Thirteenth Century

time, law, modern, medicine, salerno, aquinas, universities, thomas, saint and women

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The graduate schools were the most im portant departments of the universities. In theology, Saint Thomas of Aquin or Aquinas has been an authority ever since and the con tributions which he made to philosophy have been the subject of enduring interest. There was a magnificent development of law through out the various countries and a corresponding evolution of the teaching of law. Canon law particularly was taught with a scientific thor oughness unequalled before and unsurpassed since. It became the basis of all European law. The medical schools are, however, the special surprise for our time. Early in the century the Emperor Frederick II made a law for the Two Sicilies requiring students of medicine to spend some three years at the university pre liminary to their medical studies, and then four years at medicine, followed by a year of prac tice with a physician before they were allowed to practise for themselves. That is a modern standard re-established but recently after a long interregnum. Salerno, the first university medical school, set the example in teaching and insisted on the employment of the natural means of cure, fresh air, water, diet, exercise and oc cupation and diversion of mind. These are all emphasized in the famous Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum, issued at Salerno about the be ginning of the century and published in some 300 editions since the invention of printing. It was the most read popular book on medicine for centuries, republished many times even in the last century. The textbooks in surgery extant from this time have been a revelation. The surgery of the four masters of Salerno who collaborated in the work quite after the modern fashion of textbook writing is surpris ing in its anticipation of modern surgery. We have, besides, the book of Theodoric of Lucca and of Bruno of Longoburgo as well as of William of Salicet, Lanfranc and Mondeville. In these, anaesthesia,— through mandrake and opium,— antisepsis by the use of strong wine they boasted of union by first intention — and a great many of the operations, especially a whole series of intra-abdominal and intra cranial operations, as well as many instruments and modes •of treatment considered to be modern are described. In the large, very well planned hospitals of the time, with finely organized nursing, many operations undreamt of in the intervening centuries until our gen eration were successfully accomplished, not merely as emergency interventions, but to save suffering and prolong life.

The names of the teachers in these gradu ate schools, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon, Bonaventure, Duns Scotus and Alexander of Hales, are probably better known than any group of teachers in history. In stead of losing prestige in the course of time they have gained repute in recent years with increase of interest in the medizval period. Albertus Magnus is the only scholar in history with whose name the adjective great has become incorporated as if it were a family name. He was a man of the widest interests, intent on testing all knowledge carefully. Humboldt pointed out how much he knew about physical geography, physics, climatology and the physiol ogy of plants. Meyer the historian of botany declared "No botanist who lived before Al bertus could be compared with him unless Theophrastus with whom he was not acquainted, and after him none has studied plants so pro foundly until the time of Conrad Gesner and Albert discussed scientifically the Milky Way and its significance, the irregulari ties in the moon's surface, lunar rainbows, various kinds of refraction and many other problems supposed to be modern. His great

pupil Aquinas, adopting Aristotle, laid down the metaphysical principles which are now coming to be recognized as fundamental ideas in the physical and social sciences. Hence a great re vival of study of his works. Even more im mediately interesting than these to the modern world is Roger Bacon, the international cele bration of whose 700th birthday attracted so much attention at Oxford in June 1914. Bacon probably invented gunpowder, suggested that explosives might be used for motor pur poses,— boats running without oars or sails and carriages without horses,— discussed .he theory of lenses, declared that mathematics and experiment were the two important factors for advance in science; anticipated modern ideas as to Biblical revision, insisted on the value of Greek and Hebrew for education, declared that light travels with appreciable velocity and spoke with assurance of aviation. It is clearer than ever now why the people of his time called him Doctor Admsrabilis, the admirable teacher.

A feature of . 13th century education most interesting for our time is the feminine educa tion of the period. At Salerno in southern Italy women were encouraged to study even medicine during the 12th century and the department of women's diseases was in their charge. We have many licenses to practise medicine in the Two Siciles granted to women at that time still ex tant. At Bologna at the end of the 12th century the daughter of Irnerius the great teacher of law became an instructor in the law school. All of the Italian universities had women teachers on their staff. The unfortunate Heloise and Abelard incident at Paris seems to have given a serious setback to feminine education in the universities of the west of Europe, but in Italy the custom established in the 13th continued, and there have been women professors at the Italian universities every century since.

The literature of the century is the proof of the intellectual quality of the time, for it was not only great but widely read. Its value will be best recognized from the fact that prob ably well-read people know the works of the 13th century better than of any other, except their own, though they are often not quite con scious of the fact, not having noted the dates. The enduring work of the time begins with the Arthur legends put into fine literary form by Walter Map or Mapes, just as the century be gins. To him we owe Lancelot. "Like Paris, handsome, and like Hector, brave,' but with a fault that makes him even more appealing, so that probably he is the most interesting charac ter of fiction ever created. Then came the ballads of the Cid in Spain, followed by the Nibelungenlied with the h4eistersingers and Minnesingers and then the Troubadour.; and Trouveres with the Romance of the Rose and Renard the Fox in what we call France, and, finally, the Trovatori in Italy, cul minating in Dante who, the greatest of the Trovatori, was just ready to write what has often been proclaimed the great est poem of all literature, as the century closed. Such other writers as Villehardouin, Joinville, Matthew of Paris, the earliest en cyclopedists, Vincent of Beauvais, Thomas of Cantimprato, Bartholomew the Englishman, and such works as that of William of Durandus and Jacobus de Voragine of the Golden Legend, are perennially interesting. The century has also the greatest of the Latin hymns, the 'Dies Ira:,' the 'Stabat Mater,' the marvelously beautiful religious poetry of Saint Francis him self, of Saint Thomas Aquinas, of Bernard of Morlaix and of Saint Bonaventure.

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