sturm, Neander.

"

It was only in the sphere of Christian doctrinal reform that the first Revival can be said to have been operative north of the Alps. It was identified largely with the names of Wykliffe and Huss, and, we may add, Florentius Radewin (died 1400), the founder of the “Brothers of the Common Life," whose aim was practical Christianity (with a tendency to Mysticism) rather than the cultivation of scholastic theology or religious ritual. The second period of the Revival it is customary to date from 1453,--the Fall of Constantinople. The renewed impulse given by the dispersion of Greek scholars, coinciding as it did with the earliest practical application of the printing art, guaranteed permanence. It was only this second Humanistic revival which fully reached Northern nations. To this period belong the transalpine names of Nicolaus of Cusa (d. 1464), at once schoolman, Humanist, and religious reformer in the Catholic sense, Rudolf Agricola (d. 1485), Rabelais, Montaigne, Hegius, Erasmus, Sturm, etc. So early as 1476 we find Alex. Hegius at Deventer teaching the elements of Greek and a classical Latinity in the spirit of Humanism to the boy Erasmus among others. But it was quite the end of the century before this example was much followed. The Cathedral school of Münster under Langen and Murmellius was famous in the beginning of the 16th century.

The best results of the Humanistic revival in the school were, however, not fully visible north of the Alps until Trotzendorf, friend of Melanchthon, began his scholastic career in 1516 at Görlitz and afterwards as rector (1524) of the Goldberg school. There were many schools, it is true, throughout Europe in which instruction was given on the lines of Trotzendorf, but none so celebrated as his. The organization of the school, the extent to which the elder boys were employed to assist the master both in the discipline and the teaching, the spirit of friendliness between the master and the elder pupils, all anticipate in a remarkable way what is related of Dr Arnold. His school was called a "second Latium." Latin alone was spoken, and the writing of themes in classical Latinity was one of the chief aims of the grammatical discipline. The authors read were, Cicero, Terence, Plautus, Virgil and Ovid. In addition to this, Greek grammar and selections from Greek authors formed part of the curriculum, while logic and rhetoric (the latter chiefly based on the study of Cicero's Orations, guided doubtless by the De Oratore) were taught. Natural philosophy, music, and arithmetic, as then understood, also received an adequate measure of attention. Religious teaching was a conspicuous feature of the school, no less than literature. From this course of instruction we may infer the character of the school, and of similar schools in their degree. He died in 1556. A very eminent schoolmaster he

was.

The course of school instruction under the Humanistic influence may also be gathered from the record of John Sturm of Strassburg, where he began his celebrated Gymnasium in 1537, continuing to superintend it for forty-five years. Sturm, a distinguished scholar and theologian who had taught Greek in Paris, was allied more to the French and Calvinistic than the Lutheran reformers. He was a vigorous and stern master and insisted on the strict obedience of his assistants in the Gymnasium as well as on application to study on the part of the boys. He was a typical disciplinarian. His great idea was education by means of Latin to which Greek was only accessory. The power of speech was with him almost an end in itself. Modern subjects, in so far as they were recognized in the school, were subordinate to the Latinizing of them. He desired that Latin should meet all the requirements of modern life, and it is not an exaggeration to say that educated Europe would now be speaking and writing in Latin alone, if Sturm had had his way? His strong points as a schoolmaster were the accuracy of work he demanded from each class and his power of organization. There were nine classes, beginning with boys of seven years of age. Each class had its master and each master had in his hand an epistle from the Rector which constituted his marching orders, so to speak. The Strassburg Gymnasium was in fact the model of the Jesuit schools and of all the secondary schools of Europe, much more than the more enlightened Lutheran and Italian schools.

Sturm wrote extensively on the subject of Education.

Michael Neander, again, pupil of Melanchthon, and rector of the Cloister school at Ilfeld in the Hartz, was born in 1525, and died in 1595. His conceptions of education were large and comprehensive. He had, I think, a more living mind than any other Northern schoolmaster. He even asked himself why he should teach Latin and Greek at all—a daring, even audacious question in the full tide of Humanism. This openness of mind was, I say, of the essence of Humanism, though already many of the leading Humanists had foreclosed all such questions. Ciceronian Latin had become a fetich, as Erasmus saw. It was not possible for more than one generation of grown men to live solely by imitation. I do not say that Neander, or even

I See footnote on p. 144.

Melanchthon, deliberately recognized this. They were too much involved in the movement. The question, indeed, could not arise with them ; for the duty of all men, then and there, was to connect the life of the modern world with the preChristian. And yet, where the true Hellenic spirit showed itself it could not but be a living and progressive spirit.

Neander showed by his teaching and his curriculum that he possessed the true Hellenic spirit in fuller measure than most. History, geography, science, music,—all entered into his school in addition to the traditionary (but reformed) grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic. He had to make books to supply his wants, where Melanchthon had not already anticipated him. A handbook of natural philosophy and a Compendium Chronicorum (a kind of universal history) and a geography entitled Orbis Terrae Divisio came from his pen. Up to the sixteenth year Latin and Greek were the chief subjects studied; but there was a wide course of reading—so wide indeed that much of it must have been cursive. In the sixteenth year Hebrew was begun, and in the seventeenth and eighteenth the elements and chief precepta of logic and rhetoric; and thereafter physics, geography, and history. If we compare this curriculum with that of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, we become alive to the barrenness of even our best schools, after the ardour of young Humanism had cooled. The realism, which is also the reality, of Humanism was, in truth, nobly illustrated at Ilfeld; for there, under Neander, are found the direct contact of the young mind with a wide range of literature, with rhetoric, dialectic, history, and also with the world of nature.

We are not to imagine, however, that there were many schools even in the earlier decades of the 16th century like those of Murmellius, Trotzendorf, Neander, and Sturm ; but there were not a few working on the same lines : and in England, after the reforms of Colet (friend of Erasmus and More) in the foundation of St Paul's, the stream of literary Humanism flowed through many schools during the 16th century -Stratford-on-Avon, among others, which Shakespeare attended. Elyot and Ascham (1515-1568) were along with Mulcaster its literary prophets.

In the institutions of the men whom I have named we find the best types of the Humanistic school. There was in all of them, as in the earlier Italian school of Da Feltre, a combination of religious with Humanistic aims. The classical fervour of Italy and the religious earnestness of the North met in the educational leaders; and many other teachers throughout Germany, France, and the Low Countries, though less personally distinguished, carried the same combined influences into the daily work of instruction. Nor did these combined aims ever after wholly cease to characterize the secondary schools of Europe. The general curriculum was, however, soon narrowed and the methods degenerated.

The narrowing of the educational aim and the return to mere verbalism

was, in truth, not long of coming. If it be the essence of Humanism in its larger meaning that it was an opening of men's eyes afresh to nature and life, the exhaustion of the new movement can be easily understood. For it is given to few men, and those chiefly of poetic temperament, to keep their eyes open for long. There is an instinctive craving for dogma and form ; for without these there is no intellectual repose. Each man's philosophy of life is fixed at the point where he grows tired of thinking, it has been said. Even the educated man begins to build his own prison-house very early. Especially must this be the case with teachers, simply because they have to teach ; and for this a schoolroom creed of some sort is necessary. They gladly accept what is offered them in the name of authority and tradition, and it is the letter of the doctrine, not the spirit, that governs. They imitate what they have seen done, or apply the technique of a new doctrine which they have once accepted as if it were a revelation. Some schoolmasters will resent this estimate; but the fact is, it is

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