HISTORY OF EDUCATION
DURING THE MIDDLE AGES
AND THE TRANSITION TO MODERN
FRANK PIERREPONT GRAVES, Ph.D.
PROFESSOR OF THE HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF
EDUCATION IN THE OHIO -STATE UNIVERSITY
AUTHOR OF "A HISTORY OF EDUCATION
BEFORE THE MIDDLE AGES"
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
All rights reserved
By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.
S«t up and electrotyped. Published September, igio- Reprinted
January, 1912 ; July, 1913 ; January, July, 1914; July, 1915-
J. S. Cushing Co. — Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.
TO MY WIFE
HELEN WADSWORTH GRAVES
•=»* st> c~-\ «^
This book is a continuation of my History of Educa-
tion before the Middle Ages, and holds in general to the
same point of view and method of approach. It may,
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
however, be used quite independently of that volume
as a textbook or a work of reference upon educational
history between the sixth and the eighteenth centuries.
In either case, it is hoped that a sufficiently clear and
detailed account is given to afford an accurate picture
of the period covered, and to interest students in some
of the more important origins of modern educational
procedure. The extensive quotation of the sources and
the selected lists of supplementary reading should con-
tribute materially to these ends.
No apology is necessary, I trust, for continuing to
view the educational process from the standpoint of the
development of individualism. The period of the Middle
Ages and the subsequent four centuries of reaction lend
themselves to this method of interpretation with engag-
ing facility. Nevertheless, I have striven never in the
interest of this method to slur the facts nor force their
construction, and have deferred all serious attempts
at generalization until after the data have been pre-
sented. As in the former volume, I have also under-
taken to furnish a background and a perspective for the
history of education by interweaving a liberal measure
of political material. Although this part of the narra-
tive is, because of the growing complexity of the times
under consideration, necessanly less connected than
in my work upon ancient education, such an historical
setting may tend to acquit me of the charge of peda-
gogical aeroplaning. At any rate, a life-line of general
history is sadly needed by the average student of edu-
In making this work accurate, I have received aid
from several quarters. I am much indebted to my
colleagues, Professors E. H. McNeal and Clarence
Perkins, for the pains they have expended in checking
up the descriptions of an historical layman, and to my
former colleague, Professor J. H. Coursault, of the
University of Missouri, for his frank but kindly criticism
of the educational facts in the book and of my method
of presenting them. I owe an even larger debt to my
colleague, Professor A. E. Davies, who has throughout
the preparation of this treatise been ever at my service
as a critic and guide, and has found time in a very busy
life to make many suggestions and improvements.
F. F. G.
July i, 1910.
THE MIDDLE AGES
The Problem of the Medieval Period i
The Middle Ages as a Period of Assimilation. The
Middle Ages as a Period of Repression.
MONASTICISM AND THE MONASTIC SCHOOLS ... 4 *■''
Rise and History of Monasticism. The Rule of Bene-
dict. The Libraries, Multiplication of Manuscripts, and
Original Writings of the Monasteries. Organization of the
Monastic Education. The Three Ideals of the Monastic
Education. The Monastic Course of Study and the Seven
Liberal Arts. The Methods of Teaching and the Texts >
Used in the Monastic Schools. How Monasticism Affected
the Middle Ages and Civilization in General.
Charlemagne's Revival of Education . . . . 25 /
Rise of the Franks and the Empire of Charlemagne.
Charlemagne's Improvements in Administration. Charle-
magne's Efforts to Improve Learning. Alcuin and the
Palace School. Educational Improvement in the Monastic
and Other Schools. The Course of Study and the Or-
ganization in the Schools. The School of Alcuin at the
Monastery of Tours. Rabanus Maurus and Other Pupils
The REvrvAL of Education under Alfred ... 36
Alfred's Desire to Extend and Improve Education. The
Establishment of Schools and the Importation of Edu-
cators. Alfred's Personal Assistance to Learning and
Education. Significance of Alfred's Educational Work.
The Mohammedan Learning and Education .
The Rise of Moslemism and Its Absorption of Greek
Culture. The Brothers of Sincerity and Their Scheme
of Higher Education. The Moorish Colleges. Elemen-
tary Education. Stimulating Effect upon Europe of the
The Educational Tendencies of Mysticism and Scho-
The Nature and Rise of Christian Mysticism. The Edu-
cation in Mediaeval Mysticism. The Development of
Mysticism. The Character of Scholasticism. The His-
tory of Scholastic Development. .The Tendency of'
Scholasticism. Its Educational Organization and Content.
The Method of Presentation. Scholasticism and Its In-
fluence. The Relations of Mysticism and Scholasticism
The Education of Feudalism and Chivalry . . 63
The Origin of Feudalism. Chivalry and Its Develop-
ment. The Ideals of Chivalric Education. The Three
Stages of Education Preparatory to Knighthood. Knight-
hood. Training of Women. The Effects of Chivalric
The Educational Work of the Friars .... 72
The Purpose of the Friars. Their Organization and
Methods. Their Influence upon Education and Progress.
The Medieval Universities 76
General Causes of the Rise of Universities. The His-
tory and Purpose of the Universities. Privileges Granted
to Universities. Organization of the Universities. The
Courses of Study. The ''Methods of Study. Degrees.
The Value of the University Education and Its Effect
The Development of Cities and New Schools . . 96
The Rise of Commerce and Cities. The Gild, Burgher,
and Chantry Schools.
The Passing of the Middle Ages . . . . . 100
The Growth of National Spirit. The Development of
Vernacular Literature. Mediaeval Art. Summary of the
THE TRANSITION TO MODERN TIMES
The Renaissance and Humanistic Education . . 106
The General Tendencies of the Renaissance. The
Renaissance and the Revival of Learning. Humanism
and the Humanists.
The Humanistic Education in Italy ....
Causes of the Awakening in Italy. Petrarch and His
Influence. The Development of Greek Scholarship.
Chrysoloras and His Pupils. The City Tyrants as Hu-
manists. The Court School at Mantua and Vittorino da
Feltre. The Relation of the Court Schools to the Uni-
versities. Attitude of the Humanists toward the Church.
Ideals of the Humanistic Education. The Content,
Method, and Organization. Decadence of the Italian
Humanism and the Rise of Ciceronianism.
The Humanistic Education of the North .
The Spread and Character of Humanism in the North-
ern Countries. The Development in France. Budaeus.
Corderius. College de Guyenne. Classical Studies in
the German Universities. Groot and the Hieronymian
Schools. Wessel, Agricola, Reuchlin, and Hegius.~ Jakob
Wimpfeling. Erasmus, the Leader in Humanistic Educa-
tion. The Fiirstenschulen and the Gymnasien. Me-
lanchthon and His Organization of Schools. Sturm's
Gymnasium. The Early Humanistic Movement in Eng-
land. Greek at Oxford. Greek at Cambridge. Human-
istic Influences at the Court. Elyot's Governour. Vives.
Ascham's Scholemaster : John Colet and His School at
St. Paul's. Humanism in the English Grammar Schools.
Formalism in the Grammar Schools. English Grammar
and Public Schools To-day. The Grammar Schools of
America. The Aim of Humanistic Education in the
North. The Connection of Northern Educational Organ-
ization with the Reformation. The Course of Study.
The Formalization of Humanistic Education.
Educational Influences of the Protestants * . -179
General Causes of the Reformation. Luther's Revolt.
Educational Features of Luther's Religious Works.
Luther's Chief Educational Works. The Civic Aim of
Education. The Organization of Education by the State.
Industrial and Academic Training. Religious, Human-
istic, and Other Content of Education. Rationality in
Method. Melanchthon, Sturm, Bugenhagen, Trotzen-
dorf, and Neander. Zwingli's Revolt. Zwingli's Educa-
tional Foundations and Treatise. Calvin's Revolt. Calvin's
Encouragement of Education, and the Work of Corderius.
Spread of Calvinist Education. Knox and the Elemen-
tary Schools of Scotland. Henry VIIFs Revolt. Effect
upon Education. The Civil and Universal Aim of Protes-
tant Education. The Foundation of Elementary Schools.
Effect upon Secondary Schools and Universities. The
Curricula. The Lapse into Formalism.
The Education of the Catholics 208
The Council of Trent. Loyola and the Foundation of
the Society of Jesus. The Constitutiones and the Ratio
Studiorum. The Lower and Upper Colleges. The Hu-
manistic Curriculum of the Lower Colleges. The Philo-
sophical and Theological Courses in the Upper Colleges.
The Pralectio. Memorizing. Reviews. Emulation.
Corporal Punishment. Estimate of the Jesuit Schools.
The Oratorian Schools. The Little Schools of the Port
Royalists. The Curriculum and Texts. Methods. The
Closing of the Little Schools. La Salle and the Christian
Brethren. The Aim, Organization, Curriculum, Method,
and Results. Catholic Education of Girls. Fdnelon.
Religious and Repressive Aim of Catholic Education.
The Organization of Catholic Schools and Universities.
The Humanistic and Religious Curricula. The Teachers
and Methods. Results of Education during the Refor
The Beginnings of Realistic Education
The Relation of Realism to the Renaissance and the
Reformation. The Nature of Realism. The Earlier
Realism, Verbal and Social. The Earlier Realists. Rabe-
lais. The Training of the Whole Man. The Informal
Method. The Influence of Rabelais. Montaigne. His
Aim, Means, Subjects, and Method of Education. The
Effects of Montaigne's Theories. Mulcaster. Natural
Education. Elementary Education. Higher Training.
Education of Girls. Improvements in Teaching. Re-
sults of Mulcaster's Positions. Milton. His Definition
of Education. His ' Academy. 1 Early Realism in Locke.
His Aim, Means, Content, and Method of Education.
Influence of Locke's Thoughts. The Effect of the Earlier
Sense Realism in Education
The Development of Realism. Bacon and his New
Method. Solomon's House and the Pansophic Course.
The Value of Bacon's Method. Ratich's Attempts at
School Reform. His Extravagant Claims. His Realistic
Methods. The Educational Influence of Ratich. The
Education and Earliest Work of Comenius. The Janua
Linguarum. The Vestibulum, Atrium, Orbis Pictus, and
Other Janual Works. The Didactica Magna. Pan-
sophia. The Threefold Aim of Education. Universal
Education. The Four Periods in the School System.
The College of Pansophia. Encyclopaedic Course. The
Mother School. The Vernacular School. The Latin
School. The University. Method of Nature. Disci-
pline. Effect of the Comenian Principles upon Education.
Locke as a Sense Realist. Realistic Tendencies in the
Elementary Schools. Secondary Schools. Universities.
Educational Influences of Puritanism, Pietism, and
Reaction to the Conditions in Church and State. Puri-
tanism and Its Contributions to Education. Results of
Puritanism. Rise of the Pietists. Francke. His Insti-
tutions. Aim, Course, Methods, and Influence. Decline
of Pietism. Rationalism in England and France.
Locke's Disciplinary Theory. Effects of Locke's Edu-
cational Theories. Voltaire and the Encyclopedists.
The Hardening of the Puritan, Pietistic, and Rationalistic
The Progress before Modern Times .... 315
The Middle Ages. The Awakening. Preparation for
Rousseau and the French Revolution. The Modern Spirit.
A HISTORY OF EDUCATION
DURING THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE
TRANSITION TO MODERN TIMES
PART I — THE MIDDLE AGES
THE PROBLEM OF THE MEDIAEVAL PERIOD
The Middle Ages as a Period of Assimilation. — A
present-day historian tersely defines the ' problem ' of
Civilization during the Middle Ages as follows : —
" To make out of the barbarized sixth century, stagnant and frag-
mentary, with little common life, without ideals or enthusiasms, the
fifteenth century in full possession again of a common world civiliza-
tion, keen, pushing, and enthusiastic." 1
According to this interpretation, it was the office of the The Middle
Middle Ages to enable the rude German hordes, who had 3,f es fl f s r e a ^ u "
everywhere taken possession of the decadent ancient the Greek,
world, to rise gradually to such a plane of intelligence christian™ 1
and achievement that they might absorb the civilization elements
of antiquity and become its carriers to modern times. ^J^jj
Through the conquest of the Roman world by these bar-
barian tribes, the four factors which were destined to be
the most influential in modern civilization — the Greek,
the Roman, the Christian, and the German — came to
meet in the early part of the sixth century and for a
1 George Burton Adams, op. cit., p. 1 1.
A HISTORY OF EDUCATION
time to exist side by side. And it was the mission of the
succeeding centuries to fuse these divergent elements
into one organic whole.
But such a process was necessarily slow. Rome had
absorbed and combined with her legal and political insti-
tutions the rich intellectual and aesthetic contributions of
Greece. Also in becoming Christian she had institu-
tionalized this religion and given it the form of a legal
morality. The problem now was the assimilation of this
culture with that of the German barbarians who had con-
quered Rome, and the uniting with the Greek, Roman,
and Christian factors of the freer and more elastic
institutions of these people. But Rome had been
greatly sapped of her vitality and strength, and nearly a
millennium passed before these diverse elements were
Yet gradual as the movement was, it began almost
immediately. While still flushed with their victories,
the rough warriors must have found themselves in the
presence and under the spell of Roman organization
and culture. . The government, wealth, art, and technical
skill of ancient Rome were everywhere evidenced in the
roads, bridges, buildings, and cities that challenged their
interest and admiration. The concept of a universal
empire as the only possible civil order had been impressed
upon the Germans through long contact with it. They
also found in the organization of the Catholic Church a
visible enshrinement of this imperial idea, which spoke
with authority and finality to all nations. Moreover, the
classic literature and the Graeco-Roman schools were
still preserved, though in a diluted form, in the Christian
educational institutions. The barbarians were inevitably
impressed with a sense of the superiority of Roman
institutions 1 and civilization, and they began, ofttimes
unconsciously, to imitate and borrow from what must
have appeared to them a completed and absolute system,
1 Not only did the Germans hold in mind as a goal of perfection the
general imperial organization, but they even tried to retain the various
offices and official titles.
THE PROBLEM OF THE MEDIEVAL PERIOD 3
The Middle Ages as a Period of Repression. — Conse-
quently, the mediaeval period was primarily one not of
progress, but of absorption. The watchword was author-
ity and the conformity of the individual to the model
set, and there was a constant tendency to realize the This resulted
ideals of life in concrete form. Therein appears both j n an authori-
the weakness and the strength of the Middle Ages. It ardTnda" "
was only through the formation of the right social habits, f. ubordina -
. J . , ,, . riii- tlon °f tne
or institutions, that the leavening of the barbarians was individual to
possible, but it was this crystallization through authority a n e d mod ^ set '
thatr made individualism and further ideals difficult. wasaimos7 SS
Little advance could be made until the social habits u^Hndivid-
could be reshaped and new ideals tolerated. A machine uaiism was
is a most effective and economical instrument, but it
permits no variation, originality, or advancement over
the pattern. Hence Rashdall most aptly characterizes
the situation in the Middle Ages, when he says : —
"Ideals pass into historic forces by embodying themselves in
institutions. The power of embodying its ideals in institutions was
the peculiar genius of the mediaeval mind, as its most conspicuous
defect lay in the corresponding tendency to materialize them." 1
Assimilation and repression are thus the key to the
Middle Ages, and until the bondage to authority, con-
vention, and institutions was broken, progress was- im-
possible. But, as will be seen, there grew up within
mediaevalism itself factors that, with the development
of intelligence, were destined to lead to individualism and
advancement. Slowly but surely, the repression was re-
moved, and modern culture grew out of this fusion of Ger-
man barbarism with Christianity and classical antiquity.
1 Universities in the Middle Ages, Vol. I, p. 5.
MONASTICISM AND THE MONASTIC SCHOOLS
In all this mediaeval assimilation, it was but natural
that the Church should stand as the chief guide and
schoolmaster of the Germanic hosts. Christianity had
become the authoritative religion of the Roman world,
and, through the complete organization of the Church
with the Bishop of Rome as its head, its power became
practically unlimited. Now while Christian culture and
education had been greatly influenced by Graeco-Roman
learning, the Church had become very suspicious of this
training, and in 529, by the decree of Justinian, had suc-
ceeded in having the pagan schools closed. This left
Christian education without a rival, and, although the
episcopal schools persisted to some extent, it tended to
find its chief expression in the ' monastic,' or fourth
type of Christian schools, 1 with their reversion to the
Rise and History of Monasticism. — But to under-
stand the monastic schools, which were so much wider
and more enduring in range of influence than any Chris-
tian type which had preceded, it will be necessary to
examine the movement and institution out of which they
arose. Monasticism resulted in a time of moral decay
from the desire of some within the Church for a deeper
religious life. By the third century Roman society had
.become most corrupt. All hope of self-government had
gone, class was arrayed against class, and the privileged
orders reveled in luxury and depravity, while the rank
« or a brief account of the schools of Early Christianity, se- r -'ives,
v of Education before the Middle Ages (New Vor!., . -
MONASTICISM AND THE MONASTIC SCHOOLS 5
and file were poor and oppressed. Religious enthusiasm
likewise declined. Christianity was no longer confined
to small extra-social groups meeting secretly, but was
represented in all walks of society, and mingled with
the world. It had become thoroughly secularized, and
even the clergy had in many instances yielded to the
prevailing worldliness and vice. 1 Under these circum-
stances there were Christians who felt that the only
hope for salvation rested in fleeing from the world and
its temptations and taking refuge in an isolated life of
Hence there grew up within Christianity that form
of solitary living known as monasticism, with its ' ascetic
cism,' or discipline of the body in the interest of the high-
est spirituaTTife? "Some of the "elements of asceticism
appeared m'Ch'ristianity, through various sects, like the Manywith-
Therapeutae, Gnostics, and Montanists, even during the socktvfoto
first two centuries of its history, although it was not the deserts of
until the third century that any number of Christians ^f^Jed^Hfe
adopted such a mode of living. As corruption increased of asceticism
in the Roman world, many abandoned their homes, or a*" 1 ^ ^ 011 -
were driven from them by persecution. They withdrew
farther and farther from society, until they reached the
seclusion of the mountains, where they dwelt alone in
caves. Thus these first Christian hermits were literally
1 monks,' 3 and the dreary deserts and solitudes of lower
Egypt naturally furnished them with a suitable dwell-
ing-place. They pursued a life of prayer, contempla-
tion, and repression of the body, even to the extent of
practicing vigil and fasting, flagellation, exhaustive labor,
1 For a description of this decadence in its various phases, see Graves,
op. cit., pp. 234-235, 267, and 275-277.
2 But long before Christianity, monasticism existed in many types of
religion and philosophy and among a variety of races and peoples. Per-
haps it appears earliest in India, with the Brahman self-torture, but among
the Greeks, as early as the sixth century B.C., the Pythagoreans established
a strict ascetic regime. Somewhat later, there were similar tendencies
among the Cynics and the Stoics, and in Plato's emphasis upon the ideal
life and meditation, especially as continued in Neoplatonism. There were
also several ascetic sects among the Jews.
8 The word is derived from the Greek m#nos, which signifies ' alone.'
A HISTORY OF EDUCATION
began to live
the first mon-
This form of
A merciless exposure to heat and cold. Their food
_onsisted mostly of bread and water, whjrte oil, salt, and
such fruits and vegetables as could easily be obtained,
may occasionally have been used as luxuries. The first
to court this life of isolation and repression was one
Paul, who during the third century escaped from per-
secution into the Egyptian desert, and was generally
regarded as the founder of the hermit life. He was fol-
lowed by that Anthony who is reputed to have had so
many encounters with 'the evil one,' and by hosts of
others until the caves of Egypt were everywhere filled
The social instinct, however, still existed even'in these
anchorites, and before long the abodes of tne more
famous hermits were surrounded by the huts and dens
of disciples. This led to the foundation of monasteries
or common dwelling-houses, in which the monks lived
apart in separate cells, but met for meals, prayers, com-
munion, and counsel. 1 The first monastery was organ-
ized by Pachomius, about the middle of the fourth
century, and was located on the island of Tabennae in
the Nile. The founder divided his fourteen hundred
followers into bands of tens and hundreds, with an
appropriate official over each group and with all finally
subordinate to himself. 2 This form of monasticism was
more humane than the solitary, and soon came to pre-
vail. The influence of Pachomius was extended over
all Egypt and into Syria and Palestine until there were
some seven thousand monks living under his ' rule ' or
From the East this coenobitic ('common life') monas-
ticism was introduced into Greece by Basil, who had
studied it in Egypt, Syria, and Palestine, and into Italy
1 A good picture of this type of Egyptian monasticism can be formed
by reading the description of Philammon's life in Abbot Pambo's /aura at
Scetis, given in Kingsley's Hypatia.
2 He coul ■'. .as this
term ■• time restriv trior or head, but was ap-
plied to every monk.
MONASTICISM AND THE MONASTIC SCHOOLS 7
and Gaul by Athanasius during his flight from Alexan- by Basil,
dria to escape the Arian persecutions, and half a cen- Atl janasius,
1 . 1 x ' 1 t> . . and Jerome,
tury later by Jerome, who came to Rome from his and there,
monastery in Bethlehem in order to evangelize. But " nde ^Augus-
. . . . ,,, , ,.y_ tine, Cassian,