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was given only to the Latin classics, but towards the end
of the century Greek literature also became the subject of
study. The Byzantine Emanuel Chrysoloras was summoned to
Florence, and many Italians, such as Guarino of Verona and
Francesco Filelfo, betook themselves to Constantinople to
investigate Greek wisdom at its source. Nor were natives of
Greek-speaking lands utterly unknown in other parts of Italy.
The attempts to re-unite Christendom secured for a while
the stay of the Platonist Gemistus Pletho, and Bessarion, the
metropolitan of Nicsea, even settled permanently in Italy.
Though Florence had originally been the centre of the move-
ment, which had there obtained the support of the Mediceans
Cosimo (f 1464) and Lorenzo the Magnificent (f 1496), yet at
Rome, too, subsequently to Nicholas V, humanism was in high
honour. Other humanists of note were the Camaldolese monk
Traversari (ti439), Leonardo Bruni of Arezzo, Francesco
Poggio Bracciolini, and Lorenzo Valla (f 1465), the first to
call seriously into question the Donation of Constantine.

Outside of Italy the movement made itself felt most in
Germany. Here it had its beginning in the schools of the
Brethren of the Common Life, where the classics were zealously

1 J. BuRCKHARDT, Die KuUiir der Renaissance in Italien, 7th ed. by L,
Geiger, 2 vol. 1899 ; G. Voigt, Die Wiederbeleb. des klass. Altert. 2 vol.
3rd ed. by Lehnerdt, 1893 '• L. Geiger, Renaissance u. Hum. in Italien u.
Deutschland, 1882 ; Froude, Life and Letters of Erasmus, 1894 ; Emerton,
Destderius Erasmus, 1899; J. Knepper, /. Wimpheling, 1902; R. RocHOLL,
Bessarion, 1904; Seebohm, Oxford Reformers, 3rd ed. 1887.



62 A Manual of Church History

studied, though to some extent it was introduced from Italy,
whence so many university students returned home enamoured
of the new learning. By the end of the fifteenth century the
whole country was involved, the headquarters of the movement
being the schools of Schlettstadt, Deventer, and Miinster, and
the University of Erfurt ; and its principal exponents the Gotha
canon Conrad Mutian (ti526), the acknowledged leader of the
humanists in the neighbouring town of Erfurt ; John Reuchlin
(ti522), the promoter of Hebrew studies ; Desiderius Erasmus
(11536), a master of Latin style and no less learned in Greek,
as eminent for his scholarship as for his literary activity, and
famed among his contemporaries as a prince in the realm of
learning ; finally, Ulrich von Hutten (f 1523), the political
chief of the humanists and declared adversary of Rome.

As the conduct of many of the humanists shows, the new
learning was by no means incompatible with the Christian
faith, though the latter was to some extent endangered.
Enthusiasm for Antiquity led many, more especially in Italy,
to exchange altogether, or in part, the Christian view of the
world for the old pagan philosophy, or at least to profess a
scepticism not far removed from unbelief. The Roman
academy, founded by Pomponius Leto, and presided over by
him as Pontifex maximus, not only imposed pagan names
on its members, but in its whole attitude was disposed to
favour paganism rather than Christianity. Modern Aristote-
lians, particularly Peter Pomponatius (| 1524), refused to
consider the immortality of the soul and other similar doctrines
as being more than mere theological truths, improbable in
philosophy, a point of view which was condemned by the
Fifth Council of the Lateran (1513, Sess. VIII). Other human-
ists were merciless in scourging with criticism and satire the
ecclesiastical abuses of the times. Among the latter Erasmus
earned himself a name by his Laus stultitiae (1509) and other
similar diatribes.

Under these circumstances pretexts were not wanting to
attack the humanists. It could also be safely predicted that
the collision between old and new would be all the more violent,
owing to the fact that some of the scholastics clung tenaciously
even to the least tenable of their theories. A sign of the times
was the dispute which broke out between the Ingolstadt



Humanism 63

professors G, Zingel and J. Locher, sumamed Philomusus,
regarding the reading of pagan works in schools, a dispute
into which others were soon drawn ; for instance, J. WimpheHng,
who, though himself a humanist, found Locher 's CoDiparatio
Mulae ad Musani (1506) so outrageous, that he entered the
lists on behalf of Theology. A more important conflict was
that in which Reuchlin was involved. The learned humanist
had opposed the demand of J. Pfefferkorn of Cologne that
all Jewish books which either attacked Christianity or were
at variance with the Jewish law should be burnt, and
Pfefferkorn, enraged by some slighting remark in Reuchlin
memorandum, assailed him with his ' Handspiegel ' (1511), to
which Reuchlin replied by his ' Augenspiegel.' Reuchlin
was now summoned by Jacob van Hoogstraaten to appear
before the Cologne Inquisition, and the quarrel soon became
general, humanists and scholastics everywhere taking up arms
against each other. Reuchlin appealed to the bishop of
Spires against Hoogstraaten, and the latter in his turn appealed
against the bishop's judgment in favour of the ' Augenspiegel.'
The matter was pursued still further in the courts, and the
controversy held on till it was merged in the greater conflict
soon to break out, and for which it was to a large extent
accountable. Among the controversial tracts called forth
by this dispute the first rank is occupied by the Epistolae
obscurorum virorum (1515-17),! a collection of letters written
in barbarous Latin, mostly addressed to Master Ortuinus
Gratius of Deventer, and purporting to have been sent by
Reuchlin's opponents ; they are really an amusing satire
on monasticism and scholasticism, and were the work of
Crotus Rubianus at Erfurt and Ulrich von Hutten.

^ Ed. by Booking, 2 vol. 1858-69 ; W. Brecht, Die Verfassev der Epistolae
obscuy. V. 1904 (Quellen u. Forschuiigen zur Sprach- u. Kulturgesch. der
german. Volker, vol. 93).



CHAPTER V

RELIGIOUS AND MORAL LIFE — CHRISTIAN ART*

§154

Worship, Prayer, Church Festivals

I. The western practice of administering Holy Communion
had assumed its modern form already in the previous period ;
it was now the turn of Baptism - to undergo a similar change.
The method of administering Baptism by infusion, which
had even before been customary, especially in France, now
became the practice more generally, and soon was adopted
almost everywhere. Baptism by immersion surviving only
in the Church of Milan. In another matter connected with
Baptism a change occurred. The practice of only baptising
on certain days was not to be reconciled without difficulty
with that of infant-Baptism, and the old regulations had to
be frequently enforced. There was also a superstition, wide-
spread in both France and England, that Baptism administered
on Holy Saturday or Whitsun-eve was harmful to the
children.3 Under the circumstances it was thought advisable
to insist no more on the observance of certain days. The
Council of Reading in 1279 (c- 4) demanded the observance of
the fixed seasons only for those children born within eight
days, and various councils of the fourteenth century (Olmiitz,
1318, c. 19 ; Salamanca, 1335, c 6) ordained quite generally
that children should be baptised shortly after their
birth.

II. Communion'^ continued to be approached but rarely,

' W. Maurenbrecher, Gesch. d. kath. Reformation, I, 1880.
' Funk, A.u. U. I, 478-83.

•' Council of London, 1237, c. 3 ; 1268, c. i ; Worcester, 1240, c. 5.
■* Si. a. ML. 1890, voL 38-39.



Penance 65

and Mass too was not so frequently said. The Council of
Ravenna (1314, c. 13) bewailed the fact that many of the
clergy never said Mass, and laid it down that each priest should
celebrate Mass at least once a year. Councils held in Spain
(Tarragona, 13 17, c. 6 ; Toledo, 1324, c. 7) even made three
or four Masses obligatory. The provincial Council of Aranda
(1473, c. 12) was compelled to lay the same obligation on the
bishops. A slight change in this respect was effected by the
mystics, who often urged frequent Communion [De imitat.
Christi, IV, c. 3), and whose voice was finally destined to
prevail.

III. Public penance ^ as a general practice died out during
this period. It had already ceased in the fourteenth century,
so far as many Churches were concerned. After the sixteenth
century it is found only in very few locahties. This alteration
must, without a doubt, be ascribed to the increase in indulgences,
the indulgence of the Jubilee ^ being added to those already
mentioned (§ 128). According to the ordinance of Boniface
VIII (1300), the Jubilee was to be celebrated once only in the
century, but by Clement VI the term was reduced to fifty
years, by Urban VI to thirty-three, and lastly by Paul II to
twenty-five years. This explains how the sixth general Jubilee
was held in 1475, whilst the five previous were celebrated in
1300, 1350, 1390, 1423, and 1450 respectively. After the
fifteenth century the gaining of the Jubilee indulgence was
no longer made conditional on a visit to the Roman churches,
but was rendered accessible even to those who were unable to
undertake a pilgrimage to the Eternal City.

IV. The misfortunes of the age were accountable for the
production of a new penitential practice. The Flagellants ^
were societies of men who marched from town to town,
scourging themselves on the way, to expiate God's wrath, and
to implore mercy and grace. Not that the practice was, how-
ever, entirely new. In 1260 a movement of this kind spread
from Perugia, soon involved the whole of Italy, and extended
even into Germany. To some extent it had been caused by

1 KL. II, 1576 flf.

2 F. X. Kraus, Essays, II (igoi), 217-336 : Das Anno santo.

^ Mg. by FoRSTEMANN, 1828 ; Cooper, Flagellation and the Flagellants,
1896 ; F. Unger, Die Flagellanten, 1902 ; Faces, Hist, de S. Vincent Ferrier,
2 vol. 2nd ed. 1901.

VOL. II. F



6G A Manual of Church History

the predictions of Joachim (§ 136), though the unhappy
feuds between the Welfs and Ghibellines after the deposition
of Frederick II were also partly responsible. A similar
though more prominent movement was occasioned by the
prevalence of the Black Death (1348-50). The Flagellants
{Flagellarii, Flagellatores) journeyed through nearly the whole
of Europe ; France alone was closed against them. As, how-
ever, these devotees were inclined to attach a superstitious
value to their performances, which also not seldom led to
excesses, the power of Church and State was soon arrayed
against them on the initiative of Clement VI. Even so,
they were to be met with later ; indeed, at the time of the
Council of Constance one band was captained for a while by
St. Vincent Ferrer.

V. The discipline of Fasting was alleviated to some extent
through the dispensation granted in the fifteenth century by
Rome, enabling inhabitants of the northern countries to
partake of milk in its preparations. For instance, in the dio-
cese of Augsburg milk and butter, though not cheese and eggs,
were permitted during Lent, the dispensation being granted
on condition that the natives should, on all the Fridays in the
year, not only abstain, but also fast (1452). Similar indults,
commonly known as ' butter-briefs,' were granted elsewhere.
For the rest the old severity still prevailed.

VI. Among the Festivals which originated in this period
was that of the Trinity ordered by John XXII (1334), and
that of the Visitation established by Urban VI (1389) ; both
these feasts, especially the former, had, however, long been
kept by individual Churches.

The feast of Our Lady's Conception was known in the East,
where it was kept as the Conception of Anna on the 9th December,
as far back as the eighth century. The marble calendar at Naples
witnesses that in the ninth century the feast was kept under the
same name and on the same day in that portion of Italy which then
depended on Constantinople. About iioo we find it kept as the
Conception of Mary in a few monasteries in England ; about 1140
it was known among the canons of Lyons ; and about 1170 at
Rouen also, quite probably being observed not only at the metro-
polis but throughout the province, i.e. throughout Normandy.
Fault was found by many with the innovation, both in England and
in France, St. Bernard being among its opponents at Lyons {Ep. 174).



Popular Devotions 67

In spite of this the festival grew more and more popular ; in the
fourteenth century, when the doctrine of the Immaculate Con-
ception was already beginning to be generally held, the provincial
Council of Canterbury (1328) and many German diocesan synods
declared in its favour. The Council of Basel (Sess. XXXVI, an. 1439)
even directed its celebration throughout the Church, though, owing to
the council being then in opposition to the Pope, the enactment was
not obeyed. When, however, Sixtus IV departed from the passive
attitude hitherto maintained by Rome, indulgencing the feast, and
introducing it into the diocese of Rome (1477), its cause was practi-
cally gained. In spite of this it was long before it was adopted as
a real festival generally. Cp. Z. f. k. Th. 1904, pp. 676-78 ; H.
Kellner, Heortology (Engl. Trans, p. 239 ff.). The number of feasts
was thereby slightly increased though it had already practically
reached its full complement. Indeed the number was too great for
the tastes of some. In the province of Canterbury, where, it is true,
the ecclesiastical year was rather overstocked (§ 129), eleven
festivals were struck off the list by archbishop Simon (1332). At
the Council of Constance, Gerson and Peter d'Ailly proposed a
reduction, which was, however, not accepted.

VII. A few new practices of devotion either came into being in
this period, or spread more widely. The Angelus assumed its
present form by three steps. The evening beU and prayer is first
met with in the thirteenth century, and was encouraged by John
XXII. In his time the morning bell was likewise known, at least in
Italy. Lastly, Calixtus III ordained that the bell should be rung at
midday to summon the faithful to pray for the discomfiture of the
Turk (1456). The custom of ringing the bell three times a day
became general in the seventeenth century, though the form of
prayer with which we now connect it came into universal use only
when Benedict XIII granted an indulgence to the performance of
this devotion (1724). Previously to this various other prayers had
served the purpose. Hist. J. 1902 ; Thurston, in the Month, 1901 f.

VIII. The Stations of the Cross, which existed at Jerusalem
at the time of the crusades, are heard of in the West in the fifteenth
century. The sculptured Way of the Cross by Krafft at Nuremberg
(1490) is especially remarkable for its artistic finish. In this case
the Stations are seven in number, or eight if we reckon Mount
Calvary (they are represented in Kraus's Gesch. der christlichen
Kunst, II, 308) ; in other places they were more numerous. The
present arrangement first appears towards the end of the sixteenth
century, though minus the last two Stations, and gradually became
the rule during the seventeenth century, when the last two Stations
were added, and when the devotion received the official sanction
of the Church (1686). A Way of the Cross comprising seven
falls was long in vogue. Cp. Keppler, Die 14 Stationen des hi.
Kreuzwegs, 2nd ed. 1892 ; Kath. 1895, I, 326-35 ; St. a. ML. 1897,
II. 336-38. Thurston, in the Month, 1900.

F 2



68 A Manual of Church History

§155
Preaching — Instruction of the People i

Great attention was paid to the ministry of preaching.
Again and again were the parochial clergy ordered to preach
to the laity, and the laity commanded to attend the sermons.
The Council of Lavaur (1368, c. i) gave the fullest directions
as to the manner in which the people were to be taught. To-
wards the end of the period special endowments were founded
for preachers in nearly all the larger German towns. After
the invention of the printing press (1450) the works of the
more famous preachers — and other sermonaries — were pub-
lished in numerous editions, a proof, if proof were needed, that
the synodal enactments had not been issued in vain. Several
homiletic handbooks enjoyed a wide circulation — for instance,
the Manuale Curatorum of Ulrich Surgant, parish priest at
Kleinbasel (1503), Most works of this character were written
in Latin, and sermons delivered for the benefit of the clergy
or of the monks, or again on special occasions, were usually
couched in that language. As a general rule, however, sermons
preached to the laity were in the vernacular.

The contents of the sermons were not always equally satis-
factory. Frequently points debated in the schools were dealt
with in the pulpit, and not seldom subtle distinctions, far-
fetched allegories, and tasteless legends were all that the
preachers were prepared to purvey. After the advent of
humanism many preachers, especially in Italy, were wont to
pay more attention to the classics than to Holy Writ, All
the same, preachers of a better stamp never failed, being found
more particularly among the mystics and among the more
zealous of the monks. We must also mention John Geiler von
Kaisersberg at Strasburg (f 1510).^

^ Th. Qu. 1868, p. 267 ff. ; J. Geffcken, Der Bilderkatechismus des 15
Jahrh. 1855 ; V. Hasak, Der christl. Glaube des deutschen Volkes beim Schlusse
des MA. 1868 ; Janssen (Engl, Trans. History of the German People, vol. I) ;
Thureau-Dangin, Un pridicateur populaire, S. Bernardin de Stenne, 1896
(Engl. Trans., 1906, by G. von Hugel) ; W. Walther, Die deutsche
Bibelubersetzung d. MA. 1892; F, Falk, Die Bibel am Ausgang d. MA.
1905 ; F. Landmann, Das Predigtwesen in West/alen in den letzten
Zeiten des MA. 1900; Festgdbe fur H. Finke, 1904, pp, 420-80; Z.f. k. Th,
1906, pp. 470-91.

2 Dacheux, Un riformateur cath, cl la fin du XV* siUlc, J. G. de K. 1876.



Witchcraft 69

Besides the sermons we must not forget that instruction
was also given in confession to the faithful on their duties, and
the abundant literature on the subject shows that this matter
received great attention. Nor were the faithful unacquainted
with Holy Scripture. Before 1500 not less than ninety-nine
Latin editions had been printed, and probably even more,
seeing that, of the twenty-five of doubtful date, some at least
must belong to the fifteenth century. Before 1518 four Low
German translations had been published, besides one in High
German which had run through fourteen editions. Even
more popular than the Bible were the so-called Postils and
Plenaries, which originally contained only the Epistles and
Gospels, but afterwards comprised the whole of the Mass in
the vernacular ; of these more than a hundred editions had been
published in Germany alone previous to the time of Luther.
Yet other works existed for the instruction of the laity, works
which may be considered as the first Catechisms ; among these
the best-known were Gerson's Opus tripartitum, written in
Latin and French, and translated into German by Geiler von
Kaisersberg, and the ' Mirror of the Christian ' of the Francis-
can Kolde of Miinster (1470). Finally art, too, was made to
serve for the edification and instruction of the people. In this
connection we must mention the picture-catechisms, the
Poor Man's Bible, and the Dance of Death.



§ 156

Witchcraft 1

The belief in witchcraft and in compacts with the devil
was an heirloom of paganism treasured throughout the IMiddle
Ages. The weaker sex especially was suspected of being in
league with the evil one, and of using his aid to the detriment
of mankind. We already hear of such women in the De eccles.
discipi. (H, 5, 45) of Regino of Priim, and in the Decretum

' Soldan-Heppe, Gesch. d. Hexenprozesse, 2 vol. 1880 ; Janssen, Hist,
of the German People, vol. VIII (Engl. Trans, vol. XVI) ; Riezler, Gesch, d.
Hexenprozesse in Bay em, 1896 ; J. Hansen, Zauberwahn, Inquisition u.
Hexenprozess im MA. «. die Entstehung der qrossen Hexenver/ol^ung, 1900;
Quellen «. Unters. zur Gesch. d. . . . Hexenver/olgung im MA. 1901,



70 A Manual of Church History

(XIX, 5) of Burkhard of Worms (known after its inclusion
in the Decretum of Gratian, c. 12, C. 26, qu. 5, as the canon
Episcopi). In these documents the superstition in question
is reproved, as it was often to be reproved later. Owing to
this belief it was, however, difficult to eradicate the prevalent
tendency to admit the possibility of intercourse with the
demon, an inclination which is manifest not only in the history
of the heresies, but also in that of Boniface VIII and the
Templars. The superstition not only held its ground, but
actually became more and more widespread during this period.
It was in this age that the opinion gained ground that witches
{Sagae) could enter into sexual intercourse with the devil.
Under these circumstances the twenty-seven articles against
sorcery, issued by the Sorbonne for the instruction of the people
(1398), did but little good. Innocent VIII, by the Bull Suntmis
desider antes (1484), conferred full powers on the Dominicans
Jakob Sprenger, Henry Institoris, and John Gremper to proceed
against witches. To the two former worthies we owe the
Malleus maleficarum, establishing the existence of witchcraft,
and giving directions for self -protection, together with the
method to be followed in dealing with those guilty of the
practice (1487-88). The persecution of witches now became
general, the Protestant Reformation only adding to its severity.
As belief in witchcraft was then deemed an article of Faith,
the various Christian denominations determined to vie with
each other in stamping it out. The famous ' Witches' Hammer '
was frequently reprinted, even by the Protestants. Such
was the senseless cruelty of the age, that confessions extorted
by torture were utilised to demonstrate the fact of diabolical
interference, and then made the basis of further prosecutions,
reason and humanity alike being cast to the winds. To have
attempted to withstand the movement would have involved
death. Cornelius Loos, a professor at Treves, was compelled
to formally retract his strictures (1592), and even the Jesuit
Frederick von Spee was obliged to publish his Caiitio criminalis
(1631) under the discreet veil of anonymity. Only with the
increase of enlightenment in the eighteenth century did reason
regain its sway.



Gothic Art 71

§ 157
Christian Art : Architecture, Sculpture, Painting

I. During this period the prevaihng architecture was Gothic. ^
Whereas in the Romanesque style the main element of
the building was in the walls, in the Gothic it was in the pillars
and arches, the walls being practically reduced to mere acces-
sories. The Gothic architects sought height before all else,
whereas in the Basilica, and to a lesser extent in the Roman-
esque style, what was aimed at was rather breadth, this
peculiarity of Gothic art being most evident in the lofty steeple.
Other points which, in a Gothic building, strike the observer
are the flying buttresses which strengthen the outer walls, the
exclusive use of the pointed arch, and the great windows or
lights divided by vertical shafts or mullions, and, in their
upper portion, filled with fretwork wrought in stone. Besides
this, all the pillars or columns served to support the vaulted
roof. In the Romanesque churches the pillars were so arranged
as to support alternately the vault or the wall of the nave, one
square division of the vault overhead sufficing to cover the
space of two arches below, whereas in the Gothic the division
of the vaults as seen from below no longer presented the aspect
of a series of squares, but of elongated rectangles placed trans-
versally to the nave and rigorously equal in number to the
spaces left open under the arches. In some cases the side-
aisles were made as high as the nave, such churches being
known in Germany as ' Hallenkirchen.' In France it was
customary also to encircle the choir by a corridor, or deambu-
latory, around which chapels were built.

The style had its cradle in northern France. There it was
in use as early as the second half of the twelfth century, and soon
attained great perfection, as is attested by the superb cathedrals
of Paris, Rheims, Chartres, and Amiens. In Germany it
made its first appearance in the second quarter of the thirteenth
century, and rapidly ousted the Romanesque or Transition
style. The style there in vogue until the end of the century is
known as Early Gothic, is remarkable for its simplicity and



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