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THE PRESSURES UPON ROME. 327.
tions so as to convey a clear idea of the forces acting upon them. I have now to devote many perhaps not uninteresting, certainly not uninstructive pages to these events. In this chapter I begin that task by relating the consequences of the state of things heretofore described-the earnestness of converted Germany and the immoralities of the popes. The Germans insisted on a reformation among ecclesiastics, and that they should lead lives in accordance with religion. This moral attack was accompanied also by an intellectual one, arising from another source, and amounting to a mutiny in the Church itself. In the course of centuries, and particularly during the more recent evil times, a gradual divergence of theology from morals had taken place, to the dissatisfaction of that remnant of thinking men who here and there, in the solitude of monasteries, compared the dogmas of theology with the dictates of reason. Of those, and the number was yearly increasing, who had been among the Arabs in Spain, not a few had become infected with a love of philosophy. Whoever compares the tenth and twelfth centuries together can not fail to remark the great intellectual advance which Europe was making. The ideas occupying the minds of Christian men, their very turn of thought, had altogether changed. The earnestness of the Germans, commingling with the knowledge of the Mohammedans, could no longer be diverted from the misty clouds of theological discussion out of which Philosophy emerged, not in the Grecian classical vesture in which she had disappeared at Alexandria, but in the grotesque garb of the cowled and mortified monk. She timidly came back to the world as Scholasticism, persuading men to consider, by the light of their own reason, that dogma which seemed to put common sense at defiance -transubstantiation. Scarcely were her whispers heard in the ecclesiastical ranks when a mutiny against authority arose, and since it was necessary to combat that mutiny with its own weapons, the Church was compelled to give her countenance to Scholastic Theology. Lending himself to the demand for morality, and not altogether refusing to join in the intellectual progress, a great man, Hildebrand, brought on an ecclesiastical reform. He raised the papacy to its maximum of power, and prepared the way for his successors to seize the material resources of Europe through the Crusades. Such is an outline of the events with which we have now to deal. A detailed analysis of those events shows that there were three directions of pressure upon Rome. The pressure from the West and that from the East were Mohammedan. Their resultant was a pressure from the North: it was essentially Christian. While they were foreign, this was domestic. It is almost immaterial in what order we consider them; the manner in which I am handling the subject leads.
328 THE LIFE OF GERBERT.
me, however, to treat of the Northern pressure first, then of that of the West, and on subsequent pages of that of the East. It had become absolutely necessary that something should be done for the reformation of the papacy. Its crimes, such as we have related in Chapter XII., outraged religious men. To the master-spirit of the movement for accomplishing this end we must closely look. He is the representative of influences that were presently to exert a most important agency. In the train of the Emperor Otho III., when he resolved to put a stop to all this wickedness, was Gerbert, a French ecclesiastic, born in Auvergne. In his boyhood, while a scholar in the Abbey of Avrillac, he attracted the attention of his superiors; among others, of the Count of Barcelona, who took him into Spain. There he became a proficient in the mathematics, astronomy, and physics of the Mohammedan schools. He spoke Arabic with the fluency of a Saracen. His residence at Cordova, where the khalif patronized all the learning and science of the age, and his subsequent residence in Rome, where he found an inconceivable ignorance and immorality, were not lost upon his future life. He established a school at Rheims, where he taught logic, music, astronomy, explained Virgil, Statius, Terence, and introduced what were at that time regarded as wonders, the globe and the abacus. He labored to persuade his countrymen that learning is far to be preferred to the sports of the field. He observed the stars through tubes, invented a clock, and an organ played by steam. He composed a work on Rhetoric. Appointed Abbot of Bobbio, he fell into a misunderstanding with his monks, and had to retire first to Rome, and then to resume his school at Rheims. In the political events connected with the rise of Hugh Capet, he was again brought into prominence. The speech of the Bishop of Orleans at the Council of Rheims, which was his composition, shows us how his Mohammedan education had led him to look upon the state of things in Christendom: ” There is not one at Rome, it is notorious, who knows enough of letters to qualify him for a door-keeper; with what face shall he presume to teach who has never learned?” He does not hesitate to allude to papal briberies and papal crimes: “If King Hugh’s embassadors could have bribed the pope and Crescentius, his affairs had taken a different turn.” He recounts the disgraces and crimes of the pontiffs: how John XII had cut off the nose and tongue of John the Cardinal; how Boniface had strangled John XIII; how John XIV had been starved to death in the dungeons of the Castle of St. Angelo. He demands, ” To such monsters, full of all infamy, void of all knowledge, human and divine, are all the priests of God to submit -men distinguished throughout the world for their learning and holy lives? The pontiff who so sins against his brother-who, when admonished, refuses to hear the voice of counsel, is as a publican and a sinner.”
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