Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn 0199249873, 9780199249879

This study provides an entirely new look at an era of radical change in the history of West European thought, the period

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Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn
 0199249873, 9780199249879

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Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

Title Pages (p.i) Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn (p.ii) (p.iii) Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn

(p.iv) Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide in Oxford New York Auckland Cape Town Dar es Salaam Hong Kong Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Nairobi New Delhi Shanghai Taipei Toronto With offices in Argentina Austria Brazil Chile Czech Republic France Greece Guatemala Hungary Italy Japan South Korea Poland  Portugal Singapore Switzerland Thailand Turkey Ukraine Vietnam Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries

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Title Pages Published in the United States © Ann Moss 2003 The moral rights of the author have been asserted Database right Oxford University Press (maker) Reprinted 2011 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this book in any other binding or cover And you must impose this same condition on any acquirer ISBN 978–0–19–924987–9 Printed and bound in Great Britain by CPI Antony Rowe, Chippenham and Eastbourne

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Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

Dedication (p.v) In piam memoriam I. D. McFarlane

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Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

( (p.vii) Preface THE MOST EXCITING history is invariably a history of change. There are few historical periods that have advertised their commitment to change more vociferously than the period of the Renaissance and the Reformation, and Latin language users of that period were the most articulate proponents and opponents of change. The present work investigates important aspects of the use of Latin in the process of change, but not solely as the medium in which debates were pursued. For Latin itself was changing. My book relates the story of the shift from one idiom of Latin, the Latin of late medieval intellectuals, to another, very different idiom, the revitalized classical Latin of the humanists. The thesis that drives my book's analysis of all the moves and countermoves in that story is that the ways people thought, and the thoughts they had, were conditioned by the idiom of Latin in which they worked and by the cultural horizons of their verbal universe. The focus and scope of my investigations derive from my previous inquiries into some of the mental environments that structured discourse production in the Renaissance: the reception and interpretation of classical mythology; changes in liturgical language; mechanisms for ordering, retrieving, and producing knowledge. The book originated as an attempt to synthesize these different elements of my research. In the course of writing it, however, I found myself seduced into lateral paths, by-ways, and subplots, into the history of Latin dictionaries and phrase-books, into religious controversy, into early ventures in literary criticism, even into the fortunes of a saint. But, in the last analysis, it may be that my formation as a teacher has had as much influence on this book as my formation as a researcher. I have made my career in teaching literary and intellectual history through the medium of a foreign language. This book may stand as an affirmation of my belief that language matters.

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Preface The most important aids to the preparation of the book have been, as always, time to think and write, and money to assist with travel to consult essential material in libraries in the United Kingdom and on the continent of Europe. For these I must thank, in particular, the University of Durham for research leave and travel grants; the Leverhulme Trust for the award of a Fellowship for one vital year; and the Herzog August Bibliothek at Wolfenbüttel for the term I spent receiving its hospitality and revelling in the riches of its collection. The book has further benefited from opportunities to test its ideas on critical audiences at seminars in Great Britain, France, and Germany. The awkward questions were always the stimulating ones. If this book raises more awkward questions, I shall be well rewarded. A.M.

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Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

Introduction Ann Moss


Abstract and Keywords This chapter discusses Renaissance humanism and introduces several concepts that are used throughout the different chapters in the book. Humanism, for example, is defined as an intellectual endeavour for writing and debate. In this book, the period of the Renaissance is taken to be the period between the late 14th and the early 17th centuries. Keywords:   Renaissance humanism, humanism, writing, debate, humanists, Renaissance, classical antiquity

IN RECENT YEARS, Renaissance humanism in all its manifestations has been the subject of several new books covering its general history.1 The present work views that history from a very particular perspective. Its thesis is that language and language change is of overriding importance in Renaissance humanism's radical refashioning of the mentality of western Europe. To illustrate this thesis, it negotiates its way round some areas that have already received attention and dwells on other areas that have not been so thoroughly explored. The aim is not to propose a coherent history of Renaissance humanism, but to focus sharply on Latin texts that document the effects of language change.

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Introduction Throughout the book, the terms humanism’ and ‘humanist’ will be used in their broadest sense in so far as they refer to intellectual endeavour, to writing and debate.2 ‘Humanists’ were those scholars and intellectual inquirers of the Renaissance (very roughly the period between the late fourteenth and the early seventeenth centuries) who accorded a privileged place in their thinking to the recently much expanded corpus of documents inherited from classical antiquity. They worked within the general field of studia humanitatis which in its narrowest definition meant the language arts of grammar, dialectic, rhetoric, and poetics. They colonized the cognate territories of literature, history, and philosophy (particularly, but not exclusively, moral philosophy), and they extended their influence ever more deeply into the rest of the encyclopedia of learning. They cultivated a style of Latin composition that they deemed to replicate the style of the Latin writers of the ancient world, however approximate we may judge their efforts to be. They saw themselves individually and collectively as innovators and were, to a greater or lesser extent, antagonistic to the intellectual culture of the immediate past, that is to say the late Middle Ages. (p.2) Humanists, all skilled in the verbal manipulation of truth, propagated very effectively their claim to be the agents of a ‘rebirth’ of a ‘good’ intellectual culture, although to many modern observers, the continuities between Middle Ages and Renaissance have seemed as worthy of note as the changes. Nevertheless, the humanists’ own defining point of difference, and one with which modern historians have not been so inclined to argue, was the language they used. For all professional purposes that language was Latin. Not that the use of Latin was in itself a distinguishing factor. The humanists continued medieval practice in that they employed Latin as the primary medium for communication, exposition, and debate at school and university level, as they did within the professional disciplines of medicine, law, and theology, and, generally speaking, in all areas that had any pretence to intellectual sophistication. What the humanists changed was the type of Latin they commonly used. It was in effect a change in idiom or dialect, but a change so profound that the Latin shared by humanist users was systematically different from the Latin that had been developed within the intellectual community of the late Middle Ages.3

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Introduction The Latin language change, already operational in Italy in the fifteenth century, became a contentious issue in countries north of the Alps as that century closed. Round about 1520, a humanist teacher at Paris keen to improve the standard of spoken and written Latin there, suggested an explanation for what he perceived as bad practice at elementary level. Children arrive at school knowing only their vernacular. They are soon required to talk nothing but Latin, well before they are proficient at it. Schoolmasters mete out dire punishments to children caught talking in their vernacular, but turn a blind eye when they use a dog Latin made up of vernacular words with Latin-sounding endings. This bastard language becomes habitual usage at school, a deviant usage based on no understanding of the procedures of correct Latin. And this is the Latin students all take with them to their higher studies in dialectic, where what matters is understanding each other and communicating in a common language, but not what sort of Latin is used.4 This account is obviously biased against the idiom of Latin that this author aims in his book to correct (I shall examine later how he intends to do so). Nevertheless, it gives some insight into the situation which so irked the humanists at elementary level. A forced bilingualism, so they said, in which the primacy of the first language was merely camouflaged, resulted at best in an artificial Latin that was grammatically adrift, at least potentially, of norms that should be in force in the grammar classroom and was radically external to its users, who played at talking Latin as if it were some sort of a game. And yet this Latin was perfectly serviceable for a given community. (p.3) At the other end of the education spectrum, Latin, prior to its reinvention by the humanists, was just such an artificial language, if a much more complex one. It was the technical language of the professions: theology, law, and medicine. It was the language in which scholastic logicians and philosophers stated and debated the problems they diagnosed in propositions and the questions they put to theses. It was the language in which theology had constructed its own lexicon to handle issues unknown to classical users of the language. For all these functions, late medieval Latin had developed its own vocabulary and, to a certain extent, its own syntax.5 It was marvellously precise and extremely efficient within its own frame of reference, but it was essentially a tool fit for purpose rather than a verbal environment in which to live.

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Introduction During the course of this book, we shall meet late medieval Latin in some, if not all, of the contexts listed above. At this stage, it may be enough to give just two examples of its use for purposes with which quite moderately educated people would be very familiar. Both formative language experience and ingrained habit inclined practitioners of late medieval Latin to regard it as a specialized tool and manipulate it as such. The first example is taken from a very basic textbook on dialectic (or logic), the subject to which students advanced after they had learnt Latin. For late medieval logic, bent on determining the truth conditions of propositions, the Latin language was a formal system, most pertinently analysed in terms of the highly technical ’scholastic’ Latin metalanguage developed for that purpose. The Summulae logicales of Peter of Spain was written in the thirteenth century and remained in very widespread use as a textbook for the logic class up until the early years of the sixteenth century. It includes in its introductory analysis of the Latin in which propositions were produced a section on #x2018;equipollences’ (equivalent meanings), defined in terms of rules such as the following: ’si alicui signo tarn universali, quam particulari praeponatur negatio, aequipollet suo contradictorio…Si alicui signo universali postponatur negatio, aequipollet suo contrario…. Si alicui signo universali et particulari praeponatur et postponatur negatio, aequipollet suo subalterno.’6 These precepts are ultimately derived from the tenth chapter of Aristotle's De interpretatione (Peri hermeneias), now normally the second of the books comprising Aristotle's Logic, his Organon. What has emerged into scholastic logic is this very schematic tabulation of rules expressed in a severely technical Latin idiom, which presupposes a reader trained to understand and manipulate every word (p.4) with a precision that is alien to ordinary language use. Similarly, the examples that Peter of Spain cites to illustrate his rules require a very exact positioning of words. His sentences are not sentences typical of communicative speech; much less are they sentences likely to be found in the Latin of the ancients. For his first rule, he gives: ‘non omnis homo non currit’, equipollent with ‘quidam non currit’ (not every man runs, some man does not run), for his second, ‘omnis homo non currit’ equipollent with ‘nullus homo currit’ (all men do not run, no man runs), and for his third, ‘non nullus homo non currit’ equipollent with ‘quidam homo non currit’ (not no man does not run, some man does not run). Sentences like these represent extreme examples of Latin used as a precision instrument for producing tenable propositions, but medieval logic's tendency to regard the Latin language as a formal system to be analysed in this way was transported to the more discursive prose of the scientific disciplines and of theology, all of which were subjected to the same rigorous testing for paralogisms.

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Introduction My second example of very typical late medieval Latin was also characteristic of theological discourse, but it looks and sounds very different. In this case, Latin functions as a semiological as much as a semantic system, a system in which words are signs to be matched not solely to the mental concepts or things they signify, but also to each other, as markers to interlace elements of composition and create sound patterns. It was this use of Latin that produced the complicated language games involved in the distinctions and divisions and the rhyming prose of the late medieval sermon and much liturgical material.7 The following distinction on the cross is to be found in a fourteenth-century text printed in the early sixteenth century, in which interpretations of all the fables of Ovid's Metamorphoses are articulated in a style suitable for sermon delivery. The laurel tree into which Daphne was changed and from which Apollo took his crown is said to signify the cross that Christ embraced: Ista [crux] debet esse nobis pro coronata honoris et gloriationis pro cithara laudis et gratiarum actionis pro sagitta verbi dei et sanctae praedicationis pro gloria victorie cuiuscunque temptationis pro tutela fulminis divine sententie et eterne damnationis  et quod plus est pro amore eterne glorie et future salvationis.8

(p.5) The sentence forms of an intricate pattern of matches. Attributes of Apollo and his laurel are matched with Christ, phrases are matched in parallels, and words are matched by sound. It is an elaborate artifice of a sort unknown to the classical world.

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Introduction In contrast to all this, the humanist schoolboy was supposed to speak, write, and think as if he were an integrated member of the same speech community as Cicero and Virgil. Latin language learning in the late Middle Ages had started from non-classical Latin texts (the moralizing verses of the octo auctores of the typical late medieval school), was reinforced by a descriptive and prescriptive grammar, and normally ceased as soon as a certain adequacy had been attained. The humanist schoolboy started from short extracts taken from classical authors, learnt vocabulary and usage from classical texts and from phrase-books which more often than not collected quotations from named classical authors, and he was expected to continue his study of the Latin language in parallel with that of the more advanced disciplines he went on to pursue.9 For the humanists, what mattered was language in use, its specificities, and the cultural context from which those specificities acquired precision of meaning. Grammar and lexical usage were to be explored in the written discourse of ‘good’ authors. Not, be it noted, in ‘ordinary language’, except in the strict sense of ‘ordinary’ which distinguishes it from the technical metalanguage of scholastic philosophy. The ‘good’ authors (of which the canon varied around the Cicero and Virgil core) were the authors of antiquity, ‘uncor-rupted’ by later linguistic evolution. By learning their language, the boy in the humanists’ classroom was made to feel completely at home in a culture which was extraordinary, pagan, fabulous, exotic, remote, but recoverable in books. The Latin language, as he internalized its vocabulary and phraseology, ideally enabled him to move imaginatively between cultures, to enter other minds and appropriate other worlds. And as he learnt to manipulate his acquired language in composition and argument, he imitated his authors’ practice of the precepts of rhetoric, together with rhetoric's tendency to relate meaning to situation, utterance to reception.

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Introduction It may be objected that the dichotomy just described is something of a caricature of the situation as it actually was in the early part of the sixteenth century. For one thing, the humanists’ project for teaching Latin was certainly only very partially realized in individual cases. The point of departure of this book, however, is not an interest in outcomes in particular cases, but in the transformation in language teaching strategy that was enforced in all schools by the almost missionary fervour of the humanists, as well as by their capacity to persuade governing and financial authorities of the public utility of their programme. However resistant the individual schoolboy, he was participating in a process of culture change that was radical and would have radical consequences. There is also another factor that (p.6) blurs the picture, and that is that the two idioms of Latin not only coexisted separately in the early sixteenth century, but were both available to be used by any single individual depending on his own preferences and on his targeted audience. In the early sixteenth century, at least, writers did know both idioms (much as they might prefer to pretend disdainful ignorance), and in many instances texts demonstrate a certain amount of slippage between humanist use and late medieval language habits, and, even, on rather more rare occasions, a willingness to see the (separate) virtues of both. The notion of paradigm shift is too hard-edged to be very applicable here. Nevertheless, well before the end of the sixteenth century, it is incontestable that an irreversible shift has occurred. Humanist Latin use has become the norm, and medieval Latin variously deemed to be deviant, grotesque, quaint, and, finally, incomprehensible.

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Introduction It will already be obvious that large issues are involved here. The ‘linguistic turn’ taken by many disciplines in the humanities since the 1960s has clearly influenced the choice of perspective taken in this book. That turn has taken on board theoretical questions debated in the more ‘scientifically’ constructed disciplines of linguistics and psychology. A fundamental question is whether our conceptual habits are related to the language(s) we use. This is a subject of much current debate. Are our modes of perception and our ways of organizing our thoughts and experience conditioned, determined even, by the language(s) in which we operate? Do we think the way we speak? If so, it could be held that different languages or, specific to the present book, different idioms of the same language, with their different structures, vocabularies, and histories, represent different, and even potentially incommensurable, conceptual schemes. Or, alternatively, can we object to this notion of linguistic and conceptual relativism on the grounds that underlying all languages are deep mental structures which ensure linguistic universal and a psychic unity obtaining for all language users? 10

The controversy between these two points of view has been fuelled in recent years by explorations in cognitive science based on computer models. The computer model tends to marginalize linguistic diversity, arguing that thinking takes place primarily in an inner, mental language that is structurally the same for all members of the species and reflects the fact that we all inhabit the same external world of things. Aristotle and his scholastic commentators would not be inclined to disagree (despite their different idiom!): (p.7) Words spoken are symbols [or signs] of affections in the soul [mental impressions or experiences]; written words are the signs of words spoken. As writing, so also is speech not the same for all races of men. But the mental impressions themselves, of which these words are primarily signs, are the same for the whole of mankind, as are also the objects of which those impressions are representations [or likenesses, images, copies].11 From this passage medieval scholastic logic derived its objective: the constitution of Latin as a formal system mirroring a mental language that was deemed to be universal and subject to analysis in terms of truth and rigorous coherence. This in turn produced inquiry into modes of signifying (modi significandi). Linguistic philosophers of this school, the modistae attempted to build a rational grammar based on logical correspondence between mental concepts and universal linguistic structures discoverable in Latin.12

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Introduction It was perhaps no accident that the humanists attacked the modistae with such virulence. The Latin-learning language model the humanists propagated was constructed on different premisses. It seems in many ways to have much in common with the weak version of linguistic relativity that has attracted articulate sympathizers of late. Language structures are now rarely thought to determine concepts, but, more loosely, differences in language use are considered by some to correlate with differences in cognitive style, and others stress that language is con-textually embedded, in culture, in history, in the situation of the utterance, and its reception.13 Here is Erasmus, at the beginning of his De ratione studii of 1512, associating words and things in a rather different way from that he would have known perfectly well in Aristotle: (p.8) For a start, it would seem that knowledge is altogether twofold: knowledge of things and knowledge of words. Knowledge of words comes first; knowledge of things is more important…As things are only known through verbal signs, anyone who is not skilled in the power of language will of necessity everywhere misjudge things, blindly, fancifully, crazily. Finally, you may observe that there are none more prone to everlasting quibbling about verbal minutiae than those who boast that they have no time for words because they are concentrating on things.14

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Introduction This scheme, involving words and things, but no specific mention of mental language, is taken from classical rhetoric, not from logic. Erasmus’ approach to the question starts from a situation: language learning. Words may have temporal priority (and Erasmus is here thinking in a cultural context, for, as he reminds us in his next paragraph, Latin grammar was the first stage in school education). Knowledge of things, however, is not a separate next step in cognition. The ‘things’ that are ‘known only through verbal signs’ comprise concepts, thoughts, and sensations, as well as material objects. From the rhetorical perspective Erasmus is using, verbal signs are to be understood as semantic representations of such things. He would hold that we communicate in language what we conceptualize, but only a right use of language can ensure a right understanding of things. That ‘right use’ of language is to be acquired in the humanists’ classroom, according to methods Erasmus goes on to explain in the rest of his book, of which the full title reads: ‘Method of Study and the Way to Read and Interpret [Latin] Authors’. In logical terms, Erasmus’ initial proposition may not be all that cogent. In terms of language use, the way he goes on to develop it is significant and precise. What must be learnt must be the full resource of language (vis sermonis), the full potential of discourse, and it must be learnt by practice and experience (callere). Language so learnt will not just ensure knowledge of things, but a right judgement of them (iudicium). Erasmus has introduced us to the humanists’ stress on adequacy of utterance, which tended to fuse conceptual and semantic representation in their sophisticated use of their own idiom of Latin, carefully constructed on classical precedent. Ideas articulated in an idiom humanists do not respect and refuse to use are a priori ill-judged, and the practitioners of such an idiom are blind, deluded by fancies, crazy, prone to error. These opening lines of the De ratione studii stigmatize those ‘not skilled in the power of language’ and therefore liable to misconception. That judgement is expressed in an abundance of words which imply a certain ‘ethos’ or character in the owner of the voice we hear. If we are alert to the historical context of this utterance, we also hear the identity of Erasmus’ linguistically ignorant quibblers: they are theologians trained in scholastic logic, arguing in their own idiom of Latin. By contrast, the idiom Erasmus will employ derives from classical language usage mastered along with classical rhetoric. It does (p.9) not formulate universally valid propositions testable by the rules a late medieval logician was equipped to handle. It negotiates meaning from proximate words freighted with a cultural history and bearing a signifying relation to the context in which they are uttered.15

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Introduction Erasmus, though no relativist in any strong sense, certainly thought language idiom made a cognitive difference, and he thought that that difference was a difference between truth and error. It is with linguistic and cognitive difference that this book is concerned, and with the difference it made to truth. Modern controversy about linguistic relativity, incommensurable conceptual schemes, and the translatability guaranteed by linguistic and mental universals may have indirect political and social consequences stemming from postmodern views on cultural relativism, but they do not have the urgency of matters of life and death. Analogous debates in the early sixteenth century were literally a matter of life and death. The missing factor in the modern controversy is religion. Neither scholastics nor humanists separated truth from religious doctrine and religious texts. In the earlier part of the sixteenth century, at the time when the two idioms of Latin were equally matched and the dominance of humanist Latin by no means secure, religion provided the arena for their contest. The primary thesis of the present book is that the turn to humanist Latin is of major significance in the intellectual history of the Renaissance.16 A secondary thesis, however, is that religion must be made as central to our understanding of the period's intellectual predicaments as it was to the original actors. We may, of course, interpret the role of religion quite differently from the way they saw it, but to give it a less than starring part is to get the story wrong. This book is intended, among other things, to remind historians of Renaissance humanism that religion is central to their concerns, and to remind historians of sixteenthcentury religious controversy that it was to a large extent predicated on linguistic difference. The narrative that will link the book's chapters will bring attention back to these aims at frequent intervals. It is now time to close off for the time being some of the broader horizons glimpsed in this introduction and to describe territory this study will cover and territory it will skirt. It will deal almost exclusively with documents in Latin (p. 10) produced by the subgroups of the Renaissance Latin speech community, that is to say, with examples of its warring idioms, scholastic and humanist. The history of Latin with respect to Renaissance vernaculars, though obviously a related issue, is only incidentally part of the present programme. The same is true of translation. As will by now be clear, this book will not comprise a history of Latin in the narrow philological sense of a history of purely linguistic change. Its province is cultural history, and it proceeds from the assumption that language is powerfully formative because it is culturally embedded. The years on which it concentrates are the years when the antagonism between the linguistic subgroups was at its most vigorous, very roughly 1490–1540. In terms of geographical area, the book focuses on areas where the two groups had their most interesting clashes, on northern Europe, particularly France, Germany, and the Low Countries, but with excursions and flashbacks to Italy.

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Introduction This study will not attempt to deal with the disciplines of law and medicine, which pose technical problems of their own and have their own histories. They were undoubtedly responsive to the Latin language turn, and the many humanists who practised as doctors and lawyers brought their linguistic preoccupations to bear on their specialist studies. Those professions developed their own turns of language and concomitant turns of mind.17 Although this must be a major factor in any attempt to assess the Renaissance mentality in its entirety, the present work is not so ambitious. It has elected on the whole to stay on the lower rungs of the curriculum of learning, remembering that the more elementary classes were perhaps the more influential because they were the formative moments for all members of the literate, educated community, whether they were destined to be initiators of cultural development or recipients, writers, readers, or listeners. Very broadly speaking, the book will be about the language arts and will work within the framework of the trivium, comprising grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric, which the humanists took over from their predecessors and bent to their own purposes. The book's chapters will cover: • within the general area of grammar or language acquisition, the way the humanists’ new idiom of revived classical usage was supplied with resources and accredited in dictionaries and phrase-books, together with some contrasting examples of composition; • within the general area of dialectic, modes of argumentation, conditions for truth, and standards of proof, exemplified in teaching materials and actual controversies; • within the general area of rhetoric, theory and practice of narrative and its interpretation, fiction, and hermeneutic, and the representation of the truth of personal experience.18

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Introduction (p.11) A possibly somewhat surprising narrative is used to link phases in the book's demonstration of its main thesis. This coordinating narrative, in its various twists and turns, will open perspectives on language shift, controversy about truth, transformations of narrative style, and self-reflection. It also opens our first perspective on early sixteenth-century religion, viewed from an angle that may seem somewhat obscure to the modern reader. It is the story of St Ann. St Ann was not at all remote from the preoccupations of the period covered in this book. On the contrary, she was an icon of some importance. Only her daughter, the Virgin Mary, rivalled her in popularity, especially in the Germanspeaking countries where her cult flourished with particular vigour. Perhaps it was because of the contemporary controversy surrounding the status of her daughter's conception (immaculate or not) that St Ann took centre stage, although most of the Latin texts about St Ann do not make a direct connection between her story and the Immaculate Conception, admitted as a feast of the Church in 1482, but still quite vociferously opposed by the Dominicans.19 What seems to have been of much more interest was the narrative itself, in which the values of family, conjugal love, maternal affection, the education of girls, the lives of older women, even the remarriage of widows, were given a consecrated status. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the literature and iconography of the cult have attracted a great deal of attention in the past few years, although so far the focus has been almost exclusively on texts written in the vernacular languages and, unsurprisingly, on the social history inscribed in the narrative and its relevance to the history of women.20 Yet, she was a maternal, wifely figure who inspired the devotion of celibate men every bit as much as she served as a possible role model for women. It was those men, members of religious orders for the most part, and particularly Carmelites, who wrote about her in Latin. This Latin writing on St Ann, as prolific as it was diverse, engages with all (p.12) the lines this book plans to follow. There was controversy: arguments about the truth of the legend of St Ann, in which the Latin speech community tended to divide into its scholastic and humanist subgroups, but with variations which complicate the picture. There were narratives: a plain prose narration with close vernacular parallels, an allegorical elaboration, a rhetorical encomium, sermons, and humanist Latin epics. There were hymns for liturgical use, short poems circulating within sodalitates of like-minded humanists, and at least one poem which turns inward to the self-reflecting subject. All this book's discussions of language, truth, and fiction will be linked into the St Ann web. Before we pick up these threads, however, we must clarify our judgement as Erasmus would have us do, by a knowledge of words. Notes:

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Introduction (1) To select but three among the more recent: A. Rabil (ed.) Renaissance Humanism: Foundations, Forms, and Legacy, 3 vols. (Philadelphia, 1988); D. R. Kelley, Renaissance Humanism (Boston, 1991); J. Kraye (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Humanism (Cambridge, 1996); and, with particular reference to the earlier phase of humanism, H. Weber, Histoires d’idées etdes combats d’idées aux XIVe et Xve sièxles de Ramon Lull à Thomas More (Paris, 1997). (2) I adopt the use of the word ‘humanism’ which was given general currency by P. O. Kristeller in Renaissance Thought: The Classic, Scholastic, and Humanist Strains (New York, 1961). I do not deal with the political and diplomatic activities of so-called ‘civic humanists’, which are a prominent part of the history of Renaissance Italy, although the public orations of humanists north and south of the Alps could well form a supplementary chapter to aspects of the subject I have selected. (3) For a wide-ranging survey of medieval Latin in all spheres in which it was used, see F. A. C. Mantello and A. G. Rigg (eds.) Medieval Latin: An Introduction and Bibliographical Guide (Washington, DC, 1996). This volume contains an article on humanist Latin with a good bibliography: T. O. Tunberg, ‘Humanistic Latin’, 130–6. (4) Franciscus Sylvius (Francois Du Bois), Progymnasmatum in artem oratoriam centuriae tres (Paris: J. Bade, 1522), sig. * iiv. (5) For an introduction to this vocabulary, see L. M. De Rijk, ‘specific Tools Concerning Logical Education’, in O. Weijers (ed), Méthodes et instruments du travail au Moyen Age: Études sur k vocabulaire (Turnhout, 1990), 62–81; S. Brown, ‘Key Terms in Medieval Theological Vocabulary’, ibid. 82–96. (6) Petrus Hispanus, Summulae logicales, ed. I. M. Bochéiski (Freiburg, 1947), 8– 9; the English translation by F. P. Dinneen, Peter of Spain, Language in Dispute (Amsterdam and Philadelphia, 1990), based on the 1972 edn. by L. M. De Rijk, runs: ‘If a negation is preposed to any marker [e.g. ‘every’], universal or particular, it is equipollent to its own contradictory…If a negation is postposed to any universal marker, it is equipollent to its own contrary…If a negation is preposed and postposed to a universal and particular marker, it is equipollent to its own subalternate’ (9–10). For a very illuminating account of the late medieval scholastic treatment of Latin as a formal system, see A. Perreiah, ‘Humanist Critiques of Scholastic Dialectic’, Sixteenth Century Journal 13 (1982), 3–22. (7) Examples of word-patterning in a liturgical context should be looked for in antiphons and sequences (the sequence or ‘prose’ was a particular type of hymn in rhyming Latin that reached its most elaborate form in the late Middle Ages). I shall be examining late medieval sermon practice later in this book

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Introduction (8) ‘The cross should be for us a crown of honour and glory, a harp of praise and thanksgiving, the arrow of the Word of God and holy preaching, the glory of victory over all temptation, a protection against the thunder of God's judgement and eternal damnation, and, what is more, it should draw us to love of eternal glory and the salvation to come’ (Thomas Walleys [Le. Pierre Bersuire], Metamorphosis ovidiana moraliter exphnata (Paris: F. Regnault, 1515), fos. xxiiv-xxiii). The parallel phrasing and the rhyme cannot be reproduced in translation, but I have laid out the Latin so as to make it easily apparent to the eye; in the original printed text the sentence is set as running prose. (9) Information about humanist schools to be found in the general histories cited in n. 1 may be supplemented from A. Grafton and L. Jardine, From Humanism to the Humanities: Education and the Liberal Arts in Fifteenth- and SixteenthCentury Europe (London, 1986); A. Moss, Printed Commonplace-Books and the Structuring of Renaissance Thought (Oxford, 1996). (10) The notion of conceptual incommensurability is forcefully brought out by A. Macintyre, Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry (London, 1990), esp. pp. 105– 26, which, interestingly, are concerned with an earlier clash between varieties of Latin setting ‘new’ scholastics against ‘old’ Augustinians in the 12th and 13th cents.; for an important statement of the position which denies the existence of separate and incommensurable conceptual schemes, see D. Davidson, ‘On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme’, in his Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation (Oxford, 1984), 183–98. The dichotomy I am introducing at this point represents the polarities of the debate. Other modern theorists of language have suggested compromises between them. Nevertheless, the extreme positions accentuate the issue, and it is those positions (adjusted to the different cultural context) that are refracted in the language disputes of the early Renaissance. (11) De interpretatione (Peri hermeneias), i. 16a4–5 tr. H. P. Cooke (London and Cambridge, Mass., 1938), 115. For a commentary on this passage very pertinent to our discussion and a selection of medieval commentaries, see H. Arens, Aristotle's Theory of Language and its Tradition: Texts from 500 to 1750 (Amsterdam and Philadelphia, 1984); it does not, unfortunately, contain any humanist commentaries. There is an account of Boethius’ Latin translation of the key passage from the De interpretatione on words, mental experience, and things, in J. Magee, Boethius on Signification and Mind (Leiden, 1989), 49–63; Boethius’ version was standard for the medieval period. For a brief synopsis of later 16th-cent. translations of the key phrases in the passages quoted from the Peri hermeneias, see M.-L. Demonet, Les Voix du signe: Nature et origine du langage à la Renaissance (Paris and Geneva, 1992), 388–90.

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Introduction (12) For summary information on the modistae, and a bibliography, see J. Pinborg, ‘speculative Grammar’, in N. Kretzmann, A. Kenny, and J. Pinborg (eds.), The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy (Cambridge, 1982), 254–69. (13) The clearest account I have found of the contrasting perspectives on language that I associate with the antagonism between my two idioms of Latin is S. C. Levinson, ‘From Outer to Inner Space: Linguistic Categories and NonLinguistic Thinking’, in J. Nuyts and E. Pederson (eds.), Language and Conceptualization (Cambridge, 1997), 13–45; the article investigates the issues involved in the question as to ‘whether a difference in linguistic conceptualization is or is not correlated with a difference in pattern of thinking’. Among other books and articles I have found particularly helpful are: E. Benveniste, Problèmes de linguistique générate, 2 vols. (Paris, 1966–74); G. Steiner, After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation (Oxford, 1975); H.-G. Gadamer, ‘Wie weit schreibt Sprache das Denken vor?’ in Gesammelte Werke, 10 vols. (Tubingen, 1986–95), ii (1986), 199–206; J. H. Hill, ‘Language, Culture and World View’, in F. J. Newmeyer (ed.), Linguistics, the Cambridge Survey, iv. Language: The Socio-Cultural Context (Cambridge, 1988), 14–36; P. Lee, The Whorf Theory Complex: A Critical Reconstruction (Amsterdam and Philadelphia, 1996); J. J. Gumperz and S. C. Levinson (eds.), Rethinking Linguistic Relativity (Cambridge, 1996); M. Toolan, Total Speech: An Integrational Linguistic Approach to Language (Durham, NC, 1996). (14) ‘Principio duplex omnino videtur cognitio rerum ac verborum. Verborum prior, rerum potior…. Etenim cum res non nisi per vocum notas cognoscantur, qui sermonis vim non calleat, is passim in rerum quoque iudicio caecutiat, hallucinetur, deliret necesse est Postremo videas nullos omnium magis ubique de voculis cavillari, quam eos qui iactitant sese verba negligere, rem ipsam spectare’ (De ratione studii, ed. J. C. Margolin, in Erasmus, Opera omnia, 1/2 (Amsterdam, 1971), 113). (15) There is an excellent article on this subject by E. Kessler, ‘De significatione verborum: Spätscholastische Sprachtheorie und humanistische Grammatik’, Res Publica Litterarum, 4 (1981), 285–313; the connection between conceptualization and semantic representation was also debated by late scholastics in their own idiom, see e.g. E. J. Ashworth, ‘“Can I Speak More Clearly than I Can Understand?”: A Problem of Religious Language in Henry of Ghent, Duns Scotus and Ockham’, in K. Koerner, H.-J. Nierderhe, and R. H. Robbins (eds.), Studies in Medieval Thought Dedicated to Geoffrey L. Bursill-Hall (Amsterdam, 1980), 29–38.

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Introduction (16) The role of language in that intellectual history has been the subject of various illuminating (and controversial) discussions, notably: K. O. Apel, Die Idee der Sprache in der Tradition des Humanismus von Dante bis Vico (Bonn, 1963); R. Waswo, Language and Meaning in the Renaissance (Princeton, 1987); Demonet, Les Voix du signe; T. J. Reiss, Knowledge, Discovery and Imagination in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 1997). All are agreed that there was a major shift of some sort, but none of these works looks closely at the contribution made by the Latin language debate. For a very summary account of Renaissance intellectual history which does give some space to the Latin language turn, see L. Giard, ‘Sur les cycles des artes ä la Renaissance’, in O. Weijers and L. Holtz (eds.), V’Enseignement des disciplines ä la faculté des arts (Paris et Oxford, XHIe-XVe siècles) (Turnhout, 1997), 511–38. (17) Two challenging studies by Ian Maclean of texts in early modern law and medicine are very illuminating about their approaches to a philosophy of language: see his Interpretation and Meaning in the Renaissance: The Case of Law (Cambridge, 1992); Logic, Signs and Nature in the Renaissance: The Case of Learned Medicine (Cambridge, 2002). (18) A complementary account of the humanists’ reshaping of grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric is provided in V. Wels, Triviale Künste: Die humanistische Reform der grammatischen, dialektischen underhetorischen Ausbildung an der Wende zum 16. Jahrhundert (Berlin, 2000). That book's highly informative exposition of the humanists’ theory and practice draws on some of the same material as the present study, but it does not approach it from the same perspective. For the evolution of the school curriculum in Italy in the formative period of Italian humanism, with special reference to grammar and rhetoric, see R. Black, Humanism and Education in Medieval and Renaissance Italy: Tradition and Innovation in Latin Schools from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Century (Cambridge, 2001); this is a meticulous study of textbooks in use in schools. (19) For a detailed account of the development and establishment of the doctrine, consult vol. vii of the Dictionnaire de théobgie catholique.

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Introduction (20) See in particular: T. Brandenbarg, ‘st Anne and her Family’, in L. DresenCoenders (ed.), Saints and She-Devils: Images of Women in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (London, 1987), 101–26; T. Brandenbarg, Heilig familieleven: Verspreiding en waardering van de Historie van Sint-Anna in de stedelijke cultuur in de Nederlanden en het Rijnland aan het begin van de moderne tijd (15de/16de eeuw) (Nijmegen, 1990); K. Ashley and P. Sheingorn (eds.), Interpreting Cultural Symbols: Saint Anne in Late Medieval Society (Athens, Ga., and London, 1990); A. Dörfler-Dierken, Die Verehrung der Heiligen Anna in Spätmittelalter und früher Neuzeit (Göttingen, 1992); K. Tilmans, ‘sanaa Mater Versus Sanctus Doctus: Saint Anne and the Humanists’, in A. B. MulderBakker (ed), Sanctity and Motherhood: Essays on Holy Mothers in the Middle Ages (New York and London, 1995), 331–51. The texts in the controversy about St Ann's legend are examined in an unpublished thesis: S. M. Porrer, ‘The Three Maries: A Study of the Debate about Maria Magdalena and the Daughters of Saint Anne which began in Paris in 1517’ (University of London, Ph.D., 1973); this is the best study of that aspect of the subject to date and I am enormously indebted to it

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Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

Dictionaries Ann Moss


Abstract and Keywords This chapter discusses some of the dictionaries that were used in the Renaissance lexicography. One of these is the Catholicon, which was a large monolingual Latin dictionary that had encyclopaedic features. This dictionary contained some proper names and explanations of words that were often extended well beyond their basic equivalents. Keywords:   dictionaries, Renaissance lexicography, Catholicon, Latin dictionary

Anna: Ann means ‘God's grace’ (gratia dei), because, although she was sterile at first, she was later made fertile by the grace of God. For the husbands of Ann, mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and also for her daughters, see John.

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Dictionaries This dictionary item brings St Ann into the history of Renaissance lexicography. She will not remain there long, but her disappearance is a part of the history. The entry occurs in the Catholicon, a large monolingual Latin dictionary with encyclopedic features, containing some proper names and explanations of words often extended well beyond their basic equivalents.1 The author of this compilation was Giovanni Balbi of Genoa (Johannes Balbus, also known as Johannes de Janua), a Dominican, who died in 1298, having completed his great work in 1286. Balbi was essentially a compiler, proud to acknowledge predecessors such as the eleventh-century Elementarium doctrinae rudimentum of Papias and the very early thirteenth-century Magnae derivationes of Hugutio of Pisa, and anxious to enumerate his authorities, in particular his grammatical authorities, chiefly Donatus, Priscian, Isidore of Seville, the Graecismus of Everard, and the Doctrinale of Alexander of Villedieu. This is a dictionary of words closely linked with a particular grammar, that is to say, the normative grammar of the late Middle Ages. In fact the extensive alphabetical word-list, the dictionary proper, is only the fifth section of the Catholicon. The other four describe and prescribe orthography (correct arrangement of letters, or spelling); prosody (correct arrangement of syllables in verse); derivation of words and the rules of syntax for combining them (including grammatical accidence); and figures of speech. In the final section, all these four elements of grammar are exemplified in the definitions of words ‘which are often (p.16) to be found in the Bible and in the writings of saints, as also in the writings of poets’.

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Dictionaries This work was the main lexical resource during the fourteenth century and for the greater part of the fifteenth. It served Petrarch and the other early Italian humanists, and from the time of its first printing, at Mainz in 1460, until the first years of the sixteenth century, it really had no serious rival. What its users read in it was a universe of thought constructed from words and the boundaries of then-use. To find our way into that universe, we shall follow a clue dropped in the item on St Ann and explore the Catholicon on grace (gratia). The entry begins by deriving the word gratia from a root, gratis, and giving a primary definition: ‘grace is a gift’ (donum vel donatio). It exemplifies root and definition in a sentence so phrased as to imply that its meaning is clear from common usage: ‘love is called a grace (a favour) in the sense that it is freely given’ (amor et dicitur gratia quasi gratis data). Next comes a list of words to be further derived from gratia (the noun gra-tiola, the adjective gratiosus with its adverbial and comparative forms, the noun gratiositas, the opposite ingratiosus, etc.). This method of building vocabulary by way of derived forms is going to underlie entries in later humanist dictionaries, but there it will normally be checked by reference to the lexical repertory of classical authors. No such checks are in operation in the Catholicon. Its derived words may be rare in classical usage or they may be neologisms. Here we have an instance of how the non-classical vocabulary of medieval Latin was constructed, and a demonstration of the mentality of a certain kind of linguistic community. It is a mentality that favours analogous patterning over current use and systematically applies basic morphological models to work towards completing a preconceived array of lexical possibilities.

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Dictionaries The definition of gratia proceeds in great detail. Observing that gratiosus denotes he who gives to another more than that person deserves (this rather unclassical definition is from Isidore's Etymologies) and that, furthermore, no one individual has all gifts (gratiae), the dictionary next applies a procedure customary in logic and rhetoric: division. The cited divisions of freely given gifts are the ability to read well, to sing, and to preach, the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, and diverse kinds of tongues. By way of words signalling the culture of ecclesiastical communities, the dictionary has modulated into a particular language idiom, that of the Bible (1 Corinthians 12). And from then on it operates fully according to the methodological formulae of the cognate discipline of theological inquiry, distinguishing between the technical senses of gratia gratis data and gratia gratum faciensy replying to hypothetical questions (potest queri an), comparing the efficacity of natural propensity with the virtue of good works, dividing and defining operative and cooperative grace, gratia praeveniens and gratia subse-quens.2 The language is the fully technical language of the scholastic theology developed in the century in which the dictionary was written, although the only (p.17) text references are to the Bible and St Augustine. Read on its own terms, this rather lengthy entry is extremely clear, but it is a very particular reading of the word gratia, designed for a very particular community of language users. Into the early period of the Renaissance, the Catholicon in its multiple fifteenthcentury printings brought the Latin vocabulary of the Vulgate Bible, of the liturgy and of scholastic philosophy, the rhetorical procedures of the late medieval sermon, the grammatical norms of late medieval Latin, and a Latin lexical universe whose reference was primarily to theology. There is no better indicator of its scope and its limitations than the entry on oratio (speech). The Catholicon divides it genetically into its metric, prosaic, epistolary, disputational, and narrative modes (copulata et ligata in metris; absoluta in prosa; albcutiva in epistolis; disputativa in dyalogis; relativa in historiis). It analyses it in its strict grammatical sense as ‘sentence’, complete and incomplete, indicative, imperative, optative, interrogative, and vocative. It gives a lengthy description of its theological use where it means ‘prayer’. Of rhetoric there is not a mention. Other language users, however, required other words. In 1506, the Catholicon was edited at Paris for his own printing press by Josse Bade (Jodocus Badius, c. 1461–1535). The erudite and enterprising Josse Bade will play a major role in the exploration on which we are embarked. His sensitive response to the demands of the market ensured his commercial success and has furnished us with our most accurate barometer for measuring changes in the cultural climate at Paris, which was the northern epicentre of the shocks generated by humanist language shifts. Bade confesses to a highly ambivalent attitude towards the Catholicon. On the one hand, there could be nothing more learned or more intellectually sharp than the theological meanings it develops in its entries. On the other hand: Page 4 of 30

Dictionaries when I came to inspect its rhetorical definitions and its grammatical etymologies, it seemed to me that the author had certainly read a lot, but what he had read was uncouth and (Priscian apart) inaccurate. I realized how unfortunate he was to have been born in the period when sheer barbarism and the unfounded arrogance of grammarians had infected and upset everything.3 Bade is here using a Latin close in form and substance to the language in which humanists had been reviling written products of the late Middle Ages for some years already. What is interesting is that he should see a commercial advantage in refurbishing the Catholicon so that it could supply the two quite different language communities that he has distinguished by his reference to theological meanings (theologica sensa) and rhetorical definitions (oratoriae definitiones). His solution was to leave the original intact, apart from ‘correcting’ spellings and adding entries and supplements carefully signalled by marginal marks and typeface. Spelling is mainly corrected from a better knowledge of Greek, so often mangled in the (p.18) Catholicon's Greek-derived vocabulary. This includes, for example, the seven species of the figure ‘allegory’ (ironia, antiphrasis, aenigma, charientismos, paroemia, sarcasmos, antismos) which are listed in the fourth part of the introductory grammar. Bade does not interfere with this definition of allegory, inherited from Isidore, Papias, Hugutio, and grammarians such as Alexander of Villedieu. Nor does he comment when the Catholicon goes on immediately to distinguish verbal allegory from allegory of deed (Old Testament ‘types’ prefiguring Christ), and he leaves intact the four modes of interpreting scripture, historically, tropo-logically, allegorically, and anagogically.4 Similarly, on gratia Bade conserves the Catholicon's theology. But he adds to the entries on gratificor, gratulor, gratus, quoting the usage of classical poets and advising his inquirer to consult further in Lorenzo Valla (as, indeed, we shall do).

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Dictionaries The grammatical foundation of the Catholicon remained largely undisturbed, apart from corrections to errors of detail.5 Nevertheless, on two counts Bade moves the Catholicon's grammatical fields closer to the humanists’ language territory. On etymology, or the origins of words (vocum origines), Bade accuses the Catholicon of much patent fabrication and inaccuracy. Etymology attempted to explain the origin of Latin vocabulary in a rational and systematic way, most often by decomposing a word into its constituent syllables, to which separate meanings could be assigned, and then by claiming that the sense of the word was built out of a combination of those meanings. For example, the Catholicon, in the wake of Isidore of Seville, defines allegoria grammatically as that which says one thing and means another (alieniloquium), and states that the definition is detectable within the word itself: alleon means ‘other’; ‘logos’ means language; ‘gore’ means to say. As a part of their understanding of words in grammar, etymology was as important for the humanists as for their medieval predecessors, and their study of ancient rhetoric gave them plenty of precedents for manipulating the etymology of words and proper names as a stratagem in dialectical and rhetorical argumentation. So, (p.19) in his concern for accuracy Bade has in mind both the epistemological foundations of language and its power to convince. A proper understanding of the power of language to deal appropriately with the world of things must rest on a true analysis of words. For Bade, as for humanists in general, this is closely allied with a sense of linguistic difference notoriously lacking in late medieval grammarians. The etymologies he himself will suggest will reflect his ability to make fundamental distinctions between language worlds, ‘assigning Greek etymologies to Greek words, Latin etymologies to Latin words’, and not, as the Catholicon had done, confounding the two languages in a nonsensical babble.6 Bade brought into his edition revisions made previously by Petrus Aegidius which also open onto the humanists’ horizons.7 These are particularly apparent in an addition from Aegidius which Bade appends to the Catholico's traditional fourfold division of grammar: Quintilian in the first book of his Institutio oratoria [1. 4. 2] divides the study of grammar into two parts: the science of speaking correctly, which the Greeks call ‘methodical’ and we might call ‘prescriptive’ grammar; and commentary (enarratio) on the works of poets and other authors, which the Greeks call ‘historical’ and we might call ‘explanatory’ grammar. Balbi does not deal with this latter part. (1510 edn., sig. a ii)

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Dictionaries Humanists, however, did, and in vast abundance. One of the most abundant of all such productions was the Cornu copiae sen Linguae latinae commentarii of Niccolò Perotti (Perottus, archbishop of Siponto, 1429–80), completed between 1477 and the year of his death, first published at Venice in 1489, and well known throughout Europe (along with Valla, Perotti is the source most frequently cited by Bade for his corrections to the Catholicon).8 Perotti was in fact a grammarian on both counts, methodical and historical. His Rudimenta grammatices of 1468 was first printed in 1473 and was welcomed by humanist teachers everywhere as a fit substitute for medieval and earlier Italian humanist grammars insufficiently based on classical usage. It also moved traditional normative grammar some way towards composition in that it included a manual on letterwriting.9 This was somewhat (p.20) more of a novelty in northern Europe than in Italy, where the study of grammar had traditionally found its practical application in letter-writing, but that had been letter-writing according to the unclassical formulae of the ars dictaminis current in legal circles. Perotti's notion of the appropriate style and diction for letters was derived uniquely from Cicero. Already in the early years of the fifteenth century, before Perotti wrote his grammar, letter-writing in imitation of Cicero had been promoted by humanists like Gasparino Barzizza, to whom was attributed a much reprinted collection of phrases culled from Cicero, Sinonima Ciceronis, which constituted an elementary lexicon of classical Latin usage. Nevertheless, as far as lexicography was concerned, it was not word-lists but the mode enarratio, based on detailed explanatory commentary of ancient literary texts, burgeoning extravagantly in the Cornu copiae, which brought the idiom of classical Latin back to the minds of readers, the pens of writers, and into the common intellectual discourse of western Europe.

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Dictionaries Perotti's text was Martial. He could hardly have signalled a more blatant departure from the Catholicon's idiom of scripture and the saints, not to mention the technical jargon of the scholastics. Perotti covered Martial's Liber spectaculorum, but did not get beyond the first book of the Epigrams. As it is, the work is enormous. The introduction to its posthumous publication justly claims that it is an interpretation not only of a single poet, but of the entire classical Latin language. Perotti gives an explanation of every word of Martial and examples of its usage in other classical authors, and then expatiates into cognate words related by derivation, by etymology, by similarity of sense, by affinity of subject, by proximity of sound. Abundance and variety are the key words of the introduction, copia of words, of ideas, of information about things (vocabulorum et sententiarum et rerum omnium tanta copia, tanta ubertas, tanta varietas). Words construct a multifarious world of things. Perotti has no interest in metaphysical speculation about how words relate to things, but, with far greater efficacity than any theoretical project, his method demonstrates the power of language to create a diverse and coherent universe. The first word of the first epigram of the Liber spectaculo-rum is ‘barbara’, explicated in the 1508 edition on cols. 1–2. Barbarus links to blesus and balbus (defective speech), to barbarismus, metaplasmus, and solecismus (incorrect language), to imparilitas and scribligo (linguistic impropriety), scriblita (a kind of tart), Solon the sage, barbarians and uncivilized manners, barbae (beards), various species of goats, fish, and plants, and barbitos (a form of lyre). All these topics are defined and illustrated in quotations from a multiplicity of ancient authors, and the words that raise the topics are explored in their cognate grammatical forms (adjectives, verbs, etc.).

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Dictionaries In one sense, anyone browsing through the Cornu copiae is immersed in an animated and self-sufficient linguistic universe. Everything connects and fructifies. Meanings generate meanings, things give birth to more things. A total culture is brought to life, explained, and grasped in all its complex detail, and its language, its concepts, and its material objects are authenticated from textual evidence. Perotti's method of exploring verbal proximities conveys the sense of being inside (p.21) a language, of following its natural associations. It is a method for which generations of humanists will show a marked predilection, often resisting commercial pressure to alphabetize verbal resources, be they dictionaries, encyclopedias, or collections of phrases and quotations.10 Alphabetization maybe convenient, but it is a search tool to be used from outside a system. Humanists like Perotti want their readers to be fully assimilated within the system, linguistically and culturally. Moreover, the readers responding to the invitation of the prologue ascribed to Perrotti's nephew will comprise practitioners of all the recognized disciplines of inquiry and professional practice: grammar, rhetoric, poetics, dialectic, and the rest of the liberal arts, medicine, philosophy, civil and canon law, military science, agriculture, painting, architecture, and all sorts of craft and manufacturing. From the Cornu copiae they will learn to correct their errors. The humanists’ Latin linguistic universe is potentially coterminous with Renaissance culture itself.

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Dictionaries In another sense, Perotti's universe is rigorously exclusive. It is bounded by its location in the classical, pagan past. His account of oratio, meaning ‘speech’, painstakingly distinguishes the bordering areas of loqui, dicere, far; orator, rhetor, declamator, oratio, sermo, and locutio (1508 edn., cols. 45, 530–1, 783, 1254), but there is no reference to its sense as ‘prayer’. Gratia emerges from an account of the three Graces who are explained in some detail (cols. 422–3). The explanations are both etymological and interpretative. Etymology, for example, explains ‘Thalia’, one of the Graces, because ‘Thalia’ means ‘green’ and a service done is ever-green. The interpretations describe how the Graces were said to be depicted in ancient times, and for every feature of this description they find a reason. Put together, these reasons translate the Graces into a coherent abstract system: a morality of the interchange of benefits and gratitude, a harmonious cycle of favours given, received, and returned. Looking to the classical world, Perotti would have found a paradigm for exactly such etymological and morally interpretative explanations of the Graces in Seneca (De beneficiis, 1.3.2–10). Seneca had laced his account of them with some scepticism, but a long tradition of mythography from the fifth-century Fulgentius to the fourteenth-century Boccaccio had added to his explanations with enthusiasm and invested them with an authority which could not but weigh with Perotti.11 At the general level, it is important to note that from the beginning (p.22) this way of reading pagan fable does ingrain in humanist Latin a habit of configuring hermeneutic process in language charged with allegorical potential, but without aligning it at all to the fourfold allegorical interpretation of scripture promoted by the Catholicon (there is no entry for allegoria in the Cornu copiae). In substance, the morality Perotti derives from the three Graces is strictly secular. The nearest he gets to a religious sense of gratia is in the example he gives for the formula gratari diis and its synonyms (to give thanks to the gods), but the gods so thanked, in a quotation from Livy, are Jupiter and the pagan pantheon (col. 424). As for Ann, she does appear (col. 776), but as a person from Ovid's Fasti (3. 523–656), as Anna, sister of Dido, later deified as Anna Perenna.

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Dictionaries Perotti's compilation has more in common with the ‘grammatical’ commentaries in the ‘explanatory’ mode that fifteenth-century humanists were making on classical literary texts than it does with the Catholicon. Like his Cornu copiae, those commentaries exemplified enarratio, explaining grammar as they encountered usage and embroidering in the margins of their editions of classical authors a tapestry of ancient culture from a web of references. Out of such printed commentaries and out of their own private annotations, various early sixteenth-century compilers constructed more specialized and more easily searchable encyclopedic dictionaries. Some were devoted to words, like the collection of epithets published by Johannes Ravisius Textor at Paris in 1518; some to things, like the lists of examples in his Officina of 1520, or like the explanatory dictionary of proper names compiled by Hermannus Torrentinus for publication in 1498 at Deventer and called Elucidarius carminum. Such works were a major part of the armoury of the humanists in their bid to take over the linguistic and cultural formation of school pupils at an early stage of their education. They supplied learner readers with their secondary sources, and learner writers with their vocabulary. Revised and enlarged, they and their successors were destined to stay in demand for well over a century. No such reference book, however, lasted as well as the alphabetical dictionary which Josse Bade, with his usual acumen, saw was the perfect answer to the problem he had tried to solve with his revision of the Catholicon. In 1509 he published an edition of the Dictionarium ex optimis quibusque authoribus… collectum by Ambrogio Calepino (Calepinus, an Augustinian friar, 1435–1511), which had first appeared in 1502, printed by D. Bertocchi at Reggio nell’Emilia.12 The sources used by Calepino are displayed on the title-page, as certificates of its authenticity and reliability. They are a mixture of ancient and modern authorities on the Latin language. The ancients are Nonius Marcellus, Sextus Pompeius, Varro, Asconius Pedianus, Servius, and Donatus. The moderns comprise Perotti's Cornu copiae, Lorenzo Valla, and Tortelli's Orthographia for Greek-derived words. Bade himself made sure that none of the words examined by Perotti were omitted. Yet, when the reader comes to Calepino's own introduction to his work in a short preface, quite (p.23) another note is struck. Our compiler, he reminds us, is a member of a religious order and ‘more given to religious practices than to any learned discipline’. With Christian humility he defers to the ancient experts on language listed on the title-page, but his experts have been carefully selected to fit the criteria of contemporary humanist grammarians and Calepino does not scruple to use them in order to contradict ‘lesser experts’, notably Priscian and Lorenzo Valla. Moreover, ‘with me the weight and learning of Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, not to mention the Greeks, carry more influence than Lorenzo Valla's zeal for censure’. Christian humility, however, does not prevent him claiming that his dictionary surpasses all others in the number of words it includes, its thorough treatment of prepositions, and its systematic citation of authors (1509 edition, sig. a iv). And he was right. Page 11 of 30

Dictionaries The authors Calepino cites widen considerably the boundaries of Perotti's classical universe. Calepino's version of antiquity includes its Christian authors, whose Latin now contributes a layer of usage which is not so much contrasted with the usage of pagan authors as integrated into it. The various words for language utterance (dicere, loqui, oratio, sermo, and so on) are distinguished with a sophistication learnt from Perotti, but oratio is allowed its technical religious sense as ‘prayer’. Technical language with contemporary applications in the learned disciplines is as a rule given more space than Perotti's scheme could allow it. Verbum, for example, acquires a primary definition from its use in ‘sacred writings’ where it signifies mental ‘concept’ as distinct from the verbal utterance of a concept. Utterance is denoted by vox, the verbal sound of a mental concept (cogitatio). Verbum is the (separable) concept itself (verbum vero ipsa cogitatio). Though Calepino does not give the reference, this notion of ‘mental word’ derives ultimately from St Augustine (De trinitate, 9. 7. 12; 15. 15. 25), and therefore from within the linguistic idiom promoted by Calepino's dictionary. It introduces an element of speculation about the relationship of words to concepts, but further scholastic developments of the idea, couched in an idiom to which the dictionary gives no access, are excluded.13 ‘Gratia, inquit Augustinus’, begins the item gratia, ‘gratia dicta est quia gratis datur’ (grace is called grace because it is freely (gratis) given). The phrase gratia gratis data, as we have learnt from the Caiholicon, was a technical term in scholastic debate. In Calepino, however, as for verbum, its non-classical usage is deduced from the patristic Latin of Augustine. Moreover, the lexical entry moves seamlessly into classical usage with a quotation from Cicero picked up from Perotti, and then, just as smoothly, back to a Christian sense of the word (all things humans have are a grace (a gift) from God), and forward once more to the three Graces, together with their etymologies and a little lightly applied interpretation, to the effect that the exercise of giving should be an interactive, three-way process: give, accept, (p.24) return. The Latin linguistic universe of Perotti has undergone some measure of Christian colonization, but patristic Latin has merely extended its frame of reference and its conceptual horizons, it has not forced on it a totally alien idiom of speech. As for Ann, she remains as pagan as she was in the Cornu copiae, with a word-for-word replication of Perotti's account of Dido's sister and her apotheosis. Indeed, the language to be learnt from Calepino represents not so much a Christianization of pagan Latin as a remodelling of the contemporary Christian idiom so as to restrict it to the language of the Latin Fathers and to stress how fully such a carefully circumscribed Christian idiom could be integrated with the idiom of the ancient world.

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Dictionaries The repeated publication of Calepino's dictionary in the first quarter of the sixteenth century confirmed Bade's intuition that it answered a perceived need for a linguistic base that supplied both humanists and theologians. Nevertheless, Calepino's much consulted compendium was not a neutral player in the Latin language contest of those years. The Christian Latin it included must have been a formative influence on the theological language of humanists, just as its omissions must have contributed to the eventual marginalization of what they considered to be the rebarbative jargon of scholastic discourse. Its subsequent history seems to prove what an important resource it was. For Calepino's dictionary long outlasted the Latin language question that concerns us here. Later humanists, such as Robert Estienne and Jean Passerat, revised and refined it, in some instances almost beyond recognition, in the middle and later years of the sixteenth century, but they kept it on the market and they kept the ‘brand name’. This seems to have ensured that, in the rather changed intellectual climate of the second half of the sixteenth century, with vernacular languages throughout Europe conspiring to defeat the humanists’ project and make classical Latin an irredeemably foreign language to all, Calepino's dictionary became the main translation dictionary in use. New languages were successively grafted into it, making it a polyglot dictionary of some thirteen ancient and modern languages by the end of the century. Smaller bilingual editions saw to it that schoolchildren learnt their Latin by the translation method, but they also learnt from the examples of classical usage it still retained that the ‘correct’ paradigms for expression in any language were modelled on Latin.14

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Dictionaries In 1512, Josse Bade published yet another alphabetical Latin dictionary emanating from Italy, the Polyanthea of the secular cleric Domenico Nani Mirabellio, which had had a first printing at Savona in 1503. This compilation, strictly contemporary with Calepino’s, also attempts to be a resource for both Latin language communities, but it has a slightly different agenda, which to Bade obviously made it seem a sound commercial proposition. Whereas Calepino edges Christian language into the humanists’ lexis by making accommodations, Mirabellio confronts the issues involved rather aggressively. He has a very ambivalent attitude to Latin (p.25) poets and historians, the authors favoured in the humanist enterprise. The subject matter treated by poets, in particular, is morally dubious in his eyes, however fine their rhetoric of praise and blame. Eloquence, indeed, is a two-edged sword, equally effective whether used for good or evil purpose. Remarks like these are part of the context in which classical literature was received into the existing cultural matrix. They are expressed with varying degrees of conviction in Italy, and, rather more pressingly in northern Europe, probably in response to the accelerated pace of reception there. Rather more pertinently, MirabeUio goes on to complain that members of the humanist Latin community have begun to despise the nonVirgilian, non-Ciceronian Latin idiom of the scriptures and, as a consequence, to think in ways alien to the Catholic faith. In addition, they are frightened away from Aristotle because they are no longer equipped to understand the language in which Aristotle's ideas are communicated and debated. The linguistic divide is becoming a dangerous chasm, imperilling the cohesion of the intellectual world.15

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Dictionaries Mirabellio's proffered rescue package is his Polyanthea, aimed quite specifically at the common good of divergent interest groups (‘communi consulens utilitati, cupio enim quamplurimis prodesse’). It will enrich the Latin of younger readers, whom he obviously envisages as learners following the programme of humanist teachers. For them he will provide definitions, some etymologies, and explanations of Latin vocabulary and Greek equivalents. Then, to supply just as effectively the needs of older readers working in the more advanced disciplines of the curriculum (‘ut provectiori aetati in commune suffragarer’), he has selected passages from appropriate texts and appended them to his alphabetically arranged vocabulary heads. These well-referenced quotations define, divide, expound, and discuss the matter in hand, but they only incidentally exemplify linguistic use. They are, moreover, normally put in a particular order, according to their status as witnesses to ‘truth’, not as witnesses to good Latin. From the Bible they descend through the Fathers, religious writers up to and including St Bernard, later doctors of the Church, philosophers and historians, and, lastly, poets (this descending hierarchy of authority had been formalized by St Thomas Aquinas and underwrites many a late medieval list of writers). The potential unruliness of humanist collecting and cataloguing practice, exemplified by the Cornu copiae, is here brought to order. Moreover, these juxtaposed quotations, which often occupy considerable space, indicate strongly that, in terms of relative importance in MirabelhVs programme, fixing meanings takes priority over exploring words. Abundance of speech, copia dicendi, is provided for young practitioners of humanist rhetoric, but with a natural progression from words to things built into all the most weighty entries.

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Dictionaries Also built into the Polyanthea are a language and a rhetoric totally alien to the verbal universe of a Perotti or even a Calepino. MirabelhVs quoted authorities include several scholastic philosophers, chief among them St Thomas Aquinas. (p.26) The item verbum, for example, includes verbum mentis, now defined in the precise technical phraseology of St Thomas as ‘conceptio intellectus, quae est operatio, id est ipsum intelligere, vel species intellecta’ (i.e. thought itself, or what is thought). The Christian sense of oratio as ‘prayer’ is defined in words taken from St Thomas and then attracts multiple quotation from the Bible and from early Christian authorities. The entry on gratia begins with definitions straddling the linguistic territory of Cicero and St Thomas, though St Thomas when he is discussing ethical questions in the Secunda secundae of the Summa Theologiae, rather than St Thomas engaged with the technicalities of operative and cooperative grace. After these introductory clarifications of the multiple senses of gratia, Mirabellio describes and explains the three Graces in a paragraph which does little more than rearrange the information already provided by Perotti. That, presumably, suffices younger inquirers engaged in the study of grammar and rhetoric (the adolescentes eloquentiae candidati of his preface), for after that come passages quoted from the authorities, mostly the Fathers, heavily weighted in favour of the Christian sense of the word.

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Dictionaries Mirabellio's quotations are not merely informative. They are there to be used, and the use for which they are designed is a certain sort of Latin rhetoric as foreign to classical culture as is the scholastic Latin which keeps uneasy company with Cicero in this ‘many-flowered’ dictionary. Many of his quotations from the earlier religious authorities are taken from a well-known preaching manual, the Manipulus florum of Thomas of Ireland (Thomas Hibernicus), composed in 1306 and printed in Italy in the late fifteenth century. Mirabellio thus transmits a late medieval perspective as effectively as contemporary editions of the Catholicon. Moreover, he transmits it to a particular speech community which was extremely vocal in the early years of the sixteenth century, the community of preachers still at that time practising the very distinctive rhetoric of the late medieval sermon. One of its most characteristic methods of preaching to a text or theme was to take a salient phrase or word, divide and subdivide it into an array of ‘distinctions’, and then to support each distinction with a quotation from the Bible or appropriate authority.16 Mirabellio not only supplies such quotations for a great variety of likely words, but he also sets out distinctions for immediate use. Vocabulary which he deems to be part of the ‘everyday speech’ (‘in quotidiano sermone’) of philosophy students, that is to say, the seven cardinal and theological virtues, the seven deadly sins, and words relevant to the soul and the body, are subdivided according to their constituent senses ‘like a tree’ (‘in modum arboris’). What this means is that the word is analysed into a ramifying array of subsidiary words or phrases attached to their main stem by brackets. Support and illustration for each branch of the distinction can then be found in the quoted passages Mirabellio has assembled. The methodology of late medieval preaching rhetoric presupposed a linguistic environment very different from the humanists’ compositions constructed in (p. 27) classical Latin periods according to the oratorical models of ancient arts of persuasion. Yet, the Polyanthea can also talk the language of Cicero and Quintilian, as it does when commenting on vocabulary not part of the ‘everyday speech’ of preachers, notably eloquentia. The Polyanthea was published sporadically in the major printing centres in the first twenty years or so of the century, although it is perhaps significant that this attempt to conciliate humanist and scholastic Latin was only printed once by Josse Bade. The work, however, did not disappear. It was resurrected later in the century, refurbished, and finally launched on a rather spectacularly successful afterlife, edited by Joseph Lang in 1604 and renamed Polyanthea nova. By that time, however, it had undergone two radical changes. Practically all its material had disappeared or been absorbed into the additions Lang made, leaving only the primary definitions, which Mirabellio had thought a mere verbal preliminary to weightier concerns. And, in its vastly expanded form, it now served a humanist rhetoric unknown to Mirabellio, the rhetoric of commonplaces.17

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Dictionaries In the early years of the sixteenth century the most readily available dictionaries were the Catholicon, Perotti, Calepino, and the Polyanthea. It may be doubted whether these very large and expensive volumes were in very widespread use. Nor did they match the exacting standards of humanists like Erasmus and Vives whose own investigations of vocabulary and usage were always several steps ahead of the slow progress of dictionary compilers and publishers. From the point of view of the establishment of a humanist Latin language community, all this was no disadvantage. Schoolmasters were still able to insist, as they had done from the time of the earliest humanist schools in fifteenth-century Italy, that their students compile their own monolingual vocabulary resources from the Latin language exemplified and contextualized in the texts they studied. This classroom discipline was an effective instrument of the immersion system of language acquisition towards which most humanists tended. It also ensured that the vocabulary their pupils knew was the vocabulary of the approved classical authors, not the technical jargon of religious writers and the professional disciplines, which had no place in their grammar syllabus. It was only shortly before the end of the period with which we are primarily concerned, 1490–1540, that the fruits of such gatherings weie harvested in dictionary form. By that time the location of such activity had by and large moved from Italy to France. Etienne Dolet (1508–46) produced two volumes of Commentarii linguae latinae in 1536 and 1538 at the press of Sebastian Gryphius at Lyons. We open these large, handsome volumes, and we could think at first that we have entered a different world. It is not just the clarity of the type that makes such a contrast with the (p.28) crunched up letters and densely filled pages of the older reference books. The style of presentation, visually and verbally, breathes an air of confident familiarity with the language which is both Dolet's instrument and the object of his inquiry. He is not a radical innovator, however, but the very legitimate heir of Perotti and Calepino, of Lorenzo Valla, and (though he would not like the idea) of Erasmus.18 The methodology of Valla's Elegantiae, to which we shall come shortly, underwrites Dolet's own; and the two volumes of his Cotnmentarii replicate, if only in general intention, the two parts (words and things) of Erasmus’ De duplici copia verborum ac rerum, which had so forcefully influenced vocabulary collection since its first publication (by Josse Bade) in 1512.

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Dictionaries Like Valla and like Erasmus, Dolet resists the alphabetization beloved of that lesser species, the common run of grammarians (‘Vulgus grammaticorum’). Indeed, grammar and rhetoric, as systematic disciplines (‘Grammatici interpreta-tio vel Rhetoris institutio’), get fairly short shrift. This dictionary is emphatically word-based, not rule-based, and the sheer quantity of words and of examples of words in use are there for the reader to gorge on or apply as seems fit. There is, however, an underlying order, one which replicates the natural fluidity of language. In the first volume, head-words lead by similarities and affinities from one word to the next. When affinities are exhausted, words linked to the first cluster by dissimilarities come into play, then a run of direct opposites, which in their turn set up a chain of associations. So, gratia, in its sense of ‘agreeableness’, appears in between offensa, infensus, placare, and studia (i, cols. 41–4); in its sense of‘favour’, in between auctoritas, maiestas, and gratiosus, valere, posse (i, cols. 307–10). Dolet constructs a web of interlinking words, often looping back on themselves. He allows himself the concession of providing entrances to this language maze by supplying an alphabetical index, but, once inside the labyrinth, the browsing reader learns to negotiate it by a deft sensitivity to all its twists and turns. Acquisition of this instinct for bordering semantic territories is reinforced by the entries for all the individual words. Preliminary definitions are given of both the Uteral sense of the word and its metaphorical senses (vocabuli proprietas, vocabuli translatio). These are then refined and copiously extended by quotations from classical authors giving examples of the word and its cognates in use, both in context and in correctly phrased locutions. The word acquires new shades of meaning as each successive example of authentic usage adds to its repertoire. There is no speculation on origins, no inscribed meanings, no etymology. In fact, Dolet states his conviction that the intrinsic quality, the aesthetic appeal, the sophistication of any language lies not so much in the proper sense of its words, as in their metaphorical use.19 (p.29) The second volume of the Commentarii, published two years after the first, appears to turn towards ‘things’ (res), though things are inextricably wrapped in words. The material of this volume is displayed in a similar way to the vocabulary of the first volume. Things are grouped by affinities, or, rather, the words which refer to things are so grouped, but Dolet now makes the assertion that not only will you be able to understand the signification of words (dictionum ipsarum sig-nificationes), but you will be able to observe the nature of things (rerum etiam natura) and an express image and represented likeness of human actions in respect of any thing (humanarum actionum in re qualibet…expressa imago effictumque simulachrum).

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Dictionaries In effect, as he illustrates briefly before embarking on the dictionary proper, Dolet has clustered vocabulary under subject heads. First, he has worked out what are the fundamental divisions or constituent elements of his subjects, and then he signals his intention to fill in the heads, as it were, with appropriate vocabulary, literally and figuratively employed, all duly authenticated by examples from prior texts. The heads listed in the liminary description of this procedure are relatively circumscribed and concrete: war, navigation, agriculture, meteorology, parts of the body (very different from the vices and virtues highlighted for the Polyanthea’s distinctions). So, the subject heads and subheadings for the parts of the body will comprise nouns and verbs used to denote the body's organs, external and internal, the functions of those organs, the appearance, composition, and health of bodies, and the emotions. The notion of res illustrated by Dolet's methodology in the second volume seems to aim at some distinction between meaning (words in their relation to things) and words in use. Words in use had been collected in the first volume. The approach to ‘things’ in the second volume envisages that language will give a picture of things (Dolet's expressa imago effictumque simulachrum) and will be informative about what things are in substance (his rerum natura). Once we move, however, from the liminary exposition to the book itself, we find that, while there is grouping according to subject and there is more straightforward editorial definition than in the first volume, words take the initiative and direct the investigation. A typical run of words generated by a topic one might loosely term ‘fiction’ takes us through simularz, assimulare, dissimulare, fingere, figulus, fictilis, confingere, effingere, comminisci, mentiri, ementiri. In practice, the second volume of the Commentarii tends to converge with the earlier one. Proximate words lead from one aspect of a topic to another and they often erase the subject boundaries. Linguistic symbolization is a more potent trigger to mental operations than is the real world. Linguistic symbolization, moreover, is inextricably confounded with the objects of reference on which Dolet is trying to keep hold. What his method does achieve is a sense of correspondence between the interconnectedness of words and the structure of the composite things they represent. Sophisticated word use reveals, or perhaps makes, more connections than the eye observes.

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Dictionaries (p.30) One must be careful, however, not to deduce from Dolet's practice a general theory of language. He does not discuss cognitive process or the status of propositions. Apart from some incidental remarks on words which had been adapted as grammatical terms, his only excursus on grammar is forced on him by the need to complete his description of the Latin language by giving an account of its pronouns, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections.20 Most significant of all, the language he is investigating is special. It is written language, not spoken.21 He only deals with the more serious and ‘noble’ lexis within Latin.22 He disallows all but the ‘purest’ diction, restricting himself to words found in and examples from a limited range of classical writers, notably Cicero, Caesar, Livy, and Pliny, and the very occasional poet. No specifically Christian Latin usage appears in his dictionary. Salvare, for example, permitted by less pernickety compilers, is proscribed, and must be replaced by servare. There is no room either for modern technical jargon, the ‘blathering babble’ of law and medicine. On the contrary, the properly adequate language of inquiry, the only one flexible enough and sophisticated enough to parallel the reach of men's minds and fully communicate knowledge, is the language of the ‘more humane letters’ (literae humaniores: ii, col. 493). At the distance from which we view it, it is obvious that the pullulating linguistic universe Dolet charted in the language of humane letters was bounded by the ancient map he used. It was not, however, bounded by history. Historical considerations play scarcely any part in his exposition of Latin, whether in terms of its original historical context or the modern situations in which he supposes it will function. This language, however, is environmentally adaptable, not least because of its well-attested capacity to translate the literal sense of words into figurative speech, which imparts to the vocabulary of ancient Latin an elasticity stretching beyond its original field of application. Dolet almost, but perhaps not quite, gives to metaphor a creative potential that reaches beyond language to thought. Dolet set himself the task of reconstructing the Latin language from the documents that witness to its purest form. In the quarrel about whether moderns should confine themselves to Ciceronian Latin, he was ranged very firmly in the Ciceronian camp.23 Only by thoroughly interiorizing the lexis and the compositional (p.31) practice of a single Latin author will moderns be enabled not merely to reproduce the Latin they learn but to think in it like a native speaker. The eclectic approach, assembling a mongrel language from different authors and different periods, produces the same effect as learning a smattering of different vernaculars from short stays in different countries, and thus attaining no proper command of any language. Dolet's Latin is visceral, under the skin, masticated, chewed, swallowed, digested (i, col. 1231). In rather less vivid terms, we might want to say perhaps that he is fully bilingual in his native French and in Latin. Dolet could function equally well in both languages and analyse the specific properties of one as acutely as the other. His Maniere de bien traduire d’une langue en aultre was published in 1540.24 Page 21 of 30

Dictionaries Dolet's Commentarii was a monument not easy to tamper with. Like Perotti, it served as a quarry for later compilers, but it was totally resistant to the translation procedure which was to give Calepino a new lease of life as a multilingual dictionary. At the same time, the two large volumes of the Commentarii with their idiosyncratic ordering system were not very manageable for practical use. There was, however, a solution to this. In 1539, Dolet himself extracted from them Formulae latinarum bcutionum illustriorum, locutions joining nouns to verbs. Immediately after their publication, in 1537, in 1539, and in 1540, the Commentarii themselves were edited for printing presses at Basle in the form of epitomes, shorn of some, but by no means all, of their examples.25 The two methods by which the first Basle publisher adapted his epitome for his market are significant. The word entries in the first volume were rearranged alphabetically, thus destroying Dolet's fine-drawn web, but making the dictionary more utilitarian. Nevertheless, the order according to likenesses, affinities, and contraries was reproduced in tabular form after the lexicon proper and laid out more systematically than Dolet had originally conceived it, in the form of headings and subheadings. The epitome of the second volume retained the arrangement by subject groups and reinforced it by a neater presentation. These epitomes are representative of the two main ways (p.32) in which the later sixteenth century came to order the abundance of words that by then constituted humanist Latin vocabulary and, concurrently, the world of concepts and things inscribed within that vocabulary. Alphabetization was the search tool; commonplace books, with verbal expressions arranged under subject heads, were the searchable repositories. As late as 1576, Johann Sturm (1507–89), a major figure in the history of the Latin school, edited the formulae Dolet had selected from his dictionary, arranged them alphabetically, but in his preface still dreamt of a great work, as yet not achieved, in which the whole store of the Latin language would be displayed under subject classifications exactly matching the ordered structure of the universe.26

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Dictionaries By the late 1530s, humanist Latin was firmly established as the language of the school curriculum, and the new dictionaries of the period no longer reflect the competition of a rival Latin idiom and its particular rhetoric. In his second volume, Dolet himself referred to three other lexicons on which his readers could safely draw to supplement his own provision (ii, col. 1583). One of these was the Observationes in M. T. Ciceronem of Mario Nizolio (Nizolius, 1488– 1567), published in 1535, which later ran to many editions under the title Thesaurus ciceroni-anus, and was the prime resource for the supporters of strict Ciceronian Latin. Both before and after the lexical contributions that Dolet and Nizolio made to the Ciceronian cause, humanist Latin sometimes threatened to fracture into idioms characterized as more or less Ciceronian, but these were local disputes, well contained within the speech community. A second dictionary was Calepino, in a thoroughly revamped version from the press of Dolet's own publisher, Sebastian Gryphius, which had first appeared in 1533. The third was the Dictionarium seu linguae latinae thesaurus of Robert Estienne (Stephanus, 1503–59), published at Estienne's own press in Paris in 1536.27 In fact, like all the dictionaries we have been reviewing, Estienne's 1536 compilation was very much a work in the making, destined to successive metamorphoses by revision and expansion, starting as early as 1543. He had already assembled a Dictionarium in 1531 and a Thesaurus in 1532, but it was the 1536 version which really established Estienne's claim to have produced a definitive example of a universal humanist Latin dictionary, responsive to the requirements of a fully evolved and fully confident community of language users. It is to some extent a collective enterprise. Estienne acknowledges his use of his modern predecessors, chief among them Lorenzo Valla, Perotti, Calepino, Erasmus, Adriano Castellesi (Hadrianus Cardinalis), Thomas Linacre, and Guillaume Bude. He also claims to have taken soundings among learned contemporaries in order to maximize the usefulness of the work. Whereas Dolet's Commentarii, especially the second (p.33) volume, revealed from time to time the hand of their maker in set-piece digressions, Estienne's Thesaurus is altogether a public utility.

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Dictionaries Estienne's basic formula is the one that had been steadily evolving. He lists vocabulary; he explains each item with a definition and sometimes with an etymology; and he illustrates the word's usage with copious quotation. The arrangement of the entries is rigorously alphabetical, even down to the phrases whose use is exemplified by quotation, which are listed alphabetically by their lead-word and set out clearly separated the one from the other. Gone altogether is the interconnecting word-web of a Perotti or a Dolet, but ‘usefulness above all has been the aim’.28 Usefulness has also ensured that all nouns have their gender, all verbs their principal parts, and all words their quantities (for prosody). All words are given a paraphrase explanation, if at all possible from an authentic classical source. This does not, however, detract from the need for examples of usage, for ‘language use, the force of words and their proper signification are often clearer from examples than from any explanation’. That principle of the early humanists, their insistence on language in use, is not lost. Nor is their concern for textual accuracy, which had been more an ideal than a reality of so many early printed editions of classical authors. Estienne has rigorously checked his quotations and corrected those he has taken over from previous compilers, so that users may be assured that they are using words with good authority. Nor does Estienne disturb the canon of linguistically approved authors that had been forming. Although he is not a purist in the Dolet mould, he makes a point of saying that he has substituted examples from approved writers for the less reliable witnesses often employed by Calepino’. Presumably Estienne means the Christian writers, of whom his own dictionary carries no trace, and who were soon to disappear from revised versions of Calepino. Estienne's Latin does not talk theology. Gratia is defined as a benefit done to us for nothing (‘gratis datur nobis’) in words which were once, and are now no more, a technical jargon. It has here lost all Christian connotations. Anna, one of the proper names Estienne has included in response to public demand, is ‘the daughter of Belus, sister to Dido’.

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Dictionaries Estienne's much published Thesaurus confirms humanist Latin's hegemony, not only in respect to other idioms of Latin, but in respect to all the disciplines of inquiry within the encyclopedia of learning. It is their common language, to which their various technical jargons are mere appendices of very subsidiary importance. Yet, the users of Estienne's Thesaurus are by no means necessarily those prize products of the humanists’ programme, totally immersed bilinguals for whom Latin was to be no foreign tongue. Estienne's public consultations about what should be included to make his Thesaurus most useful have persuaded him to complete some of his definitions of Latin words with a brief and pithy French equivalent. Translation into French hovers at the edge of this monolingual Latin (p.34) dictionary. It will come to the centre in Estienne's French-Latin dictionary, first published in 1539, arranged in the same order as the Thesaurus.29 Compared with the Thesaurus, this is a poor, denuded thing. It offers no abundance of authoritative vernacular texts to illustrate the use of French words. Nevertheless, a sense of authoritative vernacular usage will develop, and not least because the model for thinking about language was so firmly set by humanist Latin. Notes:

(1) There is a facsimile edn. of the first (1460) edn. of the Catholicon (Famborough, 1971); among the 15th-cent printed edns. I have examined are one published at Lyons by J. de Prato in 1489 and one printed at Paris in 1499 by Felix Baligault for Simon Vostre; there were at least thirty others produced at the major printing centres in Italy, Germany, and France between 1460 and 1520. For the Catholkoris place as the most comprehensive product of a long development of medieval glosses, word-lists, and dictionaries, see C. Buridant, ‘Lexicographie et glossographie médiéVales’, in C. Buridant, La Lexicographie au Moyen Age, Lexique, 4 (Lille, 1986), 9–46; A. Marinoni, ‘Du glossaire au dictionnaire’, Quadrivium, 9 (1967), 127–41; O. Weijers, ‘Lexicography in the Middle Ages’, Viator, 20 (1989), 139–53. The technical vocabulary employed in medieval dictionaries and reference books, still dominant in the Catholicon, and destined for a patchy survival well after the dictionaries that catalogued the late medieval Latin of which it was a part, is collected and explained in O. Weijers, Dictionnaires et répertoires au Moyen Âge: Une étude de vocabulaire (Turnhout, 1991). As for the ‘John’ of the quoted entry, expert witness to Ann's husbands and her daughters, this must, I think, be John of Freiburg, a 13th-cent Dominican of whom we shall hear more later. (2) A convenient explanation of these terms may be found in A. E, McGrath, Iustitia Dei, a History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification: The Beginnings to the Reformation (Cambridge, 1986), 100–9.

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Dictionaries (3) Catholicon seu universale vocabularium ac summa grammatices, ed. Petrus Aegidius and Josse Bade (Lyons: E. Baland for M. BoiUon, 1510), preface by Josse Bade dated 1506; the full text of the preface may be found in P. Renouard, Bibliographie des impressions et des œuvres de Josse Badius Ascensius, imprimeur et humaniste, 1462–1535,3 vols. (Paris, 1908), ii. 525–6. (4) The grammatical description of allegoria is found at sig. iiii + 1v of the 1510 edn.; the dictionary entry allegoria covers only the fourfold senses of scripture. An account of the way allegory and fable are denned in the more humanistic dictionaries of our period is to be found in J.-L. Charlet, ‘AUegoria, fabula et mythos dans la lexicographie latine humaniste (Tortelli, Maio, Perotti, Nestor Denys, Calepino, R. Estienne)’, in H.-J. Horn and H. Walter (eds.), Die Allegorese des antiken Mythos (Wiesbaden, 1997), 125–46. (5) Although, as we shall see, humanists fulminate vociferously against the grammar texts entrenched in school syllabuses from the late Middle Ages, it is not in normative grammar that the really radical changes happen in the period under review, but in the Latin vocabulary and usage adopted. The his tory of Latin grammatical theory in the 16th century has been more than adequately covered, for exam ple by G. A. Padley, Grammatical Theory in Western Europe (1500–1700): The Latin Tradition (Cambridge, 1976); W. K. Percival, ‘Renaissance Grammar’, in Rabil, Renaissance Humanism, iii. 67–83; K. Jensen, Rhetorical Philosophy and Philosophical Grammar: Julius Caesar Scaliger's Theory of Language (Munich, 1990); B. Colombat, La Grammaire latine en France à la Renaissance et à ι’Age Classique: Théorie et pédagogie (Grenoble, 1999). On matters of detail, however, dictionary compilations had been making a contribution before Bade applied himself to correcting the Catholicon. For example, with respect to the first of part of the Catholicoris traditional grammar, orthography, the Commentarii grammatici de orthographia dictionum e graecis tractarum of Giovanni Tortelli (Tortellius), first published at Rome in 1471, is a large alphabetical dictionary of Greek words adopted into Latin, correctly spelt, and defined by reference to the usage of a fair number of Latin authors. (6) The medieval and Renaissance science of etymology has ancient forerunners, but its foundations are perhaps best detected in the Etymologiae of Isidore of Seville (c.560–636). The humanists found for themselves authorities more worthy of their respect in Varro and Sextus Pompeius Festus. Etymology in this sense is not related to modern historical philology, and investigation of it has suffered because of its perceived lack of any historical awareness. For medieval etymology, see Actes de la table-ronde: L’Étymobgie au Moyen Age, Lexique, 11 (1993); S. Reynolds, Medieval Reading: Grammar, Rhetoric and the Classical Text (Cambridge, 1996), 73–87; and for a sensible modern discussion of the principles behind the science, see G. Genette, Mimologiques: Voyages en Cratylie (Paris, 1976).

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Dictionaries (7) The first edn. I have seen of the Catholicon, ed. Petrus Aegidius, was published at Paris by F. Baligault for S. Vostre in 1499; it was reproduced at Lyons in 1503 and in 1505. (8) There is a modern edn. of this monumental work, published at Sassoferrato under the general edi torship of J.-L. Charlet, 8 vols. (1989–2002). For a much more detailed analysis of the work than is pos sible here, consult M. Furno, Le ‘Cornu copiae’ de Niccolò Perotti: Culture et méthode d’un humaniste qui aimait les mots (Geneva, 1995X with its bibliography. The edns. of the Cornu copiae I have used were printed at Paris in 1504 (U. Gering & B. Rembolt) and at Venice in 1508 (J. de Tridino). (9) For a description of Perrotti's letter-writing manual and a comparison with related productions, including the Elegantiae of Lorenzo Valla, which will occupy us later, see G. Alessio, ‘Il De compendis epistolis di Niccolò Perotti’, Respublica litterarum, 11 (1988), 9–18. (10) The 1504 and 1508 edns. of the Cornu copiae both have an alphabetical index, and advertise the fact loudly on their title-pages. Alphabetization was a characteristic feature of medieval Latin book pro duction which was to prove indispensable for marketing and exploiting humanist texts, however much the humanist authors might try to distance themselves from it. The Paris editor also stamped the Cornu copiae with the mark of a commercial enterprise more used to supplying a different reading public. His capital letters decorate Martial's Latin with vignettes of the life of Christ and sacraments of the Church. (11) Among the explanatory interpretations of the Graces, which Perotti has largely collected from medieval predecessors and paraphrased in more elegant Latin, are these: there are three Graces because benefits are given, received, and returned (as in Seneca); in their dance, one has her back to us, two face us, because every good deed should be returned in double measure (this goes back at least to Fulgentius and is common to almost all medieval interpretations); they are naked because favours freely given should have no disguise; linked arm in arm, because in friendship one benefit leads to another; and they bathe in the spring Acidalius, because benefits should be pure and unsullied by expectation of recom pense. Subsequent dictionaries and encyclopedias will transmit this information verbatim or in approximate wording. (12) I have consulted Bade's edn. of Calepino in his own 1509 edn. and also his enlarged edn. of 1513 in the pirated version published at Paris in 1514 by N. Des Prez; Bade and his rival reprinted Bade's edn. almost annually up to the mid-1520s.

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Dictionaries (13) A synopsis of these developments may be found in H. Arens, ‘Verbum cordis: Zur Sprachphilosophie des Mittelalters’, in K. Koerner, H.-J. Niederehe, and R. H. Robins (eds.), Studies in Medieval Linguistic Thought Dedicated to Geoffrey L. Bursill-Hall (Amsterdam, 1980), 13–27. References to St Augustine on the Trinity are to Sancti Aurelii Augustini de trinitate libri XV, ed. W. J. Mountain, 2 vols. (Turnhout, 1968). (14) For the publication history of Calepino, see A. Labarre, Bibliographie du Dictionarium d’Ambrogio Calepino (1502–1779) (Baden-Baden, 1975). (15) The edns. of the Polyanthea I have used were printed at Venice in 1507, at Basle in 1512, at Lyons in 1513, and at Savona in 1514. Mirabellio's views, expressed in his preface dated 1503, seem to indicate a disquiet similar to that articulated in the epistolary exchanges in which more eminent Italian humanists of his generation discussed the Latin language. I shall turn to them later. (16) For medieval sermons (on which the literature is quite vast), see initially M. G. Briscoe, Artes praedicandi, Typologie des sources du Moyen Âge occidental, 61 (Turnhout, 1992); also, J. B. Allen, The Ethical Poetic of the Later Middle Ages: A Decorum of Convenient Distinction (Toronto, 1982), esp. 142–8. (17) For the Polyanthea and its later history, see A. Moss, Printed CommonplaceBooks and the Structuring of Renaissance Thought (Oxford, 1996), 91–5, 205–7, and Moss, ‘Emblems into Commonplaces: The Anthologies of Josephus Langius’, in K. Enenkel and A. Visser (eds.), Mundus Emblematicus: Studies in Neo-Latin Emblem Books (Turnhout, 2003), 1–17. Lang is every bit as much concerned as Mirabellio to service religious discourse, but his systematically collected quotations from the Bible, the Fathers, and from pagan authors are designed to contribute to a Latin discourse structured on commonplaces; we shall meet such discourse in its formative stages later in this book. (18) And also of Guillaume Budé, to whom the prefatory letter of the 1536 volume is addressed. Budé's Commentarii linguae graecae (Paris: Josse Bade, 1529) is very much an inspiration for Dolet's own methodology. (19) ‘A nobis traditum est, linguae cuiusvis et usum et venustatem non in vocum tantum proprietate, sed in translatis plurimum dictionibus consistere… dignitatemque praecipuam ex vocum translatione linguas omnes nancisci’ (Commentarii linguae latinae, ii (Lyons: S. Gryphius, 1538), col. 883); a promised 3rd volume dealing with phrases and concentrating on extensions to the meaning of words by way of metaphorical use was never published. The material on the ordering of Dolet's dictionary lies somewhat scattered in the two volumes; it appears mainly at the beginning of each volume, and also at cols. 1034,1085, and 1583 of the 2nd.

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Dictionaries (20) Dolet's account of the grammatical functions and rules for these sorts of (mostly indeclinable words is at cols. 1583–715 of the 2nd volume. (21) Written (Latin) language is richer (plenior, uberior); too much Latin speaking can harm one's written style, as is obvious with the Germans, whose everyday use of Latin (quotidianus usus) in speaking has rendered them unable to discriminate between familiar usage and the dignity (gravitas) proper to the written form (i, col. 1236). (22) ‘Ego illustriores tantum et nobiliores (sive verba sint, sive nomina) explicandas mihi duxi’ (ii, col. 1583); compare the careful distinctions he makes between the language of ‘ordinary’ speech and the lan guage of prepared oratory (eloquentia) in entries in the first volume on sermo, oratio, eloquentia, elegantia, orare, dictio, etc.; differences of usage interest him much more than theories which would contain them. (23) Dolet's attack on Erasmus’ much more eclectic Latin, Diabgus de imitatione ciceroniana, dates from 1535; the attack on the Verbose old Dutchman’ is continued under various entries of the Commentarii. For an illuminating discussion of some of the long-term issues underlying this quarrel, see G. W. Pigman, ‘Imitation and the Renaissance Sense of the Past The Reception of Erasmus’ Ciceronianus’ Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 9 (1979), 155–77. There is a long and sophisticated discussion of literary, more specifically Ciceronian, imitation in the Commentarii, i, cols. 1227–38; as far as diction is concerned, Dolet's practice in his Commentarii is to amass it from a slightly wider spectrum of authors, but still limited to what became known as the ‘Golden Age’ of Latinity. (24) On this, see V. Worth, Practising Translation in Renaissance France: The Example of Etienne Dolet (Oxford, 1988). Dolet intended to write an Orateur francoys, to include a vernacular rhetoric and a poetic, but his early death meant that the project was never completed; and nor was a planned ‘grand dictionnaire vulgaire’ (presumably a monolingual French dictionary).

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Dictionaries (25) Jonas Philomusus (J. Gonthier d’Andernach) (ed), Commentariorum linguae latinae…epitome duplex, quorum altera quidem vocum omnium in illis explicatarum in alphabeticum ordinem redactarum significationes continet; altera vero, similia, affiniaque verba, et eorum contraria, eodem quo ipsi autori visum est ordine complectitur (Basle: T. Platter, 1537); Tomus secundus commentariorum de latina lingua…in epitomen redactus, ubique ordine autoris servato (Basle: B. Westheimer, 1539); Tomiprimi epitome commentariorum linguae latinae Stephani Doleti, brevis, eodem quo ipsi autori visum ordine ubique sancte observato (Basle: B. Westheimer & R. Winter, 1540). For bibliographical information on these and all Dolet's works, see C. Longeon, Bibliographie des œuvres d’Etienne Dolet (Geneva, 1980). When later authors such as Josse Willich in his Deformando studio and David Chytraeus in his De ratione discendi cite Dolet's dictionary, they list it among examples of alphabetical dictionaries, thus betraying that they were familiar with epitomes, not the original. (26) Phrases et formulae linguae latinae elegantiores (Strasbourg: J. Rihel, 1576); reprinted frequently for use at the school Sturm had founded at Strasbourg. (27) The full title sets its programme: Dictionarium, seu linguae latinae thesaurus, non singulas modo dictiones continent sed integras quoque latine et loquendi et scribendi formulas, ex Catone, Varrone, Caesare, Cicerone, Livio, Columella, Plinio avunculo, Plinio secundo, Plauto, Terentio, Virgilio, Martiale (Paris: R. Estienne, 1536). (28) ‘Ea est utilitas consequuta, ut non modo constructionum, sed etiam loquendi varietas ab authoribus usurpata, antea obscurissima, omnibus deinceps exposita et in usu promiscuo esse possit’ (Thesaurus, 1536, sig. *iii); Estienne very clearly sets out the aims and plan of his work in the preface (sigs. *ii–*iiiv). (29) I have consulted the 1543 edn., Dictionarium latinogallicum, Thesauro nostro ita ex adverso respon-dens, ut…in hoceadem sintomniciy eodem ordine, sermone patrio explicata (Paris: R. Estienne, 1543).

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Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

Phrases Ann Moss


Abstract and Keywords This chapter discusses one of the works of Lorenzo Valla, who was considered a genius for his critical thinking and who is consistently connected to the subject of humanist lexicography. His work is the main focus of this chapter, and the chapter looks particularly at the Elegantiae linguae latinae, a six book series that details the use of Latin words that are exemplified in phrases and locutions collected from classical authors. This collection became a huge influence on humanist lexicographical practice. Keywords:   Lorenzo Valla, critical thinking, humanist lexicography, Elegantiae linguae latinae, phrases, locutions, classical authors, humanist lexicographical practice

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Phrases IN OUR BRIEF survey of humanist lexicography, one name has kept recurring, that of Lorenzo Valla (1407–57). Valla had a genius for critical thinking of a quite radical kind which he exercised disturbingly in several areas of fifteenth-century intellectual life. The work which concerns us most is his Elegantiae linguae latinae, on which his later reputation was established throughout sixteenthcentury western Europe. The Elegantiae consists of six books detailing the usage of Latin words as exemplified in phrases and locutions collected from classical authors. It was mostly completed by the mid-1440s, and was launched on a dazzlingly successful career in print by editions published at Paris and Rome in 1471.1 This work was a massive influence on humanist lexicographical practice, even if it was not its only begetter. It established as authentic a select idiom and patterns of phrasing that fell within the boundaries Valla set to what he deemed to be good classical Latin. It was a methodological paradigm and a quarry for illustrative material. It was a standard authority and, in some of its more contested observations of detail, it provided meat for later philological experts to cut their critical teeth on. Valla had not initiated the project of reconstructing classical Latin from an inventory of examples of ancient usage. The Elegantiae had its forebears, located in the early fifteenth-century humanist schools of Gasparino Barzizza (1360– 1430), Guarino Guarini (1374–1460), and Vittorino da Feltre (1373/8–1446/7), where pupils were taught to make notebook collections of phrases culled from their authors, in order to conserve nice turns of phrase, interesting pieces of information, useful definitions, examples of rhetorical figures, unusual vocabulary, all to (p.36) ensure a ready abundance of words for use in oral and written composition. Valla's approach, however, was altogether more programmatic. It was also grounded on a systematically argued attack on the late medieval Latin of lawyers, theologians, and philosophers. Valla's turn to classical Latin paradigms was an essential move in a potentially revolutionary shift of thought that invested the linguistic practice of the early fifteenth-century pedagogues with a crucial philosophical significance.

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Phrases Valla's programme is best read in the prefaces which introduce each of the six books.2 The first has a high imperial theme, designed to establish the once and future cultural hegemony of Rome. On its conquered peoples, ancient Rome had imposed its language, and through the medium of that language, a culture: the liberal arts, a system of law, and ‘a way to all wisdom’. Valla gives to the high culture of western Europe an inalienable linguistic basis, and that basis is the Latin of ancient Rome: ‘For who were the greatest philosophers, the greatest orators, the greatest jurists, the greatest writers, but those who attached most value to using language well?’3 But the Goths and Gauls threaten the citadel, that is to say, ‘Latinity is assailed by outlandish speech’ (‘latinitas a barbaria oppressa’), the language of Rome is not heard, and the books of the ancient empire lie unread. In his second, third, and fourth prefaces, Valla identifies the modern Goths and Gauls without equivocation. They are the inept grammarians who have taught nothing but ignorance (and high on his list Valla places the grammatical lexicographers Papias, Hugutio, and the author of the Catholicon). They are the legal commentators on the Digest, whose language they have adulterated with vernacular barbarisms. They are the theologians who denounce eloquence as somehow inimical to true religion.4 Other Italian humanists among Valla's predecessors and contemporaries had identified these enemies, but it was Valla's strategy for the counter-attack that really drew up the battle-lines. For it was not enough to promote a culture approximating to ancient models by writing histories, translating from the Greek, composing speeches and poems. Unless that culture were soundly secured on an unimpeachable basis of pure Latinity, incursions from Goths and Gauls would remain an ever-present threat.5 Valla sets in motion the Latin language turn, having evolved for himself a general theory that grounded culture in language and having grasped its full implications. Language will condition thinking, and the culturally contextualized language of ancient Rome, if once again it becomes the native language of the intellectual dite, will empower a renewal of all the (p.37) disciplines of learning.6 Underlying this, there was an undoubted antagonism towards the present language idiom in which those disciplines were pursued, and a moral confidence in the superiority of classical forms of speech. For Valla's linguistic imperialism marched in the name of truth, not just aesthetic preference. In the prefaces to the Elegantiae, he hints that fundamental error, be it in law, in theology, or in philosophy, invariably has a linguistic cause.7 For the right application of law (‘as Quintilian says’) depends on the correct understanding of the words in which the law is written, and Valla has no doubt that prudence and equity, knowledge of things and true adequacy of language, are to be found in the late antique Digest of the works of classical jurists (iurisconsulti), and not in the half-gothic barbarisms of pettifogging glossators (leguleii). So, a daily perusal of the Digest will recuperate its language, and with that language, the correct understanding of words, on which justice depends. Page 3 of 44

Phrases Valla focuses on theology and the language of theologians in his preface to the fourth book of the Elegantiae, where he tangles, as so many humanists would feel impelled to do, with the accusation Christ levelled at St Jerome in the famous dream: that he was a Ciceronian, not a Christian.8 In addressing this fear and confronting the detrimental consequences it has had for Christian Latinity, Valla concludes that what characterizes Jerome's own style of writing, and that of the other Latin Fathers, is, above all, eloquence. Eloquentia, as he repeats in this passage, must be the mark of Christian writing every bit as much as it was the mark of the best writing of the pagans: ‘anyone who knows nothing of eloquence is unfit to write or speak about theology’. Distrust of eloquent speech, or, rather, incompetence masquerading as religious zeal, has produced the impoverished, graceless style of modern theologians, which Valla would rectify by returning Christian writers to the language of the Fathers of late antiquity.9

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Phrases (p.38) The aesthetics of verbal style was by no means Valla's sole concern. A return to the Latin of the Fathers meant turning his back on the language that late medieval writers had elaborated to negotiate their immensely sophisticated synthesis of Aristotelian philosophy and Christian theology. Their theology incorporated schemes of argumentation derived from Aristotle's logic, and they employed the Latin terms that medieval logicians had evolved to turn Latin into a metalanguage for exploring the truth of propositions. At the same time as he was compiling the Elegantiae, Valla was working on his revisionist logic, the Dialecticae disputationes, in which he attacks the logical terminology of the late medieval scholastics for distorting theology as well as making a travesty of Latin.10 The Dialecticae disputa-tiones reveals the theoretical substratum and some of the long-term theological consequences of Valla's promotion of classical Latin, for which the Elegantiae was designed to be the instrument. To take just one example, modal propositions, defined as possible, impossible, necessary, contingent, true, and false, related by rules of equipollence and opposition, were a standard feature of late medieval logic texts. Valla singles out Necessary’ and ‘contingent’ as redundant, while at the same time querying why other ‘modalities’ familiarly used in communicative speech (‘easy’, ‘difficult’, ‘certain’, ‘useful’, ‘pleasant’, and so on) are not given logical status. Indeed, the promotion of the term ‘necessary’ has had baleful implications, leading to such propositions as ‘It is necessary that God knows the future’. For Valla, this is a highly dubious statement, for it constrains God, whereas Valla's substitute, ‘It is impossible that God does not know the future’, does not. Similarly, traditional modal logic makes ‘necessary’ and ‘contingent’ diametric opposites, so that one or other must hold. Not so, says Valla: ‘I am not writing either necessarily or contingently, I am writing because I will to do so and judge it to be a right action’. Just so, God did not create man by necessity or contingently, but by the operation of his will and his grace. From such confusion of terms, continues Valla, has arisen the debate about God's foreknowledge and man's free will that the ‘philosophers’ (or philosophical theologians) claim is irresolvable. But it is precisely a proper understanding of language that has given Valla the key to resolving the issue.11

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Phrases (p.39) As for the philosophy that underlay late medieval theology, the preface to the third book of the Elegantiae asserts that the moderns (the scholastics), unintelligible even to Goths and Vandals, are deluded into ever more elaborate errors because their use of language is deficient (‘ob hoc maxime erra[nt], quod loquendi facultatem caruerunt’). Valla proceeds immediately to refer directly to the already completed, but not yet published Dialecticae disputationes. That work not only sought to introduce radical changes into the logical analysis of propositions and modes of argumentation developed in the Middle Ages, but also queried some of the Aristotelian definitions and procedures on which that analysis was founded. Some of Valla's most forceful criticisms were linguistic, based on a sophisticated knowledge of fundamental differences in the wordforms and the grammar of the Greek and the Latin languages. He contends that metaphysical contortions found in Aristotle can be explained by peculiarities of the Greek language.12 Then, to make confusion worse confounded, linguistically inept translators, in the process of rendering Aristotle into Latin, had attempted to hellenize straightforward Latin to match those contortions, and so arrant nonsense had entered into the system, where it was still being propagated. A prime example of this is the word ens (existent being), calqued on the Greek to on, but authentic Latin usage does not allow participles to function as nouns.13 An even worse tangle was then produced when later Latin Aristotelians concocted abstractions, like entitas from ens, quidi-tas from quid, perseitas from per se, ‘barbarisms’ beloved of scholastic philosophers, and not only unknown to classical Latin, but based on inadmissible paradigms of derivation.14

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Phrases Valla was doing more than wrinkling up his nose at grotesque and mystifying Latin. He rendered ens into meaningful speech as ea res que est (the thing that is), and proceeded to make res (thing) the single, transcendent unit of meaning to which all words refer. It is not a concrete thing, but a ‘word that signifies what is meant by all other words’, the general term for unit of reference, be it a concept, an abstraction, or a ‘real’ thing, for all things of which we speak are some thing.15 (p.40) while thus assuring the basic referentiality of language, Valla is here operating within the conceptual sphere where medieval logicians were accustomed to debate the formal validity of propositions. His res defined in answer to the question, ‘What word is “thing”?’, as ‘what is meant or understood by all other words’, belongs to that universal mental language consisting of impressions in the mind or acts of thought, which, for Aristotle in the De Interpretatione and generally for medieval logicians, was signified by particular spoken and written languages. For Valla, however, the question ‘What is “thing”?’ resolves immediately into ‘What sort of thing is it?’16 That takes us from the concept res to specific things, and from universal mental language to contexts in which things are described and differentiated in appropriate spoken or written words. Sidelining mental language, though not denying it, Valla validates in logic a rhetorical use of language that can negotiate description, comparison, explanation, that deals in specifics, and makes fine distinctions of vocabulary requiring a sophisticated knowledge of a particular tongue.17 In this way, Valla grounds the philological practice of the grammarians on a theoretical disengagement from the basis on which medieval logicians had constructed a specialized Latin to test the validity of propositions to ever-tighter standards of coherence in an attempt to resolve all ambiguities. Valla insists that their methodology is flawed, as their language is flawed. In another part of his dialectic, when discussing negation, he deplores the strictures that insist on such paradigmatic formulae as ‘Non quidam non legit’ (not somebody does not read) and ‘Non est non iustus non Socrates’ (not Socrates is not not just), generated by supposition theory in order to enunciate propositions that could hold under conditions of extreme rigour: ‘What sort of talk is this, I ask you, if it is not the chatter of crows and magpies?’ The customary use of language, says Valla, allows varieties of modes of negation, and the sense remains perfectly clear and unambiguous to anyone accustomed to classical phraseology, who knows how (p.41) Latin normally and properly works.18 In his Elegantiae (iii. 27), Valla expatiates on a great number of ways of expressing negation in classically authentic Latin, quoting himself in his Dialecticae disputationes to the effect that it is consuetudo, close acquaintance with customary usage of language, properly contextualized, that enables the recipient to grasp securely the sense of potentially ambiguous enunciations. The dialectician finds theoretical problems in negation that the orator resolves in his deft management of the flexibilities of ordinary, educated speech, exemplified in practice in the Elegantiae. Page 7 of 44

Phrases For Valla, with the backing of Quintilian, ordinary Latin usage is the only appropriate medium for intelligible, even philosophical, speech in that language, but provided it is truly latinate, a Latin that corresponds to the Latin employed by the erudite and that is characterized by ‘elegance’.19 Valla's notion of elegantia derives from its definition in the Rhetorica ad Herennium, where its connotations are purity and perspicacity: It is correct Latinity (Latinitas) that keeps language pure and free from faults. The faults in language which detract from Latinity are two: solecism and barbarism [faulty concords and incorrect expression]…Clarity (explanatio) renders language intelligible and lucid. It is achieved by two means: adherence to regular usage and deployment of proper terms (usitata verba et propria). Regular usage means the word-use of current speech (consuetudo cotidiana); proper terms are the words appropriate to the matter of our discourse.20 The Elegantiae is a practical programme for formalizing the ‘common and customary language’ of a literate speech community. Its six books are each divided into short sections dealing with particular words, locutions, or phrases. The organization of the sections is very loose, although there is an overall grouping by roughly similar themes or grammatical issues, and it is possible to detect in rather faint outline the traditional exposition of Latin grammar according to the parts of speech. For the avoidance of grammatical faults, Valla departs radically from medieval grammarians and their lists of rules. His master is Quintilian, for whom ‘usage was the surest guide in language’, and the variety of usage to be found in authors of recognized Latinity is to be preferred to the precepts of normative grammar.21 The first book, for instance, contains sets of examples of Latin vocabulary derived from common stems or according to a common paradigm (nouns ending in osus, for example), but Valla provides only words for which he has good authority from the usage of his chosen range of authors. The medieval habit of deriving neologisms by analogy is dropped completely, and with it much of the characteristic vocabulary of late medieval philosophy. The simplest grammatical constructions and the most complex, noun-verb combinations, possessive pronouns, and negation, are all inculcated by force of example, resulting in a repertory of the forms taken by ‘common and customary language’, authenticated by (p.42) quoted sources. By establishing some forms of speech as unequivocally ‘correct’, particularly regular Latin usage for possessives (ii, ch. 1) and negation (iii, ch. 27, with its cross-reference to the Dialecticae disputationes), Valla certainly devalues and renders redundant the Latin metalanguage fabricated by scholastic logicians to obviate what they perceived to be ambiguities or paralogisms. But the most pervasive effect is to condition the reader's mind to think in certain linguistic patterns, to think in effect like the ancient Romans whose language is being brought to life.

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Phrases The same is true of vocabulary. The Elegantiae is a vast vocabulary resource, but it is not a dictionary, and it is not exhaustive. The focus is on the proper niceties of classical usage, semantic distinctions—elegantia in short. Valla's single words are normally clustered in small self-contained groups comprising chapters, but the overall arrangement seems quite arbitrary. It is more arbitrary than the order adopted by Dolet, the dictionary compiler whose approach most resembles Valla’s. Dolet's coordinated affinities and contraries were generative as well as analytical, responding to the demands of rhetorical argumentation. Valla, a century earlier, is essentially a grammarian, if not a traditional medieval grammarian, and he thinks of language as a precision instrument. He juxtaposes words of very similar meaning (for example, libertas and licentia) and subjects them to close scrutiny, pulling out the strands of their different nuances with the help of quoted illustrations, and thereby distinguishing between related concepts. The reader learns to make very fine discriminations, to be a very precise language user. But what exactly is the language in use? It is in effect an artificial amalgam of the surviving literary documents from a rather select number of mainly prose authors writing roughly in the period between Cicero and Quintilian, with occasional excursions into the language of the Fathers and the Latin jurists of the Digest, and, even more occasionally, new words for completely new things (bombarda is the example usually cited). Valla's extraordinary undertaking was to make this the common and customary language of intellectual discourse in fifteenth-century western Europe and to ensure, concurrently, that the conceptual habits built into that language, together with the culture that was its context and its referent, should become the universe of thought inhabited by his educated contemporaries. And what motivated him was not, or not only, an idealized view of the achievements of Roman civilization, but also a zeal for truth (perhaps, more properly, the eradication of error). To achieve his aim, it was inevitable that his notion of usage should become prescriptive. It was in effect prescriptive in the Elegantiae and would continue to be so in the publications that supported the speech community of his acolytes and then that of humanists in general.22 The Latin dictionaries we have already reviewed were the arsenals of the language Valla resurrected, particularly the dictionaries of Perotti, his pupil and supporter, and those of Dolet and Estienne, his heirs. They were the heavy artillery of Valla's imperialistic enterprise. (p.43) In order to map some of the more local engagements with the enemy, we shall examine what happened to Valla's Elegantiae when it ventured into the homeland of the Gauls.

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Phrases The Elegantiae was printed at Paris in 1471, the same year as its first printing in Italy. The printers were Ulrich Gering, Michael Friburger, and Martin Krantz, who in the previous year had established the first Paris printing press, under the aegis of Guillaume Fichet (1433–78). In the same year as the Elegantiae, the same Parisian press produced Fichet's own Rhetorica, which was the first humanist text by a Frenchman to get into print. But Fichet was for the moment a fairly isolated case. The Latin speech community of northern Europe was well equipped for its own purposes with dictionaries, grammar books, elementary readers, and more advanced reference works, and from manuscript these would soon go into print to satisfy the demand of a stable and profitable market. The Catholicon supplied this community's vocabulary, the Doctrinale of Alexander of Villedieu prescribed its grammar, and grammatical paradigms were as often as not presented in the form of examples made up to match the rules. The elementary schoolboy's Octo auctores presented him with his first experience of connected written discourse in the form of edifying verses which mostly date from about the thirteenth century. Their Latin may have been perfectly serviceable, but could neither sustain sophisticated semantic analysis nor open doors onto the culture of antiquity. The same schoolboy might later get acquainted with flores poetarutn, collections of extracts from classical poets, but they were likely to be arranged so as to illustrate the virtues and the vices as defined in the Christian ethical system. The interpretative grid for reading pagan authors remained the Christian cultural matrix, and indeed one of the main uses of those authors was to corroborate the message of sermons.

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Phrases Later in this book I shall look at the logical manipulation of language, to which students of this period were introduced once their Latin was adequate for that rather restricted purpose, and also at the interpretative lens placed on classical culture. One very familiar way of using language deserves mention now because it illustrates by an extreme case just how different northern Latin speech patterns could be from the Elegantiae set to invade them. The more advanced language reference books, which invariably went into print as soon as the opportunity presented itself, were Bible concordances and similar compilations that fed the contemporary sermon rhetoric of the ‘moderns’ (to which also I shall return later). These rigorously indexed volumes provided words and illustrative extracts from the Bible and sometimes also from patristic Latin, later religious authorities, and pagan writers. Their vocabulary and their extracts were brought into sermons in order to ‘concord’ the preacher's divisions of his material and the distinctions he made on individual words. And they could concord in different ways. They could express the sense of things said, in different words (realiter); they could concord by echoing words, but not sense (vocaliter); or they could concord both realiter and vocaliter.23 If this all seems very complicated, collections of model sermons for (p.44) all occasions were at hand to simplify matters, for instance a Dictionarius pauperum omnibus predicatoribus pernecessarius, which lists topics appropriate for all feasts and Sundays of the year and gives examples of how the topics should be treated.24 First come distinctions on the key word, usually linked together in rhyming patterns. Gratia, for example, the appropriate topic for the feast of the Assumption, is infusa, diffusely effusa. These distinctions provide the divisions for articulating the argument of the sermon, often enumerated divisions which are further subdivided into numerically parallel sets, underpinned by examples of most unclassical provenance (the slothful are like the cat wanting to eat fish, but not wanting to put its paw in the water, ‘catt [us] qui bene vult comedere pisces sed non vult pedem mergere in aquam’), and by frequent concordant quotation, nearly always from the Bible or its customary gloss. In practice, it is probable that the unclassical Latin of these model sermons for the not very learned would often be publicly delivered in the congregation's vernacular, except perhaps for the Bible quotations. Even then, the use of supporting Latin phrases for which the resource was the biblical concordances seems a language game very different from the one in which Valla was engaged. For the ‘modern’ preacher, such quotations are like counters to be moved in a display of skill; for Valla, elegant phrases taken from elegant writers are the currency of communicative interchange.

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Phrases At a more general level of discourse than preaching rhetoric and its specialized concordances, late medieval methods of Latin language instruction spawned manuals for acquiring vocabulary that were the front-line competition for Valla's Elegantiae in the elementary classes. One such was the Synonima Britonis, printed well into the first decade or so of the sixteenth century. It is an alphabetical list of words, to each of which are appended rhythmical verses in Latin explaining the difference between its near synonyms. The vocabulary thus memorized by rote floats entirely free of any form of connected and meaningful discourse, let alone classical paradigms for usage. It replicates the verbal universe of late medieval Latin, and encourages an appetite for the more extraordinary items of vocabulary, cramming young mouths with an indigestible plenty of ill-assorted words. The grammar that complements such a book is clearly the Doctrinale of Alexander of Villedieu, which it resembles in its language, its methodology, and its mnemonic verse. It proclaims its pedigree in the twelve ‘decades’ with which it closes, versified vocabulary lists ascribed to the early thirteenth-century John of Garland. Yet, this is copia of a kind. A container was all ready for the humanists’ input. When (p.45) the grammarschool syllabus converted to Valla and his adherents, words would still be accumulated according to their synonyms and differences, though the words would have passed a quality check and be manipulated to express sophisticated mental notions beyond the horizon of the Synonima Britonis.25 Sermon rhetoric and the established school syllabus provided the main customers for the early Paris printing presses and so set the agenda for works providing resources for Latin composition. Outlets for specifically humanist Latin material may have been small. Fichet's Latin rhetoric failed to make much of an impression, but in its own field it was no doubt overshadowed by the importation (and sporadic reproduction) of humanist works from Italy, arriving on the scene well publicized in advance by northerners who had studied in Italy and by Italian humanists newly arrived in Paris in pursuit of patronage and employment. The company in which Valla's Elegantiae infiltrated the land of the Gauls was that of Gasparino Barzizza's collection of model letters, Epistolae ad exercitationem accommodatae, published at the same press at about the same time. Letter-writing, not sermon-writing was the context for displaying Latin elegance.26 And very slowly Latin elegance gained ground in the Parisian printed-book market in the later 1470s, with the Elegantiae of Agostino Dati (to which I shall come later), with Perotti's Rudimenta grammatices, published at Paris in 1477, and with a growing number of editions of Cicero. Meanwhile, Valla's own Elegantiae seems to have had to wait about twenty years before the citadel of the Gauls really opened its doors to it. It was printed again in Paris around 1490 and repeatedly after that. Even more significantly, Valla found his own Gallic champion in Guy louenneaux (Guido Juvenalis, c.1450–1505), whose adaptation of the Elegantiae was probably first published in 1490.27

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Phrases The copious liminary material to Jouenneaux's version of Valla indicates that he had connections with the circle of early Parisian humanists among whom the most notable was Robert Gaguin. The link was through Charles Fernand who in 1489 wrote a commentary on Gaguin's poem on the Immaculate Conception and (p.46) to whom Jouenneaux addresses one of several prefatory letters defining the purpose of the present work: I had it in mind to produce an explanation of Valla (the author who has done so much for Latin) with additions in the vernacular, so that children of weak and tender years might be easily led to a knowledge of his linguistic niceties. For it seems to me that very few such children may be found who can both boast that they understand what Valla is getting at and also put their understanding into practice. (1494 edn., fo. iiii) Jouenneaux's Valla is intended to function as an elementary textbook for teaching grammar and vocabulary. The programmatic prefaces to the original six books have been dropped. The present ordering of the Elegantiae is not Valla's rather haphazard arrangement, but the slightly more rational scheme with loosely alphabetized vocabulary that Bonus Accursius had introduced into his somewhat simplified edition of the Elegantiae, first published in 1475 and reprinted soon afterwards at Paris by the same press that had produced the integral Elegantiae. According to Jouenneaux, the Accursius recension was more often to be found than the original in the hands of students. Furthermore, Jouenneaux has made his own selections from Valla, as well as adding material from Cicero's epistles, Aulus Gellius, and Quintilian (fo. v). He claims to have retained many of Valla's illustrative quotations, but by no means always the references. If quotations now float free from their original context, says Jouenneaux, they are nevertheless adequate to serve their present purpose, that of demonstrating usage to students still at the first stages of grammar (fo. v). In fact, when they came to consult the work, such students would not have felt too far from home, for Valla's own definitions and explanations have been drastically simplified and much of the illustrative material is translated into French. Indeed the normal procedure is for a French phrase to precede a Latin rendering, making it abundantly clear that the book is meant to aid students whose way into Latin is by word-for-word translation from a vernacular which remains their primary language and conditions their learning of Latin.

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Phrases In many ways Valla's Elegantiae seems to have been assimilated into a barbarism it was designed to defeat. Jouenneaux would have protested that that was not the case. However simplified the presentation, and however much obscured the cultural context of the language he aims to teach, he would have claimed that he was promoting a radically different approach from ‘the usual precepts which up till now have dulled students’ minds’, one that ‘leads to correct Latin usage’ (‘ad recti latinique sermonis usum perduc[it]’, fo. cxxxv–cxxxvv). And indeed he does retain the essential ingredients of the Elegantiae, its careful and well-illustrated differentiation between words of neighbouring sense and its derivation of grammatical constructions from use rather than from normative rule. He himself transmits excitement about language when he describes himself and his friend collecting material for his book, diverting themselves delightedly from dialectical sophisms to ‘humanitatis studia’ (fo. iii). But he says nothing about any linguistic conflict he may have felt between the Latin of his sophisms and the Latin he was excerpting from Valla. (p.47) There is an air of compromise about this attempt to make the Elegantiae friendly to French-speaking users accustomed to an idiom of Latin which Valla found abhorrent. Jouenneaux's book was certainly accepted into the grammar curriculum, as the numerous editions testify, and can be assumed to constitute one element in the way Latin was subsequently learnt in the Paris colleges. In 1508/9, Noel Beda established a syllabus at the Collège de Montaigu in which Jouenneaux's Elegantiae is listed side by side with Dati’s, together with the grammars of Donatus and Perotti, to be used by the most advanced grammarclass students in conjunction with the Doctrinale of Alexander of Villedieu, which forms the backbone of Montaigu's grammar currriculum. These texts reinforce the fundamentals of Latin grammar and vocabulary, but, as the syllabus dictates for all the grammar classes, pupils will read small amounts of just one prose writer (Cicero almost certainly) and a poet, provided that poet is not one of the authors Beda prohibits (Terence, Martial, Juvenal, Ovid in his Heroides and ‘suchlike’). The number of lines read from the poetry textbook is to match the small number of lines set for study in the Doctrinale at a given session, though the two upper classes may have a little more licence. Immediately after they have become adequately proficient in Latin, students will proceed to the Summulaey that is to say, to the textbook which traditionally laid the foundations for the study of scholastic logic and which used the Latin metalanguage of that discipline. So, Jouenneaux's grammatical method was thought perfectly compatible with learning Latin for logic and the more advanced disciplines of the traditional arts curriculum, and there was no sense that it should lead naturally into the written culture of antiquity.28

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Phrases In Erasmus’ Ciceronianus of 1528, Nosoponus, fanatical promoter of Ciceronianism, is made to look back nearly forty years to the early Parisian humanists of Gaguin's circle, and finds them scarcely capable of speaking a Latin he is willing to recognize, Jouenneaux least of alL29 Indeed, Jouenneaux's day was past, as the publishing history demonstrates, but Valla's was not. Erasmus’ own relationship with Valla's Elegantiae is particularly revealing, both about his own attitude to Latin and about the northern paedagogical environment which shaped its publication history. Right from the beginning of his career, Erasmus was steeped in the Elegantiae. In 1489, at the monastery at Steyn, we find him arguing for the merits of the Elegantiae against Cornelius Gerard, who objects to Valla's hypercritical quibbling.30 Clearly, the Elegantiae was on the agenda of Dutch (p.48) schools at the same time as it moved to a prominent position at Paris, reprinted there and adapted by Jouenneaux in 1490. Erasmus was even asked by a schoolmaster to make a summary of the Elegantiae suitable for pupils at an elementary stage, and some years later, when he was in Paris, Erasmus repeated the exercise for the benefit of another pupil with learning difficulties. Neither of these summaries was published by Erasmus, but a version of the earlier paraphrase was printed without permission in 1529, both at Cologne and at Paris. By 1529, the combined authorship of Valla and Erasmus was no doubt a strong selling point So, it would seem, was the adaptation made to Erasmus’ text, now arranged by entries in strict alphabetical order and furnished with vernacular translations of some of the vocabulary. The publisher of the Paris edition, with its French renderings of some of the Latin words and phrases, was that same Robert Estienne who was soon to produce both a monolingual Latin dictionary and a French-Latin one. Between 1529 and 1531, Estienne published the unauthorized adaptation of Erasmus’ youthful paraphrase four times. In March 1531, however, Erasmus had had printed at Freiburg a Paraphrasis seu potius epitome of the Elegantiae, partially revising the unauthorized publication of 1529 in an attempt to put his work back to something like the state of the original manuscript, which he no longer had in his possession. Three months later, in a new version of his previous publication, Estienne incorporated the changes Erasmus had made to the paraphrase published without his permission and included the preface in which Erasmus expressed his opinion very forcibly about what had been done to his original text.

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Phrases Erasmus was very angry at what he regarded as a travesty of his book. He claimed that the editors had made unwarranted additions and omissions in his own text and in Valla’s. Clearly he did not like the vernacular translations, for in his own version he leaves them out. But it was another feature of the purloined paraphrase that disturbed him profoundly, because it ran directly counter to his own sense of the universe of language to which Valla had given access. A ‘thickheaded ass’ of an editor had reordered Erasmus’ summary alphabetically, and by so doing ‘far from introducing order into the work, he threw it into total disarray’.31 In his original summary for young students, Erasmus himself had kept Valla's order, the basic ratio or systematic procedure of the work, which imparts linguistic discrimination and verbal sensitivity through grouping together similar and dissimilar word-forms, constructions, and vocabulary. The stupid revisers have destroyed this fine web, and have done so irretrievably, for Erasmus balks at the immense labour of repairing it and, indeed, retains the alphabetical order under protest in his own printed edition. In fact he gave up trying to make significant revisions of his own to the pirated version halfway through the letter ‘a’. (p.49) Given the unusual circumstances of its printing history, Erasmus’ Paraphrasis seu potius epitome of the Elegantiae is very far from demonstrating his considered attitude to Valla's work. What he did do, particularly in the small part he systematically revised, was to add Greek equivalents for Latin vocabulary. He also extended the range of the quoted illustrations to include poets, who are not quite so prominent in Valla, and added some references to St Jerome and St Augustine, which does not run entirely counter to Valla's practice of occasionally admitting the Latin of the Fathers. Overall, these added quotations illustrate Erasmus’ predilection for a composite and eclectic Latin vocabulary, especially as Erasmus tends not to give his sources. Like Valla, he can use discrimination between the ordinary uses of classical Latin words to make pertinent distinctions with respect to their Christian use. Erasmus repeats Valla when he states that we properly adore (adorare) statues of the saints and images of the cross, but do not pray to them (orare).32 In other entries their emphases differ slightly, for example under affectus. Valla provides a scrupulous analysis of the way affectio and affectus are used by Cicero and Quintilian and of the relation of these Latin words to the Greek pathos. Erasmus, perhaps more interested in lexical variety than in lexical exactitude, prefers to list the various passions, anger, pity, hate, love, and so on, and to supply other Greek words built on pathos, with a diversity of meanings.33

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Phrases It would be inappropriate to make too much of these incidents. There is, however, a major conclusion to be drawn from Erasmus’ absorption of Valla's methodology in the Elegantiae in his early years and from his later spirited defence of it. Their common sense of a seamless web of words, of the interconnectedness of language, and of the culture woven by it and into it, is apparent in all the works of compilation by which Erasmus transmitted Latin sayings, elegant expressions, and the reference points of classical culture: his collections of adages, similitudes, apophthegmata, his copia verborum ac rerum. The order he adopts is generally a browsing order that leads the reader into paths natural to the language and the culture. He may arrange his excerpts under author or origin, as in the Parabolae (similitudes) of 1514 and the Apophthegmata of 1531, or he may arrange them the-matically, grouped by similars and opposites, as in the index to the 1508 Adagia. Alphabetical arrangement, however, is normally an imposition of later editors. Valla's Elegantiae is the primary inspiration for the tentacular schemes that the more sophisticated humanists devised for exploring the potential of the ancient language, schemes basic to the mentality of both Erasmus and Dolet, whatever their quarrel about the specifics of the language to be revivified. Nevertheless, (p.50) Valla's legacy was just as important at the other end of the humanist spectrum, in the elementary classroom, where vastly simplified Elegantiae eased the passage from vernacular monolingualism to bilingual proficiency, from rusticitas to the eloquent urbanitas of the citizens of a culture.34 From the 1490s onward, there was a growing industry in adaptations of the Elegantiae throughout northern Europe. Some of these are alphabetized extracts that reduce the Elegantiae to its most basic utilitarian form, turning it into a vocabulary check-list with very minimal commentary. It is perhaps significant that these publications often juxtapose the word termini with elegantiae on their title-pages. The non-classical use of termini to mean ‘words’ was normal late medieval practice in grammar and in the elucidation of vocabulary difficulties in texts. Moreover, termini had a very specific and commonly employed application in logic, familiar to the most elementary students of that discipline learning the intricacies of the analysis of the properties of ‘terms’ or words used as parts of actual propositions. Such phrases as elegantiae terminorum betray what is happening in the classroom context where these books will be used. Valla is being brought in to supplement and extend Latin vocabulary, but perhaps not fundamentally to change perspectives on language or replace current usage.35

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Phrases Some major figures in the history of northern humanism were also involved, notably Jakob Wimpfeling (Jacobus Wimpheling, 1450–1528). His Elegantiarum medulla oratoriaque precepta dates from 1493, during the earlier part of his career when he was cathedral preacher at Speyer. It is not sermon rhetoric, however, that is the focus of this little book of sound advice, but more secular verbal intercourse and, most particularly, letters. The use of letter-writing as the paradigm mode for practising the expressivity of classically derived Latin is well attested in humanist pedagogical texts from Italy and from the earliest years of northern enthusiasm for the new idiom. For Wimpfeling, the rhetorical content of this exercise is paramount. (p.51) It is an art of persuasion. He has ‘sucked out the marrow’ of texts by ancient and more recent experts and distilled it in the form of precepts for speaking and writing correctly and with perspicuity (‘eleganter dicendi scribendique praecepta’), in order that: ‘what you desire to communicate to others may make more pleasant reading and influence more strongly the minds of those from whom you are going to request something’.36 These precepts, furthermore, will ornament discourse (exornare), another phrase which stresses the rhetorical perspective of the book. This, in fact, is a shift from the focus of the original Elegantiae of which the affiliations were primarily with grammar (constructions, word-forms, vocabulary precision) and secondarily with logic (the role of language in shaping clear thinking). Latin composition and its calculated emotional effects had been only incidental to Valla's enterprise. With later adapters of his Elegantiae, it is a principle concern and vital to the recreation of classical Latin as a fully operational medium of communication. Yet, Wimpfeling's Medulla is arranged by parts of speech, which indicates its position in the syllabus, poised between grammar and rhetoric. In some ways, Wimpfeling seems reluctant to let go the leading-reins of normative grammar. He is very concerned to stress that he is giving rules derived from pedagogical authorities. He makes far more reference to Valla than to any other source of information, but usually by directing his reader to precise locations in Valla's book, not to the texts that Valla adduces. Wimpfeling's actual explanations of correct usage and niceties of vocabulary are largely his own, couched fairly prescriptively. His rhetorical bias is most clearly evident when he lists ways of varying the verbal expression of ideas and demonstrates the diversity of effects that can be achieved by collocatio, the placing of words in sentences in such a way as to take full advantage of Latin's flexible word order. Verbal varying at this very elementary level will blossom into the profusion of Erasmus’ De copia nearly twenty years later.

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Phrases By the beginning of the sixteenth century, the prestige of the Elegantiae had stretched to the furthest corners of Latin Europe, even if very often the speakers of the language of the Gauls practised a policy of assimilation rather than admit defeat by Roman elegantiae. From the land of the Slavs comes a nice mixture of idioms, this time in terms of metaphor: Hortulus elegantiarum…partim ex Marci (p.52) Tullii surculis partim ex suo germine consitus, written in 1502 for students at Cracow, and published, like the author's other grammatical publications, in Leipzig. The man sowing the seeds was Laurentius Corvinus (Rabe, 1465–1527), originally from Germany, and his seeds are examples of various ways of phrasing propositions in correct and elegant Latin. The sense of ‘elegant’ in this book has shifted yet further into the field of rhetoric, and into rather narrow rhetorical territory. Wimpfeling's notion of rhetoric as persuasion is not mentioned. The phrases that recur are: eloquentiae venustas, lepidus sermo. In other words, elegant diction means attractive diction, inoffensive because correct, but above all nicely phrased and gracefully articulated. Corvinus starts from the current Latin idiom of his students, not from ancient authors, and demonstrates in the earlier sections of his book how to convert sentiments phrased in illepidus and incultus sermo into elegant sentences. Elegantia has become a stylistic marker, rather than an agent of intellectual and cultural revolution. Of course, changes in style can be revolutionary and were to prove so, but this was probably not the case in Corvinus’ little garden. Its own style is that of a medieval locus amoenus, reproduced in all its conventional iconography on the title-page. Here students may refresh themselves after their daily exercise in the ‘palaestra Minervae’ (a situation reminiscent of Jouenneaux collecting his excerpts after a day spent on logic). Here, the streams run with waters from a pristine source of good Latinity and flowers grown from seeds in Cicero's own garden are there for the picking.37 The Ciceronian seeds are taken from the Epistulae ad familiares, which indicates the epistolary context in which Corvinus expects his book to bear fruit. The rest of the ninety-nine entries are made up by Corvinus. They exemplify an eloquentia which has classical foundations, but does not carry the cultural charge of antiquity.

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Phrases Northern humanists were not the first to operate an adjustment to the word elegantia that brings it closer to modern ‘elegance’, in the sense of ‘refined grace or propriety’. At the textbook level, the most influential manifestation of this change was the Elegantiae, more usually Elegantiolae, of Agostino Dati (Datus or Dathus, 1420–78), which was first published at Cologne in 1470 and Ferrrara in 1471. It was short, much easier than Valla's Elegantiae, more obviously useful for instruction in Latin composition, and it went into hundreds of editions over the next hundred years. It was not, however, at all the same sort of book as its more sophisticated namesake. One thing they do have in common is the conviction that Latin eloquentia is a fundamentally different and superior idiom to the Latin speech patterns of the ‘vulgar’ (Dati's vulgarium sermo). And, like Valla, Dati insists that that the way to absorb the better idiom is to steep oneself in the language of the ancients and reproduce it, though Dati's preferred standard of Latinity is Cicero only. He (p.53) collects sample phrases from Cicero, but not for the same purpose as Valla's critical semantics. Dati has a much more generalized attitude to niceties of language. It must reproduce classical usage, but above all, to qualify as elegant, it must be gracefully turned, adroitly phrased, perpulcher, ornatus pervenustus. The exercise involved is practice in varying phrases so as to express the same thing in diverse ways. Dati stands in a direct line from the lists of synonyms abstracted from Cicero by early fifteenth-century teachers of epistolary composition to the most sophisticated product of this method of assimilating classical speech-forms, the 1512 De copia verborum ac return of Erasmus.

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Phrases By 1500, Dati's Elegantiolae, printed at Paris since 1475, was, like Bonus Accursius’ simplified Valla, in constant use by students at the university anxious to learn the ‘laws of elegance’. Small wonder, then, that in 1500 Josse Bade decided to edit a version supplied with clear and easy explanations, and for good measure to supplement it with elementary texts on letter-writing and orthography.38 The compilation as a whole provides a comprehensive textbook for students who have already acquired the elements of Latin grammar and are just proceeding to write passages of continuous prose. Early in his commentary on Dati, Bade annotates extensively an explanation Dati makes of the difference between merely correct grammar and the ‘well-dressed’ words of rhetoric. Bade begins by turning this into a general maxim, a thesis seu positio generalis, to the effect that the orator's special skill is to vary for effect the order of words in a grammmatically adequate sentence. Twenty instances compare straightforward grammatical order with multiple examples of the much freer placing of words by orators and poets. Once students have passed from the well-regulated domain of the gratnmaticus and are learning to make the bolder moves of an orator, Bade says that they have to acquire an instinct for which there is no set rule. It is an aural instinct, a sense of what sounds right, exactly the same as the one we acquire by daily immersion in our vernacular language, whereby our ears are offended by anyone speaking in a foreign or unusual manner. Just so, a thorough immersion in reading Cicero will give us the same instinct for Latin and make us recoil from linguistic awkwardnesses when we encounter them (1508 edition, sig. a iiii+2). Already Bade envisages a Latin speech community in native control of standard classical Latin usage, a community for whom discrepancies that go against that usage constitute a foreign idiom. His ‘nice’ ears are much more sensitive than were Jouenneaux’s.

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Phrases Dati's text consists of 211 very short chapters or praecepta demonstrating ways in which ‘oratorical’ discourse varies the grammatical norms for effect and for elegance in word order (concinnitas). Some versions of the compilation (p.54) accommodate it to the more customary Latin idiom of the university by dividing each praeceptum into parts. Both the method of divisio and the language which labels the numbered divisions are reminiscent of modes of exposition typical of late medieval Latin discourse, such as we have already met in sermon composition.39 In all Bade's editions, every one of Dati's chapters has a detailed, almost word-by-word commentary by the editor, to which is appended an expositio by Josse Clichtove (Clichtoveus, 1472–1543), taken from the edition he had published of Dati's Praecepta eloquentiae (i.e. the Elegantiolae) in 1498. This was Clichtove's first published work. He was later to play a major role in the development of Aristotelian logic at the university, in religious dispute (as an orthodox Catholic), and in the history of the Latin hymn.40 But his initial commitment was to fixing classical speech patterns in the minds of students just learning the expressive powers of Latin. Later in our history, he will provide an interesting case of a scholar proficient in both the scholastic and the humanist idiom and apparently persuaded (as most others were not) that it was possible to exploit the virtues of both in allegiance to religious truth. In his edition of Dati, he adapted his exposition to the current style of the classroom, just like the editor who had introduced divisions. It was such compromises that opened up the citadel of the Gauls. Along with Jouenneaux, Dati's Elegantiolae was included in the syllabus for Latin-learners at Noël Béda's Collège de Montaigu in 1509, even though its stress on concinnitas seems so much at odds with the verbal skills required by the dialectic which would soon preoccupy them. Dati's Elegantiolae was more easily accommodated than Valla's difficult Elegantiae in its original form, but after 1490 Valla's full text was in constant production at northern presses, first at Paris, after 1510 at Lyon and Strasbourg in addition to Paris, and from the early 1520s at various German centres. Paris, bastion of scholasticism, was in the forefront of Roman Latin's reconquest of Gaul. Josse Bade, as ever, had an instinct for the successful venture. He produced an annotated edition of the Elegantiae in 1501 which was to be regularly reproduced, with the addition of related works by Valla, for the next forty years or so. His preface introduces another angle on the Elegantiae. So far, it has served as a repertory of grammatical usage and phrases for students learning to write Latin. Bade here puts the focus on reading and critical judgement. For how can readers discern what is good if they lack a criterion by which to judge?

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Phrases But now that we have to hand the precepts of this great man, we are properly initiated and well equipped to tackle the reading of orators and poets…For how can anyone who knows nothing of what Valla has to teach make proper judgements about eloquence or pay proper attention to those who write and speak eloquently, seeing that he has no idea what it is to be eloquent?…So, before you start to read eloquent writers, you should learn the rules of (p.55) correct and perspicacious speech (elegantiae praecepta). In this way what you read will be fully intelligible to you and will guide you to imitation.41 The close association Bade makes between elegantia and eloquentia is fully in accord with Valla's own. The new emphasis on critical reading relates to the classical texts now starting to come in abundance from the presses (Bade is very specific that the reading which concerns him here is the reading of bonae litterae). Without a sophisticated understanding of Latin vocabulary, no one can be an adequate reader of these texts and, a corollary not so evident in Valla himself, imitation will be flawed. We have now moved to a stage in the development of northern humanist pedagogy when a more comprehensive notion of literary imitation will be added to mere skill in using models for composing and varying sentences. Valla's lessons in the niceties of grammatical and lexical discernment are the instrument whereby the sophisticated idiom of classical Latin is internalized. Only then can one talk with, think, and write like the authors of bonae litterae. Bade's commentary covers the prefaces to the six books and interrupts the text at the beginning of each chapter with a summary and a lengthy explanation that often adds to the examples of usage cited by Valla and extends the range of texts exploited, in particular by drawing on compendia, ancient and modern. He makes more use of Aulus Gellius and Macrobius but also, in editions published after 1509, of Calepino, whose dictionary he published that year and whom he regards as engaged on the same enterprise as Valla. Bade's experience of editing classical texts for publication put him in a good position to rifle the considerable literature of text annotation, the area where research into Latin language usage was being pursued most productively. For example, Bade lifted material from a commentary on Ovid's Sappho by the Italian critic, Domizio Calderini, that he had annotated in 1500. He also took a long passage from Guillaume Budé's Annotationes in Pandectas, which he had published in 1508, and used it to supplement Valla's chapter on negation (1510 edition, fos. XXVIIFv–XXIX).

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Phrases Bade's explanations tend to blunt the edge of Valla's linguistic assault on the theologians. Valla had recommended that anomalous uses of feminine plurals ending in abus, even when found in ancient authors, should be counted as ‘abuse’ rather than ‘use’ and not be followed. Bade concurs, but with one proviso: that when such plurals are found in the Vulgate Bible (as they are), they should not be altered (fo. II). Bade's support of Valla can be ambivalent, even though he helped to move humanist grammatical commentary into biblical exegesis in 1505, when he published Erasmus’ edition of Valla's paraphrase of the New Testament based on Greek sources. In his explanation of Valla's preface to the fourth book of the (p.56) Elegantiae, in which Valla defends pagan eloquence in the context of Jerome's dream, Bade says that a better response to criticism would have been to advocate the reading of pagan authors not for their eloquence, but for the pearls of wisdom they contain. Yet, eloquence is to be prized because it makes ideas more intelligible, and the elegantiae of the Latin language are to be taught without equivocation, because ‘without elegantia no one can be a true theologian, for he will be ignorant of the power of words’ (fo. LXv). Valla's Elegantiae continued to be edited, corrected, supplemented, and imitated throughout the sixteenth century. Its influence, moreover, was pervasive at both ends of the learning spectrum. In 1534, the Dutch humanist Gybertus Longolius (Langenraet, 1507–43), in his edition of the Elegantiae published by J. Gymnicus at Cologne, is very dismissive of ‘little books’ of elegantiaehy the likes of Corvinus and Francesco Negri, which peddle elementary grammatical lessons in elocutio (style). His own attitude to the Elegantiae is more similar to Bade’s, with a stress on enabling students to read classical writers with discernment and imitate them accordingly. He wrests the meaning of elegantia firmly away from ‘elegant style’ and back to something more akin to its original definition in the Rhetorica ad Herennium: single words ‘quae vere Latina sunt, nee sordida, sed exquisita…nee fluctuantia, sed quae proprie res designant et exprimunt’ and conjoined words so connected ‘ut aequabili compositione cohaereant et inter se conveniant omnia’ (from the preface, dated Cologne, 1534). Longolius’ annotations, often taken from Budé; and Alciati, as well as from the grammatical textbooks of Jan van Pauteren (Despauterius) now well established in the northern curriculum, mark this edition as directed at more advanced students.42

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Phrases For more general school use, Jean Raynier (Raenerius) prepared an edition of the Elegantiae for the Collège de la Trinité at Lyons in 1540 (Lyons, S. Gryphius) and added more precise references for Valla's quotations; in 1539, he had provided his students with an edition of Dati, doubtless aimed at a different stage of the syllabus for language acquisition. At a still lower stage, pupils could learn Valla by heart, transmogrified almost out of all recognition into mnemonic verses by Joannes Roboamus Raverinus and entitled Laurentii Vallae elegantiarum libri carmine perstricti (Lyons, 1541). Its author summarizes each of Valla's chapters in between one and four lines of hexameter verse, reducing them to bare rules devoid of almost any reference to classical Latin examples, which are replaced by made-up phrases. The odd thing is that the publisher of this aberration was the linguistically fastidious Etienne Dolet, but other publishers at Lyons reproduced it in 1544, 1550, 1556, and 1562, and it was published at Paris in 1567; Latin grammar in verse jingles has always gone down well in schools. Theologians will concern us later, but testimony to the role of elegantiae in Latin language acquisition in the lower reaches of the Paris Arts Faculty may be had in any number of editions of textbooks by Italian humanists as well as home-grown (p.57) compilations. A generation after Jouenneaux's adaptation of Valla, another manual on phraseology indicates the linguistic environment in which such a book might flourish in the 1520s. In 1520, Josse Bade published the Progymnasmatum in artem oratoriam centuriae tres by François Du Bois (Franciscus Sylvius, c.1483–1536), a collection of ways of expressing 300 different things, arranged quite randomly, and in effect constituting a book of elegantiae.43 Valla is one of Du Bois's authorities for current usage, but this is an independent work from a scholar confident enough to do his own research in an intellectual milieu no longer subordinate to cultural colonization from Italy. The intellectual milieu in which Du Bois assembled his Progymnasmata was the Collège de Montaigu, the college to which Rabelais's Gargantua was to give such a permanently bad name. Nevertheless, it was the college into which Noël Béda, its principal, had allowed both Jouenneaux's version of Valla and Dati's Elegantiolae in 1509. To its students of grammar and rhetoric in the second decade of the century it could seem almost a Mount Parnassus, ‘mons musarum acutus’, a mountain on which Du Bois nourished his flock with instruction designed to purge their meagre Latin style of barbarisms and fill it out with eloquence fit for composing epistles and orations.44 At the same time, it was also the stronghold of scholastic philosophy at Paris, the academic home of John Mair and his Scottish colleagues as well as several eminent Spaniards, all extremely active and in print.45 In other words, at Montaigu, as elsewhere at Paris at this date, the two idioms of Latin, humanist and late medieval scholastic, existed in juxtaposition, and so Du Bois's comments on distinctions between them are peculiarly relevant.

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Phrases We have in fact encountered Du Bois before, in the introduction to this book. It was he who complained about grammar teachers who punished their pupils for speaking their vernacular, with detrimental effect to their Latin. How different, he says, was the time of Cicero, when Latin was a native language, imbibed in its (p.58) purity almost along with mother's milk. From such early practice in speaking cogently and correctly (eloqui), progress to sophisticated manipulation of language (elocutio) was not at all difficult, for it was all managed within a single language environment. Even women were public orators, poets, teachers. Now, Latin language learners participate in three language environments. From sole use of their vernacular, a language full of grammatical faults (improprietates, i.e. usages which do not reflect Latin grammar), they are precipitated into the school milieu. Their teachers forbid them from speaking their vernacular, but let pass anything which remotely sounds like Latin. So, since they are forced to speak Latin, they get the idea that the Latin language (sermo latinus) is anything that sounds Latin. This is why they use made-up words that are totally un-Latin (barbara)…In public schools you are far more likely to hear incorrect and uncouth Latin (improprius rusticusque sermo) than Latin that is correct and Roman.46 This is not just the situation in the primary classes. It is reinforced when pupils proceed to study dialectic, which, according to Beda's syllabus at Montaigu, they were required to do immediately after their elementary instruction in Latin grammar (and this was indeed normal practice in the Faculty of Arts at Paris). In dialectic, any Latin, any idiom will do, provided the students understand each other. Du Bois does not labour the point so as to provoke acrimony, which would not further his purpose, but the implication is quite clear. The study of dialectic needs only a language that is universally understood within the discipline, and the technical metalanguage of scholastic Latin was just that. But, in comparison with ‘Roman’ Latin, it was a direct continuation of the barbarous Latin that infected students from the moment of their linguistic initiation into the school environment.

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Phrases The third language environment is the one provided in the Progymnasmata, the pure and sophisticated discourse of classical Latin literary culture, of poets, of historians, and, above all, of orators.47 The language environment that Du Bois wishes to eradicate is the mock Latin of the schools. He would rather teachers laboured to teach their pupils to speak proper Latin, ‘proprie latineque’, even if this meant they continued for a while to speak their vernacular outside the classroom. Though he does not say so directly, this reduction of three speech environments to two would erase the early linguistic habits that enabled students to move comparatively easily into ‘dialectical’ Latin. The move his own book is written to encourage is the move from grammatically correct Latin to a Latin which is verbally embellished (ornatus), a Latin that is consciously manipulated for effect. That sort of linguistic skill can only be learnt from close attention to the practice of experts. Du Bois's 300 chapters list linguistic forms that are and are not (p.59) recommended. Usage is the only absolute rule and standard usage is illustrated from the Latinity of ancient authors, especially Cicero.

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Phrases Overall, this compilation clearly belongs to the intellectual world of Valla. The direction in which Du Bois is turning, however, indicates the ground on which Valla's Parisian foot soldiers, grammarians teaching Roman Latin, are engaging the Gauls. Their stratagem does not involve a direct confrontation with late medieval Latin, so much as the building and defence of an alternative linguistic site for constructing and expressing a more attractive ethos. Du Bois makes a connection between his ways of saying things and what they are saying, but without mounting Valla's critical assault on the established disciplines. Du Bois holds the entirely traditional, Aristotelian view that language represents mental concepts: ‘nature gave us language in order that we might express what we conceive in our minds’. From that, he concludes, like Valla, that language should above all represent those concepts clearly: ‘if you express yourself obscurely, you might just as well have remained silent’.48 This was Valla's premiss for his linguistic argument with scholastic philosophy. Du Bois makes a different move. Among his collected ways of saying, accredited by their origin in the writings of ‘good authors’ and firmly lodged in the memory by constant repetition, are sententiae. A sententia is an elegantly turned phrase which expresses a valuable mental concept. Du Bois points out that in ‘vulgar’ Latin sententiae are called authoritates thus marking a clear distinction between a language in which sententiae are properly at home, and a vulgi sertno (recognizably the language of contemporary philosophy, theology, and sermon rhetoric) couched in inauthentic Latin badly at variance with Quintilian, whom he is following here. Sententiae crystallize thought in language. Constant rehearsal of the words that utter them will so internalize them that they will become an embellishment intrinsic to communication, whether on occasions of public address or in more private circumstances, at social gatherings or on walks with friends. Sententiae are an endemic mark of social behaviour, implying a speech community conditioned by linguistic fine-tuning at a more fundamental level than that attainable from periodic dialectical disputation between jargon specialists. Sententiae ‘also contribute much towards establishing a code of moral behaviour’. It is not just that they purvey moral advice. The relationship between moral sensitivity and language is much closer than that. Du Bois thinks that ‘the same requirements hold for moral behaviour as for formal discourse. For, just as the moral behaviour of the ignorant mass of people falls short of full approbation, so the language of the half-educated vulgar fails to attain the full beauty of formal discourse.’49 So, language style and moral style are analogous, as is most clearly (p.60) manifest in a mode of formal discourse (oratio) to which Latin that is not latinate, erudite, and properly elegant (latinus, doctus, elegans) gives no access. Du Bois defines the qualities of this Latin in terms of elegantia in all the senses it has been acquiring: it is grammatically pure and lexically appropriate; it employs a variable word order for conscious effect; it is marked by sophisticated forms of expression. Trained sensitivity to language manipulation conditions minds to moral discrimination. Page 28 of 44

Phrases It does not, however, provide a language in which to analyse the truth of propositions, as late scholastic Latin had done. Not that Du Bois alludes to that. For him, the greatest virtue of sententiae is that they generate discourse, for ‘abundance of things generates abundance of words’ (‘rerum enim copia copiam verborum gignit’). The relationship between words and things in the language of a humanist like Du Bois has nothing to do with theories of reference or truthvalues. Nor is Du Bois thinking of the way Aristotle had situated language in relation to objects and mental concepts at the beginning of the De interpretation. Du Bois is making a distinction humanists had learnt as they thought about language in the process of acquiring their skills in Latin composition. It was from classical Latin rhetoric that they borrowed their understanding of res (subject matter) and verba (utterance). For Du Bois, ‘things’ are the substance of discourse: ideas, examples, thoughts, sensations. Without such substance, words, however well wrought, are empty; without well-wrought words, ideas are dumb and of no effect. Sententiae are the most potent combination of things and words. They express things of substance in a particularly pointed fashion and are ripe for further development. Articulation of ideas is a matter of judgement and style. It comes within the province of rhetoric and its master, Cicero, not within the ambit of logic. While Du Bois is quoting Cicero on copia, the mind of any modern reader is on Erasmus. His De duplici copia verborum ac rerum of 1512 was already in wide circulation and the programme that he and other northern humanists had elaborated was beginning to shape the syllabus in schools and universities. In theory at least, their teaching of the Latin language aimed to determine the moral character of students, refine their choices, condition them to a particular culture, in effect operate a sort of paradigm shift that would make late medieval Latin and its intellectual environment abhorrent, not to say incomprehensible. The reality, as we shall see, was much more mixed, but Du Bois's Progymnasmata gives a nice sense of the humanist operation on the ground round about 1520, particularly intriguing because his ground was the junior classroom at Béda's Montaigu.

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Phrases Other products of Italian humanism were on hand to reinforce Erasmus, Du Bois, and their colleagues. Besides Valla and Dati, the most frequently published set of elegantiae compiled by an Italian was the De sermone et tnodis latine loquendi of Adriano Castellesi (Hadrianus Cardinalis, c.1460–1521). At Paris, it was first published by Pierre Vidoue in 1517. Its mainly alphabetical assembly of phrases quoted from ‘good’ Latin authors to illustrate best usage would have made it a suitable companion for the Progymnasmata, with which its Paris publication (p. 61) more or less coincided. Its introductory ‘little commentary’ on the Latin language, De sermone latino, speaks with a rather different voice. Castellesi's world was not Valla’s. One aspect of it was the stance Castellesi had perforce to take on Ciceronianism, given the contemporary debates in Italy over which authors to imitate.50 He recalls one such debate at Bologna and the interest there expressed in the heterogeneous, exotic style of later Latin authors like Sidonius Apollinaris and Martianus Capella. Apuleius, in particular, has become a fad with the curious, a fact that Castellesi deplores.51 He goes on to establish chronological divisions in the development of classical Latin style: the very ancient, up to Livius Andronicus; the ancient, from Livius Andronicus up to Cicero; the perfect (perfectum), the age of Cicero and Caesar; the imperfect (imperfectum), which includes Seneca, Statius, Quintilian, Tacitus, and Pliny, all well on their way to the barbarism of Apuleius and his like. Only the authors of the ‘Age of Perfection’ can provide moderns with safe models of Roman language and its elegance, in all senses of the word.52

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Phrases Northern humanism was by no means converted to such thoroughgoing Ciceronianism, but the story of progress and decline that Castellesi attaches to the Latin language was to become a widely accepted myth. Castellesi did not invent it, but his much reprinted manual was probably the agent that propagated it most effectively. Valla's canon of linguistic respectability was not so narrow and his lexical distinctions were more semantic than Castellesi's fastidious stylistics. Castellesi, however, was not closed to the wider implications of Valla's method. With a glance back to Bologna, perhaps, he takes a look at lawyers’ attitude to language. Gothic barbarism is not such a problem now, he suggests, but legal practice exposes a rift in the understanding of language. Must language necessarily mean what the individual who utters or writes it claims that he meant it to mean? If so, the meaning invested in words by the subject will be unambiguous, even though the recipient may mistake it. This subjective view of the meaning of language is countered by the opinion that words have an established and objectively valid sense against which the truth of a case may be judged. Castellesi argues for a universal rule of meaning and finds it in the purity of authentic Ciceronian Latin, on whose usage the educated will agree. Only an instinct for the properly discriminating use of words (‘Verborum elegantia’), both in their literal and their metaphorical senses, will secure an absolute guarantee against ambiguities and misunderstandings, and such an instinct is acquired from Ciceronian (p.62) phrase-books.53 Thus is linguistic usage commandeered to the support of linguistic universalism, variety to invariant meaning.

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Phrases This excursion into legal language demonstrates that even the most committed supporters of usage were alive to the issues raised by the relation of language to truth. That is pre-eminently the domain of logic. In the late fifteenth century and the first thirty years or so of the sixteenth, the humanists who created the resource base of revived classical Latin in dictionaries and who catalogued recommended usage in their manuals of elegantiae gave little or no space to the alien idiom in which their contemporaries pursued the study of dialectic.54 Within the same period, the inclusion of Perotti's grammar book and Dati's Elegantiolae in the syllabus established for the Collège de Montaigu in 1509, particularly if taken in conjunction with the programme advocated there by François Du Bois, suggests that students experienced a sharp break and a language shift when they moved up from their elementary classes in classical Latin grammar and started on dialectic. The break would, indeed, be all the sharper if and when Du Bois and his like eradicated the popular Latin of the playground and managed to replace it with the more ‘respectable’ colloquial Latin of which many a humanist handbook of made-up dialogues provided amusing and attractive examples. In the middle of the century, however, a pedagogical treatise, De formando studio published at Frankfurt in 1550, integrates elementary dialectic with vocabulary acquisition in such a way as to indicate that a profound change had occurred. Its author was Josse Willich (Jodocus Willichius, 1505–52). He was a Protestant and an associate of Johann Sturm, the influential director of the school at Strasbourg whom we have already met as an editor of Dolet.55

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Phrases Willich has no doubt that Latin language learners should appropriate the usage of the Latin of the ‘best period’ (‘optima aetas’), and that the repositories of that usage are the Elegantiae of Valla and the manual of Castellesi (pp. 14, 18). Other printed resources are also listed by Willich (pp. 18–19): alphabetical dictionaries supplying synonyms and paraphrases (not specified); dictionaries based on a single author (Perotti); collections of words and phrases exemplifying good usage from ancient authors (Dolet and Robert Estienne, in addition to Valla and Castellesi, and Budé for Greek). Willich's list confirms that the books in our survey were the books that mattered by 1550. Nevertheless, his primary concern is to ensure that pupils will create vocabulary resources for themselves derived from daily practice in excerpting words and phrases from the authors they read and distributing (p.63) them under headings in their commonplace books.56 This vocabulary is to be accumulated in two ways. The first, which he terms figurata, catches the protean variety of Latin words, demonstrating from collected examples how a particular notion may be expressed in different words, how a single word can mean different things, and how its senses may be multiplied by translation into tropes and figures of speech. Willich's recommended model for exploring words in this way is the De copia of Erasmus (p. 17). The second way of investigating language is by applying to vocabulary the procedures of dialectic, and this Willich terms ‘natural’ use of language. A word may be chosen to represent a genus, or class, of things. Then, by introducing division, more words can be found to list beneath it so as to collect the appropriate vocabulary for all the species belonging to that class. To the words in these subdivisions may be added their accidentia, their possible attributes or properties, and as a guide to listing these, the student is to apply the places of argument prescribed in dialectical reasoning or else the praedicamenta, the categories of Aristotelian logic (p. 17). The students will find themselves in a universe of words every bit as labyrinthine and multi-faceted as Dolet’s, but for Willich's lexical world there is a more coherent map. That map is plotted by dialectic.57

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Phrases It is clear that Willich's students round about 1550 are studying dialectic at the same time as they are acquiring their Latin vocabulary. Not only do they employ the predicaments and dialectical places, but it is envisaged that they will have practice in organizing the language they have learnt into the argumentative stratagems devised by a logic of commonplaces, syllogisms, examples, and induction (pp. 69–72, 163–9). These students speak the jargon of dialectic, if a very simplified one, and implement its directives without embarrassment They construct a signifying universe in their vocabulary notebooks on the assumption that their Latin not only reproduces the culturally charged usage of a particular, richly endowed speech community, but also reflects a ‘natural’, innate, mental structure common to all, on which a verbal logic can build verifiable procedures for finding propositions and testing their truth. By 1550, humanist Latin has become the uncontested norm for the Latin speech community. Nevertheless, far from fighting to extinction the despised and apparently incommensurable Latin of the logicians, the triumphant humanists have radically modified Valla's grand designs, in which conquest entailed obliteration. They have domesticated and assimilated the idiom of Latin dialectic, purging it drastically in the process and converting the mentality it fostered to their own ethos. Yet, the imperatives of truth have ensured that the humanists’ luxuriant variety of words be trained to stratagems of argument, and for paradigms of those stratagems, together with a useful terminology, humanists turned to where they knew they were to be found, to dialectic. Notes:

(1) For descriptions of the Elegantiae, see D. Marsh, ‘Grammar, Method, and Polemic in Lorenzo Valla's Elegantiae’, RinascimentOy 19 (1979), 91–116; L. Giard, ‘Lorenzo Valla: La Langue comme lieu du vrai’, Histoirey Epistémologie, Langage, 4 (1982), 5–19; A. Grafton and L. Jardine, From Humanism to the Humanities: Education and the Liberal Arts in Fifteenth-and Sixteenth-Century Europe (London, 1986), 66–82; W. K. Percival, ‘Lorenzo Valla and the Criterion of Exemplary Usage’, Res Publica Litterarum, 19 (1996), 133–52; W. Ax, ‘Lorenzo Valla (1407–1457), Elegantiarum linguae latinae libri sex (1449)’, in id. (ed.), Von Eleganz und Barbarei: Lateinische Grammatik und Stilistik in Renaissance und Barock (Wiesbaden, 2001), 29–57. For the genesis of the Elegantiaey see M. Regoliosi, Nel cantiere del Valla: Elaboratione e montaggio delle ‘Elegantiae’ (Rome, 1993), and for its relationship with the grammatical theory of its time, see S. Gavinelli, ‘Teorie grammatical nelle Elegantie e la tradizione scolastica del tardo umanesimo’, Rinascimento, 31 (1991), 155–81. A list of manuscripts and printed edns. of the Elegantiae is to be found in J. Ijsewijn and G. Tournoy, ‘Un primo censimento dei manoscritti e delle edizioni a stampa degli Elegantiarum linguae latinae libri sex di Lorenzo Valla’, Humanistica lovaniensiay 18 (1969), 25–41; id., ‘Nuovi contributi per l’elenco dei manoscritti e delle edizioni delle Elegantiae di Lorenzo Valla’, Humanistica lovaniensia, 20 (1971), 1–3.

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Phrases (2) The Latin text of the prefaces and an Italian translation are available in E. Garin (ed), Prosatori latini del Quattrocento (Milan and Naples, 1952), 594–631. (3) Preface to the first book of the Elegantiae, 598. (4) Ibid. 602, 610, 620–2. Later remarks in the prefaces make it fairly clear that the Goths are specifically the legal glossators from Bologna, and the Gauls the philosophers and logicians of Paris. Scholastic logic, originally imported from the north, was gaining ground, not losing it, in Italian universities at the time Valla was writing (see J. Monfasani, George of Trebizond: A Biography and Study of his Rhetoric and Logic (Leiden, 1976), 247–8). (5) Elegantiae, 600. (6) ‘Si paulo amplius adnitamur, confido propediem linguam romanam vere plus quam urbem, et cum ea disciplinas omnes, iri restitutum’ (ibid. 598). (7) On law, ibid. 608–10;on theology, 614–22; on philosophy and dislectic 610; the subsequent history of legal language has been magisterially investigated by I. Maclesn, Interpretation and Meaning in the Renaissance (Cambridge, 1992). (8) The ‘Cicero’ letter is no. 22 of Jerome's Epistles. For Valla's theological ideas and the extension of his language studies into his Adnotationes in Novum Testamentum, see S. I. Camporeale, Lorenzo Valla: Umanesimo e teologia (Florence, 1972). (9) In the last year of his life, Valla delivered a highly ambivalent Encomium on St Thomas Aquinas, in which he extolled the persuasive eloquence of the Latin Fathers at the expense of the scholastic the ologians with their metaphysics, their Greek-derived abstract terms, and their logical jargon. The text of the Encomium Sancti Thomae may be found in Valla's Opera omnia, ed. E. Garin, 2 vols. (Turin, 1962), ii. 346–52; there is a translation in L. A. Kennedy (ed.), Renaissance Philosophy: New Translations (The Hague, 1973), 13–27. For a systematic comparison of Valla's own theological language with that of Aquinas, together with a careful structural and contextual analysis of the encomium, see S. I.Camporeale, Lorenzo Valla tra Medioevo e Rinascimento: Encomion s. Thomae—1457 (Pistoia, 1977), revisited within a slightly wider spectrum in the same author's ‘Renaissance Humanism and the Origins of Humanist Theology’, in J. W. O’Malley, T. M. Izbicki, and G. Christianson (eds.), Humanity and Divinity in Renaissance and Reformation: Essays in Honor of Charles Trinkaus (Leiden, 1993), 101–24. As we have already noted, Calepino's dictionary propagated the language of the Latin Fathers, but not that of the scholastics.

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Phrases (10) There is a modern edn. of Valla's Dialecticae disputationes under one of its alternative titles, Repastinatio dialecticae et philosophiae, ed. G. Zippel, 2 vols. (Padua, 1982). Valla's dialectic has produced a quite large and sometimes acrimonious secondary literature, see P. Mack, Renaissance Argument: Valla and Agricola in the Traditions of Rhetoric and Debate (Leiden, 1993), 22–116. There were works in the 1540s; the Elegantiae was very much more widely known. (11) Valla here alludes directly to his Diabgus de libero arbitrio the innovative work on free will, that Valla had first made public around 1439. In it, he attempts to approach the problem from a starting point very different from Aristotle's explanation of modals and future contingents in the De interpretatione, which had formed the parameter of much of the medieval discussion. For an examination of the Diabgus that starts from Valla's recasting of modal propositions, see V. Kahn, ‘The Rhetoric of Faith and the Use of Logic in Valla's De libero arbitrio’ Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 13 (1983), 91–109; for a highly critical view of Valla's position, concluding that ‘Valla's solution was thus quite banal’, see J. Monfasani, ‘The Theology of Lorenzo Valla’, in J. Kraye and M. W. F. Stone (eds.), Humanism and Early Modern Phibsophy (London and New York, 2000), 1–23. (12) These elements are well brought out by S. S. Gravelle, ‘Lorenzo Valla's Comparison of Latin and Greek and the Humanist Background’, Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance, 44 (1982), 268–89. The salient points of her general conclusions are summarized as ‘A New Theory of Truth’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 50 (1989), 333–6. She pushes her point too far when she says without any qualification that Valla ‘argues that differences in the vocabulary of the two languages explain differences of thought’ (335), but there is no doubt that Valla was fully alive to the role of language in shaping con ceptual processes. Valla would have revelled in the linguistic explanation of Aristotle's categories advanced by E. Benveniste, ‘Catégories de pensée et catégories de langage’, Problèmes de linguistique général, i (Paris, 1996), 63–74. (13) ‘Quanquam hoc participio ut frequentissime Greci omnes utuntur, ita vix ullus Latinorum aut usus est aut utitur’; and Valla corroborates his strictures by referring to the ancient grammarian, Priscus (Repastinatio, i. 12–13). (14) Ibid. i. 30–2.

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Phrases (15) ‘Res est vox sive vocabulum, omnium vocabulorum significationes suas complectens’ (ibid. i. 123). Valla's very complex discussion of the word res as the class that contains all signifieds is to be found at its most focused at pp. 123–4; his reduction of the six ‘transcendentals’ of medieval logic to the single res, to which this discussion relates, is at pp. 11–21 (as ens resolves into ea res que est, so Veritas(truth) into vera res (true thing), aliquid (something) into aliqua res (some thing), and similarly with unum and bonum). For cogent expositions of these passages and the wider consequences of Valla's revisionary logic, see C. Trinkaus, ‘Lorenzo Valla Instaurator of the Theory of Humanism’, repr. as section 6, pp. 75–101, in his Renaissance Transformations of Late Medieval Thought (Aldershot, 1999), and F. Mariani Zini, ‘Lorenzo Valla et la réflexion sur la Res’, in the author's edited Penser entre les lignes: Philologie et philosophic au Quattrocento (Villeneuve d’Asq, 2001), 175–91. (16) ‘At si interrogavero: “que vox est res?” recte respondebis, “est vox significans omnium aliarum vocum intellectum sive sensum”; sed “que” idem pene nunc quod “qualis” significat’ (Repastinatio, i. 124). (17) Ibid. i. 163–73; the point is made more fully in the earliest version of Valla's dialectic that was not printed (ibid, ii 391–8). The fundamental implications of Valla's position, that truth does not He in the mind's grasp of things so much as in the capacity of speech to signify, are well brought out by S. I. Camporeale, ‘Lorenzo Valla “Repastinatio liber primus”: Retorica e linguaggio’, in O. Besomi and M. Regoliosi (eds.), Lorenzo Valla e Vumanesimo italiano (Padua, 1986), 217– 39. At a practical level, this turn towards the use of speech in particular circumstances, phrased so as to win assent, is part of Valla's move from dialectic's preoccupation with necessary truths to the persuasive stratagems of rhetoric, which negotiated agreement by arguing from well-substantiated opinion, the plausible, the apt, and the appropriate, all of which fail of absolute proof. This has been well observed, e.g. by L. Jardine, ‘Lorenzo Valla and the Intellectual Origins of Humanist Dialectic’, Journal of the History of Philosophy, 15 (1977) 143–64; Grafton and Jardine, From Humanism to the Humanities, 72– 82; the latter also gives some illuminating examples of linguistic areas of interest common to the Disputationes dialecticae and the Elegantiae. (18) ‘His tamen varietatibus sententia tamen perstabit eadem’ (Repastinatio, i. 216); the relevant section is at pp. 215–19. (19) ‘…ad consuetudinem eruditorum atque elegantium, que optima ars est’ (ibid. 217). (20) Rhetorica ad Herennium, 4–12.17. (21) Valla makes much of Quintilian's arguments in favour of usage, Institutio oratorio, 1. 6.1–27.

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Phrases (22) The prescriptive authority of usage is clear: ‘quod ad elegantiam pertinet, ego pro lege accipio, quicquid magnis authoribus placuit’ (Elegantiae, 3. 17); for some of the attendant complications, given the different usages of different classical authors, see Percival, ‘Valla and Exemplary Usage’. (23) One of the best-known reference books used in this way was the Manipulus florum of Thomas of Ireland, which we have already met as a contributor to Mirabeilio's Polyanthea, a dictionary which supplied sermon rhetoric. The rhetoric of the ‘modern’ style of preaching was current for at least the first twenty years of the 16th cent. Reference books continued to support it, e.g. John of Bromyard's Summa predicantium; numerous guides for preachers were published, which are our best introduction to the system, e.g. Informatio notabiliter etpreclara de arte predicandi in thematibus de tempore et de sanctis artificialiter deducta (1st pub. at Deventer and Cologne in 1479); Johann Ulrich Surgant, in his Manuale curatorum of 1502, includes a comparison between human (Ciceronian) rhetoric and divine rhetoric making the point that divine rhetoric ‘non requirit sermonem politum’ (Basle, 1506, fo. XLIIIIv). (24) The edn. I have seen was printed at Paris by François Regnault in 1512; the sermon on grace is chapter 45 (fos. xlv–xlii). (25) I consulted the Synonima Britonis in the edn. by Jean Chappuys printed at Paris by D. Roce in 1504. The publication of such vocabulary lists, reproducing in abundance the lexis of late medieval Latin, continues for some time undefeated by the humanists. Another such is the more comprehensive Synonimorum liber cum epithetis et grammaticalibus regulis of Guy de Fontenay (born c.1486) which ran to at least nine edns. from c.1510 to c.1523. It is a vocabulary list in prose, with various Latin alternatives for a given word (often a French word), but no sense of authority for usage. The same is true of its rag bag of grammatical rules, precepts for letter-writing and metrics, and for its list of epithets for nouns, though the latter has a more humanist ring to a reader acquainted with the immensely popular Epitheta of Johannes Ravisius Textor, first published in 1518. The same might be said of its differentiae vocabu-lorum, which are poor relations, but relations all the same, of Valla's careful distinctions of meaning. It would be interesting to find out more about the vitality of late medieval Latin vocabulary lists at this period, not least in the light of their pertinence to François Rabelais and the education of his giants. (26) cf. G. Alessio, ‘II De componendis epistolis di Niccolò Perotti’.

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Phrases (27) In latinae linguae elegantias tam a Laurentio Valla quam a Gelio memoriae proditas interpretatio dilucida thematis creberrime adhibitis. I have used the edn. published by François Baligault in 1494. There were further publications of the work, all at Paris, in 1497, 1500, 1501, 1505, 1508 (two, one by Josse Bade), 1511, 1512, c.1521, and in 1530 (Robert Estienne), Biographical information on Jouenneaux can be found in A. Renaudet, Préréforme et humanisme à Paris pendant les premières guerres d’ltalie (1494–1517), 2nd edn. (Paris, 1953), 125, 133. (28) For Béda's syllabus, see L. Lukács (ed.), Monumenta paedagogica Societatis Iesu, 5 vols. (Rome, 1965–86), i (1965), 626–31. Jouenneaux appears as Guido, whom Lukács identifies with Guy de Fontenay, but, given the dates of their respective publications, this identification seems unlikely (Renaudet prefers ‘Jouenneaux’, see Préréforme et humanisms, 466). Jouenneaux himself had left academic concerns behind him long before his work became so well established. He retired to the monastic life in 1492. A general sense of how adaptations of Valla's Elegantiae were adjusted to conservative school curricula and the conservative habits of textbook publishing may be obtained from K. Jensen, ‘The Humanist Reform of Latin and Latin Teaching’, in J. Kraye (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Humanism (Cambridge, 1996), 63–81. (29) Erasmus, Ciceronianus, ed. P. Mesnard, Opera omnia, i/2 (Amsterdam, 1971), 672. (30) Erasmus, Opus epistolarum, ed. P. S. Allen, 12 vols. (Oxford, 1906–58), i, nos. 20, 23, 26, 29. The complicated history of Erasmus’ epitome of Valla's Elegantiae is very clearly explained in the modern edn., C. L Heesakkers and J. H. Waszink (eds.), Paraphrasis seu potius epitome in Elegantiarum libros Laurentii Vallae, Opera omnia, i/4 (Amsterdam, 1973), 187–351 (191–205); for an analysis of the epitome and a more general view of Erasmus’ linguistic debt to Valla, see J. Chomarat, Grammaire et rhétorique chez Erasme, 2 vols. (Paris, 1981), i. 225– 65. (31) Preface to the Paraphrasis seu potius epitome (208); see also Opus epistularum, ed. Allen, viii, no. 2260, and ix, no. 2412.

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Phrases (32) Valla makes much clearer the linguistic mistake which underlies inappropriate action in this respect: those who adore are ‘sapientes’, those who pray are ‘stulti’ (Elegantiae, 5.11). His chapter also includes adoration of relics, an item omitted by Erasmus. Erasmus, on the other hand, adds Greek words with similar meanings and makes distinctions between them (Paraphrasis, 215). The unautho rized version, which is at least partially the work of Alardus Amstelredamus, the future editor of Rudolph Agricola and a supporter of Catholic orthodoxy, keeps the relics and uses orare to pray to saints: ‘sanctos et homines oramus’ (ibid. 216). Weighty consequences can hinge on linguistic niceties, and elegantiae had a powerful role in the essentially verbal dispute that was the early Reformation. (33) Valla, Elegantiae, 4. 78; Erasmus, Paraphrasis, 218–19. (34) It is indicative of the reputation acquired by the Elegantiae from a very early date that elementary grammar books use Valla's name, even when their content is only minimally derived from the Elegantiae. A textbook published at Oxford c. 1483, written by the Englishman John Anwykyll (d. 1487), boasts humanist credentials on its title-page: Compendium totius grammatice ex variis autoribus Laurentio [Valla], Servio, Perotto diligenter collectum et versibus cum eorum interpretationibus conscriptum totius barbarici destructorium et latine lingue ornamentum non minus preceptoribus quam pueris pernecessarium (quoted from the Antwerp edn. of 1508, printed to be sold in London). The reference to verses is the give-away, for this grammar book is a verse mnemonic, just like the late medieval staple, the Doctrinale of Alexander of Villedieu, and its verse is no better. The interspersed explanations in prose are catechetic, another form which sets it well apart from Valla, and the order is rigorously aligned to the traditional parts of speech and classification of vocabulary in terms of similar word-endings and grammatical morphology. That said, Anwykyll occasionally interrupts his lists and rules to discriminate between the senses of words, and there is the odd reference to the authority of Valla and Perotti and the grammar textbook of Guillaume Tardif. He took from the humanists what was grist to his mill, but essentially he was grinding out daily bread for the late medieval grammar curriculum. (35) An early example of such manuals is De elegantiis terminorum ex Laurentio Valla et quorundam aliorum secundum ordinem alphabeti breviter collectis, of which there is an edn. at Deventer dated 1491 and others at Paris in the late 1490s and later stilL Jacobus Montanus (c.1460–1534), who had demon strated his proficiency at writing Christian hymns in classical style in his Odae sprituales published at Strasbourg in 1513, gave the Elegantiae terminorum a new lease of life in 1521 in an edn. published at Cologne which seems to have kept a place in the market for a number of years.

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Phrases (36) Elegantiarum medulla oratoriaque precepta (s.l., s.d; prefatory letter dated Speyer 1493, sig. av). This book was very frequently published, at least up until 1508, at Speyer, Leipzig, Sélestat, Strasbourg, and Paris, among other places. The Paris edn. of 1506 was done for the bookseller Olivier Senant, who specialized in providing texts for the Collège de Montaigu. The ancient and modern experts on elegan-tiae listed in another part of the liminary material to the Medulla (a grateful letter from a pupil couched in rather insecure Latin!) are Aulus Gellius, Nonius Marcellus, Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius II), Agostino Dati, Lorenzo Valla, and Guarini. For a more extended analysis of the Medulla, see A. Sottili, ‘Notizie sul “Nachleben” di Valla tra umanesimo e riforma’, in O. Besomi and M. Regoliosi (eds.), Lorenzo Valla e l’umanesimo italiano, 329–64. To the Medulla must be added edns. of virtually the same material under a different title but by the same author, Elegantiae maiores also printed at Speyer in 1493, which seems to have replaced the Medulla after 1510, probably because Wimpfeling had expanded it and added a short exposition of rhetoric, originally written in 1499. The Elegantiae maiores was published at various German and Dutch printing centres very frequently in the second decade of the 16th cent. (37) Corvinus’ introductory epistle to his students, dated Bratislava 1502, pursues this metaphor with an intricacy I only hint at The basic metaphor of gardens of phrases has ancient sources and is much used by humanists (see metaphors for commonplace books in Moss, Printed Commonplace-Books). Corvinus, however, develops it in a way redolent of the complex and rigorous allegorical identifications typical of medieval commentary and liturgical material. The edn. of the Hortulus I consulted was published at Leipzig by Wilhelm Stöckel in 1505. It was issued at Leipzig over twenty times between 1502 and 1520. (38) This compilation went under various titles, usually, as in 1508, Augustini dathi senensis libellus de elegantia cum commentariis et additionibus solitis. It was reprinted many times in the first three decades of the century, mostly at Paris and French provincial centres. Short texts were successively added in the early years of production, among them the Ars epistolandi of Giovanni Sulpizio, which adapted the features of the classical oration to letter-writing, and the Regulae elegantiarum of Francesco Negri, which identified elegantia as ‘pleasing concatenation of words, sounding sweetly to the ear’. The reference to Dati's popularity with Paris students is made by Josse Clichtove in his preface to the work, usually placed at the begining of the Elegantiolae. (39) e.g. ‘Hic auctor amplam huius orationis “locus est rei” usurpationem ostendit. Et tria agit. Primo per modum interrogationis praecipit. Secundo exemplificat. Tertium exemplorum significantias explanat’. These words are not Bade’s. The division was done by one Joannes Mediovillensis.

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Phrases (40) On Clichtove, see J. P. Massaut, Josse Clichtove, l’humanisme et la réforme du clergé (Paris, 1968). (41) I have consulted a 1510 edn., De elegantia libri sex . . . cum Antonii Mancinelli lima suis locis apposita. et cum lodoci Badii Ascensii epitomatis et explanationibus (Paris: J. Barbier, 1510). The quotation is from Bade's prefatory letter, there dated 1510, but only slightly updated from the 1501 version; the full text of the preface is in Renouard, Josse Badius Ascensius, iii. 326–7. Mancinelli (1452–1502) was a prolific writer of grammar manuals of a fairly elementary standard, often in mnemonic verses. His Lima (1482) makes additions and minor corrections to Valla's Elegantiae and is incorporated into Bade's own annotations. (42) On Longolius, see H. Finger, Gisbert Longolius: Ein niederrheinischer Humanist (1507–1543) (Düsseldorf, 1990). (43) Du Bois had published two ‘centuries’ of his Progymnasmata with J. de Gourmont in 1516, when he was teaching at the Collège de Montaigu, and at the end of the book (sig. k i) he states that a 1st edn. had been printed in the previous year ‘in aedibus informatoris’, but it had been very badly printed and very few copies were now available. The edn. of the Centuriae tres that I consulted was published by Bade in 1522. In his new preface for the Centuriae tres, Du Bois says that his previous collection of 200 entries had been reprinted so often that errors had crept in and the whole work needed revising as well as supplementing. Our modern accounts of printed pedagogical material of this period must always be qualified by the realization that a great part of it has not survived, in the way that out-of-date textbooks do not survive. The Centuriae tres was frequently revised and reissued over the next hundred years. François Du Bois was an important editor of classical texts for the Bade publishing house, including a large number of Cicero's speeches. (44) I paraphrase part of the prefatory letter by one of Du Bois's pupils, Stephanus Guttanus of Lyons, which is printed in the 1516 edn. (sigs. a ii–a iiv). He admits that he and his fellow-pupils have the Elegantiae of Valla (but does not mention Jouenneaux's adaptation) and the precepts of Dati, but are in sore need of a book to take them from their present ignorance of the niceties of Latin usage to the sophistication needed to profit from Valla and Dati. From the teaching they have received from Du Bois, many distinguished young men have emerged well equipped, like Greeks from the Trojan horse (though it is unclear whether this similitude of the ‘equus furtivus’ is to be taken as a covert attack on Montaigu's scholastics). We shall meet up again with Montaigu enthusiasts for literae humaniores when I review the Poetica which Du Bois also published in 1516. (45) See Renaudet, Préréforme et humanisme, 456–9, 463–7, and passim. Page 42 of 44

Phrases (46) All this account of current Latin comes from the preface to the Progymnasmata, 1522 edn., sigs.⋆ii–⋆iii. (47) ‘Quo igitur puratius ornatiusque discat loqui studiosa iuventus: has dicendi praeceptiones scribendas suscepimus’ (ibid., sig. ⋆iiv). (48) ‘Nobis sermonem dedit natura, ut quid mente concipimus, id exponere possimus, Earn ob rem non postrema virtus est, ut dilucidus sit Qui enim obscure dicit, perinde fere perficit, ac si taceret’ (ibid., fo. Iv). (49) ‘Quod in moribus est, id in oratione exigendum puto. Ut enim multitudinis imperitae mores non probantur admodum: ita qui semidocti vulgi sermo est, eo parum venustatur oratio’ (ibid., fo. I); the discussion here paraphrased is to be found in the preface, sig. ⋆iiiv, and on fo. I. (50) In the edn. I have consulted, published at Basle by Johann Froben in 1518, the Commentariolus de sermone latino occupies pp. 3–23. The book was published at very regular intervals all over Italy and northern Europe. See F. Grewing, ‘Adriano Castellesi (ca. 1460–1521)’, in Ax, Von Eleganz und Barbarei, 79–102. (51) It was at Bologna that Filippo Beroaldo the Elder (1453–1505) wrote the first Renaissance com mentary on Apuleius and promoted his own enthusiasm for Apuleius’ language. His pupil there, Giovanni Baptista Pio (c.1476–c.1542), was a specialist in archaic, pre-Ciceronian Latin. For the con temporary mode for Apuleius, see J. F. D’Amico, ‘The Progress of Renaissance Latin Prose: The Case of Apuleianism’, Renaissance Quarterly, 37 (1984), 351–92. (52) De sermone latino, 3–16. (53) ‘Eo magis est expurgandus sermo et adhibenda ratio, quae mutari non possit, nee utendum pravissima consuetudinis regula,…ut pure et emendate loquentes, quod est latine, verborum et pro-priorum et translatorum elegantiam persequarnur’ (ibid. 26). For the wider context of this passage on legal language, see Maclean, Interpretation and Meaning. As far as the theologians were concerned, Castellesi's De vera philosophia of 1504 demonstrates where Valla's criticism might logically lead: to an attack on the Aristotelian elements in contemporary Christian philosophy, to a reliance on the Latin Fathers; to scepticism about reason in matters of faith. (54) By and large, the terms ‘logic’ and ‘dialectic’ were used almost interchangeably at this period and I shall so use them. (55) The full title of the treatise is De formando studio in quolibet artium etsacrarum et prophanarum genere consilium (Frankfurt a. M.: J. Eichorn, 1550).

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Phrases (56) For the place of Willich in the history of the commonplace book, see Moss, Printed Commonplace-Boohy 143–7. (57) Willich is by no means unique in his time in his application of dialectic to the construction of com monplace books and vocabulary books; ibid, on Johann Sturm (148–52), on David Chytraeus (161–4), on John Foxe (192–5), and, for an extravagant later development, on Emmanuele Tesauro (245–8).

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Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

Composition Ann Moss


Abstract and Keywords This chapter discusses the first twenty years of the 16th century, which was a time when most humanists were zealously pursuing the programme of Valla's imperialist designs at the practical level. The different views of Paolo Cortesi and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola are also examined in this chapter, with regards to the argument about the Latin language. Keywords:   16th century, humanists, Valla, imperialist designs, Paolo Cortesi, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Latin language

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Composition IN PART II of this book, I shall move on to the question of how humanist Latin eventually negotiated a working relationship with the discourse of argument and logical proof. That process, however, as we shall see, was precipitated by a drastic crisis that required urgent action, by a reformation that encompassed linguistic revolution beyond anything Valla could have imagined. For the moment we shall stay in the period immediately before the Reformation proper, focusing on the first twenty years of the sixteenth century. It was the time when most humanists were zealously pursuing the programme of Valla's imperialist designs at the practical level, by rejigging the academic syllabus in the elementary stages of Latin language acquisition and by supplying it with annotated classical texts and with reference works designed to promote the continuation of good language habits into adult life. At the same period, confident attempts were also made to restyle philosophical and even theological writing by taking out its late medieval Latin idiom and reconstructing it entirely from the vocabulary and phraseology that were the building blocks of humanist Latin. For the new wine of new philosophies in vogue in late fifteenth-century Italy, for the Neoplatonic speculations of a Ficino or a Landino, these new bottles were entirely appropriate. Decanting the older wines of late medieval theology was to prove more hazardous.

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Composition Throughout western Europe the four books of the Sententiae (or Sentences) by Peter Lombard had been the proving-ground of generations of theologians.1 From the thirteenth century onwards it was the normal course-book in faculties of theology, the summa of theoretical issues arising from Christian dogma which students had to debate and on which a succession of the most notable theologians wrote commentaries of ever-increasing subtlety. The language in which propositions and objections germane to the Sentences were debated was quintessentially the language of scholastic philosophy, derived from the metalanguage of late medieval logic and medieval Latin translations of Aristotle's works on science and metaphysics. So, when Paolo Cortesi published his commentary written in the ‘Roman’ Latin of the humanists, In quatuor Sententiarum argutae romanoque eloquio disputationes, at Rome in 1504, he was making a take-over bid of some significance. Paolo Cortesi (Paulus Cortesius, 1465–1510) was a theologian steeped in classical culture, closely connected with the humanist scholars devoted to (p.65) Ciceronian Latin who dominated the Roman curia at this period.2 His position on the Latin language question may be judged from two facts. First, he was an associate of Adriano Castellesi, whose De sertnone latino was soon to be so influential in propagating enthusiasm for authentic Ciceronian Latin across western Europe. Secondly, Cortesi had been the correspondent of Angelo Poliziano in a much printed exchange of letters on the merits and methodology of literary imitation. In his letter Cortesi contests that, for non-native speakers, Latin composition is essentially an art-form. All art entails imitation, and all writing, especially, entails imitation, for the words we use were all someone else's words before they were ours, and our phrases are not original to us. Cortesi argued that it was good practice to follow the art of Latin composition where it was seen at its best, in the language of Cicero, thus cementing a cultural tradition of unimpeachable pedigree and promoting an intellectual ideal of aesthetically pleasing homogeneity.3 These ideas translate into Cortesi's version of the Sentences and are applied specifically to the defence he makes of his own style of writing in a prologue directed against unnamed ‘philosophers’.4 These ‘philosophers’ are soon identified with theologians writing from within the culture of scholasticism. His quarrel with them is about language. In the first place he denies them the freedom to fabricate new Latin words, on the grounds that arbitrarily proliferating language forms will produce a nonsense in which reasoned argument will be impossible. This is an attack on the ever more complex specialized terminology in which late medieval philosophers did their work. Cortesi, like Valla before him, grounds philosophical discourse in the Latin of ancient Rome. He opts exclusively for a particular, bounded language field, a choice that restricts modern philosophical inquiry to the linguistic parameters of an admired past, with all the connotations for cultural adjustment and with all the historical fixity that that implies. Page 3 of 36

Composition It is not just the regulation of vocabulary, however, that engages Cortesi. He is at least as much concerned with the rhetorical components of the language he advocates. For the language in which he would talk philosophy is beautiful, and its very beauty makes it suspect to those ‘philosophers’ who talk a different Latin. They deliberately erect rebarbative linguistic barriers around their arcane pursuits. Their language alone makes their subject unattractive to all but their initiates and prevents it from becoming common currency, even among the literate. Moreover, they have a moral objection to rhetorically manipulating language in order to give pleasure. They regard such artifice as extraneous, meretricious, cosmetic, a showy paint (fucus). For Cortesi, rhetorical ornament is part of the lineaments of (p.66) language. Language, even philosophical language, is an art-form. Its expressivity cannot be divorced from what is expressed. Elegantia of language, or eloquentia, is to philosophy what beauty is to the body: its perfect and most attractive expression, a guarantee of health.5 One might be tempted to see in Cortesi's marriage of beauty and philosophy a correlation with the Neoplatonic alliance of beauty and truth he would have known from his early connections at Florence. Yet we have already met this aesthetic approach to writing Latin at a much more lowly, but more formative, level, in the Elegantiolae of Agostino Dati. Cortesi's arguments against the practitioners of late medieval Latin conform to the theory of Valla and the practice of Dati.6 Against the charge of paganism, he cites the refined speech (‘limatius dicendi genus’) of the Church Fathers, just as Valla had done. Only two years before Cortesi published his Sentences, Calepino's dictionary had defined the parameters of a Latin language community in which the pagans and the Fathers spoke harmoniously together and from which Cortesi's ‘philosophers’ were excluded.

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Composition The argument of Cortesi's prologue matches very well the general trend of contemporary developments in humanist Latin. It has been argued that the prologue has a more precise focus and responds specifically to the defence of the Latin of the philosophers made by Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463–94) in a celebrated letter addressed to Ermolao Barbaro in 1485.7 It is more likely that Cortesi was engaging with arguments very much in the air, for his strategy does not closely follow Pico's and the one or two possible textual echoes do not seem very compelling evidence that Cortesi actually had Pico's letter in hand when he wrote his prologue. Topics common to the two documents include the status of rhetoric and the novel forms of late medieval Latin. Pico's objection to introducing the language of the orator into philosophical discourse makes a clear distinction between them. Philosophy's obligation is to its subject of inquiry, to knowledge, and to demonstration. The matching language is therefore exact and plain. The orator's function is to persuade an audience that what he says is plausible. This gives him (p.67) leave to amplify or to diminish his subject, to embellish, to trick, to lie. The medium in which the orator delivers his message, his rhetorically elaborated language that Pico calls ‘fucatus sermo’, does just that.8 Eloquence as enticement, however, is foreign to the purposes of philosophy, and the value that Cortesi and Dati set on the beautiful and the sonorous in verbal composition is inappropriately applied to language that seeks to render truth.9

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Composition Pico's letter, rather more tightly constructed than Cortesi's somewhat diffuse encomium of humanist Latin, moves on from the rhetorical manipulation of language. Although so closely identified with the classical idiom, rhetoric was not, as Pico points out, the crux of the matter. The crux was that there were now two, concurrent, Latin idioms, that they used words differently, and that the promoters of the humanist idiom were seeking to erase completely the language of the ‘philosophers’. Pico demonstrates the different usage of the competing parties by saying that the humanists’ produci translates into the late medieval causari, and by rephrasing in terms of species and subiectum an argument that in Barbaro's original formulation had depended on an opposition that Pico expresses in words from Barbaro's lexis, figura and materia. Barbaro used such words as they might be used in classical Latin, without the precision needed to engage them in complex philosophical debate.10 Pico makes the point. The words he substitutes are technical terms from scholastic philosophy and they bring with them from that context a complex nexus of definition and use. They may not be correct ‘Roman’ Latin, but it does not follow that they are not correct, and, indeed, they are arguably more instrumental in promoting correct thinking than Barbaro's elaborate, but slippery, phraseology. Pico argues that the Latin idiom from which they come is a perfectly viable, intelligible, selfsufficient language system because it is the mutually comprehensible language of a functioning speech community: ‘Those philosophers, whom you [the humanists] choose to call “barbarians”, have agreed on a particular linguistic norm. What is there to stop them considering it as essential to them as the Roman form of Latin is to you?’11 This argument depends on the view that language is an arbitrary human construct ratified by consensus, the view that was normal at the time and the view that Cortesi also implicitly accepts. For Cortesi, that consensus was reached in (p.68) antiquity and he ring-fences classically derived humanist Latin so as to protect it from the false linguistic coinage of late medieval philosophers. Pico, in complete contrast, claims that the language used by the philosophers is as valid as any other functioning language system and just as susceptible to change. Scholastic, or ‘Parisian’, Latin maybe foreign to humanists, indeed the Latin of the philosophers may be incommensurate with the Latin of historians, orators, and poets. The two contemporary groups of Latin language users may and do often laugh at each other and fail to understand each other. Nevertheless, as an articulation of inquiry into truth, the ‘uncouth’ idiom of Duns Scotus (that favourite scapegoat of the humanists) is to be preferred to the elegant Latinity of the philosophically deluded Lucretius.12

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Composition Pico's letter to Barbaro was a scandal. Not only did he advance arguments in favour of the despised Latin of the ‘philosophers’, and did so in the context of a letter to Ermolao Barbaro, who was the leading promoter of the translation of Greek philosophy into humanist Latin discourse. Much more problematical was the double-edged mode whereby Pico advances those arguments, placing them in the mouth of a hypothetical apologist for contemporary ‘philosophers’ who is fluent in humanist Latin and defends the medieval idiom with all the rhetorical skills of an ancient orator. It might well be thought that this defender of the language of medieval scholasticism was deliberately subverting his own cause. Pico's attempt on behalf of the ‘philosophers’ to resist the take-over bid launched by encroaching humanists would appear to owe its success precisely to the eloquent artifice he condemns and to his mastery of the linguistic medium he claims to criticize. As Pico says ingratiatingly to Barbaro in the closing lines of his letter, it may be read as an ingenious exercise in paradox, arguing in favour of a cause (non-classical Latin) that is self-evidently indefensible. Paradox of this kind was a genre of wit with excellent classical antecedents. By aligning his defence of ‘philosophers’ Latin with paradox, Pico seemed to be affirming his membership of the humanist language community. In his letter in reply, Barbaro pretended to be satisfied with the explanation and joined in the ‘joke’ by constructing his own apologist for the ‘philosophers’ and making him utter an uproarious parody of scholastic logic in a parody of scholastic Latin.13 But Barbaro is clearly scandalized by Pico's letter, is unsure at the end whether to praise Pico or to remonstrate with him, and labours his jokey manner to the extent that his unease shows through. Indeed, Pico's letter is disquieting, even for a modern reader. Once Pico's spokesman for the ‘philosophers’ has persuaded us so eloquently that rhetoric achieves its ends by lying, our response to his argument is inherently destabilized, because it is infected by suspicion that the writer who has adopted the liar's tongue cannot be trusted to tell us the truth. On this reading, Pico has engineered a situation in which rhetoric potentially self-destructs, exposing in its ruin a terrain mined with devices as dangerous to itself as to the enemy, and leaving the reader disorientated.

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Composition (p.69) Angelo Poliziano (1454–94), Cortesi's correspondent on the subject of Latin imitation, gives us more evidence of uneasy reactions to Pico's double tongue. Dispatching copies of Pico's letter and Barbaro's to Bernardo Ricci, Poliziano had no hesitation in commending Pico's letter as a very model of humanist discourse, in terms of lexis, sonority, attractive style, unaffected ornamentation, functional figures of speech, apt examples, strong argument, and good judgement.14 Pico, he says, here demolishes eloquence by force of eloquence, demolishing and demonstrating eloquence at one and the same time, a process in which eloquence is bound to be preserved. This, indeed, is a reading just as tenable as one that sees the letter infected by a version of the liar paradox. Ricci, however, had asked for evidence to counteract the prevailing opinion that Pico was an expert in various branches of knowledge whose style of writing was deficient in the ornamentation (ornamenta) and lustre (splendor) expected of an orator.

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Composition The fact was that Pico did indeed have two Latin tongues and used them both proficiently within their separate contexts. For his epistles and orations he employed the lexis and the rhetoric of the humanists. In his theoretical and philosophical works, he subscribed to what he regarded as the technical language in common use, not excluding the Latin terminology associated with the masters of the University of Paris, where, indeed, he had studied in 1485.15 He also had more tongues than these. His familiarity with Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic allowed him access to linguistic experience and casts of mind very different from those of merely Latin language users, whatever their idiom. This pluralism seems to have given him a relativistic attitude to language and the ability to move flexibly and knowingly between linguistically defined cultural environments. In the letter to Barbaro, we glimpse him taking a deliberately ironical attitude to linguistic imperialism of any stamp. His own multilingualism possibly made him more open to complexity than Barbaro, whose translations of Greek philosophy into a Latin acceptable to humanists represent a relatively simple attitude to language. In the (p.70) later part of his brief life, the preferred filter through which Pico elected to run many of the ideas he had absorbed from his many languages was to be Christian doctrine predominantly in the vocabulary of Christian texts, defined where necessary by recourse to the logical rigour of the scholastic philosophers. What this agile polyglot did oppose was the humanists’ contention that theirs was the only Latin, and this was the scandal for Barbaro and his like. In the letter to Barbaro, the only time when Pico speaks in his own voice to make a judgement on the language question is when he expresses exasperated contempt for grammarians of the humanist sort who think their philological expertise gives them leave ignorantly to discount the works of philosophers.16 For Pico, the technical terminology of late medieval philosophy is the language in which philosophy can be pursued with most precision. The fluid way his arguments are set out on the pages of his own theoretical works resembles the elegant prose of the humanists. But the terms and strategies on which the arguments largely depend are familiar from the late medieval philosophers whose Latin he quotes without compunction. It is the language other philosophers understand, and the only medium in which debate can meaningfully be engaged on the issues that matter for philosophers in general and theologians in particular.

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Composition Cortesi thought otherwise. His Disputationes on the Sentences of Peter Lombard would hardly have been recognized as disputations by the Parisian disputatores whose idiom, at any rate in attenuated form, Pico chose for his works of philosophical inquiry. Cortesi's project is not one of philosophical inquiry. It is, as the prologue had made clear, a linguistic project fulfilling a dual purpose: to demonstrate that theological debate can be articulated in the classical Latin of the humanists, and to persuade back to theology those humanists who had turned away from it in fastidious distaste for its rebarbative and, to their ears, nonsensical language. The frame of Pico's work is recognizably that of Peter Lombard's four books and his division of his material, although Cortesi's work is very much shorter than other commentaries on the Sentences. Already it is apparent that this is to be in the nature of a résumé, a summa of opinions on Peter's subject matter, rather than, as had been the usual practice, a critical examination and detailed development of those opinions. Cortesi's para-text, his title, summary of contents, and marginal markers, is the only aspect of his commentary that linguistically clues the reader into its scholastic filiation. In the table of contents, the four books are divided into distinctiones or chapters, which are further subdivided by subheadings articulated as questions: for example, on predestination, ‘an homines praedestinentur a deo?…an numerus praedestinatorum sit certus formaliter vel materialiter?’ (whether men are predestined by God; whether there is a fixed number of the predestined, conceptually speaking or in real terms). The interrogative formulation recalls the quaestiones that structured late medieval analysis, but the term quaestio is not used, still less the technical terms designating subsequent moves in the traditional (p.71) procedure. Nevertheless, a residue of technical Latin vocabulary is retained in Cortesi's subheadings, non-Ciceronian words like formaliter and materialiterthai are immediately informative to readers educated to the jargon of the ‘philosophers’, and these recur sporadically in annotations printed in the margins.

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Composition The theologically sophisticated reader is thus provided with an orientation, but in a language that is relegated to the margins of the work. Cortesi's text itself is a different country. His prose runs continuously in chapter-length blocks. To follow the argument, the reader must follow the drift of connecting phrases and subordinate clauses. The argument is structured linguistically, not schematically, and requires an expertise derived from familiarity with the syntax and phraseology of classical Latin prose. Cortesi's vocabulary is more or less Ciceronian, with occasional recourse to the late Latin of the Fathers. The Church becomes ‘the senate’ (senatus), with concomitant translations of all things connected with it. Classical Latin is extended to receive Christian concepts, not by invented vocabulary, but by rhetorical procedures, mainly epithet, similitude, metonymy, and metaphor. Dominicans are ‘the band of black-clad theologians’ (atratorum theologorum manus); Christ incarnate, veiled in flesh, is ‘the saviour wrapped in a human cloak’ (sospitator chlamyde humana amictus); the Virgin's Immaculate Conception is ‘the most perfect act of conciliation of the divine, pure mother, undefiled by ancestral sin’ (absolutissimus conciliandi actus …dea[e] matr[is] tabisque originis expert[is]).17 This sort of translation from one Latin idiom to another was very common among Italian humanists of Cortesi's generation. It is entirely in keeping with the humanist project, an attempt to rescue Christian belief from the damaging effects of an unworthy and despised linguistic environment and to give it appropriate splendour and force. In Part III, I shall look more closely at examples of how this worked in poetical composition, where the essentially aesthetic inventiveness of the procedure had free play and, in effect, created a new image of Christianity. This also happens in Cortesi's book. His periphrastic translations of unclassical terms involve words with preestablished connotations. How can his Christ ‘chlamyde amictus’ not recall the usage of chlamys, in the sense of ‘military cloak’, as the special apparel of Pallas Athene?

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Composition The novelty of Cortesi's commentary, however, lies elsewhere. Late medieval and contemporary expositions of the Sentences were primarily exercises in logical analysis and strict argument. What Cortesi is attempting is a wholesale replacement of late medieval logical method by patterns of exposition derived from classical prose style, here applied across the Latin language divide to matter that had been conceived and developed in the late medieval idiom. As we have already noted, the schematics of scholastic disputation, questions divided, distinguished, enumerated, propositions defined, opposed, rejected, and confirmed, have (p.72) become Cortesi's continuous, interconnected narration. Cortesi retains the opinions of authorities, as essential to his commentary as they were to all other commentaries on the Sentences, and his authorities are the same: Aristotle and his commentators, Church Fathers in relatively modest proportion, late medieval theologians from St Thomas Aquinas to the present, with a special interest in the conflicting views of Dominicans and Franciscans. The difference is that Cortesi does not allow them to speak for themselves, especially when they habitually spoke in unclassical Latin. Direct quotation is always replaced by indirect speech, that typical device of classical Latin prose, here employed to prove Cortesi's stylistic pedigree, both in his mastery of oratio obliqua and in his translations of strange, foreign Latin for the benefit of his ‘Roman’ readers. This use of indirect speech also plays a part in Cortesi's methodology of exposition, resolving differences of opinion in a continuous stream of elegant, bland, harmoniously arranged words, even-handedly and obliquely reporting now one opinion, now another, always moving towards consensus or, where possible, conciliation. The product of Cortesi's lexical and stylistic environment is negotiation and rhetorical manipulation. What it has not produced are tools of analysis or any verbal instrument capable of tackling rigorous logical demonstration.

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Composition Near the beginning of his Sentences, Cortesi addresses himself to one of the issues (normally, but not by Cortesi, called quaestiones) raised in Peter Lombard's prologue to his first book: whether theology consists in contemplation or in action. Cortesi enunciates the problem thus: ‘Sed permagni refert, num theologia contemplatrix sit, an in actione, quam graeci praxin vocant, versari dicatur.’18 The connective ‘but’ (sed) ensures a smooth transition from one topic to the next, and the quaestio is formulated syntactically, not schematically. The adjective contemplatrix just about comes within the classical lexis, but the notion ‘practical’ is conveyed by a periphrasis involving the Greek word (in Greek characters) and introducing connotations in Aristotelian philosophy purely by the linguistic reference. A close contemporary of Cortesi among the Paris logicians was John Mair or Major (Johannes Maior, 1467/9–1550). He also wrote a commentary on the Sentences, but in a very different Latin. In a parallel passage, Mair makes clear his reference to Lombard's text, sets out the method he will follow in schematic form, introduces his technical terminology, and promises definitions amenable to logical argument, and responses to questions arising: ‘Sexto circa prologum quaeritur an theologia sit scientia practica vel speculativa. Explicabuntur duo termini praxis et speculatio; postea noticia practica et speculativa; et aliqua illam materiam tan-gentia aperiemus; demum in responsione ad titulum quaestiones descendemus.’19 (p.73) Cortesi continues his exposition of this topic by claiming that the balance of opinion among scholastic philosophers holds that theology consists primarily in contemplation, but what he gives is a list of names ornamented with laudatory phrases, not quotation. The procedures of epideictic rhetoric substitute the author's own verbal display for the words of his authorities, so hard to digest into the smooth rhythms of his prose. The language of classical rhetoric works as a way of precluding the sort of analysis conducive to inquiry. Cortesi's own conclusion on the matter is in fact a purely verbal act, a translation of St Thomas Aquinas into humanist Latin: ‘[Theologiam] partim praxin, partim contemplationem esse volumus. At cum omne scientiae genus finis mensione expendamus [a marginal note explains: ‘causa finalis’], extremumque huius scientiae finem in aetheriis sedibus principis veri contemplationem esse dicamus, constare debere inter sanos volumus, earn in primis in contemplandi quodam genere versari.’20 Mair, on the other hand, as he had promised, launches into an extended discussion of theoretical and practical knowledge. The base to which he returns from time to time is Aristotle, to whom he clearly refers, but his distinctions enable him to take in medicine, demonstration by induction, the differences between scientific knowledge and prudence, and definitions of art and experience. His Aristotelian definitions of theoretical and practical knowledge (scientia and prudentia) involve second intentions, necessary propositions, universals and particulars, and the use of the term ‘supposition’. In respect of language and in respect of intellectual culture, Paris in 1510 was clearly a very long way from Rome in 1504. Page 13 of 36

Composition I shall use the texts I have been discussing to make that journey. Cortesi's book itself made the journey in 1513. Josse Bade, ever a barometer of change, reproduced the Roman edition at Paris that year, as did Froben at Basle. Froben's edition has a preface by Konrad Peutinger, for whom Cortesi's conjunction of theology and eloquence rests firmly in the tradition of the Church Fathers, both the Latin Fathers themselves and the Greek Fathers newly translated by humanists. Peutinger's preface enlists Cortesi's commentary on the side of well-spoken erudition against dumb ignorance. He implicitly engages with the objection that rhetoric is a stranger to the pursuit of truth, stressing, on Cicero's authority, that rhetoric's power to amplify and to diminish is itself a mechanism for making judgement.21 Cortesi's Sentences, however, were not to prove a model of discourse (p.74) for northern Europe. His variety of rhetoric, with its very loose stratagems for argument and slippery definitions, was sidelined from serious debate. His Ciceronian translations of Christian notions fell foul of charges of neopaganism and lack of historical decorum. Erasmus, who in his Ciceronianus of 1528 mocked attempts to make strict Ciceronian Latin express Christian concepts, ended that work with the victory of the eclectic and flexible Poliziano over the Ciceronian Cortesi in their epistolary interchange about imitation.22 The letters that passed between Poliziano and Cortesi were well known in Paris. Poliziano, as editor, had included them in a published collection of epistles by Italian humanists, often himself and his correspondents, but among them the famous letters of Giovanni Pico and Ermolao Barbaro on the subject of Latin. The purpose of such a publication was obviously the self-promotion of individuals, but also the promotion of the Latin humanist speech community, conversing with attractive fluency, wit, and elegance. It was clear to any reader that the passport to such a community was proficiency in the language it spoke. It was certainly clear to Josse Bade that there was a market for these letters, even as early as 1499, when he edited the collection for an edition at Lyons. The title-page advertised its wit, its pleasantness, its ‘urbanity’, passing seamlessly from the delights of its contents to the matching qualities of its Latin style.23 Once in the north, the letters were vigorously co-opted to the cause of teaching the style of Latin they exemplified. Italian humanist compilers of dictionaries and phrase-books were not only the conduits by which the vocabulary and phraseology of classical Latin pervaded basic language classes across northern Europe. For the first generation of northern humanists, Italians were in practice the favoured models of Latin composition, easing the way to the genuine authors of ancient Rome. Pupils made their first attempts at writing Latin by writing letters. Humanists obligingly provided textbooks, manuals consisting of samples for imitation.

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Composition By 1517, Poliziano's collection had demonstrably acquired the status of textbook. In that year, Josse Bade, from his Paris press, started a profitable run of printings of the letters, edited with extensive commentary by François Du Bois.24 Du Bois had published the first two centuries of his Progymnasmata in the previous year. His annotations to Poliziano's Illustrium virorum epistolae must therefore have (p.75) emerged from the same environment at the Collège de Montaigu, although we know that he was at the Collège de Lisieux by the end of 1517 (at the Collège de Boncourt between 1520 and 1526, and the Collège de Tournai subsequently). The commentaries appended to each of the letters (and supplemented by a few extra notes by Josse Bade) tell where Du Bois focused his students’ attention. It was not, for the most part, where our attention was focused in our brief survey of the exchange between Pico and Barbaro. Du Bois makes no direct reference to the issue that forms the substance of these two letters, not even in his comments on Poliziano's letter to Ricci, where, as we noted, Poliziano made his own interpretation of Pico's views quite clear. Yet Du Bois's attitude to the Latin language question is implicit and subtends his annotation. His commentary is an example of the grammatical exercise enarratio, exactly the same kind of commentary that humanists appended to their editions of Latin authors. Such commentaries were in effect classroom lecture notes. They were generally tidied up and expanded for publication, but they certainly reproduced the instruction that was given and the manner in which it was transmitted orally, point by separate point, following the order of the text studied, and by no means necessarily pausing to reflect on the thrust of the work taken as a whole (that was the matter for an introductory general lecture, a praelectio, if there was one). Once problems of verbal and syntactic comprehension had been covered (lectio), the purpose of enarratio was to explain people and places, to fill out passing allusions by extensive quotation from apposite classical texts, in short to contextualize the work studied within the ancient culture from which it drew its language, its frame of reference, and its intellectual concepts.

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Composition Pico's letter, in which his ‘philosopher’ paradoxically deploys adages and allusions in the best humanist manner, gives ample room for such annotation. Du Bois thus firmly incorporates it into the universe of ancient Latinity. He simply ignores any resistance the text itself might seem to make. That is not to say that Du Bois is deaf to Pico's ‘philosopher’ spokesman when he advocates a plain, rhetorically unvarnished language for philosophy. Du Bois expands at length on the idiom suitable for theological inquiry, but he does so by quoting from Aulus Gellius, Plato, Lactantius, and Cyprian.25 At no point does he suggest that Latin as it developed after the late classical period could constitute such an idiom. In his commentary on the Sentences, Cortesi had kept the homogeneity of his prose by acting as humanist interpreter for his late medieval authors. Du Bois makes sure that his pupils are linguistically uncontaminated by using extensive direct quotation of ancient Latin to reinforce the elegance of Pico's defence of ‘medieval’ positions. This becomes a rather trickier procedure when Du Bois has to annotate Barbaro's reply to Pico. Barbaro's ‘philosopher’ may be self-evidently ridiculous, but it is by making him abuse the Latin language and misuse scholastic technical terms that Barbaro destroys his credibility. This presents Du Bois with examples of (p.76) late medieval Latin he can hardly avoid. He gives alternatives for the more obvious parodies of ‘bad’ Latin, without comment. His ideological position becomes more visible when he deals with the procedures of logical argument that Barbara's ‘philosopher’ calls by their technical names, claiming them for his own brand of inquiry into truth. Du Bois, in his commentary, wrests them back to the ancient culture from which they originated. He explains what they are and how they work in relatively clear humanist Latin. He translates them back into classical paradigms for argument, quoting definitions and examples from Aristotle, Cicero, and Boethius. More insidiously, by using illustrations from legal cases, for instance, and from deliberative debates centring on the honourable and expedient (honesturn and utile), he stresses that the classical context of these procedures is the discourse of rhetoric.26

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Composition In conclusion, Du Bois's commentary provides us with evidence of humanist Latin at Paris asserting itself by denying the opposition. Du Bois proclaims his contemporary allegiances by occasionally quoting Budé on word definition, as well as various Italian humanists, as does Bade in his added notes by quoting Valla. Du Bois's major quarry for information is Erasmus in the Adages, in the most up-to-date version published in 1515. Empowered by such linguistic authority and carrying such a rich cultural freight, Du Bois's commentary easily unbalances the equilibrium Pico perhaps meant to sustain in his paradoxical letter. Du Bois is not afraid to go against its grain, inserting a piece of original or, at least, unauthenti-cated etymology at precisely the juncture when Pico was to go on to express his irritation at grammatistae doing just that.27 Bade was perhaps more alive to the ironies pervading Pico's discourse: ‘apparently signalling one thing to those who do not get his drift, but quite another to Pico, Barbaro, and the rest who do’.28 As a publisher, Bade himself found it expedient to face in two directions, without irony, as the market directed.

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Composition Bade had found himself a good market for dictionaries, phrase-books, and model letters promoting the use of classical Latin among students of grammar and rhetoric, and helping them to continue their engagement with humanist Latin later in life. The curriculum of the Arts Faculty at Paris, however, demanded progress into logic and into the specialized linguistic virtuosity of the Paris masters. Thence, thoroughly immersed in logic and its idiom, some students proceeded to the Faculty of Theology, there to train their minds to grapple with all the ramifications of the Sentences of Peter Lombard. For them, too, Bade provided books, notably printed versions of the courses that John Mair gave to theology students at the Collège de Montaigu.29 Mair's published commentaries on the (p.77) Sentences reproduced the methodology and the language of his classroom exposition, and they make us aware of what a change of procedure, as well as of idiom, confronted the student moving up from the Latin grammar classes. Mair's commentaries were also, as has been hinted, very different from Cortesi's dextrous manipulation of elegant prose aimed at capturing the attention of sophisticated non-professionals. Mair's methodology, which had been more or less standard since about the middle of the thirteenth century, is altogether professional.30 He divides his material in ways his audience would recognize as basic to the disputations in which they had to engage as part of their course. Subjects for investigation are set out as questions (quaestiones, sometimes subdivided as articuli); necessary supplementary information and definitions are provided (notabilia); a numbered series of replies (conclusiones) follow each quaestio; to each conclusio there are one or more objections, arguing against it (signalled by words like arguitur); to each objection and part of an objection, there is a reply (responsio). In every part of the exercise, whether to propose, refute, or confirm, arguments are produced from quoted authorities (the Bible, the Fathers, scholastic theologians, and, in Mair's case, some humanists), from logical analysis and proof, and from example. Rigorously schematic, the procedure fixes in the minds of students a method of inquiry for determining truth, as well as giving them a transferable skill of wide practical importance. It does, however, assume a commonality of reference and a commonality of language. That did not mean that Mair had no inkling of an alternative Latin. His prefatory letter to the first (1509) edition of his commentary on the fourth book of the Sentences begins ostentatiously with a quotation from Cicero, and just as ostentatiously proceeds to warn his correspondent not to expect smoothtongued, artificially tricked out discourse, of which theology has no need. His will be the way of the Fathers and the manner of his scholastic colleagues. A reference to whitewashing marble houses is a reference to Pico's letter to Barbaro, as Mair immediately confirms:

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Composition Every branch of knowledge lays claim to its own technical language. As for philosophers in our tradition, whom they choose to call ‘barbarians’, Giovanni Pico (a not unmannerly practitioner of elegant style) did not blush to confess that he read and reread their works (p.78) with scrupulous attention, and indeed he took great pains to defend their cause against Ermolao Barbaro (as you are well aware from the letter that you have by him).31 Mair's loyalty to his linguistic community did not waver, but that did not mean that his mind was closed to changes afoot. He adjusted his teaching programme in response to current interests, and his commentaries on all four books of the Sentences have heavily revised editions. The first was the commentary to book iv, revised quite soon for publication in 1516.32 Mair's introductory lecture to his new course (his public praelectio), which replaces the original prefatory letter, shows him slightly on the defensive in respect of criticism from ‘men from other professions’ (i.e. grammar and rhetoric), but on the whole his revisions to this book are said to improve on the first edition in the direction of further evidence from more reading to answer yet more questions, for ‘truth is explored by counter-argument and mental exercise’. There is recognition that a manner of exposition (‘ordo et vena discurrendi’) that appeals to the reader may be more profitable, because more digestible, than erudition that makes no such concession. Nevertheless, the matter of reception that preoccupies Mair most in his introduction is how to appeal to both nominalists and realists. There is no suggestion that differences are to be smoothed over (as in Cortesi). Mair's intention is to keep the analytical procedure of the nominalists and make it more comprehensible to those who disapprove. His readers of choice are certainly theologians by profession, they use the idiom of late medieval Latin, and it is precisely their contentious mode of critical reading that has produced the logical metalanguage and structures of discourse within which Mair must operate to talk with them.33

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Composition Very early on in the commentary itself, in response to questions raised in Peter Lombard's prologue, Mair considers two issues in which discourse-type plays a part. The first is how to proceed in the face of contradictory opinions; the second is whether other disciplines have a part to play in theological inquiry. The texts of the two versions (1509 and 1516) are by and large the same, except that in the second edition the order in which the questions are discussed is reversed, the schematic method for their debate is much more clearly set out on the page, and (p.79) the arguments are helpfully summarized at regular stages. Mair introduces the language question in an objection to the conclusion that the practice of the Fathers validates the incorporation of other disciplines within theology. The objection advances the view that arguments from the practice of the Fathers, if followed exactly, would properly preclude logic and Aristotelian philosophy as it had subsequently developed, and, along with them, the way of writing of the moderns, their ‘modus scribendi’, their ‘curiositas’, their method of arguing by conclusions, propositions, and all that goes with them. In support of this, Mair cites complaints made by Jean Gerson (d. 1429) about an invasion from England of logical convolutions, scientific conundrums, and metaphysical abstractions, that were threatening to turn Paris theologians into sophistical verbalizers. He also cites Petrarch writing in the same vein. In other words, though with deliberately antedated references, Mair here reproduces the gist of the humanists attack on late medieval theology and its language, an attack first voiced in Italy and currently, in the second decade of the sixteenth century, loudly advanced in Paris itself.34 Mair replies to the objection by advocating a diversity of modes of writing and by claiming a belief in progress that makes it possible to improve on the manner of the Fathers. By implication, this counters the humanists’ arguments for a return to antiquity, be it Aristotle in Greek or the Fathers in late classical Latin. It is natural, wrote Aristotle, for things to progress and for knowledge to advance. New knowledge requires new commentaries, on Aristotle and on the Fathers; old homilies have usefully given way to the modern preaching style; Amerigo Vespucci has discovered a new world.35

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Composition Mair goes on to engage more directly with current objections to the methods of the Paris masters. He contends that to limit theology solely to proofs drawn from the Bible (the second edition adds law) and to do away with rational argument sharpened in disputation, as some advocate, would deprofessionalize the subject, allowing people outside the university to claim to practise it. On the other hand, contrary to the opinion of Duns Scotus and in alliance with Jean Gerson, Mair disapproves of the tendency to dilute theology by introducing into it irrelevant, long-winded, and above all, wordy imports from the other disciplines (notably logic and physics). Logic is the door-keeper of theology, but its normal place is at (p.80) the door, and only for very specific purposes and as an accessory should logic be invited in. Mair claims that, in comparison with other universities and with the Paris of eighty years previously, present-day Paris was less guilty of adulterating theology (and, by implication, the language of theology) with arguments from mathematics, physics, metaphysics, and so on. Nevertheless, theology made too easy would not recruit good students. It is essential to find a middle way, one true to the Paris tradition, but leaving to foreign theologians protracted entanglements with universals, second intentions, complexe significabilia, univocation, and other topics deriving from the properties of terms and semantics of propositions.36 In 1516, however, Mair's second edition is more nuanced when it comes to leaving logic at the door and other complications to outsiders. Had he given too much away to the opposition? Mair is now, if anything, more insistent on the necessity for theologians to have some scientific knowledge and some skill in the logical analysis of propositions. Interestingly, he also envisages cases where theology students have been ‘poorly instructed’ in these skills during their time in the Arts Faculty and need to have gaps in their knowledge filled. At this point in his second edition, he concentrates on what his programme is to be in his commentary. Theology, as he presents it, will stimulate intellectual inquiry on diverse fronts, now dealing with questions of fact, now utilizing the resources of scholastic argument, and ‘this way of writing’ will attract the brighter students. He will on occasion pursue questions arising from natural science, but never for long and never far, and only when they illuminate issues in theology and solve its puzzles. With particular regard, perhaps, to the growing demand for ‘scripture only’ theology, he argues that man must work. This is not a discussion about ‘good works’ (bona opera) of the sort that will become vital in respect of faith. This work is labor, the intellectual effort that interpreting the Bible requires, and that work involves both natural intelligence (lumen lumen naturale) and the training to have recourse to learned works of reference and apply them intelligently. The overall argument in defence of the method of the Paris masters is that it sharpens the intelligence.37

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Composition In the substance of Mair's commentary this defence is amply vindicated, because, in the last analysis, decisions in difficult cases of conscience and choices between contradictory texts or authorities in disagreement with each other, come down to judgements reached by reason alone. How shall we decide between Jerome and Augustine when they contradict each other? ‘By seeing which of them speaks more according to reason: he is the one to follow.’38 But, runs the objection, there is no real contradiction between the fundamental (maximal) tenets of the philosophers, in particular Plato and Aristotle, and Giovanni Pico intended to (p.81) demonstrate that that is the case, as we know from the prologue to his Apologia. Mair replies that such a reconciliation of opposing views (the very essence of the syncretist project often associated with Florentine Neoplatonism) is impossible. The differences are real, not merely verbal as some would have, and attempts to reconcile them are just playing with words or, at best, tricks of sophistic reasoning that will not delude the logical mind.39 Mair is by no means ignorant of the writing of Italian humanists, easily accessible to him in Paris editions. He not infrequently cites the north's favourite Italian poet, Baptista Mantuanus (Spagnuoli). Nevertheless, this commentary on a prior text is not in any sense an enarratio in the manner of humanist commentary. It is only interested in its base text for the intellectual problems it raises. Occasionally Mair refers to the rules of grammar in order to clarify the (unclassical) Latin of the Bible. Normally he cannot envisage that the elementary disciplines of grammar and rhetoric can make anything but the most trivial contributions to the severely intellectual inquiry after truth that is theology. Theology is based on reason, and uses the appropriate language; it needs some supporting evidence from science, and that must be up to date; it relies on established procedure for ensuring proper discrimination between degrees of written authority, and focuses on what they say, not on how they say it Nevertheless, Lorenzo Valla is a threatening figure, and his malevolent spirit needs to be exorcized.

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Composition Valla stands outside the door of Mair's commentary on the Sentences, or, rather, his none too efficient spokesman does, in a dialogue that served as preface to Mair's first edition of his commentary on the first book of the Sentences, printed for Josse Bade in 1510.40 In this dialogue, Mair makes a pupil articulate the premiss that underlies the references Mair makes to Aristotle in so many of his arguments: that philosophy can be rationally accommodated to Christian doctrine and so underpin theological inquiry. His interlocutor replies that theology students working on the Sentences have to pay too much attention to Aristotle, at the risk of imbibing error and of adopting Aristotle's way of writing (‘modus scribendi’). In support of this contention, the interlocutor cites Valla, Valla who had written acrimoniously about Aristotle's reputation for plagiarism, his prolixity, his sophistry and subterfuge. At this moment in the dialogue, there are quite extensive quotations from Valla's Dialecticae disputationes, of which Bade had just published the first French edition in 1509. Valla had maintained that dialectic was a short and easy thing to learn in comparison with rhetoric. As for grammar, so Valla's argument went, it takes as many months to master dialectic as it does years to learn Latin grammar properly. The substance of dialectic could be compressed into a few precepts, but in order to attract students it has been given a quite unmerited status.41 Elaborating on the last point (but thereby preventing any confrontation (p.82) with Valla's argument), Valla's spokesman is made to observe that present-day students of the wealthier sort flock to elementary logic lectures in the Paris Arts Faculty, but desert to the Law Faculty immediately afterwards, leaving courses in theology, philosophy, and advanced logic very sparsely attended. Mair's pupil then uses logic to point out the fallacy of this argument. The way theology is taught is not necessarily the reason for the dearth of students. Whatever the teaching mode in theology, they would opt for law because that promises a comfortable career. As for Valla's attack on the logic of the Paris masters, Mair's pupil disdains to argue with someone who can make more errors in his own book on logic than a leopard has spots and whose refusal to use the methodology and terminology of modern theology has led him to deny free will (in the De libero arbitrio). In the body of his commentary, Mair makes one notable attack on Valla as logician in a passage concerning number as concept and things numbered. Again, Mair avoids direct engagement with the point Valla is making by claiming that Valla has misinterpreted an opinion he attributes to Aristotle without having read him. More significantly, Mair insists that Valla is completely at sea when he transgresses the limits of his own disciplinary territory. Grammar and rhetoric give no training whatsoever for talking the language of philosophers.42

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Composition Mair never did confuse the two sorts of discourse or adapt his own idiom to talk directly to humanists. But he did adapt his ideas. Rather later than was the case for the fourth book of the Sentences, Mair produced revised editions of his commentaries on the first three books.43 The last to be revised was book i, published in 1530. Times had changed, and changed radically. The initial dialogue in the 1510 edition has gone, replaced by a prefatory letter to John Mair's namesake, Johannes Maior Eckius, that is to say Martin Luther's most articulate Catholic opponent, Johann Eck. Mair's letter summarizes the programme of the Paris masters for dealing with change, both his own programme and the official policy of the Faculty of Theology, which his new editions of the Sentences are written to promote. Mair recalls that twenty years ago, his first edition of his commentary on book i represented a mode of teaching thought suitable for students coming up from their logic courses in the Arts Faculty. He had concentrated heavily on Aristotle and such matters as theory of intentions, for ‘that was the way of writing normal among theologians at that time’, but, truth to tell, it was not one he himself found (p.83) congenial, even then. The reason was that it was so patently disliked by his students. Their dissatisfaction had been brought home to him with particular force because of the much better response he had to his lectures on the rather less metaphysical material of book iv (and, indeed, we have seen evidence of Mair adjusting his teaching of book iv so as to find a via media between reacting positively to student response and keeping up professional standards). In contrast, when he lectured on book i, any attempt to include Duns Scotus, William Ockham, or Gregory of Rimini would be guaranteed to empty the lecture hall. Mair's personal crisis of confidence about ‘that way of writing’, however, has been overtaken by the public crisis of Luther's ‘execrable heresy’. In order to combat Luther on his own ground, the Paris theologians have been concentrating exclusively on the Bible. Mair considers biblical studies to be a distinctly inferior form of mental life (‘cuilibet captu faciles’). The consequence of this shift has been that the more intellectually demanding study of questions arising from the Sentences has gone into abeyance. Recently, recognizing that intellectual standards are dropping, the Faculty of Theology has decided to reinstate ‘scholastic’ disputations on difficult questions in the traditional manner (‘more maiorum nostrorum’), with the concession that students may limit themselves to a single topic and need not bring in much theory. And so, concludes Mair, I have adjusted my style to the times.44

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Composition (p.84) What this means in general is that Mair has omitted extensions into the more complex parts of Aristotelian logic and abbreviated diversions into physics. In particular instances, the revisions are more drastic than that. We have already contrasted with Cortesi's exposition the terms in which Mair's 1510 commentary on book i of the Sentences dealt with the question of the epistemological status of theology. In 1530, that discussion has completely disappeared. Instead, Mair launches straightaway into the question of ‘how man on earth may acquire faith’. His exposition is still conducted according to the rigorous schema of conclusiones, objections, and replies, and his terminology still belongs to the lexis of late medieval Latin. But the material he is covering represents one of the basic disputes of the Reformation, that Mair here articulates with exactitude in a form of language amenable to rational demonstration. His language also makes some telling adjustments of detail. Neoterici had hitherto in his usage meant the ‘modern’ scholastics, that is to say, late medieval theologians and philosophers and contemporary thinkers who used their language. Now, neoterici haeretici are more modern still, they are the Reformers. In addition, Mair starts his discussion of faith by claiming that it cannot be produced by demonstration his own tight logic. But nor can it be produced by argumentum topicum, the argumentative procedure based on commonplaces that was much favoured by the Reformers and, typically, little employed by someone like Mair, working in the tradition of the scholastics. The dialectic of topics, says Mair, can only produce opinion, neither faith nor truth.45 There is an area of faith, however, in which Mair's language seems particularly inexact to a modern reader, and did so to his humanist contemporaries, especially those who had transported to theology the philological and historical expertise they had acquired from their grammatical studies. In his commentary on the fourth book of the Sentences, a question on whether the Virgin Mary contracted a true marriage with Joseph leads Mair to her parentage and to his belief that she was Joachim's only daughter and that her mother, St Ann, gave birth to two half-sisters for Mary as a result of two subsequent marriages.

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Composition This was, indeed, her story as it was commonly received. But where did it come from? It is not to be found in any of the canonical books of the Bible, but it was strongly supported by tradition. The core narrative, first found in the late second-century Greek Protevangelium of James, was transmitted to the Latin Middle Ages in two versions: the Pseudo-Matthew, which dates from between the later part of the sixth century and the last years of the eighth century, and the Libellus de nativitate sanctae Mariae, composed sometime between the end of the ninth and end of the tenth centuries.46 The second of these two versions acquired a quasi-canonical status because it was included in the Letters of St Jerome as an appendix to two epistles: a letter to the saint asking him to translate from Hebrew into Latin a book (p.85) about the birth of the Virgin, and St Jerome's somewhat ambivalent reply. The authenticity of these letters, now regarded as spurious, was already being questioned at the beginning of the sixteenth century, notably by Erasmus, but the Libellus continued to be reprinted with the Works of St Jerome. By that time, however, the core narrative, taken from one or other of the Latin versions, or from an amalgam of them both, had been told and retold in a great variety of texts and pictured in countless manuscripts and churches. It tells how a married couple, Joachim and Ann, though they led a blameless life, were not blessed with children. Late in age, they were struck by a grievous blow when Joachim was turned out of the synagogue, his sacrifice refused because of the couple's sterility. Joachim fled in shame to his sheepfolds. Ann was left lamenting. But to both of them an angel appeared to announce the birth of a peerless daughter destined to conceive by the Holy Spirit. The angel told them to name her ‘Mary’, and instructed them to meet at the Golden Gate of Jerusalem. There they greeted each other, and nine months after their return home together, Ann gave birth to her daughter. After Mary's three-year childhood in Ann's care, her presentation in the temple and sojourn there, and after her marriage to Joseph, the story joins the Gospel narrative. That was not all, however. A text invented in the mid-ninth century, called Trinubium Annae (Ann's Three Marriages), was eventually attached to many manuscripts about the nativity of Mary. It goes as follows:

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Composition Ann and Emeria [or Esmeria, sometimes Ismeria] were sisters. Emeria's daughter was the mother of John the Baptist. Ann had three husbands: Joachim, Cleophas, and Salome. By Joachim Ann had Mary, the mother of Christ. After Joachim died, she married Cleophas, by whom she had a daughter called Mary, surnamed Cleophas. Her father, Cleophas, gave in marriage to his brother Joseph Mary the mother of Christ, who was his step-daughter. And the daughter born to him by Ann he gave to be wife to Alphaeus. She gave birth to James the Less and to another Joseph [two other sons, Simon and jude, were added later], which is why James is called James Alphaeus. Then after Cleophas died, Ann married a third husband, called Salome, who begot a third daughter, similarly called Mary. She married Zebedee. And from her were born James the Great and John the Evangelist.47 This version of the Holy Family, or, Holy Kinship, as it is generally called, neatly resolved the problem posed by Christ's biblical ‘brothers’ (no one seemed interested in his ‘sisters’) by turning them into cousins, and thereby preserved Mary's lifelong virginity. It was extremely current in the late Middle Ages. Right at the beginning of our exploration of words, we found it as an item in the most widely used dictionary of that period, the Catholicon. Among influential theologians, Peter Lombard had cited it in the twelfth century. Among even more influential hagiographical writers, Jacobus de Voragine (Jacopo da Varezze) retells it in the thirteenth century in his Golden Legends where it appears under the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, along with a summary in mnemonic verses. Pictures also told the story, and it gained a place in the liturgy, especially in hymns and offices for the feasts of its protagonists.

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Composition (p.86) In his brief recapitulation of the history of St Ann, Mair makes no claim to prove his facts by logic or substantiate them by reference to the Bible or any other authoritative text. In his 1509 version of the fourth book of the Sentences, he had no evidence more weighty than the verses to be found in the Golden Legend and the ‘rather finer’ passage in Baptista Mantuan's epic in classical style on the life of the Virgin, his Parihenice.48 In his revision of this passage in 1516, Mair has dropped the verses from the Golden Legend, leaving Mantuan as his only authority.49 Mantuan may have been a Carmelite friar and a bishop, but he was above all a humanist poet, if one of impeccable Christian sentiments. Mair has stepped rather naïvely into the territory of the humanists and spoken their language. Possibly he did not know what sort of truth status they ascribed to poetry, and it is certain that poetry did not fit very clearly into his own criteria for adhesion to propositions. Possibly he did not think St Ann's story needed any defence except the communal piety that served the Church's interests, but did not warrant the attention of serious theologians. Abandoning his customary proofs and the language of demonstration, Mair has left St Ann unguarded against attacks from assailants armed with weapons forged in the grammar class, practised in enarratio, and deployed in rhetorically organized formation. Two years later, St Ann was to become almost a test-case for measuring the potential for effective argument of our two apparently incommensurable idioms of Latin. Their different vocabularies, their different phraseology, their different horizons of cultural reference, and their different methods of composition and discourse management will be brought into sharp relief when they engage in conflict about what is truth. Notes:

(1) For Peter Lombard (c.1095–1160), see M. L. Colish, Peter Lombard, 2 vols. (Leiden, 1994); the Sententiae reached their final form between 1155 and 1157. (2) For a very detailed account of Cortesi's career in the context of Roman humanism, see J. F. D’Amico, Renaissance Humanists in Papal Rome: Humanists and Churchmen on the Eve of the Reformation (Baltimore and London, 1983). Cortesi's commentary on the Sentences was published under slightly differing titles, but they invariably make explicit reference to eloquentia, thereby signalling the humanist idiom of the text. (3) The texts of the two letters, which date from the early 1490s, are to be found in Garin, Prosatori, 902–11. (4) There is an English translation of Cortesi's prologue (which is adressed to Pope Julius II) in Kennedy, Renaissance Philosophy, 29–37.

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Composition (5) ‘Equidem eloquentiam in doctrinarum genere tanquam in celsissimo corpore pulchritudinem putarim, quae ab his velut decora sanitate seiungi non possit’ (Cortesi, In sententias: Qui in hoc opere eloquentiam cum theobgia coniunxit (Basle: J. Froben, 1513), sig. B 2). (6) In Cortesi's critical review of the Latin writing of recent Italians, his De hominibus doctis dialogus, composed about 1490, but not printed at the time, he applauds Valla's correction of Latin language use, but says that Valla did not understand the aesthetics of a Latin style sensitive to sound, achieved by the skilful juxtaposition and grouping of words: ‘Sed est certe aha scribendi ratio, quae a Valla aut praeter-missa est aut ignorata. Florens enim ille et suavis et incorruptus latinus sermo postulat sane conglutationem et comprehensionem quandam verborum, quibus conficitur ipsa concinnitas ad sonum’ (ed. M. T. Grazioni (Rome, 1973). 40). (7) The argument is made by D’Amico, Renaissance Humanists, 149–53, and in the same author's ‘Paolo Cortesi's Rehabilitation of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’, Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance, 44 (1982), 37–51. The Latin text of Pico's letter can be found in Garin, Prosatori, 804–22, and an English translation in Q. Breen, ‘Giovanni Pico della Mirandola on the Conflict of Philosophy and Rhetoric’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 12 (1952), 384–412. For Barbaro's reply to Pico, see Garin, Prosatori, 844–62. There is a very cogent analysis of the content of Pico's letter in B. Vickers, In Defence of Rhetoric (Oxford, 1988), 184–92, although the author's conclusions about the purport of the letter are not quite the same as mine. For a relatively straightforward description of the arguments in the debate, see Wels, Triviale Kunste, 15–27. (8) ‘Hoc [officium rhetoris] totum est nequicquam aliud quam merum mendacium, mera impostura, merum praestigium, cum a natura rei semper vel augendo excedat, vel minuendo deficiat et fallacem verborum concentum, veluti larvas et simulacra pretendens, auditorum mentes blandiendo ludificet Eritne huic cum philosopho affinitas, cuius studium omne in cognoscenda et demonstranda ceteris veritate versatur?’ (Garin, Prosatori, 808). (9) ‘Est elegans res—fatemur hoc—facundia plena illecebrae et voluptatis, sed in philosopho nec decora, nec grata’ (ibid.); ‘profecto fastidire in philosopho subtilissime disputante minus concinnam elocutionem, non tarn delicati stomachi est quam insolentis’ (ibid. 814). (10) Ibid. 818, 820; in the latter case, Pico is responding to a specific point in the letter from Barbaro that had provoked his long defence of those ‘Germans’ whom Barbaro had labelled ‘sordidi, rudes, inculti, barbari’ (E. Barbaro, Epistolae, orationes et carmina, ed. V. Branca, 2 vols. (Florence, 1943), i. 86).

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Composition (11) ‘Quid prohibet hosce philosophos, quos nuncupatis barbaros, conspirasse in unam dicendi normam, apud eos non secus sanctam ac habeatur apud vos romana?’ (Garin, Prosatori, 818). (12) Garin, Prosatori, 818–20. (13) Ibid 846–62. (14) Poliziano's own vocabulary at this point provides an exemplary list of the criteria by which humanists judged writing to be good: ‘electa verba: casta latinitas: atticus nitor: iunctura tenuis: numerosus ambitus: grata concinnitas: hilaris color: pura venustas: ornatus facilis: agentes figurae: sensus acres: apta exempla: multa fides: argumenta fortia: grave consilium: subtile iudicium: vis alta: indoles rara: mira maiestas’ (I quote from Franéois Du Bois (ed.), Illustrium virorum epistolae (Paris: N. Des Prés for J. Petit, 1520), fo. CLXVI). (15) For the 900 Conclusiones on various philosophical questions that Pico intended to defend at Rome in 1486, he chose the Latin of the Paris logicians, because that, not the classical Latinity of the humanists, was the idiom in which such questions were normally debated: ‘non romanae linguae nitorem, sed celebratissimorum parisiensium disputatorum dicendi genus est imitatus, propterea quod eo nostri temporis philosophi plerique omnes utuntur’ (Giovanni Pico and Gian Franceso Pico, Opera omnia, 2 vols. (Basle, 1557; repr. Hildesheim, 1969), i. 63). My reading of Giovanni Pico confirms the conclusions reached by L. Valcke in a very nuanced article, ‘Jean Pic de la Mirandole et le retour au Style de Paris: Portée d’ une critique littéraire’, in A. Moss etal (eds.) Acta conventus neo-latini hafniensis (Binghamton, NY, 1994) 957–67 The latest contribution to this issue sees the ‘Parisian’ language of texts connected with the Conclusiones as a response to a particular circumstance, and prefers a generally diachronic account of the development of Pico's later philosophical style, rather than a generic explanation, see F. Bausi, Nec rhetor neque rhetoricus: Fonti, lingua e stile nelle prime opere latine di Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1484– 1487) (Florence, 1996); it includes a very valuable analysis of the linguistic environment of Pico's letter to Barbaro. (16) Garin, Prosatori, 822. (17) Cortesi, In Sententias (Bask, 1513), fo. 29v; more illustrations of Cortesi's vocabulary may be found in the very useful analysis of the book in D’Amico, Renaissance Humanism in Papal Rome, 152–63. One of the publisher's readers for the present work usefully commented that Cortesi and his like were, consciously or not, replicating the practice of some Christian writers of late antiquity who also adopted the language of classical Rome. Ausonius was a Christian bishop, but writes like a pagan.

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Composition (18) Cortesi, In Sententias (Basle, 1513), fo. 4: ‘But it is a matter of great importance to determine whether theology consists in contemplation or whether it may be said to belong to the sphere of action, praxis, as the Greeks call it’ (19) Mair, In primum Sententiarum (Paris: H. Estienne for J. Bade, J. Petit & C. Le Liévre, 1510), fo. xiiii: ‘The sixth question in relation to the prologue is whether theology is a practical or a speculative science. We shall first give an explanation of the terms “practical” and “speculative”; after that we shall explore more fully the concepts “practical” and “speculative” and other things pertaining to this matter, finally, in order to respond to the initial inquiry, we shall proceed in orderly fashion through the questions it raises.’ (20) Cortesi, In Sententias (Basle, 1513), fo. 4: ‘We hold that theology consists partly in praxis and partly in contemplation. However, since we judge every kind of knowledge in terms of its end and we claim that the end of this science, theology, consists in contemplation of the highest truth seated in the heavenly realms, we hold that rational people will agree that theology consists primarily in some form of contemplation.’ The equivalent passage in St Thomas, Commentum in primwn librum Sententiarum, has the same sense, but in a very different Latin: ‘Quantum ad quid practica est [theologia] et etiam speculativa. Sed, quia scientia omnis principaliter pensanda est ex fine, finis autem ultimus huius doctrinae est contemplatio primae veritatis in patria, ideo principaliter speculativa est’ (quoted from D’Amico, Renaissance Humanism in Papal Rome, 295). (21) ‘Quare non iniuria etiam apud posteriores theologos (de eruditis loquor) eloquentia ipsa in precio semper fuit: quae rem exornando amplificat, et (ut Cicero ait) non solum ad augendum aliquid et tollendum altius dicendo, sed ad extenuandum atque obiiciendum, nobis potissimum accedit’ (Cortesi, In Sententias (Basle, 1513), sig. A 2); there was another edn. at Basle in 1540. (22) For Erasmus’ resistance to Ciceronian translation of Christian vocabulary, see Dialogus ciceronianus, ed. P. Mesnard, in Erasmus, Opera omnia, 1/2 (Amsterdam, 1971), 640–7. Erasmus contends that it is not a question of a straight choice between the Latin of Cicero and the Latin of the scholastics: ‘What is important is to use language appropriately, but there is a mean between the disciples of Duns Scotus and the apes of Cicero’ (642). The comments on Cortesi's altercation with Poliziano are at pp. 706–7. (23) Illustrium virorum epistole meri sales, merae facetiae, meri lepores, merae argutiae, merae urbanitates, merae delitiae, merae veneres venerumque gratiae (Lyons: Nicolas Wolff, 1499).

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Composition (24) I have used the edn. of 1520, printed, like so many of Bade's best-sellers, by his rival. It is entitled Illustrium virorum epistolae .XII. libris distinctae cum succulentis F. Sylvii commentariis (Paris: Nicolas Des Prés, 1520). Also in 1517, Bade had published an edn. of the Opera omnia of Giovanni Pico. Du Bois sent a copy of his edn. of the Epistolae to the important Lyonese humanist, Symphorien Champier, as we know from the accompanying letter written in Dec. 1517 and published in Champier's Duellum epistolare (Venice, 1519), sigs. i iiiiv–iiii + 2. (25) Illustrium virorum epistolae (Paris, 1520), fos. CLXXIIv–CLXXIII. (26) Illustrium virorum epistolae, fos. CLXXXJI–CLXXXIII. (27) Ibid., fo. CLXXVII; on occasion, Du Bois baldly states that Pico is ‘pretending’ to oppose the ‘orators’ (e.g. fo. CLXXXIIv). (28) ‘Pici verba aliud indicare videntur ductum eius non capientibus; aliud Pico, Barbaro, et caeteris qui capiunt’ (ibid., fo. CLXXXVI). (29) There is an account of John Mair's career and a list of his published works in J. K. Farge, Biographical Register of Paris Doctors of Theology (Toronto, 1980); see also, J. Durkan, ‘John Major: After 400 Years’ and the bibliography following, Innes Review, 1 (1950), 131–57. (30) For a lucid desciption of quaestio method, its history, and all the technicalities of late medieval logic, see J. Marenbon, Later Medieval Philosophy (1150–1350): An Introduction (London and New York, 1987), to be supplemented by relevant pages in N. Kretzmann, A. Kenny, and J. Pinborg (eds.), The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy. From the Rediscovery of Aristotle to the Disintegration of Scholasticism, 1100–1600 (Cambridge, 1982) and, with particular reference to quaestio method and terminology, by O. Weijers, ‘L’Enseignement du trivium à la Faculté des arts de Paris: La Questio’ in J. Hamesse (ed.), Manuels, programmes de cours et techniques d’enseignement dans les universités médiévales (Louvain-la-Neuve, 1994), 57–74 The course of studies at the Faculty of Theology, within which Mair's lectures on the Sentences and the disputations they presuppose had a place, is described in J. K. Farge, Orthodoxy and Reform in Early Reformation France: The Faculty of Theology of Paris, 1500–1543 (Leiden, 1985), 16–28.

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Composition (31) ‘Satis erit more patrum et neothericorum nostrae professions omne illud quod venit in mentem memoria dignum sub verbis theosophiae primo occurrentibus raptim committere calamo, nee fucato-rum verborum indiga est theologia. Domus marmorea superficietenus non quaerit dealbari, ymo sidealbetur nitorem amittit. Et terminos peculiares quaelibet scientia sibi vendicat. Nostros viros quos barbaros appellitant in venere dicendi non illepidus Iohannes Picus legere et adamussim relegere non erubuit quorum partes contra Hermolaum Barbarum (ut in quadam eius epistola tibi peculiari liquet) elaborat tueri’, letter to Alexander Stewart, archbishop of St Andrews, dated Montaigu 1508, at the beginning of Quartus sententiarum lohannis Maioris (Paris: P. Pigouchet for J. Grangeon, 1509); I have used a reprint of this version of Mair's book iv (Paris: J. Barbier for J. Petit, J. Le Grand, & P. Le Preux, 1512). For the ‘marble house’ in Pico, see Garin, Prosatori, 816, and for Pico's self-confessed familiarity with scholastic philosophers, ibid 806. The ‘marble house’ is one of the few textual echoes of Pico's letter in Cortesi's prologue to his commentary on the Sentences, but I have as yet found no reference to Cortesi in Mair. (32) In quartum Sententiarum quaestiones (Paris: J. Bade, 1516), unlike its predecessor, is in Roman type. (33) I paraphrase the passage from Bade's reprint of his 1516 edn., In quartum Sententiarum quaestiones (Paris: J. Bade, 1519, sig. a iiv). (34) For the Oxford invasion, see B. Lawn The Rise and Decline of the Scholastic ‘Quaestio disputata’ (Leiden, 1993); in 1491, Poliziano had given a public introductory lecture to a course on dialectic at Florence in which he contrasts his own use of Greek commentaries on the Greek text of Aristotle (very much as advocated and practised by Ermolao Barbaro) with the lamentable prevalence of works by the British: Walter Burley, Herveius Natalis (a Breton!), William Ockham, William Heytesbury, and Ralph Strode (Praelectio de dialectica in Polmano, Opera (Basle, 1553), 529). (35) The objection and the reply to the objection are at Quaestiones in Sententiarum quartum (Paris, 1512, a reprint of the 1st, 1509, edn.), fo. ii–iiv; the text of the 2nd edn. is virtually the same, In quartum Sententiarum quaestiones (Paris: J. Bade. 1516), fo. Iv. Slightly later in his discussion of questions arising from the prologue to book iv, Mair proves by reason and example that (apart from opinions officially sanctioned by the Church) later experts are to be considered more reliable than earlier ones; as his main analogy, he adduces the progress made in book production from writing on palm leaves (papyrus), through wax and paper, and now to the printing press invented by the Germans (1512 edn., fo. vi), an invention of which Mair made full use. (36) Quaestiones in Sententiarum quartum (1512), fo. iiv. (37) In quartum Sententiarum quaestiones (1516), fos. I and II. Page 33 of 36

Composition (38) ‘Quando Augustinus et Hieronimus contradicunt inter se, videndum est quis rationabilius dicit, et ille est imitandus’ (Quaestiones in Sententiarum quartum (1512), fo. iiii); cf. the 1516 edn.: ‘Quilibet liber debet opinionem rationabiliorem sequi…ubi plus rationis est, illud potius est sequendum, nisi auctoritas irrefragabilis opposita ostendat non esse rationem sed sophisma’ (fo. IIv). (39) 1512 edn., fo. vi–viv; 1516 edn., fo. III–IIIv. (40) In primum Sententiarum (Paris: H. Estienne for J. Bade, J. Petit & C. Le Liévre, 1510). The preface is dated 1509; the imaginary dialogue (sig. av) is between David Cranston, one of Mair's Scottish pupils at Montaigu, and Gavin Douglas, dean of St Giles in Edinburgh. (41) For the passages Mair quotes from Valla, see Valla, Repastinatio, i. 6,175,177. (42) Valla merely overheard ‘inter disputantes aliqua communia extra suam professionem’ (In primum Sententiarum (Paris, 1510), fo. lxxxviiiv). The relevant passage in Valla is at Repastinatio, i. 150, where Valla refers to Aristotle's concept of number and the distinction Aristotle makes between numeri numerati and numeri numerantes (Physics, 4.11. 219b), a topic to which Mair is led by Peter Lombard on the Trinity. Valla's ‘correction’ of Aristotle is essentially a verbal clarification (we do not count numbers, we count things); Mair's interpretation of Aristotle at this point is philosophically more sophisticated, but it depends on the procedure known as ‘supposition’ and familiarity with the technical idiom of scholastic Latin. (43) In primum Magistri Sententiarum disputationes et decisiones nuper repositae (Paris: J. Bade for himself and J. Petit, 1530); In secundum Sententiarum disputationes theologicae (Paris: J. Bade for him self and J. Petit, 1528), a revision of Mair's commentary published by Bade in 1510; In tertium Sententiarum disputationes theologicae (Paris: J. Bade for himself and J. Petit, 1528), a revision of Mair's commentary published at Paris by Jean Grangeon in 1513.

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Composition (44) The modern university teacher warms considerably to Mair (as not always to the more acrimonious humanists!). The letter to Eck is at In primum Magistri Sententiarum disputationes (1530), sig. A iv. Mair's revised edn. of book ii has a prefatory letter that follows the same lines, all the more interesting because it is addressed to Noël Béda and Pierre Tempête, leading figures at the Faculty of Theology. In that letter, written in 1528, Mair chose to represent the Faculty's policy of encouraging biblical studies in a rather more favourable light, describing it as a positive result of the evils of Luther's heresy. Also welcome to Mair at that time were changes in students’ expectations as concerns courses in theology. Two hundred years ago, they had wanted a syllabus that built on their previous study, and so theology was required to include physics, metaphysics, and mathematics. Now, the turn to biblical exegesis has put paid to all that Accordingly, Mair's new commentary on book ii has erased what contemporaries find uncongenial and has accommodated to present requirements (In secundum Sententiarum disputationes (1528), sig. Aa ii). Mair's new commentary clearly reflects the Faculty's perception that it must adjust to changing times. By the closing years of the 1520s, under Béda's aggressive leadership, the Faculty was fighting political battles against the incursion of Lutheranism and against the humanists’ bid, promoted very effectively by Guillaume Bude, to establish themselves a power base within the institutions of higher education. In 1530, François I appointed the first lecteurs royaux, vanguard of established professors appointed to teach the humanists’ preferred disciplines (notably the linguistic disciplines, Greek, Hebrew, and humanist Latin) at a level of prestige equal to that of the advanced studies hitherto the prerogative of the Faculty of Theology and in direct competition with them. The hardening of Mair's position in 1530 may well be connected with this and with discussions under way that year that eventually, in 1536, and despite considerable prevarication on the part of the Faculty, resulted in the establishment of a regular programme of four lectures a day on the Bible, held at the Sorbonne and at the College de Navarre. In 1529, Mair himself had responded constructively to the need to challenge the Reformers on their own ground of scripture interpretation with his In quatuor evangelia expositiones luculentae et disquisitiones et disputationes contra haeriticos plurimae. for the context of these developments as they relate to the establishment of the lecteurs royaux that heralded the foundation of the College Royal, see M. Fumaroli (ed.), Les Origines du Collège de France (Paris, 1998); and, with very interesting documentation, J. K. Farge, Le Parti conservateur au XVIe siècle: Universite et Parlement de Paris à l’époque de la Réforme (Paris, 1992), 36–42,117–31. (45) In primum Magistri Sententiarum disputationes (1530), fos. I–V.

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Composition (46) An account of the history of the two Latin works and a full description of all the MSS in which they survive are to be found in Libri de nativitate Mariae, 2 vols., Corpus Christianorum, Series Apocryphorum, 9 (Pseudo-Matthaei evangdium), ed. J. Gijsel, and 10 (Libellus de nativitate sanctae Mariae), ed. R. Beyers (Turnhout, 1997). (47) The Latin text is to be found ibid., Libellus, 93. (48) Quaestiones in Sententiarum quartum (1512), fo. clxii–clxiiv. The doggerel mnemonic in the Golden LegencDists Ann's daughters, their fathers, their husbands, and their children as follows: ‘Anna solet dici tres concepisse Marias, | Quas genuere viri Ioachim, Cleophas, Salomeque. I Has duxere viri Ioseph, Alphaeus, Zebedoeus. I Prima park Christum, Iacobum secunda minorem,IEt Ioseph iustum peperit cum Simone, Iudam, |Tertia maiorem Iacobum, volucremque Iohannem.’ (Jacques de Voragine, La légende dorée, 2 vols. (Paris, 1967), ii. 173). Mantuan's expansion of the same information into hexameters couched in a Latin more palatable to humanists forms the last twelve lines but four of the first book of his Parthenice mariana, first published in 1481 and very well known north of the Alps. (49) In quartum Sententiarum quaestiones (1516), fo. CCLXVI.

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Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

Paris Ann Moss


Abstract and Keywords This chapter discusses the intellectual exchanges of theology and logic in Paris, a European city that was said to be the long-established centre of intellectual life in northern Europe. The chapter focuses on isolated incidents in the intellectual history of the city, including three major works of synthesis created by Renaudet, de La Garanderie, and Rummel. Keywords:   theology, logic, Paris, centre of intellectual life, Renaudet, de La Garanderie, Rummel

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Paris ‘KNOWLEDGE IS ALTOGETHER twofold: knowledge of things and knowledge of words…As things are only known through verbal signs, anyone who is not skilled in the power of language will of necessity everywhere misjudge things.’ It was from these words at the beginning of Erasmus’ De ratione studii, published first in 1512, that we embarked on our investigation of reference books and manuals from which humanists and their pupils constructed their reinvented classical Latin. To such dictionaries of words and phrases Erasmus himself contributed abundantly, in his successively augmented Adages, in his collection of similitudes, Parabolae sive similia (1514), above all in his De duplici copia verborum ac rerum (1512) whose first publisher was Josse Bade at Paris. Erasmus, like other humanists, had adopted the distinction between verba (words) and res (things) that is inscribed in the classical rhetoric from which the reinventors of classical Latin took their theoretical models of composition. True and effective plenitude of discourse will be marked by subject matter of substance (res) articulated in appropriate, expressive utterance (verba). Only if words are adequate will things be truly known. This rhetorical understanding of the relationship between words and things is not that of Aristotle, for whom ‘words spoken are symbols [or signs] of affections in the soul [mental impressions or experiences]’.1 Aristotle and the scholastic philosophers who so systematically elaborated his ideas envisage a mental language of concepts that intervenes between the thing perceived and the word that signifies. The object of the formal logic of the scholastics is mental language or, rather, words arranged into propositions testable for truth under very stringent conditions. The rhetorical interconnection of ‘words’ and ‘things’ adopted by humanists is much more loosely defined, but for Erasmus, for example, words are clearly signs of things, and ‘things’ do include mental concepts or events through which perception of things is mediated: notions, images, feelings, acts of will, and so on (all subsumed, like objects in the world outside the mind, under res). Yet, our investigation of dictionaries and phrase-books has demonstrated that the object of the earlier humanists’ inquiry into language was not, or not typically, the mental language of concepts examined in logic. Words, not propositions, were their quarry, and that was because language acquisition was their focus, based on assembled examples of usage. This tended to promote exploration of the meaning of words in use and to diminish (though not entirely abolish) the medieval (p.90) philosophers’ stress on their formation into testable propositions. Early sixteenth-century humanists were unanimous in their antagonism to the ‘barbarous’ Latin of late medieval philosophy, but in the excitement of their enterprise of recovery and reappropriation of the classical tongue, in their delighted possession and manipulation of a verbal instrument that sang so beautifully, they were not inclined to analyse the theoretical implications of their methodology.2 Yet, even a cursory analysis of the language resources they compiled and exploited suggests that relations between words and ‘things’ were being modified, complicated, and extended.

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Paris First, the Latin words of the humanists were culturally freighted, a fact on which their dictionaries and phrase-books insisted by exemplifying usage in exact quotation. Along with their Latin words, the humanists’ pupils absorbed the ‘things’ of a historically located, well documented, yet fundamentally alien culture they were taught to admire, respect, and imitate. Language did more than symbolize things: it was potentially and, in many instances, actually, a medium of radical intellectual and cultural change. Secondly, Latin language acquisition was ceasing to be a preliminary and soon concluded stage in education. Continued reading continued exploration of the ways words were used and could properly be used. ‘Things’ came to mind because words produced them, and the perception of ‘things’ was at least nuanced by the words that conjured them and by the context in which those words were read. The linguistic symbolization of the world of ‘things’ might even take on a sort of autonomy, best glimpsed in the proliferating metaphors that were part of the need to adapt classical Latin to modern circumstances and that possibly reconceived those circumstances in the process of rewording them. At the very least, some measure of reversal became feasible in the one-way direction implicit in Aristotle's move from external objects to mental events to words. Thirdly, as Erasmus insisted, skill in the power of words entailed the capacity to judge things, and, as linguistic horizons changed, so too would evaluative perspectives on things be adjusted, altered, even ‘rectified’. Words, after all, remained arbiters of truth. Nowhere were linguistically conditioned judgements likely to come into conflict more starkly than in areas where the opposing Latin speech communities, classicizing humanists and late medieval scholastics, each claimed a monopoly on truth. When each claimed there was only one way to speak the truth, one language to use, and insisted on the unique validity of their separate verbal universes, they invariably ended up speaking past each other, failing to engage debate because they had no common idiom.3 In the early sixteenth century, the disciplines that traditionally dealt in truth were logic and theology. It is with these two areas that Part II (p.91) of this book will be concerned, pinpointing representative exchanges in two of the most significant university communities active at the time, Paris and Leipzig, one the long-established centre of intellectual life in northern Europe, the other more on the edge of things, and that perhaps a cutting edge. We return first to Paris.4

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Paris A student guide to the University of Paris published in 1517, Robert Goulet's Compendium de multiplici universitatis parisiensis magnificentia and its supplements, named the two men considered to be the best logic teachers active at the time: John Mair and Jacques Lefèvre d’Etaples (Jacobus Faber Stapulensis, c.1460–1536).5 Before Mair had started to publish his commentaries on Peter Lombard in 1509, he had written numerous works on logic reflecting exactly the courses he taught to students following the arts curriculum at Montaigu. Their titles alone make clear that their linguistic affiliation, as well as that of the subjects they covered, was to the formal logic developed by the scholastics. Among them were a manual on exponibilia in 1499, one on praedicabilia and one on insolubilia in 1500, one on termini in 1501, one on propositions and one on sillogismi in 1502, and one on obligationes the following year. The logic texts Mair edited or annotated were the fourteenth-century Summulae of Peter of Spain (1505), which was the basic logic textbook in use in the Arts Faculty, the slightly later Summulae of Jean Buridan (1504), and the logic course of his own teacher, Jerónimo Pardo (1505).6 In his later career, Mair devoted himself primarily, though not exclusively, to the Sentences. The works on logic by Lefèvre d’Etaples were moving in a rather different direction. In 1496, he published a work on supposition, predicables, divisions, predicaments, obligationes, insolubles, and the other constituents of the logic course, with the title Artificiales introductiones in logicam (Paris: G. Marchand). Under various titles and with various additions and revisions, this work was to be published regularly for about fifty years, supplying logic courses in the Arts Faculty well after the language and methodology of Mair's textbooks had made them unsellable in the later 1520s.7 Its virtues were twofold. Lefèvre's own very basic (p.92) manual consisted of short definitions of the traditional material of formal logic and rules for applying it to formulate and analyse propositions and to construct arguments. Appended to these were long commentaries written by Lefèvre's close collaborator, Josse Clichtove (Clichtoveus, 1472–1543). They were more technical, but they were sparing in their use of the logicians’ more tortuous jargon and their Latin would not be opaque to students coming up from a humanist's grammar class. Lefèvre's contribution is purely pedagogical and aimed at pupils just starting the logic course. Clichtove's commentaries are much more sophisticated, do actually advance the subject, and were clearly meant for teachers and students at a higher level. Up to the mid-i540s, his In terminorum cognitionem introduction more rigorously technical in language and content, was very frequently printed with his commentaries on Lefèvre's elementary manual. Here we have evidence that traditional formal logic was being studied and pursued at Paris during the first half of the century on a scale large enough to keep these works in print. Students were learning its concepts and the necessary technical jargon, though at a rather rudimentary level if they kept solely to Lefèvre's rules and definitions.8

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Paris The Lefèvre-Clichtove partnership covered other subjects besides logic, notably Aristotle's ethics. It went on for years, clearly with a view to infiltrating the university system with new-style textbooks suitable for students at different levels of attainment and at the same time deliberately easing transition between the humanistic Latin of the grammar class and the technical language demanded by the more advanced arts curriculum. Clichtove was probably the most able, certainly the most prolific, Parisian doctor of theology of his generation. Lefèvre never took his doctorate in theology and taught solely at the level of advanced study within the Arts Faculty, as the range of his publications demonstrate, taking in physics, arithmetic, geometry, music, ethics, economics, and politics. He was not, however, a professional grammarian. He did not write on the grammarians’ authors or study their rhetoric, and his own Latin is clear and serviceable, but (p.93) would not have met the criteria of the more fastidious humanists. However, he did see himself as a champion of humanist Latin discourse, even, or especially, within the disciplines at present occupied by the enemy speech community, logic and theology. For Lefèvre does seem to accept that there were two forms of Latin currently in operation. In a preface to the jointly authored logic manual, he bewails the Gothic plague of barbarous Latinity that infects every part of present learning. Yet he is obliged to admit that terms such as suppositiones, ampliationes, restrictiones, appellationes, exponibilia, obligationes, are the common currency of contemporary logic. Such language is essentially the language of non-Latinists, of a foreign and vulgar culture (‘peregrinae vulgaresque litterae’), of Goths and Gauls (or, rather, Belgians’, as this Frenchman prefers to call them). Its object of reference is a spurious logic of sophisms, whereas the language properly adapted to inquiry into truth is the language of true Latinity. Nevertheless, regrettably, that barbarous language is in use, and Lefèvre concedes that those who teach from his present elementary manual may need to supplement it from others which give instruction in the matters he does not include and to deploy the specialized vocabulary of their discipline.9 In other words, formal logic in its entirety could not be entirely divorced from the Latin idiom that had been specific to it and had constituted both the object and the instrument of its analysis. A new language may require a new logic.

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Paris Or, possibly, an old logic put into new language. In 1503, with a magnificently impressive title-page to advertise it, there appeared Lefèvre's complete edition of Aristotle's Organon: Libri logicorum ad archetypos recogniti, cum novis ad litteram comentariis, Aristotle's works on logic, checked against the Greek originals, with a new word-by-word commentary. Here Lefèvre is working in the manner of Italian humanists, particularly Aristotle's translator into humanist Latin, Ermolao Barbaro, whom Lefèvre had met in Italy in 1492. His title-page marks the book as a very superior production compared with his previous manuals designed as new textbooks for old courses. It invites the students of Paris and all schools everywhere to return to the pure source of Aristotle's unadulterated text, to discard false guides and intermediaries. If they apply themselves to logic in a spirit of humility (modestia), resisting displays of selfindulgent cleverness, authentic learning cannot fail to be restored, and, with authentic learning, integrity of life and all virtue. The title-page certainly has the authentic humanist ring, although the text the students will find inside turns out to be the Latin version by Boethius that was traditionally used by scholastic logicians, now revised against the Greek (recently made widely accessible by the Aldine press in 1495) and with its lexis modified to approximate more closely to usage recommended by humanists. They would also (p.94) find an imaginary dialogue between Lefèvre and one of his supporters, Germain de Ganay, that cites Italian predecessors in order to give the work an excellent humanist pedigree and then homes in on the two incompatible idioms of Latin currently straining against each other so as to fracture the curricular structure of the university: Nowadays students emerge from the grammar class with refined and elegant linguistic habits and all prepared, like well managed land, to receive the good seed of philosophy; but they are immediately frightened away by the disgraceful barbarisms of logicians who are no logicians at all, and they either return with all the more pleasure to assiduous study of the grammarians, or, without having any idea about how to make proper distinctions between truth and falsehood, they flock to the law school.10

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Paris This dialogue, which dates from Lefèvre's partial edition of the Organon in 1501, confronts exactly the same issue that we have sensed elsewhere and met explicitly in John Mair's prefatory dialogue to his 1510 edition of his commentary on the first book of the Sentences. What Mair the theologian still felt able to brush aside in 1510, Lefèvre the logician and philosopher addresses by easing Aristotle's text into a Latin closer to the Latin approved by Valla. He also supplies a double commentary, one part of which is an ample paraphrase. In the paraphrase, there are no quaestiones to divert the student from the text and encourage him to quibble. There is no imposed schema running against the grain of Aristotle's own exposition. The stages of Aristotle's argument are marked by noting the definitions and divisions that constitute his own method of analysis, and his terms are explained by synonyms from normal classical Latin usage. So, when the Latin Aristotle in the De interpretatione says that words spoken are symbols (notae) of impressions (pas-siones) on the soul, Lefèvre explains notae as ‘signa, et quaedam expressiones, atque insinuationes’, and passiones as ‘conceptus notionesque’, which are either ‘things’ (res) themselves or images of things outside the mind. The paraphrase is admirably clear, but it is of the nature of grammar-class lectio, aimed at comprehension of a prior text, an explanation of what the author said, not primarily a criticism of it or a lesson in how to apply it. Such a reading equips the student very well with words, but less well with the instruments of argument. The other part of the commentary, the more tighdy formulated notae, provides a bridge back to familiar logic teaching, as it aligns the exposition of the Organon with the divisions, the diagrams, and some of the technical methodology of the curriculum textbooks. The principles of ratiocinative discourse are conserved, but the linguistic and logical ‘obscurities’ of the late medieval discipline, the suppositiones, the formulae for introducing quaestiones, and the syncategoremata, most expressly, are not. Fifteen years later, in 1518, we find Lefèvre engaged in argument. Our interest now will be in how he argued and how his opponents replied to him. On one side, we have Lefèvre, closely identified with humanist culture that is textcentred, historically informed, linguistically knowledgeable, sensitized to niceties of meaning, (p.95) and free-wheeling in its argumentative procedure. On the other, Noël Béda (Natalis Beda, c.1470–1537), doctor of theology, director of the Collège de Montaigu, associate of John Mair, syndic (from 1520) of the Faculty of Theology, supporter of the traditional methods of the Paris masters, and opponent of all grammarians who presumed to apply their professional expertise to interpreting the scriptures or undermining the discipline of the Church.11 The subject of their debate is whether the story of St Ann's three husbands and three daughters is true.

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Paris It was Lefèvre who started the debate. That it should be started at all, and that it should be continued so vigorously, is a sign of a major cultural shift. Only two years previously, John Mair, so committed to applying authority and reason as criteria for testing truth, had obviously thought that St Ann's story was not worth testing. It was part of the tradition, it did not offend, Mantuan had retold it in language to please any critic. For Lefèvre it did matter whether it was true. That it did so matter is symptomatic of a profound change in the collective mentality, though the controversy about St Ann must be seen as a very minor manifestation of that change. Lefèvre's own reasoned attack on her story was in fact published as an appendix to the second edition of his rather more notorious work which argued that three separate women in the Bible had been conflated to produce a single saint, Mary Magdalen.12 The St Ann episode is part of the critical scrutiny Lefèvre had been applying to the basic documents of religious belief ever since he had turned his attention to the Old Testament with the Quincuplex psalterium of 1509 and to the New Testament with his 1512 commentaries on the Epistles of St Paul. It is also closely related to critical endeavours being prosecuted by others with perhaps more sharpness and more vigour. In 1516, in his Novum Instrumentum and its annotations, Erasmus had applied his greater philological expertise to revise the Latin text of the New Testament against the Greek. Elsewhere too, in Germany in particular, the practices of popular piety were being undermined in the name of philological exactitude. Lefèvre's little book on St Ann flows with this critical current, but its methodology may also be used to demonstrate the effectiveness, or otherwise, of the analytical instruments of the humanist Latin community when they were employed as stratagems of proof in argumentative discourse. For the story of St Ann is essentially a narrative and Lefèvre reads it to some extent as a humanist grammarian would do, in terms of enarratio, locating it in a historical and linguistic environment, as well as in terms of emendatio, correcting it as if it were text. We shall see later how the Paris masters fought him on the ground he had chosen.

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Paris A factor of major importance is the way Lefèvre presents his series of arguments. The humanist, Cortesi, as we have observed, laid out his commentary on the (p.96) Sentences as continuous prose. Mair replicated the quaestiones conclusiones objections, and replies of formal disputation. Lefèvre couches his treatise in clear, correct, non-technical Latin that has no pretensions to be pure Ciceronian, in continuous prose without paragraph breaks. Connections and subordinations within and between sentences are marked grammatically and syntactically as in classical Latin. Nevertheless, it is clear that Lefèvre has grouped his points with care (as would be entirely consistent with the methodology of definitions and precepts into which he had subdivided material for pedagogical purposes in his teaching manuals). There are paragraph marks inserted in the text to indicate stages of argument, and these are numbered consecutively in the margin. Moreover, the disputational procedure of objection and reply is still the pattern for dealing with counterarguments. The way it is phrased attempts to dress it up politely as an intelligent conversation between author and reader: ‘You may ask’ (‘At forte dices’)…‘To which I shall reply’ (‘Ad hoc respondebimus’), a verbal relaxation of the rigid schema of the Paris masters, but not an innovative substitute for it.13 Lefèvre disputes the veracity of the traditional narrative of St Ann on two counts. He claims that she had one husband (Joachim), not three, and one daughter, not three. What he is attacking is a received idea, a story with textual support, but not manifest in a canonical text. In order to remedy the lack of a firm base-text for his own position, Lefèvre introduces a proxy one very early in his treatise, an anonymous and undated ‘little book’ (libellus) to which he refers as Apologeticus pro Anna.14 This is almost certainly the Defensorium Annae (given a title of slightly more respectable Latinity), written in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century by a Dominican, John of Freiburg (d. 1314).15 It is a short tract, written in the non-classical Latin idiom of its time, but it does not follow the argumentative procedure of the late medieval theologians nor does it use their technical language. It proves its points largely by reference to authoritative texts and numerical calculations, articulated in linear fashion in a clear expository manner. Lefèvre uses this text as a spring-board for his attack on contemporary belief and practice with regard to St Ann, both to prove that his own views are not outrageously novel and to demonstrate that, contrary to the previous author, he himself gives support to the unique status of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He can manipulate the prior text in (p.97) this double fashion because he agrees with its author's contention that St Ann had only one husband, but disagrees with his opinion that St Ann had two daughters, the Virgin and a second Mary, the wife of Cleophas. Lefèvre the humanist here engages constructively with a prior text in medieval Latin, but the specificities of his own discourse and its postulates are thrown into interesting relief.

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Paris Both tracts have their authoritative texts, and they are largely the same. Neither dispute the authenticity of the generally accepted account of the events surrounding the birth of the Blessed Virgin, and Lefèvre, in particular, quotes sporadically from the Libellus de nativitate sanctae Mariae, which he calls Historia Annae, as a standard of decorum for the behaviour of his personages against which to measure deviations implicit in the apocryphal tale he is refuting. His trust in the Libellus is clearly unaffected by the magisterial edition of the works of St Jerome published by Froben in 1516, where it is printed in its usual place as an appendix to certain letters. Erasmus was responsible for the volume in which these letters appear, and he rates them among spurious works not worth reading. Whether this blanket condemnation is to cover the Libellus is deliberately left somewhat vague.16 Chief among other authoritative texts, for both John of Freiburg and Lefèvre, are the Bible and the early historians, Josephus, Hegesippus, and Eusebius. As far as the Bible is concerned, what Lefèvre can do, and John could not do, is to use his knowledge of Greek grammar and Greek orthography to make clear, for example, that ‘Salome’ cannot be used as a man's name (much the less the name of St Ann's third husband as the apocryphal story had it). Lefèvre is thus able to confirm, with better founded conviction, that ‘ignorance of languages’ (‘ignorantia linguarum’) lies behind ignorance of facts.17 The use of historians, particularly the reliance on the testimony of the early Christian historians, Hegesippus, largely as recorded by Eusebius, and Eusebius himself, is common to John and to Lefèvre, although Lefèvre quotes them more extensively. Moreover, the reason they both give for preferring the witness of these writers over later authors, however eminent, is exactly the same: they are historically prior and nearer in time to the events they record. Lefèvre's estimate of historical reliability and his criteria for it do not differ from those of his late thirteenth-century antecedent.18

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Paris As well as founding their arguments on authoritative texts, both authors found them on reason. Both rely a great deal on the incontrovertible evidence of basic arithmetic computing the relative ages of people in St Ann's nuclear family and (p.98) demonstrating the natural and logical impossibility of her extended one. Neither author expresses such arguments in terms of strict syllogism, but Lefèvre, especially, draws abundantly on less rigid argumentative stratagems. He uses argument from etymology: ‘Ann’ means ‘grace’, and that supports his contention that the Virgin, completely full of grace, was her only daughter (fo. 70v). He uses argument from analogy and comparison: other offspring in the Bible were divinely foretold and the parents in question never had a second child, Joachim and Ann were much more specially blessed than them, therefore (‘igitur’) it is not appropriate to hold fnon credi debet’) that Joachim and Ann had more progeny (fo. 69v). The argument from comparison merges with argument from biblical typology: the Virgin Mary is the antitype of Eve, Eve was created a single daughter of God through Adam (fo. 70v). To establish the full force of this argument, Lefèvre moves into a series of parallels and contrasts between Eve and the Virgin, reinforced by repetition and alliteration. The strongly rhetorical character of this mode of argument is also apparent in an extended meditation on a verse from the Song of Songs (6: 9): ‘My dove, my undefiled, is but one; she is the only one of her mother’. Not only does Lefèvre apply allegorical readings of this passage to the Virgin, but his language is invested with the hallmarks of the stylistic craftsmanship that humanists required of eloquence (fos. 70v–71v). This is rhetoric embroidering on a web of loose deductions from conventional premisses within a commonly accepted range of topics suitable to a particular subject. It is, in effect, epideictic rhetoric, the rhetoric of praise, and many a humanist sermon was formulated from its repertoire of stratagems for proving the case that someone or some thing is worthy of praise.

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Paris There is, however, a further element in the humanist rhetoric that structures Lefèvre's discourse of argument, and that is ethical decorum. Rhetorical arguments that were based on the ethos of characters made plausible inferences from premisses based on consistency of behaviour, or, in the specific case of epideictic rhetoric, allotted praise and blame in accordance with how far a person's conduct matched the qualities ascribed to virtues and vices. Lefèvre was much versed in ethical distinctions, which he and Clichtove had codified and exemplified in an Introductio to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics that figured among their most popular textbooks.19 In his book on St Ann, he frequently argues from what was appropriate to her, as an older woman, as a virtuous widow, and from what was appropriate circumstance for her daughter, conceived without sin and therefore necessarily untainted by any hint of concupiscence in her mother or degraded from her unique privilege by the presence of siblings (fos. 66v–69v). Once again, this form of reasoning, derived from rhetorical theory, is amplified and ornamented (p.99) with the language of rhetoric, in particular a succession of ‘rhetorical questions’: ‘nonne’…‘nonne’…‘nonne’ (is it not the case that?). John of Freiburg had produced a (for him) subsidiary argument to the effect that to make Ann so keen to take two other husbands, as the ‘made-up story’ does ‘without evidence of reason or constraint of authority’, is to contradict what was appropriate (‘decuit’). His language, however, kept well within the bounds of sober prose, and was grounded on technical distinctions and parallels that relate it to the exact science of theology rather than the probabilistic art of persuasion.20 He did suggest that if St Ann's chaste widowhood is maintained it is an example to all widows, but in Lefèvre's book that point becomes another instance for persuasive interaction with an implied readership. Lefèvre says that the apocryphal story provides an excuse for incontinent widows to cite, but his corrected version of events works as a strong argument for conversion to the truly Christian conduct prescribed for older widows that we can read in the true language of St Paul (fo. 86–86v). Lefèvre's reconstitution of the ethical truth about St Ann matches the truth of scripture, and he reinforces that truth for the edification of the people by means of an exhortatory rhetoric of the kind the humanists’ pupils would learn in parallel with the classical Latin that phrases it.

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Paris Lefèvre's discussion of St Ann is shadowed by a plurality of implied readers or listeners. Rather more than 200 years previously, the Defensorium Annae had implicitly located its readership solely within its own literate community of linguistically homogeneous Latin users. Lefèvre talks as one blessed with time for lettered pursuits, a peculiarly classical otium literarium that privileges intellectuals within the Church to inquire after truth and establish it.21 His examination of the legend of St Ann is an enterprise proper to the lettered and it is one to be conducted in writing. It is not a subject to be debated by the uneducated masses or judged by immediate oral response.22 Yet, in a way that John of Freiburg could not imagine, Lefèvre is consciously positioning his book within a linguistic spectrum. First, there is a vernacular readership beyond the precincts of Lefèvre's Latin. His book is dedicated to Francois Du Moulin, a Franciscan who wrote in French and was an intimate of the royal circle. Immediately after its publication, Du Moulin paraphrased Lefèvre's tract on St Ann in his own Petit livret faict à l’honneur de Madame Saincte Anne, designed to parallel Lefèvre's book for an audience which did not have Latin, but could read his French or hear it read. His specific purpose was to defend and promote Lefèvre with the king's politically influential (p.100) mother, Louise de Savoie, and so to give Lefèvre's ideas legitimacy at court.23 This little book, unlike Lefèvre's printed volume, logs onto the contemporary, largely aristocratic, audience for manuscripts, and it utilizes another language in which manuscripts specialized: the language of pictorial illustration.24

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Paris More germane to our immediate interests, Lefèvre is from time to time concerned to demonstrate that the supporters of much-married Ann had couched their false ideas in bad Latin. Not only did they not know that ‘Salome’ is a woman's name, but in their eagerness to foist a third husband of some such appellation on St Ann they have derived from ‘Salome’ the totally unattested form ‘Salomas’. The mechanics of such a derivation is the one by which late medieval Latin derived non-classical forms. Moreover, Lefèvre finds his example of ‘Salomas’ in a rhyming stanza from a rhythmical hymn that demonstrates the ‘deviant’ Latin in which such false ideas were enunciated (fo. 65v). To replace such concoctions, ‘ficta, falsa, ridicula’, Lefèvre pleads for new or, at least, revised hymns and sequences, devised to fill the ‘untaught ears of the masses’ with truth, not falsehood (and coincidentally no doubt with more ‘authentic’ language respecting classical metres).25 So, by feeding into different language communities, the French of the non-Latinate aristocracy and the late medieval Latin of the liturgy, Lefèvre extends the influence of his ideas to practical effect in areas beyond the implied reading circle of his text. Nevertheless, the canonical expression, as it were, of these ideas remains his humanist Latin original with its idiom-specific strategies for persuasion. For readers of his Latin, Lefèvre further refines language difference. He claims that the only textual evidence produced by supporters of thrice-married Ann is the mnemonic verse that John Mair had also quoted from the Golden Legend in his first version of his commentary on the fourth book of the Sentences in 1509. When Mair silently dropped this quotation in his 1516 revision, (p.101) he passed no comment on its Latin. For Lefèvre, however, the same lines are ‘rough hewn by some ignoramus (though he might have been learned in his own time)’, they are unskilled Cimperita’), halting (‘hiulca’). Criticism of faults of language and style is not separable from criticism of faulty content. What, though, of the same ideas expressed in the elegant and correct Latinity of Mantuan? Lefèvre gives them no credence for all that, but allows that poets may repeat oft-repeated hearsay or talk their own idiom. The idiom of poets, as any humanist schoolboy would know from Cicero and Horace, is fiction, not fact.26

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Paris In the climate of 1518, with traditional religious certainties being assailed from so many quarters, Lefèvre's treatment of St Ann had to be addressed as part of a general policy adopted by the conservatives to let no attacks on their positions go unresisted. Yet, if truth was at stake, so was language. The effectiveness of the verbal instruments whereby St Ann's extended family was to be alternately attacked and defended, the verba of language and argument, was being tested every bit as much as the res of concept and doctrine. Lefèvre's collaborator, Josse Clichtove, came to the support of his book on Mary Magdalen, and its case that three Maries had been subsumed under that single name, in a way that corresponded to the commentaries he had previously appended to Lefèvre's textbooks on the advanced arts course. He took Lefèvre's arguments on board and transported them back to the traditional Latin idiom of the faculty, in this case, the Faculty of Theology. He does not compromise Lefèvre's ideas, but he inserts them into the conceptual universe of the Paris masters, verbally negotiating space for them within the distinctions that mapped that universe. So he distinguishes between the status of matters of faith and matters of fact, of authority and reason, of authority quo and quod (authoritative enunciator and authoritative enunciated), customary use, and magisterium. This conceptual manoeuvre engineered by words entails a linguistic accommodation that puts Clichtove's Latin outside the Latin of the humanist speech community to which Lefèvre’s, however unsophisticated, transparently belongs.27 Eventually, after 1520, Clichtove and Lefèvre were to part company in respect of their religious views as well as their language. Clichtove went overtly to the defence of the faculty. Lefèvre, following the prompting of the linguistic pluralism that he had first acquired from his excursions into Greek and afterwards in (p.102) his exploration of the writings of medieval mystics, devoted himself to translating the scriptures into French. We can only speculate how far linguistic pluralism affected his religious opinions, but, not unlike other polylinguists of the period, he refused to join a party.

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Paris If Clichtove bent Lefèvre's Latin to the Latin of the Paris theologians, Cornelius Agrippa (1486–1535) was to bend it more forcibly to a peculiarly humanist rhetoric of mockery and invective. In 1534, he belatedly published a defence of Lefèvre's views on St Ann that he had pronounced fifteen years earlier at Metz in a controversy with the Dominicans there.28 It is not possible to tell how much he had altered it for publication, but, as it stands, it attacks Agrippa's opponents primarily by rubbishing their Latin idiom and its logical stratagems. He can talk their language and manipulate their dialectic, but his purpose is parody. His dismissive ridicule denigrates scholastic Latin to such an extent that it is emptied of all meaning and his opponents are left speechless. His Dominicans are demolished with rhetorical panache, but there cannot be real debate where one side is linguistically disempowered. That, however, was perhaps at another time and certainly in another place. In the years between 1518 and 1523 in Paris, humanist Latin and late medieval Latin were equally voluble. Whether these colliding linguistic universes communicated with each other enough for meaningful debate can only be decided by exploring further the microcosm that was the controversy about Lefèvre's St Ann. On the other side of this little world in the years between 1518 and 1523, entirely opposed to Lefèvre and his supporters, were Noël Béda and Pierre Cousturier, both noted for their antagonism to humanists and religious reformers alike. Béda (Natalis Beda, c.1470–1537), collèague of lohn Mair, was director of the Collège de Montaigu, of which he was principal between 1504 and 1514. From his appointment as syndic of the Faculty of Theology in 1520, he defended the religious status quo with all the considerable political pressure that the faculty could exert. He replied very quickly to Lefèvre's tract on St Ann, as he had done to Lefèvre's Magdalen book only shortly before. Clearly he thought that the man and his message posed a general threat of major proportions to the stability of Church order, faith, and morals, a threat deliberately disguised by Lefèvre as a focused debate on a specific issue. Béda brooked no compromise. Concomitantly, the language he adopted made no concessions to the speech of his adversaries. He published his Apologia pro filiabus et nepotibus beatae Annae…contra Magistri Iacobi Fabri scriptum in 1520 with Josse Bade. The insistence on Lefèvre's inferior title, master of arts, is significant, and there will be further references to Lefèvre's temerity in meddling in matters outside his professional competence. Significant also is Béda's choice of publisher. In the history of Bade's editions of documents concerning St Ann, it is possible to see him adjusting his business to the new, uncompromising (p.103) climate of ideas. He whose publications had nurtured both Latin language communities now finds that he can no longer give a voice to both, and chooses the conservative party of his religious, not his linguistic, preference.

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Paris Béda's own linguistic preference is emphatically for the usage current within the Paris Faculty of Theology. There is a world of difference between his Latin and Lefèvre’s, even though Béda rarely uses the precise professional language of contemporary logic. Even so, the lay-out of his argument immediately nullifies the rhetorically manipulative effect of Lefèvre's apparently loosely managed prose. Béda's book carefully incorporates Lefèvre's points so as to refute them, but he dismembers Lefèvre's text and reconstitutes it to fit his own three-part schematic division, each part containing seven propositions that will carry the force of his attack on the position adopted by his opponent. Schematic text division (divisio textus) used as a mechanism to order the analysis and resolution of problems raised by a text had its origins in the methodology of late medieval scholastic philosophy. Employed in less rigorously intellectual contexts than the quaestio, numbered division became an artistically wrought structuring device and functioned as a mnemonic. It underlies the patterning of late medieval sermons into numerically parallel divisions as well as of numerically coordinated expositions of liturgical material, such as hymns. Béda's Latin belongs to that mode of exposition and that register of speech. It is much less technical than Mair's elaborations on the Sentences meant for students immersed in theology. Béda's implied recipients are the much larger number of (mostly, but not entirely, clerical) Latin readers who are neither theologically and logically expert nor trained to classical usage, much less wedded to it. They are likely to identify with Béda when he voices suspicion of ‘inquisitiveness’ (curiositas) and ‘individualism’ (singularitas) and does so in a Latin idiom that reinforces their sense of solidarity as members of a speech community that is perfectly selfsufficient, operates efficiently, and needs no reform (however poor it may seem to a humanist Latin speaker in terms of grammatical coordination and lexical decorum): ‘Curiositatis et singularitatis…inter caetera signa haec traduntur, scilicet aliorum communes fastidire doctrinas, et ad inventiones proprias aut non examinatas positiones converti; et solidos et tritos minus appreciari doctores; et gaudere etiam in talium impugnatione.’29

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Paris Béda has no linguistic flexibility. He has no Greek and does not refer to Greek documents except to dismiss out of hand the historians Eusebius and Hegesippus on whom Lefèvre had relied heavily. For him, the irrelevance of arguments from the Greek text of the New Testament is amply demonstrated by the blatantly contradictory readings he finds in the so-called experts, Lefèvre and Erasmus (fos. LXXXIXv–XCv). Béda's own historical authorities for confirming his thesis of three-times-married Ann are mostly much later. They include medieval historians like Vincent de Beauvais and more recent ones like Platina. They include John (p.104) Mair in his commentaries, as well as contemporary narratives, eulogies, and poems that we shall examine later: a life of St Ann and related poems published by Bade, works by Trithemius and Mantuan (fos. LIXv–LXv). Béda is oblivious of certain distinctions that are axiomatic for humanists who had been trained to make them as part of their Latin language acquisition. He has no sense that writers nearer in time to the event described are likely to be more trustworthy. The minds of humanists honed on Valla's Elegantiae were framed to privilege certain kinds of writing because they were more authentic witnesses to what the Latin language was and should be. Because that ideal language was historically remote, they were used to making discriminations on a historical basis, rejecting the more recent and looking critically for their evidence in the past. Béda's world-view, like his Latin, assumes a synchronic universality that only meddling curiosity would call in question. Moreover, Béda's list of historians signals a very broad generic category. Historia will indeed continue throughout the sixteenth century to include ‘story’ (fables, legends, poems), but Béda's contemporaries reared on ancient rhetoric and poetic were already applying extensively a radical separation within historia between true and false history, between attested fact and poetic fiction. It is not that Béda is ignorant of such a distinction in theory. Referring to Lefèvre's condemnation of various hymns as ‘ficta, falsa, ridicula’, he recognizes, in tacit agreement with Cicero, that what is neither true nor truth-like is mere fable.30 But what he will label lying fable is pagan mythology and fictions like King Arthur. He is reluctant to submit religious writing to such definitions, wishing to retain anything that is conducive to popular piety, is not implausible, and can be accepted with moral certainty (fos. CIv, CVII–CVIIv).

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Paris Béda's argument rests primarily on two convictions: a largely implicit linguistic belief and an explicit ethical contention. His uncritical adhesion to the idiom of contemporary late medieval Latin and his sense that, like the documents written in it, it is perse a perfectly valid instrument for determining truth, surfaces in a discussion based on customary speech (consuetudo loquendi). St John's Gospel says that Mary Cleophas, Christ's mother's sister, was with her at the foot of the cross (19: 25). Lefèvre says that they were properly sisters-in-law, their husbands being brothers. Béda claims that Lefèvre, in reaching this conclusion, ignores the proper authorities (the interdependent late authorities Béda will cite later) and rests his case on reason, adducing as his only evidence consuetudo loquendi’. the fact that sisters-in-law customarily call each other ‘sister’.31 This brings Béda close to the notion of normative linguistic usage that was such a powerful factor in the humanists’ reconstruction of classical Latin, and there is no doubt that Béda knew where he was. So, how does he deal with consuetudo loquendi? Not by finding meaning in (p.105) use, but by analysing the circumstances of the utterance. The Maries would not in this instance have called each other ‘sister’, for they would be weeping in silence. So, if the utterance was not theirs, where should it be located? Would sisters-in-law be described as sisters in the language of official documents? Lefèvre should investigate the usage of the king's private secretaries or clerks to the Paris parliament, for it is their usage that will be closest to that of the very public document St John was writing, and they never confuse sisters and sisters-in-law. St John writes in the third person and uses language proper for describing in the third person a family relationship in which he is involved. He is not concerned with how the Maries customarily refer to their relationship with each other, for it is not their way of talking that he is relating, but his own narrative (fos. LVv–LVI). Béda has here unravelled quite effectively Lefèvre's argument from linguistic usage, but he has also made quite explicit that the criterion for usage he would employ is the Latin idiom of contemporary Paris clerks. Once again, it is clear that he inhabits a very different language universe from Lefèvre’s.

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Paris Béda's move from what is uttered to the circumstance of the utterance and the role of the one who utters is paralleled in the ethical objection he makes to Lefèvre's book. Lefèvre had made ethical decorum a strong premiss for adjusting the behaviour and relationships of the characters in his preferred version of St Ann's story. Béda is interested in Lefèvre's intentions in rewriting the narrative, and doing it so publicly and with so great a rhetorical zeal to persuade. He suspects his motivation, as well as rejecting his arguments. He brings in the problem of the discernment of spirits and makes it crucial, and in doing so displaces the ethical focus of Lefèvre's book from its narrative to its author. It is in response to Lefèvre's self-defence against those who may burn both book and author that Béda elaborates at great length on criteria for discerning spirits, criteria that make of caution and humility the moral qualities most desired in authors who venture into the sphere of doctrine and morals.32 They should look inward, examine themselves for sin, and distrust any speech of theirs not accompanied by signs of the Spirit, whose language of communication is a mental, non-verbal language. Lefèvre, in contrast, proclaims openly that he is committed to establishing objective truth, outside, in the minds of Christians clouded by error, and to total belief in his rhetorical language of persuasion. His ethical imperative is to utter publicly what he believes for good rational cause to be true: ‘Veritas et pietas me reddunt securum’.33

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Paris Béda had an ally in Pierre Cousturier (Petrus Sutor, c.1475–1537), another Paris doctor, but one who had entered the monastic life in 1511 and published his Disceptatio on St Ann's three marriages in 1523 from the relative seclusion of his Carthusian house.34 He claims that his work supports Béda's opinions, but was (p.106) written independently. Its organization is certainly different enough to confirm that it was. Cousturier says he read Lefèvre's book only when he was asked to debate its subject matter in a quaestio, and a quaestio is what we get, with Cousturier's two main propositiones confirmed by argument and authority, objections abstracted from Lefèvre's book, and replies to these objections. Lefèvre's much freer manner of exposition is thus converted to sophisticated scholastic procedures of ordered inquiry. Furthermore, within Lefèvre's diffuse arguments Cousturier discovers and lists a certain number of general headings: St Ann's multiple family contradicts reason, legal custom, and the practices current in her time; it is at variance with moral principle, with what is required of miracles, with biblical typology and prophecy; it offends the dignity of the Virgin and the honour of her mother; it disagrees with the Gospels. Cousturier proposes to use these heads to structure his own replies to Lefèvre's ‘objections’, and so introduce order where there was none. This is in itself a major statement about the gulf between the two sorts of discourse in conflict here and between the intellectual cultures they represent. Cousturier says that confused discourse is the product of a confused mind.35 He can only communicate purposefully with such a mind if he first rewrites Lefèvre's rhetorically motivated prose in the manner in which he himself thinks. This involves a sort of aggressive take-over, a translation of Lefèvre's language, an acculturation of the alien format of his book. There is no sense of a middle, common ground for argumentative discourse on which the writers may meet.

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Paris Cousturier concurs on many points with Béda, but his language is technically more precise. When Lefèvre, for example, translates ‘sisters’ into ‘sisters-in-law’, Cousturier rigorously applies a rule to the effect that the grammatical status of words in the Bible may not be changed, their literal sense not read ‘improperly’, that is, figuratively, save where reason or biblical authority compel. If any dabbler can arbitrarily adjust the sense of words of scripture to suit his purpose, the whole foundation of biblical authority crumbles (fos. iii, iiii–v). For this reason, the grammatical coherence of the Vulgate must not be disturbed in the interests of a ‘better’ Latin. Cousturier derives proofs from the grammar of the Vulgate, reinforced by the canonical glosses, by the ‘literal’ interpretation of Nicholas of Lyra, and by the ‘more mystical’ interpretation of Hugh of Saint Cher. He is totally and wilfully deaf to arguments from the Greek, not least because Greek manuscripts (p.107) differ and translators from the Greek disagree among themselves. Greek experts operate as individuals largely outside the academy, certainly outside the Faculty of Theology. There is no supervisory or regulatory mechanism, only a chaotic whirlpool, a vortex (‘turbo’) of linguistic variants. This verbal instability frightens Cousturier, as it would perhaps no longer have frightened to the same degree anyone brought up on humanist editions of classical texts with their notes of variant readings. Against it, Cousturier erects the immutable words of the Vulgate, and truth deduced by logic from ‘ipsae res’ (fos. liiii–lvi).36 Not only the words of the Vulgate Bible, but the senses in which they are customarily read must be protected. Lefèvre had elaborated with rhetorical copiousness on typological connections he perceived between Eve and the Virgin and on the ‘only dove of her mother’ in the Song of Songs. Reducing these to arguments from figure and from prophecy, Cousturier faults Lefèvre's unwarranted and purely arbitrary departure from the consensus of the interpreting authorities and from the rules governing typological analogies (fos. xxviiv–xxxiv). Eve is a type of Mary, but it cannot be inferred from Adam's production of Eve that he is a type of Ann (so proving Lefèvre's contention that Mary was Ann's only daughter by a special grace), because the mechanism of typology does not cross gender. Moreover, Lefèvre lets stylistic inventiveness lead him into doctrinal error: Eve was born of Adam by the will of God, but Mary by the will of God and the sexual union of her parents. In the case of the dove of the Song of Songs (6: 9), ‘the only one of her mother’ whom ‘the daughters saw and blessed, yea, the queens and the concubines and they praised her’, Cousturier points out that the word in the Vulgate is very precisely una, not unica. The text of the Vulgate permits no variants. Nor does it permit the sense Lefèvre would foist upon it, whether a historical or a mystical sense, because his interpretation does not cohere with subsequent verses in the text.

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Paris What we almost certainly have here is a clash of interpretative schemata, diverging as the Latin language communities diverge. Lefèvre invents an allegorical interpretation of the biblical verses according to a fairly free association of related ideas loosely woven together by a concatenation of repeated words and insistent questions that have a dramatically persuasive effect: Quae porro columba ilia tarn singularis, tarn unica, tarn perfecta, longo intervallo reginas coelestes, et eas omnes quae infra ipsas sunt, in regno exaltatissimo antecedit: nisi virgo ilia super mulieres omnes, non modo huius mundi, sed etiam coelestes benedicta, communis cum deo patre, filii dei parens, regina reginarum et plusquam regina, beata beatarum et (p. 108) plusquam beata, dei patris columba, dei patris perfecta, una matri suae Annae in illo regno summi amoris uni reginarum eminentissimae, electa genetrici suae?37 As allegorical interpretation merges into epideictic rhetoric, allegory becomes rhetoricized, a persuasive stratagem in itself, with more than exemplary function. We shall at a later point see how this occurs in allegorical interpretations of pagan texts being published at the same time as Lefèvre's rhapsody on the ‘only dove’. Even from the fourteenth century, it was customary to invent allegorical interpretations for pagan texts on the basis of verbal associations, but there was a well-understood difference between allegorizing pagan texts and reading the Bible allegorically. Cousturier is trying to hold to this difference, to prevent the manner of one interpreting community from infiltrating and subverting the other. It is incorrect, he says, to manufacture allegorical correspondences for every detail in a proposed comparison, as was often the case with the interpretation of pagan fables. That way, the notion of figura (or type) peculiar to scripture will be lost, for the subjects of comparison will be made identical, and the original text put in danger of being obliterated by the superimposed interpretation. This will demolish the argumentative force of figura, which, he claims, is in any case a very weak stratagem for proof, even though those who revel in making such associations are themselves much taken with it.38 The major difference, however, between allego-rization of pagan texts and the senses applied to the Bible is that the literal sense of the Bible is always true. The literal sense of pagan fable is always fiction. It follows that any ‘mystical’ sense applied to the Bible (in this case the Marian reading of the Song of Songs that had so influenced the liturgy) must cohere with the literal sense if it is to have the status of truth and so be used as proof in argument. Lefèvre's arbitrary reading of the ‘only dove’, developed in the manner suitable for reading pagan fictions, without regard for the established literal sense and supported by no authority, fails this test (fos. xxix–xxxiv).

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Paris Cousturier's arguments always have at least a veneer of logic and are often couched as syllogisms. He is quick to manoeuvre Lefèvre's points into a position where he can accuse them of dialectical fallacies. Collected under Cousturier's (p.109) head ‘legal custom’ (consuetudo legalis), is Lefèvre's contention that under Old Testament law older women did not remarry, a conclusion Lefèvre reaches because there is no documentary evidence that they did. Cousturier says his opponent here contradicts one of the most elementary rules of dialectic. The absence of testimony does not prove that something was not the case. It is, however, perfectly reasonable to hold that things not mentioned in scripture may have occurred.39 This latter form of argument, e silentio, was one to which before long proponents of tradition were to have excessive recourse, taking refuge in the very rickety redoubt of ‘why not?’ The minds of humanists had been inscribed with a very different notion about the presence or absence of authority, dating from their earliest training in language. For them, the fact that an approved authority does not use a word or linguistic form was proof positive that such words or forms should not be used. Cousturier's authorities are the same as Béda’s, nearly all late, and, except for St Jerome, all interdependent. They include Mantuan's Fasti and the Golden Legend and the hymn Lefèvre had quoted so disparagingly. Cousturier in turn points out that Lefèvre had not countered the propositions of even these minor authorities with reasoned argument, but had evaded the issue by sidelining them into poetry and hearsay or by ridiculing their idiom. Cousturier himself seems uninterested in discriminating between authorities on grounds of historical priority, language, genre, or anything else (fos. xviii–xxii). It is their recognized status as authorities that gives them authority, backed by a consensus in the Church derived from practice, reason, and weight of numbers (fo. xxxviv). On the question of the validity of authorities, absolutely crucial to both sides of the argument, there is no meeting of minds, no common language, and, indeed, the experience of language is completely different.

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Paris Contemporary humanists had learnt (however rudimentarily) that to read Latin correctly and to write it in an authentic, and thereby persuasive manner, entailed reference to authorities judged more or less reliable according to certain recognized criteria. The humanists, though, were a culturally homogeneous élite, one with which Lefèvre identifies himself when he says the current debate should be reserved to the ‘literati, non vulgus’. The other Latin language community was, in terms of education, more diverse, and so were its attitudes to authorities. At one end of its spectrum were the Paris doctors teaching advanced theology, among whom John Mair, for example, promoted the exercise of reason (though not the criterion of historical anteriority) for determining cases where authorities were in conflict. The greater number of late medieval Latin users, however, did not have (or had forgotten) the subtleties of the scholastics. They were clerics in daily touch with the mass of the population whose experience of Latin was the ritual of the Church and to whom their priests mediated the Church's authorities, without (p.110) questioning them and so without needing the intellectual tools with which to question them. Indeed, Lefèvre recognizes this when he acknowledges that the debate will come out of printed books and go into the uncultured mouths of such clerics, in sermons based on readings of his book over which he has no control.40 Such oral communication, or perversion, of his writing, however, represents precisely the agency by which the ideas of the erudite élite were filtered to a popular audience, with its own preoccupations and its own discontents. Cousturier, a member of the broader speech community of late medieval Latin, was very wary of humanist élitism, and speaks with the voice of the ordinary cleric as well as of the Paris doctor of theology. This comes through even in the protest he makes about Lefèvre's insistence on the ethical argument of Ann's exemplary widowhood. An experienced priest, says Cousturier, knows full well the frailty of the human condition. Pastorally, a second or even a third marriage may well be right. Moreover, universally to decry remarried widows marks a failure to recognize that women who refuse to remarry may have less honourable motives than those who do (fos. xlixv–liiv). Here Cousturier shows himself well in touch with one of the strongest reasons for the popular cult of much-married St Ann at a period when socio-economics demanded the remarriage of widows with means and these women needed to know the Church affirmed them.41

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Paris Cousturier's book is perhaps more forceful in argument than Béda’s. Béda was a man of political action rather than words, and, as far as his career was concerned, ultimately perished by the sword he took. For Cousturier, words speak louder, and the battle is a battle of books. In the concluding section of his De triplici connubio, (p.111) he calls on teachers of ‘sacred letters’ to combat the errors of those who are troubling the ‘res litteraria’, the world of lettered learning. And how are they troubling it? By resorting to insult and anonymous pamphlets, by mocking the erudite, by dismissing syllogistic reasoning as mere sophistry, by laughing at theology and reserving their admiration for little collections of words and phrases. They talk about ‘good letters’, ‘humane letters’, and what they mean is what is learnt in the most elementary classes under grammar.42 He was, of course, quite right. In the microcosmic, Paris-centred, debate about St Ann, linguistic worlds collide but are neither fused nor obliterated. In the macrocosm that was the general intellectual environment of contemporary Paris and its wider orbit, the two cultures of humanistic and late medieval Latin were hardly on speaking terms.43 Their mode of interaction was aggressive, uncompromising attack; their modes of self-defence confirmed their insulation. A brief overview of some famous documents contemporary with the St Ann debate, but not involved in it, will reinforce this general impression. The Antibarbari of Erasmus was published at about the same time, in 1520, when Erasmus was at Louvain, on the periphery of the Paris orbit. The work had a long period of gestation going back to his earliest enthusiasm for Valla's Elegantiae round about 1488, but the form in which it was finally printed is emblematic of the relationship between the two speech communities in the years that witnessed the controversy over St Ann. Erasmus explains in his preface that the work had been planned in four books: the first to rebut the arguments against humane letters that had been concocted by cultural barbarians masquerading as supporters of religion; the second to give voice to an opponent of the humanist enterprise, invented so as to destroy the claims of rhetoric by using all the devices of vituperation of which rhetoric itself was capable; the third to reply to the objections of this personage; the fourth to argue the case for poetry.44 The Antibarbari as we have it in print is in effect only the first of these projected books. It is couched as a dialogue between figures already won to the humanists’ cause, talking in the humanists’ Latin, adducing arguments against the humanists’ programme only in order to prompt and stimulate the main speaker. That speaker dominates the dialogue with a splendid display of demonstrative rhetoric, confirming the humanists’ message in the humanists’ characteristic medium.

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Paris In the original second book (which he subsequently lost), Erasmus had risked the paradoxical strategy of Pico's letter to Barbaro and given his ecclesiastical opponents a persuasive voice, persuasive enough to convince John Colet that he should forsake classical eloquence. In 1520, however, in the version of what (p. 112) remained of the original project, first printed at Basle but almost simultaneously in unauthorized editions at Cologne, Deventer, and Strasbourg, Erasmus silences the ‘barbarians’. Their language is not heard directly. It is only ridiculed, and ridiculed from the outset in a list of their learning resources (medieval versified Latin grammars, the theoretical grammar of the modistae, moral tags from the Vulgate Proverbs, the Catholicon) which had already been the butt of humanist invective on countless occasions.45 Their logical procedures for argument (quaes-tioy objections, and replies to objections) may well subtend the development of the discourse of the Antibarbari but they are converted into the named parts of a classical oration and camouflaged by an overlay of strategic manoeuvres derived from classical rhetoric. The participants invite their chosen speaker to take over their ‘dialogue’, willingly submerging their competing voices in his irresistible flood of persuasive eloquence. He speaks ‘probabiliter, id est plane rhetorice’, that is to say, he uses the methods by which rhetoric achieves reasonable conviction, if not absolute certainty.46 Any gestures towards dialectical disputation are swept away, and the rhetorical monologue pursues its essentially moral and cultural drive against ignorance and intellectual sloth disguised as religious conscience. The ‘truth’ it declaims is the synthesis it constructs between Christian charity and the knowledge to be gained from the study of antiquity. The only appropriate language for that truth is the Latin shared by ancient Roman culture and the early centuries of Christianity.47 For a modern reader one of the most attractive features of this ‘dialogue’ is its rural setting. Erasmus’ group of humanists are doubly removed from their ordinary urban environment. First, they are displaced to this rural retreat. Secondly, by a verbal magic known only to the culturally initiated, they are transported to the virtual world of ancient philosophical fiction, for this Dutch countryside is intertextually permeated with traces of the landscape in which Plato had located his Phaedrus. The point that concerns us here, however, is the way these loquacious humanists are displaced from their normal mixed speech environment, from all occasion of direct intercourse with the ‘barbarians’ they revile. As is the case with other dialogues by Erasmus, the antibarbari are a very closed, homogeneous group, marked by a common culture and a common language, but functioning in isolation, in a country of their own where philosophical banquets are offered only to chosen guests.

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Paris The preface to the Antibarbari was written at Louvain, and there seems little doubt that Erasmus’ decision to publish what he still had of the work was closely linked to his current position there. He resided at Louvain for most of the period (p.113) between 1517 and 1521, but his continuing work on the Greek New Testament and its Latin counterpart caused considerable tension with Louvain theologians opposed both to his philological work on the Bible and to the humanist enterprise in general.48 It was out of this environment that the Spanish humanist, Juan Luis Vives (1493–1540), sent a letter dated Louvain 1519, clearly intended for publication, and it was duly printed at Séléstat in 1520 under the title Ioannes Lodovicus Vives adversus pseudodialecticos.49 This little shaft of purest vitriol points us very directly back to Paris, for the pseudodialecticians Vives has in mind are the logicians of the Paris Arts Faculty, where Vives, like many another young Spaniard, had come to study at the Collège de Montaigu. There he had followed the logic courses of the Paris masters, presumably using the textbooks of John Mair. From 1512, after his departure to the Low Countries, his early enthusiasm for traditional formal logic was totally replaced by an enthusiasm just as passionate for the programme of the humanists, and from 1516 he was lecturing on ancient literature and rhetoric at Louvain, where he soon began an association with Erasmus, offering his support against the antagonism of the Louvain theologians. Whatever role Vives's published letter may have been intended to play in Erasmus’ defence at Louvain, it is certainly the case that Vives chose to direct his assault on the very citadel of (pseudo)dialectic and to do so from afar.50 He centres his polemic round the question of language, in particular, that ‘new language’ that the logicians at Paris use to ‘dream up and devise for themselves absurdities’, ‘a language they alone understand’.51 This language is, of course, the specialized, technical Latin of late medieval logic. Vives feels its very vocabulary so deeply ingrained in him that it has imprinted on him a mind-set he fears may be indelible. Hence, perhaps, the violence with which he denounces that language and the vacuous propositions he claims are wangled out of it. He gives abundant examples, some of them authentic propositions from medieval logic manuals, some of them made up and functioning as parody. For Vives, there is a universal paradigm for syllogisms, oppositions, conjunctions, and disjunctions, for suppositions, ampliations, restrictions, and appellations, and for such propositions as ‘all men are sightless because some men are blind’. That paradigm is the riddle, a form of speech which, once understood, reduces both enunciator and respondent to (p.114) silence (or competitive replication).52 The universe of discourse inhabited by the Paris masters is a universe dedicated to closure.

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Paris In Vives's view, the language of scholastic logic is a totally artificial construction producing its own self-invented conundrums, and consequently it cannot be an instrument for discovering truth. Truth and falsehood, so Vives contends, are formulated in language or, more precisely, in languages commonly used and in the ordinary grammar of those languages. Dialectic then discovers what is true or false or plausible in this common speech (‘vulgaris sermo’).53 To a large extent, Vives follows Valla and his successors in opposing the ordinary usage of classical Latin, its commonly agreed ‘usus loquendi communis’, to the Humpty Dumpty language of scholastic logic with its universe of specialized meanings closed to outsiders. He also agrees that there is a rigorous standard of correct Latinity, a norm or ‘rectus verusque sensus orationum latinarum’, to be found in the Latin of Cicero and Quintilian. This properly formulated Latin is the Latin on which the analytical procedures of dialectic should be employed, not ‘ordinary language’ in the sense of the laxer use of the common people.54 Where Vives does seem to differ from Valla and from Erasmus, however, is in his openness to the possibility of logics formulated to fit modern languages, based on grammars that might be alien to Latin usage, but this foray into a world of linguistic relativism is soon cut short.55 What Vives does not envisage is the possibility of finding some common ground between the Latin speech communities. The form of his diatribe is a letter to a potential convert to the humanist cause, not an invitation to to a public debate. He attacks the Paris masters, but he does it at a distance, as one who has extricated himself from their territory. The mode of his attack is satirical, denigrating their language by ridicule and flailing their intellectual assumptions with righteous indignation. His indignation is at its strongest when he claims that his pseudolo-gicians have commandeered theology, allowing it no voice but their own language with its tissue of barbarisms and solecisms.56 They threaten to silence their opponents (p.115) in theological argument, just as they silence competing dialecticians with riddles. Vives responds with satire, a mode that inhibits reply. He and his targets do not exchange words. Indeed, he leaves his reader with a picture of his pseudo-dialecticians lost for words as soon as they are brought out from under their ‘scholastic roof’, shrinking from a language they do not understand, uncultured, unfit for the society of civilized men.57

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Paris The letter by Vives has parallels in many documents from the years either side of 1520. One of the most articulate is the letter from Thomas More (1478–1535) written in 1515 to Maarten van Dorp (1485–1525), a theologian at Louvain who was vacillating about his response to Erasmus’ philological critique of the Vulgate. More's letter did not appear in print until 1563, but it circulated in humanist circles centred on Louvain, was very likely to have been available to Vives, and, as More himself was pleased to recognize, certainly expresses the same ideas about ‘pseudodialecticians’.58 More's main objective is to support Erasmus in his application of ‘grammatical’ expertise to the Greek and Latin texts of the New Testament, but, like Vives, he knows that the theologians who are suspicious of truth claims based on the humanists’ linguistic expertise speak from an intellectual position bonded to a particular form of logic, a particular understanding of what constitutes truth, formulated in a particular language. He is very clear about the ‘two Latins’ problem and where it originates. The ambiguities and riddles that modern logicians introduce into the formulation of propositions, by way of their suppositions, ampliations, restrictions, and appellations, makes them understand sentences in a way peculiar to themselves. Yet the language they are using is Latin, which in normal use makes grammatical sense, serves as a transparent medium of communication, and resists their attempts to wrest words from the public domain and, in fact, misuse them.59 The consequence is that two incommensurable Latins articulate two incompatible mind-sets. Moreover, the gap goes deeper than mere words. It is not just a question of lexis. A theologian trained in logic and graduated to the Sentences of Peter Lombard will cite his ecclesiastical authorities piecemeal, knowing them only from quotations already aligned under quaestiones. More says that this is equivalent to learning the Latin language from a dictionary, even from a humanist vocabulary resource like Perotti's Cornucopia and Calepino.60 It is through immersion in texts, in the cultural resonances that pervade them, in the twists and turns of their argument, that a language is acquired and minds are trained to think. (p.116) More gives dramatic illustrations of inhabitants of these two linguistic universes speaking past each other. He parodies a dialectician's abysmal attempt at conversational Latin. He describes a scene in which a theologian, learned in logic, makes a fool of himself at a dinner party by totally misjudging the speech milieu and applying syllogisms to any and every topic of conversation without any sense of decorum. Dialecticians talk to themselves. They do not communicate with other people; their words have lost contact with the world of things; outside their own speech community, they are reduced to silence.61

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Paris It was not just humanists who silenced their opponents. Dorp ultimately proved sympathetic to Erasmus and his ideas, but the Louvain theologians found a champion in another of their number, Jacques Masson (Iacobus Latomus, c. 1475–1544), who had studied in the Arts Faculty at Paris before moving to Louvain (the two universities had long-standing connections, going back to Louvain's foundation). Masson's De trium linguarum etstudii theologici ratione dialogus, published in 1519 at Antwerp, engages primarily, as the title suggests, with Erasmus’ controversial work on the New Testament stemming from his study of the Greek text.62 Nevertheless, Masson is fully aware that, at a deeper level, the current debate is a manifestation of mutually antagonistic attitudes to language. The dominant voice in the second part of his dialogue is that of a wise old man, relayed by the scholastic theologian who in the first part had been arguing with a humanist ‘devoted to rhetoric and languages’. The old man expresses a view of language totally in accord with Aristotle's dictum that words are signs of things mediated through the mind, or concepts. Humanists would not necessarily have demurred, but might not have liked the conclusion he draws from this, namely that we can know more than we can say and that no amount of understanding of words (including Latin words) can ensure knowledge of things in cases where things are imperfectly known or concepts are false. Mental notions are the same for all men. Words are their expression, but, if those notions are correctly apprehended in the mind, the actual language in which they are articulated is of no consequence, provided it is intelligible within a given speech community. This argument, expressed in a very neutral Latin that does indeed pay scant homage to humanistic models of good style, is meant to cut the ground from under arguments for privileging specific languages and a specific idiom of Latin.63 By this stage of the dialogue, however, (p.117) the humanist who had had a role in the first part of the dialogue has been cut out altogether, leaving Masson's representative theologian, doubled by the old man's authoritative words of wisdom, to convert a student inquirer unopposed.

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Paris In dialogues of this period from northern Europe, humanists and late medieval Latin speakers tend to talk among themselves, separately. Letters, speeches, and treatises are couched as attacks, and replies as defence (apologia is perhaps their most common title). There is certainly no notion that translation might be a mode of crossing the linguistic divide between the two Latin idioms. Pico's nephew, Gian Francesco Pico, had thought this feasible as late as 1496 when he wrote of his intention to supply demands for his uncle's attack on astrology to be rewritten in the ‘Paris style’, formalizing the arguments and excising the ‘eloquence’, for the benefit of those who did not know the ‘Roman idiom’.64 Translation would have preserved the integrity of both idioms. In the years around 1520, however, the idioms had become identified with opposing sides in the religious stand-off. As Masson concluded in his dialogue, humanists wanted theology to be rhetoric, wanted to replace ‘distinctions and equivocations’ with grammar, wanted the liberty to advance opinions for discussion, but denied to their opponents the freedom to use any form of linguistic expression except ones that they themselves approved. Here Masson was largely quoting Erasmus, and the implication, as all through the dialogue, is that this ‘theology’ is deviant, different in substance as well as in language.65 Nevertheless, it would soon be crucial to find a mode of communication in which opposing ideas could be debated, and this would need an agreed procedure for argument conducted in a mutually acceptable idiom of what was still the common language, Latin. What was needed, in effect, was a new or, at least, a heavily revised logic.

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Paris One new logic that was available and well known at least by repute was Lorenzo Valla's Dialecticae disputationes, otherwise known as Repastinatio dialectice et philosophie or ‘remodelling of the whole of dialectic and of the fundamentals of philosophy in general, in which many sharp attacks are made on Aristotle, Boethius, and Porphyry, but many more on the modern philosophers’. This was Josse Bade's title for his 1509 edition of the work, reissued in 1515. He continued, ‘I do not doubt that the logicians Valla attacks have the wherewithal to defend (p.118) themselves’.66 Bade says in his preface that he had printed a thousand copies of the work, not because he considered it contained as much good fruit as the same author's Elegantiae, but because he knew many readers were very keen to have it. Moreover, he thinks that modern experts in dialectic (‘dialectici recentiores’) will find it a useful target on which to practise their skill. Its many trenchant observations, if they are taken on board, will enable the study of dialectic to proceed with greater economy fad dialectices compendium faciant’), and they are also relevant to modes of argument characteristic of rhetoric (‘ad rhetoricam disputationem conducant’). Bade, as usual, knew his market. The dialectici recentiores within the Paris orbit immediately went on the offensive, as well they might against a work that not only claimed to convict Aristotle himself of error but also to undermine the elaborate edifice of late medieval logic by demonstrating it rested on fundamental misunderstandings of the Latin language that it used as the object and the instrument of its investigation. In 1510, as we have noted, John Mair in Paris arraigned Valla's Dialecticae disputationes in the first edition of his commentary on book i of the Sentences. In the same year, Maarten van Dorp delivered an Or ado in laudem Aristotelis at Louvain, printed in 1514, in which he defended Aristotle against Valla's criticisms. The humanists, on the other hand, recognized the affinities that Valla's recasting of dialectic had with their own programme. He anticipated and fuelled their linguistic critique of late medieval logic. He moved away from its rigours in order to reclaim for dialectic the territory of arguments based on probable, rather than apodictic, reasoning, on plausibility and decorum, in other words he incorporated dialectic into their own discipline of rhetoric. Humanist writers were prone to drop Valla's name when reviling late medieval logic, but it is much less certain that they took up his very difficult book and read it Bade's speculation on Valla's dialectic was not a commercial success. Valla's dialectic, in the way Valla had formulated it, was not to be the logic of the future.67

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Paris From the point of view of Paris, the logic of the future seemed much more likely to be Aristotle, in particular, Aristotle revised according to Lefèvre's corrections from the Greek and available since 1503 in his magisterial edition of the Organon. (p.119) As an antidote to the confusing contortions of his pseudodialecticians, Vives proposes only the Organon, which for him has the virtue of consisting of short precepts which do not pretend to inaugurate a selfsufficient discipline, but merely give a mental training in preparation for more advanced study.68 In his 1515 letter to Maarten van Dorp, Thomas More acknowledges a debt to Lefèvre, ‘restorer of true dialectic and true philosophy, especially Aristotelian’: ‘would that the scholars of Louvain and Paris would accept Lefèvre's commentaries on Aristotle's dialectic, for, unless I am much mistaken, in both universities that discipline would be less prone to rows and rather less corrupt!’69 Just a few months before that letter was written, Dorp and a collaborator had seen through Dirk Marten's press at Louvain the first edition of a book that was to help to change the dialectic taught in schools and universities out of all recognition: the De inventione diabetica of Rudolph Agricola (1444–85).70 But its time was not yet, at least not in Louvain or Paris.

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Paris On the title-page, Dorp, in his function as chief editor, sells Agricola's work in the first place as support to rhetoric, addressing it to those ‘who are pursuing the true art of discoursing fluently and eloquently’ and looking for abundance of things with which to persuade and ‘probable’ (convincing) arguments with which to present a case. It is only then that Dorp refers to dialectic, saying that this is precisely Agricola's own definition of dialectic, quite distinct from the ‘chattering nonsense of the sophists’. For the science of argumentative discourse, as taught by Agricola, wrongly thought by some to belong to rhetoric, is here rightly called ‘dialectical invention’.71 In fact, the book is an examination and exemplification of how to employ ‘places’ or stratagems of argument with persuasive force, ranging from rigorous inference to the looser likelihoods of rhetoric. Places or ‘topics’, in this sense, were familiar from the rhetorical works of Cicero and from the Topics of Aristotle, which is the last but one book of the Organon. Place-theory does indeed, therefore, overlap the boundary between rhetoric and dialectic, as Lefèvre had already pointed out in his preface to his 1503 edition of the Topics: ‘there are many uses of this part of logic, both for philosophers, and for orators and poets, or for anyone working in any form of literary discourse whatsoever’. Yet, Lefèvre also notes that Aristotle himself rather disparaged this branch of his logic and advised the student not to spend much time on it.72 Agricola's De inventione dialectica and related texts were going to reverse its status in the dialectic (p.120) programme, but in 1515 it very probably seemed a fairly conventional development of elements already well established in the logic course, its obvious novelty consisting in its humanist Latin idiom and in its use of classical literary examples. Erasmus, indeed, seems to have hoped to be able to use it as a humanist alternative to traditional dialectic, but it was not he who was to bring this about. Vives, though writing against the pseudodialecticians from Louvain, does not mention it. Nor, as far as I know, does John Mair or any other of the Paris theologians. It would not be printed in France until 1529.

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Paris The most notable writer of humanist Latin at Paris in the first quarter of the sixteenth century, besides Lefèvre, was Guillaume Budé(Budaeus, 1468–1540).73 In 1508, Josse Bade had published the first instalment of Budé's annotations on the PandectSy in which he subjected the Roman law of the Digest to the philological scrutiny recommended by Lorenzo Valla in his Elegantiae. In 1515, Bade printed the first edition of De asse et paribus eius, Budé's painstaking investigation of the values of ancient coinage, interspersed with virtuoso digressions on the evils of materialism, financial corruption, abuses in the Church, and the sublime virtues of philosophy. Budé did not envisage dialogue with the late medieval Latin speech community. In the digressions to De asse, where he is not engaged with antiquarian minutiae, his discourse is thick with references to the culture of antiquity, esoteric even by the standards of contemporary humanists. It has word-forms calqued on the classical Greek in which Bude was so immersed that he clearly thought in that language and moved with ease between his two tongues in consecutive sentences. It is flamboyant in its use of figures of speech, especially metaphor, and, far from following the moves of dialectical or rhetorical stratagems for argument, Budé gives his metaphors full rein to lead his train of thought. It is declamatory, extravagant, impetuous, prophetic, and highly individual. In 1516, Erasmus and Bude exchanged letters of strained politeness on the subject of their respective projects and the style they wrote in.74 Significantly, what irked Bude was that Erasmus kept working within the confines of pedagogy and theology, and employed a ‘middling’, clear style to suit them. Erasmus, on the other hand, remonstrated about the difficult obscurities of Bude's digressions in the De asse. Bude replied that his obscurity was deliberate, to be compared with the enigmatic utterance of oracles, designed so that few should understand in order that he could deny what the uninitiated mass of readers thought he said. Moreover, he is no mere slave of the ‘theatre and the people’; he writes for himself and, even on rereading himself, does not repent that he has ‘obeyed the promptings of his own nature’.75 At this stage of his development, Bude revelled in rhetoric's potential for ambivalence, and his self-consciously personal adaptation of classical Latin was certainly not the (p.121) common-language, transparent mode of communication that enables the exchange of ideas, the ‘sermocinantis mos’ (conversational style) that Budé ascribed to Erasmus. On the contrary, it has the opacity of poetic discourse, and to such discourse argument is not an appropriate response.

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Paris Twenty years later, Budé poured into his De Transitu hellenismi ad christianismum (Paris: R. Estienne, 1535) the effervescent distillation of his conclusions on the possibility of a cultural synthesis between classical culture and Christianity.76 The schismatic Reformation was now pursuing its course. The very public threat to Church and state constituted by the Affaire des Placards of the preceding year had polarized opinion and it proved a watershed for a Catholic humanist like Budé. Yet Budé has no way of harnessing his rhetoric to explore and test the rival claims to truth. It would be more accurate to say that he doubts whether rhetoric can do it. From among the many metaphors and fictions that are the vehicles for Budé's ideas in the De transitu, the partmythical, part-historical figure of Aius Loquens represents rhetoric as message, words that take no responsibility for what they communicate. Aius Loquens, in Roman legend, was the detached, disembodied voice that warned the Romans: ‘The Gauls are coming!’ By 1535, Valla's scenario for the triumph of classical Latin had been reversed. The ‘Romans’ now occupied most of the city of the ‘Gauls’, but the Gauls, functioning, whatever their idiom, as symbols for barbarian destroyers of social and political order, lurked ever at the gates. Budé's Aius Loquens, however, gives no clear message. At one stage it is a false prophet, the lying voice of the Protestant offensive and Protestant demagogy; at another moment it is the persona Budé adopts to cry against these lies; next, Aius Loquens, now qualified pejoratively as ‘cunningly fabricated, dishonest eloquence’, argues the good cause of free debate against the bad case of the Faculty of Theology and its powers of censorship; and, on several occasions, Bude, in his role as Aius Loquens, denounces corruption in the Catholic Church.77 What seems to be revealed by this ambivalent figure is that humanist rhetoric is essentially ambivalent. Aius Loquens is the voice of the Roman orator, trained to speak to either side of any question, but his fine language can be used equally effectively to good or evil purpose, to persuade and denounce, to praise and to blame, whether the cause be true or false. Rhetoric is protean, duplicitous, double-tongued. Bude, the accomplished trilingual, does not trust the language of debate, in which either side, particularly if they have the language skills of humanists, can adopt and twist the other's speech. The purpose of his De transitu is to transcend debate, just as its idiosyncratic patterns of expression take an extravagant turn away from the discourse of Cicero to a new Latin idiom for the Christianismum (p.122) that will subsume and transcend antiquity. The peculiar Latin style of the work is magnificent, but it defied, indeed repelled, imitation. More crucially, and this is generally true of other humanists from within the Paris orbit, Budé did not provide the basic dialectical weapons of argument with which to wage a war of words, hand to hand, on equal terms, to get at truth.

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Paris At Paris, the war was not being waged on equal terms. In the De transitu, Budé says that, if there were opportunities for debating ‘foecunde…et facunde’ (fruitfully and fluently), they have been scuppered.78 The fact was that the Faculty of Theology, applying its official right to censorship, silenced opposition by substituting the univocal language of legal judgement and authoritative decree for the plural strategies of arguments deployed in order to arrive at the truth by consensus. Books were censored, authors stifled, humanists forbidden from lecturing in spheres claimed by the faculty, documents composed to demonstrate why one must not dispute verbally with heretics.79 Only a few years previously, in the period roughly between 1510 and 1525, from which most of our texts from Paris have been taken, the Paris doctors had habitually vindicated the logical armature of their theology by claiming that it was necessary in order to argue rationally with heretics.80 Their whole training in logic was by public, oral disputation. A major shift has taken place to shake to this extent their confidence in their argumentative strategy and in the power of their specialized language skills to carry conviction.

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Paris There was, however, certainly one member of the Faculty of Theology whose written contestations of Luther's doctrines in the later 1520s and early 1530s talk a language that might have crossed linguistic barriers. Josse Clichtove, erstwhile coworker with Lefèvre, wrote purposefully against the Reformers, but the idiom he used to do so remains strikingly similar to Lefèvre’s, a sort of attenuated humanist Latin, but one that could not be confused with that of his faculty colleagues. Interestingly, we have the original manuscript version, dated 1517, of the arguments Clichtove employed against Valla and Erasmus in favour of the authenticity of the works ascribed to Dionysius the Areopagite mentioned by St Paul. This can be compared with its revision for inclusion in his Antilutherus, first published (p.123) in 1524. In the manuscript version, presumably written for faculty purposes just after Erasmus had iterated Valla's doubts about the Dionysian corpus in his edition of Jerome and in his New Testament (both 1516), Clichtove writes very much like Béda, Cousturier, or the later John Mair. He goes in an orderly way through points made by his opponents, and appends one by one his responses, all in a distinctly unsophisticated, non-classical idiom. In the printed tract against Luther, aimed at a different readership, more familiar with the Latin of the grammar class than the Latin of the faculty, he rephrases and amplifies all this in continuous prose skilfully and variously connected, and he translates the lexis and syntax of faculty Latin into the lexis and syntax of the humanists.81 Erasmus was not convinced by Clichtove's arguments against him, here or on other occasions, but he recognized in Clichtove ‘a former friend, not averse to the Muses’, and treated him as one with whom he had a common language and could use a common knowledge of rhetorical theory to justify his position.82 Whether this style, the style of Lefèvre as we saw it deployed in arguments about St Ann, was the style in which to debate effectively with the Lutherans may become clearer after we have turned our attention to Germany. Notes:

(1) De interpretatione (Peri hermeneias), 16a4–5. (2) We have already seen, in Ch. 2, that Valla's Elegantiae reached a far, far greater readership than the Dialecticae disputationes that was its theoretical base; even granted the different audiences they targeted, the disparity in the reception of these two works by such a well-known humanist is symptomatic of the point we are making here. (3) A recent article very eloquently makes a not dissimilar observation, although it phrases it in terms of intellectual method and cultural difference, rather than the language issue I see as fundamental to both: C. G. Nauert, ‘Humanism as Method: Roots of Conflict with the Scholastics’, Sixteenth Century Journal, 29 (1998), 427–38.

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Paris (4) In order to concentrate on detail, we shall inevitably be concerned with isolated incidents in the intellectual history of Paris at this period; three major works of synthesis provide the context in which they should be located: Renaudet, Préréforme et humanisme à Paris; M.-M. de La Garanderie, Christianisme et lettres profanes: Essai sur I’humanisme français (1515–1535) et sur la pensée de Guillaume Budé, 2nd edn. (Paris, 1995); E. Rummel, The Humanist–Scholastic Debate in the Renaissance and Reformation (Cambridge, Mass., 1995). (5) There was also a third, George of Brussels (d. 1510), but he published little and does not have a place in our narrative. For an account of Goulet's Compendium, see M. Reulos, ‘L’Enseignement d’Aristote dans les collèges au XVIe siècle’, in Platon et Aristote à la Renaissance (Paris, 1976), 147–54; and for the text of a part of it, Heptadogma seu septem pro erigendo gymnasio documenta, see Lukács (ed.), Monumenta paedagogica Societatis Iesu, i. 618–26. (6) For John Mair's logic in general, see A. Broadie, The Circle of John Mair: Logic and Logicians in Pre-Reformation Scotland (Oxford, 1985); and the same author's Notion and Object: Aspects of Late Medieval Epistemobgy (Oxford, 1989). (7) For a bibliography, see E. F. Rice (ed), The Prefatory Epistles of Jacques Lefèvre d’Etaples and Related Texts (New York and London, 1972), 546–7; this book is probably the best repository of information on Lefèvre, to be supplemented by Renaudet, Préréforme et humanisme, passim, and by G. Bedouelle, Lefèvre d’Etaples et l’intelligence des Éentures (Geneva, 1976); also, on Lefèvre and Aristotle, see E. F. Rice, ‘Humanist Aristotelianism in France: Jacques Lefèvre d’Etaples and his Circle’, in A. H. T. Levi (ed.), Humanism in France at the End of the Middle Ages and in the Early Renaissance (Manchester, 1970), 132–49. Lefèvre's textbooks on logic and his treatment of Aristotle's Organon are reviewed by E. Kessler, ‘Introducing Aristotle to the Sixteenth Century: The Lefèvre Enterprise’, in C. Blackwell and S. Kusukawa (eds.), Philosophy in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: Conversations with Aristotle (Aldershot, 1999), 1–21 (though its over-rigorous categorization of Lefèvre's pedagogical books should be treated with some circumspection).

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Paris (8) As the 16th cent, progressed, the study of formal logic came to occupy a smaller place in the curriculum, but it was far from dead. For the history of formal logic in the period, see W. Risse, Die Logik der Neuzeit, 2 vols. (Stuttgart, 1964–70), i. 1500–1640; E. J. Ashworth, Language and Logic in the Post-Medieval Period (Dordrecht and Boston, 1974); id., ‘Changes in Logic Textbooks from 1500 to 1650: The New Aristotelianism’, in E. Kessler, C. H. Lohr, and W. Sparn (eds.), Aristotelismus und Renaissance: In Memoriam Charles B. Schmitt (Wiesbaden, 1988), 75–87; id., ‘Traditional Logic’, in C. B. Schmitt, Q. Skinner, E. Kessler, and J. Kraye (eds.), The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy (Cambridge, 1988), 143–72. A bibliography of changing Renaissance attitudes to Aristotelian logic is provided in C. H. Lohr's Latin Aristotle Commentaries, ii. Renaissance Authors (Florence, 1988). For some of Clichtove's significant contributions to the development of formal logic, see E. J. Ashworth, ‘Renaissance Man as Logician: Josse Clichtove (1472–1543) on Disputation’, History and Philosophy of Logic, 7 (1986), 15–29. (9) The preface is reprinted in Rice, Prefatory Epistles, 38–41. Lefèvre had a high standing as a humanist among his contemporaries, Italian as well as French, expressed in their familiar code linking disciplines of thought (doctrinoy philosophia) with language (sermo, eloquentia), cf. ibid. 288: ‘Quae iam omnino latine loqui dedidicerant, ac longe ab Aristotelis ceterorumque vere philosophantium mente abierant, in pristinam et sermonis et doctrinae maiestatem [Iacobus Faber Stapulensis] restituit…Primus enim apud Gallos (ut Cicero apud Romanos) philosophiam rudem adhuc et impolitam cum eloquentia iunxit.’ (10) Libri logicorum (Paris: W. Hopyl & H. Estienne, 1503), fo. 78. (11) For a summary of Béla's career, see Farge, Biographical Register. (12) De Maria Magdalena, triduo Christi, et ex tribus una Maria disceptatio (Paris: H. Estienne, 1518), fos. 62v–90v; there was a reprint the following year. For the context of the dispute about St Ann, see J.-P. Massaut, Critique et tradition à la veille de la Réforme en France (Paris, 1974), which has a short section on Lefèvre's tract, pp. 75–80. On this and on all other documents in the controversies about St Ann at Paris and elsewhere exhaustive information is supplied in the excellent thesis by S. M. Porrer, ‘The Three Maries’. (13) For examples, De Maria Magdalena, fos, 68v; 69v–70; 71v; 72v; 74v (all making slight alterations to the formula, ‘you may ask; I shall reply’, as students would have learnt to do when practising verbal variation for copia dicendi (abundance of speech) in the grammar class). (14) Lefèvre explains that he was lent this book by a cleric of great piety and considerable standing, ibid. 63, and gives its title, fos. 77v and 82.

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Paris (15) There is a modern edn. of a manuscript originating in England and now at the British Library: G. Albert, J. M. Parent, and A. Guillemette, ‘La Légende des trois manages de Sainte Anne: Un texte nouveau’, in Études d’histoire littéraire et doctrinale du Xllle Siécle (Paris and Ottawa, 1932), 165–84. This manuscript is substantially the same as the only edn. in the 16th cent, in C. Wimpina, Farrago miscellaneorum, ed. J. Romberch (Cologne, 1531), where it is again part of a controversy about the truth of St Ann's extended family (one that we shall also investigate). The identification between the Defensorium and Lefèvre's Apologeticus is not absolutely certain, but the twin contentions of the Apologeticus are exactly those of the Defensorium. On the only two occasions when Lefèvre quotes his Apologeticus directly (both times to make the same point about the age of St John the Evangelist) he reproduces the Defensorium exactly. (16) See vol. ii of the Opera of St Jerome (Basle, 1516), fos. 207–9. The De nativitate Sanctae Mariae is printed in the 3rd section of vol. ii, a section that appends for the sake of completeness texts ‘not worth reading that have been shamelessly ascribed to learned men’, but it is not absolutely clear whether that condemnation is meant to include texts other than those falsely ascribed to St Jerome and other named authors. (17) De Maria Magdalena, fo. 77v. (18) John of Freiburg is very clear: ‘Illi antiquiores sancti…beatum Ieronimum longo tempore precesserunt, ac per hoc huius rei veritatem [that Mary was the wife, not the daughter of Cleophas] certius cognoscere potuerunt’ (G. Albert et al., ‘La Légende’, 176). Lefèvre had already been interested in ‘Hegesippus’, but the text he had edited in 1510, Aegesippi historiographi fidelissimi ac disertissimi et inter Christianos antiquissimi historia (Paris: J. Bade), was in fact a version of Josephus abridged by St Ambrose. (19) Lefèvre's Introductio in libros Ethicorum Aristotelis (Paris: W. Hopyl, 1496) was successively revised and enlarged and frequently published up to 1559; Clichtove's commentary, first added to Lefèvre's brief definitions and precepts for behaviour in 1502, illustrated them from history, the poets, the Bible, and the lives of saints, including Joachim and Ann. The principle of ethical and rhetorical decorum, understanding patterns of behaviour appropriate to types of persons and adjusting one's style to match, runs through humanist treatises on the art of composition, e.g. Erasmus’ De conscribendis epistolis, eventually published in 1522.

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Paris (20) ‘Nulli igitur docto fidei dubium esse debet quin sicut in matre Christi efiulsit singularis prerogativa mundicie virginalis ad exemplum omnium virginum, ita et in eius avia beatissima Anna si post Ioachim vixerat, enituit specialis prerogativa continencie vidualis ad exemplum omnium viduarum’ (G. Albert et al., ‘La Légende’, 182). (21) ‘Praeterea nonne Deus omnibus temporibus iis hominibus qui mente valerent, quique in ocio versarentur literario, verum et falsum in medium proposuit discutienda?’ (De Maria Magdalena, fo. 85v). Lefèvre, it is worth recalling, never took his doctor's degree in theology. (22) It is appropriate (‘decuit’) for his opponents to remember that ‘certamen hoc literatorum esse, non vulgi, quod maiorum more, scriptis, non inanibus acclamationibus nequicquam in aera profusis derimendum est’ (ibid. 87). (23) The Petit livret is MS 4009 of the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal; see M. Holban, ‘François Du Moulin de Rochefort et la querelle de la Madeleine’, Humanisme et Renaissance, 2 (1935), 26–43; and, primarily for the illustrations, M. D. Orth, ‘“Madame Sainte Anne”: Holy Kinship, the Royal Trinity, and Louise of Savoy’, in Ashley and Sheingorn (eds.), Interpreting Cultural Symbols, 199–227. (24) The Petit livret is illustrated with pictures representing the ‘true’ story of Ann and Joachim (Lefèvre's version); small family groups of Mary Cleophas and Salome with husbands and children (to replace in the reader's mind the many church pictures of St Ann and her extended family); and a crucifixion in which St John appears bearded at the foot of the cross (to imprint an image of St John as Christ's coeval, not the usual unbearded youth). Lefèvre is not insensitive to the power of pictures. He argues that to depict St John as a beardless youth, even as a symbolic representation of his virginity, is impertinent. The only thing that matters is to observe the decorum of fact: his age and his masculinity. Lefèvre's horizon of reference as concerns the visual arts is some distance from the manuscript illustrations of the Petit livret and the artistic tradition they come from. His example of an ‘indecorous’ painting of St John is Leonardo's Last Supper, which he saw in Milan on his humanist tour of Italy (De Maria Magdalena, fos. 82v–83).

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Paris (25) De Maria Magdalena, fos. 87v, 88v–90; the linguistic, metrical, and doctrinal revision of the Church's hymns was an aim shared by most early humanists. Lefèvre's collaborator, Clichtove, had pursued it most lavishly in his Elucidatorium ecclesiasticum published at Paris by Henri Estienne in 1516 (see further A. Moss, ‘Latin Liturgical Hymns and their Early Printing History, 1470– 1520’, Humanistica lovaniensia, 36 (1987), 112–37). Clichtove's aim was to improve the standard of clergy literacy and comprehension. One wonders how much the ‘untaught ears of the masses’ were affected by changes in Latin hymns, but evidence suggests that sequences (the only sort of hymn normally sung at mass) were widely known and widely loved by the Latinless laity. (26) ‘Nunc protrita, nunc poetica sectatus [Mantuanus] est studia, aliis relinquens, quae vera essent, discutienda’ (De Maria Magdalena, fo. 72–72  v). The lines Lefèvre quotes from Mantuan are from his Fasti, a calendar poem with narratives for saints’ days, in which he reports that St Ann is said to have had three husbands and three daughters. (27) One of the distinctions Clichtove makes early in his defence, delineating areas where contrary opinions may be debated, gives a flavour of his Latin, much more like Mair's than it is like Lefèvre’s: ‘Siquidem in ea materia, quae apud sanctos patres et auctores sanctos, controversa est et implexa, neque satis adhuc determinata, liberum est cuique aut unam aut alteram illius controversiae agitare partem, rationibus probalitatem habentibus, sine fidei doctrinaeque catholicae detrimento’ (Disceptationis de Magdalena defensio (Paris: H. Estienne, 1519), fo. 3); there is a judicious synopsis of Clichtove's tract, which mainly concerns the Magdalen controversy, in Massaut, Critique et tradition, 81– 96. During the course of it, Clichtove claims that many of the Paris theologians had been persuaded by Lefèvre's arguments. In particular, John Mair had told Clichtove in person that he had been led by the commotion over the book to read it with particular attention, and had found its views ‘sufficiently well-grounded in proof and consonant with the truth’ (fo. 87–87v). (28) De beatissimae Annae monogamia…; Defensio propositionum praenarratarum contra quendam Dominicestrum (s.l., 1534); Agrippa provides detailed descriptions of the circumstances of his altercation with the Dominicans, of which he informed Lefèvre by letter at the time it occurred; for a full account of the affair, see Porrer, ‘The Three Maries’, 342–57. (29) Noël Béda, Apologia pro filiabus et nepotibus beatae Annae…contra Magistri Iacobi Fabri scripturn (Paris: J. Bade, 1520), sig. A iiii; this is the third propositio of part 1. The signs of curiositas and singularitas are a tendency to despise received doctrine in order to pursue one's own ideas or untested theories, and a delight in decrying and attacking solid, well-tried authorities.

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Paris (30) ‘Fabula [est] quae non verum nee verosimile continet’ (ibid, fo. CIv); cf. Cicero, De inventione, 1. 19. 27, and Rhetorica ad Herennium, 1. 8. 13. (31) ‘Caeterum dicet Iacobus [Faber]: esto hie non inducam sancti doctoris alicuius testimonium: tamen rationem pro me habeo ex loquendi sumptam consuetudine. Solent se (ait) duorum fratrum uxores vocare sorores’ (Béda, Apologia pro filiabus, fo. LVv); or, as Lefèvre had put it: ‘At quaeres: cur ergo Maria Cleophae soror matris dei dicitur? Ea certe consuetudine: qua uxores fratrum, se mutuo dicunt sorores’ (De Maria Magdalena, fo. 72v). (32) Lefèvre's self-defence is very near the end of his book, De Maria Magdalena, fos. 84v–88v; discernment of spirits is the point from which Béda starts, Apologia pro filiabus, fos. Iv–V. (33) De Maria Magdalena, fo. 85; Lefèvre goes on to identify his stance with the Greek and Latin Fathers whose writings champion truth; Béda finds his most articulate authority for discerning spirits in Jean Gerson, a writer for another age and another idiom. (34) De triplici connubio divae Annae disceptatio (Paris: P. Vidoue for J. Petit, 1523). Cousturier was the Faculty's most outspoken critic of humanist alterations to the Vulgate text of the Bible; his De tralatione Bibliae et novarum reprobatione interpretationum (Paris: Jean Petit, 1525), directed against Erasmus, Lefèvre, and vernacular renderings, and his subsequent exchange of pamphlets with Erasmus, are analysed in E. Rummel, Erasmus and his Catholic Critics, 2 vols. (Nieuwkoop, 1989), ii. 61–79; see further the same author's Humanist–Scholastic Debate. (35) Cousturier describes himself as desiring to ‘aptum quoque ordinem (quern adversarii confundunt, confusio etenim mentis confusionem scriptorum parere solet) servare’ (De triplici connubio, fo. xxvii). Cousturier's plural ‘opponents’ are Lefèvre and the book Lefèvre was using, i.e. John of Freiburg, which Cousturier does not seem to know at first hand. The pagination of the De triplici connubio is completely awry; I have transcribed it as it is printed, not as logic would demand. The plan of Cousturier's quaestio is on fo. iiiv; the list of heads of argument, to which he constantly refers, is on fo. xxvii–xxviiv.

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Paris (36) Cousturier was to develop these ideas in his De trcdatione Bibliae, published two years later. He also argues there against the retranslation of the Vulgate into humanist Latin (fos. LXIIIIV–LXIXV). Among his more interesting arguments is the notion mat such an enterprise would destroy the unity of the Church, partly because humanists would not agree on which model of Latin style to adopt, more importantly because there would be one version for an educated élite reading in private, another for the mass of Latin users (predominantly clerics with no better than utilitarian Latin) and for public use in Church ritual. Cousturier is very aware of the destabilizing effect of a plurality of competing language communities. (37) De Maria Magdalena, fo. 71v: ‘What, then, is this dove so special, so singular, so perfect, who in the kingdom on high goes far ahead of the queens of heavenly places and the queens that are below? Is it not that virgin blessed above all women, not only those that are of this world, but those that dwell in heaven, that virgin joined with God the Father, mother of the Son of God, queen of queens and more than queen, blessed above all blessed women and more than blessed, the dove of God the Father, the undefined of God the Father, only daughter to her mother Ann, who is the highest queen in that kingdom of perfect love, Mary, the choice one of her that bare her?’ The reader who recalls Christ's ‘brothers’ mentioned in the Bible may wonder whether divesting Mary of her sisters may put in peril her perpetual virginity. Lefèvre has the answer. On the authority of Eusebius, Joseph was brother to Cleophas, so the children of Cleophas and Mary, his wife, were reputed cousins, or ‘brothers’, of the Lord, after the flesh, as Joseph, on the authority of Jerome, was his ‘father’ after the flesh (ibid 73–74v). (38) ‘Etenim non semper opus est figuram et figuratum omnimode sibi correspondere, alioquin non figura sed potius identitas esset…Denique argumenta huiusmodi a sensu mistico sumpta parum vel nihil convincunt obluctantibus, licet multum virium habeant apud eos qui ea libenter amplexantur’ (De triplici connubio, fos. xxviiiv–xxix). In late medieval theology it was a truism that the historical, or literal, sense of holy scripture was the only one of its senses that could serve as a basis of logical inference (often with a reference to St Augustine, Epistolae, 93. 8. 24). (39) ‘Lefèvre's argument, says Cousturier, is ‘argumentationis genus viciosum et ab ipsius dialecticae rudimentis prorsus abhorrens. Non enim locus ab auctoritate tenet negative. Itaque consequens non est, si non legatur, propterea non ita esse. Addo quod non omnia quae facta sunt potuerunt sacris literis comprehend’ (ibid., fo. xlv). (40) ‘Qua propter eos qui hac de re ad populum verba facturi sunt, in charitate Christi oratos velim: ne aspernentur, diligenter et tranquillo pacatoque animo opusculum hoc evolvere, et omnia pro veritate loqui’ (De Maria Magdalena, fo. 87). Page 46 of 52

Paris (41) A subsequent Latin defence of thrice-married Ann brought the arguments of Cousturier and Béda directly to an educated lay audience. There is no evidence of vernacular translations of their tracts, as in the case of Du Moulin soliciting royal protection for Lefèvre, and, indeed, there would be no need, for theirs was the established position. Their vernacular audience heard St Ann's extended family proclaimed loudly from the pulpit, saw it painted in churches, knew it from the liturgy and the prayers they were taught to repeat. In 1529, however, such security faced a more concerted threat than that mounted by a few Latin humanists. Jean Bertaut, a former student in the grammar classes at the Collège de Montaigu and a lawyer who had studied law at Toulouse, wrote his Encomium trium Mariarum (Paris: J. Bade, 1529) ‘against the Lutherans’. He acknowledges his debt to Béla and Cousturier, but Bertaut's style of exposition is very different from either. He supports his thesis by weight of quotation rather than by argument, and the main sources for his quotations are legal texts, to which he refers in the standard legal manner, indicating that his intended audience were laymen with a professional legal background, not theologians. The story of St Ann with which he and his audience felt at home was the one told by Josse Bade, who had Latinized a Dutch text in 1502, retaining the story-telling style of its vernacular source. I shall return later to Bade's text, which Bertaut knew from the version Cousturier had given of it in the course of his defence of the traditional account of her life (Encomium, part 3, fo. LII–LIIv). Between part 1 of Bertaut's book, an encomium in Roman type for St Ann on her feast-day in the manner of contemporary legal oratory, and part 3, again in Roman type, which is a legal inquiry into kindred and affinity focused on St Ann's extended family, there is further evidence of the scope of Bertaut's intended readership. This part consists of offices and a mass for St Ann and her daughters, printed in Gothic type and decorated with borders that have elaborate pictures and explanations in French. This makes this part of the book look like a typical Book of Hours, and, indeed, most of the borders are reused from the Grandes Heures of Simon Vostre printed by Philippe Pigouchet. (42) ‘Obtrectatores ad contumelias confugiunt, famosos tacito nomine libellos efficiunt, doctissimos viros subsannant, rationes syllogismosque omnes despiciunt, sophismataque vocant, sacras literas rident, verborum flosculos dumtaxat demirantur, solas pueriles disciplinas hoc est grammaticas, proh pudor! bonas humanioresque literas nuncupant, et demum se doctissimos omnium arbitrantur, cumomnia despexerint, cum ceteros maledictis affecerint’ (fo. lix–lixv). (43) For a generalized summary of the state of the disciplines and changes that were to affect them, see L. Giard, ‘Sur le cycle des “artes” à la Renaissance’, in Weijers and Holtz (eds.), L’Enseignement, 511–38. (44) Antibarbarorum liber, ed. K. Kumaniecki, in Erasmus, Opera, i/i (Amsterdam, 1969), 36. Page 47 of 52

Paris (45) Antibarbarorum liber, ed. K. Kumaniecki, in Erasmus, Opera, i/i (Amsterdam, 1969), 58–61; later in the book, the mere titles of medieval repositories of material for preaching and argument, Gemmula, Margarita, Floretum, Rosetum, Speculum (all genuine enough), provide sufficient cause to rubbish their contents (89–90). (46) Ibid. 98; there is a graphic portrait of the orator readying himself to give his speech in a manner that recalls the demeanour proper to rhetorical delivery and entirely effaces any lingering image of the scholastic disputant (66). (47) Ibid. 96. (48) The point is well made by M. M. Phillips in her introduction to her translation of the Antibarbari (Collected Works of Erasmus, xxiii (Toronto, 1978), 11–14); for an examination of the many texts related to Erasmus and his standing at Louvain, see the first volume of Rummel, Erasmus and his Catholic Critics. (49) There are two modern edns. of the work with English translation: J. L Vives, In pseudodialecticos, ed C. Fantazzi (Leiden, 1979), and Juan Luis Vives Against the Pseudodialecticians: A Humanist Attack on Medieval Logic, ed. R. Guerlac (Dordrecht, 1979). (50) For the relationship between Erasmus, Vives, and also another crucial player, Thomas More, see L. Jardine, Erasmus, Man of Letters: The Construction of Charisma in Print (Princeton, 1993), 14–23. (51) ‘Somniant et confingunt sibi ineptias ac novam quandam linguam quam ipsi soli intelligant’ (R. Guerlac (ed.), Against the Pseudodialecticians, 48). (52) R. Guerlac (ed.), Against the Pseudodialecticians, 52. Supposition, ampliation, restriction, and appellation (together with distribution) were analytical procedures used in late medieval logic to denote, extend, restrict, and connote the reference of terms, depending on such things as their context in a sentence and the application of various kinds of qualifiers, modal, temporal, quantifying, and so on. Discussion of such ‘properties of terms’ formed the subject of parva logicalia, in origin the last section of Peter of Spain's Summulae logicales, which was the main textbook on logic. (53) ‘Dialectica itaque in hoc vulgari, et qui est omnium in ore sermo, verum, falsum, probabilitatem invenit’ (ibid. 54). (54) ‘Doctiores indulgent utcunque plebi in sermonis usu, ipsi inter se et aliter sentiunt, et loquuntur, quamvis haec non usque adeo multa’ (ibid. 68).

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Paris (55) ‘Sin vero latinam dialecticarn pollicemur omnes, ex instituto moreque latinorum significabunt voces, non ex nostro…Si dialecticarn vel hispane vel gallice essent tradituri [the (pseudo)logicians], quod tarn fieri potest, quam latine aut graece, num regulas suo ipsorum arbitratu, et non potius ex ipsius sermonis ratione formarent?’ (ibid. 66); he goes on to speculate, inconclusively, on the consequences for logic of differing usages concerning negatives found in different languages. (56) ‘Hic sermo, barbarismis et soloecismis scatens, solus est quo res theologicae magistraliter diffiniri possunt; atque in hanc stultissimam et pestiferam opinionem plerique adducti sunt, ut philosophiam, ut theologiam, ut reliquas artes incorrupto sermone tradi non posse credant’ (ibid. 84); the use of the barbaric word ‘magistraliter’ for the Paris ‘masters’ is, of course, deliberate. (57) ‘Adeo sicut sermo, ita et mores et actus omnes ab homine abhorrent, ut nihil illis cum ceteris hominibus commune praeter formam iudices’ (ibid. 92). The satirical mode is also characterized by exaggeration. There were other Spaniards who had quite a different impression of their adopted alma mater. Joannes Vaccaeus (?Juan Vacet), a close associate of François Du Bois at the Collège de Montaigu, left his native Murcia to study eloquence at Paris, not logic, and claims he found her there. She sings her own praises at length in his Sylva, cut titulus Parrhisia, argumentum de laudibus eloquentiae et claris utriusque linguae oratoribus (Paris: N. de La Barre, 1522). (58) The Latin text and English translation of the letter are in The Complete Works of St Thomas More, ed. D. Kinney, xv (New Haven, 1986), 1–149. (59) Ibid. 34; the discussion of logic and language is mainly at pp. 22–77. (60) Ibid 68–71. (61) The Complete Works of St Thomas More, ed. D. Kinney, xv (New Haven, 1986), 26–9, 50–5, 72–5. (62) More specifically, it engages with the inaugural oration by a young associate of Erasmus, Petrus Mosellanus (Peter Schade, c.1493–1524), recently appointed to the first chair of Greek at Leipzig. His Oratio de variarum linguarum cognitione paranda (Leipzig, 1518) was strong in its support of Erasmus and his philological critique of the Vulgate ‘received text’ of the New Testament. For a thorough account of Masson's dialogue, see Rummel, Erasmus and his Catholic Critics, i. 63–93.

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Paris (63) ‘Tamen ne Unguis nimium tribuat aliquis, altius repetens dicebat [doctus senex] conceptus esse vocibus priores, et propterea non sequi quod necessario rem ignoret qui vocem nesciat et multominus qui primam vocem aut qui graecam vel egyptiam rei vocem ignoret, sed ediverso potius res ignorata facit vocem nesciri…Addebat [senex] quia notiones significant naturaliter et sunt eaedem apud omnes…Qui vero rem mente comprehendit, earn sermone potest exprimere communem linguam habentibus’ (De trium linguarum et studii theologici ratione dialogus (Antwerp, 1519), 17–19). Rummel points out that this passage implicitly contradicts a statement made by Mosellanus that puts a typically humanist view of the question: ‘I am amazed that there are men who have no scruples in stating that the nature and properties of things can be perceived without instruction in the meaning of words’ (Rummel, Erasmus and his Catholic Critics, i. 80). (64) ‘Sed ignaris Romani idiomatis fortasse efficiemus Astrologiam iterum, sed Pariensi stylo qui crebras argumentationes exposcit et ornatum posthabet, quandoquidem non deesse multos scimus, qui ut negotium hoc suscipiamus desiderant, cum ob Pici eloquentiam a fructu quern ex libris disputationum eius eruerent praepediantur, demissionem scribendi modum praeoptantes et illi qui eis familiaris est persimilem’ (Gian Francesco Pico della Mirandola, De studio divinae et humanae phihsophiae, in Opera omnia Ioannis Pici Mirandolae, ii (Basle, 1573), 23–4; this book was first published in 1497 at Bologna and was very well known in northern Europe). (65) Masson, Dialogus, 36; for a translation of this passage and references to corresponding passages in Erasmus, see Rummel, Erasmus and his Catholic Critics, i. 86–7. (66) Dialectice Laurentii Vallae libri tres seu eiusdem reconcinnatio totius dialectice et fundamentorum universalis philosophic: Ubi multa adversus Aristotelem, Boetium, Porphyrium, sed plura adversus recentiores philosophos acutissime disputantur: non defore tamen credam quae ab illis respondeantur (Paris: Josse Bade for J. Marnef, 1515). This edn., like all the 16th-cent. printed edns., reproduces the second of three states of the text published in manuscript by Valla himself. It is much more developed than the first version, and close to the final version, which expands on some points. All states of the text are available in the modern edn. cited. There were perhaps two printings of the work prior to Bade's edn., and those were in Italy in the last years of the 15th cent. We have already considered Valla's work on dialectic in connection with his much more influential Elegantiae.

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Paris (67) Between Bade's 1515 reissue and the eventual inclusion of the Dialecticae disputationes in edns. of Valla's complete works in 1540 and 1543, there seem to have been only three edns., one at Paris and one at Cologne, both in 1530, and one at Cologne in 1541. Both the 1530 imprints come directly after editions of Agricola's De inventione dialectica (in Paris, at least, from the same press) and may perhaps be related to the current interest in remodelling the dialectic syllabus consequent on that work. The direct influence of Valla's dialectical work in the first thirty years or so of the 16th cent, has been somewhat exaggerated; correctives may be found in J. Monfasani, ‘Lorenzo Valla and Rudolph Agricola’, Journal of the History of Philosophy, 28 (1990), 181–200, and in Mack, Renaissance Argument, 114–16. (68) Against the Pseudodialecticians, 78–9. (69) More's letter to Dorp, 22–3. (70) The work is perhaps most comprehensively analysed in Mack, Renaissance Argument, but a sense of how ‘dialectic, in Agricola, shifts from being a logic of disputation to a logic of inquiry’ is conveyed with great force in M. Cogan, ‘Rodolphus Agricola and the Semantic Revolutions of the History of Invention’, Rhetorica, 2 (1984) 163–94 The best introduction to the text itself is the volume of extracts and translation into French introduced by M. van der Poel, Écrits sur la dialectique et !’humanisme: Rodolphe Agricola, choix de textes (Paris, 1997). For the story of how Agricola's book eventually got into print, many years after its completion in 1479, and after a period when it was seen by very few, known only by repute, eagerly awaited, and extensively trailed prior to publication, see Jardine, Erasmus, Man of Letters. (71) The title-page is reproduced and its context discussed ibid. 99–122. (72) Rice, Prefatory Epistles of Lefèvre d’Etaples, 106–7. (73) The most comprehensive account of Budés work is La Garanderie, Christianisme et lettres profanesy with a particularly pertinent analysis of his idiosyncratic style of writing at pp. 259–84; see also the penetrating chapter on Budé in S. Murphy, The Gift of Immortality: Myths of Power in Humanist Poetics (Madison, Wis., 1997) 191–241. (74) Erasmus, Opus epistolarum, ii (1910), 272–6, 362–70, 390–405 (nos. 435,480, and 493) (75) Ibid. 394, 399. (76) Modern Latin/French edn., Le Passage de l’hellénisme au christianisme, ed. and tr. M.-M. de La Garanderie and D. F. Penham (Paris, 1993).

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Paris (77) Ibid. 53, 111, 130–3 (on the silencing of free debate: Budé’ tries to suspend judgement and the only effective counter to the arguments of Aius Loquens against the faculty proves to be the uncovering of the ‘atrocious conspiracy’ of the Affaire des Placards), 165–8 (Budé himself, as Aius Loquens, exposes corruption in the Church), 177 (criticism of such corruption must be heeded, even when murmured by Aius Loquens in the guise of the enemies of the Church), 201–2 (lament for the Church degenerate since apostolic times). (78) Le Passage de l’hellénisme au christianisme, ed. and tr. M.-M. de La Garanderie and D. F. Penham (Paris, 1993), 108. Budé's ideal, moderate debaters (not named) from the other side, ones who speak ‘facunde’, in humanist Latin, seem to be Philip Melanchthon and Martin Bucer. Since 1532, at the instigation of François I, there had been plans afoot to stage an official debate between the Paris Faculty of Theology on the one hand and Melanchthon and Bucer on the other. By the time the De transitu was seen through the press, early in March 1535, those plans, on which many had set high hopes, seemed effectively scotched by the Affaire des Placards (Oct 1534). In Nov. 1535, the obstructive tactics of the faculty, along with various political factors, saw to it that the debate was cancelled. For the details of this episode, see Farge, Orthodoxy and Reform, 150–9. (79) Part of the faculty's deposition on the inadvisability of the proposed colloquy with Melanchthon and Bucer was a Codkillus quo ostenditur non esse disputandum cum haereticis. For the ways the faculty exercised its authority, see the works by Farge, Orthodoxy and Reform and Le Parti conservateur, for the faculty's written altercations with its most vocal opponent, Erasmus, that began in earnest in 1526, see Rummel, Erasmus and his Catholic Critics ii. 29–59. (80) e.g. Thomas More in his letter to Dorp in 1515 (70), talking about theologians armed with 10,000 of the thorniest quaestiones wonders to himself what use they are and then proceeds to demolish the customary answer that it is for disputing with heretics. (81) The manuscript is transcribed, together with the appropriate chapters from the Antilutherus, in Massaut, Critique et tradition, 179–229. (82) For exchanges between Clichtove and Erasmus, see Rummel, Erasmus and his Catholic Critics, ii 73–9; points at issue in the objections Clichtove's Propugnaculum ecclesiae of 1525 makes to Erasmus’Encomium matrimonii include questions of language use, rhetorical status, and rhetorical genre.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere)

Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Ann Moss


Abstract and Keywords This chapter discusses other intellectual exchanges of logic and theology in Leipzig, which was one of the two most significant university communities during the Renaissance. Leipzig was described as being more on the edge of things, and endured a rapid transformation during the first quarter of the 16th century. An examination of St. Ann and her respective cult provides a detailed description of the events that show some facets of the Latin language divide that was occurring in Germany during that time. Keywords:   Leipzig, logic, theology, university communities, Renaissance, St. Ann, cult, Latin language divide, Germany

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) OUR EXPLORATION OF some facets of the Latin language divide in Germany will focus on Leipzig, and it is St Ann who will lead us there. Her cult was as widespread and intense in Germany as it was in France, the Low Countries, and elsewhere in the years around 1500. In parts of Germany, however, it was to undergo a more rapid and more fundamental transformation in the first quarter of the sixteenth century, indeed within the space of a very few years. In 1511, the notable promoter of humanist Latin and conservative piety, Jakob Wimpfeling, involved himself in a local ecclesiastical dispute in support of a parish priest who had written a poem against the mercenary greed of local friars guilty of unscrupulously promoting a new church dedicated to St Ann and drawing away support from the local parish church.1 The avarice and hypocrisy of the preaching friars are mercilessly exposed, but St Ann herself emerges unscathed. This is only an episode in the perpetual grousing of secular clergy against the regulars. At about the same time, Lucas Cranach the Elder did a woodcut of St Ann and her extended family, with her three husbands conversing in one corner, the Virgin at her side and the Christ child on her knee, and her other daughters, their husbands, and numerous children variously grouped in the foreground.2 In each of these latter two family groups, the fathers are conspicuously removing their sons from their mothers in order to teach them to read. Seven or eight years later, the woodcut was reproduced at Wittenberg, the power-house of Luther's Reformation. Now, there is no indication that it might represent St Ann's larger family. It is assumed that the onlooker will only recognize the nuclear group of Ann, Mary, and the Christ child. Printed below it, is a Latin poem composed by Philip Melanchthon to call little boys to their first day at school: ‘So, come with us to school, for our school shows the way to Christ’. We have indeed come a long way in a few years.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) In the same year as St Ann's family was transformed into the Wittenberg elementary class, aspects of her story were attacked in print by Johann Wildenauer (Ioannes Sylvius Egranus, d. 1535).3 In 1517, Wildenauer had stood up in his pulpit (p.125) at Zwickau to condemn as ‘lies’ and ‘nonsense’ the commonly held notion that St Ann had married Cleophas and Salome. The bishop of Nuremberg had been alerted, and Wildenauer's printed tract was his defence. He wrote it at exactly the same time as Lefevre added his discussion of St Ann's husbands and her progeny to his De Maria Magdalena. There is no indication that they knew each others’ texts before they published, but it is significant that in two separate locations the humanist cult of critical reading should be applied to the same scandal of popular superstition. For Wildenauer has no doubt that that is what he is dealing with. He is at once sharper and narrower in his focus than Lefèvre. All lies must be eradicated, simply because they are lies and all lies endanger the truth. He claims, somewhat disingenuously perhaps, that there is no evidence on which to decide for or against St Ann's remarriages, but there is evidence that Cleophas and Salome were not fathers to any biblical Maries. Wildenauer's scope, is therefore, quite limited, and has none of Lefèvre's ethical and rhetorical dimensions. His contention is that the names of St Ann's supposed second and third husbands were fabricated out of linguistic error, and the perpetrators of that error were the ‘modern theologians, totally ignorant of antiquity and the Greek language, who read the Gospels with their eyes shut’.4 Wildenauer accepts only one kind of judgement on his work, and that must come from someone ‘not uncultured and no stranger to the liberal arts’. In other words, he defers only to the truth tests established by the philological strictures of humanist language studies. Early on it becomes apparent that the main text from which he derives his argument is Erasmus’ Novum instrumentum of 1516, qualified as the work of ‘easily the most eminent theologian of our time because of his learning and his eloquence’.5 Wildenauer could hardly signal more clearly his separation from late medieval theology, its logic, and its language. The only test for truth is scripture, the words of the Latin scriptures emendated so that they accurately reflect the original texts, and those who make such emendations are the ones to establish authority in the Church.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) A letter printed at the end of Wildenauer's short tract makes its intellectual context doubly clear. It is from Petrus Mosellanus, dated from Leipzig, where he had just been appointed to a chair in Greek. This was the learned young humanist whose inaugural Oratio de variarum linguarum cognitione paranda, also published in 1518, was taken to task by Jacques Masson the following year. Mosellanus gives technical explanations of Greek grammatical usage to confirm Wildenauer's readings of the crucial Greek words in the scriptures on which he rests his case. (p.126) Wildenauer was only a bit player, but he was playing to a wide audience in two theatres. In the cause of philological accuracy, Erasmus was happy to cite him to confirm his view that Mary, the Virgin's sister, should be called the wife, not daughter, of Cleophas.6 In the cause of religious dissent, Luther came out in Wildenauer's support concerning the matters of doctrine that he had been expounding from his pulpit, including the partial refutation of the story of St Ann that he had developed in print.7 At the end of December 1517, before Wildenauer had published his little book, Luther warned that he had heard that Conradus Wimpina was concocting something against him because he had argued against the traditional narrative of St Ann's family.8 Conradus Wimpina (Konrad Koch, c.1460–1531) was indeed concocting something. It is uncertain at what point his De divae Annae trinubio appeared in print, but it is more than probable that for his anonymous preachers (‘declamatores’) who have the temerity to publicize their opinions we should read ‘Wildenauer’.9 These (or he) are his initial target, but Wimpina takes such sermons to be a sign that a major controversy is in the making and his work is conceived as a pre-emptive strike. He claims to think that his opponents are about to bring out in print as their own work an old manuscript that supports their cause. His tactic is to publish the manuscript before they do, making clear that it is an old book, of dubious validity and very rightly neglected, so proving that these upstarts with their so-called novel ideas are merely recycling lost and forgotten causes. This manuscript, which forms the first book of his De divae Annae trinubio, is the Defensorium Annae by John of Freiburg that Lefèvre d’Etaples used in his book on St Ann in 1518. The manuscript Wimpina edits was apparently in his own possession, and cannot be the same manuscript as the one lent to Lefèvre in Paris, but, as (p.127) far as can be judged from Lefèvre's references to his, the text was similar. Unlike Lefèvre, Wimpina claims to know the name of its author, but will not divulge it (doubtless because John of Freiburg was still recognized in other respects as a theologian of standing).10

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Wimpina's readers were thus confronted with a text designed to shock most of them, but they were forewarned that it was extremely dubious. Its late thirteenth-century Latin would have seemed archaic to readers who had been through the humanists’ grammar classes or heard Mosellanus’ lectures and would have given its ideas the old-fashioned air Wimpina intended. John of Freiburg, however, did not use the specialized argumentative idiom of later scholastics, and Wimpina's ploy did not fall into the trap of risking that his linguistically sophisticated opponents might find an easy way of dissociating themselves from the text with which he wanted to bind them. In the second book of his De divae Annae trinubio, Wimpina sets out to correct the errors of the document his readers have in front of them and, incidentally, but more importantly, the errors of modern-day detractors of St Ann and her family. These scoundrelly ‘mastiges’ (St Ann's persecutors) are not named in the text, but it is clear that, if Wildenauer's sermons were the immediate cause of Wimpina's book, Wimpina was really after bigger targets. By implication, there was Erasmus, but, much more directly, there was Lefèvre d’Etaples, whose 1518 tract on St Ann he clearly has to hand. Wimpina's argument follows John of Freiburg's groundplan, without imposing the sort of schematic grid that Béda and Cousturier had needed to structure their response to Lefèvre. Wimpina's language is by and large recognizable as the Latin idiom of his humanist adversaries, deliberately distanced both from the old-fashioned Latin of John of Freiburg and from the invented vocabulary of the scholastics that the humanists found such easy game. Wimpina not only talks the language of his opponents, but he can get them talking against each other. He brings Athanasius into play to discredit Hegesippus and Eusebius, witnesses essential to the arguments of John of Freiburg and Lefèvre, and ones that Wildenauer had also used to supplement his philological proofs. To substantiate the authority of Athanasius, he quotes Erasmus in the act of contradicting Lefèvre on the basis of Athanasius’ knowledge of Greek.11 In the course of complex computations about the ages of the various actors in Ann's story, Wimpina stresses contradictions in the conclusions reached by John of Freiburg and Lefèvre. His replies to the ethical issues concerning St Ann's remarriages are (p.128) grounded in differences between the expectations of her times and his, so turning his knowledge of the Bible against Reformers who pride themselves on theirs. He claims to detect in John of Freiburg a rhetorical sophistication that would attract his humanist readers, imposing on John's text a Ciceronian progress from confutatio to confirmatio. Then he undermines rhetoric as he goes on to confute John's argument for giving Ann two daughters by introducing and subsequently deflating Lefèvre's rhetorical amplifications on the subject of Mary's unique status. Wimpina has no problem in demonstrating that, taken collectively, St Ann's detractors are a divided camp, and destroy each other's arguments.12

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) At the moment of his own confirmatio, however, when he comes to argue the case for St Ann's three husbands and her multiple progeny, Wimpina's apparent concern to talk the humanists’ language leaves him unable to make the dialectical moves that would have been embedded in the theologian's traditional idiom. He has no logic of demonstration, only a logic of queries: if St Ann has a clear role in the propagation of grace, why should that role not be fulfilled in the corporeal propagation of numerous others for the good of the Church?13 The problem is that open-ended questions of the form ‘why not?’ invite contradictory responses from different and possibly incommensurable orders of truth values, in this case not only from differing doctrinal notions about the economy of grace, but also from the philological/historical conceptual set that Wimpina has shown he understands perfectly well. It is now Wimpina who seems divided against himself, having adopted a language that cannot formulate his desired conclusions with logical rigour. His only solution is to disengage from the language of Lefèvre's arguments. His strategy for talking to humanists prevents him from talking scholastic Latin, but he does change his idiom, shifting his horizon of cultural reference in the process. He quotes Latin doggerel from Vincent de Beauvais and moves through Jean Gerson to Mantuan, with none of Lefèvre's footnotes about poetic fiction. He turns to the received narratives of St Ann, admitting that sanctorum legendae (the lives of saints read out in the liturgy of their feasts) do not contain the sort of truth to be expected from articles of faith and cannot match the criteria required to be demonstrably true, ‘yet, if they are not altogether true, they are manifestly not clearly false’.14 It is not immediately obvious how this category of the ‘to some extent true and not clearly false’ is to be translated into humanist concepts of truth and fiction derived from classical rhetoric, let alone the truth of the Reformers based on scripture or the truth of the scholastics based on logic. The last book of the De divae Annae trinubio consists of documents ‘not clearly false’: antiphons, collects, readings, hymns, and other liturgical material for the feasts of the St Maries whose cult was at Marseilles.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Nearly twenty years previously, Wimpina had been at the centre of another war of words, this time as opponent to an unnamed individual who had publicly (p. 129) asserted that poetry is the source of sacred wisdom and thereby superior in status to theology.15 Wimpina was at that time teaching in the Faculty of Arts at Leipzig and reading his way towards the doctorate of theology he took in 1503. Almost certainly his main professional engagement in 1500 was with logic. He had published his course-book on the parva logicalia, or properties of terms, in 1498.16 Outside the logic curriculum, however, Leipzig printers were already supplying texts and manuals in ever-increasing numbers for the grammar syllabus and for the rhetoric programme that had been made mandatory for students in the Arts Faculty in 1496. They had published texts by Cicero, Ovid, Seneca, Macrobius, Martial, Claudian, Virgil, Mantuan, and the Ars poetica of Horace. They had supplied manuals on prosody by the Italians, Maturanzio and Mancinelli, and by their more local imitators, Laurentius Corvinus and Conradus Celtis. Humanist programmes on the Italian model were clearly in place. Poetry, taken in the wider sense to include parts of the grammar course, of rhetoric, and of history, was asserting its presence, even if masked behind the anonymity of the adversary Wimpina perhaps fabricated for the occasion. The occasion gives us the measure of the distance that separates the Wimpina of the 1500 Apologeticus from the Wimpina who in 1518 had learnt the language of much more sophisticated humanist critics of the theologians’ mind-set than he claims he was encountering in 1500. The Apologeticus is conceived as a formal disputation, a quaestio, in which Wimpina has been called to argue on the subject of ‘whether the delights of poetry, or of eloquence in any form of discourse, may be so judged with respect to the exalted rank of theology that poetry may seem not only to equal theology, but to excel far above it’.17 Wimpina does not doubt that poetry is an ornament and splendour (‘fucus iubarque’) of the human arts (‘artes humanae’), because it supplies them with words. Boccaccio (in book xiv of the Genealogia deorum gentilium) is its worthy defender. To compete with theology, however, poetry must demonstrate that it is an exact science and can promote itself in the language of theology, that is, in the language of logical precision. What is the object of knowledge for poetry? In what terms are the formal investigations (quaestiones) by which poetry pursues knowledge conducted? Which of the normal three methods of acquiring scientific knowledge is applicable to poetry: via compositiva, demonstration from causes (propter quid); via resolutiva, demonstration from observed effects (quia); or via definitiva, by definition?18

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (p.130) The ways these questions are formulated signals immediately that Wimpina conceives the rivalry between poetry and theology as a case of competing languages, but a case in which one language can be proved conclusively to be superior. A main plank in his argument is that the object of poetry, or eloquence in general, is verbal, the assembly of words. The object of theology, however, is not words (verba) that are the extrinsic linguistic expression of concepts, but contemplation of the mental word (verbum mentis), internal, close to the spirit, objectively present in the mind, a mental language that belongs to no earthly tongue (‘ad nullius gentis linguam pertinens’). It follows that the ineffable object of theology's knowledge is grasped most nearly by the theoretical intellection of theology associated with the rigorous thought processes of logic and their appropriate and invariable terminology. Descent into other languages is descent indeed, into the artificial, into the extrinsic, into outer words, and that includes the poetry of the psalms and of Christian hymns. How much more, then, is this the case with pagan poets whose theology was false from the start?19 Poetic language is unfit either for theological speculation or for logico-theological quaestiones. It soothes the ear but cannot illuminate, purge, and perfect mental cognition.20 Wimpina talks not only in terms of language difference, but also in terms of hierarchy. The intellectual disciplines are arranged on a vertical model that reflects how close they come to apodictic truth. Theology is at the summit. Below, in a descending order taken from St Thomas Aquinas’ prologue to Aristotle's Posterior Analytics, come, first, the principles for demonstrative, scientific knowledge contained in the Posterior Analytics themselves; then the principles of argumentation by topics or places, which produce reasoned opinion, not science; next, rhetoric, designed to inspire conjecture; poetry, that sharpens the ability to appraise things (aestimatio); finally, sophistic logic, whose purpose is deceit and display. Wimpina thinks that poetry actually does not belong at all to the stricter disciplines of intellectual inquiry, but to the sphere of politics in its broadest sense, because its purpose is the essentially urbane facilitation of apt and polished speech.21 That apart, (p.131) too much immersion in poetry, grammar, and history, in counting metrical feet, in word derivations, and in historical narratives, dulls the mind and makes one forget the exact language of rational argument. Wimpina therefore feels himself forced in the end to pander to the supposed inadequacies of his opponent by resorting to the simpler idiom of example and authoritative quotation.22

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Wimpina's Apologeticus was contested by a colleague from the Arts Faculty, Martin Polich (d. 1513), who was also a physician, but is not known to have had a particular commitment to the humanists’ programme.23 Polich was certainly prepared, and well able, to talk Wimpina's language and argue with him on his own terms. Yet, as he does so, he simultaneously destroys Wimpina's language and undermines his arguments in a double-pronged attack. Like a scholastic disputant, he sorts the points on which he is engaging with Wimpina into a series of rationes (aspects of the subject to be discussed), responsiones, and conclusiones. Formally, he concedes to Wimpina and to theology control over the structure of their debate. He also counters Wimpina's analyses of the relative cognitive virtues of theology and poetry with a fairly convincing display of the technical idiom Wimpina had himself used. Wimpina had deployed his jargon for the purpose of disallowing poetry a chance to compete on theology's own ground. Polich, however, makes it abundantly clear both that he can handle that jargon perfectly well and that it completely invalidates the contest in the eyes of the humanist speech community Polich has undertaken to represent. His ironical aside as he launches into a particularly abstruse analysis of theology's verbum mentis warns his readers that he is going to ‘barbarize’ for a while so as to make himself plain to a barbarian.24 Even before that, Polich has made it abundantly clear that he is not only going to weaken Wimpina's argument and undermine the authority of his jargon, but he is going to demolish his language at a much more basic level. This he does in the most elementary fashion by pointing out every error in Wimpina's use of Latin vocabulary. He starts using his ‘red pencil’ on Wimpina's preface and continues throughout. Wimpina's conclusion on poetry, for example, that it cannot ‘illuminate, purge, and perfect mental cognition’ (‘illuminare, purgare, perficere internam mentis cognitionem’), falls flat on its face when Polich begs to wonder whether the last two verbs are used appropriately.25 The manner, quite deliberately, is that of the (p.132) grammar master. The humanists’ disciplines may have lowly status, but they can destroy pretensions very effectively from below.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Having switched the reader's attention away from the res of Wimpina's ideas to the shaky verba on which they uncertainly stand, Polich dismantles the vertical hierarchy of the disciplines. Each is a world to itself, interconnected with all the other disciplines on a model of parity, not of precedence. Nevertheless, all recognize their direct dependence on God as their fount and origin, not mediated by way of a descending chain. In this sense, theology inheres in all the disciplines, but it does not have precedence.26 This parity of disciplines makes it important for Polich to give poetry its right of entry into a society of equals in which every discipline has its distinctive res as well as its characteristic verba. The science of topics has its procedures for producing convincing arguments, rhetoric has its enthymemes, both therefore have abstract, conceptual content (ens rationis), susceptible to rational investigation. The equivalent for poetry is exemplarity, its power to link particulars by finding similitudes between them, and the names for this process are fingere, facere, formare, mentiri. Moreover, it is by the translation vehicles of exemplarity and similitude that poets extract moral truths from their fabled material. Polich has brought the notion of fictionmaking and the tropical sphere of metaphor, similitude, and allegory within the ambit of ratiocinative discourse.27 It is by such invented likenesses that the metaphorical discourse of scripture brings us to God, in whose mind dwell the eternal exemplar ideas (’formae exemplares’), and it does so by ways at least as valid as those of the theologians when they contaminate theology with the argumentative procedure of logic and the demonstrations of physics. Those, however, who equate poetry with metrics are confusing its res with its characteristic verba. Metrics are poetry's voces and scripta, with the same relationship to the res of poetry as written and spoken words have, in Aristotle's opinion, to the mental concepts they utter. The mere mechanics of metrics rightly belong to grammar.28 But poetry inspired by a divine frenzy conjoins the beauty of perceived similarities that transports the mind with the rhythm of harmony in which the soul delights.29

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) The opposing tracts of Wimpina and Polich indicate a fissure between their two idioms, whatever Polich's attempts to beat Wimpina at his own game. The fissure becomes ever deeper in the subsequent pamphlets in which they continued their little local war. In his Responsio et apologia contra laconismum cuiusdam medici (p.133) (Leipzig: Jakob Thanner, 1502) Wimpina was forced into the position of taking words very seriously. Most serious of all, perhaps, was Polich's use of the words mentiri and fingere (to lie, to contrive, or feign) in connection with the similitudes used in scripture to describe God. Wimpina protests that this usage is ‘totally alien to customary speech in theology’ and ‘the scholastic way of speaking’. Moreover, it amounts to calling the figurative language that theology reads in the Bible a lie.30 Polich's use of fingere and its cognates derives from classical rhetoric. Wimpina sees very clearly that this rhetorical code does not exactly match the interpretative strategies of theology as he knows it (particularly the allegorical interpretation so heavily used in the later Middle Ages). The Latin language difference harbours danger for his own hermeneutic idiom. His defence goes straight for the language issue. On the authority of Jean Gerson, no individual on his own initiative may introduce new words or new meanings of words into the vocabulary of theological discourse, no ideas about sacred scripture will be accepted if their idiom and phraseology differs from the linguistic usage, the ‘communis sermo’, of those learned in the subject.31 Wimpina insists that new terms and new ideas must be translated into the customary language (‘termini communes’) of theology, and thereby into its conceptual universe (‘sententiae communium doctorum’).32 For Wimpina, that conceptual universe remains firmly established on an argumentative structure of quaestiones, authorities, rationes, and definitions, on demonstrations propter quid and quia. Poetry has no way of direct access to the verbum mentis (or verbum intelligibile, intentio intellects, or ‘word of the heart’), the conceptualizing faculty by which the essence or quiddity of any res, objectively present in the mind, is grasped by the intellect. The only access to that is by logic. Poetry's role in establishing likenesses functions at a far lower cognitive level. It belongs to the faculty of imagination which represents things for initial appraisal (aestimatio or existimatio) and makes them believable, but it has no powers of demonstration and falls short of faith, far short of certainty.33

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Wimpina continues to clarify his position, but by this moment in his Responsio he has already slipped from the terminology (termini communes) of theology to its (p.134) approved doctrine (sententiae communium doctorum). If Polich does not translate his terms so as to talk the language of theology correctly, then he will be convicted of error. Wimpina lists ninety-two errors of doctrine in Polich's little book and constructs his response on a carefully tabulated series of refutations. Nevertheless, Wimpina is stung by Polich's grammatical corrections into a reply that forces him to acknowledge the authority of the language arts and to use their procedures of proof. The examples of usage he cites to justify his own Latin range from classical authors and the Vulgate, through medieval Latin writers like Aquinas and Bonaventura, to Italian humanists like Lorenzo Valla, MancineUi, Beroaldo, and Bruni. They may not all have met humanist criteria, but Wimpina is implicitly recognizing the conventions of a Latin idiom whose right to speech he is trying his best to curtail.34 Some of the subsequent interventions in this dispute make it clear how much it polarized the Latin idioms it brought into conflict. Wimpina had an ally in Johann Seitz, who published a Pro defensione sacre theologie et theologice veritatis apologia secunda in 1501 or 1502. Seitz is particularly alarmed at the perils of associating poetic fictionality with theology. He is alarmed enough to call for the Inquisition in order to silence Wimpina's opponents at the stake. Theology is showing the potency of its non-verbal weapons, all to protect the bounds that Seitz thinks theology has rightly put to speech and to preserve the purity of its idiom.35

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) On the other side, poetry itself did have a voice. Georgius Dottanius had been appointed to give lectures in rhetoric once that subject was made mandatory for all students in the Faculty of Arts at Leipzig in 1496. With the dispute between Wimpina and Polich under way, it was an opportune moment to reprint his Carmen lysitelilogon on the benefits of poetry against its sacrilegious (or theological?) enemies.36 The poem is a virtuoso piece of epideictic rhetoric in praise of poetry, exhibiting the appropriate places of argument for proving a subject worthy of praise. It also advertises all the stylistic resources of rhetorical elocutio, its tropes and figures of thought, copiously displayed in the exaggerated manner suitable for poetry. They are all listed in the margin, making the little book a manual for the style it exemplifies and giving it the appearance of a text marked up for study in the humanists’ grammar class. Within the text itself, one of the chief benefits of studying poetry is deemed to be the language instruction to be derived from it, lessons in proper usage free of barbarisms. With a single-mindedness quite different from Polich's Laconismos, Dottanius’ Carmen talks the idiom of (p.135) humanist Latin, but, precisely for that reason, it scarcely engages at all with the arguments Wimpina was making. It claims that the poetry of the ancients and their modern imitators gives encyclopedic instruction in all aspects of natural philosophy, but Dottanius is doing no more than paraphrase the substance of many an introduction to many a text edited by Italian humanists. The only area in which Dottanius’ defence comes within the ambit of Wimpina's attack is when he praises poetry's special characteristic of reinforcing moral teaching by persuasive example. The ethic so taught is clearly assumed to be the Christian ethic, recognizable by the virtues and vices Dottanius says are so tellingly exemplified. Yet, while the priority he gives to poetry's manipulation of exempla could relate to Polich's attempt to make it the basis of poetry's claim to cognitive status, Dottanius does not turn his purely descriptive discourse on the subject into a dialectical stratagem. The arguments suited to rhetorical eulogy presuppose a compliant audience. Between 1500 and 1518, Wimpina had had to adjust his tactics quite considerably, not least by moving from a mainly attacking position to a defensive strategy, though, as we saw in his use of John of Freiburg, not without quite a clever line in pre-emptive strikes. He had certainly learnt that it was to his advantage to cross the linguistic frontier he had been so concerned to hold in 1500. Wimpina's change of tactic is symptomatic of quite momentous shifts in the positioning of the two Latin idioms and their users in the first twenty years of the sixteenth century, and that shift was itself part of a more general movement of seismic proportions. In the next few pages, we shall have a very brief look at some crucial moments in the Latin language debate as it developed at Leipzig and elsewhere in Germany up to 1518, the year before Leipzig staged an episode in that debate of much more far-reaching consequences than the commotion Wildenauer started with his observations on the story of St Ann.37

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) At the most local level, Leipzig had its own chronicler of the intellectual events of those years. Virgilius Wellendorfer (or Wallendorffer) came to Leipzig to study with Wimpina, whose devoted pupil he remained for five years and whose lessons he respectfully incorporated into many of his books. This was particularly true of his Trilogium de mirifico verbo intelligibili mentis sive cordis, printed by Melchior Lotter in 1505. The preface, addressed to the students at Leipzig, states the position he adopted for all his writing: ‘never to produce anything new, but to draw on other men's work and, with a due sense of propriety, give it more modern forms’.38 The term he uses for ‘more modern forms’ is ‘recentiores formae’, and (p.136) that links his project to the recentiores or late medieval, or, in his case, contemporary, scholastic thinkers. It is indeed from within their intellectual universe and in their Latin that Wellendorfer writes. From the point of view of linguistic change, it is useful to have in his Trilogium such a clear and comprehensive account of the philosophical understanding of language which prevailed at Leipzig when rhetoric and poetry started to make their voices heard. For the verbum mentis that had been fundamental in Wimpina's argument against Polich is here investigated in all its ramifications and with the help of numerous theorists, particularly Aristotle, St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, and later authorities, predominant among them Pietro d’Abano, the medical philosopher, and Hervaeus Natalis (d. 1323).39

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Wellendorfer's verbum is distinguished from ‘words’ as they fall within the remit of grammar. His verba mentis, verba cordis, verba intelligibilia, or (as defined by St Thomas Aquinas) intentiones intellectae, are intellectual concepts. They reflect things known to the mind and enable it to speculate upon them. What precise mode of ‘being’ concepts have preoccupies Wellendorfer for some pages, but what is perhaps of more interest to us is that concepts should be primarily described as ‘words’. Unarticulated mental notions were seen as a ‘language’, but a language prior to any differentiated languages. Every concept or verbum intelli-gibile is a single species and the same for all minds. So the concept ‘man’, in however many minds it is lodged, is identical for all because the formal principle for intellection is identical for all. In order for a mental concept to be manifest externally, the speaker first employs the faculty of imagination to choose a mode of speech, and then gives utterance in voces or verba vocalia belonging to a specific language.40 Voces signify concepts, not the operations of the intellect or things themselves. It is concepts, verba mentis, that are the primary, mediating signs of things.41 Behind the great diversity of linguistic phenomena with which humanist grammarians and rhetoricians occupied themselves, there existed this strong sense of a universal language of the mind, already a commonplace from Aristotle's explanation in his De interpretatione of how things, concepts, and vocal and (p.137) written signs are related. By the beginning of the sixteenth century, this language of the mind was being described in fascinating detail. The languages used were the languages of physics (for theories of mental cognition or notions within the soul), of theology (because truths apprehended in the mind are apprehended in the light of eternal truth), and of logic (because logic's reasoning processes dealt in abstract concepts or ‘Second intentions’). It is important to realize how dominant was this sense of conceptualization as a kind of universal language underwriting all separate languages. Attention to idiom could seem a trivial pursuit in every sense of the word. The humanists’ attachment to the plurality of voces, their love of piling them up in abundance, their disinclination to use the specialist vocabulary of intellectual cognition, all this signalled a lamentable disregard of disciplines of inquiry that provided efficiently signposted routes to the language of the mind. It certainly explains the hierarchy of disciplines and Wimpina's sense of outrage when it was disturbed.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Wellendorfer himself was less hierarchical than was his master. In 1502, at the moment when the dispute about theology and poetry was beginning to run out of steam, Wellendorfer had published his Heptalogium, a review of all the recognized disciplines of inquiry.42 This compendium of received ideas on the subject is divided into seven chapters, and their material subdivided by sevens wherever remotely possible. Patterned subdivisions are a feature of late medieval Latin discourse on many levels. We have seen it already in grids for argument placed by his scholastic Latin-speaking opponents on the continuous prose of a humanist like Lefèvre and it was a notable feature of sermon composition. In expository documents it becomes a fetish, infantile or seductive depending on taste, but certainly a marker on the boundary between classical and non-classical methods of composition. In the Heptalogium, it is the seven liberal arts that lead the dance of sevens, and, precisely because the patterning is retained for each and every one of them, it functions as a leveller and pulls against vertically angled hierarchy. Each of the liberal arts has its content divided into seven; each has its characteristic problems; to each are assigned its encomium and its description. The logic curriculum comprises the Old Logic (Aristotle's Categories and De interpretatione with short works by Porphyry and Boethius) to explain the terms of argumentative discourse; and the New Logic (Aristotle's Prior and Posterior Analytics, Topics, and Sophistici elenchi, together with Peter of Spain's Parva logi-calia) to demonstrate how argument proceeds. This is the traditional syllabus for the Faculty of Arts, and Aristotle would be read at this stage in the versions used throughout the Middle Ages, mainly by Boethius. Permission to switch to new Latin translations of Aristotle's Organon, emanating from France or Italy, was given at Leipzig in 1511. Wellendorfer's encomium of logic makes it the regulator of all other disciplines of inquiry, because it provides the rules to distinguish truth from falsehood. To accuse it of merely constructing spiders’ webs to trap the (p.138) unwary is to confuse logic with the worst kind of sophistry. The problem peculiar to logic is that the sharper and more instructive its disputations, the more contentious and pugnacious they are likely to be. Yet, it should be recognized that disputing, on the authority of Isidore of Seville, is a better training than reading, however regrettable the need for verbal bellicosity.43

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Rhetoric is the power of speaking in an ornamented manner on every aspect of a topic that can be treated persuasively. Its subdivisions are described in the words of Cicero (De inventione and Rhetorica ad Herennium) and of Isidore of Seville. Its inherent problem is that its recipients are more ready to be persuaded by examples and similitudes than by the tighter arguments of enthymemes and syllogisms. Examples and similitudes are easier to apprehend, but the type of cognition they represent is of the senses and relates to particulars. Universals require intellectual cognition and a correspondingly abstract form of argument. Wellendorfer implicitly supposes that the intellection of abstract concepts, and the logical procedures for argument and demonstration that ground that sort of knowledge, are of a higher kind than knowledge purveyed by examples and similitudes. This relates directly to Wimpina's debate with Polich. Nevertheless, Wellendorfer notes the paradox that, inferior though these latter modes may be, they are more instructive and morally more edifying for audiences with little education and poor mental abilities. It is by now apparent that the rhetoric Wellendorfer has in mind is preaching. He is much vexed by the problem of how to arrive at truth and communicate it. It is interesting that it is not logic that prompts a discussion of this, but rhetoric, a relatively new component of the compulsory curriculum in the Leipzig Arts Faculty. The novel factor that rhetoric has forced into the arena is the audience. The modalities of reception oblige Wellendorfer to give space to ‘impediments to the knowledge of truth’ which now seem at the heart of rhetoric's peculiar problematic.44 The first impediment is the audience's obstinate preference for what it is used to, accustomed as it is to hearing ‘fables or falsehoods’. The second impediment involves the differing temperaments of individual recipients. Some will not countenance abstract forms of demonstration, such as mathematical proof and logical disputation, that allow no room to the image-making faculty of imagination; others mistake the force of proof by authority, giving improper preference to who said what over what was said. Thirdly, though, comes ignorance of logic, and for that there is a remedy. Acquisition of the logical procedures for deciding truth by verification and strict inference must precede inquiry into the modes of investigation proper to individual disciplines. Each discipline has its own (p.139) particular modus considerandi, and to try and learn that at the same time as the universally valid rules of logic leads to ‘absurd’ confusion.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Wellendorfer has to a certain extent allowed rhetoric to unsettle his perspective on truth, though he recovers his composure by subordinating all disciplines to the rules of logic. Rhetoric's brief encomium stresses its affinities with dialectic and the modes of proof they have in common. Grammar, however, at its most elementary level, orthography, can pose problems that logic finds harder to handle. An unnamed ‘new author’, whom Wellendorfer's students, he says, will recognize, has claimed that ‘Virgil’ should be spelt ‘Vergil’, and his proof is that he saw it spelt thus on an ancient stone. What sort of proof is that? Demonstrativa (propter quid or quia) or topica (dialectical)? This is meant to be a pejorative remark, but it signals logic's dilemma in the face of a modus considerandi over which it has no sway. Wellendorfer retreats into the position that all novelty is suspect if it resists assimilation into the dominant intellectual discourse, authenticated by long tradi-ton.45 Poetry, even though Wellendorfer can quote Boccaccio and Pius II in its defence, also proves awkward. His preferred authorities on the subject are Isidore of Seville, Mantuan (always the acceptable face of Italian humanism at this date), St Basil, St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, Lactantius, and John of Salisbury. Fiction, treated under ‘poetry’, is described as part of Cicero's distinction between fable, history, and argumentum, the latter used to denote something ‘made up that could have happened’.46 This very well-known distinction, as we shall see later, is a prime generator of discourse on the subject of fiction across the Latin language spectrum. Wellendorfer also identifies argumentum with clever and delightful similitude, but draws no epistemological or hermeneutic conclusions from this. The prime purpose of poetry is to be a reservoir of words, but Wellendorfer cannot integrate it into the curriculum of the seven liberal arts. Poetry lies outside, along with six other disciplines, juxtaposed without hierarchy: natural philosophy, moral and political philosophy, history, medicine, law, and theology.47

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) As late as 1515, Virgilius Wellendorfer, well aware of his ambivalence towards rhetoric and poetry, could identify with neither: ‘I am not Cicero,…nor am I the Mantuan Virgil’. But at that date he did feel he had to proclaim an allegiance, and (p.140) he did know where he stood. He calls himself ‘Alexandrinus’.48 What he means by this is that he is no humanist, his Latin is a product of the days when students learning the rudiments of that language were taught from the long-established Donatus and then progressed to the versified Doctrinale of Alexander of Villedieu, mainstay of the grammar curriculum for the past 200 years at least. In 1515, the University of Leipzig, after some havering, decided to drop the Doctrinale from the syllabus. This was a symptom of momentous cultural change. In their campaign against late medieval Latin, humanists had everywhere targeted the Doctrinale as the instrument whereby certain aberrant attitudes to language were heavily imprinted on young minds. What students learnt from Alexander were rules and definitions, couched in a dense technical jargon rarely relieved by examples and occupying 2,645 lines of jingling leonine hexameters rather easier to remember than to understand.49 They also learnt a great deal of unusual vocabulary and a great many irregular exceptions to the rules, at the expense of a thoroughgoing acquaintance with normal usage. For well over twenty years previously, teachers in the north had in fact been making their own selections from the three parts of the Doctrinale, on etymology, on syntax, and on prosody, discarding and supplementing as they saw fit. They also had to decide whether to communicate to their pupils the substance of the lengthy commentaries surrounding the text in the many printed versions that flooded the school market, with fancy tide-pages offering added value at inflated prices.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) That, at least, was the disenchanted view Jakob Wimpfeling took of the Doctrinale commentary industry in his Isidoneus germanicus, probably first published in 1497 at Strasbourg. The purpose of most commentators had been to subordinate Latin grammar to logic, to demonstrate how speech forms could be reductively described in terms used to analyse the logical status of mental sentences. The study of language itself could thereby be made to reveal a deep logical structure refracted in its surface forms. It was the very language used that had made feasible this intertwining of grammar and logic, for the Latin of the technical terms for grammar often employed the same vocabulary as the technical jargon used for logic, if with different connotations. Names, nouns, substance, qualities, verbs, relations, and so on, are all germane to an understanding of how words signify and to the meaning of sentences, whether those sentences be grammatically construed or reduced to propositions that explicate the conditions for their verification by the procedures of logic. The opportunity to combine the terminologies of grammar and logic, both sciences of language, was thus eagerly pursued, especially at a time when practitioners of both subscribed to the presuppositions of an intellectual culture that Wellendorfer had represented so well when he said that (p.141) logic was the regulator of all the other disciplines and that, for truth to be established, the procedures of logic should precede discipline-specific modes of investigation. In the teaching of grammar, however, the situation could get horribly tangled. The language of logic, Latin, was itself predicated on the grammar it claimed to regulate, and a knowledge of Latin grammar was needed to understand the Latin of logic. The attempt to describe deep structure at the same time as making students memorize the functional precepts of grammar and syntax created exactly the ‘absurd’ confusion Wellendorfer had predicted for methods where the modus considerandi of a particular discipline was taught simultaneously with the universally valid rules of logic.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Discriminating and conscientious teachers of Latin grammar had been solving the pedagogical problem in various ways. Wimpfeling's own teacher at Selestat, Ludwig Dringenberg, had taught a simplified version of the Doctrinale, with omissions and without logical commentary, and this was what Wimpfeling still recommended in 1497.50 Wimpfeling, however, was influenced by humanist ideas that grounded the acquisition of Latin in classical texts exhibiting a norm of acceptable usage, and for him the attempt to base grammar on logic had worse effects than muddle. It had resulted in the manufacture of a whole subdialect of monstrous terms spawned from the forced match between Latin grammar and ‘the hidden properties of things’, that is to say, relationships pertaining between things as abstracted by logic.51 The main thrust of his attack on the commentary tradition of the Doctrinale is therefore against its aberrant idiom, and only secondarily, motivated by a pedagogical need to disentangle the two disciplines, does he object to the confusion of logic and grammar. ‘No one’, says Wimpfeling, ‘who has buried himself in the subtleties of the Doctrinale has the ability to communicate correctly and stylishly (eleganter) or courteously with a visiting foreigner.’52 He puts the greater part of the Doctrinale and all its logical commentaries full of quaestiones in a class of rejects that includes the Catholicon. It was the turn against the unacceptable (p.142) idiom of late medieval Latin that irretrievably sealed the fate of Alexander, more than philosophical disagreements, which were not pursued at any depth.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) At Leipzig, the Doctrinale was published in 1496 by Melchior Lotter, together with the best known ‘philosophical’ commentary, by Gerhard von Zütphen, and he reprinted it up until 1502 at least.53 In 1511, Leipzig had an edition of the elementary textbook, Donatus (destined to have a longer active life than Alexander), which included lengthy extracts from Wimpfeling's Isidoneus on what should and what should not be taught from the Doctrinale.54 It is pointed out that there were now plenty of new works covering Latin grammar, notably, Lorenzo Valla, Perotti, Sulpizio, Negri, all much more pedagogically suitable for ensuring progression from the rudiments to sophisticated manipulation of the language. Further commentary on the Doctrinaleis deemed superfluous. So, the Doctrinale was being pronounced redundant some time before it was officially dropped from the syllabus in 1515. During the twenty years that saw it gradually edged out, textbooks that were being published at Leipzig reveal where it was thought to be most deficient. From 1492 at least, there was a whole series of little introductions to prosody, some of them Italian (Mancinelli, Maturanzio), some more local (Celtis, Corvinus). The mechanics of classical poetry, with examples, were clearly being taught with some enthusiasm at the period of Wimpina's attack on its elevation to superior status. The next cluster of manuals indicating a change in teaching methods did not in fact consist of grammar textbooks, but of collections of phrases done in simplified imitation of Valla's Elegantiae. Many of the Elegantiae manuals we have reviewed were printed in Leipzig between 1502 and 1519: Dati's Elegantiolae, Wimpfeling's Medulla, Corvinus’ Hortulus. The real language change comes as a result of the immersion process represented by these attempts at making students write and think like natural users of classical Latin, rather than by the prescriptive route of grammar in the narrower sense.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Grammar manuals certainly did follow. Perhaps the most significant, because it was the work of a German humanist, was the Grammatice institutiones of Jakob Heinrichmann (1482–1561), first printed at Leipzig in 1509, though the original first edition was published in 1506 with a preface dated from Tubingen, where he was a teacher. Heinrichmann casts ‘Alexander the Gaul’ as the ‘god’ of a barbarian sect speaking unintelligible Gothic and Vandal, armed with a battery of syllogisms and (p.143) sophistical elenchi against the cultivators of pure Latin pledged to root out every tare and thorn sown by its enemies.55 The battle between Romans and Gauls has been relocated to Germany and is being fought over the curriculum. Henrichmann's own grammar book is a straightforward explanation of the traditional eight parts of speech and syntactical niceties, illustrated by clearly displayed examples of usage. Once again, grammar marks out a territory entirely separate from logic, in order to establish a speech community defined by classical idiom, rather than to construct itself as an intellectual discipline. In the words of Heinrichmann's mentor at Tübingen, Heinrich Bebel (Bebelius, 1473–1518): ‘Grammar needs no rational explanation and justification; fluent speech is entirely dependent for its effectiveness and its precepts on the authority of historians, orators, and poets.’56 Even an uncultured rustic would learn some proper Latin if he were in an environment where it was used, just as foreign vernacular languages are acquired by immersion.57 For this reason, logic is to be learnt, but not for long, because its idiom is catching and could infect the beginner with its own brand of dry, trite, disjointed jargon. The language of the liturgy, with its popular speech forms and its non-classical verse forms, is to be forbidden to youngsters, and the Vulgate scriptures, too, are no models of style.58 In another work, Bebel stages a dispute between himself and a friar on the language of theological discourse. For Bebel, the ideal for this form of discourse is the Latin style of the Fathers. By contrast, the barbaric, Gallic, Parisian style of the moderns is knotted and thorny. The reason, as Bebel correctly diagnoses, is that the moderns have bound theology into natural philosophy and logic, and constrained themselves to speak the language of those disciplines, so alien to the classical idiom of patristic Latin.59 Nevertheless, (p. 144) whether Bebel liked it or not, the language modern theologians used was universally recognized as the language in which propositions were tested and proved.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) All sorts of questions were raised by the new grammar. Once it was acquired by controlled immersion in a particular speech environment, written and oral, it became a purely pragmatic field of study, ill equipped to defend itself as an exact science. In an intellectual culture where the exact sciences fulfilled criteria set by definitions and procedures established in logic, which was deemed to regulate all the disciplines of inquiry, humanist grammar fell outside the parameters within which earlier commentators had contained the Doctrinale. Poetry, to which the new grammarians proclaimed their devotion, already had a very ambivalent position with respect to the established curriculum. Now, as Heinrichmann complained, humanist grammar and the rhetoric to which it was viscerally bound were held by their opponents to have forfeited their status as liberal arts.60 In the absence of a logical foundation, grammar's strident claims to make language usage the standard for judging written and spoken composition of all kinds could, indeed, be seriously contested, but only in a Latin that humanists refused to hear. On the other hand, if humanist grammar, rhetoric, and poetry were set to float free, that licensed their potential to become self-regulating and even predatory, a heady prospect for their enthusiasts, an anxiety for other disciplines. One thing that is clear in these years is the rift between the two clashing language universes. It is also evident that theology, as Bebel perhaps unconsciously signals, was on the fault line. The German humanist of this period who seems most clear-sighted about what was happening was Jakob Wimpfeling. His Defensio theologiae scholasticae et neo-tericorum (Nuremberg, 1510) was one of the final documents in a dispute between poetry and theology centred round the Latin poet Jakob Locher (1471– 1528), sur-named Philomusus, that rumbled on in very acrimonious fashion between 1503 and 1510.61 Some of the scathing remarks Wimpfeling makes in his Defensio about histrionic literature lectures should probably be read as attacks ad hominem, but he did have more general issues to air. He was prepared to look more critically than most other German humanists of this date at some consequences of their language teaching methodology. Wimpfeling applauded the recovery of the classical idiom and had furthered the enterprise with his collection of elegantiae and with his promotion of humanist grammars in the Isidoneus. He clearly did not believe that (p.145) conversion to the humanists’ Latin was in itself problematic with regard to the rest of the university curriculum. For him, the problems arose because explorations of Latin usage, combined with influential Italian precedents and the pressure of printers marketing texts, led to a totally novel concentration on the aspect of grammar known as enarratio. Enarratio meant the study of texts, literary and other, and the making of commentaries that set them within their own linguistic and cultural context. It was an open invitation for poetry to figure in the curriculum as never before, as exemplified by the career of Wimpfeling's antagonist in the present debate, Jakob Locher, lecturer in poetry at the University of Ingolstadt.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) In a learning environment where the study of poetry belonged to grammar, and grammar was the start of education, Wimpfeling questioned how much poetry was needed to give students the linguistic facility that was the sole purpose of the elementary class. In order to proceed to logic and to the branches of philosophy taught in the more advanced courses of the Arts Faculty, so as to qualify eventually as lawyers, theologians, or physicians, did students really need more than some acquaintance with an ancient poet (Virgil), with a Christian poet (Mantuan), and a sampling of poetic extracts?62 Wimpfeling saw that, in extending its syllabus to include all literature, grammar was diverging from its established role as foundation study and aiming to encompass very large horizons. To alter the foundation so radically would endanger the whole progression structure, indeed the whole hierarchical fabric of the university curriculum. The admixture of poetry, in particular, would weaken it. Wimpfeling, in his Isidoneus, had been keen to detach the pragmatic, but essential, art of grammar from logic. He was much less happy to allow further relaxation of logic's hold on the validation of inquiry. For poetry conspicuously flouted the criteria by which intellectual disciplines defined themselves as exact sciences, that is to say, routes to true knowledge. It was not just that poets wrote fiction. More radically, poetry did not have its own self-evident first principles, it had no recognized procedures of demonstration, it had no method of reaching conclusions or proposing theses verifiable in logic.63 What is more, poetry as a whole had no inbuilt moral regulator, and the unbridled exploration of enticingly licentious behaviour described by ancient pagan poets was a path to moral, as well as intellectual, error. These are serious issues. Wimpfeling's choice of the humanists’ Latin language idiom made him confront problems about truth. His attempts to solve those problems were not very sophisticated, but they were not out of line with subsequent developments. He urged retention of the present curriculum structure, with logic (p.146) coming after a thorough grounding in ‘elegant’ Latin and in no way devalued.64 He strongly advocated the imposition of limits to the early study of poetry, which meant substituting florilegia of extracts from ancient and contemporary humanist poets that were at once morally improving and proof that the humanists’ exploration of poetry could be self-regulating in line with accepted standards of moral truth.65 He did not, however, discourage enarratio as such, for he just as strongly recommended the detailed study of classical prose, especially Cicero, for his eloquent and ethically responsible discourse on philosophical issues, for his stylistic felicities, and for his rhetorical techniques of persuasion.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) More boldly still, Wimpfeling eventually came to the ostensible subject of his little book, its ‘defence of scholastic theology and the moderns’. His purpose seems to be to salvage what he could from the discourse of contemporary theology, underpinned as it was by the linguistically unacceptable terminology of the logic whose claims to regulate inquiry he has, nevertheless, largely conceded. Wimpfeling's tactic is to keep the terminology, but demonstrate that it is applicable to argumentative procedures well outside the confines of logic textbooks and their stock examples. In the Bible, Christ employs the basic procedure of quaestio when he disputes with the chief priests and the scribes; the prophets talk in syllogisms; Christ uses the dialectical place of argument a divisione contrariorum, technically known as an ‘immediate’; the fathers argue topically. The Bible itself is shot through with logical stratagems that need a trained mind to recognize them. Moreover, Wimpfeling cannot conceive of any way of reaching truth except by the disputation method of objections, replies to objections, and solutions. That method in its turn is inconceivable without the stratagems of proof catalogued in logic, and those should include the topical stratagems, or places of argument, that can be found in Cicero. Wimpfeling's notion of logic opens up to scripture, opens up to rhetoric, but it is in no way modified by them. His conclusion is that ‘to be well founded and firmly understood, all theology needs the chains and bonds of dialectic’.66 His pragmatic justification of this is the one that all scholastic theologians advanced as theory, but did not necessarily envisage putting into practice: we must be ready with systematic answers to sceptics, we must be prepared to dispute with heretics. Wimpfeling refers to a particularly up-to-date authority to support his contention that scholastic discourse is the proper language of argument. It is John Mair in his prologue to his commentary on the fourth book of the Sentences, published a year previously, in 1509. (p.147) Wimpfeling, in 1510, was writing in an environment in which humanist language study was flexing its muscles to colonize all the disciplines and regulate all discourse, but one in which the traditional logic and its claims to hegemony were well entrenched, and its specialized language for universally determining truth was current coin. He envisaged students making a relatively smooth passage between these competing language worlds as they progressed in the Arts Faculty from grammar to logic. Yet, if their grammar teachers had been only half as antagonistic to logic in class as some of them were in their published tracts, their pupils must have come to logic in a very prejudiced frame of mind. That is, if they came at all, for the annals of the University of Leipzig between 1502 and 1519 talk of deserted lecture rooms for logic, philosophy, and physics, and of students flocking to lectures on poetry (of which there must have been many more than ever previously, as Leipzig, like other German universities, now employed salaried poetry teachers).67 The response from logic lecturers during these years was certainly to simplify their courses, but not radically to change them. In fact, there had for some time been both easier and more Page 26 of 50

Leipzig (and Elsewhere) difficult course-books, gradated in a pedagogically useful way and very often locally produced. At Leipzig, there was an elementary manual known as the Parvulus antiquorum that followed the order of exposition to be found in Peter of Spain's Summulae logicales, the base text for logic teaching in Germany, as in France and elsewhere, since the latter half of the fourteenth century.68 The Summulae, in its turn, reproduced the scheme of Aristotle's Organon, transmogrified into the formal systematics and language of the scholastics, together with Peter of Spain's own lengthy Parva logicalia on the permutations and combinations of logical possibilities dependent on the introduction of certain terms. The Summulae was reprinted quite regularly at Leipzig, as were books of Aristotle's logic, but the logic textbook most heavily in demand was the Compendium totius logice of a local master originally from Magdeburg, Magnus Hundt (1449–1519).69 It had at least twelve editions between 1493 and 1517. A much elaborated version of the Parvulus, based primarily on Peter of Spain, it was presumably meant for students building on the Parvulus, or for teachers to select from it as they thought fit. It is clear that the logic to which Leipzig students were mainly directed was at some remove from Aristotle himself. They were learning a filtered version of Aristotle, and one of the elements almost filtered out were the topics, the loci or ‘places of argument’ to be found in rhetoric as well as dialectic. Hundt gave them very short shrift, treating them only in the guise of maximal (p.148) propositions (as in the major premiss of a syllogism), the form in which they were familiar to scholastic logicians suspicious of the less rigorous processes of argument, and listing them adjacent to enthymemes and consequences. The great pedagogical virtue of Hundt's Compendium was that it taught students all the technicalities of the language of logic. The traditional terms were retained and explained in their own late medieval Latin idiom, though with maximum clarity. Students learning their logic from Hundt were learning a language, as well as a particular cast of mind.70

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) The last edition of Hundt's Compendium was probably in 1517. By then, the foundations of logic teaching had shifted at Leipzig. Whereas in 1508 university regulations specified that the core texts should be Aristotle in the version by Boethius customarily used, together with Peter of Spain's Parva logicalia, in 1511 the authorities began to take note of requests that Aristotle should be taught in one of the new translations emanating from humanist Italy. The argument was that this would make logic and the other branches of philosophy more palatable to students used to elegant Latin. The compromise decision was that both the new and the old translation should be allowed. This may have seemed a way to bring the students back to the lecture rooms, but with them came a Trojan horse. The Latin of late medieval philosophy, however complex it had become, was recognizably of the same family as the Latin of the old translation of the Organon and the twelfth-and thirteenth-century versions of Aristode's works on natural philosophy from which scholastic Latin had been born. To substitute humanist Latin translations of Aristotle, the products of a more fastidious attitude to language (if not, it must be said, of greater philosophical sophistication), was to go a long way towards admitting that Lorenzo Valla had been right when he based his criticisms of late medieval philosophical Latin on translation failure.71 (p.149) In 1519, new regulations stipulated that Aristotle should be taught only from new translations. The Summulae still required, but its publishing history does not suggest a lively market for it. The elementary book that bid to replace Hundt's version was the Dragmata in dialecticam Petri Hispani by Christoph Hegendorff (1500–40), another local teacher who published his manual at Basle and at Leipzig in 1520. It claims to follow Peter of Spain's groundplan, but it is a very much shortened, much simplified version of the original, and, most significantly, it does its best to distance itself from its technical language. The proper terms are given, but often with a dismissive gloss, and, wherever feasible, equivalents are provided from classical Latin. The explanations are couched in a Latin Valla would have approved. He would have approved of more than that, for Hegendorff is clearly using Valla's Dialecticae disputationes to which he refers on several occasions, either for names of terms or to say where Valla has collapsed into one the complicated distinctions so necessary to the edifice of scholastic logic. Hegendorff is insistent that this is a manual for beginners, but the tone is very much that of Valla calling logic a ‘trite and easy thing’. The Dragmata does not seem to have caught on. Peter of Spain and Lorenzo Valla proved to be the wrong horses to back. A much more successful logic for the present times was published in Leipzig that same year.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Meanwhile, from his base at the University of Ingolstadt, a more able logician than Hegendorff was making a valiant effort to accommodate the exigencies of the grammarians without diluting the language of logic. Johann Eck (Johann Maier von Eck or Eckius, 1486–1543) was a theologian deeply immersed in the intellectual environment of scholastic philosophy and adept at manipulating its language. He published a commentary on the Parva logicalia in 1507, commentaries on Aristotle and the Summulae in 1516, a manual, Elementarius dialectice in 1517, and commentaries on Aristotle's scientific opus, including the De anima, 1518–20. Eck worked from new translations of Aristotle, mainly those by Argyropulos now becoming standard in German universities. In his commentaries on Aristotle, including his logic, Eck proceeds paragraph by paragraph, and begins with a paraphrasing explanation, accompanied by notes to elucidate any problems in the literal sense and by parallel quotations from other authors where apposite. So far, he replicates the method of grammatical lectio and the approach taken by Lefèvre d’Etaples in his Libri logicorum of 1503. Implicitly and explicitly, Eck maintains a dialogue with Lefèvre, and signals the importance of his own diversion from the route Lefèvre had taken.72 For it is a bifurcation indeed. Following the explanatio textus comes an explanatio scholastica ‘in the manner of the Parisians’ (and in their language), rigorously divided into quaestiones, subdivided into articles, dubious points to be (p.150) resolved, notabilia to be taken into account, objections, and replies to objections. Eck's account of truth is grounded in the abstract definitions and arguments of the recentiores (the moderns), whom he regards as more sophisticated and more substantial than Aristotle himself, and it is inextricably bound to the procedures and the language of their formal logic.73

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Eck was a synthesizer, not an original thinker, but it is seems clear that what he was consciously doing, and doing very strongly, was demonstrating the intellectual weight of the traditional philosophy in danger of attrition. This involves him in intermittent asides about Valla's lack of philosophical acumen. He knew, however, that the danger was coming from linguistic incomprehension, not disagreement between experts. He was very careful about his Latin, giving it enough stylistic brio to satisfy the grammarians’ pupils. But he strictly maintained that the purpose of philosophy is to determine whether a statement is true or false, which involves deciding if it is ‘congruent’ with the oratio mentalis, adequate to the concept it claims to express, not whether its word order satisfies criteria of elegance and harmony (congruitas in quite another, classical sense). He insists that learners going through the logic course should learn the language of the discipline and know how to use it. He is equally insistent that there should be no further arbitrary invention of words unknown to the standard vocabulary, and no further descent into linguistic barbarism.74 Yet, if he sets limits there, he also resists slippage in the other direction. He is suspicious of the willingness he detects in Lefèvre (and could have found in Clichtove) to compromise with the humanists’ Latin by translating technical terms into ‘the language of ordinary use’. That way lay fuzzy thinking, and a lack of nerve. How else, but in the medium of language fully adequate to truth in its strongest interpretation, could one hope to dispute successfully with heretics? Eck's Aristotle commentary on the Organon and his logic manual were officially commissioned for use at the University of Ingolstadt, but no one seems certain whether they were ever put on the curriculum. The trouble was that the heretics were coming from a totally different quarter, using a different idiom, and they were pressing hard. We have already looked at Wimpina's attempt to convert to the Latin of the humanists in order to counter a philological undermining of the St Ann legend. Petrus Mosellanus, who, by implication, was one of his adversaries in that dispute, gave humanist language studies unprecedented status at Leipzig (p.151) when he took the chair of Greek there in 1518. He was a protégé of Erasmus, and brought with him an Erasmian conviction that the integrity of all the disciplines, divine and humane letters, the integrity of our very judgement, depends on knowledge of languages: ‘if we are deprived of the support of languages, we must necessarily err in our judgement’.75 In 1519, when the heretics came in force to Leipzig to dispute about truth, Mosellanus was chosen to make the introductory remarks setting out the ground rules for the debate and begging them to proceed in a conciliatory manner.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) The Leipzig Disputation was staged in June and July of that year under the aegis of the duke of Saxony, in a Leipzig as yet by no means sympathetic to the ideas of the party which travelled there from Wittenberg. It was Johann Eck who sought the disputation, even though it diverted him from his current enthusiasm for negative theology and Neoplatonic philosophy (an intellectual evolution curiously parallel to Lefèvre’s). Eck had three encounters, one with Martin Luther and two with Luther's close collaborator at this period, Andreas Karlstadt (Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt or Carolostadius, c.1480’1541).76 Linguistically and conceptually, Eck was on his home ground. This was a theological disputation and it invited all the tactics of the long-established university exercise of disputatio. Each disputant drew up a numerical list of the theses, or conclusiones he wished to defend, and proceeded alternately to argue for and against these positions, to make objections, and to reply to objections. The Latin language question was not on the surface a divisive issue. Neither Karlstadt nor Luther were expert practitioners of humanist Latin. They spoke the same basic idiom as Eck, using the same technical terms, if sometimes with an apologetic parenthesis (‘as the scholastics say’). Nevertheless, wherever Eck attempted to use strategies of argument derived from logic or from physics along with the relevant specialized jargon, they rejected his discourse. For example, when Eck uses the terms expositio affirmativa and expositio negativa with respect to the interpretation of a passage of scripture, Karlstadt sidelines the argument as appropriate only for logic manuals on exponibilia and (p.152) the parva logicalia.77 When Karlstadt himself, disputing on the subject of free will and good works, employs the familiar scholastic term, merit de congruo, it is only to ascribe such subtleties to the malign influence Aristotle has had on theology, thereby trying to force Eck into a generally defensive posture.78 When Eck quotes recent scholastic philosophers in support of his points, Karlstadt claims that Eck alone can understand them, and is probably misrepresenting them (sig. B ii). Later, Eck makes a distinction between totum and totaliter (‘opus bonum est totum dei et non totaliter’) that Karlstadt mocks as a ‘chimera histricosa’, but Eck argues that the distinction is meaningful, as are invented words in general, for vocabulary must be stretched to match developing concepts, even, perhaps especially, in theology.79 There is, then, a measure of wilful linguistic misunderstanding on the part of the ‘heretics’, certainly enough to exasperate Eck, who claims that Karlstadt, in particular, does not attempt to demolish an argument thoroughly, using all the expected stratagems, but brings in other biblical texts to divert the course of the debate.80 The fundamental difference between them was a difference of culture, but one to which language was by no means irrelevant. For Luther and for Karlstadt, the one and only procedure in theological debate was to elicit the true sense of scripture. Eck stoutly resisted this. He claimed that there are many essential theological concepts not found by name in scripture, and for these concepts new words or new usages of words are quite properly invented to formulate debatable propositions in a metalanguage not encountered in scripture.81 Page 31 of 50

Leipzig (and Elsewhere) Despite differences of opinion, the Leipzig Disputation was conducted largely within the parameters of an attenuated scholastic Latin. Eck was frustrated because his opponents did not play by the rules. Luther and Karlstadt, particularly (p.153) the latter, did not perform well, and to no little extent this was because what they wanted to say did not match the idiom of argument required by the occasion. Eck considered, as did most of the audience, that he had won the match with Karlstadt and proved Luther a heretic. The decision was deferred to theologians at Erfurt and Paris. Erfurt declined to pronounce. Paris, led by Béda, delayed until the issue was merged in its general condemnation of Luther.82 If there was one person more frustrated than Eck with the conduct of this inconclusive affair, it was a recent convert to Luther's views sitting silent on the sidelines, though reportedly feeding Karlstadt and Luther with apposite quotations, to Eck's great annoyance. The young Philip Melanchthon (1497–1560) did not stay silent for long. Even though the case was sub iudice he deliberately kept it on the public agenda by immediately arranging to publish at Wittenberg and Leipzig what purported to be a private letter about the affair. Eck was forced into an equally public reply, an excusatio printed at Leipzig, to which Melanchthon responded from Wittenberg. Within the same year, 1519, all three documents were appearing together in pamphlets printed at Augsburg and Basle.83 The language of Melanchthon's first letter is in deliberate, stark contrast to the language of the debate. The Latin is humanistic, urbane, stylish; the syntax is quite complex; it reads as connected prose; the tone is that of an educated, intelligent, rather superior observer describing the events to a like-minded friend (the letter was addressed to the Reformer Oecolampadius). Eck's Excusatio, addressed to the world at large, reduces Melanchthon's points to numbered notulae and answers them drily. Melanchthon's subsequent Defensio moves unambiguously into the public arena and is ordered, rather loosely, to respond to Eck's points. Nevertheless, its style retains something of the humanists’ favourite epistolary genre, playing, for example, at the beginning with a purely profane sense of gratia and mereri (grace and merit, key concepts in the theological debate) in a way that any humanist would savour. What Melanchthon has done is to force the language issue that the debate itself had obscured. Eck knew where Melanchthon was going, and in his reply he dubs him deprecatingly ‘grammarian’, grammatellus, literator. Melanchthon the humanist, however, was proposing a radically new style of theological debate, one that mirrors verbal intercourse between scholars in literary studies, marked by the peaceful exchange and evaluation of opinions.84 He was equally concerned to bring out much more clearly what was fundamentally at stake: the opposition between the old theology that was of Christ and the new-fangled theology of the (p.154) scholastics that is of Aristotle.85 If that crucial difference had been clouded in the disputation, it was because the manner of disputing was radically flawed. Melanchthon sees where the flaws were. Page 32 of 50

Leipzig (and Elsewhere) First, the language question cannot be fudged. Melanchthon knows perfectly well that in fact the argument about grace and good works is about concepts that have clear late medieval Latin definitions: merit de congruo, grace not denied to anyone faciens quod in se est He himself uses them, though apologetically (‘I am using the words they use’) and rather loosely. Eck's reply brings him back to their strict application. In response, Melanchthon goes on to demonstrate his command of this language and of more abstruse arguments by Duns Scotus, ‘barbarus ille Heraclitus Scotus’. But he simultaneously underlines how such stratagems couched in their own particular Latin muddle the issue. Like Karlstadt, he accuses Eck of gratuitous word-play when he made a distinction between totum and totaliter. Eck explains it perfectly cogently, by contextualizing it within the procedures of logic and logic's own vocabulary, genus and species. Melanchthon ironically thanks Eck for reminding him of his elementary dialectic lessons, but it is Eck's language, he says, not logic, that is muddying the waters. Melanchthon asks what is to be gained by such ‘nova glossemata’ as totum/totaliter, when the idea expressed, not new at all but commonplace among followers of William Ockham, can be quite simply put, as he proceeds to do, in good, familiar Latin. What Melanchthon is demonstrating is that to compromise with the language of the scholastics and with their strategies for ratiocination and disputation, as by their very idiom Luther and Karlstadt had effectively done, is to lock oneself into a conceptual universe and accept its conventions for winning and losing arguments (interestingly, it was precisely at the moment of dispute over totum and totaliter that the debate about grace and good works ended so inconclusively for the Reformers). The Reformers cannot just complain about words. They will need to own their own logic and learn a language for it. A second observation concerns the conduct of debates. One thing about the Leipzig Disputation that seems to have exasperated Melanchthon above all others was the tendency of both sides to wander off the point and get embroiled in side-issues raised by supplementary quaestiones. Eck denies that he was at fault because he kept to the listed theses, the conclusiones, set for debate. Nevertheless, to make the disputation hinge on the defence of contrary theses chosen separately by the two sides is, as Melanchthon implies, hardly a method for ensuring that the debate is properly targeted to a goal (scopus) or that it has clear parameters (provincia). Any future argumentative discourse needs to have an inbuilt mechanism to guarantee that the topic on which all chains of reasoning are to converge is clearly defined and delineated as their common ground or place.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) The last major feature of the Leipzig Disputation that called for Melanchthon's comment was the use of proof texts, both from the Bible and from the Fathers. (p.155) Both sides were agreed on the fundamental role these had in their argumentative strategy. Both sides used them, wresting them more or less out of context. Melanchthon, and here he is at one with Luther, insists that such textswapping is empty of value unless it is grounded upon an agreed hermeneutic, and this is particularly the case for Reformers claiming, like Karlstadt, that the one and only aim of theological disputation is to elicit the true sense of scripture. Eck's system is to pile up quotations in support of his position, rather than to read his quotations back into the original text, and, typical of Catholic controversialists at this date, to rely on the maxim that ‘many things are done that are not written down’.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) In his reply to Eck's Excusatio Melanchthon is driven to sketch out a hermeneutic. The salient features are, first, that the truth of scripture is singular and cannot be plural. This disallows attempts to impose on it an incoherent, and potentially self-contradictory, multiplicity of senses from a template of allegorical interpretations. Secondly, the way to read scripture in order to catch its authentic meaning, its vis nativa, is modelled on the enarratio of the grammarians. This involves reading in context, according to the grain and texture of the discourse (‘e filo ductuque orationis’), making comparisons with other related passages from scripture, and, where relevant, referring back to the Greek and Hebrew originals. The discriminations that humanist grammarians are trained to make are particularly relevant to bringing into play interpretations advanced by the Fathers. Only when they had been specifically part of sustained enarratio are such readings to be received as authoritative. Interpretations that had been made for other purposes, rhetorical persuasion, disputes with particular brands of heretics, imaginative insights glimpsed in moments of emotional intensity, should be discounted.86 The opinions of the Fathers, where they disagree, are to be tested against scripture, read, as Luther rightly reads it, after this humanistic pattern, ‘ex ipso scripturae ductu, ex argumenti ordine’ (with the grain of the text, in the order of its exposition), with the help of the best commentators ‘qui eum ipsum locum enarrant’ (when they are giving an extended ‘grammatical’ commentary of the whole passage). This is in stark contrast with John Mair's stipulation that contradictory views of the Fathers should be tested ‘by seeing which of them speaks according to reason’. Logic seems to have yielded to the humanists’ grammar its monopoly on truth. That, however, is not all. Melanchthon is not just constructing a hermeneutic. His hermeneutic will be harnessed back to the cause of argument, to become part of a procedure of dialectical proof. In this he goes a significant step further than Erasmus, who since 1516 at the latest had been working out a very similar grammatical and rhetorical hermeneutic for scripture, published as his Ratio seu methodus compendio perveniendi ad veram theologiam in 1519.87 The trigger for Melanchthon's transition (p.156) from grammar to dialectic was the pressing need to win arguments with powerful and able opponents like Eck. The ideas Melanchthon sketched out in his reply to Eck hint at a discourse of argument that matches the humanist cast of mind, talks its idiom, and is strong enough to take on the logic of the scholastics. This was the very enterprise on which Melanchthon was currently engaged. In the next chapter, I shall try to measure the importance of what he was doing and judge its consequences for the Latin language turn. At Leipzig, there was certainly an immediate consequence. Melanchthon's Compendiaria dialectices ratio was published for the students there as soon as it appeared, in 1520 and again the following year, in the company of his De rhetorica libri tres. Magnus Hundt and Peter of Spain, it would seem, were never printed there again. Notes: Page 35 of 50

Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (1) The poem by Ioannes Renatus, with Wimpfeling's introduction and commentary, are to be found in Wimpfeling's Soliloquium ad divum Augustinum (Mainz, 1511), with an introduction explaining the circumstances of the dispute at sigs. a iii+1v−b; letters at the end are dated Strasbourg 1511. We have already met Wimpfeling as a collector of elegantiae. (2) The woodcut is reproduced from its later setting in Ashley and Sheingorn (eds.), Interpreting Cultural Symbols, 191. (3) Contra calumniatores suos apologia, in qua divam Annam nupsisse Cleophae et Salomae (id quod vulgo sentiunt) evangeliis et probatissimis testimoniis refellitur (Nuremberg, 1518). Wildenauer followed the courses in the Arts Faculty at Leipzig, leaving to become priest at Zwickau; he joined Luther's party in 1520. (4) ‘A recentioribus quibusdam, antiquitatis et graecae linguae plane imperitis, qui evangelium clausis (quod dicitur) oculis interpretati sunt, haec fabula in vulgus prodiit’ (ibid., sig. A ii). (5) Ibid, sig. A iii; the crucial passage is Erasmus’ new rendering (or paraphrase?) of John 19: 25 according to the ‘Greek words’, to give ‘soror matris eius Maria uxor Cleophae’, rather than simply ‘Maria Cleophae’, done, according to Wildenauer, in order to dispel any misapprehension about the relationship. Wildenauer's veneration of Erasmus, especially of the Novum instrumentum and the edn. of Jerome with its separation of ‘true’ and ‘counterfeit’ epistles, employs a vocabulary normally used for venerating saints. (6) ‘De Cleopa iam ipse Egranus erudite respondit’, Opus epistolarum, iii. 409, no. 872 (letter dated Oct. 1518); the Strasbourg reformer, Capito, in a letter to Luther at the beginning of Sept reported that Erasmus had read and approved Wildenauer's ‘little book’ (possibly transmitted to him by Mosellanus, his protégé) and that he admired its vigorous, concise, and clear presentation of the argument (Martin Luther, Briefwechsel, ed. E. L. Enders et al., 19 vols. (Frankfurt a. M., 1884–1932), i (1884), 230, no. 92). (7) Luther provided an approving letter to be used as a preface to an Apologetica responsio contra dogmata que in M. Egranum a calumniatoribus invulgata sunt (Wittenberg, 1518), in which the only reference to Wildenauer's views on St Ann is to say that they are developed at length in the printed Apologia (sig. A iii+1). (8) Luther, Briefwechsel, i. 133, no. 55; Luther goes on to say that he would prefer not make a contentious issue of this case, but rather, out of respect for the people, he would let devotion to St Ann's extended family just wither and die, especially as, error though it is, it arose from the people's piety and is not to be condemned to the same extent as cults of the saints promoted for pecuniary profit—a fair judgement and an accurate prophecy! Page 36 of 50

Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (9) Wimpina does not refer directly to Wildenauer, but, in his presentation of the arguments drawn from the Greek text of the New Testament, he does seem to quote from the letter by Mosellanus that accompanied Wildenauer's Apologia. The full title of Wimpina's work is De divae Annae trinubio, eiusque generosa trium filiarum et nepotum propagine asservandis, libri tres. I have not seen a printed copy of the work contemporary with Wildenauer's tract (it may possibly have circulated in manuscript only), but it is available in Farrago miscellaneorum Conradi Wimpinae, ed. J. H. von Romberch (Cologne, 1531). Wimpina, a firm opponent of Luther, had been a teacher in the Faculty of Arts at Leipzig University when Wildenauer was a student there. He became a doctor of theology at Leipzig in 1503. For Wimpina's career, see J. Negwer, Konrad Wimpina, ein katholischer Theologe aus der Reformationszeit (Breslau, 1909; repr. Nieuwkoop, 1967). (10) Wimpina's disparagement of the ‘declamatores’ and description of his manuscript are at fo. 138 of the Farrago in which his De divae Annae trinubio was published. It would appear that John of Freiburg's Defensorium was generally quite well known. John Fisher is most probably referring to it when he mentions an old, learned, well-argued, and persuasive book in his possession that refutes the story of St Ann's three husbands (Eversio munitionis, quam Iodocus Clichtoveus erigere moliebatur adversus unicam Magdalenam (Louvain, 1519), sig. & iii); furthermore, he does not doubt that others have the book and are similarly convinced. (11) Ibid., fos. 144, 149v; the reference, the very deliberate reference, is to Erasmus’ altercation with Lefèvre, Apologia in Fabrum, over the meaning of words in the Greek New Testament: philological criteria are no criteria at all if the grammarians disagree. (12) De divae Annae trinubio, fos. 155–6. (13) Ibid., fo. 154v. (14) ‘Nequaquam veritas tanta, quanta articulorum fidei est exquiritur, nec eas [legendas] ecclesia pro quaquaversum demonstratis et omnino exploratis recipit, sed pro his de quibus etsi non constet omnimodo veritas, tamen non liquet expressa falsitas’ (ibid., fo. 158). (15) Wimpina's tract is entitled Apologeticus in sacre theologie defensionem adversus eos qui nixi sunt eidem fontem, caput et patronam poesim instituere; it was printed by, or for, two Leipzig publishing houses simultaneously, Martin Landsberg and Jakob Thanner, probably in 1500.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (16) Congestio textus nova proprietatum logicalium cum commentatione (Leipzig: Martin Landsberg, 1498); this covers the possible shifts in the logicality of a proposition, triggered by supposition, relation, appellation, ampliation, restriction, and distribution, technical terminology that humanists like Vives were to mock. (17) Apologeticus (Leipzig: M. Landsberg, c.1500), sig. A ii. (18) Ibid., sigs. A iii, B i. Wimpina is referring to Aristotle's modes of apodictic demonstration in the Posterior Analytics, long elaborated by medieval philosophers into a complex theory of the demonstrative syllogism with its own sophisticated, but non-classical Latin terminology. (19) Apologeticus (Leipzig: M. Landsberg, c.1500), sigs. A iii + 2, B ii–iiii. The notion of ‘mental word’, verbum mentis or verbum intelligibile, a mental image of the thing known in the light of eternal truth, is a largely Augustinian concept that runs like a thread through medieval theology, entwined with very complex ideas of how outer words (voces exteriores) relate to the inner or mental words which are their significates; for the full context of the concept in St Augustine, see De trinitate, 9–11, 15. As we have seen, the notion of ‘mental word’ as ‘concept’ had found a place in Calepino's definition of verbum. In his dictionary, that meaning of verbum had been ascribed to usage in ‘sacred writings’. Wimpina's students c.1500 would be familiar with a not dissimilar notion in their logic course, in expositions of that passage in the De interpretatione to which I have frequently referred, where Aristotle defines spoken language as a sign of mental impressions. Their understanding of mental language as the object of logic would most probably have been influenced by teaching that used the commentary by Boethius, which at that time (though subsequently not often) could be found printed with his Latin translation that constituted the received text. For the relation of word to concept in Boethius’ theory of signification, including essential differences from Augustine, see Magee, Boethius on Signification and Mind, particularly pp. 134–41. Verbum mentis in Augustine, Aquinas, and subsequently, is explored in an article by I. Maclean, ‘Language in the Mind: Reflexive Thinking in the Late Renaissance’, in C. Blackwell and S.Kusukawa (eds.), Philosophy in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: Conversations with Aristotle (Aldershot, 1999), 296–321; see also Arens, ‘Verbum cordis’. (20) Ibid., sigs. A iii + 2v.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (21) Ibid., sig. A iii–A iiiv. The confining of poetry to aestimatio or existimatio (judgement made on the basis of instinct or experience) puts it in the domain of vis aestimativa, the power of the mind which, according to medieval psychology, was the highest power possessed by animals, one that animals shared with men, but one which, in man, was far inferior to vis cogitativa or reason, the power to make rational judgements and deal in universals; see E. R. Harvey, The Inward Wits: Psychological Theory in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (London, 1975), 45–6, 55–6. (22) Ibid, sigs. B i, B iiii + 1. (23) Martin Polich of Mellerstadt, Laconismos tumultuarius…in defensionem poetices contra quendam theologum editus (Leipzig: Jakob Thanner, c.1501). (24) ‘Barbarissabo autem aliquantisper ut et doctis pariter et indoctis, nee Musis solum ut aiunt et mihi scripsisse videar, quippe commune verbum est balbus non nisi balbum intelliget’ (ibid., sig. a iii + 2). (25) ‘An hi tres actus circa cognitionem omnes versantur et non potius solum “illuminare”?’ (ibid., sig. b iii + iv); the query is disingenuously naïve, because Wimpina is here using a very well-known formula to describe spiritual progress. Polich's own Latin falls some way short of classical purity, but this does not really hinder the effectiveness of his stratagem. (26) Polich, Laconismos tumultuaris, sigs. a iii + 3-a iii + 3V; Polich's main authority at this point is Giovanni Pico. (27) Ibid, sigs. b iiv–b iii; a printed marginal note states that these ideas are taken almost word for word from Bartolomeo della Fonte (Depoetice, c.1491) and other ‘moderns’. Polich can use Wimpina's idiom for his own purposes, but his horizon of cultural reference is ostentatiously the world of Italian humanism. Polich is also able to fit poetry into St Thomas's descending hierarchy of cognitive disciplines by standing it on its head, making of poetry's capacity to appraise the necessary beginning of knowledge (sigs. b iii + 1-b iii +iv). (28) Ibid, sig. b ii (29) Ibid, sig. b iii; Polich's reference here is to Girolamo Savonarola, whose ApologeHcus de ratione poeticae artis (1492) is an attempt to defend poetry on criteria typical of the Thomist tradition. (30) It is ‘absonum et a theologico loquendi usu penitus alienum’ (Responsio et apologia (Leipzig: J. Thanner, 1501), sig. C iii + 1); and this ‘new author’ (Polich) is one ‘cuius interpretamento tota ilia simbolica theologia, si figura utatur, possit mentita dici assertione utique extranea et a scholastico dicendi usu absurda’ (ibid., sig. A iiiv). Page 39 of 50

Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (31) ‘…nihil deberet utiquam a privato homine in theologico loquendi usu novari, dicente Gersone nullam in sacra scriptura doctrinam recipere licere, cuius sermo vel docendi modus extraneus sit a communi doctorum sermone’ (ibid., sig. B iii + 1v). This communis loquendi consuetudo has a very different reference to that promoted by Valla; Leipzig's grammar classes were perhaps just about to be introduced to what Valla meant by the phrase (two Leipzig presses would be supplying them with Agostino Dati's Elegantiolae in the following year). (32) ‘Nequaquam pro arbitrio circa fidem loquendum est, sed oporteat (Gersonis sententia) doctrinam extraneos habentem terminos peregrinosque ac novos ad terminos communes sententiasque communium doctorum conferre, quo sic minime extraneis utamur’ (ibid, sig. C iii +1). (33) ‘Poetice est per sermones non persuasivos, ut rhetoris est, sed magis representatives existima-tionem de rebus parere ac credulitatem’ (ibid., sig. D iiiv). For Wimpina's definition of theological modes of inquiry: ‘theologica scibilia terminat, inquirit et dissolvit’, see sig. D iii + 2; for poetry and the verbum intelligibile, sig. B iii + 2v; for aestimatio and existimatio see above, n. 21. (34) Among the humanists he cites, various manuals by Mancinelli had already been printed at Leipzig, as had the Epistolae familiares of Bruni and Beroaldo's edn. of the Georgics. (35) ‘Etiam si res consonet, tandem locutionis extraneitas culpa non caret’…‘nisi a theologicis explosa fuerint [Polich's errors], non poterit emuncto suo loquendi usu perfrui scholastica theologia’ (Johann Seitz, Ad prestantem et magne eruditionis virum magistrum Conradum Wimpine pro defensione sacre theologie et theologice veritatis apologia secunda (Leipzig: J. Thanner, c.1501), sigs. A iii + iv, A iii + 3v). (36) Carmen lysitelilogon de poetices commoditatibus contra sacrilogos divine muneris osores (Leipzig: J. Thanner, c.1500). Its publication by the printer who seems to have had a monopoly of the current dispute indicates that it was closely connected with it The ‘sacrilegos’ of the original title-page was changed in the 2nd edn. to ‘sacrilogos’; presumably the pun was intended to make it topical. (37) This selective overview is just that For a complete picture of developments in this period, it needs to be read in the context of the major studies by G. Bauch, Geschichte des Leipziger Frühumanismus (Leipzig, 1899), J. H. Overfield, Humanism and Scholasticism in Late Medieval Germany (Princeton, 1984), and Rummel, Humanist–Scholastic Debate. Bauch gives a great deal of detail on the printing history of early Leipzig humanism up to the Wimpina/Polich debate, about which it is informative. The debate is also described in Overfield, Humanism, 173–85, but without reference to the fundamental issues I think it raises. Page 40 of 50

Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (38) Virgilius Wellendorfer, Trilogium de mirifico verbo intelligibili mentis sive cordis (Leipzig: M. Lotter, 1505), sig. A ii; it is here that Wellendorfer states that he trained for five years in the theological repetitiones and disputationes of his admired master Wimpina, the principal source of the additional material he brings to the traditional account of verbum mentis. (39) See in particular the Tractatus de verbo of Hervaeus Natalis in his Quodlibeta (Venice, 1513; reproduced in facsimile, Ridgewood, NJ, 1966). The Paris masters also engaged with verbum mentis as it applied in logic, speculating on the relationship between mental language and actual languages with a sophistication quite beyond Wellendorfer's reach, for example in a work by one of Mair's Spanish associates at Paris, Fernando de Enzinas, Tractatus de compositione propositionis mentalis (Paris, 1521), which aimed to show how the relationship between lexical items and grammatical features could be accounted for at a mental level (see E. J. Ashworth, ‘The Structure of Mental Language: Some Problems Discussed by Early Sixteenth-Century Logicians’, Vivarium, 20 (1982), 59–83). For modern surveys of the history of verbum mentis, see the articles already mentioned by Arens, ‘Verbum cordis’, and Maclean, ‘Language in the Mind’, and a useful mise au point in Demonet, Les Voix du signe, 260–9. Wellendorfer provides us with a basic guide to the subject, making no claim to originality and all the more valuable for that, because it gives an indication of what was current thinking at the time. (40) ‘Et verbum intelligibile si voce non exprimitur ad nullius gentis linguam pertinere videtur quianon est graecum nee hebraicum neque latinum…In loquente verbum interius primo concipitur, secundo imaginatione imaginatur modum vocis; ultimo verbo vocali quod mente est conceptum manifestatur’ (Trilogium, sig. E). (41) ‘Verbum enim vocale significat mentis conceptum non ut rem sed ut rei signum, et ita mediante conceptu, vocale verbum significat rem a dextra’ (ibid, sig. D iii + 3v). (42) Heptalogium ex diversis paginis atque auctorum ojficinis congestum (Leipzig: Melchior Lotter, 1502). (43) Logic's laudatiuncula is at sig. E iii + 1–E iii + 1v; and its problema is at sigs. D ii–D iii. The interest of Wellendorfer's accounts of the disciplines is that they are a catalogue of the received ideas that formed the context of the Leipzig learning environment, at least in the perception of one of its more conservative teachers. There is a useful account of revisions of various statutes regulating the syllabus at the University of Leipzig between 1502 and 1524 in Overfield, Humanism, 222–34 and 305–7.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (44) Wellendorfer, Heptalogium, sig. D iiiv; a note in the margin against these ‘three impediments’ refers the reader to Aristotle, Metaphysics, 2.15, ‘commento’. Rhetoric's problema can be found at sigs. D iii–D iii + 1 of the Heptalogium and its laudatiuncula at sig. E iii + iv. (45) Ibid., sig. C iii + 3v. (46) Cicero, De inventions 1.19. 27; Rhetorka ad Herennium, 1. 8.13. (47) Eight years after Wellendorfer, Johannes Murmellius (1480–1517) was to give poetry a more significant place in his description of the disciplines, Didascalici libri duo (Cologne, 1510). After saying that his teacher, Alexander Hegius, had described it as a liberal art, he quotes Plato to the effect that poetry is not an art but an inspiration of divine origin, and he places it after astronomy. Discipline-based encyclopedias, by nature conservative, are an excellent commentary on received ideas within the intellectual community at this time. Further analysis of Wellendorfer's Heptalogium would benefit from comparison with close contemporaries: Murmellius (including his earher Opusculum de disdpulorutn officiis (Cologne, 1505)); Gregor Reisch in his Margarita philosophica (Freiburg, 1503), with its successive revisions up to 1517; and, from the environment of the Italian humanists, Georgio Valla, Expetendorum ac fugiendorum volumen (Venice, 1501). Compared with these, Wellendorfer has a very local frame of reference, of inestimable value. The last two sections of his Heptalogium give a great deal of information about the actual teaching and learning environment at the University of Leipzig, supplemented in his Annotatio peregrina (Leipzig: Wolgang Stöckel, 1516) by brief lives to date of all the teachers in the Faculty of Arts. With respect to possible contention between teachers of grammar and rhetoric, on the one hand, and teachers of logic on the other, the tone is extremely irenic. (48) From the preface, dated 1515, to his Annotatio peregrina, sig. A iv; this, and the Valelogium of the same year, seem to have been his last publications. (49) For the text and a historical introduction, see Das ‘Doctrinale’ des Alexander de Villa-dei, ed. D. Reichling, Monumenta Germaniae paedagogica, 12 (1893). What follows here is a gloss on the excellent article by T. Heath, ‘Logical Grammar, Grammatical Logic, and Humanism in Three German Universities’, Studies in the Renaissance, 18 (1971), 9–64. (50) Jakob Wimpfeling, Isidoneus germanicus (Strasbourg, c. 1497), sig. C iiiv.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (51) ‘Cum enim modis significandi multo tempore studuissent, putabant se ex eisdem et occultis rerum proprietatibus nova quaedam et prius inaudita quorumlibet negotiorum effingere posse vocab-ula et quidem latina…Romani et revera latini novam hanc latinitatem non suscipiunt’ (ibid., sig. D). Wimpfeling's teacher, Dringenberg, had come from Deventer, and it was at Deventer that Alexander Hegius (c.1433–98) wrote his Contra modos significandi invectiva, first printed in 1503. Modi significandi was the term used by the sort of linguistic philosophers who wrote commentaries on the Doctrinale to describe the logical function of grammatical phenomena. Hegius’ attack on them is very like Wimpfeling's in that it focuses on their ‘bad’ Latin and on the inappropriate confusion of grammar and logic; there is a modern edn. of this text, J. Ijsewijn, ‘Alexander Hegius (d. 1498), Invectiva in modos significandi’, Forum for Modern Language Studies, 7 (1971), 299–318. For a synopsis of many of the developments being illustrated here, and their relationship to changing theories of language, see Kessler, ‘De significatione verborum’. (52) ‘Non possent, si res exigeret, hospitem aut advenam virum praestantem latine excipere, non eleganter salutare, nam comiter alloqui neque in alexandro, in petro heliae, in Florista, in Cornuto, in Catholico, in verbis deponentalibus, in verborum compositis, in Alexandri aut Donati commentariis et argumentationibus, dubiis, et quaestionibus ediscere potuerunt’ (ibid., sig. C iii); like Vives and like More, Wimpfeling constructs an image of intercommunicating humanists, on the one hand, and silent, solitary late medieval Latin users, on the other. (53) There are illuminating extracts from this commentary in Heath, ‘Logical Grammar’, 13–16. Melchior Lotter's press is a particularly good barometer. He prints the Doctrinale up till 1515 at least (parts 1 and 2), as well as syllabus texts from the octo auctores of the traditional grammar class, but he is also quick to get into the market with Corvinus, Dati, and BebeL An extremely useful overview of Latin grammar teaching in Germany in the period that concerns here is provided in K. Jensen, ’Humanist Latin Grammars in Germany and their Italian Background’, in M. Tavoni (ed), Italia ed Europa nella linguistica del Rinascimento: Confronti e relazioni, 2 vols. (Modena, 1996), i. 23–41; Jensen stresses the gradual way humanist grammar was absorbed into late 15th-cent German textbooks on the subject, which tended to look to the Doctrinale for their structure and for some syntactic descriptions, even as they claimed to promote the new Italian grammarians. (54) Servii Honorati in Donati editionem interpretatio (Leipzig: W. Stöckel, 1511); an earlier Leipzig edn. of the late 15th-cent. humanistic Grammatica of Giovanni Sulpizio (1503) has a colophon advertising how much ‘easier, better, and quicker’ boys will learn from it than from the ‘obscurities’ of Alexander.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (55) Jakob Heinrichmann, Grammaticae institutiones (Leipzig: Melchior Lotter, 1509), sig. A iii + iv. (56) Heinrich Bebel, Opusctdum de institutione puerorum (Strasbourg, 1513), sig. Aav +1; its preface is dated from Tübingen 1506. Bebel is contrasting this view of grammar with a Donatus totally shrouded in definitions, modi significandi, quaestiones, and all the paraphernalia of logical commentary. During the early years of the century this litany of defects becomes a standard humanist benchmark for dividing the linguistic (and mental) universes of the two competing idioms of Latin. It was important for the humanists’ aggressive selfpromotion in an often hostile academic environment to condemn, or at least marginalize, prior witnesses to a rather more gradual infiltration of their ideas. One such was an interesting transition textbook by Paul Lescher, Rhetorica pro conficiendis epistolis accommodata (Ingolstadt, 1487, and later edns.). Its first part belongs squarely to late medieval letter-writing (ars dictaminis) and gives examples of ‘chancellery style’; its second, entitled ‘Ars latinisandi’ (not a form of speech to recommend it to humanists!), deals with figurative expressions, ‘colores rhetoricales qui a loco et significatione sumuntur’, on the authority of the early 14th-cent. Geoffroy of Vinsauf; but the authorities for the third part, entitled De elegantiis, are Cicero, Sallust, various classical poets, George of Trebizond in his Rhetorica, and the Elegantiolae of Agostino Dati. The grammars recommended by Bebel in his Opusculum are those by Aldus Manutius, Perotti, Sulpizio, Mancinelli, Heinrichmann, and another of his own associates, Johannes Brassicanus; he refers his reader to Wimpfeling's Isidoneus on what should be retained from Alexander's Doctrinale. For Bebel and his many works advocating the introduction of humanist Latin in schools, see C. J. Classen, ‘Bebel (Heinrich) (1473–1518)’, in C. Nativel (ed), Centuriae latinae: Cent unefigures humanistes de la Renaissance aux Lumiéres offertes à Jacques Chomarat (Geneva, 1997), 91–6. (57) Opusculum, sig. Aa v + 2v. (58) Ibid., sigs. A ii; Aa v + 3; A iiiv. (59) ‘Dialecticae stilus cum sit barbarus, siccus, ieiunus, protritus et distortus, atque adeo obscurus…facit, ut theologi illi qui speculativi, ut ita loquar, dicuntur, cum sint maximi dialectici atque philosophi, fiant etiam et loquantur barbare, ineleganter et obscurissime’ (Commentaria epistolarum conficiendarum (Pforzheim, 1509), sig. K iii). But, as we have seen when discussing John Mair on the Sentences, the views of the Fathers, however elegantly expressed in their late antique, patristic Latin, are often in conflict; according to Mair, their contradictions can only be resolved by submitting them to reason.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (60) The ‘blatherers’ say no one can be a professional teacher of grammar unless he is an ‘Alexandrinus’ and that poetry should not be taught at all; ‘idque hydropico probant syllogismo, et quod monstro est monstrosius, rhetoricam et grammaticam artes primarias ex numero artium et ingenuarum disciplinarum eliminare nituntur’ (Grammaticae institutiones, sig. A iii +1). (61) For the details, see Overfield, Humanism, 185–207; it is intrinsically less interesting than the Wimpina/Polich episode, although Locher had the advantage of being a Latin poet and playwright with an imaginative sense of the beguiling world of ancient mythology (even if his own Latin did not quite match it). (62) I quote from the edn., Jakob Wimpfeling, Contra turpem libellum Phibmusi defensio theobgiae scholasticae (Strasbourg: J. Knobloch, c.1510), sig. A iii. (63) ‘[Poetry] vix scientiae vel artis liberalis nomen meretur, cum neque ullis suffulta sit principiis, nec in ea demonstrationes excudi, neque conclusiones (quae solae scitu sunt idoneae) elici possint’ (ibid., sig. A iiiv); and Wimpfeling adds apologies to Boccaccio and Landino. He does acknowledge the wider context in which this discussion reverberates by making occasional references to Italy. Among Italian humanists he calls as witnesses to his own cause, the defence of modern scholastic theology, are Mantuan, Giovanni Pico (in the letter to Barbaro), and Gian Francesco Pico (in the De studio divinae et humanae phibsophiae, one of his favourite texts). (64) De studio divinae et humanae phibsophiaey sig. d: students are to be so thoroughly grounded in elegant Latinity, both by studying texts and by daily immersion, that they will conserve it; but then they must ‘gird themselves’ for the subtleties of logic and other branches of philosophy, which they will find useful for legal studies and essential for theology. (65) Ibid., sig. A iii + 1. The anthology Wimpfeling recommends is the early 15thcent. Sophologium of Jacques Le Grant (lacobus Magnus), which had many printed edns.; but Wimpfeling had himself published a book that corresponds in every respect to what he proposes here, his Adolescentia of 1500 (modern edn. by O. Herding (Munich, 1965)). (66) The nub of Wimpfeling's defence of scholastic theology is his ch. 7, sigs. B iiv-B iii. (67) See Overfield, Humanism, 222–34. (68) There is an English version of the Summulae, made by F. P. Dinneen on the basis of the edn. by L. M. De Rijk Peter of Spain: Language in Dispute (Amsterdam and Philadelphia, 1990).

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (69) Magnus Hundt, Compendium totius fogice quod a nonnullisparvulus antiquorum appellatur. I used the edn. printed by Martin Landsberg in 1506; other edns. are listed in W. Risse, Bibliographia logica, 4 vols. (Hildesheim, 1965–79) i (1965), though this is not complete. Hundt also wrote a grammar text book in the ‘logical’ mode, a commentary on Donatus, Expositio Donati secundum viam doctoris sanctu, published at Cologne in 1500, described by Jensen as ‘a speculative commentary, influenced by modism if not exclusively modist in its approach’ (Jensen, ‘Humanist Latin Grammars’, 25). Its language makes it virtually certain that it is the one so contemptuously denigrated by Bebel in his Opusculum. (70) A quite combative cast of mind if we are to judge from the preface to another work by Hundt, his Prima codicilli pars, logices terminorum proprietates difficilium propositionwn expositions continens (Leipzig: J. Thanner, c.1499); this work, largely concerned with supposition theory and theory of consequences, will provide students with a whole array of weapons of war against those who are trying to mangle logic like a pack of dogs, even though they use logic themselves every day. For the topics as they were discussed by Peter of Spain, and therefore learnt by students at Leipzig and elsewhere, see E. Stump, Boethius's ‘De topicis differentiis’ (Ithaca, NY, and London, 1978), 215–36: for Boethius, ‘the method for the topics belongs to the art of finding arguments rather than judging them’, whereas for Peter of Spain their function ‘is solely to confirm arguments, to manifest, and guarantee their validity’; Peter relates topics to the scholastic theory of consequences, but ‘the Boethian art of discovering arguments has been lost’ (235–6). It was from Boethius, De topicis differentiis, that scholastics learnt to interpret topics as maximal propositions, but, relocating them within the ambit of strict syllogism theory, they moved them away from the dialectic of plausible argument.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (71) The new translation of Arisotle's logical works was presumably that of Johannes Argyropulos (c.1415–87), whose translations were thought by many, including Lefèvre, to err on the side of paraphrase. For an illuminating introduction to Renaissance translation of Greek philosophical texts, see B. F. Copenhaver, ‘Translation, Terminology and Style in Philosophical Discourse’, in C. B. Schmitt and Q. Skinner (eds.), The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy (Cambridge, 1988), 77–110. A very neat illustration of the eventual entrenchment of the language divide in logic, linguistically the most conservative element in philosophy, is provided by the glossary that Joachim Périon prefixed to his ultra-Ciceronian version of the Organon in 1554, In Porphyrii Institutiones et in universum Aristotelis Organon versio (Lyons: G. Rovillius). This translates his Ciceronian vocabulary into the scholastic idiom for the benefit of those ‘less well versed in the diction of Cicero’. For example, the scholastic ‘demonstratio propter quid’ is rendered as ‘demonstratio ex caussa; demonstratio qua quaeque res conveniat osten-ditur’; ‘propositio immediata’ as ‘propositio quae nulla ratione doceri demonstrarique potest’ (ibid. 3–4). The loss of precision entailed by this departure from technical terminology is magnified across the translation as a whole. (72) There is a detailed study of Eck's logic in A. Seifert, Logik zwischen Scholastik und Humanismus: Das Kommentarwerk Johann Ecks (Munich, 1978), which sets it in its contemporary context, in particular in relation to Lefèvre. (73) Eck's account of intellection in his commentary on the De anima (Augsburg, 1520, fos. XL-XLVIII) is a particularly impressive compilation and digestion of the arguments of his immediate predecessors from Aquinas up to Ficino, Giovanni Pico, and Ermolao Barbaro. In his grammatical ‘explanation of the text’ it is his custom to use corroborating quotations to show the same ideas worded differently, in his ‘scholastic explanation’, other authors appear only as shorthand references marshalled in a professional manner to parade divergencies of opinion. (74) ‘Assuefaciant ergo discipulos modestiam servare, intelligentia sane fore contentos, disciplinae vocabula discere, illis uti, ilia non excedere, non innovare, non ad insulsam crassamque barbariem prolabi’ (from the preface to Eck's commentary on the Organon, whose title-page clearly advertised its position: Aristotelis Stagyritae Dialectica…Argiropulo traductore, a Ioanne Eckio theologo facili explanations declarata, adnotationibus compendiariis illustrata, ac scholastico exercitio explicata: videbis o lector priscam dialecticam restitutam ac neotericorum subtilitati feliciter copulatam (Augsburg, 1516–17)).

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (75) Quoted from his inaugural Oratio de variarum linguarum cognitione paranda (Leipzig, 1518), sig. D iiv. Mosellanus concurs precisely with Erasmus’ opinion expressed in the 1512 De ratione studii that ‘anyone who is not skilled in the power of language will of necessity everywhere misjudge things’ (quoted in my introduction). At Leipzig, Mosellanus not only took charge of Greek, but influenced the teaching of Latin at a fairly elementary level, as is clear from the publication there of his manuals Tabulae de schematibus et tropis (N. Schmidt, 1516) and Paedologia (N. Schmidt, 1517), apparently in use even before his arrival. (76) For a fuller account of the Leipzig Disputation and its implications (and, in particular, of the role of Melanchthon, who is of particular interest to the present study), see J. R. Schneider, Philip Melanchihon's Rhetorical Construal of Biblical Authority (Lampeter, 1990), 115–28. For the details of events before, during, and after the Disputation, consult M. Brecht, Martin Luther His Road to Reformation, 1483–1521, tr. J. L Schaaf (Minneapolis, 1985), 299–348. The proceedings were taken down verbatim, much against Eck's will for he felt this slowed the pace. The transcription was printed soon afterwards under the title Disputatio excellentium D. doctorum Iohannis Eckii et Andreae Carolostadii quae cepta est Lipsiae XXVII. Iunii an. M.D.XLX. Disputatio secunda D. doctorum Iohannis Eckii et Andreae Carolostadii quae cepit XV. Iulii. Disputatio eiusdem D. Iohannis Eckii et D. Martini Lutheri Augustiniani quae cepit III. Iulii. ([Leipzig], s.d.). (77) Disputatio, sig. A iiiv. Karlstadt certainly knew about logic manuals and their language, having written one himself, Distinctiones sive formalitates Thomistarum (Wittenberg, 1508). At another point, Eck gave Karlstadt a short lesson on causation with respect to inanimate instruments, which, according to a marginal note in the printed transcription, made Karlstadt exclaim ironically ‘Aristoteles adest!’; Karlstadt's serious reply to him at this point was a quotation from scripture (ibid., sig. C). In an attenuated form, at Paris, John Mair's more or less contemporary revisions to his expositions of the Sentences reflect a similar perspective shift. (78) Disputatio, sig. A iiii; Eck refused to be drawn, saying that defence of Aristotle belongs to philosophy, and is out of place in a theological disputation (sig. A iiiiv). For merit de congruo (and Luther's use of the term), see McGrath, Iustitia Dei, 83–91. Karlstadt and Luther were as fully able as Eck to use such vocabulary (familiar enough from the Catholicon, without going further afield); the interest lies in where they elected to put limits on its use. (79) ‘In theologia laboramus peniuria, quum plura sunt negotia quam vocabula’ (Disputatio, Sig. Cv).

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (80) ‘Alius est modus disputatorum solutiones improbantium. Nam et solutio ipsa cum confirmatione adiuncta funditus erat destruenda si victoriam uti sperabat obtinere voluit [Carolostadius]…clarissimus doctor [Carolostadius] id agit quod solet: hoc est obiecta non diluere, sed per alia ut sibi videtur repugnantia infirmare’ (ibid, sig. B iii). (81) Karlstadt is uncompromising: ‘Non euro quod mihi praescripta disputatorum obtendit [Eckius] nam leges disputatorum et nomen argutatoris mihi invisum est. In theologia quidem disputare est sen-sum scripturarum elicere’. Eck replies just as uncompromisingly, saying that he simply does not accept this newfangled, outlandish notion (’novum glossema’), and rejects it on the authority of St Augustine (ibid., sig. B iii +I); if in theology ‘plura sunt negotia quam vocabula’, we can think more than we can say, this validates the application of the mode of logical inquiry to the concepts of theology, articulating mental language in the form of testable propositions; these concepts (res sententiae), not words (verba, nomina), are rightly the focus of theological disputation (sig. Cv). (82) For the details of the delayed Paris decision, see Farge, Orthodoxy and Reform, 125–9. (83) They can be read together in Corpus Reformatorum: Philippi Melanchthonis opera, ed. G. C. Brettschneider and H. E. Bindseil, 28 vols. (Halle, 1834–60), i (1834), cols. 87–96,97–103,108–18. (84) This is in direct contrast to the loud and competitive style of the disputatio: ‘Et ut in studiis liter-arum, ac potissimum in negotio pietatis, nihil puto neque prius neque salutarius congressu familiari doctorum ac bonorum, ubi sententia cum sententia placidis et tranquillis minimeque pertinacibus ani-mis confertur, ubi neque vinci indecorum est neque vincere plausibile, ita vix aliud censeo perniciosius popularibus illis disceptationibus, ubi non potest quantumvis bonis non obstrepere victoriae cura’; the contemporary patron, as it were, of such peaceable colloquies is Erasmus (ibid, col. 91). (85) ‘Haec vero disceptandi provincia primum non ob aliud suscepta est, nisi ut palam fieret, inter vet-erem et Christi theologiam ac noviciam et Aristotelicam quantum intersit’ (ibid., col. 88). (86) ‘Ut omnino ad iudicandas scripturas adhibendi sunt S. patres, satius est ex his locis scripturae sententiam colligere, ubi hoc ipsum agunt, ut enarrent, quam iis, ubi vel rhetoricantur, vel affectibus suis quocunque modo indulgent’ (ibid., col. 114); Melanchthon elaborates these criteria at cols. 113–16.

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Leipzig (and Elsewhere) (87) For a very useful synopsis of the contents of the Ratio seu methodus, see M. Hoffmann, Rhetoric and Theobgy: The Hermeneutic of Erasmus (Toronto, 1994), 32–9; it had begun as a preface to Erasmus’ edn. of the New Testament in 1516 and had been expanded for the 1518 edn., before being given an independent existence in 1519.

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Common Places

Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

Common Places Ann Moss


Abstract and Keywords This chapter discusses the concept of ‘common places’, which are also called loci communes and defined as general notions that are appropriate to the various disciplines of inquiry. One literary work that is included in the discussion in this chapter is Melanchthon's De rhetorica libri tres, his first book on the rhetoric of argument. Keywords:   common places, loci communes, disciplines of inquiry, Melanchthon, De rhetorica libri tres, rhetoric of argument

IT WAS HARDLY surprising that Melanchthon should have reacted with such passion to the shortcomings of the Leipzig Disputation. His own first book on the rhetoric of argument, De rhetorica libri tres, had been printed no more than three months earlier.1 In it, he had already elaborated the notions subtending his criticism of the conduct of the debate. Underlying all, there is a coherent theory of argumentative discourse that must be grasped before we can consider the massive impetus Melanchthon gave to completing the Latin language turn.

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Common Places The De rhetorica is a didactic work with a pedagogical aim embracing all forms of composition, written or spoken, that are constructed in order to persuade. It deliberately explodes limits traditionally set between the disciplines of grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic. Within the school curriculum, its moment is after the pupil has learnt the rudiments of Latin and is being guided in the skills of reading and text production. Its fundamental premiss is that all ratiocinative discourse exhibits procedures of argument that can be analysed and learnt, arrayed on a spectrum that goes from the loosest to the least refutable, from particular, practical application to abstract formulation. For Melanchthon, there is gradation, not radical difference between argument in rhetoric and argument in dialectic. His book demonstrates that they fertilize each other, and it teaches (p.158) them both together as conjoined arts of discourse. In effect, it bridges the gap that for a generation had existed between the grammar class, with its exercises in lectio and enarratio introducing students to poetry and other literary texts, and the logic course to which arts students proceeded only to find their literature devalued and their Latin to a large extent irrelevant to the new specialized idiom they had to learn.2 This did not happen without a radical reassessment of logic. Up until this moment in my survey, I have employed the terms ‘logic’ and ‘dialectic’ more or less interchangeably, and justifiably so, because that was how they were generally used. From now on, Melanchthon forces us to be much more precise. He uses the term ‘dialectic’ exclusively, and this indicates a deliberate narrowing of the discipline. For him, dialectic, as for Aristotle, for example in the Topics, is reasoning procedure that proceeds from generally accepted opinions, as distinct from reasoning that always proceeds from premisses held to be true and primary. In the course of proof, logic aims to establish apodictic certainty, based on formally valid, irrefutable arguments. The aim of dialectic is to explore the ways conviction is obtained in support of the opinion advanced, testing and deploying arguments that may partake of the self-evident certainty of logic, but also a range of other arguments, more or less strict, often accumulated in such a way as to sway the balance towards assent. Dialectic, by its very nature, is applicable to the slippery encounters and pragmatic concerns of social and political life, as logic is not. All through the De rhetorica, Melanchthon stresses that dialectic has practical use and should be part of the training of articulate, morally responsible citizens. In this respect, it now enters the domain that had always been rhetoric’s. The corollary is that it largely ceases to be the theoretical discipline that late medieval logic was, with its independent research methods for advancing knowledge.

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Common Places The more immediate effect of this shift to dialectic is that the subject expands its base. Late medieval logic had been primarily analytical. In so far as students were trained to produce discourse, for disputations, the aim was to practise quick-witted stratagems for proving your opponent wrong every bit as much as for arguing your own position. In terms that Melanchthon and others borrowed from Cicero, late medieval logic concentrated almost solely on ‘judgement’ (iudicium). It had neglected another aspect of dialectic that now becomes at least equally important: production (inventio), and that involved the exploration of types of argument to be deployed in actively constructing a case. Here again, the analogy with rhetoric is strong, and it is one Melanchthon frequently makes, though the explanation of dialectic in his so-called ‘Rhetoric’ actually starts with a simplified version of the Aristotelian procedures for analysing terms, by way of predicables and predicaments, (p.159) now strongly recommended as triggers for ‘finding’ copious discourse as much as for ensuring force of argument.3

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Common Places More generally, there were procedures for finding arguments that had had a place in works on dialectic and in works on rhetoric, though their lack of apodictic certainty meant that they were largely passed over in medieval logics. These were the topics, loci, places, or recognized ‘seats of arguments’ from which chains of reasoning can be drawn. Melanchthon's dialectical rhetoric of inventio exploits the loci in all the guises they had by now come to adopt. They are the ‘places of invention’ (loci inventionis), which form a grid for inquiring into the nature of any particular thing or concept. Does it exist? What is it? Is it one or many? What are its causes, divisions, parts, and species, its effects, its affinities, its contraries? Not only do the places explore things, but this procedure also provides a mechanism for constructing and analysing propositions, for propositions are best divided into the things (or concepts) that are their constituents. Such a breakdown facilitates a methodical investigation of all the aspects of all the elements of a proposition, at the same time providing a wealth of material with which to expand discourse. It is also a method for testing the truth of any statement made about the individual elements of a proposition, for they can be systematically compared. To judge whether ‘justice is a virtue’, it will suffice to run ‘justice’ and ‘virtue’ through all the places in the topical grid and see whether the two at any point diverge. Melanchthon admits that this method may well earn him the ridicule of contemporary specialists in logic. His proposal, however, has great advantages over the logic of Eck in particular. It teaches students to derive their stratagems for argument from the matter in hand, not from secondary authorities; it trains them more quickly and more effectively for debating weighty causes with a plentiful supply of arguments; best of all, it enables them to read with good judgement4 This method of reasoning can be used in a tighter and a looser fashion, in dialectic, which asks primarily for rational assent, and in rhetoric, where it may supplement and reinforce more loosely coordinated strategies for carrying conviction.

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Common Places Places in a slightly different sense are also common to both disciplines of verbal persuasion. These are ‘common places’ (loci communes), general notions appropriate to the various disciplines of inquiry, ‘heads’ (capita), into which every aspect of knowledge may be resolved. So the ‘heads’ for theology will comprise faith, ceremonies, sin, and so on. These will be the focus of any debate, and in order to be equipped to discourse pertinently and fluently, after the fashion of dialectical argument or of rhetorical amplification, the student is advised to collect material under these heads or commonplaces in a notebook prepared for this purpose. What he collects will be extracts from what he reads, and that means almost (p.160) exclusively the classical texts that comprise his education, together with religious material (primarily for Melanchthon, the Bible). The extracts will vary as individual reading experience and choice dictates. But in Melanchthon's De rhetorica, the capita, heads, or commonplaces in this sense, are not arbitrary: ‘they derive from the deep structures of nature, they are the sets and patterns regulating all things’, not only seats of argument but ‘seats of nature’.5 The sense of commonplace as general head also contributes to Melanchthon's discussion of status, a concept much discussed in ancient rhetoric. He defines it as the focus (‘principale ac summum thema’), to which all argument in a debate should refer. It is the head, the goal, the scopus, exercising exactly that controlling and cohesive force that Melanchthon had found so distressingly absent in the disputations at Leipzig.6 Soon after the Leipzig experience, Melanchthon focused on dialectic more single-mindedly than was the case in the De rhetorica. His Compendiaria dialectices ratio, first published jointly at Wittenberg and Leipzig in 1520, demonstrates more clearly than the De rhetorica that his intention was to produce a revised and simplified Aristotelian logic, weighted towards the places of invention and stratagems derived from them, but keeping to the overall plan of the Organon and the traditional syllabus based on it. He covers predicables and predicaments, definition and division, propositions, argument by syllogisms, enthymemes, induction, and examples. Places of invention are kept to the end, but are much more fully developed than in the traditional logic. The scopus of the book is entirely in line with the De rhetorica: first, nothing will be introduced that does not contribute to production (inventio), analysis (iudicium), and the purposeful construction of discourse (dispositio); secondly, this training in dialectic runs in tandem with rhetoric, for ‘no proofs advanced in rhetorical composition are certain and solid’ unless they have been formulated in line with prescriptions for argument contained in dialectic.7

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Common Places Two features, already present in the De rhetorica, stand out. First, Melanchthon's insistence that dialectic's analysis of words and their configurations explores the things words represent and the interrelationship of things. He does not discuss the role of mental sentences, but certainly makes no move to remove them from the equation.8 Moreover, ‘things’ in his language, as is general at the time, clearly include concepts, ideas, feelings, and so on. Secondly, (p.161) Melanchthon subordinates analysis of propositions to analysis of the words (simplices voces, themata simplicia) that constitute them. As in the De rhetorica, single words in a sentence are to be subjected to the complex analytical procedures of definition and division contained in the predicables, predicaments, and topical grid. The truth of a proposition will then be tested under a point-by-point comparison of the exfoliated descriptions of the individual words it comprises.9 This makes the meaning of ‘ordinary language’ words much more important than in the traditional logic of propositions. Grammar, in its widest sense, is every bit as much involved with dialectic as rhetoric is. This is implied in his earliest texts, but Melanchthon is more articulate about the role of grammar in determining the meaning of words when he elaborates his preference for analysing voces over orationes (sentences) in his revised dialectic of 1528, Dialecticae libri IV. Semantic definition now precedes dialectical definition at the start of any debate, both to avoid ambiguities and to ensure that the parties to the discussion are ‘talking the same language’.10 For dialectic may be the science of teaching or communicating rationally, but it gets its mode of speech from grammar.11

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Common Places Indeed, the rhetoric and dialectic of Melanchthon would not be feasible if he, his readers, his students, and the communicators and disputants he envisages, did not talk the same language and if that language were not the classical Latin of the humanists’ grammar class. Melanchthon's dialectic fits smoothly with his rhetoric because it not only shares the same places but talks the same idiom. Melanchthon wastes very little space on ridiculing scholastic Latin jargon. He is much more interested in establishing a style of dialectical instruction that is inoffensive to humanist ears, but retains technical language essential for regulating speech designed to carry conviction. He keeps familiar terms from the elementary logic textbooks: praedicabilia, praedicamenta, proposition syllogismus, but he also gives Ciceronian equivalents, with which he sometimes discreetly replaces the usual terms: quinque voces, communes loci, pronuntiatum (or proloquium or enuntiatio), ratiocinatio.12 The more outlandish late medieval Latin terms and formulae have (p.162) vanished, because the subjects to which they referred have been banished from this simplified dialectic. Aequipollentia, for example, make a brief appearance, only to be dissolved into grammatical ordinariness. Infinita, leading to propositions involving ‘not so-and-so’ (favourite targets of Vives), are dropped because they are not part of ordinary speech (communis sermo) and have no use in the practical application of reasoning to the pragmatic issues of concern to the community.13 Yet, from time to time, scholastic philosophers would have felt at home, spotting a quia and a propter quid.14 Melanchthon persuades gently into his way of speaking.

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Common Places We have already seen what an important role semantics has potentially to play in Melanchthon's dialectic. Grammar's literary aspect, enarratio is crucial to his rhetoric. It was enarratio that had so perturbed defenders of scholastic logic like Wimpfeling who did not make the smooth transition between disciplines that Melanchthon is engineering. Unlike Melanchthon, they had not perceived how literary culture could vivify dialectic, nor had they perceived how dialectic could function as a control on enarratio. Melanchthon incorporates the classical literary texts from which his students learnt their Latin into his dialectic and his rhetoric, to serve as examples for his precepts and definitions. The language of Cicero, primarily, but also the occasional poet, is the Latin to which his theory palpably relates. It also relates to a moral and religious ideology. Examples of concepts analysed by his various grids for definition and division are invariably moral entities, like justice, and the Bible provides as much illustrative material as classical texts. This is in stark contrast to the general run of earlier logic manuals, which had careful explanations, but few examples. When examples were used, they were drawn from a traditional stock comprising Socrates (totally decontextualized and called ‘Sortes’) as the subject of verbs, white men running, pepper being sold in Rome, donkeys engaged in various activities, every man and not donkeys, and similar exemplifications of particular kinds of propositions. The humanists could mock, but the scholastics knew what they were doing. Their examples were ideologically completely neutral, they were a short-hand for signalling a particular problem in logic, they had no verbal resonances outside themselves, and they did not deflect from the theory. Once examples were taken from specific texts by specific authors, the culture of dialectic changed completely, to become a primarily literary culture, now unified and validated by more than the classical Latin usage of ‘good’ authors. By manipulating exemplary material to incorporate classical texts, moral concepts, and the scriptures into his theory of how discourse is formulated, Melanchthon made it likely that the student would not only hear all his texts using the same strategies for argument, but would be led to discover in all of them traces of the same ideas and the same deep structure, those ‘places of argument’ that are embedded in nature.

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Common Places (p.163) Melanchthon adapted rhetoric and dialectic to hermeneutics, and he was not the first humanist to do so, but he was perhaps the first to give enarratio a specific place in a fairly elementary textbook on those subjects.15 He explains how the analytical procedures of rhetoric and dialectic (iudicium) are to be applied to critical reading or grammatical enarratio (but iudicium was also a part of grammar, and until now had primarily meant passing judgement on style). They are to be exercised in paraphrase and commentary. Texts are to be run through the predicables and predicaments to discover what the subject is, how it is defined, how described in relation to its parts, its purpose, its circumstances, and so on. Above all, the commonplaces, be they strategies of argument, or general heads, or the goal to which a particular text is directed, are to be employed as a method of exegesis, universally valid, for pagan and Christian documents alike. Syllogistic reasoning also has its hermeneutic role, best explored in the structure of an extended piece of text. A careful examination of a speech by Cicero, for example, will invariably discover a groundplan to the argument that matches the form of a syllogism, making rational inference from a generalized notion (or commonplace) to the particular case. The attentive reader can plot Cicero's twists and turns in and out of tight logic.16 Time and again, throughout his work on rhetoric and on dialectic, Melanchthon stresses that the systematic method they teach produces intelligent readers.17 It also, of course, imposes a constraint, as well as a template, on reading. This sophisticated hermeneutic is a control, linked, as we are beginning to see, to a particular language, culture, and ideology.

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Common Places The student in the grammar class had not only been learning to read. He had been making his first steps in composition. The rhetorical and dialectical inventio explored by Melanchthon is wholly geared to supporting and developing this skill, providing a method by which to find and amplify arguments and stressing the virtues of abundant speech (copia) and ornament. From several references, it is clear that he envisages that his precepts for method should find a place on the syllabus next to Erasmus’ recipes for verbal versatility in De copia. Melanchthon's twin objective, exegesis and production, replicates exactly the dual teaching strategy of the grammar class, analysis and genesis, and he will repeat that formula at (p.164) every stage of the curriculum.18 The extra move that Melanchthon makes is to channel this towards disputation, and thereby to construct a new model for combative discourse. This move is written into the De rhetorica, but we have already seen Melanchthon excitedly flexing his muscles as he describes how the Leipzig Disputation could have been so much more successful if the lessons of his rhetoric had already been learnt. It would have been conducted on a groundplan of commonplace-argument, focusing the issues and mapping the strategy. This would take away the initiative from Eck and his like, accustomed as they are to arranging their thoughts in quite another order, with appended notabilia and subordinate quaestiones complicating matters and diverting attention.19 The common language of the disputation would be the classical Latin idiom of a common culture, linguistically alimented and dialectically supported by quotation from commonplace books well stocked with extracts illustrating all the topics likely to emerge. The authoritative citation of scripture would be grounded on a recognized hermeneutic method that would secure its validity as proof. Moreover, (though this is implicit, rather than stated), all this could be achieved on the basis of a classroom training generally available to young males of a station in society likely to allow them to influence public events. Informed biblical exegesis and articulate defence of religious tenets are not the exclusive preserve of the Theology Faculty, the door to both opens in the elementary classes devoted to language.

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Common Places Indeed, even professional religious would do well to go back to the elementary arts classes and learn their lessons again by a better method. Melanchthon inserts into the De rhetorica a chapter on preaching, a prelude to change in this area that will run parallel to changes in the conduct of religious controversy.20 Aristotelian philosophy is no training for sacred eloquence, especially when theologians have been totally caught up in the ‘frigid’ commentaries of the northern scholastics. As for the composition of contemporary sermons, nothing could be further from the energetic, coherent rhetoric that imitation of ancient oratory would guarantee. Three propositions, an example, and bits and bobs from Vincent de Beauvais make one a master of the current genre. Instead, Melanchthon proposes the structure of a classical speech, from exordium, through narration, confirmation, refutation of contrary arguments, to apposite conclusion. His tactics of definition and division, amplified through the places of argument, then warmed and spiced with examples and rhetorical flourishes, will teach the commonplaces of the faith effectively. Seeming contradictions in scripture will be resolved for the edifying of the faithful when scrutinized according to the intention (scopus) of the author and the circumstances attendant on the utterance, elicited by Melanchthon's analytical (p.165) method.21 Sermons of praise or exhortation will find their places of argument and their methodology under the demonstrative genre of praise and blame and the deliberative genre of persuasion to act.

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Common Places Melanchthon's devotion to Luther's Reformation fired his coherent and practical programme for argumentative and persuasive discourse with the energies of a scopus not known to previous humanists embarking on similar projects. That did not mean that he did not have predecessors. One can detect strata of influence within his textbooks. At the base is Aristotle. The Organon provides the foundation for the structure of Melanchthon's dialectic, and he in no way intends to supplant him.22 Next come traces, more or less obliterated, of late medieval logic and its technical language, but significant in Melanchthon's thinking as much for what he decides to discard as for what he retains. A thicker sediment comprises fifteenth-century Italian theorists already converted to classical Latin idiom and deriving their rhetorical and dialectical theory as much from Cicero and Quintilian as from Aristotle. George of Trebizond's Rhetoricorum libri V of the 1430s had first combined places of argument from rhetoric and dialectic and made them the production mechanism for persuasive discourse. Melanchthon acknowledges his forerunner, if only to send his reader to George's fuller treatment of certain topics too complex to expand within his own textbook format.23 Melanchthon refers in a similar, rather back-handed way to Lorenzo Valla. His name is not mentioned in Melanchthon's 1519 rhetoric and 1520 dialectic, although it is possible to infer that Valla's Dialecticae disputationes, available in Bade's 1509 and 1515 editions, had contributed to the formation of Melanchthon's ideas. This is because Valla is mentioned in the Dialecticae libri IV in such a way as to suggest that he had revised some of the criticisms of traditional logic he had adopted from Valla, and was moving away from Valla's position.24 If Melanchthon tends to cover over these earlier layers in his education, he is lavish in his recognition of the seed-bed of ideas which was for him the work of Rudolph Agricola and Erasmus.

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Common Places As we have seen, Agricola's De inventione diabetica was not published until 1515, thirty years after his death. The young Melanchthon was given a copy by Oecolampadius in 1516. He was likely to have been extremely receptive to what he found, for his habit of mind had been formed in a circle where oral memories of (p.166) Agricola's time at Heidelberg were strong.25 What excited Melanchthon immediately was Agricola's dialectical analysis of speeches by Cicero and Demosthenes.26 From his first reading of Agricola, combined then or later with similar analyses by George of Trebizond, he absorbed the hermeneutic technique he was to teach so effectively. For Agricola's dialectic is a lengthy exposition of the loci, the places of argument, that he takes largely from Cicero and Boethius, systematizes, and then exemplifies in the customary language of literary discourse. He demonstrates how the loci generate composition in the works of the authors on whom humanists modelled their thought as well as their idiom. He advances the argumentative mechanism of breaking down a proposition into its constituent elements and comparing them under the place grid. If Melanchthon came to differ on several details, it still remains that his textbooks on rhetoric and dialectic were probably the most influential vehicle for spreading Agricola's ideas.27 They were easier and better adjusted to the market than Agricola's longer, harder, and more specialized book. For one thing, they were carefully angled to fit into the current arts curriculum because they did cover the most basic elements of traditional Aristotelian logic (predicables, predicaments, forms of the syllogism, and so on) that Agricola had not included in his book specifically devoted to the topical logic of invention. The relative difficulty of Agricola's De inventione dialectica is obvious from the fact that it was so soon felt to need a commentary (one was appended to the text in 1523, and another in 1539). Melanchthon himself saw his own textbooks as leading on to the more advanced dialectic of Agricola.28 The publishing success of both Melanchthon and Agricola was directly related to the fact that there now existed a humanist Latin speech community, a generation that had been through the humanist Latin grammar syllabus. Melanchthon and Agricola spoke its language and answered to its expectations. The difference between them was that Melanchthon harnessed the new dialectic, the new rhetoric, and the new hermeneutic to new religious belief and practice. Exegesis by places of argument is now applied to St Paul as well as to Cicero, and for much more practical use. (p.167) Teaching stratagems for disputation has a new urgency when the adversary does not just represent an unpalatable idiom and an alien mind-set, but might burn the body or ensnare the soul.

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Common Places A not dissimilar, though much narrower, difference obtains between Melanchthon and his older contemporary, Erasmus. If Melanchthon explored the places of argument through Agricola, he had discovered the collecting of commonplaces, or headed extracts, in Erasmus. Before the publication of Agricola's De inventione dialectics Erasmus had devised the first blueprint for a truly schematic commonplace book in his De copia of 1512. Melanchthon acknowledged his debt by quoting Erasmus’ prescription to form the core of his own chapter de locis communibus in the De rhetorics where he recommends storing quotations in a headed notebook for easy retrieval.29 For both of them, the point of the commonplace book was to ensure a ready supply of varied and abundant discourse, the copia that should distinguish the brilliant stylistic virtuosity of the humanist Latin writer from the plain, halting, mean-mouthed efforts of his late medieval counterpart. Nevertheless, it is already possible to see that, whereas Erasmus revels in words, Melanchthon is anxious to ground words on things. His commonplace heads represent sets that inhere in nature. From his earliest description of them, it is also clear that they are to be related to the places of argument appropriate to dialectical support for his different sorts of rhetoric. In the case of Erasmus, however, it was not until the 1534 edition of his De copia that he interrupted his panegyric of verbal plenitude to indicate that the words that headed up the sections in the commonplace book might be drawn through the places of argument so as to marshal for effective disputation the quotations they contained. Whether Erasmus is here responding to Agricola, or to Melanchthon, or to the need of the times for a much more rigorous style of discourse, Erasmus was to follow the same line of evolution in his religious works. In 1519, along with so many humanists, Melanchthon hailed in Erasmus the author of the Novum instrumentum who had been ‘the first to bring back theology to its sources’.30 At the same time, Erasmus had developed a biblical hermeneutic out of his commonplace book methodology. The reader of the prefaces to his philological work on the New Testament was invited to assemble extracts from the scriptures under heads quite loosely arranged by similars and opposites. He would thus provide himself with a ready supply of material whereby to expound and to explain, as well as to resolve, contradictions, by comparing passages on the same topic and so allowing the Bible, as it were, to read itself.31 This corresponded to some elements of the reading strategy Melanchthon was at the same time adapting from Cicero to St Paul. In 1535, however, Erasmus’ treatise on the sacred rhetoric of preaching, his Ecclesiastes sive de ratione concionandi, advocated a much more systematic (p.168) method, wholly in line with Melanchthon. Now the loci of argument, definition, division, similars, opposites, and all the rest, are drawn up to defend the truth and banish doubt, and the preacher has furnished himself with an encyclopedia of loci communes covering all the categories and subcategories of the Christian faith.

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Common Places At the most elementary level of commonplaces, that of notebook collections started early in the schoolroom, publishers were quick to see the parallels between Agricola, Erasmus, and Melanchthon, and put them to profit. Between 1531 and 1556, mainly at Basle and Cologne, they printed various collections of pedagogical material, most called De ratione studii. Standard components were Melanchthon's chapter on notebooks excerpted from his De rhetorica, Erasmus’ similar chapter from the De copies called Ratio colligendi exempla, and Agricola's letter De formando studio, which had been in print since 1508, and was cited by Melanchthon as a companion text for his own advice on notebooks, along with Erasmus.32 In the eyes of many grammar-class pupils of the time, these three must have seemed the great humanist triumvirate, presiding over what undoubtedly did become Renaissance Europe's most familiar learning resource, the commonplace book. This publishing venture also slipped Melanchthon into Catholic Europe without any difficulty, as did another composite volume comprising Mosellanus’ list of rhetorical figures, Tabulae de schematis et tropis, and summaries in tabular form of Erasmus, De copia, and of Melanchthon's Institutiones rhetoricae of 1521. The latter consisted of brief precepts, transcribed from lecture notes, without the detail of the De rhetorica. This collection was printed most frequently in France.

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Common Places By the time Melanchthon had elaborated his rhetoric and dialectic in further publications, the Elementa rhetorices of 1531 and the Erotemata dialectices of 1547, his textbooks, which also included a syntax and a Latin and a Greek grammar, were standard parts of the language acquisition programme across northern Europe. The destiny of the praeceptor Germaniae in Lutheran Europe is well known. More intriguing is the fact that he was such a success in France. Even before 1530, his De rhetorica was printed at Paris three times (1527, twice in 1529); his Institutiones rhetoricae seven times (1522, 1523, 1526, 1527, 1528, twice in 1529); his Compendiaria dialectices ratio three times (1522, 1526, 1529); his Dialecticae libri IV once (1528, but again in 1532, and several times at Lyons in the 1530s and early 1540s). His Elementa rhetorices was published twice at Paris in 1532 and again in 1534 (and no fewer than seven times at Lyons between 1533 and 1541), and there were at least ten Parisian editions of his textbooks on Latin grammar. This seems to mark a considerable degree of conversion to humanist Latin in all its aspects, grammar, patterns of argument, and ways of reading, although traditional formal logic was by no means displaced in the market It looks as if the textbook by Lefèvre and Clichtove was the standard manual in the logic class up to about 1540. Books on the more recondite questions of scholastic logic, by John Mair and his Spanish and Scottish associates, were still being reprinted at Paris up to 1529. Nevertheless, the publication (p.169) there of Melanchthon's textbooks on commonplacebased dialectic and rhetoric from 1522 onwards, and the fact that they were so soon reprinted and then cluster in the late 1520s, suggests that the Paris market was in some measure receptive to change before Agricola's De inventione dialectica was printed there in 1529.33 That was the year in which Agricola became a standard text for teaching dialectic at some of the colleges of the University of Paris. The innovators were scholars newly arrived from Louvain, notably Johann Sturm (1507–89). The De inventione dialectica had had its first printing at Louvain in 1515, but it was at Cologne that the Agricola industry really developed, with the first annotated edition in 1523 and numerous printings. It was from Cologne that enthusiasts for Agricola had come to teach him at Louvain, and then moved from Louvain to Paris. It is reasonable to assume, however, that Paris had been well prepared for Agricola by the works of Melanchthon already printed for the local market, which must have been guaranteed by teachers introducing them at some of the colleges. The turn to a commonplace dialectic of discourse production may have been virtually completed when Agricola was given such a prominent place on the syllabus that the Faculty of Theology complained in 1530 that he was ousting Aristotle from the arts courses. At the very least, the mechanism for that turn was already well set up, engineered by the conjunction of Erasmus promoting abundance correctly phrased to humanist standards and Melanchthon rigorously channelling it through dialectical places.

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Common Places Agricola's De inventione dialectica remained a resource and a stimulus for commonplace dialectic, but, as a textbook, it was obscured by others more accessible and more comprehensive. Another scholar from Cologne steeped in Agricola, Johannes Caesarius (c.1468–1550), produced his Dialectica in decern tractatus digesta there in 1520. In 1528, Melanchthon welcomed it as a work, like Agricola’s, to which students could advance once they had learnt the elements of the new discipline from himself.34 Caesarius was in fact destined to be much more than an (p.170) advanced supplement to Melanchthon, once the confessional divide started to widen. The fall-off in editions of Melanchthon at Paris after 1534 is attributable to the Affaire des Placards of that year, the event that was to prove so damaging to the Reformers’ cause, though the fact that publication of Melanchthon continued at Lyons, where the after-shocks of the Affaire were much attenuated, probably ensured his transmisssion along the extensive business networks of the Lyons printers. In environments that eventually closed to Luther's associate, Caesarius, a Catholic, if a very neutral one, became the chief conduit for disseminating a dialectic not dissimilar to Melanchthon’s. Paris, that citadel of scholastic logic and late medieval Latin, was set to be infiltrated by the new dialectic and its associated idiom, though its surrender to the humanists was to be brought about by a process of gradual assimilation, rather than by Romans storming the ramparts as Valla had hoped to see. From 1533, Caesarius’ Dialectica was regularly printed at Paris and Lyons. Caesarius himself was to a certain extent an insider as far as the current teaching of logic at Paris was concerned. He had been a pupil of Lefèvre. From 1534, a commentary he had written on Clichtove's In terminorum cognitionem introductio accompanied that work on the not infrequent occasions when it was printed with the Lefèvre–Clichtove dialectic manual. His own Dialectica covers the traditional syllabus, starting from predicables, going through propositions and syllogisms, and leaving the places of argument till almost last. Caesarius was much more concerned than Melanchthon to link his dialectic into the thinking of the previous generation of scholars feeling their way out of the scholastic mentality. Even so, Caesarius’ Dialectica, as Melanchthon had noted, was a more advanced textbook than his own manuals on dialectic that had had some currency in Paris up until the early 1530s. Once Melanchthon fell off the syllabus there, a replacement elementary manual of unimpeachable orthodoxy had to be found, because students embarking on dialectic from the Latin grammar class needed an introduction to the basic concepts and basic vocabulary required to understand Caesarius, not to mention Aristotle.

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Common Places During the 1530s, the Lefèvre–Clichtove manual was still in production, but it is likely that it was ceasing to be a good fit with the students’ capacities. Its Latin would have sounded very inelegant, its expectations were probably now rather too high for pupils fresh from the humanists’ grammar curriculum, its pedagogical method would be foreign to them, in addition to which Lefèvre's authorship might have looked suspect in a more censorious climate. Its place was eventually taken by a very elementary manual indeed, generally known in Paris as Compendium dialecticae ad libros Aristotelis admodum utile ac necessarium. The author was a Franciscan, Frans Titelmans (Titelmannus, 1502– 37), a former student of Jacques Masson at Louvain and a teacher there, the author of a defence of the Vulgate Bible against Erasmus, Lefèvre, and Valla, and so perfectly acceptable at Paris, where his textbook was printed almost annually in the 1540s. From Titelmans, students learnt the essential vocabulary for them to be able to follow explanations of predicables, predicaments, syllogisms, places of argument, (p.171) and fallacies. They would also, perhaps, retain some of the basics of the traditional formal logic and a few of the appropriate terms, though rather fewer than they would have met in Melanchthon's dialectical textbooks. They would be familiar with the notion of loci, the places of argument, as maximal propositions, in an exposition that reproduced the De differentiis topicis of Boethius in tabular form. Their next step, however, would not be towards developing these rudiments in the direction of scholastic logic. Their next textbook on dialectic would have been Caesarius and he was to give them an account of the subject that would engage their expertise in humanist Latin. The sources and points of reference acknowledged by Caesarius read like a rollcall of the founding fathers of humanist dialectic: Lefèvre, Clichtove, George of Trebizond, Alexander Hegius, Agricola, Lorenzo Valla, Giorgio Valla, Erasmus, Vives, and Linacre, together with liberal use of Martianus Capella and Boethius and the occasional recall to duty of a scholastic like Buridan. Caesarius is an eclectic, certainly, but his credentials are thoroughly humanist. He clarifies a judicious selection of the more subtle moves in formal logic by translating the terminology into as classical an idiom as it will wear, and he would carry with him a student trained in humanist Latin with some prior knowledge of the points at issue gleaned from Titelmans. In his ninth tractatus, devoted to the loci dialectic, Caesarius carefully expands on the maximal propositions of Boethius familiar to such a student by interweaving them with the places of argument as found in Rudolph Agricola. Like Melanchthon, Caesarius packaged the whole Aristotelian programme for students coming from the humanists’ grammar class. Like Melanchthon, with Agricola to guide him, he recognized that the way from lessons in classical Latin composition to a training in rigorous analysis and convincingly argued production was through the commonplaces of invention.

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Common Places Younger contemporaries of Melanchthon from both sides of the religious divide went further than Caesarius in reforming the teaching of dialectic in the direction of commonplaces, in the sense of heads for analysis as well as stratagems for argument. Across the board, textbooks were published in which the speech norm for explanations of procedure, exactly reflected in passages quoted for illustration, was the idiom of classical Latin. The technical terminology inherited from the old logic was invariably translated or replaced by vocabulary with classical pedigree, and that, given the nature of the available documents in classical Latin, largely meant words found in the rhetorical theorists, Cicero and Quintilian. Nevertheless, at the moment when the language disciplines, humanist grammar and rhetoric, seemed to have absorbed and remoulded dialectic, the situation was to some extent going into reverse. Once Agricola, Melanchthon, and others had realized the hermeneutic and semantic potential of commonplaces, dialectic could yet again assert a regulatory role over language, not just over the connected discourse of literary texts, but over the way words were to be used. The Catholic, Joachim Périon (1498/9–1559), translator of Aristotle into rather philosophically lax Ciceronian Latin, published his De dialectica libri III in 1544. His book on diverse strategies of argument derived from the places comes before (p.172) his book on syllogisms, a deliberate ploy to promote the inventive side of dialectic. He also gives prescriptions for collecting extracts from one's reading under general heads arranged in a variety of notebooks corresponding to different kinds of discourse: moral, argumentative, and descriptive. In whichever notebook the quotations are assembled, and under whatever head, they are to be divided into sections setting up dialectical stratagems of proof, that is to say, into genus, definition, proper qualities, and accidents (essentially the predicables), with further subdivisions introducing further analysis and further ways of moving the quotations into tactical play.35 Périon brings the commonplace book under the firm rule of dialectic, so that the compiler may channel words to effective use in argument and exercise rigorous control over his means of production.

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Common Places Collecting commonplaces took this dialectical turn irrespective of religious affiliation. Perion's De dialectica libri III was epitomized by the Protestant, Coelius Secundus Curio, for use at the school in Basle and published there in 1549, and Curio retained Périon's prescriptions for commonplace collections in their entirety. Johann Sturm, soon after he had left Paris in 1536 to found his school at Strasbourg, recommended Melanchthon's textbooks on dialectic in the same breath as his own plans for his school.36 He had ambitious designs for encapsulating all of nature in vast commonplace books whereby the compiler would not only probe texts, but construct a universe of words matched onto the universe of things, to be activated by dialectical levers multiplying permutations and combinations. For Sturm, word power seems almost as much a matter of managed copia as it is of truth.37 Behind this, though, lies Melanchthon's (and, to a lesser extent, Agricola’s) argumentative tactic of testing the validity of propositions by reducing them to single words, and running those words through all the places of definition and division, exploring them in relation to the predicaments, listing their properties, accidents, similars and contraries, causes, effects, and so on.

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Common Places This can be most obviously detected in the work of Sturm's pupil Josse Willich, whom we last met at the end of Part I. His Erotematum dialectices libri tres, the preface to which is dated 1535, clearly follows Melanchthon's topical analysis of substantives, just as it follows Melanchthon's application of syllogism and other (p.173) forms of strict argument to the exegesis of sacred and profane texts.38 His De formando studio of 1550 grounds verbal copia on dialectical principles, defining words taken from the vocabulary of classical Latin by putting them through the predicaments and the other places. In this way the collector of words is empowered to explore and extend his verbal universe and at the same time to manipulate it purposefully in composition and debate.39 Language has recovered a deep structure. It does not lie in the correspondence between grammatical parts of speech and mental sentences that the modistae had tried to fathom, but in vocabulary mapped onto places of argument and activated by them. The places of argument are in effect a universal mental language that is not confined to any particular tongue. It is significant that Willich included German words to fill out some of his lists. Although his book is divided into copia verborum and copia rerum in an obvious reference to Erasmus, he does not define the precise relationship between words and things any more than Erasmus does, and it seems safe to assume that he would accept the general view that words referred in the first place to mental concepts. All his prescriptions for the dialectical analysis of words come in his section on copia verborum (copia rerum collects information under disciplinary heads). Even so, as was the case for Sturm, one senses that variety of words cannot be detached from plenitude of things. For Willich, however, the most interesting relationships that words have are, first, with each other, and, secondly, but at least equally important, with the dialectical places, those mental categories that discover the potential and the use of words. The humanists’ recovery of commonplaces from classical rhetoric brought logic back to language, even as their idiom became the sole and undisputed idiom of the Latin speech community.40 All through the sixteenth century and beyond, teachers would be fostering the controlled production of discourse by setting their boys to read with (p.174) commonplace books to hand. In the months following the Leipzig Disputation Melanchthon had a more urgent and more immediate use for commonplaces. His Loci communes return theologicarum seu hypotyposes theologicae of 1521 completely overhauled the methodology of formal religious disputation. The ‘heretics’ moved the goalposts, and their opponents were forced to change their game. The new playing field was mapped onto the coordinates that Melanchthon had proposed in the aftermath of the Leipzig Disputation and had already used in the infrastructure of his rhetoric and his dialectic: Latin clear and comprehensible to a speech community formed in the humanists’ grammar class; agreed goals and parameters for discussion; a common methodology for exegetical reading and interpretation of texts.

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Common Places The very title of Melanchthon's first work on systematic theology proclaims that it is a collection of commonplaces. It is an example of a discipline-specific collection conforming to the prescriptions he had elaborated in his chapter on commonplaces in his 1519 De rhetorica: In each specific kind of study there are certain heads (‘capita’) to which everything that comes within that discipline should be referred, for example, in theology: faith, ceremonies, sin…. Anyone wanting to make right judgements in any field of inquiry must have such places (‘loci’) listed. For, besides the fact that they are the sets and patterns regulating things (‘formae rerum et regulae’), they are a wonderful aid to memory.41 The 1521 theological Loci communes is first and foremost a reference book, with information collected for easy searching under heads and subheads: free will, sin, law, gospel, grace, justification and faith, difference between Old and New Testaments, signs, charity, magistrates, offences. It is easy enough to see that the theology constructed by such commonplaces is Lutheran. But Melanchthon will contend that he is not imposing dogma, he is deriving theology in the only defensible way it can be derived, from a properly informed and methodologically secure exegesis of scripture. Commonplace theology is based on commonplace hermeneutic, in this particular instance on the commonplace heads under which Melanchthon had distributed St Paul's epistle to the Romans for exposition (enarratio) in a recent course of lectures.42 Melanchthon makes an immediate contrast between his enarratio procedure, resulting in a sort of index to theological thinking, and the commentarii of the recentiores. By such commentarii he means the manner of the Sentences of Peter Lombard, and, by implication, the reduplication and elaboration of that manner in commentaries on the Sentences, still the main format for systematic theology, as demonstrated currently by John Mair and (p.175) Johann Eck among many another.43 According to Melanchthon, the quaestio procedure of commenting on the Sentences, coupled with its place in the old curriculum, coming as it did after students had had their speech and their minds set in the mould of late medieval Aristotelian logic and physics, inevitably encouraged bad language and bad practice. The very format of the Sentences, starting from metaphysical speculation about the existence of God, the Trinity, and hypostatic union, translated theology straight into a Latin of universalis formalitates, connotata, and ‘I know not what other empty words’ (Loci communes, 20). This way, theology has adopted a mentality and a language entirely foreign to the Bible. The old logic turned the inquirer's attention away from scripture to intellectual puzzles, the more recondite, the better. The new dialectic of commonplaces is a hermeneutic that concentrates the mind (every literate person's mind) on reading, a kind of literary study (‘genus literarum’) that is open to the Spirit which gives life to the text (ibid. 16). In addition, the distribution of scripture under places reveals what are its most important general tenets, and those must function as the scopi, the fixed points of orientation that will determine what are Page 22 of 50

Common Places the proper subjects of theological discourse. Moreover, those subjects must be those about which it is possible to speak in the literate Latin of the humanists, so not metaphysical entities, but Christ and the benefits of Christ to man (ibid. 20– 4). Melanchthon's commonplaces were imported from the speech environment of classical Latin usage and rhetorical analysis, and this is the speech environment within which the exegesis of scripture and the theology derived from it will henceforth operate. That Latin will certainly have to make its accommodations with the Latin of the Bible (the Vulgate will be used for a long time to come, despite the best efforts of Valla, Lefèvre, and Erasmus). What it cannot and will not accommodate, however, is the old language of speculative theology. Melanchthon's Loci communes signals a radical revision of the substance of theology, as well as of its words. As the horizon of Latin shifts, so does the theological perspective, from intellectual abstraction to a Christ-centred humanism, humanist in idiom, human in its focus on man's affective relationship with God through Christ.44

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Common Places (p.176) Throughout his Loci communes, Melanchthon insists that what he is providing is a key to reading scripture.45 This is slightly disingenuous. What he was providing in addition were strategy and ammunition for future formal disputations with Luther's opponents. Johann Eck understood full well that he and his fellow scholastics had now lost the initiative and that they had no choice but to move onto the territory of ‘heretics’ who would not even listen to their arguments, let alone reply in kind. His Enchiridion locorum communium adversus Lutheranos was first published in 1525.46 In his preface he reminds his readers of his valiant prowess at Leipzig, but cannot hide the fact that he has had to change his tactics, his language, and his intended audience. These loci communes are for those too busy or too simple-minded to pore over the volumes of past theological heroes (or understand their language). Eck divides his book into heads representing the grounds on which the heretics will argue, for example, the Church and its authority. Each commonplace head has numbered subsections or propositiones. Eck has learnt from Melanchthon to make commonplaces a force for coherence, circumscribing the scopus of debate. Under these heads, Eck's arguments are drawn almost exclusively from quotations from scripture, another concession to the Lutherans, though Melanchthon might well object to Eck's crudely piled up references, which betray little trace of a considered hermeneutic. The ‘heretics’ then make their objections; the Catholics reply. The quaestio format is still detectable, but has been adapted to the strategy his opponents use. On his own preferred ground, with an audience whose expectations he understands, as in his work on logic and Aristotelian science, one senses Eck's firm grasp of all the intricacies of his subject. His loci communes too often fall away into weak arguments and strident remonstration. Generally speaking, one feels that Eck was ill at ease with this novel procedure and he certainly seems to underestimate the level of response in a readership trained in a ratiocinative mode he doubtless considered inherently inferior to his own.47

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Common Places (p.177) Later on, humanist Catholics were gradually to become more expert. Alardus of Amsterdam (1491–1544), who had been involved with the publication of Agricola's De inventione diabetica from the start in 1515, edited his revision of the text at Cologne in 1539, with extensive notes in which Melanchthon is frequently cited for corroboration. In the same year he published a pamphlet in which he analysed the word ‘heretic’ in terms of all the twenty-four places of definition covered by Agricola, supported by authoritative quotations. The stated purpose was to demonstrate Agricola's method for constructing an anatomy for argument, but Alardus uses it to formulate propositions in answer to questions probably not envisaged by Agricola. Should the civil law be activated against enemies of the faith, provided this be done with intent to correct, not to punish? Should obstinate heretics be condemned to capital punishment and burnt?48 Alardus does no more than provide the material and strategy for debate, though he claims that his description will instruct the unlearned. In 1548, Joachim Pé;rion, who in his De dialectica four years earlier had been so enthusiastic about arguing from places, wrote a Topica theologica expressly designed to adopt Melanchthon's hermeneutic method based on commonplaces to the Catholic cause.49 Perion claims he has no (Catholic) predecessor in using commonplace rhetoric and dialectic to analyse scripture, yet he is worried about adopting the Protestants’ game-plan in its entirety. He recalls that in his textbook on dialectic he did not take examples of argumentative procedure from the scriptures. It was one of Melanchthon's main contentions that the authors of scripture, and in particular St Paul, patently employed the same basic ratiocinative procedure, the same dialectic, the same rhetoric, as pagan writers of good classical Latin. Melanchthon himself frequently used parallel illustrations from profane and sacred texts, and so did the many Lutheran teachers producing textbooks on his model, with an ever-growing preference for doctrinally loaded quotations from the Bible and blueprints for speeches challenging Luther's opponents on controversial commonplaces.50 Perion, on the other hand, is wary about bringing scripture into rhetoric and dialectic instruction, where its sense may be misconstrued by the ill informed. The (p. 178) commonplaces of theology must be kept apart. But even though Périon extracts theology from the language classes, he subjects it to their reading methods. Theology from now on will generally proceed by commonplaces, systematizing the subject under heads, deriving stratagems of debate from the dialectical places, citing authorities in the light of a responsible and reasoned exegetical method.

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Common Places Common places did not, of course, imply common consent. One major Catholic answer to Melanchthon's Loci communes would be a work by Melchior Cano (1509–60), published in Thomist Salamanca in 1563.51 Cano called his work De locis theologicis, but made it clear that his places were not the commonplace heads, the capita, under which Catholics and Protestants were by now both distributing the matter of theology. He claimed to write a terse, technical Latin for scholastically trained theologians like himself, eschewing any temptation to stylistic brilliance that might obscure his difficult subject (see the introduction to the second book of the Loci). In fact, he was neither doing theology in the manner and language of the scholastics nor was he doing it in the manner and language of Protestant commonplaces. The purpose of his book was to look into the status of proof from authority, the proof place to which Catholic and Protestants gave an importance it had in none of their classical models. In particular, this strong opponent of the Protestants at Trent was arguing against sola sciptura, the single and totally overriding authority of the Bible, and against the Protestant practice of reading all other authorities solely as adjuncts to the interpretation of scripture. Cano's ten loci theologici represent a hierarchical classification of authorities, which, in descending order of validity, accreditates the tradition of the apostles and the Catholic Church, earlier and later theological writers, the decrees of councils, popes, and canon law, conclusions reached by natural reason, the opinions of philosophers, and testimony of historians. Scripture comes first in this hierarchy, but the other loci of authority have their appropriate degree of force. Cano represents the early stages of a move in theological disputation towards a critical assessment of the authenticity of evidence. The Lutherans were already going down that route, in order to undermine precisely the authorities Cano was trying to affirm. The one possible source of authority that Cano did not rehabilitate was the scholastic theology of the recentiores (post Thomas Aquinas) when they were based on nothing but ‘monstrosities’, like ‘exponibiles, obligationes, insolubiles, reflexivae’, about which he is as scathing as any humanist of a previous generation (1574 Cologne edn., fo. 398v). His own Latin is the standard speech of the contemporary humanist community across western Europe. This assimilated the Latin of the Vulgate and of the writers of the patristic era, whom Cano quotes, but not that of his authorities among later medieval theologians, whose opinions he relates, but does not quote. Cano is quite clear that in order to engage with his ‘heretical’ opponents (among whom he frequently cites Melanchthon) he must speak their language.

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Common Places (p.179) The Protestant and Catholic Reformations were about a great deal more than commonplaces. Nevertheless, an important part of the story does relate to the transfer of commonplace method from its origins in the humanists’ enarratio of literary texts in classical Latin to a religious debate now normally conducted in that Latin, or in the composite of classical and patristic Latin that had developed into the customary speech of the humanistically educated across Europe. Religious opinions were divided, but the language was the same, and debate was possible. This is a different situation to that obtaining in the first twenty years of the sixteenth century, when the two Latin speech communities talked past each other and rarely listened. From the 1530s onwards, the method of analysing texts for extracting into commonplace books was adopted in schools across western Europe, and for reading adults it was a lifelong learning process. The Jesuits modified the system to defer dialectic to a later stage in the curriculum, but they were compulsive commonplacers. Despite confessional rifts, the educated élite had a shared culture, a highly literary culture with common points of reference stored in commonplace books.

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Common Places Commonplace methodology, however, also had significant effects within the Latin speech community where it originated. As first promoted by Erasmus, in 1512, the commonplace book provided its compiler with words in abundance, its heads related semantically by a loose arrangement according to similars and opposites that would stimulate, but not programme rhetorical amplification. It corresponded to a sense of language fostered by humanist Latin dictionaries and phrase-books, delighting in semantic richness, lexical variety, and superabundant verbal copia, Melanchthon and his successors recovered a quasimetaphysical basis to language, by subordinating particular lexical and textual items to concepts derived from the deep structures of nature’, and developing from this a dialectic that would provide a generally acceptable cognitive foundation for discursive and argumentative procedure. The strongest impetus for this development was the desire to reconnect language with truth, and behind that lay the imperatives of religious reform. This dialectic was, of course, tightly bound to humanist semantics, and could not ultimately stand up to the charge that it rested on the shifting foundations of verbal usage and traded in reasonable conviction rather than formal validity or mathematical certainty. For the next hundred years, however, the commonplace book and its attendant dialectic served very well. It was a way of filtering, organizing, and retrieving knowledge in all disciplines of inquiry, and an efficient mechanism of production. It functioned cohesively within the elite who shared the technology. It was conservative, both in the sense that it worked as a memory-bank, and in the sense that it encouraged the expectation that any newfound knowledge could and should be accommodated to the general heads already established in the commonplace book and thereby in the mind of the inquirer and of the community at large. On the other hand, it gave the user his own power over knowledge. The individual could place his extracts where he chose, exploring the multivalency of texts and concepts, sceptically juxtaposing contradictory passages under a single head. Moreover, this power was devolved to readers at the (p.180) level of the grammar class. Such individualism could be nurtured at a very early stage of education and might be transported to the commonplaces of religious belief.

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Common Places Public religious instruction from the pulpit could not remain immune from these developments. The commonplace method was as effective in revolutionizing religious rhetoric as it was religious disputation. Late medieval sermons were as sophisticated in their way as late medieval logic, and indeed the special style of preaching characteristic of the later Middle Ages was known as that of the moderni or recentiores the same words as were used for scholastic philosophers. A great many books of advice and examples of good practice for preaching were printed in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the vast majority of them in Latin. Sermons, very much the speciality of missionary friars, as well as the less formal homilies that were the staple parish diet, were normally given in the vernaculars. The exception would be sermons for the Latin speech community, for example in religious houses, on university occasions, or before high church dignitaries and secular assemblies. The precepts of the preaching manuals were meant to apply regardless of the language of delivery, although it was Latin that conditioned the mental environment in which their technology developed.

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Common Places I have already touched on sermons in relation to their Latin idiom, but that idiom was inextricably bound to their argumentative procedure. Indeed, to a large extent the idiom generated the arguments. The formal sermons of the moderni had an intricate structure, more intricate, perhaps, to the reader than to the listener, for their patterning was a memory device designed for oral delivery and aural reception. After a sort of prologue, a virtuoso variation on the sermon's text or texts, known as the protheme, the preacher would introduce his main theme and divide it. The proposed content of its divisions and subsequent subdivisions would be systematically arrayed in a pattern underlined by rhythm and rhyme. So, to return to a sermon on the Assumption that has already provided us with an example of late medieval Latin word-play, we find it taking grace as its theme and dividing it thus: ‘Gratia solet tripliciter distingui. Infusa quae restringit malas cogitationes. Diffusa quae dirigit bonas cogitationes. Effusa quae ordinat actiones et operationes.’52 The argumentative macrostructure, by division, is generated from ‘distinctions’ applied to a single word, as here to ‘grace’. It is not entirely clear how this procedure would translate into a vernacular (if, indeed, it did), but in terms of Latin it is obviously producing a most unclassical mode of discourse. Words are being semiologically interlaced as much as they are semantically explored. This feature of sermon rhetoric is exemplified further by the way biblical and other quotations (auctoritates), the main substance of such sermons, were selected and employed. Quotations had to ‘concord’ with the theme and/or with each other, and this they had to do either in terms of content (realiter), or by echoing words (vocaliter), or, most ingeniously, by doing both. This procedure (p.181) was serviced by enormous volumes of ‘concordances’ assembled during the later Middle Ages. Exploring his biblical quotations further, the preacher could either use their literal sense, or their typological reference, or he could code them according to the standard allegorical senses, moral (or tropological), allegorical (or spiritual), and analogical (eschatological). This was the basic model of a ‘modern’ sermon, but the preacher could further elaborate his theme by drawing on dialectical and rhetorical stratagems learnt mostly from Boethius, De differentiis topicis: syllogisms, similitudes, opposites, comparisons, etymology, reinforcement by synonyms.53 By the turn of the century, this rhetorical turn was taken further by manuals comparing preaching with oratory, and making some claim to adapt sermon plans to the structure of a speech as described in the Ad Herennium and Cicero's De inventione. But, whereas classical rhetoric was to be allowed to influence the shape and even the argumentative strategy of sermons, the idiom of classical Latin and all its refinements were much more firmly resisted. Plain diction was the proper language for a sermon, phrased so as to be understood and nothing else.54

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Common Places The above is only a bare outline of the complicated story of the late medieval sermon.55 A summary of a specimen sermon from one of the many, often reprinted collections by the vociferous French Franciscan, Olivier Maillard (c. 1430–1502), will best demonstrate the sort of preaching rhetoric familiar to congregations in the first twenty years of the sixteenth century. Maillard bases the protheme to his sermon on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin on two texts, one about the birth of John the Baptist, the other taken with no regard to context from the book of Esther, but ‘vocally concorded’ with the first text by the word ‘joy’ (gaudebunt/gaudium). He makes a comparison ‘from less to greater’, saying that there is more cause to rejoice in the birth of Mary than in that of John the Baptist. Then he proceeds to adjust the text from Esther ‘congruently’ to the present occasion by narrating the story of Esther and interpreting it as a spiritual allegory resting on the translation of Hebrew names. Esther is a figura of the Blessed Virgin; Ahasuerus (whose name means ‘blessedness’) is God; Hamon (meaning ‘wicked’) is the devil. After many proof texts from the fathers about Mary's holy state and others from canon law about the judgement of sinners, his congregation are urged to rejoice in her nativity as he returns to the first of his original texts, which from now on constitutes his theme, ‘Multi homines in nativitate eius gaudebunt’ (p.182) (‘many will rejoice in his birth’), though the ungendered Latin ‘eius’ must now be read as ‘her’. The theme is divided into two parts, the nativity of the pure Virgin, and the new birth of the soul regenerated from sin. They are related in their Latin by alliteration and rhyme: Prima pars est de nativitate virginis Marie purissime Secunda pars est de nativitate anime a peccato purgatissime;56 and the first part is divided into three subdivisions, similarly related, for in Mary's birth we see her barren mother made fertile, the manifest sanctity of the virgin mother, and the benefit accruing to the Church militant:

matris parientis sterilitas fecundata virginis parientis sanctitas approbata et ecclesiae militantis utilitas multiplicata.57 The first of these subdivisions brings us to St Ann. The story of how her sterility finally ended in the birth of her daughter is told obliquely through a chain of comparisons ‘from less to greater’ involving other long-barren women in the Old Testament, Hannah, Sarah, and Samson's mother, who figure as types of Ann, while their children have names that etymologically have vocal concordances with attributes of Mary: Isaac, ‘laughter’ brings joy, as she does; Samson, ‘their light’ (‘illuminatio eorum’), rings with Mary ‘lux illuminans’, and that in turn with an antiphon for the day.58

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Common Places Enough has been extracted from Maillard's sermon to give a sense of the way he manoeuvred words and quotations into patterns. Neither linguistic expertise nor semantics nor contextualized reading have relevance to the sense his audience would have got from him of a profoundly signifying spiritual world removed from history and from all speech in normal use. His was an idiom of Latin and a hermeneutic as foreign to the grammatical environment of the humanist Latin speech community as the technical jargon of late medieval logic. How the two linguistic universes of sermon Latin circled round each other till one absorbed the other is as complex a story as all other episodes in the Latin language turn, but I shall use St Ann once more to give it a little local history. Josse Clichtove will serve, as he has served us before, as a figure who, unusually, was prepared to speak with both voices, in this case as a writer of sermons in the ‘modern’ style and as a preacher using humanist Latin. We have four sermons by Clichtove for the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, first published at Paris (p.183) in 1534 in a collection of his sermons.59 The texttheme of the first is from Proverbs: ‘Wisdom has built herself a house’. ‘Wisdom’ is to be understood as Christ. Clichtove concords this verse realiter and vocaliter with St Paul's preaching of Christ, ‘the power of God and the wisdom of God’. By analogy, Wisdom's house is the Virgin, and it is with the fabric of this house, amplified into an extended architectural metaphor, that Clichtove builds his sermon. His theme is divided into two, the division being operated by the questions: how was the house built, and what are its properties? This mechanism establishes a structure based less on verbal echoes than on analysis, but it is still in line with the late medieval sermon's use of argumentative procedure, whether derived from Boethius or Cicero. The first part is further subdivided to answer the questions: Where? With what materials? On what foundation? These are the occasion for a narrative of the story of Ann and Joachim, supported by the authority of St Jerome in the text attributed to him, but, also, on the basis of deductions to be made from comparisons ‘from less to greater’, by the biblical authority of the angelic annunciations of the births of Isaac, Samson, and John the Baptist, with other parallels. The second part of the sermon is subdivided three ways to match the first. There is, therefore, a strong element of pattern, and there are some residual rhythmical effects, in some instances strongly reminiscent of medieval rhyming verse.60 The frequent quotations from the Bible, however, function as examples and comparisons, and are not subject to allegorical interpretation or etymology. The second sermon takes the same text as Maillard’s: ‘many shall rejoice at his birth’, and the protheme divides those rejoicing into five groups. The theme is divided into two, with the first part demonstrating many similarities (‘multiplex convenientia’) between the birth of Mary and John the Baptist, and the second showing why on this day it behoves to rejoice. Each part is then subdivided into five sections, replicating the protheme.

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Common Places In his first three sermons, Clichtove retains the patterned structure of the moderni, but other strands in the interwoven fabric of their sermons are not now so prominent, notably rhyme, verbal echoes, allegorical and typological equivalencies. The architecture of Clichtove's sermons is more likely to be planned on places of argument, building up in some cases into a coordinated and very visual metaphor, as in his Mary, house of Wisdom. His fourth sermon on the Blessed Virgin's Nativity is different. A preliminary note makes a point of stating that ‘it was delivered in Latin’. It follows that the first three were in fact given in French, and that this one was for a rather different audience. Its theme, the Virgin's honourable antecedents, is divided into two parts, distinguishing the more general (the Jewish nation) from the particular (the Virgin's parents). The second part, (p.184) like the first, is subdivided into three, but not before Clichtove has spent time amplifying a commonplace, a general thesis, about the reciprocal benefits of virtue in parents and children. The authenticating texts for this maximal proposition are taken from Cicero and Proverbs. Clichtove's own Latin, as he expands on his commonplace, is lexically and syntactically much more elaborate than in the other sermons, and its idiom and its rhythms manifestly belong to the humanists’ speech.61 As regards argumentative procedure, the particularities of Mary's own parentage will form the minor premiss of the syllogism introduced by the commonplace just amplified. It is not syllogistic reasoning, however, that provides the groundplan of the sermon's development, but the narration of the circumstances of the Virgin's birth, following the text of Jerome (i.e. Libellus de nativitate) more exactly and more explicitly than in the sermons for the vernacular congregation. This narratio is used for overtly rhetorical purposes, to persuade by example. So, the first of the second part's subdivisions makes an example of the disciplined habit of almsgiving ‘Jerome’ ascribes to Ann and Joachim, supports that virtue by a number of texts, mainly biblical, and urges the congregation to follow suit. The texts are indeed ‘concorded’ to the topic, but only according to res, not voces, and they are integrated into the syntax of Clichtove's prose. The second subdivision, which relates to the episode of Ann's sterility and Joachim's rejection, exhorts to patience, but Clichtove this time elaborates metaphorical extensions of sterility, from childlessness, by way of barren trees (with their connotations in scripture parable), to the fruits of good works in ‘trees planted by the waterside’. There is no allegorical encoding of scripture here, but there is a knowing conjunction of very familiar biblical similitudes with an instinct, learnt from rhetoric, for the potential of exploited metaphors. In the third subsection, the angelic annunciation of Mary's birth is corroborated by narratives in the Old and New Testaments, not used as typological figuration, but as accumulated examples related to the subject by a dialectic of comparison. The examples are accommodated to Clichtove's prose with more stylistic flourish than when he employed a similar stratagem for the same purpose in the first of these four sermons.62

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Common Places At Paris it was clearly possible to adapt the late medieval Latin sermon to humanists’ expectations, provided stylistic accommodation did not compromise doctrine. Clichtove's congregations might have taken time fully to ingest the fact that the imaginative world built into his humanist Latin did not correspond to Maillard’s. Events, however, were precipitating more violent change. In 1534, the same year that Clichtove's sermons were first published, Johann Eck brought out a collection of his homilies in response to a very particular pressure. His third volume, (p.185) De Sanctis, begins: ‘Here is the third volume of my homilies, this one on saints, directed against Luther and other enemies of the Church…to the intent that those who need help may have ready to hand what they should teach their little flock and wherewith to answer schismatic wolves and dogs.’63 These, then, are not formally constructed sermons, but workaday homilies. They are scarcely that, for in fact what we have is in the nature of notes from which a parish priest could make something to suit occasions as they arose, secure in the doctrine he was propagating. A sentence at the end of the volume informs us that one Johannes Meltzinger had translated the homilies into Latin and that Eck had checked them ‘in such spare time as he had’. The collection demonstrates Latin being used to maximize the distribution of guidelines for popular instruction given in the vernacular.

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Common Places The pages devoted to St Ann reproduce a mentality already entrenched in Maillard's sermons. Ann has her counterparts in the Old Testament, Sarah, Rachel, Samson's mother, and Hannah, but their stories are more than exemplary, for their sons were types of Christ. All four Anns and Hannahs in the Bible were true to the etymology of their name and recipients of grace, but none so true as the Virgin's mother. Parish priests are thus provided with patterns for homilies based on allegory and etymology and, as a climax, given a rhythmical, rhyming Latin sequence of a sort very familiar to their flock.64 To combat the heretics, they are also provided with genealogical tables of St Ann's extended family, extending not only to her three daughters’ sons, but sideways to her sister's descendants, John the Baptist, St Servatius, and St Martial. As with all the other saints in Eck's collection, a summary life of St Ann is appended to the notes for homilies, and it includes not only all her kin, but enables priests to say with confidence that she married Joachim when she was 36 and he was 45. All this is to arm the common people with ammunition against the teaching of three upstarts who have dared oppose the venerable tradition of the Church. The names of two of the ‘upstarts’ are printed in the margin, Lefèvre and Wildenauer; the third escapes exposure because he has had the grace to return to the fold (presumably this is Clichtove, who at first supported Lefèvre and later backtracked). The arguments Eck makes against Lefèvre and Wildenauer depend largely on the authority of the traditional glosses to the Bible, reinforced by imprecations against ‘novice grammarians’ who dare to alter the text (a reference to Erasmus and his ‘Mary the wife of Cleophas’). A string of other authorities from Jerome to Bede are brought into play, but so carelessly that their validity is undermined.65

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Common Places (p.186) Once again, it seems that Eck, despite his strong intellect, miscalculated the level on which to respond to ‘schismatic wolves and dogs’. His patterned homilies would doubtless fall on receptive ears familiar with their language and their exegetical underpinning, but his defence of St Ann's extended kin is a weak restatement of a position that his opponents had shut their ears to. At best, it would reinforce the status of St Ann in popular culture, and that was perhaps the purpose. Meanwhile, Lutheran congregations were hearing something else. They were being increasingly well instructed in how to read scripture by teachers convinced that the proper instruments for its analysis were dialectic and rhetoric, and equally convinced that no one ignorant of their use could speak correctly, truthfully, clearly, and decorously about God's holy word. This is the substance of the preface to a collection of sermon plans almost exactly contemporary with Clichtove's and Eck’s, published at Wittenberg in 1537 by Petrus Artopoeus (Becker).66 For Artopoeus, ‘Christian preacher’ translates unproblematically into ‘classical orator’, both ‘good men skilled in speaking’, both professionally bound to find (invenire) good matter, to organize it once found (disponere), to invest it with eloquence (eloqui) and verbal profusion (copia verborum). In contrast to this, Artopoeus points to unlearned and lazy preachers, whose chief fault seems to be their reliance on German and their ignorance of Latin.67 His preacher is in the thick of controversy, as was Eck’s, but the heretics against whom he has to arm his congregation in this instance are the Anabaptists.

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Common Places Artopoeus has no special concio for the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin (he consistently uses the classical concio, avoiding late medieval sermo, so unclassical in its usage). He does have a general plan of a sermon suitable for all her feast-days, to be adapted in the exordium and in the narration to the locus, the topic, of any particular celebration. It is an epideictic oration in her praise, with exhortation to imitate her.68 Artopoeus structures his sermon plan firmly on the classical divisions of a speech. The exordium will capture the listeners’ attention and insinuate (a Ciceronian term) differences they should know between Mary and Christ. (p.187) The confirmatio will give credibility to the subject of the sermon by producing as evidence what is honourable, advantageous, necessary, pleasant, and ancient (all seats of rhetorical argument), by adducing examples, similarities, and invidious comparison with secular parallels. Some of the material we have encountered in other sermons on St Ann could clearly find a place here, but only as a cog in the rhetorical mechanism. It could not take over the direction of Artopoeus’ sermon. What does take over is the sequence of proof-places appropriate to epideictic: the ‘places of praise’, involving parents, nation, homeland, childhood, and all the ages of life, moral qualities, bodily comportment, and social station. From these places, Artopoeus constructs his narratio, a life of the Virgin designed to edify, rather than to argue against potential opponents. Of her parents, Artopoeus says we know nothing, except that they were of humble station, and some say they were called Joachim and Ann. It is not out of the question (‘non est absurdum’) that she was presented at an early age in the temple to be educated there. The preacher has full licence from the Gospel evidence to attribute a string of admirable moral qualities to her. He might like to repeat accounts of her assumption.

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Common Places This brief sampling of sermons documents how the conceptual consequences of commonplace method were, by the 1530s (in Germany at least), being disseminated to a wider public than that of the classroom, where they had first evolved from the enarratio procedures of humanists analysing classical texts.69 In parallel with my previous sampling of the logical infrastructure of humanist and late medieval Latin discourse, sermons have also shown up fundamental differences in the ways practitioners of the two idioms programmed composition. Within preaching rhetoric, it is possible to make rough translations of medieval stratagems of proof into humanist places of argument, given their common origins in Cicero and Boethius. But no such translation is possible with respect to the macro- and micro-patterning of the sermons of the moderni, with their numerically equal divisions and their rhymed distinctions. Another important difference has also emerged. This concerns narrative. Narrative (narratio), story-telling, is an essential ingredient of all the sermons we have inspected, but it is coordinated differently to fit different groundplans for development: typological and allegorical identification; patterned words and parallels; epideictic amplification and rhetorical commonplaces. We also now have two different hermeneutics, one coded to allegorical interpretation, the other severely limiting that approach and replacing it by rhetorically managed tactics involving commonplaces and exemplarity. In the former case, the words of the original narrative are translated (interpreted) to match a superimposed narration. In the latter, the words remain, and grammar (p.188) and rhetoric determine the horizons of their meaning.70 Minds trained to humanist grammar and rhetoric, as we have glimpsed in the case of St Ann, also have very different ideas about what constitutes truth. Was her traditional story truth or fiction? If fiction, can it be read so as to matter? It is on narrative, on fiction, and on hermeneutics that I shall focus in the third part of my account of what happened to truth in the Renaissance Latin language turn. Notes:

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Common Places (1) The first, disappointingly defective, printing was done at Wittenberg. Johann Froben at Basle published a much more professional version shortly afterwards in the same year. A modern edn. is badly needed. Melanchthon's theory of rhetoric has been most effectively examined in the following: Schneider, Philip Melanchthon's Rhetorical Construal, 65–95 (a detailed description of the 1519 De rhetorica); C. Mouchel, ‘Figures et adéquation dans la doctrine oratoire de Philippe Mélanchthon’, Études littéraires, 24 (Winter 1991–2), 49–62; K. Meerhoff, ‘Logique et création chez Philippe Mélanchthon: A la recherche du lieu commun’, in M.-L. Demonet-Launay and A. Tournon (eds.), Logique et littérature à la Renaissance (Paris, 1994), 51–68; id, ‘The Significance of Philip Melanchthon's Rhetoric in the Renaissance’, in P. Mack (ed.), Renaissance Rhetoric (London, 1994), 46–62; F. Goyet, Le Sublime du ‘lieu commun’: L’Invention rhétorique dans l’Antiquité et à la Renaissance (Paris, 1996), 441–64, 499–525, 533–44; J. R. Schneider, ‘The Hermeneutics of Commentary: Origins of Melanchthon's Integration of Dialectic into Rhetoric’, in T. J. Wengert and M. P. Graham (eds.), Philip Melanchthon (1497–1560) and the Commentary (Sheffield, 1999), 20–47. For Melanchthon's place in the overall history of Renaissance rhetoric and dialectic, see W. Risse, Die Logik der Neuzeit, i. 1500–1640 (Stuttgart, 1964); C. Vasoli, La Dialettica e la retorica dell’umanesimo: ‘Invenzione’ e ‘metodo’ nella cultura del XV e XVI secolo (Milan, 1968). There is a collection of essays on his school textbooks, J. Leonhardt (ed.), Melanchthon und das Lehrbuch des 16. Jahrhunderts (Rostock, 1997), in which see in particular O. Berwald, ‘Philipp Melanchthons Rhetoriklehrbücher’ (111–22) and G. Frank, ‘Melanchthons Dialektik und die Geschichte der Logik’ (123–45). The best overall account of humanist dialectic, based primarily, but not exclusively, on Agricola, Melanchthon, and Vives, is now Wels, Triviale Künste, 91–186. (2) In his preface, Melanchthon says that the current, divisive curriculum has not only produced scholastic philosophers who cannot speak, but demeaned rhetoric to mere letter-writing and false eulogies of princes; intellectual culture thrives only when both arts of discourse have parity and interrelate (De rhetorica (Basle, 1519), 4–6). (3) The predicables were a mechanism for defining terms under ‘genus’, ‘species’, ‘difference’, ‘property’, and ‘accident’. Melanchthon provides a synthesis of Aristotelian argumentative strategy and analytical procedure, for in all the volumes of the Organon, ‘aliud nihil [agitur], quam loci inventionis, aut iudicii’ (De rhetorica, 16); he therefore claims to be truer to Aristotle than those who have concentrated on analysis to the detriment of invention. (4) The last points are spelt out on p. 46 of the chapter dealing most specifically with place-argument (ibid. 41–7).

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Common Places (5) ‘Neque vero putes eos [locos communes] temere confingi, ex intimis naturae sedibus eruti, formae sunt seu regulae omnium rerum’ (ibid. 71). The chapter on collecting commonplaces in this sense is at pp. 69–72. It was at an early stage extracted from the De rhetorica, had a separate publishing history, and, because of that, is reproduced in Corpus reformatorum, xx (1854), cols. 695–8. (6) For Melanchthon on status, see De rhetorica, 75–8, 94–7. For his views on commonplaces in the context of their history from antiquity onwards, see Goyet, Le Sublime du ‘lieu commun’, and, with particular reference to notebook collections of commonplaces, Moss, Printed Commonplace-Books. (7) Corpus reformatorum, xx (1854), col. 731. The Compendiaria dialectices ratio is at cols. 711–64 of this volume; the relationship between rhetoric and dialectic is brought out very clearly in the introduction to Aristotle's predicaments, which Melanchthon calls ‘commonplaces’ (ibid., cols. 717–18). (8) ‘Postquam quid nomen significet comprehenderit animus, nonne quae significatae rei natura, quae conditio sit, exquirit?…Est ergo finitio rei, oratio explicans naturam seu conditiones naturales thematis quod propositum est’ (ibid., col. 714). ‘Animus’, the conceptualizing mental faculty, is still the mediating agency between language and things in the world. (9) Ibid., col. 755. (10) ‘Dialectica mutuatur proprium sermonem a Grammatica: propterea initio disputationis praestandum est ne qua vox ambigua, aut polusemos, negotium faciant concertantibus de rebus. Saepenumero autem sit, ut de verbis tantum, non de rebus acuti homines inter se dissentiant…. Et tanquam pacisci inter se hi, qui de seriis rebus dissentiunt, ante debent, quomodo verbis uti velint’ (I have used the 1539 Lyons edn. of the Dialecticae libri IV, where this passage is at pp. 8–10). (11) ‘Etenim si Dialectica perspicua docendi scientia est, planum et usitatum sermonem a Grammatica mutuari debet’ (ibid. 78). In the last of his three manuals on dialectic, Erotemata dialectices (1547), still keeping close to the infrastructure of the dialectic syllabus, Melanchthon ends with a short, dismissive passage on Peter of Spain's Parva logicalia. His main contention is that it is really a work on grammar, rather than dialectic, and bad grammar at that. Properly understood and applied, Latin grammar cuts through supposition theory ‘as they used to call it’ and their ‘inextricable labyrinths’ of modi significandi as efficiently as Alexander cut the Gordian knot (Corpus reformatorum, xiii (Halle, 1846), cols. 750–2).

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Common Places (12) Interestingly, in the Dialecticae libri IV he backtracks slightly in the interests of pedagogy, though still clinging to classical precedent ‘in tradendis artibus in primis nocere existimo ambitionem eorum qui studio novitatis sine gravi causa a veteri consuetudine discedunt. Cum autem apud latinos propositions vocabulo usi sint Cicero et Quintilianus, libenter eandem vocem et nos retinuimus’ (p. 70); in the Compendiaria dialectices ratio he had preferred the Ciceronian pronuntiatum. (13) Compendiaria dialectices ratio, cols. 730–1; for pedagogical reasons, Melanchthon does keep the ‘barbarian’ short-hand for the types of syllogism: Barbara, Celarent, Dario, and so on. (14) De rhetorica, 24. (15) The chapters on enarratio are at pp. 29–41 of the De rhetorica; I shall return to them later when I discuss allegory. (16) Syllogism as hermeneutic finds its place in the very short section on order in discourse (dispositio) that forms the second book of the De rhetorica (108–15); the final book on figures of style (elocutio) is similarly brief (116–31). In later books on rhetoric and dialectic, Melanchthon will demonstrate more fully how the general commonplace functioning as the ground of the argument in a speech (e.g. mercy and its attributes in a forensic speech of defence) corresponds to the major premiss of a syllogism, thus bringing into his wide-ranging theory of commonplaces their role as maximal propositions productive of argument, the role they had in Boethius’ influential and still much printed De differentiis topicis. (17) The contrast with what Melanchthon considers to be the unintelligent and unproductive reading methods of the scholastics is well brought out in a contemporary text, his Declamatiuncula in D. Pauli doctrinam of 1520 (quoted in Meerhoff, ‘Significance of Melanchthon's Rhetoric’, 60). Leaving aside their failure to understand the subtleties of St Paul's Greek, ‘magistri nostri’ have not grasped that each of his letters is an integral body of discourse, whose parts are connected by the joints of rhetoric; they have dissected them quite arbitrarily into little bits, and to those separate bits they have applied their procedures of logical analysis in such a way that no one bit any longer coheres in sense with any other. (18) Already clear in the preface to the De rhetorica: ‘futurum est, ut animum ad summas disciplinas instructum afferat [adolescens], de aliorum scriptis non improbe iudicet, ipse commentari nova possit’ (7). (19) ‘Nisi Tartareticum aut Eckianum in disserendo tuearis ordinem, iam illi sensu labascunt et fluctuant animis, nescii quorsum miseri avehantur, hoc est, nisi quatuor notabilia et tria dubia comminiscaris, nihil intelligunt’ (ibid. 108). Page 41 of 50

Common Places (20) Ibid. 103–9. (21) Melanchthon relates this, not very clearly as yet, to methods for resolving contradiction in legal documents relevant to argument in forensic oratory, for more on this, see K. Eden, Hermeneutics and the Rhetorical Tradition: Chapters in the Ancient Legacy and its Humanist Reception (New Haven, 1997). (22) ‘Et Aristotelem maxime velim omnibus studiosis in manibus esse’ (Dialecticae libri IV, 4). (23) Notably, status theory (De rhetorica, 78), and hypothetical propositions (Compendiaria dialectices ratio, col. 763), the latter probably with reference to George's simplified dialectic for rhetoric, Isagoge dialectica; see Monfasani, George of Trebizond. (24) e.g. on the third figure of the syllogism (Dialecticae libri IV, 98); by contrast Melanchthon takes on board Valla's assimilation of indefinite propositions to universal propositions (ibid. 75). The clue to Melanchthon's tendency to dissociate himself from Valla may probably be found in the passage at the end of the work, where Melanchthon accuses him of falling into fallacy in his book on free will, because he did not keep to the appropriate commonplace governing the topic (ibid. 170). For further on Melanchthon's sources, see K. Bullemer, Quellenkritische Untersuchungen zum 1. Buche der Rhetorik Melanchthons (Würzburg, 1902). (25) They were probably a more formative influence with Melanchthon than the memories Erasmus imbibed from his schoolmaster, Alexander Hegius (on which, see Jardine, Erasmus, Man of Letters, 92–5). As a young student at Heidelberg, Melanchthon heard the reminiscences of Agricola's former colleagues (who included his own great-uncle, Johann Reuchlin), and these dwelt much on Agricola's association with Theodore Gaza in Italy, the approach to Aristotle he had learnt from him, and the elucidation Agricola brought to theological questions by his knowledge of Greek (see Corpus reformatorum, iii, cols. 673–6; and for Oecolampadius’ gift, ibid, iv, col. 716). As was the case with Erasmus, Melanchthon probably reconstructed Agricola somewhat in his own image. (26) This aspect of Agricola's programme is examined in detail by P. Mack, ‘Rudolph Agricola's Reading of Literature’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 48 (1985), 23–41. (27) For Melanchthon and Agricola, see K. Meerhoff, ‘Mélanchthon lecteur d’Agricola: Rhétorique et analyse textuelle’, Réforme. Humanisme. Renaissance, 16/30 (1990), 5–22; Mack, Renaissance Argument, 320–33.

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Common Places (28) Jakob Wimpfeling, in a recommendation made to the University of Heidelberg in 1522, gives an insight into how his own views on logic teaching accommodated the new textbooks: ‘Agricola's dialectic is too difficult. For beginners, the best things are excerpts from Aristotle or Peter of Spain; likewise the Margarita philosophica of Gregor Reisch, or the dialectics of Philip Melanchthon and Jacques Lefèvre’ (quoted in Seifert, Logik zwischen Scholastik und Humanismus, 112). (29) For Erasmus on commonplace collecting, see Moss, Printed CommonplaceBooks, 100–15, and for a comparison with Melanchthon, ibid. 119–30. (30) De rhetorica, 4. (31) Ratio seu methodus compendio perveniendi ad veram theologiam (1519), in Erasmus, Opera omnia, ed. J. Le Clerc (Leiden, 1703–6), v, cols. 131–2. (32) ‘De usu locorum communium optime scripserunt Rodolphus Agricola in epistola de ratione studii et Erasmus in Copia’ (De rhetorica, 70); for an analysis of the Deformando studio and its relationship with Agricola's dialectic, see Moss, Printed Commonplace-Books, 73–80. (33) For Agricola, first at Cologne and then at Paris, see P. Mack, Renaissance Argument, 262–9. A useful account of Melanchthon's presence in print at Paris is given in P. Aquilon, ‘La Réception de I’humanisme allemand à Paris à travers la production imprimée: 1480–1540’, in L’Humanisme allemand (1480–1540) (Paris, 1979), 45–79; subsequent research has been able to add to the number of edns., doubtless still underestimated. Kees Meerhoff has given a tantalizing glimpse of instances where Melanchthon's textbooks were being put to use by Parisian teachers at this period in his ‘Logic and Eloquence: A Ramusian Revolution?’, Argumentation, 5 (1991), 357–74; and the same author touches on Melanchthon at Lyons in his ‘Rhétorique néo-latine et culture vernaculaire: Les analyses textuelles de Barthélemy Aneau’, Études littéraires, 24 (1991–2), 63–85; but see now his ‘Philippe Melanchthon aux Pays-Bas et en France: Quelques sondages’, in G. Frank and K. Meerhoff (eds.), Melanchthon und Europa, 2. Teilband: Westeuropa (Stuttgart, 2002), 163–93.

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Common Places (34) ‘Extant enim Ioanni Caesarii libelli accuratissime scripti, et Rodolphi Topica’ (Dialecticae libri IV, 4). In the preface to a revised edn. of his Dialectica, done in 1534, Caesarius writes with enthusiasm of Melanchthon's dialectic of 1528, ‘brevis quidem sed miro artificio conscripta’, and says he has heard that Melanchthon has put his own Dialectica on the programme at Wittenberg. Caesarius, in his turn, makes Melanchthon's 1531 Elementa rhetorices one of his recommended texts in his Rhetorica of 1534. His Dialectica held a place for some time on the syllabus of Protestant establishments, e.g. at Leipzig, now won for the Reformers, where Caesarius had taught during a flirtation with Lutheranism. for Caesarius’ dialectic, see Vasoli, La dialettica e la retorica dell’Umanesimo, 260–77; Risse, Die logik der Neuzeit, i. 24–31. (35) Joachim Périon, De dialectica libri III (Paris: J. L. Tiletan, 1544), 296–7. (36) In a letter to his father dated 1538, printed as an appendix in the edn. of Melanchthon's Dialecticae libri IV published at Lyons in 1539. The organization and programme of the school at Strasbourg was to be enormously influential throughout the Lutheran world, in England, and, more generally, among the Jesuits. (37) Sturm derives from Aristotle's Topics four ‘dialectical instruments’ for filling out syllogisms and the defence of theses: skill in formulating propositions (which must have both weight and the potency of verbal copia); the ability to explicate words (for the power of words lies in their manifold associations); the capacity to make distinctions and explore differences in respect of the things of which words are signs and symbols; and the careful noting of similarities (Partitiones dialecticae (Strasbourg, 1571), fos. 66–75). The original, shorter, version of this work was published at Paris and Strasbourg in 1539, and it did not reach its final state until 1560, but the account of the loci remains essentially the same. For Sturm and commonplaces, see Moss, Printed Commonplace-Books, 147–52; for his dialectic, see Vasoli, La Dialettica e la retorica dell’Umanesimo, 310–29; for the relation between the Aristotelian ‘instruments’ and commonplace books, see Goyet, Le Sublime du ‘lieu commun’, 613–36. (38) The preface to Melanchthon's last textbook on dialectic, Erotemata dialectices (1547), makes it clear that he considered the manuals of Caesarius and Willich, together with his own, to be the best preparation for studying Aristotle's Organon in its entirety, preferably in Greek: ‘tamen, ut facilius intelligi possit, utile est ad eius [Aristotelis] lectionem elementa adferre. Haec recte disci posse vel ex Ioannis Caesarii libello, vel ex Iodoci Willichii Erotematis iudico’ (Corpus reformatorum, vi (1839), col. 657).

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Common Places (39) ‘If you reduce propositions to singular locutions and then explain them by way of their kinds, parts, and the other seats of invention that we call “places”, you will also have them already analysed and ready at hand for use in speaking and writing’ (Willich, De formando studio, 31); for more on Willich, see Moss, Printed Commonplace-Books, 143–7. (40) The period with which we are now dealing saw one of the 16th cent's more ambitious attempts to construct a philosophy of language, Julius Caesar Scaliger's De causis linguae latinae, first published in 1540. This was an essentially Aristotelian enterprise to describe grammar as an exact science, starting from causes and moving to phenomena propter quid. As a committed humanist, Scaliger had to combine this investigation of language with notions of correct Latinity based on actual usage, a problem he tried to resolve by appealing to the historical evolution of languages. He reintroduced a technical vocabulary of some sophistication, and was much concerned with the relationship between words and things and with the role (in his view, rather minimal) of the intervening mental level. Like the contemporary textbooks, the De causis holds that words signify, but in themselves are neither true or false; it is propositions that are true or false. Scaliger's work is analysed by Jensen, Rhetorical Philosophy and Philosophical Grammar, which is very interesting on its connections with late medieval and contemporary scholasticism, but, unfortunately, has little to say about the sort of material examined in the present book; there are pertinent pages in Demonet, Les Voix du signe, 392–7. (41) De rhetorica, 69. (42) P. Melanchthon, Loci communes 1521: Lateinisch–deutsch, ed. and tr. H. G. Pöhlmann (Gütersloh, 1993), 12. For an analysis of Melanchthon's published version of his analysis of Romans, and its rhetorical substructure, see T. J. Wengert, ‘Philip Melanchthon's 1522 Annotations on Romans and the Lutheran Origins of Rhetorical Criticism’, in R. A. Muller and J. L. Thompson (eds.), Biblical Interpretation in the Era of the Reformation (Grand Rapids, Mich., and Cambridge, 1996), 118–40. (43) Loci communes, 16–18; the programme for the award of the doctorate in theology everywhere included the proven ability to lecture on the Sentences, and that meant composing and answering quaestiones on problems suggested by the text. We have already looked at the commentaries on the Sentences John Mair was writing between 1509 and 1530; Johann Eck left lecture notes for a course he taught in 1542 on the first book of the Sentences (In primum librum sententiarum annotiunculae D. Iohanne Eckio praelectore, ed. W. L. Moore (Leiden, 1976)).

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Common Places (44) Already in the 1521 edn. of the Loci communes, Melanchthon indicated that he was aware of the problems attendant on this ‘human’ commonplace theology. If commonplacing is applied to scripture solely according to Erasmus’ original prescription for making commonplace books, as a method of searching texts for observations on vices and virtues and things of note in human affairs (and this was, indeed, how it was most often used for pagan texts), then it risks turning theology into moral philosophy, ‘ea observatio philosophica magis est quam Christiana’ (Loci communes, 24). In 1522, Melanchthon was to make of this a fundamental distinction between Luther's theology and Erasmus’. Luther offers consolation against death and the judgement of God, it arms man against Satan, it teaches the way to understand scripture. Erasmus teaches good morals and civilized behaviour, but so do the pagan philosophers, and what has Christ to do with the philosophers? That is the way of charity, but it is not the way of faith. This short comparison between the two in no way invalidates Melanchthon's conviction that the rebirth of good letters renews the way to read the Gospel. In the same publication, there is a short Ratio discendi that specifies: ‘Nunc, cum renascitur Evangelium, simul illae [linguae et literae] restituuntur: quarum adminiculo Evangelium discamus’ (Corpus reformatorum, xx (1854), cols. 699– 702). (45) For Melanchthon's exegesis of scripture by commonplaces, see R. Kolb, ‘Teaching the Text: The Commonplace Method in Sixteenth-Century Lutheran Biblical Commentary’, Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance, 49 (1987), 571–85; T. J. Wengert, Philip Melanchthon's ‘Annotationes in Johannem’ in Relation to its Predecessors and Contemporaries (Geneva, 1987). (46) Like Melanchthon's Loci communes, Eck's Enchiridion would be revised and expanded through successive edns. There is a modern edn. with these variants, Enchiridion locorum communium adversus Lutheranos et alios hostes ecclesiae (1525–1543), ed. P. Fraenkel (Münister, 1979). (47) The Protestants, most of whom had been through the old arts course and learnt their logic from Peter of Spain, could be merciless in turning Eck's real expertise against his clumsy handling of the new commonplace dialectic. In the last years of the 1530s, Martin Bucer prepared an attack on the Enchiridion locorum communium in which he turned Eck's arguments into syllogisms and then proceeded to prove that they were fallacious, see ‘Refutatio locorum Eckii’, ed. P. Fraenkel, in C. Augustijn, P. Fraenkel, and M. Lienhard (eds.), Martini Buceri opera latino, i (Leiden, 1982), 227–56. The numerous edns. of Eck's Enchiridion demonstrate that the Protestant assault on it did not invalidate it for Eck's own confessional community for some time.

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Common Places (48) Haeretici descriptio, eaque iuxta omnes locos Rodolphi Agricola de Inventione dialectica, compendio explicata, commodisque et brevibus veterum testimoniis pertracta (Solingen, 1539; concluding epistle dated 1533). Alardus published a similar pamphlet in the same year on Christian baptism, targeted at Anabaptists. (49) I have used the edn. published at Cologne in 1559, but it has a preface for the cardinal of Lorraine dated 1548. (50) Notable examples among very many are the dialectic and rhetoric textbooks of Erasmus Sarcer (1501–59): Dialectica multis ac variis exemplis illustrata (Marburg, 1536) and Rhetorica plena ac referta exemplis (Marburg, 1537), complemented in 1546 by a Nova methodus in praecipuos scripturae divinae locos. Sarcer also wrote a parody of a Catholic commonplace book in scholastic Latin, De scholasticae theologiae vanitate…liber in locos communes digestus (Frankfurt a. M., 1541), in which he collected a large number of quotations from scholastic theologians under heads; he concedes that some few of them might not be entirely wrong, but what is clearly self-evident to him and his readers is that their language is unacceptedly weird, nonsensical, or at best irrelevant, e.g. ‘Deus potest scire, quod nescit, divisim, non coniunctim’. This might be seen as a religious parallel to the logic ‘nonsense’ parodied by Vives, but Sarcer has a viable alternative: his 1540 Locorum communium ex consensu divinae scripturae et sanctorum patrum ad certam methodum clarissima simul et copiosissima confirmatio. (51) See P. Walter, ‘Philipp Melanchthon und Melchor Cano: Zur theologischen Erkenntnis- und Methodenlehre im 16. Jahrhundert’, in G. Frank and K. Meerhoff (eds.), Melanchthon und Europa (Stuttgart, 2002), 67–84 (52) From one of the specimen sermons collected in Dictionarius pauperum omnibus predicatoribus pernecessarius (Paris: F. Rignault 1512), fo. xlv. Grace ‘infused’ restrains evil thoughts; grace ‘diffused’ gives direction to good thoughts; grace ‘effused’, poured out abundantly, orders actions and works. (53) These are very clearly set out in a much reprinted manual attributed to St Thomas Aquinas, Tractatus solennis de arte et vero modo predicandi (Strasbourg, 1479).

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Common Places (54) Examples of ‘rhetorical’ sermon manuals are Lorenzo Traversagni, Margarita eloquentiae (London: W. Caxton, 1479), also called Nova rhetorica; Johann Koelhoff, Liber novus rhetorice vocatus ars dicendi sive perorandi (Cologne, 1484); Johann Ulrich Surgant, Manuale curatorum predicandi prebens modum, tam latino quam vulgari sermonepractice illuminatum (Basle, 1506; preface dated 1502), especially fos. XXXVv–XLIIIIv; Johann Reuchlin, Liber congestorum de arte praedicandi (preface dated 1503; reproduced in De arte concionandi formulae ut breves, ita doctae at piae (Basle, 1540)), which draws mainly on Cicero's Topica and Departitione oratoria. (55) More information available in T. H. Charland, Artes praedicandi: Contribution à l’histoire de la rhéorique au Moyen Age (Paris and Ottawa, 1936); H. Caplan, On Eloquence: Studies in Ancient and Medieval Rhetoric, ed. A. King and H. North (Ithaca, NY, and London, 1970); J. Longère, La Prédication médiévale (Paris, 1983); M. G. Briscoe, Artes praedicandi (Turnhout, 1992). (56) The first part is about the birth of the most pure Virgin Mary, the second part is about the birth of the purified soul from sin. (57) The sterility of her mother made fruitful as she gives birth; the sanctity of the Virgin demon strated as she gives birth; and the benefit for the Church militant multiplied. (58) I base my synopsis of the sermon on O. Maillard, Sermones de sanctis (Strasbourg: J. Knobloch, 1514), fos. lxi–lxii; there are many edns. of Maillard's sermons in northern Europe, outside France as well as within, during the first twenty years of the century. Some sense of the impact of Franciscan preaching on French audiences may be obtained from A. J. Krailsheimer, Rabelais and the Franciscans (Oxford, 1963); for a history of French preaching as a whole during this period, see L. Taylor, Soldiers of Christ Preaching in Late Medieval and Reformation France (Oxford, 1992). (59) I have used a late edn., Homiliarum tripartitarum pars secunda quae peculiariter est de sanctis (Cologne, 1572), where the relevant sermons appear at pp. 394–413; the designation homilliae on the title-page is symptomatic of a change of Latin idiom, for these are recognizably ‘sermons’ in the late medieval Latin sense. There were seventeen edns. of the collected sermons between 1534 and 1575, at Paris and Cologne. (60) Mary offers the breast of her mercy to ‘reis ad veniam, desolatis ad consolationem, tentatis ad auxilium, ut de eius plenitudine accipient universi’ (ibid. 396): ‘as pardon to the guilty, consolation to the desolate, help to the tempted, that from its fullness all may receive’.

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Common Places (61) Not strictly Ciceronian, perhaps, but a convincing replication of classical Latin, for example, as Clichtove launches into his commonplace amplification: ‘Solet enim parentum probitas et eximia virtus liberis non modicum afferre ornatum, progenitamque ex ipsis prolem haereditaria quadam gloria illustrare: quod commendabiliores multo reddantur, qui a praeclaris parentibus sumpserunt exordium’ (ibid. 410); the gist is that virtue in parents gives their children a noble heritage, expressed with the syntactic complexity favoured by the humanists. (62) The comparisons in the last, more humanistic, sermon are formulated in a series of clauses beginning ‘si enim’, ‘si item’, si denique’, ‘si demum’ (ibid. 413). (63) Johann Eck, Homiliae, tomus III: De sanctis (Cologne, 1555), sig. a iv; the preface is dated Ingolstadt 1534. (64) Its words confirm the homily's teaching, enclosing it in a tapestry of metaphor derived from etymology and typology, one that belongs to no classical poetry, but has its own, biblical and liturgical, resonance. It begins: ‘Ave pia mater ave, cuius nomen est suave, ave sonat gratiam, Ave Iesse radix floris, quae caelestis dat odoris perennis flagrantiam’ (ibid. 614). (65) The section on St Ann is at pp. 610–21; it seems fairly typical of the sections on other saints, though with the extra edge provided by contemporary controversy. (66) Evangelicae condones dominicarum totius anni, per dialectica et rhetorica artificia breviter tractatae (Wittenberg: G. Rhau, 1537). (67) ‘…solis teutonicis confisi et contenti, nulli arti et latinitati student, sed securi stertunt et torpent’; the sound snoring (‘securi stertunt’) to which they are prone is a reference to an almost proverbial medieval preaching manual, Dormi secure (ibid., sig. A iiii).

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Common Places (68) The plan of a sermon on a feast of the Virgin is at fos. 240v–241v. There were varieties of Lutheran rhetoric. Melanchthon, by the time of his De officiis concionatoris of 1529, had decided against transfer ring the epideictic (demonstrative) genre to Christian oratory, especially when it meant accommodat ing the life of Christ to the same sequence of‘places’ for praise as any pagan. He makes a point of saying that this kind of eulogy was currently fashionable in Italy, and that preachers tended to go in for this sort of tasteless display when they tried to deck out the virtues of the Virgin Mary and other saints (De officiis concionatoris? in De arte concionandi formulae ut breves, ita doctae et piae (Basle, 1540), 135–6; modern edn. in P. Drews and F. Cohrs (eds.), Supplementa Melanchthoniana, v/2. Homiletische Schriften (Leipzig, 1929)). For Italian sermons, see J. W. O’Malley, Praise and Blame in Renaissance Rome: Rhetoric, Doctrine, and Reform in the Sacred Orators of the Papal Court, c. 1422–1521 (Durham, NC, 1979). Much earlier, in 1484, Rudolph Agricola had returned from Italy with just such a concept of preaching rhetoric; for an analysis of his sermon on Christmas Day, see Moss, Printed Commonplace-Books, 81–2; P. Mack, ‘Theory and Practice in Rudolph Agricola’, in J. Koopmans, M. A. Meadow, K. Meerhoff, and M. Spies (eds.), Rhetoric—Rhétoriqueurs— Rederijkers (Amsterdam, 1995). 39–51. (69) For a very useful overview of subsequent developments (including the adoption of commonplace method by Catholic theorists of sacred rhetoric from the 1540s), see J. W. O’Malley, ‘Content and Rhetorical Forms in SixteenthCentury Treatises on Preaching’, in J. J. Murphy (ed.), Renaissance Eloquence: Studies in the Theory and Practice of Renaissance Rhetoric (Berkeley, 1983), 238–52. Sermons were probably among the earliest conduits of commonplace method into the vernacular, see J. Dyck, ‘The First German Treatise on Homiletics: Erasmus Sarcer's Pastorale and Classical Rhetoric’, ibid. 221–37. (70) As Melanchthon puts it in his De officiis concionatoris: ‘There is no need to change the words of a story; to use it to show what conduct should be imitated, it is only necessary to treat the story as an example’; he does, however, admit that allegorical interpretation is perennially fascinating, but it must be employed with discretion (144–8).

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Producing Narrative

Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

Producing Narrative Ann Moss


Abstract and Keywords This chapter discusses the theory of the humanists which was about narrative fiction, which was every bit as much a product of their Latin and its cultural framework as was their mode of argumentation. It eventually affected both their writing and their reading. The focus of this chapter is on the production of narrative. Keywords:   theory of the humanists, narrative fiction, Latin, cultural framework, production of narrative

IN THE FINAL section of this book, I shall approach Renaissance truth in its linguistic turns, not by following the ways of argument, but by a more devious route, going behind truth's back to its supposed opposite: fiction. The humanists’ theorizing of narrative fiction was every bit as much a product of their Latin and its cultural framework as was their mode of argumentation, and it affected both their writing and their reading. In the course of our exploration of fiction, it will be difficult to disentangle the genesis of texts from the analytical procedures of reading, all the more so because the humanist grammarians married them so closely. Nevertheless, in the interests of coherence, the first chapter in Part III will concentrate on the production of narrative, and the second on the interpretation of fictive texts.

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Producing Narrative Round about 1500, story-telling as a genre was common to late medieval and humanist Latin. The ways stories were constructed and understood, however, were determined by context, whether the context of the Latin idiom in which the stories were told or the context in which they were received. We have already seen how the story of St Ann could be regarded as true or false, read as an example legitimizing remarriage for widows or as a eulogy of chastity, connected into a network of allegorical and typological interpretations or analysed into rhetorical commonplaces. The best-known life of St Ann was the legenda used in church in the context of the hymns, sequences, and antiphons composed for the feast-days of the saint and her extended family. It was precisely that story that had been a bone of contention between Lefevre and his opponents, Beda, Cousturier, and Wimpina. Versions of the legenda, some of them considerably amplified, appeared often in print from the late 1480s onwards, especially in Germany, in the Netherlands, and in France, frequently in the company of liturgical material for offices and masses in honour of the saint. This version of the story was not language-specific. It crossed back and forth between Latin and the vernaculars, the common property of Latin readers and popular audiences. By 1500, there seem to have been at least ten different lives of St Ann in circulation, all drawing on the same sources and borrowing material from each other, irrespective of language.1 At Leipzig, for example, Melchior Lotter printed a Legenda sanctissime matrone Anne by an anonymous Franciscan, seven times, the first in 1497, the last, (p. 192) significantly, in 1517, the year Johann Wildenauer denounced such documents as ‘lies and nonsense’. For this legenda is exactly what Wildenauer and his like had in mind. Its first seven chapters recount the life of the saint, from the marriage of her mother and father, Emerantia and Stolanus, to the birth of her third Mary, daughter of Salome, and a further ten chapters detail visions and miracles pertaining to St Ann and her relics. Its Latin is late medieval in syntax and vocabulary, non-classical, but ordinary and directly accessible. It constructs a plain narrative with no attempt at word-play, no complex elaboration for aural or rhetorical effect.2 It is a communicative mode of language that would translate directly into a parallel style of vernacular storytelling, and it did. A German version went into print at Strasbourg around 1502.

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Producing Narrative This easy slippage between languages and between implied audiences is also suggested by the early history of a life of St Ann composed by a Dutch Carthusian, Petrus Dorlandus (1454–1507). Its later history, however, will see languages beginning to bifurcate. Dorlandus first published his very long account of St Ann's life and miraculous Nachleben, his Historia perpulchra de anna sanctissima, at Antwerp in about 1487. He then published it in a Dutch version at Antwerp in 1501, and an abbreviated version of this Dutch text, translated back into Latin, was then published at Paris in 1502. This will not only bring us back to Paris, but back to Josse Bade. Meanwhile, the original 1487 Latin text by Dorlandus had already suggested that it originated in a slightly different cultural environment from that inhabited by the anonymous Franciscan who had written his Legenda in a spirit of piety that admitted no reference to the veracity or otherwise of the tale he had to tell. Dorlandus addresses his Historia to a reader who may be somewhat supercilious about the ‘apocryphal’. nature of some of his material. Such a reader, however, will know that it is preferable to wander a little from the truth in the company of recognized authorities than to scribble down scraps of fact in a style no better than ‘Virgil's Bavius and Maevius’. This reference to Servius’. commentary on Virgil's third eclogue assumes a reader with literary pretensions. When Dorlandus also defends his narrative by identifying himself in his role as author with poets, whose proper function is to delight as well as to benefit their readers, we are definitely beginning to leave the world of popular piety in order to enter a Latin speech community with shared cultural assumptions.3 Dorlandus’. own Latin is also at some (p.193) remove from the Latin of the anonymous Franciscan. It is tighter in construction, and plainer still, shorn, for example of the repeated superlatives and residual rhyme characteristic of the late medieval idiom.4 His narration also diverges on occasion from the linear mode of the Leipzig life. At the marriage of the Blessed Virgin with St Joseph, a ‘Lydian harpist’ sings retrospectively the story of the Fall and the history of Israel to the present. After her death, St Ann descends to limbo to announce the coming Saviour proleptically to the patriarchs.5 Even if his attempt to put it into practice is awkward, Dorlandus signals for knowing readers his acquaintance with ‘artificial’. narrative time proper to epic, programmed to embark in medias res and leaving to history a ‘natural’. chronological progression from beginning to end.

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Producing Narrative Nevertheless, the rhetorical context to which this document belongs is the rhetoric of late medieval Latin. Every so often, Dorlandus interrupts his narrative with passages designed to stimulate contemplative prayer or to provide material to develop in a sermon. In the first case, his Latin becomes a tissue of repeated words and parallel phrases, an affective litany designed to induce a state of rapt attention on an intensely visualized image.6 The most characteristic manifestation of such Latin is in the rosary litanies so common in the late fifteenth century, and, indeed, rosary poems appear frequently in the appendices to lives of St Ann printed at this period. This essentially ecclesiastical Latin is entirely foreign to the culture, the thought patterns, and the speech patterns of antiquity, as foreign as the ‘various figures’. for sermon elaboration listed by Dorlandus in a chapter on how to praise St Ann. The mechanism of biblical typology provides the figures: Ann is a green olive tree, the field where the treasure is, the pearl of great price, the ark of the covenant which housed the manna, the well at Bethlehem, and so on. Her praise may also be amplified by means of invidious comparison with women in the Old Testament.7 The reader of Dorlandus is a member of the same community as those who composed and listened to sermons in the late medieval manner. Yet, this community can also accommodate another Dutch writer often thought to belong to another world. The third of the three books that comprise Dorlandus’ narrative is devoted to miracles of St Ann. The last and most recent, assimilated seamlessly (p.194) to all the rest, is the cure she effected for her devotee, Rudolph Agricola, when he lay wracked with fever. Dorlandus both paraphrases and excerpts from the poem that Agricola wrote on the occasion and had had printed in 1484.8 Whether the style of that poem can quite so easily be absorbed into Dorlandus’ narrative manner will be examined later.

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Producing Narrative Josse Bade brought Dorlandus to Paris in 1502. He appended his abbreviated Latin translation of Dorlandus’. Dutch version of the Historia to a very popular, much reprinted Vita Iesu Christi which was primarily a devotional work, though advertised on the title-page as rigorously conforming to the Gospels and to works by accredited authorities.9 Bade, as we know, was a great promoter of humanist Latin and humanist texts, but no less a promoter of his own commercial success as a publisher supplying all ends of the market, from traditional Latin logic and ‘modern’. Latin sermon-making to humanist grammar, humanist rhetoric, and humanist dialectic. Where within this spectrum was he targeting his Vita gloriosis-sime matris Anne? He was certainly responding to the popular devotion to St Ann and its exponents (a devotion in which he was personally involved, as witnessed later by his decision very publicly to take sides in the Lefèvre controversy by publishing the responses of Noël Béda and Jean Bertaut). St Ann's story, from her mother's marriage to her own last husband, is retold without critical comment in Bade's redaction, except where Dorlandus conflicts with a passage in Mantuan, and then it is Mantuan who is contradicted.10 Some of the paradigms of popular story-telling remain: the dream about Erementia that sets the narrative in train, the family script, the peculiar satisfaction of fitting snugly into the chronology and events of a recognizable narrative of prior authority (in this case, the biblical life of Christ to which St Ann's story is a prelude). Even the superlatives beloved of medieval Latin and some residual rhyme creep back, especially at moments bordering most nearly on the fantastic.11

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Producing Narrative Yet, overall, Bade's Latin version of this vernacular text twists it well away from the Latin idiom and the cultural context in which it had first appeared in 1487. His abbreviation excises all extensions into prayer and preaching rhetoric. There is still a picture of Ann delighting in her new-born baby, but it is part of the narration, viewed from the point of view of Mary's delighted parents and neighbours, not an (p.195) icon contemplated by a reader's fervent meditative gaze.12 It also excises the miracles of St Ann and the mass material that Dorlandus had appended in 1487. In their place appear a group of poems dedicated to the honour of St Ann's husband, loachim. These are not examples either of popular devotion or of traditional ecclesiastical Latin. They are a group project, the product of a specific occasion and a specific speech community, composed of ‘adult males learned in good letters’. In 1497, Antonius Bostius (1446–99) had sent out letters from his Carmelite monastery in Ghent to organize a sort of poetic contest. Poems on the subject of St Joachim were solicited by letter from individual monks and scholars in the Netherlands and further afield. Robert Gaguin (1433–1501), an early promoter of humanist Latin at Paris, sent two.13 Josse Clichtove supplied a long poem in ‘gly-conic asclepiads’., to be sung to a well-known hymn-tune. The cluster of poems Bade chooses to put into print, mostly hymns in sapphic metre and epigrams, may not match the most exacting standards of classical Latin, but they do on the whole represent a concerted effort to renew the language of Christian devotion. Clichtove's is the most extravagant of them. He attempts a metamorphosis of hymn and saint's life into mini-epic, invoking Phoebus and the muses to tune his lyre. Like many a classical poet, he disclaims any ambition to recount the Battle of the Giants, and then he retells the story of Joachim and Ann lightly glossed into humanistic Latin, and concludes by calling for a ‘Virgilian trumpet’. These poems belong very much to the early northern manifestation of the humanists’ enterprise. They are the product of a small, self-consciously separate group bound by a common idiom, the idiom of humanist Latin, and communicating by sedulously contrived letters. The competitive element in the poems’ fabrication concentrates their authors and their readers on technique, on linguistic and metrical niceties, on rhetorical flourishes, on variation in vocabulary and in narrative angle. The wider context from which they came was the humanists’ grammar class. For northern humanists like Wimpfeling, reluctant to focus young minds on pagan fables before they had acquired any moral discrimination, the older hymns of the Christian Church, in relatively ‘respectable’. Latinity, provided a substitute for (p.196) Ovid.14 Pupils acquired Latin grammar and vocabulary from them by lectio, and this not infrequently involved translation into more standard classical usage. They explained them by enarratio. Most especially, they learnt metrics by applying to them the corrective process, emendatio, which humanists thought they sorely needed. A question one might ask is whether transposing the language of hymns into the humanists’. Latin led writers, readers, and learners to introduce into writing on Christian subjects the mental concepts and cultural horizons implicit in their new idiom. Page 6 of 51

Producing Narrative Bade's life of St Ann, with its accompanying poems, sits quite comfortably between the popular and the erudite. Other contemporaneous publications on St Ann pull more forcibly in one direction or another and indicate ways that seemed open for narrative to go. Prior to Bade, in 1494, another enthusiast for St Ann, Johannes Trithemius (Johann Tritheim, abbot of Spondheim, 1462–1516), had published a collection of material not dissimilar in form to Bade’s: an account of the saint's life followed by a cluster of new poems from a group of local writers trying to put their humanist Latin into practice.15 One of the poems was a tetrasti-chon by Bade himself, so it is more than probable that his own decision to marry narrative and new hymns was a ploy to update the Trithemius model for his market in Paris and the Low Countries. The radical difference between Bade and Trithemius lies in their treatment of the story of St Ann.

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Producing Narrative Trithemius starts from a quite different premiss. Whereas devotion to St Ann is well founded, the story about her that is so widespread seems to him much less securely based and in several places clearly apocryphal.16 This is rather more out- (p.197) spoken than Dorlandus had been in 1487, and forces Trithemius to make certain distinctions. On the one hand, there is popular piety, not to be devalued and not to be disturbed. On the other, stand ‘viri eruditi’., dismissive of miracles (which he therefore excises from his text), and receptive only to those elements in Ann's story that can pass the tests of faith, fact, and reason.17 How, then, can Trithemius narrate Ann's life in such a way as to meet the expectations of his ‘learned men’.? The solution is to abandon the narrative framework altogether. What Trithemius has composed corresponds exactly to the title, De laudibus sanctissime matris Anne tractatus, an exercise in epideictic or demonstrative oratory, praising his subject under various heads over sixteen sections.18 He ‘proves’ by examples taken from her life that she is worthy to be praised, but he only refers sporadically to the story, he does not narrate it consecutively. He ‘proves’. Ann's blameless character by listing the moral qualities that her even more illustrious daughter learnt from her, and subtending this list are the ‘places’ of praise from which epideictic rhetoric in the classical mould found material to amplify its theme. The Blessed Virgin had all the virtues of demeanour, appearance, and speech, faith, hope, and charity, integrity, sobriety, and humility, as her life bears witness. For no one ever saw her running round the neighbourhood, chatting with the neighbours, going to dances and plays; she learnt from a young age to stay at home and do useful handwork, not wanting to go out and be seen by men.19 This is both praiseworthy and edifying. It is clear that Trithemius locates his composition within the overall context of sermon rhetoric, appealing sporadically to his audience: ‘my brothers, turn your mind's eye to this!’. It is just as clear that the system of production he applies to sermon rhetoric has been learnt from Cicero and Quintilian, and owes nothing to the preaching style of the ‘moderns’. Within this mode, Trithemius can accommodate the story of St Ann (though divested of her extended kin), he can draw (p.198) praiseworthy and edifying exetmpla from it, and he can tacitly allow it that intermediate truth status categorized in ancient rhetoric as argumentum: neither true historia nor totally false fabula, but ‘a fictitious narrative that nevertheless could have occurred’.20

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Producing Narrative Trithemius’. Latin is as carefully modelled on classical diction, classical syntax, and classsical turns of phrase as his composition is modelled on ancient rhetoric. He warns his audience of ‘men of learning and famous for their knowledge of good letters’ that ‘the eloquence of Cicero and Quintilian’ will stand them in no good stead on the Day of Judgement and deprecates tendencies to condemn sacred writing for bad Latin.21 Nevertheless, his humanistic eulogy refashions narrative in a way that separates it radically from the needs and expectations of the popular piety he claims to respect. He says, in fact, that it is a disgrace that no elegantly written life (‘satis elegans historia’) of St Ann exists and that the those in circulation are full of arbitrary and unreliable additions. What is needed is for a pope to commission learned men (‘viri eruditi’) to write text and liturgical material for St Ann's feast-day that is correct, in content and in style.22 The poems that accompany his text move in exactly this direction. They were composed specifically for this publication (most are dated 1494), and many are hymns to be sung to already existing tunes. As was to be the case in Bade's compilation, a small, elite circle of experts in the humanist idiom are to rework, perhaps rethink, the language in which Christan truth is to be given expression.23

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Producing Narrative Meanwhile, a more familiar language of praise was being vociferously employed for St Ann, in unreconstructed hymns, in sequences, and in sermons. A repertory (p.199) of metaphors and typologically interpreted passages from the Bible, all assembled and interconnected under the general allegory of St Ann as the ‘one and only chosen vineyard’, was published in Cologne, probably about 1502.24 A biblical quotation at the head of each of its sections supplies the concordances necessary for distributing material in ‘modern’ sermons. The collected vineyard metaphors and similitudes, elaborated in their application to the saint, provide ways of amplifying that material. The same images also feed private prayer and meditation, as is signalled by the inclusion of a rosary poem. This was not, however, how young boys in the humanists’ grammar class were being taught to construct narration or explore the use of metaphor and allegory. Much closer to the way they were being instructed to read narrative and rewrite it was the volume of Heroidum christia-narum epistolae by Eobanus Hessus (1488–1540) that Melchior Lorter printed at Leipzig in 1514, at a time when he was still selling the Legenda of St Ann, but perhaps to a rather different public. The ‘Christian Heroides’ take as their ostensible model Ovid's Heroides, a sequence of verse letters from amorous pagan ladies in distress, which was very commonly used as a first poetry text in grammar classes. Eobanus converts them to Christian subjects. Ann is among them, writing to her husband, Joachim, who has fled to tend his sheep in the desert after his public humiliation because he has no child. She tells him how an angel has consoled her with the promise of a wondrous daughter, and urges him to meet her at the Golden Gate in preparation for the momentous event. Her epistle handles narration retrospectively and proleptically, and the occasional aphorism works as a pointer for applying the story as an exemplary illustration of a general theme.25 The context for this collection of epistles is the grammar class, where first efforts in prose or, as here, verse composition would invariably take the form of letters, and teachers were exhorted to make the subjects for those letters interesting, dramatic, and edifying. Role-play was much commended by Erasmus and many another humanist grammarian.26 Pupils working on this exercise would be taught the same tactics for composition whether their adopted persona were historical fact or patent fiction. In a second edition of his Heroides in 1532, Eobanus divided his epistles into three books, depending on whether their material was true according to the Gospel, a mixture of truth and falsehood (the St Ann letter comes into this (p.200) category), or wholly imaginary. Yet, with a little adjustment to the transmitted story, even the false may seem true, and fiction can be handled so as to edify, thus promoting truth.27 Students reading such story-telling epistles and inventing their own, were in practice constructing ‘fictitious narratives that nevertheless could have occurred’. Their concept of narrative was being learnt from rhetorical theory, at the same time as their ‘correct’ Latin was being absorbed from classical models, and their notion of figurative speech was being imprinted from definitions found in textbooks and from exercices in imitating good practice. Page 10 of 51

Producing Narrative Rhetorical theory in its most didactic form consisted of the ‘old’. rhetoric of Cicero's De inventione and the ‘new’.rhetoric of the Rhetorica ad Herennium, traditionally ascribed to Cicero. Other texts, notably Quintilian's Institutio oratorio, Cicero's more advanced and less obviously paedagogical treatises, even Aristotle's Rhetoric, were to supplement the elementary syllabus as the school rhetoric curriculum began to reflect the humanists’. ambitions for it. The combination of ‘old’ and ‘new’ rhetoric, however, remained the bed-rock, and was certainly very firmly in place in 1508 when Josse Bade supplied teachers (and some of their more affluent pupils) with texts and commentaries.28 It is in commentary that we catch the contemporary spin given to a standard text. The commentaries attached to the Rhetorica ad Herennium adapt it to the concerns of Italian humanism. Almost all rhetorical and literary texts published in France during the first thirty years or so of the sixteenth century were framed by commentaries exemplifying the procedures of lectio and enarratio, by which Italian humanists refined their pupils’ language skills and steeped them in ancient culture. Printed commentaries, and the use teachers made of them in the classroom, proved to be the most effective means of implanting the Italian programme in the intellectual environment of northern Europe.29 It is therefore of some interest to see how that programme had (p.201) accommodated the standard rhetorical concept of narration, and its attendant discission of fact, falsehood, and fiction. In a liminary notice, Josse Bade himself put an ironical gloss on that very subject. The authorship of the Rhetorica ad Herennium, long attributed to Cicero, had been a contentious issue for Italian humanists since the early years of the second half of the fifteenth century, a test case for their sensitivity to stylistic dissonance and their historicized language skills. Bade reviews the arguments, and declares himself convinced by the anti-Cicero faction, despite the authorities ranged against it, who included a Church Father, St Jerome, the grammarian Priscian, and the Latin language expert, Lorenzo Valla. Yet, for the purposes of enabling another truth (that is to say, the dissemination of this book and the accruing profits, intellectual to others, material to himself), he has decided to let it go out under the brand name, Cicero.30 In the arena of rhetoric and reception, notions of truth and fiction have demonstrated a certain flexibility before ever we get to the text and commentary.

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Producing Narrative Narratio, the exposition of events that have occurred or are supposed to have occurred, comes next after the exordium in descriptions of how an oration is to be composed (Rhetorica ad Herennium, 1. 8–9.12–16; De inventions, 1.19–21. 27–30). Narration, then, is a necessary component of any piece of discourse designed to persuade an audience. In rhetoric, the way events are narrated, the way a story is told, is determined much less by adequate correlation with the facts in the case than by tactics employed to maximize the likelihood that the story will be believed and the appropriate judgement passed. Francesco Maturanzio, the main commentator on the Rhetorica ad Herennium, is careful to unpack his text at this point, separating neutral accounts of events that have occurred (res gestae) from narrative strategy designed to work to the orator's advantage. The former are the province of historici whose aim is to teach and to delight, rather than to win a case.31 As his commentary proceeds, however, such distinctions blur. Prompted perhaps by Cicero's verse quotations in the De inventione, but much more frequently and at greater length, Maturanzio conflates instructions to the orator with the practice of poets and even historians. Most of his examples of the exercise of rhetorical narration strategy come from Cicero's speeches, but by no means all. (p.202) The use of a story to make a transition from one matter to another is demonstrated from Ovid's Metamorphoses; the use of amplified description to set the stage for a narrated event brings a reference to the storm in the first book of the Aeneid, accompanied by a very easy slippage between rhetorical stage-setting (apparatio) and ornamentation with a less narrowly strategic intent (ornatio) Sallust and other historians digress, like orators, into incidental narrative, and often manage it according to rhetorical places of praise or blame. When Maturanzio follows the Rhetorica ad Herenniumbeyond exposition of the facts in the case, interspersed with tactical digressions, to the ‘third type of narrative’ he comes home to the humanists’ classroom. For the ‘third type of narrative’ consists of preparatory exercises in constructing narrative, to be undertaken in the grammar class prior to instruction in rhetoric. The models for these exercises are to be found in the fictions of poets, from which the pupil will graduate to the statement of ‘real’ facts required in arguing real legal cases.32 Maturanzio's own model for his commentary at this point is Quintilian, Institutio oratoriay 2.4.1–3. He differs from Quintilian, however, in that he totally conflates exercises recommended for the rhetoric class with composition practice in the grammar class. His favourite textbook on constructing narrative is the Progymnasmata of Aphthonius, a Greek collection of model compositions that dates from the fourth century, and that was a standard manual in the humanist classroom from the very beginning. The Progymnasmata’s lessons in telling poetic fable, writes Maturanzio, are the best training for constructing an exposition of facts.

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Producing Narrative Prompted by the Rhetorica ad Herennium, rather than by Quintilian, the commentator proceeds to engage at greater length than any of his texts with distinctions pertaining to truth and fiction. Fable, in the words of the Rhetorica ad Herennium identical at this point with the De inventions consists of things neither true nor truth-like. Examples, collected from Maturanzio's source texts, are the patent fictions of poets (the serpents that draw the chariot of Ceres) and the plots of tragedies (‘plot’ is fabula in Latin). But Maturanzio confuses the definition somewhat by pulling in the fables of Aesop, which are normally supposed to tell the truth, even though they are patent fiction. He even goes on to tamper with the supposedly unambiguous status of history (res gestae) by playing on the etymology of historic derived as Isidore had derived it, from the Greek word ‘to see’. History, our commentator suggests, is precisely what we do not see, a past beyond our direct observation. He replies soon enough to his own objection, but there is a tendency to destabilize the precise divisions between ‘true’. history and ‘false’ fable characteristic of both the ‘new’ and the ‘old’ rhetoric. The third kind of narration, argumentum, the ‘fictitious narrative that nevertheless could have occurred’, is exemplified for Maturanzio, as for his source texts, by the plots of comedies. Maturanzio, however, slightly rephrases the definition of argumentum to give us: (p.203) ‘writers of comedies make up stories (argumenta) that are not fact, but are truthlike (vero similia)’33

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Producing Narrative His use of vero similia here is echoed a few paragraphs later when he discusses procedures for making narrative plausible (‘probabilis et credibilis’, as Mancinelli glosses, quoting Quintilian). This deliberate conjunction of ideas lays down a much stronger marker for binding fictive writing to systematic places of argument (sedes argumentorum) than we find in the Rhetorica ad Herennium itself. Maturanzio runs through such places in the guise in which they would have been familiar to the most elementary student of dialectical and rhetorical invention: who, what, why, where, when, how, with what. A marginal gloss added to Bade's composite edition a few years later further underlines the logical base of ‘truth-like’ narration, and does so by bringing into play the grammarians’ focus on the use of words. This later gloss alerts the reader that argumentum, as well as denoting the type of narration denned in the Rhetorica ad Herennium, is employed in classical Latin to mean a particularly reliable ratiocinative stratagem, an ‘argument’. which gives credence to something that might have been doubted.34 Yet, despite this close association with dialectic and its claims to establish truth, Maturanzio goes on to stress that rhetorical narrative does not deal with facts, but with conjecture. The orator has a story in which he wants his audience to believe, and there are dialectically based procedures for maximizing belief that will work whether the story is true or not.35 In the event, it is primarily to poetic fiction, rather than to oratory, that Maturanzio looks for successful application of those procedures, for example, to the lying tale Sinon tells the Trojans in Aeneid 2. Drawing out strands present in the Rhetorica ad Herennium, this commentary so common in the humanist classroom has systematically and intertextually woven places of argument as well as the strategies of rhetorical narrative into the patent fictions of poetry and associated story-telling. The more intelligent readers emerging from such an education were likely to be critical and interrogative readers, alert to manipulation, and particularly appreciative of speeches and stories set en abyme within a narrative text. Such an education also raises in acute form the question of the truth status of ‘fictitious narratives that nevertheless could have occurred’ and that are recounted in such a way as to meet dialectical and rhetorical criteria for plausibility.

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Producing Narrative The question was being raised with equal force in the context of the theory of poetry, as well as the theory of rhetoric. In poetics, the Ars poetica of Horace was the base text. It inevitably attracted the attention of Josse Bade, who published his own, much reprinted, commentary in 1500. Bade's groundplan for restructuring Horace as a contemporary, humanistic theory of poetry is derived almost entirely (p.204) from the ‘old’ and ‘new’ rhetoric. On the ‘matter’. of poetry, a purely pragmatic subject for Horace in line 37, Bade pulls in the tripartite division applied to narration in the Rhetorica ad Herennium. Historical narrative represents events that occurred in fact; verisimilar narration (argumentum) recounts things that did not happen, but could have happened; and stories that are neither true nor truth-like are fictions proper to poets, such as Virgil's ships transformed into nymphs and many of the metamorphoses in Ovid. Here, though, poetic parts company with rhetoric. For Bade immediately refocuses such poetic fictions within the very different discipline of hermeneutic. The issue for the reader becomes not how to analyse the procedures employed in the construction of poetic narrative, but how to interpret it: ‘these poetic fables should be examined to see whether they refer to things in the natural world, relate historical events, or have a mystical sense’.36 This is allegorical interpretation, the subject of the next chapter of the present book. There, we too shall make the move from rhetoric to hermeneutic but, as was true for Bade, we shall find ourselves shifting interpretative frames as occasion, rather than theoretical rigour, seems to demand. Bade certainly encourages versatility of response. At an earlier moment, on line 9 of the Ars poetica where Horace states that poetic freedom to invent should not transgress the laws of nature and logic, Bade had stipulated that poetic fictions should be truth-like (vero similia), apparently contradicting his subsequent definition of poetic fable as ‘neither true nor truth-like’. In order to be truth-like, Bade now, with reference to line 9, states that fiction must not go against recorded history or the (admittedly very diverse) opinions of ancient philosophers and theologians.37 This seems to tie poetic fiction to the thought patterns of the ancient world, and ultimately to an aesthetic of cultural imitation that defines and legitimizes fictive writing. But Bade points in a quite different direction when he later makes the gesture we have already noted towards an interpretative schema akin to allegorical interpretation. Before we follow that route, we shall stay for a time with the rhetoricians’ account of poetic fiction, largely derived from the theory of narrative proffered in the Rhetorica ad Herennium and Cicero's De inventions, and look briefly at two works written in the early 1520s by authors familiar to us already in the context of the turn to classical Latin language usage and the concomitant turn against medieval norms of speech and thought The first of these explores the rhetoricization of story-telling; the second examines what happens to concepts of truth and fiction in this new narratorial mode.

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Producing Narrative When discussing the truth status of narrative, the author of the Rhetorica ad Herennium, and his commentators with him, were operating within the context of the narration of events. There is, though, a form of narration more angled towards (p.205) the description of persons, and the original text goes on to list subjects for exercises designed to render the orator proficient in this area of rhetorical composition: lively description, contrasting character traits, examples of serious and light-hearted dispositions, hope and fear, suspicion, desire, dissimulation, and compassion, variety of events, vicissitudes of fortune, unexpected disaster, unlooked-for happiness, and happy outcomes.38 Maturanzio, even before he gives examples of all these, states that events and persons can hardly be disengaged or, to use more literary terms, he recognizes that plot is shaped by character and that character is a function of plot. The literary terminology is apposite, for the examples Maturanzio gives of the rhetorical narration of persons are all from comedies by Terence and Plautus, where character types can only be illustrated with reference to the events of the play (the comic argumentum) Mancinelli, in the commentary on the first book of the Rhetorica ad Herennium that supplements Maturanzio, makes the literary turn even more complete by taking his examples from poetic fiction, from Ovid's Heroides and Virgil's Aeneid.39 The concept ‘literature’. finally begins to emerge from this rhetorical background in a work that was rooted in the Ciceronian account of the ‘form of narrative concerned with persons’., but was, significantly, entitled Poetica.40

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Producing Narrative The work was written at Paris in 1516. Its author was the same Francois Du Bois (Franciscus Sylvius) who assembled examples of elegant Latin locutions in Progymnasmata published for the benefit of Paris students of grammar and who had initiated them into the skills of prose composition by providing an annotated edition of Poliziano's Illustrium virorum epistolae in 1517. The original site of all this humanistic activity was the College de Montaigu, acclaimed in a liminary poem by one of its Spanish members, Juan Vacet or Vasquez (Joannes Vaccaeus) as a Parnassus, worthy home for Du Bois, adopted son of Apollo and Minerva, brother of Calliope, reincarnation of Homer and Virgil.41 The grammarians of that college were at least as voluble as its better known scholastic logicians, if less adept, perhaps, in their kind of Latin than were the schoolmen in theirs. Du Bois, more (p.206) soberly than his admirer, places his short work under the sign of Cicero, and it is from Cicero that he derives three heads under which poetry should be discussed: order, decorum (that is to say, ‘what to do and what not to do’.), and measure (metrics). With decorum established by Horace's advice in the Ars poetica and with metrics so ably taught by his own colleagues, Du Bois devotes his theory of poetry to order.42 For order, he says, or structure, however much submerged, is an indelible mark of poetry, and the reader trained to analyse how carefully poetic writing is organized will discover its peculiar, often hidden beauty. His reward will be pleasure in reading and inspiration for writing, in so far as he can draw on the structure he has detected to serve as a model for his own compositions. This concept of literature grows out of reading and writing techniques taught in the humanists’. grammar class, combined with lessons in rhetorical theory. Du Bois makes this schoolroom context quite explicit at the end of his preface, where he describes his students clamouring for an ‘art of poetry’. to parallel the ‘art of oratory’. that was his Progymnasmata.

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Producing Narrative What his students got was an account of the rhetorical ‘narrative of persons’. transferred to literature. Du Bois initially defines ‘narration’. as historical, oratorical, or poetic, and immediately sidelines the first two. He then further refines his subject by introducing the tripartite division of poetry well known from the third book of the late fourth-century Ars grammatica of Diomedes, who had made distinctions between poems enunciated by the poet alone (like the Georgics) poetical works in which persons speak without intervention from the author (comedies and tragedies), and mixed forms, enunciated by the poet with significant interpolations from speaking characters (notably epic). Du Bois will have nothing to say about the first of these three types, which, he claims, tends to employ a form of narration characteristic of historians and orators. The last two, however, are structurally similar and will provide the basis for his account of poetic narration. They also determine his choice of literary texts for analysis: comedy, exemplified by Terence's Andria; tragedy, exemplified by the translations Erasmus had published in 1506 of the Hecuba and Iphigenia in Aulis of Euripides; and epic, mainly the first and fourth books of the Aeneid. Already, his attention is entirely focused on the way poems are constructed. In spite of the fact that he had derived his preliminary definition of or do from a passage in Cicero's De officiis where it is applied solely to well-ordered moral conduct on the part of individuals, Du Bois does not pass moral judgements on the fictional events and persons that combine in action to (p.207) structure the works he analyses. Much less does he concern himself with the relationship between those fictions and truths external to them. The question of the relationship between poetry and history, for example, is treated as internal to the narrative process and answered solely from within narratology. The chronological order of narrated events, affirms Du Bois in the wake of Horace and ancient commentators on Virgil, is linear in the case of history, but in poetry, be it epic or drama, it is best practice to recount the past retrospectively from the biased point of view of an emotionally distressed character functioning in the narrative present.43

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Producing Narrative The relationship between poetry and rhetoric, notwithstanding the initial move away from ‘oratorical’. narration, subtends the whole of the rest of the book. Du Bois quotes from Cicero's De inventione the passage on ‘the form of narrative concerned with persons’., which closely parallels the similar passage in the Rhetorica ad Herennium that Maturanzio and Mancinelli had already illustrated from works of literature.44 He then proceeds to show how the topics listed in that passage comprise the ordering principles at work in his chosen texts. He draws to his reader's attention the variety of events narrated (in the work as a whole and in particular episodes); the concerted play of contradictory dispositions, opinions, and emotions (normally resolved at the end of the drama or epic); shifts from serious conviction to giddy changes of mind; events that do or do not turn out as hoped or feared, anticipated, suspected, or desired; instances of characters making up fictions that may unravel or prove true in the course of subsequent action; mistaken belief, erroneous counsel, vacillation, and wrong choices; pity for the unfortunate (which has a special role in tragedy, but the stratagems that excite it are rhetorical commonplaces);45 vicissitudes of fortune that are the very stuff of tragedy (so pleasant to read about and so undesirable in life); the shock of unexpected misfortune and unanticipated peril; unlooked-for joy and how to maximize its effect; happy endings and resolution of conflicts, in comic and in tragic mode. The description Du Bois gives of narrative fiction is purely rhetorical in origin. Indeed, he emphasizes its rhetorical component by referring from time to time to strategies of emotional persuasion codified in rhetorical theory and by continually foregrounding the response anticipated in the intended audience or reader: excitement, anticipation, pity, indignation, pleasure, and relief.

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Producing Narrative He really goes further than rhetoric when he combines narration of events and persons into plot. Though he has no technical word for it, plot turns out to be that order, or structure, that Du Bois thought essential to poetic fiction and that he makes the focus of his little book. His analyses of plot are quite sophisticated, the fruit, perhaps of reading Terence with his grammar-class students in the light of (p.208) the much used commentary by Donatus, but Du Bois seems to have applied its insights effectively to Euripides and Virgil. He is particularly alert to procedures for creating dramatic irony, for engineering reversals of fortune, for making endings, and, perhaps above all, for manufacturing the suspense that keeps the reader enthralled.46 Literature, or poetry, as Du Bois calls it, begins to emerge from this little manual as an autonomous intellectual discipline characterized by its own concept of its own internal structuring principles, as well as by precepts for best practice (to be found in Horace) and by its specific technique (metrics). The context in which this still embryonic growth was being fostered was a combination, on the one hand, of acquaintance with rhetorical theory and, on the other, of the reading habits engrained by the humanists’. close enarratio of Latin texts. The instruments for analysis appropriate to inquiry and evaluation within this discipline were borrowed by Du Bois from a narratology primarily evolved for rhetoric. The language in which exposition and discussion proceed is the Latin of Cicero. The conceptual perspective of a hermeneutics concerned with the truth status of the fictions that are at the core of Du Bois's little book is as alien to his concerns as would be the non-classical Latin from which his Progymnasmata had rescued its readers. Even further removed is the idea that poetry should in any way claim the status of an exact science, answerable to scholastic demands for knowledge by demonstration propter quid and quia. The body of knowledge called ‘poetry’. has its own language for authenticating itself. But does this internally coherent and rhetorically fashioned fictive writing signify beyond itself? How do, or how should, these plausible representations of character and plot relate to truth?

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Producing Narrative ‘Do you know the truth?’. was the burning question of the age, as we saw particularly clearly in Part II. It is also the question that opens a short work in dialogue form by Juan Luis Vives, Veritas fucata sive de licentia poetica (Painted Truth or Poetic Licence), published at Louvain in 1523, three years after his diatribe against the ‘pseudodialecticians’. The first page of his Veritas fucata makes a connection with that previous work. Wherever truth may be found, it is not with the recentiores, the scholastic logicians still enmeshed in their impenetrable distinctions and equally impenetrable Latin, who have managed to identify truth with complexe significabilia, an answer to Pontius Pilate's question that he would certainly not have found worth staying for.47 Yet, truth is no more likely to be located in the contradictory (p.209) opinions and obfuscating metaphors of ancient philosophical schools. Where, then, but in Christ? That truth, however, is, as it were, bracketed out of this work, which defines its territory as ‘truth in common parlance’.48 To consort with the common run of humankind, prone to falsehood as it is, and to speak its customary language, truth must go painted, embellished, disguised, fucata. Fucus (face-paint, disguise, deceit) and its derivatives, used pejoratively to signal stylistic artifice, were common in Cicero and had figured in Cortesi's and Giovanni Pico's discussions of humanistic and late medieval varieties of Latin. They tended to put it in the mouths of promoters of scholastic rectitude and its direct expression in late medieval Latin speech. On such occasions, fucus was a key word in the charge those defenders of ‘truth’. levelled at rhetorical strategies for manipulation clothed in elaborate, humanistic Latin. For Vives, once the complexe significabilia have been banished from its discourse, the Latin language question is not an issue in the work now under discussion. The idiom of Veritas fucata is consistently humanistic, if not consistently Ciceronian. Yet, resolving the language question in favour of classically derived Latin does nothing to resolve the larger question of how conceptual truth is to be mediated in any language. Once established that the dialogue is to deal in ‘common parlance’, it proceeds immediately to transpose truth into an allegory of itself. She is described as a female of a certain aspect, followed by an unruly crowd of philosophers, and carried by a figure clearly identifiable as Time. In this rather overdetermined manner, the dialogue demonstrates how attempts to express truth in language inevitably involve translation into metaphor, for metaphor is intrinsic to ‘common parlance’. (usus vulgaris hominum) Truth reified is Veritas fucata, however much she will protest her nakedness later in the dialogue. The fact is, that, appearing in language, she has stepped into the slippery area of linguistic transposition, verbal dressing up, and the potentially ambiguous world of fiction. The twin goals of the book turn out to be a stable definition of literary fiction and its clear demarcation with respect to truth. From now on the exposition proceeds as a narrated fable, in which Truth and her supporters will be obliged to parley with Falsehood and its subjects grouped in the opposite portico of an imagined forum.49 Page 21 of 51

Producing Narrative Within the fable into which the dialogue is now transformed the ambivalent potential of language for truth-telling and its opposite is explored. First, with (p. 210) respect to words: Falsehood's hypocritical henchmen pervert language, calling lies ‘omissions’., cunning ‘prudence’., flattery ‘urbane and civilized behaviour’. This lying double-speak is a figure, a ‘colour’., or, pejoratively, a fucus known to rhetoric as conciliatio or paradiastole, and classed generically as allegory, which says one thing and means another, but here with intent to deceive. In Truth's portico, words mean what they say. True is plainly true, a fig a fig, and a spade a spade.50 If such narrowly tautologous speech is Truth's only language, one may wonder how efficacious her capacity to communicate may be. Next, indeed, comes the problem of connected discourse. Who will speak as an ambassador for Truth to the opposite side? The orators Demosthenes and Cicero are ostensibly among her followers, but their rhetoric is accused of dealing in the plausible, the truthlike, not in truth itself, as they tacitly admit. The philosophers contentiously prefer the doctrine of their several schools to truth. The truest panegyric of Truth is composed by a Christian speaker, who bases his eloquence on the Old and New Testaments. On that unimpeachable authority, Truth is first made manifest by entering into language, coming forth as wisdom out of the mouth of the Most High and disclosing the mind of God in the Word (Vives translates logos as verbum, sermo, or oratio, word, ordinary talk, or formal speech). Yet, once articulate in language, Truth is adorned in metaphor and dressed as allegory, as she is in the words of the Bible itself. Truth, in Vives's fable, recognizes herself in the allegory developed by the Christian speaker, but, once again, language, even the language of the Bible, has compromised her nakedness and painted her in the colours of poetry.51 Eventually, the parley between Truth and Falsehood is conducted by their respective representatives Plato and Homer. Falsehood's adherents at first rebuff Plato quite easily, despite his threat to bar Homer from the republic he is constructing. Nevertheless, they instinctively recognize that truth is unalienably sovereign over the human mind and that their best policy for coexistence is to negotiate terms for an alliance. Truth's longing to draw all men to herself impels her to listen to the compromise Homer offers, without which she will never insinuate herself into the unwilling ears of men. Homer, a self-declared expert on the art of fucus, advises her to let herself be wrapped in mantles of stories. Thus hidden, she will be more prized and sought after; when uncovered, the more valued because she has been hard to find.52 His proposal refers to arguments commonly used to validate hermeneutic procedures that involved decoding fictions so as to reveal extraneous truths, that is to say, allegorical interpretation. Vives makes Truth demur for her integrity's sake. She would prefer men to seek her naked.

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Producing Narrative (p.211) Nevertheless, as we have suggested, her coming into language has compromised her already. She is already clothed in the trappings of allegory. Finally, reluctantly, Truth draws up her terms to be conveyed to the realm of Falsehood. Poets are to have licence to follow rumour, hearsay, and tradition, however much these have coloured and reshaped the truth, but to make up something entirely without foundation and imply that it really happened is to be a fool and a liar, and no poet. As for historical truth, we have only sketchy and confused knowledge of the remote past (rather carefully located as the time preceding the practice of dating by the cycle of the Olympic Games that was instituted four hundred years after the fall of Troy). For this reason, poets may write of the remote past with greater freedom to invent, but should not make changes to accounts of events in that period already written by previous poets and accepted by common consent. More recent history may not be tampered with, although it may be narrated in such a way as to ensure an attractive and elegant style, and the reader's pleasure and moral profit. Stories from the legendary past may be introduced by way of digression into narrative about recent history, provided they are designated as such. Fictions without any relation whatsoever to historical fact may be invented for purposes of moral instruction. Under this head come Aesopic fables and comedies. ‘Painting’ in the sense of metaphor, rhetorical allegory, and catachresis is permitted in all sorts of writing, provided every effort be made to preserve verisimilitude, consistency, and decorum. Fiction invented for sheer enjoyment and with no pretence to truth or moral edification must declare itself as such and be classed, along with Lucian and Apuleius, under ‘Milesian tales’.53 Such are the conditions under which Truth will allow herself to compromise with fiction, to be fucata. They are to be proclaimed by (implying that they are partially derived from) Varro, Horace, and Lactantius, and by Vives himself. There is, however, as Vives in the dialogue is made to point out, no indication that the free-roaming tribe of poets will agree to abide by them. Another omission is any overt reference in these conditions to the allegorical encoding recommended by Homer (or, rather, by Hellenistic and Byzantine interpreters of Homer, who, as we shall see, received an ambivalent response from humanist contemporaries of Vives). For Vives, the hermeneutic involved in allegorical reading does not seem to be very instrumental in Truth's negotiated accommodation with fable, any more than it formed part of the rhetorical construction of narrative in the Poetica of Du Bois.54 The delineation of truth and fiction in Veritas fucata works with concepts of representation operative within the universe of ancient literary culture imprinted on (p.212) his humanistically educated contemporaries through the study of the classical texts from which they learnt their Latin.

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Producing Narrative Du Bois and Vives were not writing theory in a vacuum. As we saw at the beginning of this chapter, a wide spectrum of narratorial practice was currently in operation even in the case of so specific a topic as the Latin lives of St Ann. Her story was somewhat ambiguously and precariously lodged at the juncture of truth and fiction. The account of the activities of St Ann and St Joachim immediately prior to the birth of their daughter was generally received as truth, but a truth not quite as secure as that firmly grounded in canonical scripture. The account of St Ann's family, both back to her mother and forward to her two other husbands, was, by 1520, certainly a disputed truth, and, in the opinion of some, fiction in its purest sense, that is to say, absolutely false. Moreover, the procedures of classically derived rhetoric had already infiltrated the telling of her story, be it epideictic in the case of Trithemius or the letter-writing techniques applied by Eobanus Hessus to turn her into one of the Christian Heroides. Rhetoric, fucata by its very nature, as both humanists and their opponents knew, negotiated its own accommodations with the truth. One modern authority had been cited by both sides of the controversy about the life of St Ann, by Mair, by Lefèvre d’.Etaples, by Béda, and by Cousturier. That was Mantuan (Baptista Mantuanus or Spagnuoli, 1448–1516), who had narrated the events preceding the conception of the Blessed Virgin at great length in his Parthenice prima and given a brief summary of St Ann's life in his Fasti, or De sacris diebus, in the lines he devoted to her feast-day and that of her daughter's nativity. In the Parthenice in particular, first published at Bologna in 1481 and well known by humanists everywhere, St Ann's life had taken a linguistic, a fictive, and a poetic turn that took it out of popular hagiography and storytelling, out of theological and philological debate, and into the domain of literature, as yet very shakily categorized by theorists like Du Bois and Vives.55

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Producing Narrative Mantuan, too, was quite capable of playing the theorist and entering into controversy. The edition of his Parthenice with commentary by Josse Bade, first published in 1499, was preceded by an Apologeticon in which Mantuan takes issue with critics who object that he, a professed Carmelite, and others like him, should preoccupy themselves with such light amusements as writing poetry.56 He claims, (p.213) no doubt rightly, that he is answering criticisms ad hominem, but the questions he addresses engage with the debate that set supporters of humanist Latin against vociferous opponents in Italy, in Paris, in Louvain, in Leipzig, and in almost every educated milieu in western Europe. A major issue was the relationship between poetry and truth. Mantuan's strategy for dealing with this in debate is decidedly oblique, for his favourite device is to undermine his adversaries by demonstrating the dialectical inconsistency of some of the positions they hold. If they approve of poetry in the guise of liturgical hymns, but condemn poetry as such, they are guilty of self-contradiction, as any logician will tell them. On other occasions too, he catches them confusing genus and species, whole and part, and making false inferences, ‘or consequentiae as the neoterici call them’. He uses the ‘dialectical terms’ of late medieval logic that are clearly current usage with his critics, but he brackets them out of his own speech in fastidiously disdainful parentheses.57 Having convicted his adversaries of false reasoning, and so damaged their claims to a monopoly of the truth, he devotes most of his apologia to poetry's praise and defence. He makes the usual gestures towards the ethical content of pagan poetry (‘the whole of the Aeneid is an exercise in moral instruction’), but what excites him, ravishes him, and inspires him is its language. This turn to language is quite explicit at the beginning of his Apologeticon, when he runs through all the traditional arguments drawn from an allegorical reading of scripture to justify taking the ‘gold of the Egyptians’. and adapting it to Christian use. Mantuan puts his own gloss on such readings, in order to include, not just the books of the pagans, but their golden words, their eloquentia, above all, the abundant variety of their forms of speech (fo. Iv). So, Mantuan moves swiftly and adroitly from allegorical interpretation of scripture to the language of the ancients, above all, their figurative language, codified in rhetoric and activated in its most exuberant form by their poets. This is precisely the kind of language that the early Christian writers, Prudentius, Ambrose, luvencus, and Bede (as theorist of tropes), took as their inheritance. It had caught the young Mantuan in its net when he encountered it in the poetry of St Paulinus of Nola. He himself is proof that language like that can be an apostle's net, fishing men for Christ (fo. III). Already, we glimpse Mantuan's skill at moving his golden language across the cultural divide. The operation involves both figured speech and words themselves.

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Producing Narrative The names of the pagan gods, for example, need not be banished from Christian discourse, for etymology shows that their meaning applies correctly to the Christian God, not to the false deities whose ignorant worshippers misappropriated them. Similarly, the sophisticated vocabulary of the various disciplines of inquiry undoubtedly talks the language of the pagan culture in which it originated. Yet, now we are so far removed in time from the historical period when that culture was a live threat to Christianity, there is no reason to suppose that what remains of it, its words, are somehow dangerous to employ. How else, indeed, can we talk of the works of God's hand? Mantuan's detractors tend to have stopped (p.214) their education in Latin language use after learning verses from Alexander of Villedieu (the standard late medieval Latin grammar) and Aesop (the elementary textbook of fables by Avianus), finished off with dialectic and law. It is they, claims Mantuan, from their limited linguistic perspective, who insist on an unbridgeable divide between late medieval Latin ‘now’. and classical Latin ‘then’., but this means that they cannot access the language of the Church Fathers. They remain devoted to their Catholicon, and to its Latin, so full of error and so far from the language in which St Augustine ravished minds and hearts for truth. Mantuan is a committed advocate of the humanists’. Latin (their grammatica as he calls it) and of its potential to articulate the Christian verities (fos. V-VIIv). But his practice is at some distance from that of his contemporary, Cortesi. His ideal dictionary would resemble Calepino’s, with its incorporation of patristic Latin, not Cortesi's Ciceronian word-book. Mantuan argues that his adopted lexis is validated for Christian use by the example of the Church fathers, but that is not the same as confronting the Activity of classical poetry and its relationship with truth. As he says, his opponents do not just object to the Latin words he uses, they ‘want to damn poetry itself because its content is false’. He answers by going back yet again to early Christian writing, notably to the Divinae institutiones of Lactantius and his idea that ‘the poet's function is to recount truth under the veil of some novel and appropriate figure’. This is a paraphrase of a sentence in Lactantius that had descended down the Middle Ages from its reproduction in Isidore (Etymologiae, 8. 7. 9–10), eventually to become a standard reference for writers submittting pagan poetry to the hermeneutical procedure of allegorical interpretation.58

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Producing Narrative For Mantuan, however, allegorical interpretation is not this mechanical decoding system. He relates it much more closely to a rhetorical concept of allegory and metaphor that looks for figurative meaning in words and phrases that do not make literal sense, whereas strict allegorical interpretation of pagan poetry starts from the premiss that often enough the language in which fables are couched makes sense, but nothing in them is ever literally true. The rhetorical skill required for reading metaphorically is as necessary for understanding the sometimes baffling narrations found in scripture as it is for deciphering obvious fiction in pagan poets. Without it, the languishing vine of Psalm 80 would seem pure fable, just as the wings given to heroes in some ancient stories are unbelievable unless read as allegories of speed. The figured language of poetry is therefore the very idiom of holy writ. It is language woven from all the abundant schemes and tropes catalogued by grammarians and rhetoricians in the poetry of the pagans, and then adopted by the early Church because they were just as applicable to the speech of the Bible. Such figures are to language what colour and profusion are to God's own creation. The more ornamented speech is, the better it reflects the beauties of nature and shows forth God's praise. It is by such sophisticated verbal arts that (p.215) readers are enticed to books, hearts are elated, and poetry persuades. Let us then ‘not fear to transpose poetry (the linguistic idiom of classical poetry) to religious subjects’.59 In all this excitement about the potential of language, the relationship between truth and fiction in poetic writing has been lost from view, and perhaps deliberately so. Mantuan will transpose the religious subject of his Parthenice into a poetic mode of discourse which resists categorization as ‘true’. or ‘false’. An adequate reading of it involves an intersecting of reference points plotted on a multiplicity of cultural horizons, biblical, liturgical, classical, historical, literary, linguistic, rhetorical. It creates its own universe of discourse that is incommensurable with a discourse where facts and logically formulated propositions alone are true, and fiction is empty. As the exasperated Lefevre so rightly said: ‘Mantuan is free sometimes to follow hearsay, sometimes to write like a poet, leaving others to debate what is true and what is false’.60

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Producing Narrative In the first line of the prologue to the Parthenice prima, Mary appears in the scanty disguise of a Palestinian nymph. The whole passage is programmatic, setting in process not only the matter, but the language of the poem. Ancient gods are mentioned, but, in context, Jupiter can only be God the Father, Mars and Saturn can only be the planets of those names. To the initiated, words and phrases reverberate with deliberately orchestrated Virgilian echoes. So, the human melancholy of Virgil's ‘Sunt lachrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt’ is now suffused with the hope of the Virgin's intercession: ‘et lachrymae tangunt tua pectora nostrae’. So, the poet addressing Mary as bringer of calm to raging seas and reconciliation of God with men, ‘Tu mare, tu ventos, tu sydera cuncta, deumque Concilias’, inverts the words Virgil's Aeolus had spoken to Juno just as he was about to obey her orders and raise a tempest: ‘tu sceptra Iovemque Concilias’. Figures ornament the words. By a rhetorical ‘scheme’, comparison, Mary is distanced from the earth as far as the heavens wheel their fiery stars. Then, by a trope, metaphor, she herself is translated into a star, ‘Tu placidum terris sydus’., the pole star, and specifically identified with the northern constellations under their Greek names: ‘Tu nobis Elice, nobis Cynosura’.61 As the pole star, Mary will guide to a safe haven souls in peril on storm-tossed boats and bless the launch of the poet's own frail craft onto the deep. This extended metaphor, or allegory, is a complex (p.216) weave of allusions to classical poets, who often used navigation metaphors about the start and progress of their poems, but also to the language of Christian liturgy, to Mary ‘maris Stella’, unsullied northern star, and theme of countless sermons. Mantuan's very rich combination of humanistic Latin and liturgical references produces a new idiom.62 It is, and is not, classical Latin, and the matter it will go on to express is, and is not, simple fact or simple fiction. In the theoretical terminology of the humanists’. rhetoric, it most resembles ‘a fictitious narrative that could nevertheless have occurred’. Such ‘fictitious narratives’. were argumenta in the technical language of rhetoric, but contemporary theorists of poetry recognized them too and dubbed them ficta, narratives of things that have not happened, but could have happened, a form of writing that demonstrates skill, is conducive to virtue, and whose object is delight.63 It is also perhaps significant, and part of Mantuan's programmatics, that the metaphor of the poet as navigator had been used with memorable force by an earlier writer embarking on the poetic rescue of pagan mythology (though not the language of its expression). The prohemia to the books of Boccaccio's Genealogia deorum gentilium extend the navigation metaphor into ingenious allegories with a dazzling virtuosity.

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Producing Narrative The invocation completed, Mantuan embarks on the narration. It begins with Ann, but this is poetry, and poetry with clear pretensions to epic. The story may be the same as the lives of St Ann so popular in northern Europe, but, as Horace had said (and commentators repeated) there is no need to start the history of the Trojan War with Leda's egg (Ars poetica, 147). Mantuan does not pander to the vulgar curiosity that had produced the story of Ann's mother, Emerantia.64 His narration begins, as Du Bois was to recommend, with a personage in distress, Ann bewailing her sterility. It then skips over the episode of Joachim's disgrace and the angel's intervention to dwell on the growth of Mary in Ann's womb. The baby develops like a rose opening from a bud. Mantuan's technique for managing this extended comparison recalls the extended similitudes characteristic of classical epic, but it is the language of Christian devotion that gives him Mary as a rose. It is not until the beginning of book 2, by which time Mary has been well educated and is ready for marriage, that the story turns back on itself to a time before it (p.217) began and tells how Joachim and Ann were finally blessed with a child. Once again, the prompt for this retrospective narration is Ann's highly emotional state. She is bitterly aggrieved when her daughter perversely declares that she intends to lead a life of perpetual virginity, and reminisces about her own once sterile marriage. Things, of course, turned out other than expected then, and they will do so again. The time of Mantuan's narration is non-linear, and that in itself displays his credentials as poet, neither historian nor common story-teller. In addition, his combination of events and persons replicates very well the Ciceronian advice on contrasting attitudes of persons and twists and turns in narrative that Du Bois was to codify with reference to epic and drama. One might also note that he scrupulously follows Quintilian's advice to the orator on lying convincingly.65

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Producing Narrative There is absolutely no reason to think that, in 1481, when the work first appeared, either Mantuan or his readers doubted the truth of the story of St Ann, the figure whose history and invented psychology Mantuan uses to structure his narrative. Nevertheless, the long speeches that he puts into her mouth were clearly as fictitious to them as they are to the modern reader. It is because they are plausible that the reader can agree that they were possible, because they are consistent with character, time, and place, as Quintilian has it, and are neither at variance with the admitted truth, nor in contradiction with the rest of the narration. They also fit the conditions Vives will lay down for painting the truth of recent history, a conjunction hardly surprising as Vives deduces his theory from the models of poetic writing Mantuan follows in his practice. What may surprise the modern reader somewhat more is that the Blessed Virgin's education in the temple also consisted of those self-same models. After an affectionate meeting with the three Graces and a thorough grounding in figurative language, prosody, and Greek and Roman history, she studied assiduously the mythology of the ancients and learnt a great many fables. The names of heroes and heroines abundantly listed would lead one to assume she read them primarily in the Metamorphoses and Heroides of Ovid, were this not historically impossible. If credibility is strained in this instance, it may be that rhetorical reading is being invited, in order to turn this literally dubious moment into some form of allegory. The reader reads Mary reading, and shares her reading. Mary, ever an icon, is here perhaps an icon of Mantuan's ideal reader. She speaks the tongues of the ancients and understands the conventions of their fiction, but she is also morally discriminating and rejects what cannot be digested into her culture.66

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Producing Narrative (p.218) The Blessed Virgin's choice of fables (mostly about seduction, rape, adultery, incest, and murder) suggests that Mantuan's ideal reader had an adventurous appetite. A link from ideal to actual reader is made by the commentaries that accompanied the text and digested it for grammar-class pupils in northern Europe, where it was used in the early, cautious years of the sixteenth century as a safe model of assimilated classical language and culture. Josse Bade's 1499 preface to the first annotated edition published in France states that his commentary is intended for pupils in the first stages of their instruction in Latin grammar. Reading Mantuan will ensure that they will be imprinted with ‘good letters’. and even better morals (‘mores optimi’.). It is doubtful whether any humanist editor ever neglected to repeat this mantra, but in the case of Mantuan's poetry in more or less classical Latin on overtly Christian topics it was unusually unproblematic. Bade's annotations will concentrate on lectio, assiduously sorting out for young learners the order in which they need to read the Latin words for them to make sense, and appending brief explanations of vocabulary. His concentration on words is reinforced by indices of all the vocabulary explained and not explained in his commentary. There were several reprintings of the text with Bade's commentary in the first quarter of the sixteenth century, at Paris, Poitiers, and Lyons. In a version printed at Paris in 1507 or soon afterwards, Bade's commentary was supplemented with one by Sebastianus Murrho (Mor, Murr, or Mörer, 1452–94), who came from Colmar and belonged to the circle of Jakob Wimpfeling and shared his enthusiasm for Mantuan.67 The bias of Murrho's commentary is less towards lectio, more towards enarratio. To Bade's explanations of Mantuan's humanist Latin lexis are added well-referenced pointers to the classical culture in which the narrative is embedded, very often culled from fifteenth-century Italian humanist scholars, contemporaries and compatriots of Mantuan, commenting on Latin poems. Murrho's edition transmits both the text and the environment in which it was fashioned. In 1523, at just about the time it seems to be slipping out of the (p.219) school syllabus Parthenice prima was translated into French by Jacques de Mortières, in a bilingual edition that gives the whole of the Latin text in the margin and some annotation in French.

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Producing Narrative Teachers and pupils drawing on the two Latin commentaries would be well schooled by them in the form poetry takes and the language humanist poets use. Bade begins by distinguishing true history from its poetic reformulation in the ‘florid verbal embellishment characteristic of poets’, who bend time to produce an artificially reinvented narrative chronology, yet observe decorum in their representation of things and persons, and so inspire belief.68 Commenting on Mantuan's appropriation of the names of pagan deities, Bade can be very precise about the mechanism which produces meaning from verbal ornament. Mary appears first in the poem as a ‘Palestinian nymph’. Underlying Bade's explanation of this appellation, which partakes of the rhetorical figures antonomasia and allegory, are traces of the decoding keys of allegorical interpretation, still in normal use at this period. Bade, however, here uses context to limit meaning, whereas allegorical interpretation, by contrast, would apply a succession of extraneous contextual grids to any single pagan deity in order to arrive at a multiplicity of possible senses. The word ‘nymph’, says Bade, can, according to a natural or ‘physical’. sense, signify water, but only if it occurs in a context where the subject is res physicay or natural science. In a ‘historical’. context, a narrative, if the word does not make literal sense, we must look for another meaning, and that meaning will be arrived at by an understanding of metaphor. In order to read metaphorically, it is first required to know what nymphs were literally, in their own cultural environment. Next, one must learn how the ancient writers themselves used the word ‘nymph’. in a metaphorical sense, and he discovers that its connotations were outstanding beauty, famous deeds, immortal fame. Finally, by analogy, and for the same reasons, the word may be transferred to Mary. All of which is grounded in philology, for the Greek word nymph means ‘bride’.69 Bade's implied student was absorbing a particular view of how language works, and doing so both by commentary on ancient texts and by the analysis of classical Latin usage as humanists taught it in the grammar class. Murrho's student, on the other hand, was learning facts, in this instance quite a lot of facts about the geography of Palestine. The vernacular reader, however, was to learn not very much about either: ‘Palestine est dicte Iudee selon Strabo: pourtant nymphe palestine est appellee la vierge marie dudit pais. Toutes nobles femmes se peuvent appeller nymphes pour I’ umidite dicelles que Ion appelle deesses des eaues.’70

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Producing Narrative (p.220) Bade's commentary is good at picking up echoes of ancient poetry, especially Virgil, and at expatiating on on the liturgical language in which they reverberate. It faithfully reinforces Mantuan's strategy of making his poem all the more elegantly turned and harmoniously flowing because it expresses ‘Catholic material in pagan language’.71 Nevertheless, when the muses of pagan poetry are made to appear before Mary in person, and her education proceeds in the pagan language of fable, Bade does register a moment of disbelief. Serious readers may well find this implausible, ‘non vero simile’, too far removed from anything that could have happened. Cultural and historical impropriety is not the reason for Bade's recoil. It is the decorum of supposing Mary's guardians in the temple would allow her such reading. For it is conceivable that young girls may not be harmed by learning facts told in a harsh, plain style, but here is Mantuan's Mary actually reading elegies and lamentations put in the mouths of afflicted women and rhetorically engineered to trouble readers’. minds and draw their tears. He admits to finding Mantuan's narrative incredible at this point, but reverts primly to his role as grammarian-commentator: ‘I have undertaken to explain this author, not to judge him’. His grammarian's role, however, does oblige him to retell all the fables at length for the benefit of his own young readers.72 Murrho retells them also, with a wider scope of reference, adding to poets the testimony of ancient history, geography, and myelography, as befits an enarratio devoted to information as exhaustive as possible. He is somewhat brutal in his assessment of plausibility at this point. The Blessed Virgin certainly did not really (‘re vera’) read such things. This episode does not narrate what did happen or could have happened, but is there to validate the reading of such material, provided that proper moral discrimination be applied. Therefore (somewhat illogically), those who condemn such reading demonstrate that they are incapable of moral discrimination and prove themselves altogether uncultivated and inept.73 Mantuan's French vernacular readers were not so inept. They were provided with summaries of the fables and references to Ovid, but, as to Mary reading them, that belonged to poetic fiction-making, ‘selon I’oppinion poetique’.74

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Producing Narrative It was not just this episode of the Parthenice that was to prove problematic for northern humanists. Thirty years or so after Bade and Murrho wrote the commentaries that sold the poem to the grammar class, Erasmus voiced a more fundamental disquiet. His Ciceronianus of 1528, ever alert to radical incompatibilities between Christian culture and the resolutely uncompromising Latin of Ciceronian purists, makes adverse comments about Latin Christian epics full of (p.221) nymphs, hamadryads, and nereides.75 The epic he had most in mind was the recently published De partu virginis of Jacopo Sannazaro (1458–1530). Sannazaro's poem outdoes Mantuan in its wholesale appropriation of classical culture and, it must be confessed, in linguistic competence and stylistic bravura. It pushes at the limits of those conditions that truth imposed on fiction when she allowed herself to be fucata. Rumour, in the allegorical dress Virgil had given to Fama, loops the narrative line to the underworld, where King David prophesies the life of Christ. Nor is this the only long recounted prophecy. Joseph foretells Christ's future glory, Lycidas joins with Bethlehem shepherds to do the same, the River Jordan takes up a prophecy made by Proteus. Time, as is the poet's prerogative, is reordered. But, in addition, recorded history is remade, scripture rewritten, and a properly Christian sensibility, as Erasmus complained, is in sore danger of being lost to the pleasurable thrill of recognizing verbal allusions to Virgil and Ovid.76

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Producing Narrative Posterity has sided with Erasmus, and, for all sorts of reasons besides his, humanist Latin Christian epic has generally been judged unreadable, aesthetically tasteless, an aberration that led to a cultural dead end. Nevertheless, at the time it was written it had the excitement of a cultural revolution. Such, indeed, it was, and, if all the resonances of the Latin language in which these epics were composed largely escape our deaf ears nowadays, the sense of cultural shock and the exploding of subverted canons can rivet a postmodern reader. The sheer flamboyance of Girolamo Vida's Christias, published at Rome in 1527, is perhaps the supreme example.77 Vida puts the retrospective narration of poetic fiction into a Verisimilar’. frame by arranging for Joseph and the apostle John to pass an evening before the crucifixion with Pontius Pilate, there to argue against Jesus’. arrest. It is the most urbane of encounters, and involves the two in a lengthy recapitulation of the story so far, ‘ut revocans rem cunctam ab origine pandarn’ (going back to the beginning to rehearse the whole story so far), as Joseph pointedly begins, reminding readers that they are listening to an authentic epic. In the course of Joseph's narration, it emerges that, far from winning Mary to wife as the traditional story had it (by the sign of his miraculously blossoming rod), Joseph was designated Mary's husband by her mother, Ann. Moreover, Ann was inspired to make this choice in a state of God-filled prophetic madness that set her howling to heaven in (p. 222) a sibylline frenzy. ‘Obstipuere omnes’, as the text itself says.78 It was undoubtedly the Italian humanists who excelled in this genre, but they were well received in northern Europe. Sannazaro's De partu virginis was published by Robert Estienne at Paris in 1527, a year after its first appearance in print (at Naples), and there were frequent editions at Lyons, at Basle, and elsewhere. A manuscript of Vida's Christias was rushed to Paris to be edited by Salmon Macrin and Nicolas Berault for Robert Estienne to publish it two months after its first printing at Rome. The Parisian public was well prepared for these works, both by Bade's editions of Mantuan and by local products like Pierre Rosset's series of poems on saints, his Laurentias of 1515, his Stephanus of 1516, his Paulus of 1522, culminating in the three books of his Christus.79

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Producing Narrative The extent of this revolution is not to be measured by the relatively short history of the Christian Latin epic. Writers attuned from their school days to the conversion of Christian narrative material into classical Latin, with all its rhetorical ornament and cultural connotations, adapted into their vernaculars what they had been taught to admire and imitate in Latin. The Protestant John Milton was the direct heir of Sannazaro and Vida. The history of Latin hymns, similarly converted, was much longer. Catholic liturgical hymns rewritten in humanistic Latin at the pope's request in in 1629 lasted into the nineteenth century.80 The history of Latin collections of private prayers in the sixteenth century, Catholic and Protestant, where the humanists were just as active in changing the style, and therefore the manner, of praying, has yet to be written. As the language of its (p.223) expression changed thus radically, so did the collective mind of Christian Europe in the West. To chart that change would take us a long way from the story-telling with which this chapter began. There are, though, more stories to tell. We have observed some examples of narration taking new turns and addressing new issues as humanist Latin became the language of production. The humanists, however, always tended to pair genesis with analysis, ways of writing with strategies for reading. We have not been able to ignore the hermeneutic practices that have shaped our writers’. production, whether they reflected them or resisted them. In particular, we have watched them more or less disengaging themselves from allegorical interpretation, unsure whether it was to be rejected as representative of the mind-set of the late medieval idiom they had declared obsolete or whether it could be rescued by translation into the rhetorical language games of classical Latin. It is to allegory as hermeneutic that we now turn. Notes:

(1) For a full and detailed bibliography of the legendae and other retellings of the St Ann story, see Dörfler-Dierken, Die Verehrung der Heiligen Anna; and for some idea of how the printed stories of her life relate to each other, ibid. 170–7.

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Producing Narrative (2) The Latin engineers rhythmical and rhyming effects that mark it as late medieval, but they are not rigorously patterned; there is an example of this early in the story, when Mary's birth from Ann is fore told in a dream as a flower growing on a branching tree, in terms ultimately derived from Isaiah 11:1 (‘Et egredietur virga de radice Iesse, et flos de radice eius ascendet’.): ‘Vidi…mire pulchritudinis arborem valde singularem, multorum ramorum fecunditate perlustrem [this many-branched tree is soon interpreted as Ann's mother, Emerantia]. Superque ramorum unum ceteris venustate praecellentem [Ann] contemplatus sum florem aspectui in eo delectabilissimum et amenissimum [Mary]. Cui fructum inclusum conspexi suavissimum, et super omnes mundi fructos acceptissimum [Jesus]’. (quoted from Hec est quedam rara et ideo cara legenda de sancta Anna, et de universa eius progenie (Strasbourg, 1501), fo. IIIv, which reproduces the same text as the Leipzig Legenda, but adds sequences and offices for St Ann and members of her family). (3) I have been paraphrasing the prologue to Dorlandus’ Historia from an undated edn. printed at Antwerp, probably in the 1490s, sig. a ii. I do not know whether the Dutch version included this prologue; it does not appear in the abbreviation Bade made from it. (4) In the prophetic dream vouchsafed to some (very early!) Carmelites, Emerantia is ‘arbor quedam speciosa que ramum de se gloriosum producebat in quo flos dulcissimus erumpens fructum in se mirabilem continebat’. (Historia perpulchra, sig. a iii); compare this with the concatenation of phrases marked by end-rhymes in n. 2 above. The story of Emerantia's marriage, found in most of these lives of St Ann, is derived from a common source, claimed to be a letter sent by Cyril of Alexandria to combat the Nestorians at the Council of Ephesus. (5) Ibid., sigs. c iii + 1v; c iii + 4. (6) e.g. on the birth of Mary: ‘Nascitur itaque Maria beatissima de desperatis dudum parentibus. Nascitur inquam et sacris salutat fletibus orbem, que mundi lachrimas tollere prima venit…O dulcis pietas. O dulcia gaudia…O sanctissima mater Anna, hec infantula quam nunc sub oculis, quam nunc brachiis complexam tenes, quam sinu refoves, quam uberibus mulces, hec est que tristi mundo solacia impendet, que maximum et eternum deum pariet, que pacem inter deum hominemque componet’. (ibid., a iii + 3): the eyes are invited to contemplate Ann gently and joyfully holding her longed-for baby, the mind to dwell on such paradoxes as the tears of this new-born child destined to take away the tears of the world (7) Ibid., sigs. a iii + 3; b iv–b ii. (8) Historia perpulchra, sig. f iii + 1–1v.

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Producing Narrative (9) Ludolph of Saxony, Vita Iesu Christi…ex evangelio et approbatis ab ecclesia catholica doctoribus sedule collecta ed. Josse Bade (Paris: U. Gering & B. Rembolt, 1502); the life of St Ann and its appen dices form a small section at the back of this large volume. Bade originally came from the Low Countries, so presumably he either did it himself or oversaw the translation from the Dutch and its redaction ‘in compendium’. The volume had an astonishingly long afterlife, being quite regularly reprinted at Paris and Lyons up to the mid-1550s, and then again, in the wake of Catholic Reform, in 1580 and in the 1640s; all this time the material on St Ann remained intact, though one wonders whether this was simply because this small component at the end of a large book was overlooked. (10) Ibid., sig. K iii + 2v; Mantuan says that Joachim witnessed his daughter's marriage to Joseph, which Bade claims was impossible in view of Ann's two subsequent marriages. (11) The Carmelites’. dream of ‘radix pulcherrima [Emerentia] geminam ex se arborem emittens [Ann and her sister Ismeria, mother of Elizabeth], e quarum altera natus est ramus speciosissimus [Ann] tria diffundens ramalia [their flowers will be her three daughters], e quorum primo longe decentissimo natus est flos purissimus atque flagrantissimus [Mary]’. (ibid., sig. K iiii + 1v). (12) ‘Quis verbis explicet quanta gaudio non solum domum, sed et vicinia tota perfusa est? Quando ex ea, quam sterilem fleverant, tarn leta fronte, tarn sereno vultu, tamque decenter formato corpusculo lepidissimam iam recens natam conspexere puellam, facile creditu est parentes et qui mysteria nover-ant iam turn egregiam de tali prole concepisse spem’. (ibid., sig. K iii + 2). Prayer does still have a place in Bade's edn., but outside the narration. Immediately after Ann's life he reprints a rosary poem in her honour that interweaves a litany of biblical figures applied to Ann in the manner of the original Dorlandus with a detailed and affecting picture of Ann nursing her little one. This rosary poem was written in 1494 and first appeared in print as part of the appendix to Trithemius, De Laudibus Anne, a work we are about to encounter. The poem was by Jodocus Beissellius, who was closely associated with the Dutch and German humanists of his day, including Rudolph Agricola. His St Ann rosary poem was often reprinted, in various contexts. (13) See Renaudet, Préréforme et humanisme, 288, 410; Brandenbarg, ‘St Anne and her Family’. The letters relating to the St Joachim episode are to be found in Monumenta historica carmelitana, 5th fasc. (Paris, 1907), 511–21. Bostius corresponded with northern humanists, Trithemius, Wimpfeling, Bade, Sebastian Brant, and Gaguin, among many others, and maintained epistolary connections with Mantuan and Ermolao Barbaro in Italy. For Gaguin as humanist, see S. Charrier, Recherches sur Vozuvre latine en prose de Robert Gaguin (1433–1501) (Paris, 1996). Page 38 of 51

Producing Narrative (14) For more detail, see Moss, ‘Latin Liturgical Hymns’; among humanist grammarians we have mentioned, Wimpfeling and Bebel were very active commentators and correctors of hymns, as were Clichtove and Bade himself. In his Liber hymnorum in metra noviter redactorum (Tübingen, 1501), Bebel, always very scathing about the Latin of traditional hymns, prints an old hymn to St Ann ‘ameter et incultus’. (unmetrical and unpolished), and next to it a hymn of his own composition in impec cable metre, which was reprinted in various publications, at Leipzig and elsewhere. It was in this context of ongoing grammatical hymn reform that Lefèvre called for new hymns to fill the ‘untaught ears of the masses’. with truth, not false fables. (15) De laudibus sanctissime matris Anne tractatus (Mainz: Peter Friedberg, 1494); the book was reproduced immediately by Melchior Lotter at Leipzig, who soon discarded it for the much more popular appeal of the 1497 Legenda. Apart from the contribution by Bade, the poems in various metres attached to the De laudibus are mostly by Trithemius himself and Rutger Sicamber, but include an extract from Agricola's poem on the saint, and others by Conrad Celtis and Rudolphus Langius. In 1497, after a bitter argument with the Dominican, Wigand Wirth, who, like all his order, was an opponent of the doctrine of the Virgin's Immaculate Conception, Trithemius issued a new version of his book with a preface attacking those who disagreed with the doctrine, a rewritten seventh chapter making his own affirmative position more clear, and material recently emanating from the Faculty of Theology at Paris in defence of the Immaculate Conception. This revision is called De purissima et immaculata conceptione virginis Marie et de festivitate sancte Anne matris eius (Nuremberg, c.1497). The devotion to St Ann sometimes got mixed up with the very acrimonious controversy that raged over the Immaculate Conception at the turn of the century, but, for the most part, the two currents in religious thought and practice seem to have pursued separate courses. Johannes Trithemius had a most interesting career as early humanist, cryptographer, and eminent Carmelite; see N. L. Brann, The Abbot Trithemius (1462–1516): The Renaissance of Monastic Humanism, Studies in the History of Christian Thought, 24 (Leiden, 1981). (16) ‘De historia vero que satis vulgata est nihil aut parum assumpsimus, quia nobis et minus probata visa est, et in plerisque locis apocrifa’. (De laudibus… Anne tractatus, sig. a ii); the specific term histria presumably makes this a direct reference to Dorlandus’. Historia, printed in 1487.

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Producing Narrative (17) I paraphrase the preliminary letter to the prior of the Carmelites at Frankfurt (a leading centre of the devotion) who had commissioned the work (ibid., sig. a ii). The credibility of St Ann's extended family had been an issue within restricted, literate circles long before Lefèvre and Wildenauer decided to break the implicit taboo in 1518 and shake the foundations of popular belief. ‘Popular belief’, of course, was both shared and managed by very learned men, but Trithemius’. ‘viri eruditi’. are characterized by a devotion to the humanists’ Latin at least as strong as their respect for the cult. (18) It is not his intention to weave a narrative, but to tell Ann's praises: ‘Verum non est nostri propositi historiam texere, sed laudes dive matris Anne quanta poterimus simplicitate declarare’. (ibid., sig. d iiiv). For a slightly later example from France of a saint's life reordered as an exercise in demonstrative rhetoric, one might take Josse Chchtove's De laudibus sacratissimae virginis et martyris Caeciliae, published with his De laudibus sancti Ludovici regis Franciae (Paris: H. Estienne, 1516). Clichtove is not vexed by the inauthenticity of his historia, but his solution to the problem of recounting it for learned humanists in the language of their profession replicates Trithemius, with the first of his fifteen chapters running systematically through the rhetorical ‘places’ for proving his subject worthy to be praised and imitated. Clichtove also draws attention to the fact that what he has composed is a life in prose parallel to the poetical version by Baptista Mantuan, Ceciliae virginis romanae…agon, which Bade had published with a grammatical, explanatory commentary in 1509 (fo. 41–41v). Both lives of St Cecilia were used to train young readers in ways to speak and think, every bit as much as in the practice of piety. (19) De laudibus, sig. b iii + 2v; Trithemius does not deny, but does diverge from, the traditional narratives of the life of the Virgin, e.g. in the Golden Legend, in a passage ultimately derived from Pseudo-Matthew, where she lives as a young girl in seclusion in the temple, being fed by angels, her day divided according to the monastic hours. (20) Cicero, De inventions, 1.19. 27; cf. Rhetorica ad Herennium, 1.12–13.1 shall return to this question shortly when discussing humanist discussions of the rhetorical theory of narration. (21) De laudibus sig. b iv: ‘non remuneratur a deo ornatus sermo, sed humilis devotio’.

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Producing Narrative (22) ‘Possent tamen hec omnia facile emendari, si alcuius pontificis auctoritas interveniret, quo freti eruditi in his viri historiam et officium sensu et melodia regulatum et scripturis approbatum componerent’. (ibid., sig. d iiv). Popes were eventually to respond. A radically rewritten version of the breviary hymns, Hymni novi ecclesiastici iuxta veram metri et latinitatis normam, was published at Rome under the aegis of Clement VII in 1525, but fell victim to Reformation turbulence. In 1629, a papal commission finally rewrote the hymns into the only Latin current by that time, and officially proscribed all ‘medieval’ versions of the hymns and all but four sequences. (23) In Italy, this was soon well under way, though in a festive environment rather different from what Trithemius had in mind. In 1512, and for more than a dozen years afterwards, a company of Latin writers used to foregather in a Roman garden to celebrate the feast of St Ann, under the patronage of Johann Goritz, a German prelate who had perhaps brought with him the devotion to the saint so prevalent in his homeland. Each year these writers wrote poems to celebrate the event, praising not only the saint herself, but the statue of her Goritz had commissioned, the delights of the garden, the joys of friendship, and the intellectual pleasures of classical culture. Nearly 400 of these poems were collected in the Coryciana, published at Rome in 1524; see I. J. Ijsewijn, ‘Poetry in a Roman Garden: The Coryciana’ in P. Godman and O. Murray (eds.), Latin Poetry and the Classical Tradition (Oxford, 1990), 210–31 (and, for the sorry end to these junketings, J. H. Gaisser, ‘The Rise and Fall of Goritz's Feasts’., Renaissance Quarterly, 48 (1995), 41–57). These poems have an ease and panache very different from the rather bumbling efforts of our northeners, but, once again, we find the humanist Latin speech community fastidiously isolated within a male preserve, its discourse ideally circulating by conversation, be it in enclosed gardens or over dinner or, in lieu of conversation, by epistolary networks. Vernacular culture also had its group dynamics, but, in France, for instance, these were formed in the very open arena of civic competitions for poets (the puys) or public challenges (the concours des blasons arranged by Clément Marot). (24) I have seen the edn. printed at Cologne by Martin von Werden in 1507: Vinetum amenissimum ac fertilissimum Anne sanctissime; St Ann's fertility, represented by her three daughters and their families, is germane to the theme, and the genealogy of her wide kinship is explained.

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Producing Narrative (25) e.g. great things are worth waiting for, or ‘semper et in magnis rebus ubique mora est’. St Ann's letter starts at fo. 53v of the 1514 edn. The first epistle in the collection is from God the Father to the Virgin Mary, followed by her response. Most of the following are from Christian saints. After he became a follower of Luther, Eobanus was anxious for his Heroides to appear under the Reformer's imprimatur and Melanchthon undertook to have them published at Wittenberg (see his letter to Eobanus in Aliquot clarorum virorum ad Eobanum Hessum epistolae (Erfurt, 1523)). For some sense of how Ovid's Heroides was taught in the humanists’. grammar class at the time, see A. Moss, Ovid in Renaissance France: A Survey of the Latin Editions of Ovid and Commentaries Printed in France before 1600 (London, 1982), 8–22. (26) See e.g. Erasmus, De conscribendis epistolis, ed. J.-C. Margolin, in Erasmus, Opera omnia, I/2(Amsterdam, 1971), 227–38. (27) ‘Non ita falsa tamen, nequeant ut vera videri, Veraque si quaedam dempseris esse queant Nam rudis historiae mala somnia miscuit aetas Diraque pro vero corpore monstra tulit. Sic mihi mista tamen genus hoc sunt omnia veris, Ut prodesse magis quam nocuise queant’. (from the prefatory epistle, fo. 3 of Heroidum libri tres (Paris, 1546)). (28) The volume, originally printed at Paris in 1508 by Josse Bade for Jean Petit, comprises, first, the Rhetorica ad Herennium, with notes by Bade himself the whole text and one by Antonio Mancinelli (1452–1505) on the first book only, and, secondly, Cicero's De inventione, with a commentary dating from late antiquity by Marius Victorinus. This combination of commentaries, without the notes by Bade, had already been published several times since 1496, at Venice, Milan, and Lyons, before Bade spruced it up for the Parisian market. His edn. was quite regularly reprinted in the first thirty years of the century, at Paris and at Lyons. For the medieval and Renaissance history of Cicero's rhetorical texts, see J. O. Ward, ‘From Antiquity to the Renaissance: Glosses and Commentaries on Cicero's Rhetorica’ in J. J. Murphy (ed.), Medieval Eloquence: Studies in the Theory and Practice of Medieval Rhetoric (Berkeley, 1978), 25–67; id, ‘Renaissance Commentators on Ciceronian Rhetoric’., in Murphy (ed.), Renaissance Eloquence, 126–73; for the commentary on the De inventioneby Marius Victorinus, see P. Hadot, Marius Victorinus (Paris, 1971), 73–101. (29) Throughout Part III, as previously, my emphasis will be on the engines behind the Latin language turn and its concomitant conceptual revolutions, on the texts that were used in class and out, rather than on their reception by particular learners and readers. For the inevitable communication gap, a gap that was to close in the not-so-long term, even if many an individual pupil picked up only a smattering of what was sometimes ineptly taught, see Grafton and Jardine, From Humanism to the Humanities.

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Producing Narrative (30) Or, as Bade expresses it in language more contemporary with his own market practice: ‘Quod si hoc nomine [Cicero] vendibilius quoque praesens putatur opus, ne contra professionem meam hunc titulum [Cicero's authorship] ut vino minus vendibili hederam detraxero, sit sane Ciceronis opus, et tanquam illius a nobis quoque explanetur’ (from his liminary essay for the composite volume, ‘Utrum ad Herennium libri Ciceronis sint disquisitio’.). (31) Rhetoricorum M. Tullii Ciceronis ad Herennium libri quattuor cum eruditissimis elucidationibus Francisci Maturantii et Antonii Mancinelli…et cum.. Iodoci Badii Ascensii…explanations. Item eiusdem…de inventione libri duo a Mario Fabio Victorino expositi (Paris: J. Bade for J. Petit, 1508), fo. XXVI; the rhetorical authorities on whom Maturanzio calls most often to expand and substantiate his mainly explanatory annotations are Quintilian and Cicero, especially the De inventione, which runs in parallel with the Ad Herennium for some of the way. Maturanzio often adapts to his own purposes the Victorinus commentary on that text. Indeed, in terms of content and rhetorical presciptions, there is considerable overlap between the De inventione of Cicero and the Rhetorica ad Herennium, probably because both derived material from the same or very similar Hellenistic Greek manuals on rhetorical practice. (32) ‘Qui se in poeticis exercuerit narrationibus eius locupletior deinde in vera causa erit narratio’. (ibid., fo. XXVII); Maturanzio repeats this parallel between fictive and true narration three times in almost as many sentences at this point. (33) ‘Argumenta fingunt quae facta non sunt, sed vero similia’. (ibid., fo. XXVIIv); Maturanzio has in fact preferred the definition of Quintilian at this point, ‘argumentum, quod falsum sed vero simile comoediae fingunt’. (Institutio oratorio, 2. 4. 2). (34) ‘Argumentum quandoque significat rationem veriorem super alias…Est praeterea oratio rei dubiae faciens fidem’. (Rhetorica Marci Tullii Ciceronis cum commento (Lyons: Jean Crespin, 1531), fo. XXIIv. (35) Rhetoricorum M. Tullii Ciceronis ad Herennium libri quattuor, fo. XXXI. (36) ‘…quibus tamen aut ad naturam aut ad historiam aut ad mysticam rem respiciendum est’. (Quinti Horatii Flacci de arte poetica opusculum aureum ab Ascensio familiariter expositum (Paris: Jean Petit, 1505), fo. VIII). For the history of Renaissance Latin commentary on Horace's Ars poetica, see A. Moss, ‘Horace in the Sixteenth Century: Commentators into Critics’., in G. P. Norton (ed), The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, iii. The Renaissance (Cambridge, 1999, 66–76. (37) Arspoeticay ed. J. Bade, fo. IIII.

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Producing Narrative (38) Rhetorica ad Herennium, 1. 8.13; 16th-cent. texts read levitas where modern edns. have lenitas. There is an almost exactly similar passage in De inventione, 1.19. 27. (39) Rhetoricorum M. Tullii Ciceronis ad Herennium libri quattuor, fos. XXVIIv– XXVIII. (40) Francisci Sylvii Ambianatis Poetica. (Paris: J. Bade, 1520). The liminary letter by Stephanus Guttanus is dated 1516, and Du Bois's own prefatory epistle is dated from the Collège de Montaigu, where he was in 1516. The early printing history of the Poetica resembles that of the same author's Progymnasmata, with a 1st edn. by Jean de Gourmont in 1516, and a rather more polished edn. by Bade (for whom Du Bois was soon to work as house editor) in 1520. There is little variation in substance between the 1st and 2nd edns. Unlike the Progymnasmata, the Poetica does not seem to have been reprinted after 1520. I have been enormously helped in refining my comments on the Poetica by being provided (after I had made my own assessment of the text) with the edn. Jean Lecointe has prepared of it and by his wonderfully illuminating introduction and notes. His generosity in sending me his work prior to publication will be admired by all our colleagues. (41) On Vaccaeus, see F. Secret, ‘Un humaniste oublié: Joannes Vaccaeus Castellanus de Murcie, Parisien d’adoption’., Revue de Littérature comparée, 39 (1965), 66–74. This Spanish enthusiast for the new language programme seems to have begun his career at the Collège de Montaigu and moved with Du Bois to the Collège de Lisieux at the end of 1517 while keeping on good terms both with his former college and with the Spanish logicians there; but his own heroes were Lorenzo Valla, Poliziano, Giovanni Pico, Budé, Erasmus, Lefèvre d’Etaples (see Vaccaeus, Sylva, cut titulus Parrhisia) (42) Du Bois defines ‘order’ as Cicero had defined it with reference to moral conduct in De Officiis 1. 40.142, as ‘compositio rerum aptis et accommodatis locis’ (the arrangement of things in their suitable and proper places). He analyses the place of his own inquiry within the threefold context of poetics in his prefatory letter (Poetica, sigs. A iii-A iiiv). For metrics, he makes special reference to the De syllabarum quantitate epographiae libri sex by Ioannes Franciscus Quintianus Stoa, an Italian Latin poet resident in Paris, written a few years before the Poetica. This is mainly a textbook on quantities and verse-forms, but it has a long preface on poetry and poets that is a collection of commonplaces from diverse authors, and puts special stress on poetry as the heaven-inspired revelation of universal harmonies and on poetry as narration, be it of truth or fiction, together with rather less stress on fable as delightful enclothing of truth (pp. 3–26 of the edn. published at Venice in 1568). (43) Poetica, sigs. A iiii–A v. Page 44 of 51

Producing Narrative (44) Ibid., sig. A vv; Cicero's list of topics to be explored in this type of narration, De inventions 1.19. 27, is the same as in the Rhetorica ad Herennium, 1.9.13, except that Cicero makes festivitas (liveliness) a function of variety of events and personal characteristics (they are separate in the latter text), and adds error (mistake, delusion). (45) Du Bois here quotes at length from Rhetorica ad Herennium, 2.31. 50, and mentions the sixteen loci communes (seats of argument) for exciting pity in the hearer listed in De inventione, 1.55–6.106–9. (46) This was to be a key factor also in the Ars poetica of Girolamo Vida, published at Rome in 1527; see T. Cave, ‘“Suspendere animo”: Pour une histoire de la notion du suspens’., in G. Mathieu-Castellani and M. Plaisance (eds.), Les Commentaires et la naissance de la critique littéraire (Paris, 1990), 211–18. Vida's poem was to have a much longer fortuna than Du Bois's Poetica, not least because it is couched prescriptively for practising poets, like the model it seeks to replace, the Ars poetica of Horace, and not in the mode of commentary. Du Bois does at least signal a climate of receptivity for Vida. Like Du Bois, Vida revels in variety, he shows little interest in the moral responsibilities of literature, and he specifically puts aside notions that would make fiction an allegorical expression of truth (ii. 315–19) (47) J. L. Vives, Veritas fucata sive de licentia poetica, quantum poetis liceata veritate abscedere (Louvain: Thierry Martens, 1523), sigs. A ii-Aiiv; one of the more interesting developments in contemporary for mal logic at Paris was precisely the discussion of complexe significabilia pursued by John Mair's Spanish students, particularly Fernando de Enzinas. The dialogue called Veritas fucata with which we are here concerned must not be confused with an earlier Veritas fucata by Vives (Lyons, 1514), couched as a speech put into the mouth of Truth, who eulogizes herself in the vein of Erasmus’. Praise of Folly, published three years before. Vives recycles a few passages in his dialogue, but the later work is quite different and much superior to his youthful effort. There is a modern edn. and translation of the first Veritas fucata in J. L. Vives, Early Writings, ed. C. Matheeussen, C. Fantazzi, and E. George (Leiden, 1987). (48) ‘Ego tibi simpliciter, et ex usu vulgari hominum loquor’., says Vives's interlocutor, Ioannes Vergara, to bring Vives down from the higher plane of theology (Veritas fucata, sig. A iiv); Vergara (Juan de Vergara, 1492–1557), later to be one of the chief supporters of Erasmus in Spain, is the main speaker in the dialogue and the narrator of the fable it tells; Vives, its author, plays a subordinate, rather self-deprecating role, which is part of the irony that makes this little book so enjoyable.

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Producing Narrative (49) The allegorical representations of Truth and Falsehood (Falsum) are at sigs. A ii+1–A ii+2. Falsehood, forever untrue to itself, is of indeterminate gender, sumptuously clothed and grossly over-painted, and described in elaborate and recondite Latin to match. (50) Veritas fucata, sig. A ii+2–A ii+2v. (51) The various attempts to speak for Truth are at sigs. A ii+2vBv. It seems improbable that Vives knew the documents in the very local dispute between Wimpina and Polich at Leipzig c.1500, but he is developing in a more sophisticated way some of the consequences of the humanists’ claim that poetry accesses truth, and, like Polich, he stresses the affinities of biblical language with the figurative speech of rhetoric and poetry. Much more likely to be in Vives's mind is the attitude that Italians like Coluccio Salutati took to figurative speech in the Bible (which we shall come to later). (52) Ibid., sig. B ii+2v. (53) Truth's proposed concessions to fiction, numbered as ten conditions, are at sigs. C ii-C ii+1v. Vives was to return to ‘Milesian tales’. in the third book of his De ratione dicendi of 1532, in a short chap ter entitled Tabulae licentiosae’.; it is followed by an extended discussion of poetic fiction that builds on the Veritas fucata (Opera omnia, 2 vols. (Basle, 1555), i. 144–9). For a general account of how the relationship between truth and fiction was perceived and how it operated in the Renaissance, see W. Nelson, Fact or Fiction: The Dilemma of the Renaissance Story-Teller (Cambridge, Mass., 1973). (54) Though Veritas fucata itself presupposes a readership accustomed to allegory as a rhetorical mode of expression; in Ch. 9 I shall explore the humanists’ attitude to allegory as interpretative reading and allegory as rhetorical trope.

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Producing Narrative (55) for a survey of Mantuan's popularity in early 16th–cent. western Europe, see C. Béné, ‘Le Rayonnement de l’.oeuvre du Mantouan au XVle siècle’., in C. Ceccheti, L. Sozzi, and L. Terreaux (eds.), L’Aube de la Renaissance (Geneva, 1991), 179–89; there is a modern edn. and Italian translation of the Parthenice by E. Bolisani, La ‘Partenice mariana’. di B. Mantovano (Padua, 1957) Erasmus was an enthu siast for Mantuan in his early years, but qualified his admiration as he became more sensitive to the problems of articulating Christian truth in a language with quite different cultural connotations. Even so, his Ciceronianus allows that Mantuan ‘sinned more lightly’ in this respect than Mantuan's contemporary, Sannazaro, in his De partu virginis (Dialogus ciceronianus, 700). Later humanists were to be more concerned with Mantuan's sins against their standards of composition: ‘not without native talent’, says Julius Caesar Scaliger in his Poetices of 1561, but certainly ‘without art’, and all the more needing to be held up to criticism as his eclogues were customarily used as school texts (as Shakespeare, still later, well remembered). (56) I used an undated edn. of Bade's commentary, Parthenice prima, published at Paris for Jean Petit. There were several such undated printings between 1499 and about 1510, all of them reissues or copies of each other, and with the same foliation. Mantuan's Apologeticon, separately foliated, starts at sig. B. (57) Parthenkeprima, ed. J. Bade (Paris, 1500), Apologeticon, fos. II, IIIv–IIII. (58) ‘Poetae proprium est veritatem sub aliquo velamento novae decentisque figurae recitare’. (ibid., fo. IIIIv); in Lactantius, it is ‘Officium poetae in eo [est], ut ea quae vere gesta sunt in alias species obliquis figurationibus cum decore aliquo conversa traducat’. (Divinae institutiones, 1.11. 24). (59) ‘Non timebimus ad res divinas transferre carmen…Si ornate laudare bonum est, ornatius laudare melius est, ornatissimum vero optimum est’; the passage on truth, interpretation, rhetorical figures, and ornament is at fos. IIII-Vv. (60) See p. 101. Mantuan was very confident of poetry's autonomy. There is a splendid poem, De praes identia oratoris et poetae, in which he ‘performs’. the superiority of poetry over rhetoric. Adventurous poets consort with the fabulous creatures of the teeming deep, rhetoric stays safe by the shore; poetry flies, rhetoric creeps. Very soon after the Wimpina/Polich debate, an edn. of this poem at Leipzig (Martin Landsberg, 1507) gave students the chance to revel in poetic language at its most flamboyantly imaginative. (61) In his Apologeticon, Mantuan had foreseen objections to the Greek names, but argued that every art (here, astronomy) has its technical terms, and every artist (artifex) must use them, or be accused of ignorance; the word ‘cynosura’ belongs to pagan vocabulary, but the thing it signifies is God's (Parthenice prima, fo. VI). The identification of Mary with Cynosura performs this recuperation of classical language. Page 47 of 51

Producing Narrative (62) To give a sense of how Mantuan's Latin reads, I quote in extenso the lines from the prologue that we have been examining (1.14–28): ‘Tu licet a nostro spaciis ingentibus orbe | Disiungare, suos quan tum polus elevat ignes, |Non tamen humanos casus oblita, tuumque | Nil pertesa genus, vigili mortalia cura | Suscipis, et lachrvmae tangunt tua pectora nostrae. | Tu placidum terris sydus, quod liberat omnes |A pelagi fervore rates, quod luce benigna | Saturni Martisque graves elirninat iras,|Tu nobis Elice, nobis Cynosura, per altum | Te duce vela damus portus habitura secundos. | Tu mare, tu ventos, tu sydera cuncta, deumque | Concilias, tu tuta salus, tu pads origo,|Tu commune bonum, generis tu gloria nostril |Huc ades, et coeptos praesenti numine cursus|Dirige, et infirmam rege per vada cerula puppim.’ (63) See e.g. Cristoforo Landino in his commentary on the Ars poetica of Horace (Venice, 1494) fo. CLXVv (64) Wise to Horace's advice to be selective (Ars poetica, 42–4), Mantuan defers both St Ann's family of origin and her future husbands and children, all well outside the scope of his present narrative, to a mere seventeen lines at the end of the first of the three books of his Parthenice prima. There, they form part of an epilogue couched in epideictic manner, describing the native country and immediate family of the Virgin. (65) Institutio oratorio, 4.2.88–93. (66) Or, as Mantuan has it ‘Quicquid in his tumidum, quicquid crudele procaxque Et quaecunque pios non attestantia mores Offendit, damnabat [Virgo] apes imitata legendo’ (Parihenice, 1. 651–3). A recent article on this episode gives an analysis quite different from mine: W. Ludwig, ‘Die humanistsche Bildung der Jungfrau Maria in der Parthenice mariana des Baptista Mantuanus’, in W. Schubert (ed), Ovid: Werk und Wirkung. Festgabe für Michael von Albrecht zum 65. Geburtstage, 2 vols. (Frankfurt, 1999), ii. 921–42. Ludwig thinks that Mary's reading matter should be interpreted according to the allegorical system of Pierre Bersuire and other late medieval commentators. The textual parallels adduced in evidence do not convince, however, and it is unclear why Mantuan should have been so reticent about his proposed reading methodology, obscuring it apparently even from contemporary commentators. The clue to Mantuan's preferred mode of reading lies in the bee metaphor, a commonplace from antiquity much used in the Middle Ages as in the Renaissance, but invariably to point to discriminating reading that picks and chooses, takes the best and leaves the worst; it is not generally applied to wholesale allegorization.

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Producing Narrative (67) Murrho was a pupil of Wimpfeling's teacher, Ludwig Dringenberg, at Sélestat. I used the edn. of Murrho's commentary printed at Strasbourg in 1501. His commentary on Mantuan's Parthenice secunda (a life of St Catherine) is dated from Colmar 1494, and states that Wimpfeling transmitted to him the copies of Mantuan's texts from which he worked. Jakob Wimpfeling found in Mantuan exactly the fusion he desired in texts to be set for enarratio and imitation: poetry written in the style of the ancients, but adapted to a Christian ethos. He edited Mantuan's Fasti in 1518, for the express purpose of providing schoolmasters with a useful, Christian text, free of the ‘poison’. spread by Tibullus, Propertius, Catullus, Lucretius, Marullus, and their like. It is a pity not to mention another publication on the same subject as Mantuan's Parthenice prima, also promoted by an early German humanist, though not one that became a school text. In 1501, Conrad Celtis (1459–1508) published a de luxe edn. (the only one) of the ‘recently discovered’ works of the extraordinary nun Hrotswitha (c.935-after 973), who, besides plays in remarkably sophisticated Latin modelled on Terence, wrote a long poem on the early life of the Virgin, entitled in the Celtis edn., Hystoria nativitatis laudabilisque conversations intactae dei genitricis (Opera, ed. C. Celtis (Nuremberg: Sodalitas celtica, 1501)). It is a versified rendition of Pseudo-Matthew, with a fondness for elaborated speeches, but no attempt to ‘poeticize’. the original, in the sense of altering its chronological linearity. There is a modern edn. of the poem in Hrotswithae opera, ed. H. Homeyer (Munich, 1970). (68) Fo. I of the text and commentary in the Bade edn. from which my references to Mantuan's Apologeticon were taken. (69) Ibid., fos. Iv–II (70) ‘Judea is called “Palestine” in Strabo; for this reason, the Virgin Mary, a native of that country, is called “a Palestinian nymph”. All noble women may be termed “nymphs”, on account of the wet quality of these females, called goddesses of water’. (La Parthenice mariane…translatee de latin enfrancoys (Lyons: C. Nourry & J. Besson, 1523), fo. i); what the vernacular reader did get, however, was illustration, including a particularly impressive engraving of St Ann with all her husbands, children, and grandchildren. (71) Bade's edn. of the Parthenice prima, fo. IIv. (72) Ibid, fos. XXXVIII–XLIIII. Bade associates the fables very closely with their telling in Ovid's Heroides and Metamorphoses but this is for the benefit of pupils acquiring ancient culture in classical Latin formulation; he continues to express doubts about the propriety of Mary reading fables, but does not explore the irony of his own position as mediator of those self-same fables to young minds (albeit male ones).

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Producing Narrative (73) Parthenice prima cum commentario Sehastiani Murrhonis (Strasbourg, 1501), fo. XXVIII. (74) La Parthenice mariane, fos. xviiiv–xix. (75) Dialogus Ciceronianus, 700–2. In fact, Erasmus is somewhat ambivalent in his objections for, whereas he thinks such poems are no witness to mature Christian devotion, he does allow that they represent an effective way to learn how to read and produce poetry. (76) There is a modern edn. of De partu virginis ed. C. Fantazzi and A. Perosa (Florence, 1988). Although the voice of scripture can occasionally be detected in Sannazaro's epic, it is heavily overlaid with classical vocabulary and classsical phraseology, Mantuan's concern to fuse classicizing Latin with the language of liturgical images has gone, victim to a more rigorous Latin humanism. For a lucid account of the genesis of Sannazaro's poem, and ways in which he adjusted his poetic language to the demands of theological rigour, see C. Fantazzi, ‘Poetry and Religion in Sannazaro's De partu rirginis in G. Tournoy and D. Sacré’ (eds.), Ut Granum Sinapis: Essays on Neo-Latin Literature in Honour of Jozef IJsewijn (Leuven, 1997), 231–8. (77) On Vida's epic, see M. Di Cesare, Vida's ‘Christiad ’and Virgilian Epic (New York and London, 1964). (78) The relevant quotation will give a flavour of the Latin (note the verbal signs of sibylline fury: ‘seized with a sudden frenzy’, ‘full of the god, she raves like one possessed’): ‘Ecce autem, ut praesens aderat quoque pronuba, coetu | In medio Anna parens subito correpta furore, | Plena deo tota (visu venerabile) in aede| Bacchatur, tollitque ingentem coelo ululatum|Unum in me [Joseph] conversa oculos, me fertur in unum|Nil minus hoc ducentem animo, nil tale verentem,| Corripiens manu, solus tu posceris, inquit:|Annuit hoc uni superum tibi connubium rex.|Obstipuere omnes.’. (Christiados Hbri sex (Lyons: S. Gryphius, 1536), 81.) Just prior to this, the nubile Virgin has been introduced in language that, in another context, would have made her ripe for ravishment by some pagan god: ‘In medio asta-bat lachrymans pukherrima virgo | Flaventeis effusa comas, demissaque largo|Rorantes oculos fletu: pudor ora pererrans I Cana rosis veluti miscebat lilia rubris’, though, immediately, that effect is partially mitigated by an epic similitude that compares Mary with the chaste moon. In liturgical language, Mary is the moon, the ‘lesser light’, though here that image is intertextually extended by verbal allusions to chaste Diana and her nymphs in Ovid's Metamorphoses (3. 163ff.): ‘Qualis, virgineos ubi lavit in aequore vultus, | Luna recens, stellis late comitantibus, orta | Ingreditur gracili coeli per caerula cornu, | Talis erat virgo iuvenum stipata corona’ (Christias, 80).

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Producing Narrative (79) Rosset's Christus was published posthumously in 1534, with a preface addressed to Francois I by Hubert Sussanneau (Paris: Simon de Colines); it does not have the linguistic flourish of the Italians, but it is of the same genre. It begins with the Temptation, and Mary does the retrospective narration at the marriage at Cana. The practitioners of Christian Latin epic did have predecessors. In late antiquity, Christian poets, notably Juvencus, Sedulius, and Arator, paraphrased scripture in classical Latin, amplifying the basic narrative line with figures learnt from rhetoric, though with none of the confidence and inventive licence of their humanist successors in Italy, see M. Roberts, Biblical Epic and Rhetorical Paraphrase in Late Antiquity (Liverpool, 1985). It would be interesting to investigate early printed edns. of these poets in France and compare them with humanists like Rosset attempting Christian epic at the same period. There is, e.g., an edn. of Juvencus, De evangelica historia, ed. and printed by Josse Bade (Paris, 1506). (80) For the intervening period in the history of Latin hymns, see A. Moss, ‘Latin Liturgical Hymns of the Reformation Crisis (1520–1568)’, Humanistica lovaniensia, 40 (1991), 73–111.

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Reading Fiction

Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

Reading Fiction Ann Moss


Abstract and Keywords This chapter gives an interpretation of fictive texts. Although there is no suggestion that the narration needs interpretation, the humanists' schoolboy went on to improve his knowledge of classical Latin language use by an assiduous study of classical texts. Keywords:   fictive texts, narration, humanists, classical Latin language, classical texts

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Reading Fiction THROUGHOUT THE SIXTEENTH century, one of the most accessible manuals on the art of composition was the Progymnasmata of a fourth-century Greek teacher of rhetoric, Aphthonius. It was a collection of definitions of types of composition, with examples, graded according to difficulty. Rudolphus Agricola translated it into Latin during his sojourn at Ferrara in the last half of the 1470s. Once in print, especially in the second half of the sixteenth century, this translation (one among several) doubtless worked to associate Agricola's name with the systemat-ics of rhetorical discourse at least as firmly as his much more advanced, and by then superseded, work on dialectical invention.1 Among his earliest exercises, the pupil following Aphthonius learnt the principles and practice of narratio. The narratorial ‘exposition of something done or supposed to have been done’ may take one of three forms: poetic, that is to say fictive (‘expositio ficta’); historical, that is to say an account of things done in the past; and ‘civil’, the sort of narration used by orators to advance their cases. Aphthonius gives the learner prompts derived from the most elementary places of argument, so that he can construct his narration in response to questions concerning persons, actions, time, place, manner, and cause. The schoolboy working on these exercises would have no trouble assimilating them to the rhetorical theory he was no doubt absorbing at the same time, as, indeed, Maturanzio had assimilated them into his commentary on the Rhetorica ad Herennium.2 He would also acquire the notion that the paradigm case of narration is the fictive one, for, despite his threefold definition of narratio, the only example Aphthonius gives is patent fiction. Starting from a hypothesis related to the world of real experience, ‘if anyone should marvel at the beauty of a rose’, Aphthonius suggests that one might recall the story of Venus and Adonis, and how Venus, wounded on a thorn, stained roses red. The story is told as his (and Cicero’s) precepts dictate: clearly, briefly, convincingly, and with linguistic decorum. There is no suggestion that the narration needs interpretation, no attempt to uncover profound verities within the folds of fiction or even to link the tale to recognizably ordinary experience, other than the sight of roses that brings the fable to mind. Our schoolboy, however, is not so naive a reader as to suppose that fiction (p.225) can be read unproblematically as literal truth. His initial lesson had been in Aesopic fable (matching, no doubt, his early reading), and he would have learnt already to define that kind of fable as ‘false discourse expressing the likeness of truth’.3

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Reading Fiction At a more advanced stage, he will be invited to exercise his skills in arguing for and against a proposition. For such an exercise to be rhetorically useful, it is required that the assertion be open to debate for and against, positioned somewhere between the manifestly false and the incontrovertibly true. This leads the learner into an arena rather different from that in which he would have disputed propositions under the tuition of a late medieval logician, and conclusively proved them either true or false. It takes him, in fact, under the guidance of Aphthonius, into the world of poetic fiction. The proposition proposed for argument concerns the ineptitude of poets and whether the tales they tell are a disgrace to the profession they claim. The issue, though, is rhetorical rather than dialectical: are poets to be praised or devalued? An example is required on which to exercise the skills of argument by proving or disproving that the mythological fables that are so much the matter of poetry are unintelligible, unbelievable, impossible in nature, an affront to decorum, a contradiction in terms, and told to no purpose. The example Aphthonius chooses is the story of Apollo and Daphne. To argue for and against the intrinsic value of that story (but, note, not whether it can be said to be true or not), the student of rhetorical composition must become an interpreting reader. First, he is invited to detect a long series of logical and natural impossibilities and incompatibilities in the story, and so conclude, on the basis of reason, that mythologizing poets peddle empty absurdities. Next, he is invited to take the opposite position, praising what he had denigrated, and reading sense into what had seemed nonsense. So the unlikely birth of the human Daphne from earth and river is to be understood as a way of saying that she, like all created things, had her origin in the elements of earth and water. Not improperly did Apollo love her beauty, a gift the gods themselves had given and so worthy of their love. Apollo's unlikely difficulties in pursuing her reflect the labour needed to follow virtue. Daphne returns to the earth as all mortals must, and, far from degrading Apollo by association with sexual desire, the fact that her tree foretells the future is entirely congruent with the purity of her intent.4

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Reading Fiction Moving from the text of Agricola's Aphthonius in the 1470s to the end of the period with which we are primarily concerned, and into the schoolrooms of Lutheran Germany, we find Aphthonius still in everyday use, making the same easy transitions between rhetoric and fictional narration. The new translator, Joachim Camerarius (Joachim Kammermeister, 1500–74), appended some notes. On the exercises using the fable of Apollo and Daphne, Camerarius is categorical. First, he accuses Aphthonius of self-contradiction when blaming the authors of poetic fiction for going against what is normal, logical, and natural. As Aphthonius (p.226) said himself, it is the very nature of poetic fiction to eschew all semblance of truth, and therefore, as manifestly false, poetic fiction is not a proper subject for debate in the terms Apthonius had stipulated. Secondly, Camerarius says that, in his defence of fictive narration, Aphthonius has not succeeded in making the story itself plausible. What he has done is to uncover a deeper meaning in the tale, one that ‘the Greeks call “allegory”’.5

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Reading Fiction In the period when Latin idioms were in conflict, ‘allegory’ meant many things. By 1540, when Camerarius wrote a work for students learning composition, Elementa rhetoricae, based on the exercises in Aphthonius, its range of application, both as hermeneutic instrument and as production stratagem, was more circumscribed. The Elementa rhetoricae makes assumptions characteristic of humanist Latin in the ascendant. Language and cognition are inseparably linked. It is impossible to speak well, correctly and stylishly, unless the mind is fashioned in the ways of a particular culture and its ethos. That culture and that ethos, in turn, are linguistically embedded in Greek and Latin and most especially, as Camerarius would have it, in the Latin of ancient Rome.6 He makes narration the paradigm of all forms of discourse.7 Taking his cue from Cicero, he categorizes types of narration according to their proximity to truth. What interests him, however, in his office as instructor in the production of discourse, is not whether a narrative expresses truth but the way it is constructed. He lingers long over poetic fables. As in Cicero, they are neither true nor truth-like, but, in a move not to be found in this context in Ciceronian rhetoric, Camerarius allows poetic fables to signify at multiple levels. They say one thing and mean another, and that is the traditional grammatical and rhetorical definition of the trope known as allegory. As Camerarius rephrases it, allegory is a way of representing something as other, of wrapping it in riddling words. Allegorical interpretation is the instrument that solves riddles, and makes sense of seemingly improbable stories by rereading them as moral exemplars, or as accounts of astrological phenomena or historical events.8 It is both a method for composing and varying discourse, and a tool for (p.227) analysing it. It is not, however, to be taken very seriously. Camerarius is most insistent that allegorical composition and allegorical interpretation are basically exercises to foster mental agility. They have excellent pedigree as paradigms for linguistic expression and analysis, they encourage cleverness and wit, they generate intellectual pleasure, but they are not pathways to hidden truths, nor should they be mistaken for the serious matters that ought to preoccupy adult minds.9 This was perhaps the view of allegory towards which the culture of humanist Latin was tending in the 1540s. It is consonant with classical Latin language use and, because it totally rhetoricizes allegory, it gathers allegorical writing and reading into the language disciplines regulated by humanist practice. Yet, it was by no means the whole picture. Other varieties of language were vehicles for other varieties of allegory.

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Reading Fiction Attitudes to allegory had been tied into language idiom from the earliest battles between late medieval Latin and nascent humanism. One such battle, waged in words at Florence near the beginning of the fifteenth century, engaged the Dominican, Giovanni Dominici (1357/8–1419) and the chancellor of the city, Coluccio Salutati (1331–1406). Dominici's Lucula noctis of 1406 was probably that early period's most comprehensive attack on the humanists’ mentality and their language.10 It is couched as a systematic, point-by-point, refutation of twelve theses advanced in favour of an education in classical culture. Its form thus replicates the standard disputation of the schools. Its late medieval Latin idiom makes no concession to the growing enthusiasm among Dominici's Italian contemporaries for classical Latin norms of diction. Dominici, the theologian, defines himself in opposition to the speech community inhabited by his opponents. He claims to have no formal grammatical or rhetorical training, and announces this in a Latin that amply substantiates his claim.11 This depreciation of language skills is part of his argument that truth resides in the proper consideration of things, not words. To the proposition that secular knowledge assists the understanding of scripture, he replies, on the authority of St Thomas Aquinas, that the language of the Bible is incommensurable with the language of ‘human philosophy’, because the philosophers consider things as they are in themselves, but the Christian considers them for what they represent of God.12 In Dominici's very radical revisionist project, this invalidates for the faithful any use of the language modes of secular writing. It is also a measure of the gap between words used in secular contexts, where they (p.228) cannot signify beyond things as they are in themselves, and words used in scripture. In scripture, the word of God, words refer to things as they signify with the multiple senses God has written into them: the allegorical sense, by which things in the Old Testament prefigure the New; the moral sense, inscribed for our edification; and the anagogical sense that speaks of things hereafter. To the implied objection that secular literature may also enfold many such senses, Dominici promises an answer that in fact never materializes, because his chapter on poets (39) gets submerged in a diatribe against their lying deceit and diabolical depravity.13 He can, however, wrap pagan literature and its rhetoric in his biblical language of allegorical interpretation, and does so with extravagant ingenuity when he dresses the harlot of the book of Proverbs in fine coverings of dialectical arguments and interwoven narrations, paints her with rhetorical colours and tropes, and perfumes her with cinnamon pounded with the pestle of divisions and definitions. His allegory of seductive Rhetoric, the ‘stranger that flattereth with her words’, is constructed on a exposition, one by one, of the four causes that describe her.14 Dominici's allegorical language both mediates an ideology and displays its Aristotelian substructure.

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Reading Fiction Dominici's twelve theses for rebuttal were abstracted in large part from a letter written by Coluccio Salutati to Giovanni da Samminiato, probably in 1405. Salutati replied directly to Dominici just before his death in 1406.15 Typically, the humanist expresses himself in the form of letters. He replies by letter to what his opponent had formulated as a disputation (though it is a carefully coordinated letter, with numbered sections, and its Latin, compared with the letter to Sammiato, is accommodated to Dominici's syntactical patterns, and, occasionally, to his technical vocabulary). In direct contrast with Dominici, Salutati makes language the pivot of his argument. His view of the relationship between words and mental concepts is unambiguously Aristotelian. There can be nothing in proffered, intelligible words that has not had prior existence in the mind of the speaker, but the conclusion Salutati draws from this is that mental significates can only be properly articulated if grammar, logic, and rhetoric combine to perfect the utterance. All the arts of speech thus validated, Salutati turns to that which cannot be adequately thought or ever expressed, to God, incomprehensible and ineffable. Yet we can (p.229) talk about God from observation of his actions, if we use the language of analogy with human thoughts and feelings, and similarly for other incorporeal substances. This is to use words in what the grammarians call ‘improper’ senses, to employ tropes. Tropes are purely verbal operations that work on the mind through the imagination. Most useful of all tropes for speaking about incorporeal things is allegory. This way of talking, says Salutati, ‘is poetry, whose surface sense is false, but it holds a hidden truth within’.16 Allegorical writing may supplement a lack, or it may be used for ornament. A most important observation is that it is exactly the same operation, whether the context be pagan poetry or the Bible.

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Reading Fiction Salutati thus conflates the allegorical language of scripture with the allegorical language of pagan poetry, rhetoricizing the former and validating the latter in a way that was anathema to Dominici and would be extremely worrying to theologians like Wimpina a hundred years later. It is language that excites Salutati, not only the language of tropes that is the language proper to poetry, but also other features he has learnt to value as a humanist conversant with the classical Latin of his authors: their precise use of vocabulary, their superabundant ornamentation, be it of thought or words, their moral profundity, which is expressed rhetorically in praise and blame.17 In his reply to Dominici, his sense of the correlation between the niceties of language and acuity of thought is given a new twist when he picks up some of Dominici's linguistic inaccuracies and proceeds to castigate the Latin usage of the religiosi, whose ignorance of correct speech is rivalled only by the French. Well before Valla, Italian humanists were likening the Latin of unreconstructed theologians to the language of the modern Gauls, ‘whose Latin is the height of barbarism’.18 Salutati, however, is no Ciceronian. The apex of linguistic sophistication for him is poetry, which, unlike prose, is ‘double-tongued’ (‘bilinguis’). This marvellous bilingualism resides in those features that fundamentally distinguish poetry from prose, in its doubling of metre with the accentuation normal to individual words, and in its figurative language that doubles the sense of words, activating similitudes to make connections in the mind that enable it to read one meaning and understand another.19

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Reading Fiction (p.230) Salutati's conviction that pagan poetry and holy scripture speak the same kind of language, the double tongue of allegory, places him at the crossing of two fertile traditions of allegorical reading that, during the Middle Ages, kept more or less to separate paths. On the one hand, there was the allegorical interpretation of the Bible according to the four senses mentioned by Dominici, literal, moral, allegorical, and anagogical.20 By the end of the fourteenth century, this was highly systematized and very familiar. We have already heard of its use in sermons, and liturgical language was permeated with it, not to mention religious art. On the other hand, there was a rather looser tradition of reading pagan poetry, and particularly pagan myth, as a retelling of events that occurred in the remote historical past (known as euhemerism), or as a representation of the behaviour of natural phenomena (the ‘physical’ sense referring to planets, elements, and so on), or as ethical instruction. This way of reading has roots in ancient philosophy, as witness Cicero, for example, in the De deorum nature, but the texts from which the Middle Ages, more often than not, drew particular interpretations of particular myths had their origins in late antiquity, in Servius and Fulgentius commenting on Virgil, in the Mythologiae of Fulgentius, and the Nuptiae Philologiae et Mercurii of Martianus Capella. All of these were worked over, combined, and expanded in the Middle Ages.21 Salutati not only exploits these sources in his own work, most exhaustively in his allegorized De laboribus Herculis, but he moves beyond practice to his grand theory of bilingual poetic language, which, under the overarching sign of allegory common to both, collapses together biblical narrative and pagan fable.22 In his enthusiastic belief that poetry, poetria, was essentially allegorical language, that poets were transmitters of truths enfolded in lies, and that their readers were above all interpreters and code-breakers, Salutati had an illustrious and influential predecessor in Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–75). Boccaccio's Genealogia deorum gentilium is a vast collection of allegorized pagan fables arranged as a genealogy of the gods and their descendants along a veritable forest of branches. It belongs primarily to the secular tradition of allegory, and provides a huge repertory of historical, (p.231) natural, and moral readings of the fables.23 In its final books, mainly book xiv, it eloquently identifies poetry as the energizing force of this universe of truth-telling fictions, for poets are seized with desire to speak and write. They are miraculous devisers of exotic and extraordinary inventions, they introduce order into their compositions, they weave them from strange and wonderful words, and they wrap truth in veils of fable. The first three of these functions, the devising of material (inventio), the ordering of it (dispositio), and style (elocutio), poetry shares with rhetoric. The last, the use of allegory to veil truth, is not a feature of rhetoric, and belongs to poetry alone.24

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Reading Fiction The notion that poetry wraps truth in a mantle of fable, and that an adequate reader of poetry is equipped to decipher the mantle's embroidered stories, remains a potent factor in sixteenth-century theory and poetic practice. From the late fifteenth century onwards, however, the history of attitudes to fiction becomes much more complicated. The complicating elements were the reading practices consequent on methods introduced by humanists to teach classical Latin. Language change, here as elsewhere in Renaissance intellectual history, initiated a change of mentality.25 In the humanists’ schools, pupils were instructed in allegory from their first introduction to Latin grammar, where it appears among the catalogue of ‘improper’ uses of words, the tropes. A trope is an instance where, by reason of necessity or for purposes of ornamentation, a word carries a meaning that is not its normal reference, but can be reliably understood, usually by virtue of some accepted similarity of signification, real or culturally coded (‘Gather ye roses while ye may!’). Allegory is a trope because it says one thing and means another. Not only the humanists’ pupils but also medieval Latin learners knew off by heart the repertory of tropes and the seven types of allegory (ironia, antiphrasis, aenigma, charientismos, paroemia, sarcasmos, asteismos). They were listed in the ubiquitous grammar of Donatus, they were versified by Alexander of Villedieu, they were hung on classroom walls in the form of Tabulae de schematibus et tropis, published (p.232) by Petrus Mosellanus in 1516.26 It was after their initial lessons in grammar that the ways of the humanist classroom and the ways of medieval learners began to part.

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Reading Fiction The humanists’ schoolboy went on to improve his knowledge of classical Latin language use by an assiduous study of classical texts. As we have seen, he read in order to take note of how words were used (lectio). To complement this, his teacher's commentary, or, possibly, the commentary in the margins (enarratio), located his texts in their original cultural context. When his attention was drawn to an example of allegory at work in a text, it was to allegory as a rhetorical trope. For definitions and prescriptions for allegory functioning discursively, he would in all probability be directed to passages on Latin stylistics in the Rhetorica ad Herennium and Quintilian. From Quintilian he would learn that allegory ‘either conveyed one meaning in words and another in sense, or something absolutely contrary to the meaning of the words’.27 Quintilian applied his concept of allegory to poets exactly as he did to prose, illustrating his points with quotations from Horace, Lucretius, and Virgil, as well as Sallust and Cicero. His first example of allegory is Horace, Odes, 1.14, a poem that elaborates and dramatizes the metaphor of the ‘ship of state’ (or, to cite a later example: ‘O captain, O my captain, the fearful trip is done! The ship has weathered every storm…’). For Quintilian, the most striking (’speciosissimum’) effect on a reader or listener was produced by a stylish mixing of similitude, allegory, and metaphor. The Ad Herennium demonstrates how allegory can be used to magnify or diminish the subject it refers to in ‘improper’ terms, and this is a purely rhetorical manœuvre.28 Allegory in its rhetorical sense has all to do with amplification and ornamentation, with praise and blame, and nothing to do with truth. Nor does it have anything to do with fiction. In the Ad Herennium, the discussion of types of narratio and their relation to truth and fiction appears under the parts of an oration listed and described in book 1, and allegory in the section on style, in book 4.

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Reading Fiction The centrality of text study to the humanists’ programme from the fifteenth century onwards was the direct product of their preoccupation first with changing the current idiom of Latin and then perfecting it in use.29 The multiplication of copies of texts and commentaries that came about with printing locked the programme into market forces that stabilized it for a long time and made it very powerful. Reading was as much affected as the production of ‘good’ Latin. If rhetoric taught one how to produce effective discourse, it also taught one how to read texts that had been so produced. To read rhetorically presupposes that one is judging the response for which the writer aimed. The intention of the writer was to be (p.233) discovered in the intention of the work, and the schoolboy learnt to recognize that intention by classifying the work appropriately within the divisions of deliberative and epideictic rhetoric and by applying their respective places of argument as guidelines to its underlying signification system. One such place of argument could well be exemplum. It could be that a writer might be supposed to have narrated a fiction in order for it to serve as an example, particularly a moral example, and that might be said to give fiction a sort of truth. In imitation the reader could certainly use such fictions for the same purpose in his own discourse. Similarly, enarratio looks for truth, in the sense that it regards any text as a source of knowledge about the material and cultural environment that produced it. But, essentially, the rhetorical reader was analysing his text's own programme, he was not abstracting meanings from it by activating an agenda extraneous to it, for example, by decoding it in terms of historical, physical, and spiritual allegory. Allegory as hermeneutic seems to have no role in the exegetical practices customary among humanists.

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Reading Fiction Well, perhaps not in theory, but this purist model of humanist exegesis was subject to a great deal of contamination. Allegories to be interpreted and allegory as an interpreting system were heavily present in the cultural environment in which humanist schooling took place. There was allegorical reading of the scriptures, as deeply rooted in sophisticated biblical commentary as it was in the popular imagination through sermons, hymns, and pictures. There was a very lively tradition of allegorical personification, especially of virtues and vices, going back to the late antiquity many humanists respected and finding its most florid and exuberant expression in vernacular literature, whether the subject was sacred or profane. The bilingual pupils of humanist schools, especially French ones, were likely to be very competent decoders of texts that stridently advertised their need to be unveiled and produced readers ready with the appropriate hermeneutic tools, the standard tools of historical, physical, moral, and spiritual allegorical interpretation.30 There was, moreover, a part of the publishing industry devoted to supplying that equipment in respect of pagan fable. Boccaccio's Genealogia lost out in the north to much more searchable reference books compiled with the humanists’ grammar class in mind. These supplemented the information pupils acquired on every aspect of the ancient world by supplying the best authenticated interpretations of pagan fables, that is to say, interpretations with a late antique or etymological pedigree. By the time Natale Conti published his Mythobgia in 1568 and Charles Estienne (1504–64) had set his Dictionarium historicum et poeticum on its long (p.234) course of successive expansions, readers of classical texts looking for explanations of them would be foraging in reference books as well stocked with interpretative expositions of stories as they were with historical and geographical facts.31

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Reading Fiction Rhetorically orientated understanding of allegory existed in this penumbra of interpreting gestures. There were, however, two intellectual movements with a more precise profile that grasped the issue of allegory in the years before and after 1500. Both were intimately connected with the humanists’ focus on language. Both were directly concerned with truth and with fiction. The first had its origin in Greek, not Latin, but this further excursion into the linguistic appropriation of ancient culture was just as much a part of the humanists’ programme as the recovery of classical Latin (in theory, if not always in practice). One aspect of Greek thought that dazzled and entranced the Florentines, Marsilio Ficino (1433–99) and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, who first explored it, was Platonic and Neoplatonic myth-making. The fictions of the Hellenistic Neoplatonists were ways of presenting the metaphysical, cosmological, and moral truths expounded in their complex philosophies. Often constructed as remodelled episodes of the Odyssey and always peopled by the gods of antiquity, they were aimed at an interpreting community seeking philosophical enlightenment. Ficino's works, particularly his synopses of myths and interpretations contained in his Epistulae, were printed in northern Europe from the 1490s. Greek Neoplatonic commentaries on the text of Homer took longer to appear.32 There is, however, no doubt that the excitement of Neoplatonic thought, with its revelations to the initiated of the mysterious harmonies that rule the universe, gave allegorical hermeneutic a new glamour in the earlier part of the sixteenth century, at just the same time as the humanists’ enarratio became standard practice in schools.33

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Reading Fiction The Neoplatonic restyling of allegorical interpretation was also on hand to fill a gap and satisfy the instinctive urge to look for deep meaning in fables that were at once part of the cultural landscape and aliens within it. In France at least, the best-known medieval compilations of allegorical interpretations of pagan poetry began to cease printing in the 1520s and 1530s, not least because of their ‘bad’ Latin. This (p.235) brings us to the second of the two intellectual movements affecting allegory as a mode of eliciting truth from fiction. It is the antagonism that, to a greater or lesser degree, motivated the majority of enthusiasts for the recuperation of classical Latin and that, in its most extreme manifestations, obliterated late medieval ways of thinking at the same time as it silenced late medieval ways of speaking. We have seen it at work in controversies over truth and fiction in the case of St Ann, and, more generally, in attacks on scholastic argumentation. Now is the time to consider how late medieval interpretative techniques based on allegorical hermeneutic fared in the Latin language war of the early years of the sixteenth century. I shall first look briefly at representative varieties of humanist exegesis in competition with them. The sharpest angle on the ways texts were read is to be found in the commentaries that mediated them to their reading public. Two well-known Italian commentators on narrative fiction will serve to demonstrate the array of reading methodologies on offer to Latin language learners in the humanists’ classroom and to the adult readers they became.34

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Reading Fiction When Vives, in his Veritas fucata, had set up Homer to argue the case of Falsehood against Truth, he had given him two side-kicks, Lucian and Apuleius. Apuleius was no poet in the strict sense, but he was a great story-teller.35 His Metamorphoses (the Golden Ass) was published several times in France up to the mid-1530s, surrounded by the copious and multifaceted commentary of Filippo Beroaldo that had first appeared at Bologna in 1500.36 This commentary sets out the array of interpretative mechanisms available to the reader embarking on the highly implausible and utterly engaging adventures of Lucius transformed into an ass. First, there is the intention of the author. This could, as we have just seen, be discovered from a rhetorical analysis of the work, but Beroaldo aligns himself in the first words of his prologue, entitled ‘Scriptoris intentio atque consilium’, with a programme for exposition that goes back at least to the fourth century, to the still current commentary by Servius on Virgil. Servius had listed what must be considered: the intention of the writer, the life of the poet (supplied by Beroaldo before he comes to the writer's intention), the title of the work, the quality of the poem (metre, narrative category), the number and order of the books that comprise it, and the explanation (the ensuing commentary). From this list, and from other such schemes, the medieval paradigm for prologues, the accessus ad auctores, had developed, and their outline can be detected frequendy in prologues to school (p.236) texts well up to the end of the sixteenth century.37 Humanists like Beroaldo, however, are apt to break the mould of the accessus. His Apuleius is first an imitator, transposing into Latin the manner and the type of subject matter of the Greek author, Lucian, and this is a very proper observation for a humanist interested in cultural history and the genesis of texts.38 Beroaldo next looks beneath the veil of the story of metamorphosis to descry a moral intention. We are being warned that humans make animals of themselves if they immerse themselves in brutish pleasures, and will only recover their human form if they recover their reason. This is a generalized moral interpretation of the tale, which could stand alone. Beroaldo, however, supports it with references to Plato's Symposium and to Proclus, and goes on to say that, under the outward appearance of this ‘mystery’, under the guise of this ‘ludicrous’ narrative, Apuleius, who was an adept of the philosophies of Plato and Pythagoras, is explaining the doctrines of palingenesis and metempsychosis. And ‘at the same time, he is amply demonstrating how eloquently he can write, with what elegance, with what abundant profusion of words and things’.

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Reading Fiction Beroaldo's prologue presents his reader with an array of interpretative possibilities. He can view the text as a document in literary history, as a moral allegory, as Neoplatonic philosophy dressed, as the Platonists tended to do, in the mantle of fable, or as an example of Latin eloquentia, elegantia, rerum verborumque copia. All the modes of reading we have surveyed in the previous few pages are on display to the reader at the threshold to the text. Once well within the text, the reader comes to its most famous episode, the inset story of Cupid and Psyche. Beroaldo calls it a fable, a fiction, an oratio ficta, told in a plausible fashion and ‘showing a likeness of truth’.39 That truth can be unearthed with the hermeneutic tool of allegorical interpretation, in this instance, the identifications made by Fulgentius in the third book of his Mythologiae, where Psyche is the soul fallen prey to concupiscence. Beroaldo then makes an easy transition from the allegorical interpretation of this secular text to a summary account of the allegorical exegesis of scripture, with its multiple senses, historical (or literal), moral, spiritual, and anagogical. He juxtaposes the allegorization of pagan and biblical texts without comment, as if they were equivalent. He seems to privilege reading as decoding. Then he makes a sudden about-turn and announces that his enarratio of the story as the narrative proceeds will sideline allegorical interpretation. The only interpretation he will use is the one that works at the ‘historical’ level, investigating the literal meaning of the words his author uses and explaining any things that need an exposition. This is (p.237) the proper work of the commentator; allegorical interpretation is mere philosophizing.40

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Reading Fiction One way of doing justice to the array of interpretative possibilities that solicited the commentator's attention was to write about the same text in different publications devoted to different modes of exegesis. Cristoforo Landino (1424– 98) published a text commentary on Virgil's Aeneid in 1488 that was often reprinted in the years immediately before and after 1500, in editions of Virgil's works where it kept company with two late antique interpreters (Servius and Tiberius Donatus, the second of whom Landino had himself rediscovered) and two late fifteenth-century annotators (Antonio Mancinelli and Domizio Calderini). It was clearly being marketed as text and commentary for the humanist classroom. It belonged to grammatical and rhetorical pedagogy, both in its concentration on lectio and enarratio and in its analysis of action and character in terms of praise and blame, and Landino himself so defined it.41 Much of Landino's annotation consists of explanations of obscurities, both of words and things, in terms of lexical, historical, and cultural information derived from other classical texts. This is relevant to the extrinsic, the surface meaning (‘extrinsecus sensus’) to which Landino refers in his introduction, the level on which Virgil deploys all the descriptive powers of language to instruct the reader, and all its allurements (‘orationis suavitas’) to persuade, and all its force (‘dicendi vehementia atque impetus’) to impel his audience to follow models of active virtue.42 On this level of reading, Landino, at the end of the fifteenth century, was also prepared not only to mention historical and physical interpretations of myths, as Beroaldo did a few years later, but to apply them in some detail. When Venus appears to her son at the beginning of book 1 of the Aeneid, it is the occasion for Landino to talk of three Venuses with different parents derived from the genealogical system of Boccaccio and simultaneously available for historical interpretation in terms of events in the remote past and for physical interpretation as the planet Venus and all its attributes.43 What this reveals is facts about the world. It relates to the exegesis of the text as repository of information and stimulus to well-regulated living, the domain of ‘vita civilis’.

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Reading Fiction (p.238) There is, however, an inward space (‘penetralia’), to which neither grammar nor rhetoric nor the traditional schemes of allegorical interpretation have the key. Landino explains in his introduction to his grammatical/rhetorical commentary that it is poetry alone, not grammar or rhetoric, that gives access to the highest good, the summum bonum. That is never attained by active virtue in the world, but only by contemplation and by a mind receptive to the divine truths and harmonies imparted to poets in the ravished state of ecstasy that inspired their writings. To nurture such a mind, quite another mode of reading is required, one that Landino had already explored in another commentary on the Aeneid, a commentary on its first six books contained in the third and fourth books of his Disputationes camaldulenses of 1480.44 This is quite different from the text-based pedagogical method of the later commentary. The Disputationes does not belong in the dictatorial environment of the classroom, but is set in a contemplative space, a monastery, and couched as a dialogue between wise adults (Leon Battista Alberti as expositor and Lorenzo de’ Medici among several interlocutors). It does not transcribe Virgil's text, but it alludes to passages in it, which it immediately rewrites into its own narrative. Its frame of reference is largely Platonic or Neoplatonic, ‘Virgil filtered through the Platonism of the Florentine Academy’, as has been aptly said.45 This Aeneas leaves behind the sensual blandishments of Troy, and struggles through temptations, impediments, and hard choices to reach the true felicity of a life of contemplation at the end of his quest. This is, indeed, an allegorical reading of the poem, but it is not one that proceeds, as was the custom, by piecemeal annotation resulting in a disjointed series of explanations and interpretations that neither cohere among themselves nor coalesce to engender a consistent understanding of the text. Landino locates the originality of his exposition in the Disputationes as much in its methodology as in its substance, drawing attention to the way it develops an allegorical narrative running in parallel to the original history of Aeneas and his wanderings.46 The reader's attention is not focused so much on elucidation of particular moments in the text as on discovering its analogies with a coherent philosophy already constructed from a synthesis of Platonic and Christian elements.

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Reading Fiction Neoplatonic exegesis of this kind claims an insight more intrinsically valuable, because more universal, than the traditional late madieval allegorical decoding keys could unlock. When Troy falls, the expositor explains that Venus is at work in its destruction in the dual form Plato had given her in the Phaedrus and the Symposium. Paris, immersed in pleasures of the flesh, perishes with the city that (p.239) Landino makes a symbol of sensuality. Aeneas, on the other hand, is led out of the ruin of Troy by Venus in her role as desire for the higher truths of intellectual contemplation. One of the participants in the dialogue objects that this reading risks the very self-contradiction Landino is trying to avoid, for, if Venus is an instinct for good, why does she work to harm Paris? If bad, why does she work to the good of Aeneas? This interlocutor would much prefer a ‘historical’ interpretation of the passage, one in which Venus is read as the planet in the ascendant at the fall of Troy. What he is proposing is the scheme of historical and physical allegorization familiar from Boccaccio and many another. Landino, in the person of his expositor does not reject this, any more than he would refuse it later in his grammatical/rhetorical commentary. Nevertheless, here, as there, the traditional allegorical codes are said to belong to history, to the world of material things. Only the form of allegory that interprets poetic narrative as a vehicle of intellectual truth can illuminate the mind with the celestial vision apprehended by the poet, and, in this instance, it leads the expositor well away from his text and into a long account of Neoplatonic thought.47 The grammar student working with the 1488 commentary is apprised of such an allegorical narrative, is begged to explore its profundities, but told that he must look for it elsewhere than in the grammatical and rhetorical explanation, together with the occasional historical and physical interpretation, wrapped round his text.48 That more profound way of reading the Aeneid is not even marginal to the text of the poem, it is another book altogether. Commentaries by Italian humanists display a range of approved reading strategies, but, by the end of the fifteenth century, they are composed in a more or less standard idiom of Latin that does not permit to linguistic difference a crucial role in determining the validity of any particular exegetical mode. At the time when Italian commentaries started to permeate the Paris market for classical texts for grammatical study, in the first decade or so after 1500, the battle there between humanist Latin and late medieval Latin was well under way. The language of commentaries was to be as deciding a factor in their reception as their content. The most notorious example of this involved a commentary on Ovid's Metamorphoses, known in its printed version as Metamorphosis ovidiana moraliter explanata and misattributed to Thomas Walleys.49 Its real author was Pierre Bersuire (Petrus (p.240) Berchorius, c. 1290–1362), and it was originally only one book of his Reductorium morale, a sixteen-volume encyclopedia describing the moral significance of natural phenomena and various types of human behaviour. By the time Josse Bade printed it for the first time in 1509, its author and original purpose had been Page 20 of 48

Reading Fiction forgotten, though its Latin was patently the Latin of the fourteenth century. Josse Bade, however, had no trouble in discerning a niche for it in the contemporary market: ‘it will be extremely useful to preachers’.50 It had been extremely useful to preachers for many years already, and had been part of the resource collections that provided material and methodology for the ‘modern’ sermon, along with the enormous volumes of concordances that were also printed for this still flourishing market. The allegorized retellings of Ovid's fables of which Bersuire's book consists were designed to be used as attractive and intriguing vehicles of the doctrinal truths and moral teaching purveyed from the pulpit, and that is how Bade sells his printed edition. Bersuire indicates how they were to be accommodated to the themes of sermons and also to the rigorous patterning we have already seen in operation in sermons about St Ann. Bersuire's words, which are not Ovid’s, function as a semiological system in which they not only signify concepts, but are matched to each other by rhyme and to scripture by concordances, making sound patterns and marking out the structure underpinning the sermon's development. Bersuire's mode of interpretation can dispense with Ovid's narrative and replace it with paraphrase. So, for example, he splits the story of Apollo and Daphne into sections, summarizes them, and appends interpretations to each in turn. Bersuire suggests that Apollo pursuing Daphne signifies men seeking worldly glory, knights, clerics, hypocrites, ambitious schemers, all prepared to go through tribulations for the sake of the glory they aspire to. In the technicalities of ‘modern’ preaching rhetoric, these examples constitute a ‘division’ on lovers of glory, and they are all linked together by rhyming words at the end of the phrases that describe them. Then Bersuire quotes Ovid's description of Daphne as Apollo perceives her, with all her desirable attributes, hair, eyes, mouth, fingers, hands, arms, legs.51 This is not, however, to draw attention to Ovid's use of language, but to provide the groundplan as it were for the ensuing ‘distinction’ on the worldly glory she signifies: ‘head, that is to say, the height of honour; arms, the embrace of love; belly, the desire for pleasures; eyes, the desire for knowledge; hair, the growth of (p.241) riches’.52 Again, these are connected by rhyme words at the ends of phrases. Each branch of this distinction could be used to introduce a subsection of the sermon. All could be drawn together, as Bersuire here draws them, with a biblical quotation that concords with the sense of the allegorized fable: ‘it is clear that Daphne, that is to say, the glory of this world, flees and scorns those who love her to excess; Ecclesiasticus 11 [10]: “if thou pursue after, thou shalt not overtake”’. The substance of the interpretations so far is moral, or ‘tropological’, and the application to the contemporary world, partaking of satire, but obviously suited to sermon rhetoric, is entirely typical of Bersuire. No less anachronistic is the second type of allegorization that comes into play for the second section of the story. This is allegory in the strict sense, spiritual or doctrinal allegory, whereby persons and events in a fable are read as figures of the drama of salvation. Apollo can, should the preacher decide, signify the devil, Daphne the Christian Page 21 of 48

Reading Fiction soul, and the Earth that saves her, Christ her deliverer. Or, alternatively, the laurel may be said to signify the cross, embraced by Christ. In the latter interpretation, every attribute Ovid ascribes to Apollo's tree is refigured as a rhyming ‘distinction’ upon the cross (quoted in the Introduction to the present book), where it provides the pattern for a sermon, for which the fable almost serves as a text. Bersuire's ‘explanation’ of Ovid brings the interpretation of pagan fable very close to biblical hermeneutics. He has an initial section describing and then allegorizing the ancient gods in which he uses four decoding strategies, the historical, physical, and moral senses that had been developing since late antiquity, and the allegorical sense proper, relating pagan fictions to Christian truth in a manner akin to biblical commentary reading events in the Old Testament and elements in the New Testament (especially those true fictions, the parables) as figures of the Christian story. Bersuire's interpretations of the fables themselves are almost exclusively moral and allegorical, two of the four senses applied to scripture. His methodology elides, or at least blurs, the distinction that St Thomas Aquinas, for example, had drawn between reading strategies permissible for scripture and the exegesis of pagan texts, which for Aquinas could signify only in a literal sense.53 Pagan fictions can now be read through the prism designed for holy writ, and holy writ can be found inscribed in pagan fiction as under a palimpsest. The moment is not so far distant when the likes of Salutati and Martin Polich will assert that scripture talks the language of poetic fiction-making and poetic fiction holds a hidden truth within. The fourteenth-century Bersuire, however, fond though he was of Petrarch, from whose Africa he tells us he mainly took his preliminary descriptions of the appearance of the pagan gods, was no humanist. He had no interest in Ovid's language, except in so far as he could rewrite it in a diction totally alien to classical modes of speech. He had no interest in the rhetorical intention of Ovid's work. His interest was in abstracting every separate event and every (p. 242) material detail from the flow of Ovid's narrative in order to reword and relocate them to fit his given interpretative codes. A passage in the poem can be made to generate a plurality of meanings that do not need to be coherent. In fact, the more diverse they are, the better, for the ‘truths’ revealed by this method are of interest primarily in respect of the ad hoc use to which they can be put. The ingenuity of the recipient/user is on display, rather than the mind of the original producer.

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Reading Fiction When Bade, somewhat defensively, printed Bersuire's work for the benefit of preachers, he was prolonging the influence of a highly systematized exegetical method that used allegory as a hermeneutic tool without reference to its rhetorical function or to the circumstances of the text's production.54 The method was endemic in the mentality of late medieval readers. A long versified Ovide moralise had been produced at exactly the same time as Bersuire was writing. There were numerous other commentaries that applied the method to pre-existing texts, and numerous new works, especially in the vernacular, designed to be read in this way.55 In Latin, however, the fourfold allegorical hermeneutic applied to pagan fiction was inextricably wedded to a particular idiom, to the late medieval Latin typical of Bersuire and of the ‘modern’ sermon into which its divisions, distinctions, and concordances were designed to fit. The most destructive humanist attack on the method (and there were many) is one that derives a lot of its force from parodying Bersuire's Latin. The Epistulae obscurorum virorum of 1515, usually attributed to Crotus Rubianus and Ulrich von Hutten, a devastating satire of late medieval language and modes of thought, contains a mock letter from a student at Heidelberg, where apparently Bade's edition of Bersuire was selling well: ‘Nuper acquisivi unum librum, quern scripsit quidam magister noster Anglicus . . . et habet nomen Thomas de Walleys et compositus est ille liber super librum Metamorphoseos Ovidii, exponens omnes fabulas allegorice et spiritualiter’.56 The language is a caricature of Bersuire’s, but not that far removed from the original, which is patently visible as the letter proceeds, making equations between Ovid's fables and the Christian story with the linguistic trade-marks, id est, sup-ponitur, significat, omnipresent in late medieval Latin. These are the words that operate the allegorical mechanism. Without them it is barely feasible, at least not (p.243) without a good deal of circumlocution. The message is not delivered without the idiom in which it was conceived. The letter makes this particularly clear because it focuses on Bersuire's concordances, the linguistic trick that conjures biblical quotations out of situations in fables.57 Within three years, Erasmus dismissed the whole project and the mentality behind it, talking of ‘the utterly stupid work of some preacher or other which adapts, or, rather, twists all the fables of Ovid to Christ’.58

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Reading Fiction In 1501, Bade had had a hand in a quite different edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses when he refurbished the text printed with a commentary by Raffaele Regio (Raphael Regius, c.1440–1520), by providing an alphabetical index. This edition, originally published at Venice in 1493 and then at Paris in 1496, was entirely typical of the ‘grammatical’ type of commentary used in schools to explain Ovid's Latin to learners, expatiate on its niceties (elegantiae), and set the poem in the context of its historical culture and underlying rhetorical intention. Its own intended readers are Latin teachers and Latin learners following the humanists’ programme for language acquisition, a very different speech community from that imagined by Bersuire. An interesting fact about its French publishing history is that, out of the twenty or more editions printed between the first in 1496 and the last in 1528, only three were printed at Paris and the rest at Lyons. This does not mean that the work was not used in Paris, but it does hint at a picture of Paris as a bastion of the late medieval mentality that provided a market for Bersuire, and Lyons as the headquarters of the humanist shock troops coming up from Italy.59

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Reading Fiction Reading Ovid in conjunction with Regio's commentary, students discovered in the Metamorphoses a dictionary of correct Latin usage, a repertory of examples of figurative diction, and a veritable encyclopedia of information on geography, astrology, music, physical science, and moral and natural philosophy.60 Most of this information comes in the form of pertinent quotation from other ancient authors, but it does presuppose a degree of interpretation in respect of the fables. (p.244) In Regio's preface we find Ovid ‘elegantly transcribing records of remote history, which had been collected from very ancient authors and were regarded as fables because of their antiquity’. The notion that fables are transpositions of historical facts keeps Regio within the euhemeristic tradition of exegesis, although he seldom applies it in practice.61 It can, though, take a different slant. An annotation by another fifteenth-century Italian humanist added into the Regio edition in 1518, along with many others, relates the fable of Apollo and Daphne historically to an episode concerning the emperor Augustus and Livia, his barren (if not virgin!) wife, that the annotator quotes from Pliny and applies to the fiction: ‘so for Daphne, you may read Livia,…for she lived with Augustus barren like the laurel; similarly, by Phoebus you may understand Augustus, who wanted to be thought and proclaimed the son of Apollo’ (a statement supported by quotations from Suetonius, Servius, and others).62 The substance of this reading is entirely different from anything in Bersuire. The episode taken from Pliny does not correlate with events in Ovid's story. The reason for identifying its protagonists with Augustus and Livia is to demonstrate that Ovid may have had the rhetorical intention of praising the imperial couple, and this is reinforced by the quotation from Servius claiming that Virgil also identified Augustus with Apollo. What we have here is not historical allegory applied as hermeneutic in order to decode the fable in every detail and replace it with some made-up narrative of an otherwise forgotten past, but rhetorical allegory grounded in ancient precedent and capable of spinning out of the story an encomium of contemporary potentates. Many a Renaissance poem, picture, and statue seeking patronage and validating the claims of the powerful were to follow suit.

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Reading Fiction The remarks Regio makes in his preface about the moral philosophy behind Ovid's poem follow a similar line. In general, Ovid's fictions corroborate a view of the world in which a just, but benevolent, deity rewards virtue and punishes vice. In particular, Daphne's transformation into an evergreen laurel signifies to us that ‘everlasting glory is prepared for virgins who take careful pains to protect their chastity’. This may give the story a meaning consonant with the Christian culture of Ovid's modern readers, but it does not wrench its details into a narrative of the devil and the Christian soul, Christ and his cross. Regio is working within a rhetorical approach to his text. Its potential moral sense will be available for quotation as an exemplum in discourse structured to manipulate a rhetoric of praise and blame, a form of discourse appropriate to an audience anxious to know how to conduct their lives as citizens (‘civiliter vivendi rationes’). This form of discourse, full of examples of vices and virtues, is of‘more service to humanity than the contentious disputations of [scholastic] philosophers’, and it is very far removed from the argumentative techniques of the ‘modern’ sermon. The references Regio makes in (p.245) his preface to the Metamorphoses as ‘a complete exemplar of how to live as a human being and as a citizen’ read very much like the public praelectio by which a teacher would introduce and justify the author on whom he intended to lecture. When his students were actually huddled over their texts, they would be collecting a plethora of details about grammar, figurative language, geography, history, etymology, and the beliefs of the classical world, all strictly related to the line of the text they were reading. The text was central, as is demonstrated by the layout of this sort of commentary, arrayed in thick-set, smaller typeface round the text to which it constantly refers, and despite the tensions caused by the tendency of marginal commentaries of this period to distract from the text and even to crowd it off the page.

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Reading Fiction Yet perhaps this particular form of information overload did not fulfil all the reader's desire. Readers love finding ingenious meanings below the surface of fictions. It is an instinctive curiosity that fabricates its own satisfaction. Publishers knew that well enough, which explains the new title attached to a revised edition of Regio's commentary printed at Lyons in 1510, P. Ovidii Nasonis Metamorphoseos libri moralizatU and its promise of an enarratio tropologies a phrase that deliberately brings together grammatical enarratio and ‘tropological’ allegory, as moral allegory was termed in the context of late medieval allegorization of the Bible and preaching rhetoric. This edition is cleverly maximizing its market, selling to conservative exponents of the ‘modern’ preaching method, but at the same time providing a resource for anticipated change. The tropological commentary, as well as the title, was to remain attached to Regio throughout his French publishing history. Its author, Petrus Lavinius, was a preacher, a Dominican, though one in close contact with Symphorien Champier, the Lyons enthusiast for Florentine Neoplatonism and correspondent of Francis Du Bois, and with the foremost vernacular poet of the day, Jean Lemaire de Beiges.63 The commentary is a telling example of a fusion between an essentially rhetorical response to Ovid's fictions and an updating of the allegorical interpretation still in use for preaching. Lavinius clearly has preachers in mind. Especially for their benefit he inserts summaries of Ovid's fables common in medieval manuscripts, but ousted by Regio as ‘the tomfooleries of some hack’. He gives them historical, physical, tropological (moral), and spiritual interpretations that are a synthesis of Boccaccio and Bersuire, either quoted or paraphrased. The updating of this late medieval hermeneutic comes in the way Lavinius argues that, far from being solely a product of the ingenuity of the interpreting reader, spiritual allegory may be historically validated by reference to the context in which Ovid wrote. To support this supposition, he draws on the synthesizing theories of the Neoplatonists and speculates on Ovid's acquaintance (p.246) with the sibylline prophecies and with the books of Moses, gained possibly by his own reading of the Septuagint, possibly by way of Pythagoras, Plato, and Hermes Trismegistus, whose words come so close to holy writ.64 Or, maybe, Ovid's furor poeticus drew him nearer than he could know to truths revealed by the Holy Ghost.65 Lavinius is enraptured with the heady dreams of the Neoplatonists, but he is also conversant with the more sober authorities humanists used to ground their commentaries in the historical culture of their texts’ origin, with Cicero, Pliny, and Josephus, with Lucretius, Virgil, Horace, and Juvenal. Lavinius had learnt their language too. He may paraphrase Bersuire, but he is as squeamish as any humanist about the Latin idiom of the ‘modern’ sermon:

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Reading Fiction I am of the opinion that pagan learning should occasionally be used in sermons, provided that preachers…take special care not to make themselves a laughing stock to those who boast that they have moistened their lips at the fountain of the muses. For it happens all too often that in cases where the rules governing an understanding of mythological poems are quite beyond those who cite the poets and the sayings of the pagans… no one versed in the humanities can listen to them without getting irritated or laughing at them.66 Lavinius implies that their language makes the content of their sermons inaudible to the humanist Latin speech community, but he also states that preachers have no knowledge of the rhetorical ‘rules’ that dictate how pagan fiction is to be read. Even so, his next few sentences claim that mythological poetry is to be read ‘now in a physical sense, now a topological, now an allegorical’, and he aligns such readings to a concept of the poet patently derived from Boccaccio.67 Like Boccaccio, however, he also makes his hero poet, Ovid, a splendid weaver of words, and, even more than Boccaccio, he stresses the affinity of poetry and rhetoric in bestowing praise and assigning blame. His own way of fusing rhetoric and ‘enclosed truth’, and of bringing pagan poetry into a preaching style that speaks the language of Christian verities in the idiom of ancient authors, is demonstrated from time to time, when he develops his commentary into a sermon. Lavinius does not use concordances in his miniature sermons to cross from the events in pagan fables to phrases in the Bible. He ponders on the words of Ovid, allowing them to distil the mystery of faith they so nearly express: ‘I [Jupiter] come down from the heights of Olympus and as a god in human form I walk the earth’.68 On the basis of these words, Lavinius elaborates an account of the theology of the incarnation, moving into a paean of praise. His Latin is more than passably classical. His words are a copious flood channelled into the patterns of Ciceronian rhetoric, balanced phrases, exclamations, questions, and figures of every kind. It looks as though in practice his preaching, quite different from the ‘moderns’ in (p.247) language and structure, eschewed the allegorical hermeneutic he so competently deploys in his commentary.

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Reading Fiction In the years after 1500, the array of reading possibilities was as varied in the north as Beroaldo and Landino indicated to us it was in Italy.69 Even Philip Melanchthon, the humanist more concerned than most to formulate a coherent, self-consistent theory of discourse-production and critical reading, responded somewhat erratically to the pull of diverse modes of exegesis. As we have seen, the system for analysing texts that Melanchthon promoted in his De rhetorica of 1519 was shaped by his rhetoric and dialectic, and they in turn were to be honed by practice in paraphrasing and commenting on texts.70 Fiction, however, was not so easily nailed by these essentially rational procedures. A glance at Melanchthon's views on the stories in Homer's Odyssey shows him trying out different interpretative frames. In one of his first works, his Greek grammar of 1518, Melanchthon diverges a moment from his grammatical brief to talk of the ‘authentic use’ (‘gen-uinus usus’) of poetry, which he exemplifies by ‘unwrapping the hidden sense’ of a passage by Homer. The method for unwrapping is to interpret physically, historically, or morally, though his example indicates that any given passage is susceptible to one, not all, of these readings.71 In an oration delivered in 1523, and very often printed, he is hardly able to refrain from laughing at the ineptitude of Greek grammarians who have imposed ‘scientific senses’ onto Homer. Even in a delirious fever, Homer himself would never have dreamt up the notion that Jupiter should be read as ‘ether’ and Juno as ‘air’, and such-like idiocies.72 In the 1523 oration, Melanchthon was doing something quite different from what he had proposed in 1518. He was looking in the text for what Homer intended us to admire: his clarity, his organization of his varied material, the decorum and the abundance of words and rhetorical figures. In other words, Melanchthon was now functioning as a rhetorical exegete. In a poem written a year later, but printed in a collection of Neoplatonic allegorizing commentaries on Homer, Melanchthon recommends to a friend all the moral lessons to be learnt from the various episodes of the Odyssey, but his mode of reading them is as exempla, all related to the single (p.248) commonplace head, virtue.73 A Praefatio in Homerum, dating from about 1538, mentions the scientific observations ‘hidden’ in Homer, but prefers not to dwell on them. It expatiates at length on the moral lessons the poems contain, in the form of exempla, aphoristic sentential and maximae or moral commonplaces. As for the fables, Homer's religion was the religion of his time, and his insights into the nature of God, demonstrated by his Zeus who pities mankind, favours the just, and punishes the wicked, are the insights of natural reason. If Homer uses allegory, referring to serious things obliquely under a cover of light fiction, that was the mode of his time (‘mos fuit illorum temporum’), and, by implication, of purely historical and stylistic interest.74 Melanchthon's project now is the demystification of allegory.

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Reading Fiction The evolution (or, perhaps better, vacillation) in Melanchthon's approach to reading mythological fables is perhaps best understood in the light of his works on rhetorical theory. The De rhetorica of 1519 took commentary (enarratio) out of the sole purview of grammar, and placed it firmly in the context of rhetoric and even dialectic. One effect of this was to ensure that the critical reading of texts attended less to the piecemeal annotation of words and phrases and more to long-drawn-out procedures of argumentation and demonstration. In 1519, Melanchthon submits these procedures to one of four modalities of exegetical technique: instructive (the method for reading philosophical argument), historical (derived from a combination of particular circumstance and the general commonplace being illustrated), suasive (the techniques of rhetorical persuasion), and allegorical.75 Allegory, then, is still a hermeneutic, but of all the four types of exegesis Melanchthon describes, it is allegory that he finds most difficulty in defining and regulating. He sees allegory pervading many kinds of writing: history, fiction, Aesopic fables, elaborations of quotations and sayings, sentential proverbs, and enigmas. The reason why allegory seems so particularly mercurial at this stage is that Melanchthon himself is slipping between the notion of allegory as an interpretative tool, applicable to history and fable, and allegory as a rhetorical trope, for example, in sayings, sentential proverbs, and so on.

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Reading Fiction On the subject of fiction, he declares without equivocation that all poetic fictions refer either to moral philosophy, or to the science of nature, or to history. This is the reference-grid of traditional allegorical interpretation.76 Melanchthon, (p. 249) however, does not allow his critical reader as much freedom to use his own ingenuity as Bersuire had done, or Boccaccio, or Lavinius. Melanchthon's rhetorically educated reader must submit to the narrative text, which imposes its own criteria of consistency in things and persons, relevance to circumstance, congruity of tone, and overall coherence. These constraints hold for all applications of allegorical interpretation, which, provided these criteria are met, is as appropriate to holy scripture as to pagan fable.77 Yet, at the same time as submitting to the text, Melanchthon's model reader is empowered to take possession of it. He is to dismember it and put it under appropriate heads in his commonplace book. The heads will invite insertion of quotations from the text that illustrate a general topic, whether the text is being read literally or allegorically. Nevertheless, what will find its way into the commonplace book and be stored there for recycling in composition will be the words of the text that has been dismembered, or, on occasion, an allegorical explanation of a mythological figure lifted from ‘an illustrious author’.78 It will not be fables accompanied by allegorical overwriting. It is difficult to see how the compiler of such a commonplace book will find any future use for his extracts other than a rhetorical one, as example, or as comparison or similitude, or, indeed, as rhetorical allegory. Melanchthon's oration of 1523 and poem of 1524 have a very definite rhetorical orientation in their approach to commentary and the quarrying of Homer for moral exempla to distribute under commonplace heads.

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Reading Fiction Twelve years after his De rhetorica, in 1531, Melanchthon published the last of his rhetorical theory manuals, his Elementa rhetorices. Now he defines allegory solely as a rhetorical trope, turning on a likeness by which the utterer says one thing and means another, a ‘continuous metaphor’, or, in strict dialectical terms, an ‘imperfect enthymeme’. No single word can of itself have an allegorical significance of any sort, but only as a part of a sentence signifying allegorically.79 The main thrust of Melanchthon's argument now is to demolish altogether the exegetical model that reads scripture polysemously according to the traditional four senses, ‘literal, tropological, allegorical, and anagogical’. This erroneous hermeneutic came into existence because readers were ‘illiterati’. They realized that the Bible was full of figures of speech, but they were unable to understand how figurative speech functioned, so they had to invent a ‘novel kind of rhetoric’.80 Melanchthon's attack on the allegorical exegesis of scripture derives from a particular view of language. It parallels in all respects the humanists’ attack on the ‘barbarisms’ of late medieval (p.250) Latin. With ‘correctly’ regulated language come correctly regulated modes of speech, rhetoric correctly understood, and correct analysis of signification procedures. It is not pure coincidence that Melanchthon's ‘illiterate’ inventors of allegorical hermeneutic were members of the late medieval Latin speech community. They have corrupted speech and rhetoric, the means of communication and, consequently, they have corrupted the word of God. A sentence that says a plurality of things gives no clear message. What a sentence signifies is determined by a combination of procedures deriving from the disciplines of grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. If the sentence is couched figuratively, its meaning is to be understood according to ‘customary language use’ (‘iuxta consuetudinem sermonis’) and according to the prescriptions for figurative speech learnt in grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric, that is to say, in those disciplines as taught by humanist promoters of ancient Latin language use and communication theory.81 So, fourfold allegorical interpretation of scripture is replaced, like the Latin in which it was articulated, by the univocal clarity of the Word of God analysed in the way combinations of words were analysed in Latin language classrooms. Now, it is grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric that potentially unite scripture and poetic narrative, not the fiction-ality that earlier humanists thought common to both. This also is part of Melanchthon's brief. For him, scripture cannot be fiction. It is unequivocally and literally true. Even when meanings in scripture are derived by way of similitudes, as they sometimes may be, he is at pains to stress that the derived meaning does not replace the literal sense, as tended to happen in polysemous interpretation, but has a dialectical relation to it.82

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Reading Fiction Poetic fiction, however, is not true in the literal sense. In this respect, the world of poets is not the same as the world of scripture. Its signification procedure is necessarily oblique, and Melanchthon shifts interpretative frames to match its propensity to say something that is patently false, but to mean something else. The grammatical trope, allegory, saying one thing and meaning another, is endemic in fictive discourse, and here allegory as hermeneutic is an appropriate reading strategy. So, Homer's giant Cyclops ‘allegorically signify a barbarous people given to pillage’, their monstrous size being indicative of barbaric, uncivilized behaviour. Their single eye is to be explained by the type of helmet they wore, with a single slit.83 This prosaic example of the ‘historical’ sense suggests that Melanchthon's intended his allegorizing reader of mythological fiction to function as far from the heady reaches of Neoplatonic speculation as from the theological fantasizing of ‘modern’ preachers. That was indeed the case. He sanctioned allegorical exegesis solely as an occasional classroom exercise, designed to sharpen boys’ wits, quite (p.251) literally a trivial pursuit Further examination of the way this deflationary attitude influenced early instruction in reading classical poetry, and thence the writing and reading of poetry by adults, would do well to start where this chapter nearly began, with another Elementa on the subject of rhetoric published in 1540 by Joachim Camerarius. He allowed rhetorical narration and strategies for reading to develop along more interesting lines than Melanchthon's narrow way, but he kept allegory securely demystified. Melanchthon himself supplied a more sophisticated demonstration of the theory he had outlined in his Elementa of 1531 when he applied it a year later to the myth of Pandora in a commentary on Hesiod's Works and Days.84 An opening statement activates the allegorical potential of the fable (Pandora ‘is’ pleasure), but the subsequent exegesis proceeds along lines almost exclusively mapped by grammar and rhetoric. What is now deemed totally inappropriate to the reading of poetic fiction is the systematic method of allegorical hermeneutic that strives to accommodate every detail, every word in the narrative to the allegorical (in this case, moral) sense that has been insinuated into the reader's response.85 Rhetorical analysis will note the commonplaces the story exemplifies, will descry the patterns of figured language woven in the text, and will set it within a web of literary allusions. The reader trained in such analysis will explore how literary fictions are fabricated from rhetorical tropes and intertextual traces, and register from time to time that this fictional world so richly and delightfully ornamented may have referents in the ‘true’ moral and scientific universes outside itself. Different modes of reading are folded into each other. No one is absolutely dominant or conclusive. Any particular mode of interpretation, be it historical, etymological, rhetorical, intertextual, allegorical, is always potentially destabilized by a shift to another, but the overall perspective will be coherent.86

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Reading Fiction Somewhere between the truth of scripture and the fictions of poets, come, as we have seen more than once, the lives of non-biblical saints. Were they truth or fiction? The question was of more than theoretical interest for writers and (p. 252) readers of the Reformation crisis. Melanchthon turns to this very question in his Elementa rhetorices, just after he has dismantled fourfold allegorical reading applied to the Bible and demystified mythological decoding. Those, however, who understand how allegory operates as rhetorical trope do have a potent means of generating veridical fictions. They can invent the truth. Melanchthon continues his theme of giants begun with the Cyclops, and moves to the Christian giant, St Christopher, surely the hero of a very tall story. It is not as an exercise in reading that Melanchthon introduces the legend of St Christopher carrying the Christ child across the river, but as an example of flctive narration intentionally structured as a continuous metaphor, a selfconsistent rhetorical allegory, deployed sequentially in the text. At the conclusion of the story, the reader who knows how to read rhetorical allegory will have divined the intention of the author (in this case, to contrive an allegorical picture of a teacher of the Christian Gospel), the intention of the work (to warn us of the trials that beset the Christian teacher), and will have understood how it is to be incorporated into a rhetoric of production (it provides illustrative material for the commonplace head: teacher of the Christian Gospel).87 Unlike the pagan fictions submitted to late medieval allegorical interpretation, the original narrative of St Christopher does not have to be reread in a sense the completely overlays the primitive text as in palimpsest. Read rhetorically, the original text survives visibly as a trope. This is particularly clear in the example of St Christopher, for Melanchthon's ulterior motive here is to rescue from iconoclasts the enormous pictures of St Christopher that greeted the faithful at many a church door.88 In contrast with his medieval counterpart, the allegorizing activity of Melanchthon's rhetorical reader (or viewer) is legitimized, even though his freedom to respond is to some extent curtailed because the humanists’ rhetorical readers were led to entertain the assumption that they were colluding with the intention of the implied author of the rhetorically written text. The implied author of Melanchthon's St Christopher text remains anonymous. Indeed, despite the humanists’ professed interest in the historical circumstances of a text's production, the dialectical and rhetorical analysis they actually practised often tended to reduce authorship to the rhetorical intentions detectable in the work. But they taught narratio as part of their instruction in composition, and (p.253) made narrators of their pupils, often very selfconscious narrators too. Francois Rabelais, a contemporary of Melanchthon with a fondness for giant stories, was just as scathing about submitting texts and reading to far-fetched and inappropriate allegorizations, whether they were the lunacies of medieval theologians or the ravings of Greek grammarians:

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Reading Fiction Croiez vous en vostre foy qu’oncques Homere, escrivent l’Iliade et l’Odyssée, pensast es allegories lesquelles de luy ont beluté; Plutarche, Heraclides Ponticq, Eustatie et Phornute, et ce que d’iceulx Politian a desrobé? Si le croiez, vous n’aprochez ne de pieds ny de mains á mon opinion, qui decrete icelles aussi peu avoir esté songéez d’Homere, que d’Ovide en ses Metamorphoses les sacremens de l’Evangile, lesquelz un Frere Lubin [Pierre Bersuire, alias Thomas Walleys], vray croquelardon, s’est efForcé desmonstrer.89 Yet, even as he ridicules schematic allegorical interpretation, here in the Prologue to his Gargantua and elsewhere in that book, he alerts his public to the fact that he had inserted rhetorical allegory into his narrative as a trope for the rhetorically educated to explore.90 They will find much matter to digest under the heads of religion, state government (politico which includes war), and domestic economy (oeconomia, which includes education). But Rabelais talks as author, not as commentator of his text. What seems to preoccupy him in his Prologue is the moment the reader opens the book that is sold to him. The text is released into another's ownership, or, to use one of the many continuous metaphors by which Rabelais signals here that he is employing allegory rhetorically, the dog seizes the bone. Rabelais surrenders absolute authority over his narrative's interpretation. The dog can employ all his readerly skills of patience, carefulness, persistence, application, and diligence to worry out the sense. The multiple reading strategies of humanist enarratio come into play. Nevertheless, Rabelais insidiously reasserts rhetorical and, thereby, authorial control, for these strategies are only allowed to operate under the sign of parody, and parody is always controlled reading, inscribed with the identity of an author, genuine or assumed. Rabelais performed his persona as author with increasing panache as his project evolved, and that is entirely typical of the humanist Latin environment to which his giant stories were so obviously linked, though they were in the vernacular speech. Renaissance Latin authors, committed to adopting as their own an alien tongue in order to fashion (p.254) their writing in imitation of an alien culture, were almost bound either to assume their constructed persona or to emerge from their apprenticeship as selfconscious bilinguals, acutely aware of themselves positioned between languages and cultures. In my next chapter, by way of epilogue, I shall describe a few examples of how the Latin language turn and its concomitant mentality could nurture narratives of the self. Notes:

(1) My references will be to an edn. published at Paris in 1583, Aphthonii sophistae Progymnasmata Rhetorica, Rodolpho Agricola Phrisio inteprete. There is a discussion of Agricola's Aphthonius, in the edn. with a commentary by Alardus of Amsterdam that first appeared in 1532, in Grafton and Jardine, From Humanism to the Humanities, 12–35. Page 35 of 48

Reading Fiction (2) See p. 202; narratio is the second of the exercises in Aphthonius, fo. 2v. (3) ‘Est autem fabula, oratio falsa similitudinem exprimens veritatis’ (ibid., fo. 2). (4) The paired examples of destructio vel subversio and confirmatio sive asseveratio are at fos. 5–7v. (5) I quote from Camerarius’ edn. entitled Libellus progymnasmatum (Leipzig: E. Voegelinus, 1567), sig. S 2v: ‘Est autem exemplum istud Aphthonii minus bellum, quod refellat vituperando autores fabulae poeticae, quod genus constat ab omni similitudine veri abhorrere, cum ipse in praeceptis posuerit: Ea quae omnino nequeant, confutanda non esse…. In assertione etiam, quae est veluti defensio, non fabulae narrationem studuit probari, sed occultiorem sententiam explicari, quae est Graecis allegoric’. (6) ‘Ideoque orationem disertam et bonam atque elegantem de instructo optimarum artium ac rerum cognitione et a prima aetate informato ad humanitatem virtutemque animo existere atque procedere necesse est…. Et Graeci uno verbo locutionem et rationem notare solent. Atque haec ut natura connixa et unita sunt, ita nulla creditur gens praeter Graecos et Latinos hanc copulam irruptam tenuisse…. Ex horum igitur linguis…humanae naturae perfectio et ingenii gloria actionumque claritas petenda et acquirenda est’ (Joachim Camerarius, Elementa rhetoricae, sive capita exercitiorum studii puerilis et stili, a revised and extended version of the 1540 edn. (Basle: J. Oporinus, 1545), 9–11). (7) ‘Omnis sermo vel est alicuius rei narratio, vel narrationis aut proemium, aut consequens, aut adiunctum’ (ibid. 20). (8) The account of allegory in the Elementa rhetoricae comes under various heads: mythological fable (83–98); ecphrasis, or ‘narrationum quasi picturae’ (123–43); aetiology, or explanations of the causes of things (306–9); enigma (309–13, 324–6); explanations of proverbs, obscure metaphors, and other ambiguities (316–17); and etymology (323–4). All are copiously illustrated by extensive quotation. (9) e.g. such observations as: ‘Quo loco [allegory as aetiology] exercendi iam ingenii sese latissimus campus aperit, in quern pueri sinon ut decurrant, certe ut contemplentur, ipsi quoque deducendi sunt’ (ibid. 309); ‘Non pro seriis haec [exercitia studiorum puerilium, i.e. making and reading allegories] habentur, sed ut praeparatio animorum ad seria proponuntur’ (ibid. 313); ‘Non enim quid verum in his [allegory as etymology], sed quid belle et scite excogitatum sit, quaeritur’ (ibid. 323).

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Reading Fiction (10) Modern edn. by E. Hunt, Lucula noctis (Notre Dame, Ind., 1940); for Dominici, see P. Denley, ‘Giovanni Dominici's Opposition to Humanism’, in K. Robbins (ed.), Religion and Humanism, Studies in Church History, 17 (1981), 103–14. (11) ‘Nullas grammaticorum regulas legi, Donatum non didici, nominum verborumque differentias penitus ignoro, et solo exercitio formas, ut possum, quos studui per memet ipsum ethnicos et Catholicos, antiquos et modernos, metris et prosa currentes, loquor imitatus doctorum’ (Lucula noctis, 355). (12) Ibid. 240–1. (13) Lucula noctis 242–3. The authority Dominici starts with here is again St Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, la, qu. 1, art. 10. St Thomas could have provided Dominici with an answer to the objection about secular poets, for he allows allegorical language to poets solely in respect of likenesses invented verbally. Unlike allegory in God's word, which operates through God-ordained likenesses between things, figures of similitude used in non-biblical writing cannot introduce meanings beyond the scope of the literal senses of the words they employ (see Quaestiones quodlibetales, vii 16). The ‘literal’ sense could be stretched to mean historical and physical, and even moral, interpretation (the terminology is very labile in the late Middle Ages), but not allegorical (doctrinal) or anagogical interpretation. Dominici, however, as we shall see, lived at a period when allegory closer to the biblical pattern was well established as an instrument for reading pagan mythology. (14) Lucula noctis, 218–19, allegorizing Proverbs 7: 6–27. (15) The letters are reproduced in Coluccio Salutati, Epistolario, ed. F. Novati, 5 vols. (Rome, 1891’1911), iv (1905), 170–240. For Salutati in general, see R. G. Witt, Hercules at the Crossroads: The Life, Works and Thought of Coluccio Salutati (Durham, NC, 1983). (16) Epistolario, iv. 176–8. For the operation of tropes on the imagination, ibid. 230: ‘altera vero sermo fit figurativus, intendens aliud quam pre se ferat, movens ex similitudine phantasiam tandemque duplici sensu tangens et erudiens intellectum’; this allows Salutati to disregard the notion of God's word manifest in things and to define biblical allegory in terms of human language, as a form of fiction no different from that familiar to the ancients: ‘Quicquid ergo de Deo loquimur, fictum est a nobis et nostris actibus mutuatum. Quod advertens Cicero noster ait: fingebat hec Homerus et humana ad deos transfert’ (ibid. 176). (17) ‘…quod propriis uterentur vocabulis, quod miris sententiarum et verborum ornatibus redundarent, quod vitam nostram, qualis esse debeat, virtutes laudando reprehendoque vitia, designarent’ (ibid. 196–7).

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Reading Fiction (18) Ibid. 217–20. Petrarch had much the same opinion about French attempts at eloquent speech, see Invectiva contra eum qui maledixit Italiae, in Francesco Petrarca, Prose, ed. G. Martellotti et al. (Milan and Naples, 1955), 770. (19) Epistolario 230–4; Salutati's repeated formulation of his idea of ‘bilingual’ poetry is: ‘exterius unum exhibens, aliud autem intrinseca ratione significans; semper in figura loquens et sepenumero versibus alligans, si quid refert’ (ibid. 233–4, 235, 240). (20) The best history of the four senses of biblical allegory is still H. de Lubac, Exégèse médiévale: Les Quatre Sens de l’Ériture, 4 vols. (Paris, 1959–64). (21) From the 12th cent, to the 14th, probably the most widely used source of information was the so-called Third Vatican Mythographer, a compiler known to the Middle Ages as Alexander and in the Renaissance as Albericus or Albricus, author of the Allegoriae poeticae. There is a vast literature on allegorical interpretation, but two books remain standard for general coverage: J. Seznec, La Survivance des dieux antiques (London, 1940; tr. B. F. Sessions, New York, 1961); D. C. Allen, Mysteriously Meant The Rediscovery of Pagan Symbolism and Allegorical Interpretation in the Renaissance (Baltimore and London, 1970); on the history of allegorical interpretation from antiquity to the 12th cent, see J. Whitman, Allegory: The Dynamics of an Ancient and Medieval Technique (Oxford, 1987); and for the later Middle Ages, J. B. Allen, The Friar as Critic: Literary Attitudes in the Later Middle Ages (Nashville, Tenn., 1971). (22) For a synopsis of Salutati's De laboribus Herculis and its allegorical interpretations of the exploits of its hero, see Weber, Histoire des idées et des combats d’idées, 415–26; also, for Salutati as interpreter of fable, C. Kallendorf, In Praise of Aeneas: Virgil and Epideictic Rhetoric in the Early Italian Renaissance (Hanover and London, 1989), 77–99. (23) The Latin text of the Genealogia was first printed in Italy in 1472 and in France in 1511. French translations were published at Paris in 1498 and 1531. It was clearly plundered for information, especially perhaps by vernacular writers, at least in France. Its chances of long survival into the world of humanism, however, were limited by several factors. Its Latin and its range of quoted sources were easily faulted. Its genealogical arrangement made it very difficult to search, and was completely alien to any of the methodologies for large-scale information organization that printing was to standardize.

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Reading Fiction (24) ‘Huius enim fervoris [poesis] sunt sublimes effectus, ut puta mentem in desiderium dicendi compellere, peregrinas et inauditas inventiones excogitare, meditatas ordine certo componere, ornare compositum inusitato quodam verborum atque sententiarum contextu, velamento fabuloso atque decenti veritatem contegere…. Habet enim suas inventiones rethorica, verum apud integumenta fictionum nulle sunt rethorice partes; mera poesis est, quicquid sub velamento componitur et exponitur exquisite’ (Boccaccio, Genealogie deorum gentilium libri, ed. V. Romano, 2 vols. (Bari, 1951), ii. 699, 701). (25) The brief account that follows is necessarily a mere overview, and needs to be supplemented with a great deal of detail (which will doubtless complicate the picture much further). For a perceptive comparison of the chief point at issue here (allegory as rhetoric and allegory as hermeneutic), see E. Hellgardt, ‘Erkenntnis theoretisch-ontologische Probleme uneigentlicher Sprache in Rhetorik und Allegorese’, in W. Haug (ed.), Formen und Funktionen der Allegorie (Stuttgart, 1979), 25–37. There is a very interesting attempt to describe a ‘typology’ of reading in this period in J. Hankins, Plato in the Italian Renaissance, 2 vols. (Leiden and New York, 1990), i. 18–25. (26) For definitions of allegoria in humanist dictionaries, see Charlet, ‘Allegoria, fabula, et mythos’. (27) For Quintilian on allegory, see Institutio oratorio, 8. 6. 44–50; it was Quintilian's notion that allegory can involve opposite as well as similar meanings that brought irony and sarcasm within its scope. (28) Rhetorica ad Herennium, 4. 24. 46. The commentary by Maturanzio at this point refers to Quintilian and makes no mention of any possible use of allegory for encoding truth. (29) For rather different developments in medieval commentary, particularly as they affected rhetorical allegory and its contamination with biblical allegory, see the illuminating chapter in Reynolds, Medieval Reading, 135–49. (30) In French, in particular, there was an efflorescence of allegorical literature in the late 15th and early 16th cent. It ranged from devotional works for nonLatinate readers, especially women, to political and celebratory poems designed for the court and nobility (see e.g. J. Britnell, Jean Bouchet (Edinburgh, 1986); D. Cowling, Building the Text: Architecture as Metaphor in Late Medieval and Early Modern France (Oxford, 1998)). It included ambitious extravaganzas like the Illustrations de Gaule et Singularitez de Troye (1511–31) of Jean Lemaire de Beiges, whose implied readers were as familar with the texts of Italian humanists as with the native tradition. Even after the high fashion for allegory declined in the 1530s, the allegorizing spirit was still strong and manifested itself in areas where Latin and the French vernacular met, most notably in emblem books. Page 39 of 48

Reading Fiction (31) For details, see D. W. T. Starnes and E. W. Talbert, Classical Myth and Legend in Renaissance Dictionaries (Chapel Hill, NC, 1955). (32) See C. Vasoli, ‘Ficin (Marsile) (1433–1499)’, in Centuriae latinae, 361–77, for a synopsis of Ficino's career and a bibliography, to which add E. H. Gombrich's essay on ‘Botticelli's Mythologies: A Study in the Neo-Platonic Symbolism of his Circle’, in his Symbolic Images: Studies in the Art of the Renaissance (London, 1972), 31–81. Latin translations of allegorical readings of Homer collected in 1542 and 1544 are described by P. Ford, ‘Conrad Gesner et le fabuleux manteau’, Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance, 47 (1985), 305–20. For a general history, see Hankins, Plato in the Italian Renaissance. (33) It is no accident that the vogue for Neoplatonic speculation coincides with renewed interest in late antique Latin texts like Macrobius, Commentarii in somnium Scipionis, with its definition of fabulous narration (‘narratio fabulosa, non fabula’) at its purest as the veiling of holy things in veils of fiction. Josse Bade published a briefly annotated edn. in 1524, Macrobii Aurelii Theodosii…in Somnium Scipionis M. Tullii Ciceronis libri duo, et Saturnalium lib. VII. Neoplatonic allegory continued to be a key for unlocking the secrets of Homer, though by no means the sole, or even among the most favoured methods of reading ancient poetry, its best-known exponent was probably Jean Dorat (1508 or 1517–88), on whose interpretation of the Odyssey, see J. Dorat, Mythologicum ou interpretation allégorique de l’Odyssée X–XII et de l’Hymne à Aphrodite, ed. P. Ford (Geneva, 2000). (34) For a much wider-angled view on the history of commentary itself at this period, consult A. Grafton, ‘Renaissance Readers and Ancient Texts: Commentaries on Some Commentaries’, Renaissance Quarterly, 38 (1985), 615– 49; G. Mathieu-Castellani and M. Plaisance (eds.), Les Commentaires et la naissance de la critique littéraire (Paris, 1990). (35) Quintianus Stoa, in his Epographia recommended in the Poetica of François Du Bois, had suggested that Apuleius should be called a ‘prose poet’ (23). Apuleius was a popular and an unsettling writer in the early humanist period. The moral universe of his Metamorphoses is not obviously edifying; he writes prose fiction, not easily assimilated to a heavily categorized view of literature that locates fiction within poetry; and his Latin, as Castellesi complained in his De sermone latino, was an embarrassment to Ciceronian purists (see p. 61). (36) See P. Maréchaux, ‘Béroalde l’ancien (Philippe) (Beroaldo Filippo senior) (1453–1505)’, in Centuriae latinae, ed. Nativel, 109–21. (37) For the medieval schemes, see A. J. Minnis, Medieval Theory of Authorship: Scholastic Literary Attitudes in the Later Middle Ages 2nd edn. (Aldershot, 1988), 9–39.

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Reading Fiction (38) I quote from the prologue material to the edn., Apuleius cum commento Beroaldi (Venice, 1516), sig. a iiiv. (39) ‘Fabula est oratio ficta verisimili dispositione imaginem exhibens veritatis’ (ibid, fo. 56); his references for the definition are to the rhetorical theory of narration, in the familiar formulations of the Rhetorica ad Herennium and Quintilian, and, in more Platonic vein, to the commentary on the dream of Scipio by Macrobius, 1. 2. (40) ‘Sed nos non tam allegorias in explicatione huiusce fabulae sectabimur quam historicum sensum et rerum reconditarum verborumque interpretationem explicabimus ne philosophaster magis videar quam commentator’ (Apuleius cum commento Beroaldi, fo. 56). Beroaldo's commentary on Apuleius was well known in the north. Jakob Locher, who called himself ‘Philomusus’, Wimpfeling's opponent in the controversy that produced Wimpfeling's 1510 defence of scholastic theology, had studied under Beroaldo in Italy. He draws on Beroaldo's commentary in his own annotations, ‘scholia paraphrastica’, on the fable of Cupid and Psyche in his edn. of the Mythologiae of Fulgentius (Augsburg, 1521). His annotations are a nice example of a humanist ‘improving’ Fulgentius’ late Latin, and contextualizing his allegorical interpretations in classical and postclassical literature, while at the same time keeping an array of allegorical possibilities. For Cupid and Psyche, he adds Martianus Capella and Boccaccio to extensive quotation from Beroaldo (sigs. K iiiv–L). (41) ‘…in his commentariis grammatici rhetorisque vices praestabimus’ (from his proemium to the Aeneid, in Virgilius cum commentariis quinque videlicet Servii, Landini, Ant. Mancinelli, Donati, Domitii (Venice, 1493), fo. 112). On Landino's Virgilian commentaries, see C. Kallendorf, ‘Cristoforo Landino's Aeneid and the Humanist Critical Tradition’, Renaissance Quarterly, 36 (1983), 519–46, and id, In Praise of Aeneas, 128–65. (42) Virgilius cum commentariis quinque, fo. 112. (43) Ibid., fo. 127v. (44) Virgilius cum commentariis quinque, fos. iiiv–112; the proemium published with the 1488 commentary expatiates at length on the links between the ‘divine fury’ of poetry and contemplation of the summum bonum, and makes quite clear some of the differences between the two commentaries, notably their methodologies and the type of knowledge they pursue: ‘in the Disputationes I took on the task of the philosopher-interpreter, whereas in this commentary [1488] I shall play the role of grammarian and rhetorician’ (fo. 112); one might contrast Beroaldo's positive choice of the second of these two modes, and his downgrading of ‘philosophus’ to ‘philosophaster’. (45) Kallendorf, In Praise of Aeneas, 130. Page 41 of 48

Reading Fiction (46) He talks of the ‘perpetuus tenor’ of his interpretation in the Disputationes, so arranged ‘ut ita cuncta procederent et nihil ex consequents us iis quae prius dicta fuerant pugnare videatur’ (Virgilius cum commentariis quinque, fo. 112). (47) Quaestiones camaldulenses Christophori Landini Florentini (Venice, 1505), sigs. f iii + 3–g ii. (48) I have explained in my Disputationes camaldulenses why Venus manifests herself to her son as goddess at the fall of Troy and why here [in book 1] she appears to him disguised as a huntress, and I beg you, my reader, not to let that passage escape your notice. You will see there how lofty and how deep the meanings are that the divine poet conceals beneath the figures of these fables’ (Virgilius cum commentariis quinque, fo. 130). (49) On this and on the other two edns. of the Metamorphoses about to be discussed, see Moss, Ovid in Renaissance France; M. Jeanneret, ‘Préfaces, commentaires et programmation de la lecture: L’Exemple des Métamorphoses’, in G. Mathieu-Castellani and M. Plaisance (eds.), Les Commentaires et la naissance de la critique littéraire (Paris, 1990), 31–9; B. Guthmüller, ‘Formen des Mythenverständnisses urn 1500’, in H.-J. Horn and H. Walter (eds.), Die Alkgorese des antiken Mythos (Wiesbaden, 1997), 37–61. A. Moss, Latin Commentaries on Ovid in the Renaissance (Signal Mountain, Tenn., 1998) provides translations into English of different commentaries on the fables of Apollo and Daphne, Acteon and Diana, Echo and Narcissus; this is very informative about different styles of exegesis current in our period, but not about different styles of Latin. (50) 'Opus videlicet ipsum predicatoribus, id est divini verbi declamatoribus, sane quam utile futurum\quoted from Bade's 1515 edn. of the work, fo. Av (there were four edns. in all, in 1509,1511,1515, and 1521); the preface is reproduced in P. Renouard, Bibliographie des impressions et des ozuvres dejosse Bade Ascensius iii. 117. (51) Metamorphoses, 1. 497–502, and also the further passage describing Daphne, 1. 528–30. Bersuire's Apollo and Daphne interpretation is at fos. xxiv-xxiii of the 1515 edn. of Metamorphosis ovidiana moraliter explanata (for the complete translation see Moss, Latin Commentaries on Ovid, 86–90). The passage about ambitious pursuit of glory gives an idea of Bersuire's Latin: ‘Daphne puella pulcherrima est mundana gloria que a talibus adamatur ita quia ipsam quantum possunt insequuntur sicut potest de multis militibus qui pro ista habenda vadunt ad guerras et torneamenta; de clericis qui pro ista dimittunt patriam et delectamenta; de hypocritis qui pro ista patiuntur penitentiam et tormenta; de ambitiosis qui pro ista puella tanta adhibent blandimenta’ (fos. xxiv-xxii); note the rhyming pattern of words ending in ‘menta’.

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Reading Fiction (52) ‘Ista enim habet diversa membra appetibilia sicut caput, id est altitudinem honoris, brachia, id est amplexum amoris, ventrem, id est affectus delitiarum, oculos id est affectus scientiarum, capillos id est successus divitiarum’ (ibid., fo. xxii). (53) See n. 13. (54) Bade says in his preface that his author was ‘more engaged in divine than in humane letters’, and another might have extracted ‘more celestial nectar’ from the flowers of Ovid's stories; however, his task is to print the work, not to judge it. (55) For French vernacular literature, see e.g. H. Campagne, Mythobgie et rhétorique aux XVe et XVIe siècles en France (Paris, 1996); R. BlumenfeldKosinski, Reading Myth: Classical Mythology and its Interpretations in Medieval French Literature (Stanford, Calif., 1997). For an example of another Latin commentator using the method, this time a friend of Lefèvre d’Etaples and acquaintance of Erasmus, see the edn. of Ovid's Remedium Amoris published at Paris in 1493 by Aegidius Delphus (Gilles de Delft, d. 1524); there were reprintings at Paris, Caen, and Rouen in 1495, 1501, and 1506. The difference between Aegidius’ interpretations and Bersuire's is not their methodology or their substance, but the fact that in Aegidius the hermeneutic is largely divorced from its earlier preaching context. (56) ‘I have lately acquired a book written by one of our [i.e. Dominican] masters from England…His name is Thomas Walleys and the subject of the book is the Metamorphoses of Ovid; it explains all the fables allegorically and spiritually’. The letter is to be found in the modern edn. and English trans lation by F. G. Stokes, Epistolae obscurorum virorum (London, 1925), 72–6 (1. 28); see also R. P. Becker, A War of Fools: The Letters of Obscure Men, a Study of the Satire and the Satirized (Berne, 1981). (57) By way of example: ‘Item quomodo Iuppiter supposuit Europam virginem, etiam habetur in sacra scriptura,…quia sic dixit ad earn: “audi, filia, et vide, et inclina aurem tuarn, quia concupivit rex speciem tuam” [Psalm 45:11–12]. Item Cadmus quaerens sororem suam, gerit personam Christi, qui quaerit suam sororem, id est animam humanam; et aediiicavit civitatem, id est ecclesiam’ (p. 75). The anachronisms that seem so obvious to the modern reader do not have a conspicuous place in the crit icism of Bersuire's mockers. (58) Erasmus, Opus epistolarum, ed. P. S Allen, 12 vols. (Oxford, 1906–58), iii. 388. Erasmus’ Folly also delivers a fine parody of the ‘modern’ preaching mode, complete with examples from historical legends expounded allegorically, tropologically, and anagogically (Moriae encomium, ed. C. H. Miller, Opera omnia, iv/3 (Amsterdam, 1979) 162–8; Praise of Folly, tr. B. Radice (London, 1993), 99–104). Page 43 of 48

Reading Fiction (59) This would need a great deal of qualification, but it also holds true for edns. of Ovid's Heroides, Ars amatoria, and Remedium Amoris. In the case of the latter, the allegorizing edn. by Aegidius Delphus is published at Paris and its satellites, and an Italian commentary almost exclusively at Lyons; see Moss, Ovid in Renaissance France. Extracts from Regio's commentary on the Metamorphoses, together with a short introduction, are to be found in Moss, Latin Commentaries on Ovid, 29–60; see also P. Maréchaux, ‘Regius (Regio Raffaele) (1440–1520)’, in Centuriae latinae, ed. Nativel, 657–65. (60) As Regio says in his preface (sigs. a iiiiv-a iiii+iv of the 1518 Lyons edn., reproduced in facsimile in S. Orgel (ed.), The Renaissance and the Gods, 55 vols. (New York and London), iii (1976); translation of the preface in Moss, Latin Commentaries on Ovid, 35–7). (61) A fairly rare example is the suggestion that the fable of Acteon ‘was made up because Acteon was very fond of hunting and wasted all his inheritance on food for his hounds’, but Regio had the author ity of Fulgentius for this (Moss, Latin Commentaries on Ovid 47, 60). (62) The commentary on Daphne and Apollo is at fos. XXIIIIV-XXVII of the 1518 edn., and pp. 37–45 of Moss, Latin Commentaries on Ovid. (63) Petrus Lavinius tells us he came from Langres; a poem by him in praise of Lyons is included in Champier's Duellum epistolare of 1519 (sigs. lv-l ii), and he provided liminary material for Lemaire's Illustrations de Gaule et Singularitez de Troye. His annotations on Ovid cover only the first 451 lines of the Metamorphoses the work having been interrupted by his Lent preaching at Vienne. A translation of his preface and some of the commentary, together with an introduction, is given in Moss, Latin Commentaries on Ovid, 103–23. (64) See the 1518 Lyons edn., fo. XX. (65) Ibid, fos. IIIIV, XVIII. (66) From Lavinius’ prefatory letter to Claude de Longwy, archdeacon of Maçon, ibid., sig. a iiii+1v. (67) Geneabgia deorutn, 14. 7 (ii. 699–701); Lavinius quotes or paraphrases from the first part of this chapter in his prefatory letter, sigs. a iiii+iv-a iiii +2. (68) ‘Sumrno delabor Olympo Et deus humana lustro sub imagine terras’ (Metamorphoses, 1. 212–13), lines that Lavinius makes into the text of an exemplary sermon, Metamorphoses moralizati, fos. XXV [i.e. XVTI]V-XVIII. Its highly rhetorical ending modulates into a poem.

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Reading Fiction (69) For an excellent synopsis of the situation and an indication of further ramifications later in the century, see M. Jeanneret, ‘Renaissance Exegesis’, in Norton (ed.), Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, iii. 36–43. (70) For an earlier version of these pages devoted to Melanchthon, see A. Moss, ‘Truth and Fiction: Melanchthon as a Medium for Change’, in Frank and Meerhoff (eds.), Melanchthon und Europa (Stuttgart, 2002), 255–67. (71) Institutiones graecae grammatical in Opera, xviii (1852), col. 125. This method he calls ‘mytholo-gia’, in Greek, a term that becomes normative for Melanchthon and many others, meaning ‘allegorical interpretation of fable’. (72) Encomium ebquentiae, in Opera, xi (1843), col. 56. These were exactly the sort of allegorizations that Neoplatonists found so attractive, because they could be fitted into their schemes of cosmic affini ties so often dressed in the mantle of fable. Eleven years or so later, Rabelais, in the Prologue to his Gargantua, agreed totally with Melanchthon, and equated such Greek grammarians (late antique and Byzantine commentators on Homer), with the, by then, thoroughly discredited Bersuire (Gargantua, ed. R. Calder and M. A. Screech (Geneva and Paris, 1970), 15–16); the reference to Lavinius in the note on p. 16 is incorrect). (73) The poem is reproduced in Melanchthon, Opera, x (1842), col. 490. The Greek Neoplatonic alle gories translated by the eminent humanist from Zurich, Konrad Gesner, for the 1542 volume are described by Ford, ‘Conrad Gesner et le fabuleux manteau’. (74) The Praefatio in Homerum is at cols. 397–413, Opera, xi (1843). (75) The section on commentary, De commentandi ratione, is at De rhetorica libri tres, 31–41, with the discussion of allegorica enarratio beginning on p. 36. (76) It is exactly the same as he had proposed in his Institutiones graecae grammaticae a year earlier. In his De copia of 1512, Erasmus had been rather similarly nonplussed about allegorical interpretation.Allegorical exposition is to be part of the way of amplifying on fables (an essentially rhetorical rationale for its use), and ‘although it is by no means always obvious how to interpret a fable allegorically’, yet, Erasmus assures, those who know about antiquity all agree that beneath the fictions of the ancient poets lie allegorical meanings, whether the sense be historical, theological, physical, or moral (234–6). By 1518, Melanchthon had already dropped theological, or spiritual, interpretation (which, for Erasmus, may have been more of the Neoplatonic than of the Bersuire variety).

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Reading Fiction (77) The criteria preclude such allegorizations as a reading of the seven columns of Solomon's temple as the seven liberal arts (goes against decorum) or as the seven sacraments (based on a very modern obsession with this number of sacraments); but they allow the typology that reads Christ in the ram caught in the thorns (the Pharisees) and substituted for the sacrifice of Isaac. (78) De rhetorica, 71. (79) Elementa rhetorices, in Opera, xiii (1846), coL 466. This is very different from the Bersuire-type formula, which activates allegorical senses from equivalences based in individual words: Phoebus signifies lovers of worldly glory (or the devil), Daphne is worldly glory (or the Christian soul), the laurel a religious person (or the the cross). (80) Ibid., cols. 466–8. (81) ‘Caeterum nos meminerimus unam quandam ac certam et simplicem sententiam ubique quaerendam esse iuxta praecepta grammaticae, dialecticae et rhetoricae. Nam oratio, quae non habet unam ac simplicem sententiam, nihil certi docet. Si quae figurae occurrent, hae non debent multos sensus parere, sed iuxta consuetudinem sermonis unam aliquem sententiam, quae ad caetera quadret, quae dicuntur’ (Melanchthon, Opera, xiii, col. 468). (82) Ibid., cols. 471–2; for the ‘fictionalizing’ of scripture that had so worried theological opponents of Salutati and Polich, see pp. 229 and 132–3. (83) Ibid., col. 473. (84) Melanchthon, Opera, xviii (1852), 198–202. (85) ‘…non est semper in fabulis ratio quaerenda; sed satis sit aliquousque deprehendisse, quid significare poeta voluerit Nam sicut in pictura rationes non semper sunt quaerendae, cur arborem sic pinxerit, cum aliquis montem pingere potuerit: ita nee in expositionibus fabularum ad amussim omnia sunt rimanda’ (ibid., col. 200).

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Reading Fiction (86) The Lutheran textbook for allegorical readings of ancient fable was the Fabularum Ovidii interpretatio of Melanchthon's son-in-law, Georg Schuler (Georgius Sabinus), produced in 1554. Its influence spread well beyond Lutheran Germany, with edns. at Paris and London. Long extracts from the work appear in 17th-cent dictionaries of mythology, and in French and English translations of the Metamorphoses. For translations of Schuler's commentary on some fables, see Moss, Latin Commentaries on Ovia, 143–58. Melanchthon's own views on allegorical interpretation were also avail able in French edns. of his rhetorical works and his commentaries, and were cited e.g. in the ‘Preparation de voie à la lecture, et intelligence de la Metamorphose d’Ovide, et de tous Poëtes fabuleux’ at the beginning of Barthélemy Aneau's edn. of French translations of the first three books of the Metamorphoses (Lyons, 1556). Melanchthon's reading practice, if not necessarily his direct influence, may be detected in the flexible, open-ended copia of reading possibilities implied in so many French vernacular texts; see e.g. T. Cave, The Comucopian Text: Problems of Writing in the French Renaissance (Oxford, 1979) and, most recently, M. Jeanneret, ‘Rabelais’ Strength and the Pitfalls of Methodology (Tiers livre, chapters 7–18)’, in J. O’Brien and M. Quainton (eds.), Distant Voices Still Heard: Contemporary Readings of French Renaissance Literature (Liverpool, 2000), 69– 84. (87) Melanchthon, Opera, xiii, cols. 473–4. Melanchthon's reformulation of the legend of St Christopher is put through many variations in a collection part written, part edited, by Georgius Thymus (Georg Klee), published at Wittenberg in 1555. There are explanatory, catechetic dialogues in verse, retellings in elegiacs, aphorisms, and distichs. In effect, it becomes the progenitor of rhetorical exercises. St Christopher (not unlike St Ann) had mutated and survived into a very different intellectual world from that in which his legend was published by Martin Landsberg at Leipzig in 1510, in a version by an Italian with humanist pretensions, Johannes Garzonius (1419–1506), entitled Gbriosissimi martyris Christophori cananei vita. Although dedicated with some flourish to Leipzig students of eloquence, it was essentially the story of St Chrisopher as it is told in the Golden Legend, but in a Latin remodelled to some extent so as to reproduce a more classical idiom (I owe my acquaintance with this text to Alison Frazier, whose projected book on lives of saints by Italian humanists will fill a major gap in the history of these sorts of productions). (88) ‘Merito igitur laudata est imago, et in omnibus picta templis, non ut per superstitionem coleretur, sed ut nos admoneret nostrorum periculorum’ (Opera, xiii, col. 474). (89) Rabelais, Gargantua, 15–16.

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Reading Fiction (90) There is no proof that Rabelais was acquainted with Melanchthon's Elementa rhetoricesy but it was published at Lyons in 1533 and twice in 1534, at the time and in the place where Gargantua was coming into being. For a more general examination of the relationship between Rabelais and contemporary interpretative techniques, see M. Jeanneret, Le Défi des signes: Rabelais et la crise de l’interprétation à la Renaisssance (Orléans, 1994). For Edmund Spenser's overriding preference in The Faerie Queene for rhetorical allegory over the allegorical senses of medieval hermeneutic, see W. Nelson, The Poetry of Edmund Spenser: A Study (New York and London, 1963), 127–46. Virgil, Ariosto, and Tasso were Spenser's models for allegorical fiction, poems in which allegory functions in particular instances either as extended metaphor or as personification of abstract ideas and, at a more general level, as fictional exemplification of moral commonplaces. Nelson illustrates at length how Spenser makes it impossible for the reader to impose a rigid interpretative schema onto his poem and how the poem is driven by the pursuit of variety in the reading strategies it implies, by a ‘hunger for complexity’.

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Turning Inward

Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

Turning Inward Ann Moss


Abstract and Keywords This chapter provides an exploration of ‘self-narration’. The chapter concentrates on love poetry, a kind of discourse in which the first person pronoun predominates and turns attention on itself. Other literary works that are discussed in this chapter are prayers, hymns, and even sermons. Keywords:   self-narration, Renaissance, love poetry, discourse, first person pronoun, prayers, hymns, sermons

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Turning Inward FOR A CHRISTIAN writer in the early sixteenth century there was a place of interior conversation where late medieval Latin was far more naturally spoken than the Latin of the humanists. That was the place of prayer, of public liturgical prayer and private prayer in prose, of verse hymns sung in ritual settings and meditated in solitude (and the many early printed collections of hymns abstracted from the breviary indicate they were read in private).1 An exploration of‘self-narration’ at this period could well concentrate on love poetry, a kind of discourse in which the first person pronoun predominates and turns attention on itself. Love poetry, however, was more easily translatable between languages because, superficially at any rate, it was less culturally specific than Christian prayer. The poet-lover could appropriate pagan narratives and the language of their telling, and assimilate them within the controlled environment of his poem in order to expand the horizons of his imagined experience without fear of selfbetrayal or cultural alienation. Late medieval vernacular poetry was totally porous in this way, and humanists imitating Greek Anacreon and Latin elegies mimicked their ways of feeling and knowing as easily as they did a different mode of loving in their translations of Petrarch. When the subject of a poem is specifically Christian, as we have seen in the case of Mantuan's Virgin Mary, such translation is exceedingly problematic.

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Turning Inward Nevertheless, prayers, hymns (and sermons, as we have already noticed) were narrative sites of prime importance, and prayers and hymns invariably focused at some point on the originator of the utterance: ‘I’. The affective prayer so typical of the late Middle Ages seems intensely personal. In his De laudibus sanctissime matris Anne tractatus, with its humanistic pretensions, lohannes Trithemius refashioned the narrative of St Ann's life as a piece of epideictic rhetoric, from which he himself is largely absent, except as a critical commentator of the late medieval manner of recounting her story. Yet he is torn between his commitment to the language and rhetoric of humanist viri eruditi and his reluctance to discredit popular piety and its modes of speech. The strife between the Latin idioms is for him a matter of conscience: how can Christians so deceive themselves as to condemn the ‘simple’ language of the Christian Church?2 And, indeed, for prayer, where the Christian (p.256) conscience is exposed, Trithemius uses late medieval Latin and first person speech. A prayer to St Ann that he composed in 1499 to accompany a cycle of offices in her honour asks her prayers ‘for me’. He specifies the personal, highly emotional transformation of the self that prayer can effect, and does so in a series of rhyming phrases that echo the sermon Latin of the day: ‘Impetra mihi o sanctissima domina interni amoris dulcedinem, veram cordis mei devotionem, lachrymarum fontem, intellectus intellectuationem, affectus puritatem, voluntatis rectitudinem, intentionis bonae omnimodam sanctitatem.’3 Yet this is not ‘personal’ in the autobiographical sense. The prayer is a public document for the devout to make their own in private use, sanctioned for circulation and furnished with indulgences by the cardinal legate in 1503. Trithemius as a writer for the pious, who were not necessarily viri eruditu, uses the Latin that was the universal expression of the very generalized religious sensibility fostered in the community by the late medieval Church. In so far as Trithemius writes himself into this discourse, it is in a manner that no classical Latin writer would have recognized. A sequence for St Ann composed for the installation of a confraternity in 1500 is signed by him in acrostich, the first letter of each of its verses spelling out his name.4 A question that deserves more consideration than is possible in this concluding chapter is whether the reformed Latin of the humanists was able to enunciate the affective spirituality of the late medieval Church. It is necessary to bear in mind that devout humanists, Trithemius, Lefèvre d’étaples, Clichtove, all, to a greater or a lesser degree, called for the radical rewriting of offices and hymns, occasional masses, and sequences. Even Latin humanists who recoiled at replacing the Vulgate, disengaged themselves from traditional liturgical Latin. Once religious writing ceased to speak the communal prayer language of liturgy, and looked to classicizing Latin to articulate the sensibility that late medieval piety had ingrained so deeply in the heart, it may well be that it found a new subject emerging within the new idiom.

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Turning Inward When Trithemius wrote his De laudibus for St Ann with one hand, as it were, and his liturgical material on the same subject with his other, and when Bade printed new hymns alongside his résumé of a late fifteenth-century life of St Ann, they were registering, unconsciously perhaps, the potentially destabilizing effect of the humanist Latin idiom on the securities of the believing community, previously identified with a certain speech community. The early sixteenthcentury printers at Leipzig responded in a similarly fractured way, providing their customers with an array of examples of hymns for St Ann. A cursus of offices for St Ann published by Wolfgang Stöckel in 1517 is clearly aimed at the ‘popular’ market for works of traditional piety. It was in 1517 that Johann Wildenauer denounced the legend of (p.257) St Ann's extended family as ‘lies’ and ‘nonsense’, but this manual assigns daily prayers throughout the week to every single member of St Ann's kin. Its hymns are couched in rhyming, accentuated Latin, normally with little narrative content. Narrative, however, is present in the form of an exemplum towards the end, an edifying death-bed scene of a devotee of St Ann recounted in distinctively late medieval Latin prose.5 The cursus and its hymns are related through this narrative exemplum to the popular late fifteenth-century lives of St Ann by the anonymous Franciscan and Petrus Dorlandus, both of which had given several accounts of miracles attributed to the saint. Trithemius, in his humanistic mode, however, had excised the miracles from his De laudibus sanctissime matris Anne, as he had any form of extended narrative.

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Turning Inward The context for the reception of the Cursus de sanctissima matre Anna was most probably religious communities and devout households where pious practices deliberately replicated the ritual rhythms of the collective Church. Hymns had a very different role in humanist classrooms. Throughout northern Europe, annotated hymn collections were used to teach the grammatical skills of lectio, enarratio, text emendation, and metrics. When they did not exemplify ‘good’ Latin, they were held up as bad and then corrected. Throughout northern Europe also, humanists exercised their talents for verse composition by writing hymns for St Ann. At Leipzig, discriminating purchasers looking for good Christian sentiments in ‘good’ Latin could buy Heinrich Bebel's hymn to St Ann composed in Latin lyric measures and modelled on the ‘best’ of the earliest Latin hymns of the Church, that is to say, those that had been written before the language diverted from classical norms of vocabulary, phraseology, and metre.6 If their tastes were more exotic, and their purses well supplied, they could invest in the large and lavishly produced volume entitled Musithias, in which Johannes Tuberinus (d. 1522) had collected long hymns of his own fabrication, written in various metres, addressed to Christ and various saints, and assembled in groups named after the nine muses.7 The accommodation of Christian hymns to the classical muses is (p.258) indicative of the work's pretensions to a classicizing Latin distantly derived from Mantuan, but the imitation is crude and the Latin very awkward. Bebel's hymn is emotionally and linguistically chaste, and universal in its sentiments. It belongs to a rhetoric of praise (laus) and prayer (votum) assimilable to classical prototypes, and it does not narrate. Tuberinus, in his hymn for St Ann, is similarly impersonal. His classical Latin vocabulary is merely an excessively ornate and cumbersome overlay to his very schematic narration of some aspects of the saint's life (including lists of her husbands and children).

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Turning Inward Among the very many humanists who venerated St Ann with no less zeal than the less erudite, the most famous was Erasmus. His hymn ‘in praise of Ann, the grandmother of Jesus Christ’ probably dates from the early years of the 1490s. In 1501, despite the fact that it is written in quite respectable iambic dimeters, Erasmus referred to it deprecatingly as ‘rithmi’, that is to say, accentuated verse, rather than as a poem (carmen), thereby signalling his latter-day perception that it was close kin to late medieval hymns and sequences in rhymed, accentuated Latin, properly called rhythmus. Its language is a neutral sort of Latin, unmarked either by characteristically medieval forms or by extreme classicizing vocabulary. The poem makes no attempt to engage a personal, affective response. Indeed, it inclines to the cerebral, playing on invidious comparison between Ann and childless women of the Old Testament and on a sort of gradatio that constructs a chain of intercession from Ann to Mary to Son to Father. Both of these devices functioned as formulae for amplifying sermon material on the same subject, and the way Erasmus implements them has something of the schematic rigour of medieval preaching rhetoric. Essentially, though, the hymn is structured as chronological narrative, briefly telling the story of how Ann came to conceive her child, but not encumbering her with extra husbands and extra kin.8 This hymn entered neither the canon of humanist Latin production nor the world of print until 1518 and 1519, when it did both, first as a component of the classically entitled Epigrammata, then as an appendix to the Enchiridion, that manual for humanist education in ‘good Latin and good morals’, and, finally, fixed as a monument to pietas Utterata, in an (p.259) edition with commentary by Jakob Spiegel.9 Spiegel's enarratio, which reads like many a schoolroom explanation of an ancient or contemporary humanist text, cites instances of its vocabulary in classical authors, and explains words and things by reference to relevant passages in classical and early Christian books. The hymn is pinned down for analysis, and reprogrammed as a learning resource for students of language and culture. It is entirely removed from circulation within the community of prayer. When Erasmus retrieved this manuscript from his bottom drawer for presentation to a possible patron in 1501, he recognized that St Ann had already been celebrated ‘facundissimis litteris’ (that is to say, with the noble eloquence possible only in the revived Latin of ancient Rome) by two illustrious predecessors, Mantuan and Rudolph Agricola.10 At least on the relatively small matter of St Ann, he was right to cite them as superior exponents of ‘Christiana pietas’ articulated in eloquent Latin. Mantuan had narrated the saint's life both in the Parthenice mariana and in the hymn dedicated to her in his Fasti, and in Chapter 81 examined his procedures and his importance, and pointed to the subsequent development of Christian epic. Mantuan's poem obviously belongs to the mainstream history of Renaissance literature. Rudolph Agricola's Anna mater presides over a rather more obscure and, perhaps, a more difficult birth.

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Turning Inward It was first printed by Richard Pafraet at Deventer in 1484, the only one of his works that Agricola saw into print.11 This may signal the strength of his personal commitment to the work. It is certainly one in which the personal subject eventually predominates. From the first 258 of its 310 lines, however, the personal subject is absent, or only implied in the author's expert control of language and argument. Agricola's Latin is resolutely classical. The angel in the story of Joachim and Anna is always a ‘nuncius’; Mary conceives, not by the Holy Ghost, but ‘superno flatu’. These substitutions of one Latin idiom for another are handled with immense tact. Whereas Mantuan prompted his reader to recall lines of ancient poetry and intertextually activate new cultural reverberations for familiar Christian episodes, Agricola abstracts his vocabulary from precise and retrievable locations in classical texts. The only really clear reminiscences are from the poems in the Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius, significantly a writer who bestrode the pagan and the Christian worlds.12 (p.260) In his finding and his arranging of his material, Agricola is the humanist orator, embarking on this paean for St Ann in full possession of all the places from which epideictic rhetoric draws its arguments. He fully rhetoricizes Christian praise, just as his Oratio de nativitate sive immensa natalis diei Iesu Christi laetitia, a sermon delivered at Christmas the same year, replaces the medieval sermon scheme with amplificatory and probative strategies learnt from Cicero and Quintilian. This, however, is not just the student of ancient rhetoric at work, but the Agricola who systematically elaborated the theory of generating discourse from place-argument in his letter De formando studio, also written in 1484, and in his De inventione dialectica. Starting from an exordium, followed by a fairly brief narratio of the events preceding Mary's conception, Agricola takes his Anna mater through commonplaces, through the arguments for praise ‘because of parents’ (but here reversed for the pleasure of the knowing reader into an argument ‘because of offspring’), through comparison, and extends the itinerary by elaborating it with figures of thought and tropes. The first 192 lines of the poem could well be read as a more ambitious and much more ‘eloquent’ version of Erasmus’ later hymn. They certainly demonstrate a deftly blended amalgam of Christian content and classical Latin expression, but so far Agricola has not asked the humanist idiom to transport the weight of personal feeling.

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Turning Inward In the last third of the poem, the focus shifts from familiar places of praise to Ann's power to succour the afflicted. The slandered, the grieving, the lovesick, the persecuted, the fearful, the imprisoned, and the threatened, all vividly described in classical Latin and gathered into groups linked by an array of anaphorical phrases learnt in ancient authors, broaden the emotional horizon of the hymn. But a new world altogether hoves into view when Agricola makes his own experience the chief exemplum to prove Ann's efficiency. The twenty-four lines that describe his own illness and miraculous cure certainly have a probatory function, and may be seen as the strategical placing of testimony (technically an ‘inartificial’ proof) to corroborate his argument: ‘Certa loquor’, I speak true. What matters, however, is that the speaking witness is the self, drawing on autobiographical experience and putting it at the centre of the Christian encounter.13 This is quite different from Trithemius using the first person to articulate the affective response of the community of believers. The Christian humanist poet has discarded the traditional idiom of intensely rapt devotion, and with it a certain communality of experience. The language he uses locates him within the speech community of classical authors, yet uneasily so. When they describe physical pain and distress with this vocabulary and this phraseology they are generally describing others, not themselves. In turning their language inward on himself, Agricola discovers himself as (p.261) subject, but the context in which he does so is a unique and individual religious experience that pagan poets could not have and to which recent Christian Latin writers had not generally allowed a uniquely private voice. The self Agricola describes is vulnerable and alone, the offspring of two linguistically defined and, as we have seen, largely incompatible cultures, born, as it were, in the space between them.14

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Turning Inward Nevertheless, Agricola's was a voice that was heard from both sides, audible to the traditionally devout as well as to the viri eruditi. It was printed many times, far more than any other non-liturgical hymn, and it appeared in various contexts. Petrus Dorlandus featured it in his Historiaperpulchra de Anna sanctissima around 1487. He quoted the first lines of Anna materi, which set the programme of praise, and a section from the end of the poem, just after Agricola has modulated his forms of expression so as to move from prayer after his recovery, couched in the first person singular, to the impersonal ‘Praise be to Ann, the whole world will sing her’, and to the subject ‘we’ Dorlandus by no means ignores the experience that was unique to Agricola. But Dorlandus takes it out of the poem, recounts it in the third person, paraphrases it in prose that retains some, but only a little, of Agricola's own vocabulary, and puts it as the last in a series of miracles of St Ann.15 This Life of St Ann is a mixture of humanistic sophistication and a very medieval, affective piety expressed in late medieval language. Dorlandus’ treatment of Agricola is similarly divided, allowing him his voice, but not his inward turn, appropriating his personal story, but only to match it onto stories that have been told before. Agricola's poem moved back and forth between the Latin speech communities and the environments they created. In 1492, it appeared in a much less ambivalent humanist context, as an appendix to a Life of St Anthony by the Italian, (p.262) Maffeo Vegio. In 1494, Trithemius, who eschewed the narration of miracles, inserted six lines extracted from the Anna mater among the poems for St Ann assembled for his De laudibus. Next, in 1495, we find Agricola's poem back with a piece that was the very epitome of late medieval affective devotion and its communal expression, a rosary poem for St Ann, albeit newly composed by an associate of Trithemius.16 Finally, the public at Leipzig were perhaps the first to be offered Anna mater in something like a scholarly edition in the humanist mode, with Historia periucunda sanctissime matris Anne per Rudolphum Agricolam poetam carmine heroico edita complete with a ‘preface for the reader’, printed by Jakob Thanner in 1507. By that time Erasmus had incorporated it into his personal canon of examples of ‘facundissimae litterae’.

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Turning Inward It was Poliziano, in the often reprinted exchange of letters with Paolo Cortesi, the zealous advocate of a purely Ciceronian style, who had most vociferously challenged the recovered classical Latin of the humanists to discover the expressive potential of the personal self: ‘I hear someone say “You are not expressing Cicero”. What of it? For I am not Cicero; my notion is, however, that I express myself.’17 Those letters date from round about 1490 and belong to the ‘Ciceronian’ debate that set humanists against each other well into the sixteenth century, sometimes with the same obtuse ferocity that characterized their altercations with the late medieval Latin speech community. The central issue was whether Latin prose writing should replicate exclusively the lexis, phraseology, and style of Cicero, or whether it should develop a certain independence. The anti-Ciceronians were stylistic eclectics, absorbing forms of Latin speech from a wide reading of approved classical authors and combining them into an integrated discourse that might negotiate with more flexibility the demands of the contemporary cultural environment. Nevertheless, whether they proclaimed themselves for or against the Ciceronian model, the humanists’ approach to Latin language acquisition and to the discipline of writing in Latin entailed that any speaker or writer of Latin must use another author's words, another writer's phrases. To generate new composition meant a more or less antagonistic encounter of the self with a prior ‘other’, whether one was to adopt it as a detachable persona, or graft it onto one's own growth, or chafe with selfengrossed anxiety under its influence. In particular, as Poliziano made clear, once the strict Ciceronian model was abandoned, the responsibility for imposing integrative coherence on the heterogeneous material stockpiled as a result of a manifold literary experience rested within the organizing self, and that way lay a concept of writing as self-realization. His own writing, (p.263) however, stayed largely within the bounds of the stylistic eclecticism he recommended to Cortesi. He may imply that the writer should express himself, but the reader can only infer Poliziano's self from the selection of authors he prefers to transpose in his own compositions and from the ‘character’ that emerges as he manages their diversity. That ‘character’ (indoles) is an amalgam of characteristic style and the moral stance it reveals. Autobiographical narrative has no place in Poliziano's Latin.18

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Turning Inward When Erasmus wrote his massive contribution to the Ciceronian controversy, his Dialogus ciceronianus, sive de optimo genere dicendi, published at Basle in 1528, he placed his unqualified approbation of Poliziano's position very near its conclusion.19 Prior to that, he had used language close to Poliziano's in order to distance himself from strict Ciceronian imitation: ‘If you want wholly to express Cicero, you cannot express yourself; if you do not express yourself, your discourse will be a lying mirror.’20 Though phrased negatively, there is embedded here a more precise equivalence between self-expression and truth than was present in Poliziano's earlier disengagement from Cicero. Attention is very firmly on the self as the place where the individual's ‘natural talent’ (ingenium) will ‘of itself give birth to discourse redolent of the character (indoles) and feelings (affectus) of that individual's own heart’, reflecting, as in a mirror, ‘the image of his mind’.21 This truth desired of the self in its role as origin and object of discourse is only rarely the subject of ancient writing, but it was very clearly a concomitant of the humanists’ constant preoccupation with the recovery of the modes of ancient speech by self-conscious imitation. The process by which Erasmus proposes to generate such self-reflective discourse aligns him with Poliziano. It is to be generated by the interior absorption of the very diverse fruits of an eclectic programme of reading, digested and transformed. The new composition that is produced at the end of the process will be the recognizable offspring of the variegated classical culture that has nourished (p.264) its gestation and of the mind that has ingested that culture and can distil from it the expression of the inner self.22

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Turning Inward Nearly forty years on from the epistolary debate between Poliziano and Cortesi, the process of eclectic imitation had been formalized and had entered the public education programme in the shape of commonplace books, for which Erasmus himself had provided the most influential design in his De copia. It was to prove a far more creative mechanism than pure Ciceronian imitation. Eclectic imitation, however, was not the only issue on which Erasmus opposed the Ciceronians. For individuals in Erasmus’ own time, there was another discourse that revealed the ‘character and feelings of the heart’, and moved it at a deeper level than Cicero could ever reach. The Ciceronianus is as much concerned with religion as it is with rhetoric. More accurately, it is concerned with the interface between the two, and with the mismatch of Christian sentiment and pagan language. For Erasmus, the unalloyed Latinity of Cicero has historical and religious connotations that disenfranchise it from the Christian community. To be a truly adequate speech for the present, the humanists’ Latin must, to a judicious extent, accommodate the lexis and cultural markers developed in the Christian era. More fundamentally, it must articulate the characteristic affectivity of Christian sentiment, the devotion of the ‘pectus vere christianum’, the truly Christian heart. When Erasmus talks about this, he modulates his Latin into an idiom that incorporates the language of liturgy and prayer. The best Latinity must be an idiom of speech that engages the Christian heart. Moreover, a true imitator of Cicero is one who grasps Cicero's inward nature, his inward probity that would, with grace, have made him a Christian saint. Such an imitator does not ape his words, but moulds to himself Cicero's natural talent (ingenium) and moral character (mores).23 More explicitly than Poliziano, Erasmus envisaged his swerve away from strict imitation as a turn towards a personal truth and as a turn towards a Christian fervour that accessed for individuals a truth that Cicero could not know. Perhaps inadvertently, he drew together in his Ciceronianus the two elements that had fused to form the personal subject in the Anna mater of the Agricola he so admired: the inwardness of Christian contemplation and, adapted to it with due decorum, the sophisticated expressivity of the classical idiom.

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Turning Inward Erasmus, however, in the Ciceronianus, speaks in abstract terms about the self. Autobiographical narration, as we met it in Agricola's account of his illness, is not central to his project here. A full investigation of Erasmus as autobiographer would have to gauge very carefully the tone of his letters, note the way they play to their readers and cultivate a response, and catch the twists and turns of the ever-present wit. They are a performance, rather than a narration of the heart. So, indeed, it is with the humanists’ letter-writing in general. Letter-writing was the genre in which they all took their first steps in prose composition, and which remained for most an exercise in artful discourse, persuading a particular audience for particular purposes, and often competitive. There were indeed Latin letter- (p.265) writers, from Petrarch to Justus Lipsius, who saw in the genre, potentially at least, a medium for self-disclosure, a ‘mirror of the soul’ laid open to a like-minded friend. In the main, however, it is not so much in the humanists’ Latin epistles as in their Latin poetry that a project for constructing a coherent history of the self, however embryonic, begins to emerge in the form of autobiographical narration. This development is perhaps most visible in the work of the French Latin poet, Jean Salmon Macrin (1490–1557).24 Especially in his earlier collections, the various Carmina and Epithalamia published between 1528 and 1531, Macrin weaves his poetic text from many strands drawn out of a diversity of poets, Catullus, Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid among the ancients, Mantuan, Pontano, the Strozzi, Bigi, and several other Italians who speak the ancients’ tongue. His Latin is an eclectic gathering, but one that he weaves into a more consistent imitation of Horace, the poet on whom he most closely models his art and the character of his moral vision. His most eloquent testimony to the inspiration of Horace ends with a description of his own practice as a writer: Prosper inceptis ades et legentem more apis flores varias Matinae, Appulum in saltum et Venusina deduc avia vatem.25

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Turning Inward Macrin's earlier volumes, however, do not stay within the confines of genres practised by ancient poets. He follows the example of the Italians to transpose Christian subjects into classical language, and he juxtaposes his religious odes and his poems of much more secular inspiration with a somewhat startling panache. An ode to the Virgin Mary that asks for her protection for the Christians besieged in Rhodes begins with a line from Horace (Odes, 1.16.1): ‘O daughter lovelier than your lovely mother’, applied word for word to the Virgin and St Ann. It is followed immediately by a poem for quite another beauty, Gelonis, whom he is about to marry. This is a poem about a dual and simultaneous initiation he proposes for her, into the Latin that will enable her to read the poems he writes for her and into the caresses for which those poems are the foreplay (‘praeludia’). Her reward will be the sparrow celebrated by Catullus, which Gelonis, once educated in humanist Latin, will doubtless recognize as a bird, a poem, and the male organ famously identified by Poliziano.26 Macrin uses the whole panoply of classical Latin (p.266) ornament. His horizon of cultural reference is that of his pagan poets, whether his subject be religious or secular. Unlike many hymns he would know, he narrates events in the lives of the Virgin and other saints only in the most oblique and allusive fashion, and he makes no attempt to christen his allusions to the pagan pantheon by submitting them to overdetermined allegorical interpretation. His translation between the two cultures he inhabits works the other way. St Margaret, in an ode added to the Epithalamia in 1531 on the occasion of his wife's first pregnancy, keeps the rudiments of her legend, but she is verbally metamorphosed into a pagan deity, a denizen of the starry skies, ‘diva Lucina’ as much as Christian saint.27

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Turning Inward The Gelonis of those earlier Catullan-Horatian odes became Macrin's wife and the mother of his twelve children. In a way almost without precedent, Macrin remained true to her and not to the imagined creature he had constructed so alluringly out of the words of classical poets.28 From the Hymnorum libri sex of 1537 onwards, Macrin turned to a private, domestic world, to his personal joys and anxieties, to a more realistic concern for his wife in her pregnancies, to delight in his living children and sadness for those who died. Not all the poems are of this intimate sort, and part of their context is made up of poems to patrons, friends, and acquaintances. These relate his domestic subject to an aspect of humanist Latin poetry we have noted previously, to its function in consolidating the cohesive, rather inward-looking circles of the humanist Latin speech community. Macrin is as eloquent as any humanist on the subject of the barbarisms infecting the language of the logic schools in Paris and on the victory won by doughty Valla and his successors over Gothic hordes.29 In his formative years, he could have known, in one of many editions, the rather laboured hymns by which Dutch clerics had celebrated their solidarity as humanists in the appendix Josse Bade had printed to his Life of St Ann in 1502. He could also have known the collection of poems by Petrus Crinitus (Pietro Del Riccio Baldi, 1474–1507) that Bade had printed as an appendix to his edition of the De honesta disciplina and Depoetis latinisby the same author in 1508.30 These are superficially very similar in range of subject matter to Macrin's (p.267) volumes up to 1537. There are verse epistles to friends and patrons about private and public calamities; some love poems in the Catullan mode or translated from Greek; a short hymn to a very classicized Virgin; an ode in praise of Horace; and laments for Marullus and Giovanni Pico. The prime purpose of such poetry is to define the community of its production and reception, and to reinforce it. The majority of the poems are encouragements to write, with writing seen as a contribution to the group endeavour. Only the last of these poems, ‘on his sickness and imminent death’, turns, momentarily, from the group and the subject matter that unites it for Crinitus to focus, not unlike Agricola in the Anna mater, on his own suffering body. But his gaze soon veers away, and the poem reinstates Horatian commonplaces, the prospect of funeral rites indistinguishable from pagan obsequies, and a final ascent of this ‘vates’ to the sacred choirs.

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Turning Inward Macrin's inward turn from 1537 onwards was more fundamental, and it explored further. In terms of his writing, it was programmatically signalled in the Hymni of 1537 by several poems declaring his intention to shun Apollo and the muses and to seek inspiration from Christ alone. It may well be that the public upheaval in 1534 around the Affaire des Placards led Macrin to review the direction his work was taking.31 It had already caused Bude to explode into a new idiom of Latin speech in the 1535 De Transitu. For Macrin, the moment seems, perhaps, to have coincided with his immersion in domestic reality, and the process of selfdiscovery that this had triggered. Christian subjects, as we have seen, were not at all a novelty in his verse, but, in the earlier collections, the juxtaposition of religious poems and erotic poems has a certain frisson, playing on the reader's awareness of radical separation, despite all Macrin's linguistic assimilation of his sacred matter to classical cultural codes. In a change first perceptible in the Hymni of 1537, and one that continues to evolve, juxtaposition starts to function differently. Christian icons of devotion now shape Macrin's representation of domestic and private experience, but both secular and religious subjects are enunciated in a form of speech common to both. That form of speech is the Latin of the humanists. Macrin may say Christ alone inspires him, but he also claims that the spirit that fires his poetry is akin to the ecstasies the ancients knew and finds its articulation in words he borrows from them. One of the first hymns of the 1540 Hymnorum selectorum libri tres (of which the contents are quite different from the 1537 collection) is a hymn to Christ our Lord, plainly advertised as ‘an imitation of Horace’. An Horatian ode to Bacchus, god of poetic fury, is transposed to Christ, and the language of Horace, far from being discarded, acquires new connotations.32 Indeed, already in the 1537 Hymni, and more comprehensively in the 1540 Hymni, Macrin systematically rewrites psalms and Marian hymns in a humanist Latin that assimilates classical lexis, classical phraseology, and a wide range of classical cultural reference to the emotional and spiritual climate of Christian liturgical (p.268) prayer.33 But the verbal reformulation inevitably changed that climate, just as, on a grander scale, the Christian Latin epics of the period refashioned the Christian story.

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Turning Inward Psalm paraphrases were a favourite exercise for Christian humanists.34 Not so many of them, however, have given us poems about translating a psalm for their small daughter, as Macrin does in the Odarum libri sex of 1537. Here the psalm and the Latin poem together take the reader into a new world, the private world of a father's delight in his little girl and his sense that the moment he records is a threshold for him and for her, as he imagines her growing henceforth into a more adult piety.35 Such autobiographical moments (and there are several in the 1537 collections, in particular) are often produced when an object (here the psalm), or, more frequently, an icon steeped in the affective devotion aroused in late medieval liturgy, is relocated in the domestic environment of Macrin's relationships with his wife and children. The icon of Mary nursing the child Jesus at her breast becomes an even more tender reality as Macrin's Gelonis gives birth to their children. It is Mary as mother, and even wife, who dominates the 1537 Hymni, quite unlike the beguiling nymph-like Virgin of the earlier collections. These images of Mary that enabled the faithful to pray enabled Macrin to find the images and the serious tone to fit his public disclosure of the preoccupations of his private life. A hymn to ‘the virgin parent’ with the baby at rest in her arms is immediately followed by a poem about 3-year-old Susannah breaking her father's heart as she tosses in a fever. A hymn to the Virgin on the feast of her nativity hurries Gelonis to (a highly classicized) church to pray for the couple and their marriage: ‘Te phana ocyus ad propinqua confer Et summo aediculam Deo dicatam’. The prayers he asks her to make will have her speak in very good Latin, but also repeat nicely paraphrased verses from Psalm 19. Fiveyear-old Susannah, happily recovered and now learning her letters at her mother's knee, is entering the groves of the muses and will be more eloquent than sibyls or Ovid's Corinna. Her father's poem welcomes her into the world of good Latinity, but the picture he paints recalls the (p.269) familiar scene of Mary learning to read with her mother, St Ann.36 In the sensibility induced by devotion to Mary, Macrin found the emotional register for his catalogue of domestic events and the vehicle for their public validation. It was, however, the humanist idiom of Latin, exclusively that gave him the words to articulate the private sphere. The other icon on which medieval piety fixated emotion was the crucified Christ. Again, Macrin operates the same transference. Meditation on Christ's suffering in the late medieval manner enables an inward turn to his own anxieties, not phrased in the commonplaces of liturgical piety, but in an eclectically gathered classical Latin that impels him to choose words to express himself.37

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Turning Inward The catastrophe that befell Macrin when his beloved wife died in June 1550 was the spur to his last volume of poems, which must have been written at the height of his anguish, as they appeared in print in the same year. The collection of Naeniae de Gelonide Borsala uxore charissima is both a very public document, a call to Macrin's fellow poets to construct a memorial Tumulus for Gelonis, and a searing testimony to private grief.38 It brings together, but in a much accentuated form, all the elements that had already begun to fuse into Macrin's narration of himself. The autobiographical turn now becomes an urgent therapy, a way to structure inner chaos. Macrin dwells on the particularities of the plight of his six orphaned children, their individual ways of grieving, and their uncertain futures.39 He obsessively describes his wife in her illness, and confesses again and again his guilt that, when she died, he was not there. The memory of their sexual passion (and the poetic language of that passion in the Epithalamia) haunts him.40 The (p.270) false memory of the death-bed scene he did not see becomes the fiction necessary to live out this truth.41 Other features I have noted as essential constituents of Macrin's domestic interiority are omnipresent: the encircling speech community of humanist friends, patrons, and poets; the language and cultural horizons of classical poetry; the affectivity of Christian devotion and the universe of Christian spirituality. Yet, now, Christian faith and pagan language interpenetrate with an extraordinarily energizing force, to generate a literarily constructed self that emerges in a painful space between the two. When Macrin takes the role of Orpheus mourning his Eurydice, his mourning and his pagan song are not devalued by his faith that heaven is her happy habitation now. Between the absences of either fiction, the vivid pictures of the pagan tale and the barely imaginable Christian heaven, he defines his presence in grief and loss, a presence constructed in the idiom of ancient poets that gives him his own voice.42

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Turning Inward Other humanist Latin poets embarked on the inward turn of autobiographical narration along other routes. For some, it was illness that stimulated selfreflection, as for Agricola on his bed of fever in his Anna mater.43 For others, notably the Greek, Michael Marullus, it was the experience of exile.44 For these subjects of writing, they had only a few models in classical Latin literature, for in antiquity personal identity was embedded in social, ethical, and cultural structures shared by writers with their readers. Self-reflexivity operating outside those structures and outside the expectations dictated by genre was something of an embarrassment, a symptom of an unwelcome dislocation and forced alienation. Ovid's exile poems, Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto, are the most obvious examples, and possibly Tibullus, Elegies, 1. 3, on his illness, although this poem soon modulates (p.271) into public commonplaces. The themes of illness and exile do not mark ancient Latin literature as distinctively as they do the production of its neo-Latin imitators, for whom, after all, Latin was a foreign tongue, and for whom illness of body (as of soul) was a site for Christian selfexamination. As for Macrin's poems on the joys and pains of domestic living and dying, we have already noted that, though he was never slow to signal his classical Latin antecedents, he names only one precursor, and that was the humanist, Giovanni Pontano.45

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Turning Inward Humanist Latin writers are at their most original when they turn in Poliziano's direction to express themselves, and particularly when they do more than stylistically manage the representation of an individual ethos, and dare to venture into the difficult territory of autobiography and personal truth. The self Poliziano produced from his eclectic Latin was a personal style, a carefully delimited ethos, that could just about avoid direct confrontation with the cultural chasm that separated his Florence from ancient Rome. Once modern writers chose to construct their personal ‘truth’ in a contemporary context and express it in classically derived Latin, they had to register a gap between words and things such as never complicated the rare passages in which their ancient masters had given them models of self-narration. The moderns, once embarked on the autobiographical turn, could scarcely avoid self-consciously registering that difference. We have seen that Salmon Macrin felt impelled towards a serious personal engagement with the demands of his Christian culture and belief. Like Rudolph Agricola and others before him, but much more comprehensively, Macrin found a new and persuasive mode of self-narration that spoke the Latin of the humanist speech community married to the form of the Christian hymn and the emotion of liturgical fervour. This enabled ancient Latin lexis and phraseology to express the sentiments of what Erasmus had termed ‘the truly Christian heart’ more feelingly than other approaches to narrative I have reviewed. Those other approaches, theoretically based rhetorical narration on the scale that produced the Christian Latin epic and allegorical interpretation that systematically recoded ancient story-telling, tended to emphasize, rather than bridge, the culture gap. The writers who took the autobiographical turn found a way round it, and they come nearer to convincing the reader that humanist Latin could be the Christian heart's native speech.

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Turning Inward It would be interesting to look for vernacular analogues of Macrin's construction of personal identity at the interface of family relationships, Christian piety, and classical Latin speech. Among his French contemporaries, one example springs immediately to mind. Marguerite de Navarre used her family relationships to explore her Christian belief, notably in the Dialogue en forme de vision nocturne, written in 1524, in which the soul of her recently departed little niece, Charlotte, enlightens her aunt on various theological topics, and, towards the end of (p. 272) Marguerite's life, the death-bed scenes of her husband, her mother, and her brother in book iii of Les Prisons (11. 2245–864). The relationships that Marguerite activates in these poems may well be particular and private, but what emerges is instruction and edification that are general in intent. She does not reflect on herself, except in so far as she is typical of Christian souls in need of teaching and example. In a much more inward-turning poem, her penitential confession published in 1531 as Le Miroir de l’ame pecheresse, Marguerite analyses her relationship with God in domestic terms, constructing herself as his daughter, mother, sister, and wife. The self is construed in its kinship relations, but the mode is resolutely allegorical, not realistic, and this is allegory as hermeneutic. The reader is directed to passages from the Bible cited in the margins. The poem is an invitation to an interpretative reading of scripture and, in the light of such allegorical reading, an examination of conscience that is both highly personal in its focus and universal in so far as it explores the range of emotions common to other manifestations of late medieval affective piety. Marguerite does not draw on the resources of classical Latin, either for her language or for her understanding of how texts are read. For her, as she tells us in Les Prisons (iii. 841–948), the poetry of the ancients only speaks true when its fictions are read with an allegorical key, and that makes her a member of a very different cultural community and inhabitant of a very different linguistic universe from the ones that facilitated Macrin's unlocking of the resources of the self. Notes:

(1) For a first attempt at mapping the history of such collections, see Moss, ‘Latin Liturgical Hymns’. (2) Christians are in danger of judgement if they ‘reject the writings of holy fathers and pious authors in the belief that they lack learning [eruditio, the same word that he uses to characterize humanist viri eruditi] just because they do not display Ciceronian eloquence’ (De laudibus sanctissime matris Anne tractatus (Mainz, 1494), sig. b iv).

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Turning Inward (3) ‘O most holy lady, pray that I be granted sweetness of inward love, in my heart true devotion, fountains of tears, in my understanding intellection, purity of feeling, in my will right direction, and all holiness of good intention.’ The cursus of offices and accompanying material is available in Paralipomena opusculorum Petri Blesensis et Ioannis Trithem, ed. Ioannes Busaeus (Cologne, 1624), 702–28; the volume also contains a mass for St Ann by Trithemius, first printed in 1498 (ibid. 729–32). (4) Ibid. 23–3. (5) Cursus de sanctissima tnatreAnna (Leipzig: Wolfgang Stöckel, 1517); the story is at sigs. DI v-D iiv. (6) Heinrich Bebel, De sancta Anna matre Marie hymnus (Leipzig: Martin Landsberg, 1510); it had originally been published as illustrative material in his Liber hymnorum (1501), and had appeared in other contexts in 1502 and 1504. For Bebel and other humanists as reformers of Latin hymnody, see Moss, ‘Latin Liturgical Hymns’. (7) Johannes Tuberinus, Musithias de caelitibus et sacris historiis in Musas novem digesta (Leipzig: Melchior Lotter, 1514); there is a hymn for St Ann, the last of twenty-three hymns about the Virgin grouped under ‘Euterpe’, at fos. lxxiiii[v]–lxxvi. Tuberinus appears to have the dubious distinction of being praised by one of the ‘obscure men’, to whom their humanist author in 1515 attributed the letters that so devastatingly satirized the opinions and the language of the humanists’ opponents within the universities. Supposedly writing from Leipzig University, a very obscure man indeed congratulates the Arts Faculty there for dismissing a humanist lecturer on classical authors, Johannes Rhagius Aesticampianus, and instructing another of their number, Tuberinus, to replace his previous lectures on Terence with lectures on his own poetry ‘in praise of the saints’. For ‘composuit [Tuberinus] unum librum bene in triplo ita magnum sicut est Virgilius in omnibus suis operibus…. Et domini nostri dicunt quod sua metra sunt ita bona sicut metra Virgilii, et non habent aliqua vitia, quia ipse perfecte scit artem metrificandi’ (Epistolae obscurorum virorum, i, no. xvii, pp. 47–50). It is difficult to know where the irony lies. Perhaps it is a by-product of personal animosities. Tuberinus writes fairly bad Latin, but not that bad; he is clearly aiming at a humanist manner in the style of Mantuan and of the hymns of Giovannt Pico della Mirandola; and the large and expensive Musithias as we have it is no school textbook. It is true that he was to become a rabid opponent of Luther and all such novelties. For Tuberinus, see G. EUinger, Geschichte der neulateinischen Literatur Deutschlands im sechzehnten Jahrhunderty 3 vols. (Berlin and Leipzig, 1929–33), i. Italien und der deutsche Humanismus in der neu-lateinishen Lyrik (1929), 365–8; these volumes can be consulted with profit for many of the German poets we have mentioned.

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Turning Inward (8) The text of Rhythmus iambicus in laudem Annae, aviae Iesu Christi together with English translation and notes, is in Collected Works of Erasmus: Poems, tr. C. H. Miller, ed. and annotated by H. Vredeveld (Toronto, 1993), Ixxxv. 8–13; lxxxvi. 407–12. Erasmus was in fact personally engaged with his poem, though not in any affective way with its narrative content. It became part of his own story in 1501, when he tried to use it in a (failed) bid to obtain the financial protection of Anna van Borselle. Perhaps he thought this slightly antiquated hymn to her patron would suit her taste in piety. As she was a rich widow whose remarriage would put paid to his bid, he packaged his gift in a letter that privileges virtuous widowhood, and does not envisage remarriage for either Ann. That this was merely a rhetorical ploy is clear from a letter written the same day in quite a different tone to James Batt, in which Erasmus fears that his rich widow is merrily bent on a second husband. The letters are nos. 145 and 146 of Opus epistolarum, ed. P. S. Allen, i (1906), 342–8. (9) In hymnum aviae Christi Annae dictum ab Erastno Roteradamo scholia Iacobi Spiegel Selestadinensis (Augsburg: S. Grimm & M. Wyrsung, 1519). Spiegel was Jakob Wimpfeling's nephew and heir to his earlier brand of Christian humanism. (10) Opus epistolarunu ed. P. S. Allen, i. 342 (no. 145). (11) There is a modern edn. of the poem with a German translation, and an excellent exposition and notes: A. Dörfler-Dierken and W. Schibel (eds.), ‘Rudolf Agricolas Anna mater. Heiligenverehrung und Philosophic’, in W. Kühlmann (ed.), Rudolf Agricola 1444–1485: Protagonist des nordeuropaïschen Humanismus zum 550 Geburtsdag (Berne, 1994), 293–354. (12) A particularly felicitous example of Agricola touching on the allusive potential of words and phrases only to weave them tightiy back into the lexis of his poem is provided in 11.119–22: ‘Nascitur [Mary] ergo, sacrisque salutat fletibus orbem, Quae mundi lachrimas tollere [one hears the more familiar ‘peccata’] prima venit Virgo maris terraeque decus, decus aetheris alti, Nascitur, et roseo percipit ore diem [her face is rosy, rather than the more familiar dawn]’ (ibid. 300). (13) To give here the flavour of Agricola's Latin, I quote the lines impersonally describing the onset of his fever: ‘Namque ferox languor stratis afflixerat aegrum;|Non vis, non color, aut corpus ut ante manet; | Victor adest morbus; mors ad caput ore cruento | Horrida terribili concrepat arma manu’ (ibid. 306). And, thirteen lines later, the insistently personal tone when he is consoled by Ann's visitation: ‘Hinc adeo flagrent quovis mea pectora motu, | Ardeat et curis mens animusque mihi, | Atque premant magnae quantumvis fata ruinae,| Anna vocata mihi dulce levamen ades’ (ibid. 308).

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Turning Inward (14) It is interesting that another northern humanist Latin writer of this early period, Robert Gaguin (1433–1501), who contributed two poems to the cluster published with the Bade Life of St Ann, wrote a self-referential verse prayer to the Virgin in similar circumstances, describing himself sick with fever while at Cordoba in 1466. The Latin is much less accomplished than Agricola’s, but it is a Latin that recognizably claims a classical descent (Roberti Gaguini apud Cordubam febre graviter aegrotantis ad dotnini Salvatoris matrem oratio, originally printed in a revised and expanded edn. of Gaguin's Ars versificatoria of 1473; reproduced in J. Dilenge, Robert Gaguin, poète et défenseur de l’Immaculée Conception (Rome and Marseilles, 1960), 176–8). Because this book is concerned with writing in Latin, it is not the moment to contextualize my analysis within the history of vernacular literature. That certainly does provide examples of the autobiographical subject (or, perhaps more precisely, of the autobiographical persona), but at this date it does not, in the north at least, provide examples of a language style moulded on the usage of classical Latin. A recent book on the most tantalizing of late medieval ‘autobiographical’ poets writing in French, Francois Villon, demonstrates how he constructs his ambiguous, many voiced persona from the intertextual resources of the vernacular literary environment; see J. H. M. Taylor, The Poetry of Francois Villon: Text and Context (Cambridge, 2001). Our early humanists also function in a linguistically and culturally cohesive community, but one in which the undisputed authority of the chosen language, classical Latin, disallows plural voices and discourages disaggregating, ironic play. Those strategies are left for encounters with the despised practitioners of inadequate language idioms; the urbane wit (sales, lepos, facetiae, festivitas) circulating within humanist circles is a bonding mechanism of exchange. (15) The quotations from Agricola's poem are at sigs. b iii and g iiiiv of Petrus Dorlandus, Historiaper pulchra de Anna sanctissima; the account of Agricola's cure is at sig. f iii + 1–f iii + 1v, the last of the miracles listed in the third of the three books into which the Life is divided. (16) Jodocus Beissellius, Rosacea augustissimae Christiferae Mariae corona (Antwerp: Govaert Back, C. 1495). The rosary poem had originally appeared in close proximity with Agricola, as it was one of the pieces collected in Trithemius, De laudibus. Trithemius, as we have seen, had split loyalties, and could patronize both humanist Latin and the Latin of late medieval devotion. Agricola's poem, it also appears, could be moved between the two. (17) The text of the two letters is found most conveniently in Garin, Prosatori, 902–11. For a commentary on the place of Poliziano in the history and consequences of the practice of literary imitation, see T. M. Greene, The Light in Troy: Imitation and Discovery in Renaissance Poetry (New Haven, 1982), 147– 70.

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Turning Inward (18) For Poliziano and the emergence of the self, see J. Lecointe, L’Idéal et la différence: la perception de La Personnalité littéraire à la Renaissance (Geneva, 1993), esp. pp. 316–28. This excellent book brings into focus a large array of perspectives to explore the Renaissance development and formulation of writing that reveals the self, with particular emphasis on the role of humanist theories of literary imitation and Neoplatonic ideas about inspiration and improvization; it does not look closely at the conjunction of humanist Latin composition with traditional religious writing. (19) Ciceronianus, 706–7. For an overview of how the Ciceronian debate developed in the 16th cent, see Greene, Light in Troy, 171–96, and the useful synopsis contained in the introduction to a recent edn. of the work of one of Erasmus’ opponents, J. C. Scaliger, Oratio pro M. Tullio Cicerone contra Des. Erasmum (1531); Adversus Des. Erasmi Roterod. dialogum ciceronianum oratio secunda (1537), ed. M. Magnien (Geneva, 1999); on the Ciceronianus itself, see Cave, Cornucopian Text, 35–54; Chomarat, Grammaire et rhétorique chez Érasme, ii. 815–40. (20) Ciceronianus, 649. (21) The whole passage runs: ‘Cicero scripsit animum Lelii spirare in scriptis illius. Stultum autem est hoc conari, ut alieno scribas stomacho, desque operam ut in tuis scriptis spiret animus M. Tullii Concoquendum est, quod varia diuturnaque lectione devoraris, meditatione traiiciendum in vaenas animi, potiusquam in memoriam aut indicem [commonplace book], ut omni pabulorum genere saginatum ingenium ex sese gignat orationem, quae non nunc aut ilium florem, frondem, gramenve redolat; sed indolem affectusque pectoris tui, ut qui legat non agnoscat fragmenta e Cicerone decerpta, sed imaginem mentis omni genere doctrinarum expletae’ (ibid. 652). (22) See the passage quoted at n. 21. (23) Ibid 645–6,707,709. (24) The fullest accounts of Macrin's career and his quite prolific output are: I. D. McFarlane, ‘Jean Salmon Macrin (1490–1557)’ Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance, 21 (1959), 55–84, 311–49; 22 (1960), 73–89; and the introduction to Jean Salmon Macrin, Épithalames et Odes, ed. G. Soubeille, 2nd edn. (Paris, 1998), 11–145. (25) Carmina, iL 3, LL. 109–112, in Épithalames et Odes (406). The description of the poet gathering from various flowers like the bee is a telling combination of a direct recall of Horace (Odes, 4. 2. 27–8) and the similitude normally used to describe eclectic composition; Macrin then moves deep into Apulia and Venusina, the homelands of Horace.

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Turning Inward (26) The juxtaposed poems are Carmina, i. 5 and 6 (286–91); later, a highly erotic imitation of a poem by pseudo-Gallus comes directly after an ode on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin mainly voiced by a prophesying nymph in the manner of Sannazaro (Carmina, ii. 10 and 11 (426–33)). See further, P. Ford, ‘J. Salmon Macrin's Epithalamiorum liber and the Joys of Conjugal Love’, in I. De Smet and P. Ford (eds.), Eros et Priapus: Érotisme et obscénité dans la littérature néolatine (Geneva, 1997), 65–82; and, for the lubricious sparrow, J. H. Gaisser, Catullus and his Renaissance Readers (Oxford, 1993), 74–8. (27) Epithalamia, 23 (216–19); the legend of St Margaret was habitually read to women in labour, a superstition much abhorred by the Reformers, though they might have been slightly nonplussed by this extremely elegant version of it (28) Macrin was not the first neo-Latin poet to make married bliss and domesticity the subject of his poems, nor the first to take this particular kind of autobiographical turn. A group of poems by Giovanni Pontano (1426–1503) are celebrations of his wife and lullabies for their little son (De amore coniugali, Naeniae), and, later, he bewails the death of that same son in early manhood and very tenderly weeps over his orphaned baby granddaughter (Versus iambici de obitu Lucii filii). There are also poems about his wife mourning a dead daughter, and poems about Pontano haunted by the image of his dead wife (Tumuli, ii. 3; Versus lyrici, 9; and Eridana, ii. 1 and 32, the first and last poems of that very mixed collection). Macrin recognizes in Pontano his one and only precedent for his conjugal and domestic subject matter (Naeniae (Paris, 1550), 83). Macrin's poems, however, have a self-reflective intensity that is rarely so pronounced in Pontano’s. (29) Hymnorum selectorum libri tres (Paris, 1540), 76–7. (30) Petrus Crinitus, De honesta disciplina, lib. XXV. Depoetis latinis, lib. V. Etpoematumy lib II. (Paris: Josse Bade, 1513), fos. CXXIX–CXXXIX; there were several other reprints by Bade and his rival printers at Paris, e.g. in 1510,1518,1520,1525. (31) This is a the view of Georges Soubeille in his introduction to his edn. of Épithalames et Odes, 103–12. (32) Hymnorum selectorum libri tres, 5–6; the hymn to Bacchus so closely imitated is Horace, Odes 3. 25. There is another imitation of a Horatian ode to Bacchus (Odes, 2.19) at pp. 78–80. (33) As a very short (if not the best!) example, this rewriting of ‘Regina coeli’: ‘Ad te laetitiae multo pars maxima nostrae Regina caeli pertinet: Quippe resurrexit fracto leo victor Averno, Domita et Stygis tyrannide. Quern tu syncero genitrix in ventre tulisti Tactus virilis inscia: O ilium nobis tenta mollire precando, Ut sordidatos abluat’ (ibid. 29). Page 26 of 29

Turning Inward (34) For an account of another publication by Macrin that includes a version of the seven penitential psalms, see F. Rouget, ‘Modèles séculaires et tradition biblique: Les Septem psalmi (1538) de Salmon Macrin’, in R. Schnur et at (eds.), Acta conventus neo-latini abulensis (Tempe, Ariz., 2000), 563–73; this article indicates the popularity of Latin psalm paraphrases across the confessional divide. (35) Odarum libri sex (Lyons, 1537), sigs. e 3–e 3v: ‘Ad Susannam filiam, cum in eius gratiam vertisset psalmum, eructavit’, Macrin's acknowledged predecessor in the genre of family poetry, Giovanni Pontano, also wrote Christian Latin hymns, with which Macrin was certainly very familiar. As early as c.1516, Bade had printed Pontano's De laudibus divinis, followed by sacred poems by Macrin entitled Sylva cui Htulus Soter (his Soter was an attempt at mini-epic narration of a type Macrin soon abandoned). Macrin could well have read Pontano's hymns, De laudibus divinis in close proximity with Pontano's poems about his wife and son, e.g. in the collected volume published by P. de Giunta at Florence in 1514. The group of hymns, however, is kept quite separate from the poems collected under the titles De amore coniugali and Iambici versus de obitu Lucii filii. (36) ‘Ad virginem parentem’, followed by ‘De valetudine Susannae filiae’, Hymni (1537), 27–31; ‘Ad coniugem in Natale virginis Mariae’, ibid. 41–3; ‘Ad Susannam filiam quinquennam’, Odarum libri sex (1537), sigs. b-bv. From the ages given for the children, here and elsewhere, it is clear that Macrin had been working in this manner for two years or so before he published the poems. The image of ‘learning to read’ as a liminary rite of passage into another language system, the one that constitutes the adult cultural environment, recurs in Macrin and in other humanist poets; Mantuan's Mary crossed it too. (37) The manner is established from near the beginning of the 1540 Hymnorum selectorum libri tres, as Macrin meditates on the passion of Christ and begs that he turn (as Macrin turns) to the suffering individual who is the poet ‘Me vides aegrum, gemitusque ab imo Corde trahentem’ (28). A particularly telling example of a translation of medieval affective piety, both to the humanist idiom and to himself, is a ‘Querela peccatoris, ex divo Bernardo’ (ibid. 95–9). The emergence of self-reflexivity at the juncture of religious practice and the adoption of classical Latin modes of speech maybe explored in other modes of writing at this period. One such is meditation, for which see K. Erdei, Auf dem Wege zu sich selbst: Die Meditation im 16. Jahrhundert, Wolfenbiitteler Abhandlungen zur Renaissanceforschung, 8 (Wiesbaden, 1990).

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Turning Inward (38) The poems that Macrin represents himself as wringing out of his peers, Jean Dorat and Joachim Du Bellay among them, are printed as an appendix to his own Naeniae (Paris, 1550), 97–144. As he relates it, their reluctance to take up their pens fed Macrin's sense of isolation and his self-obsession; for the reader, their rather frigid exercises in the commonplaces of consolation rhetoric highlight the difference that marks his own inward exploration. (39) Ibid. 23–5,30–2,33–5,35–7,39–40, 42–3, and there are frequent references to the children, living and dead, in other poems. (40) Ibid. 64–6; the poem alternates between pagan and Christian references, physical longing to hold his chaste wife and recognition that she is now truly untouchable and forever chaste: ‘O mihi si liceattantum sperare, Geloni, | Mecum ut ames fari, hue more et adire tuo! | Cervicem amplecti blandis effusa lacertis,|Oscula et in longam figere casta moram!|Ah non sum dignus posthac te tangere Divam|Admissam sancto Caelicolumque choro.’ (41) Naeniae (Paris, 1550), 9–12,76, 81 (the scene is very realistically described). (42) ‘Haec mecum meditans nemorum nigrantibus umbris, [like Orpheus] I Laetitdae mixtis infremo tristitiis. I Nee potis est nostrum fiducia certa dolorem I Tollere, quin lachrymae moesta per ora cadant.’ The poem resolves at the end into a quotation, a commonplace, from Horace: ‘Umbrum testis ero dbrisse haud vana poetam, I Traiicit et fati littora fidus amor’ (ibid. 67–9). Orpheus might also have had particular personal memories for Macrin as writer. One of his very earliest appearances in print was as the author of an epistle to promote the Orpheus of a humanist poet of the previous generation, Johannes Franciscus Quintianus Stoa (in J. F. Quintianus Stoa, De celeberrimae Parrhisiorum urbis laudibus Sylva (Paris, 1514), sig. 1 iii-1 iiiv). I have given an all too brief survey of Macrin's Naeniae, which is worthy of a much more extended study. (43) See W. Kühlmann, ‘selbstverstaändigung im Leiden: Zur Bewältigung von Krankheitserfahrungen im versgebundenen Schrifttum der Fruhen Neuzeit’, in A. Moss et al. (eds.), Acta conventus neo-latini hajniensis (Binghamton, NY, 1994) 546–55.

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Turning Inward (44) See F. Nichols, ‘Greek Poets of Exile in Naples: Marullus and Rhallus’, in G. Tournoy and D. Sacreé (eds.), Ut granum sinapis (Leuven, 1997), 152–70; Y. Haskell, ‘The Tristia of a Greek Refugee: Michael Marullus and the Politics of Latin Subjectivity after the Fall of Constantinople (1453)’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society, 44 (1998), 110–34. Marullus, and more acutely, Joachim Du Bellay, ‘exiled’ from France to Rome in the late 1550s, selfconsciously explored their respective identities, dislodged from the cultural and social frameworks in which they had been heretofore safely and unreflectingly positioned. For both, the split involved in self-analysis took a linguistic turn. In the case of Marullus, the Latin voice he had to acquire vied with the native tongue he had to silence, and that tongue, ironically, was Greek. Du Bellay, disorientated in modern Rome, flirted with Latin as a seductive mistress, and so betrayed the French he thought of as a wife; see G. H. Tucker, The Poet's Odyssey: Joachim Du Bellay and the ‘Antiquitez de Rome’ (Oxford, 1990); M. Bizet, La Poesie au miroir. Imitation et conscience de soi dans la poésie latine de la Pléiade (Paris, 1995). (45) As far as pagan literature is concerned, by far the nearest analogy to Macrin's moving testimony to domestic bereavement is in a work devoted to rhetoric in prose, the preface to Quintilian's Institutio oratoria 6, the book that focuses on the rhetorical production of ethos, pathos, and emotional appeal. There seems no evidence that Macrin was using this text, but Quintilian prefigures Macrin's inward turn from grieving husband and father to the writing self.

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Renaissance Truth and the Latin Language Turn Ann Moss

Print publication date: 2003 Print ISBN-13: 9780199249879 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249879.001.0001

Coda Ann Moss


Abstract and Keywords This chapter discusses changes made to the humanist Latin language. These changes also affected the students studying the language in their grammar class, and the dominant Latin idiom in many respects was the late medieval language that the humanist teachers were agitating to replace. The humanists' programme for language change was radical in its effect because they implemented it at a particularly sensitive stage of the learning experience. This was when their young pupils were being taught communication skills for the first time in a foreign language, which was Latin. Keywords:   changes, humanist Latin language, Latin idiom, humanist teachers, communication skills, Latin

IT IS ONE of the more curious twists in the story told in this book that the humanist Latin poet, Salmon Macrin, should discover in his own private family relationships a site for writing the truth about himself just at the time when new concepts of truth and new styles of truth-telling were consigning to oblivion the most well-loved family of all, St Ann and her extended kin. The humanists’ way of speaking the truth, in classical Latin carefully reconstructed from verifiable sources, with the meaning of words derived from attested usage and contextualized in the cultural documents of antiquity, provided the instrument for Macrin's personal script and was the agent of St Ann's obliteration.

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Coda As the above conjunction illustrates, any account of how the Latin of the humanists changed minds is more likely to proceed by twists and turns, and certainly by stops and starts, than in a steady linear direction. Nevertheless, it is the case that round about 1540 throughout western Europe, except in Italy where the introduction of humanist Latin was earlier, the formally educated thought differently and wrote differently from the bulk of their counterparts at the end of the previous century. The humanists’ programme for language change was radical in its effect because they implemented it at a particularly sensitive stage of the learning experience, when their young pupils were being taught communication skills for the first time simultaneously with and in a foreign language (Latin). The key to progress was learning words, and, as we have seen, enthusiasts for classical Latin, from teachers in the elementary classes to the most erudite of scholars, collected words, and defined and demonstrated their meanings, as did pupils at the dictation of their teachers. Language learners, whatever their competence, were persuaded that Latin vocabulary was a rich resource and that that the flexible variation of verbal expressions was a crucial tool in effective communication. They would also have impressed on them the fundamental idea that the range of meanings to be credited to a word or phrase is to be discovered in the use of that word or phrase by authors of antiquity deemed to be ‘good’, exponents of the authentic Latin of sophisticated usage current in the classical period. To understand that usage, pupils were soon introduced to classical texts, and, through them, to the cultural context of the language employed there. Outside the early sixteenth-century grammar class, at least in northern Europe, the dominant Latin idiom in many respects was the late medieval language that the humanist teachers were agitating to replace. Its most familiar manifestation, as far as grammar-class pupils were concerned, was doubtless the Latin of the liturgy and (p.274) related texts. In many schools round about 1500, boys would be taught at a quite elementary level to correct that Latin, for example to emend liturgical hymns in false metres. The sense that the language of religion could be ‘wrong’ was inculcated at a very impressionable age. At the very least, pupils emerged from the grammar class convinced that the late medieval Latin of the Church and the late medieval Latin of the logic curriculum and of the other disciplines to which they were to transfer was incorrect by the standards of ’authentic’ Latinity, that it was represented by ‘bad’ as opposed to ‘good’ authors, that it was arid (siccus) and meagre (ieiunus) by contrast with the rich vocabulary resources of the classical language, and that it was inflexible and culturally void. The arguments between promoters of the two idioms often revolved round these issues, but they masked a fissure that went deep and had profound consequences for the understanding of where truth lay.

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Coda Part II of this book investigated some examples of Latin discourse in both idioms designed to ascertain and argue for the truth of opposing positions. It had to attend in detail to practice, because it was in their practice, not in theory, that humanist Latin users demonstrated how their language mediated truth. Truth, after all, according to their theory, was to be detected in the ways words are used, and the ways words are used were to be explored in the actual usage of masters of language, whose practice was analysed, absorbed, and imitated by students of grammar and rhetoric. For their opponents, however, whose idiom connected with the language philosophy and the logic of the scholastics, truth lay in correctly formulated linguistic representations of mental sentences, propositions submitted to the strict verification procedures of formal logic. The present book has made a preliminary survey of the rift that developed between these two philosophies of language, though in the period with which it has been primarily concerned one might prefer to think of deepening cracks, with all the attendant shocks, rather than a definitive separation of continents. Humanists, in so far as they attended to such questions, were content to keep a passage back to Aristotelian accounts of the reference of words to mental concepts, which in their turn were signs of things. Nevertheless, the actual practice of humanist writers and pedagogues gestured towards another language world, and did more than gesture. Impatient with the Latin metalanguage constructed to refine propositions, they embarked on voyages of discovery into a multitude of Latin texts in order to bring back into use an abundance of words destined to vary and to amplify, to delight and to persuade. Meaning emerged from words in context, from cultural allusion, and from sophisticated judgements made on the basis of verbal competence, memory, and educated taste.

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Coda At the same time, inhabitants of this new language territory, from Lorenzo Valla to Melanchthon and Willich, were acutely conscious of the need to manage it and to validate its referential capacity by establishing connections with things as they are, as well as with words in texts. Crucially, the verbal battles of the Reformation, with consequences beyond mere words, demanded rationally pursued argument. These requirements were met by adopting the commonplacedialectic that (p.275) Rudolph Agricola had first elaborated from a very humanistic, literary perspective, well before there was any need to make it confrontational. Under the influence of humanist teachers bending their pupils to the analysis of classical Latin texts, commonplace-dialectic, in conjunction with grammatical skill in choosing words and forms of utterance and with rhetorical skill in manipulating them for calculated effect, became the universal instrument for generating discourse. Under the influence of humanistically educated theologians, commonplace-dialectic became the instrument for instructing the minds of the faithful in the truth and for constructing and winning arguments on which depended the life of the body and the soul. Broadly speaking, late medieval Latin was sidelined into the study of scholastic theology, destined to a partial renaissance of its own as part of the strategy of the Counter-Reformation, into liturgy, from which it was to be to some extent eradicated, and into recondite areas of advanced logic. The divide between the two idioms and their hinterlands, on the one side a language philosophy based on the construction of logically verifiable sentences that usually take the form of exemplary propositions, on the other, a more open-ended and inventive investigation of language use often based on literary quotation, sometimes recalls the divide between the Anglo-Saxon tradition of analytical philosophy and the Continental school. The reason why the early modern language conflict ended in a sort of victory was the fact that the Reformation crisis, of which it became a part, meant that the two Latin idioms, so radically different as to se