Supplemental  Research  3

 

Contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.

Roman Index Expurgatorius  (Gibbings)

276-277

 

 

 

 

 

2.

Der Index der Verbotenen Bücher  (Reusch)

278-278

 

 

 

 

 

3.

Die Indices Librorum Prohibitorum  (Reusch)

279-281

 

 

 

 

 

4.

Religious History of Spain  (Lea)

282-284

 

 

 

 

 

5.

Censorship of Hebrew Books  (Popper)

285-288

 

 

 

 

 

6.

Censorship of the Church of Rome  (Putnam)

289-296

 

 

 

 

 

7.

Encyclopedia of Unbelief  (Stein)

297-301

 

 

 

 

 

8.

Dictionary…of Mr Peter Bayle  (Bayle)

302-314

 

 

 

 

 

9.

ecclesiastical history  (Jortin)

315-315

 

 

 

 

 

10.

Ecclesiastical History  (Mosheim)

316-317

 

 

 

 

 

11.

The School of Padua  (Randall)

318-321

 

 

 

 

 

12.

Renaissance Platonism  (Raffini)

322-322

 

 

 

 

 

13.

www.christianism.com  (Luther)

323-324

 

 

 

 

 

14.

Luther's Table Talk  (Smith)

325-327

 

 

 

 

 

15.

Age of the Reformation  (Smith)

328-335

 

 

 

275

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  An Exact Reprint of the Roman Index Expurgatorius.  The Only Vatican Index of this Kind Ever Published.  Edited, With a Preface, by Richard Gibbings, A.B., Scholar of Trinity College, Dublin.  Dublin:  Milliken and Son, Booksellers to the University; William Curry, Jun. and Co.; and J.G. and F. Rivington, London.  M.DCCC.XXXVII.  [for clarity, 1837].

 

 

            [opposite the title page] '"The great Index of Rome, the Mother Index of all the rest."  (James, p. 385.) 

 

            Quid aliud totus Index expurgatorius facit, quàm quod errantes corrigit, monetque, quid scribendum, quid non scribendum fuerit?  (Gretserus, De ivre et more proh. libros, p. 15.)'

 

[title page] Indicis Librorvm Expvrgandorvm In studiosorum gratiam confecti Tomvs Primvs.  In quo quinquaginta Auctorum Libri prae caeteris desiderati emendantur, Per. F. Io. Mariam Brasichell.  Sacri Palatij Apost. Magistrum  In unum corpus redactus, & pub. commoditati aeditus.  Romae Primò; Deinde  BERGOMI, Typis Comini Venturae, 1608.

 

 

"PREFACE.

 

As it is to the period of the Reformation, that we are to refer the origin (so far, at least, as we are particularly concerned with them) of the literary censures which have emanated from the Church of Rome, it is proper to mention, as an introduction to the subject, a decreea issued by Pope Leo X.,b sacro approbante Concilio, in the general Council of Lateran, 1515; the authority of which is acknowledged in the tenth rule of the Tridentine Index [see 294-295].  In this decree the Pope complains that some persons presume to print, and sell publickly, books containing errors in faith, and pernicious doctrines, ac contra famam personarum, etiam dignitate fulgentium.  He then states, that in consequence of such proceedings, various scandals have often arisen; and his conjectural, foreboding prophecy, maiora indies exoriri formidantur, was not in time without its due fulfillment.  It is important also to observe, that the Vicar of his Holiness, and the Master of the Sacred Palace, are appointed to examine, and grant a license for printing books in Rome; while in other places this was to be done by the Bishop, or his Deputy, and the Inquisitor of heretical pravity.c  If any Printerd should offend, the books were to be burned:  he was to pay 100 ducats toward the building of St. Peter's Cathedral, and besides suffering suspension from his trade for a year, to be excommunicated; and if obstinate, to be punished still more severely.e"  ["vii"-ix].

 

 

276

 

________________________________________________________________


            "In 1520, xvii. kal. Iulii, Leo X., published his famous Bull, Contra errores Martini Lutheri, et sequacium.f  I have copies of two Roman editions, and one soon afterwards printed at Antwerp.  The Pope, having said, that if the laudable Constitutions, confirmed by his predecessors, for the extermination of heretics from Germany, were at that time observed, utique hac molestia careremus, proceeds to extract forty articles (they are numbered in the margin of the Antwerp editiong) from Luther's writings.  As specimens, let us take the 26th and 32nd.  The former is:  certũ ẽ in manu eccl'ie aut Pape prorsus non esse statuere articulos fideih....:  the latter:  Hereticos comburi est contra uoluntatem spiritus.i  All the articles being condemned,k as pestiferous, pernicious, scandalous, seductive of pious and simple minds; finally, as contrary to all charity, to reverence for S.R.E. Magistre fidei, and to obedience, the fountain of all virtues, the severest possible punishments, such as the greater excommunication latae sententiae, the inhibition of burial, and having the case reserved for the Roman Pontiff, except in mortis articulo, are imposed upon all who resist the decree...."  [x-xi].

 

 

            [footnote (not referenced above)] "1Vide Balei Act. Rom. Pontt.[sic] [apparently:  Acta Romanorum Pontificum, 1558, pp. 458-9.  Francof. 1567, or Studley's curious translation, The Pageant of Popes, fol. 190. Lond. 1574."  [xviii].

 

 

            [footnote (not referenced above)] 'kThe first expurgatory Index of Spain, Madriti, 1584, is unmerciful [of course, Christianism ("Christianity") is Politics, Politics, Politics—with a sprinkle of "pain killers"] to the Index of Chrysostom's [John Chrysostom 347 –  407] works, (Basil. à Froben.  1558.)  In. p. 398 of the Excerpta, Argent. MDCIX., we read:  deleatur illud, Nullum bonum hominis potest esse coram Deo acceptabile.  There is here a censure of the author of the Opus imperfectum; for in Homily xiii., his words are:  Nullum bonum hominis acceptabile potest esse ante Deum. (p. 344. Opp. Tom. II. Ant.  MDCXIV.  Conf. Ind. Hispan.  1612.  p. 616.  ed. Gen.  MDCXIX.; & p. 673, Ind. Zapat. Hispali, MDCXXXII.*)'  [xxxi].

 

_____     _____     _____

 

 

277

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  Der Index der Verbotenen Bücher, Ein Beitrag Zur Kirchen – Und Literaturgeschichte, Franz Heinrich Reusch [1825 – 1900], In 2 Bänden (Band 2 in 2 Abteilungen) [2 volumes in 3], Band 1, Neudruck der Ausgabe Bonn 1883, Scientia Verlag Aalen, 1967.

 

            "Dr. Robert Barnes [1495 – 1540], früher Prior der Augustiner zu Cambridge, 1540 zu London verbrannt, ist derselbe, der sich 1530–35 zu Wittenberg aufhielt und dort auch unter dem Namen Antonius Anglus schrieb.  In No. VIII wird The book of Friar Barnes twice printed, ohne nähere Bezeichnung, verboten1).

 

            John Bale [1495 – 1563], spatter Bischof von Ossory, wird in No. VII auch als Haryson und Henry Stalbridge erwähnt, unter welchen Namen er Broschüren schrieb, Thomas Beacon (Becon) als Theodore Basil oder Baselle2)."  [95].

 

            [footnotes] "1) The whole works of W. Tyndale, John Frith and Dr. Barnes, three worthy martyrs.  Lond. 1753. fol.

 

            2) Seine Schriften wurden 1563 fol. gedruckt, theilweise in 2 Bänden von der Parker Soc. herausgegeben."  [95].

 

 

"Vitae Rom. Pontificum, Wittemb. 1536, auch im Ven., seit P. in der 3. Cl., erst von Ben. unter den Namen Rob. Barnes gestellt."  [137].                                      

 

 

            "Von den Epigrammen des Jac. Sannazar [1458 – 1530] verordnet Liss. diejenigen, welche gegen einige Päpste (Alexander VI. und seine Sippschaft und Leo X.) gerichtet und welche unanständig seien, zu streichen.  Q. und die anderen span. Indices bezeichnen diese, 15 in der Ausgabe Lyon 1560, genauer2).—Die Utopia des Thomas Morus verbietet Liss. unbedingt.  Q. hat das doch gemildert:  Th. Mori, viri alias pii et catholici, Utopia, nisi repurgetur.  Er streicht einige Stellen und die in der Ausgabe von 1563 beigefügte Apologia pro Moria Erasmi.  Sand. und Sot. haben auch dieses fallen lassen und expurgiren nur zwei den Lucubrationes Th. Mori 1568 beigefügte Briefe von anderen.  Liss. 1624 aber hält das Verbot der Utopia aufrecht mit der Motivirung:  cum multa in ea commendentur a christ, reipublicae statu abhorrentia.—Im Röm. Ind. steht weder Sannazar noch Morus."  [489-490].

 

            [footnote] "2) In der Ausgabe von J.A. Vulpius, Padua 1731, sind sie weggelassen.  Schelh., Erg. II, 187. Francus p. 170."  [489].

_____     _____     _____

 

 

278

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  Die Indices Librorum Prohibitorum, Des Sechzehnten Jahrhunderts, Gesammelt und Herausgegeben, von Fr. Heinrich Reusch, Nieuwkoop B. De Graff, MCMLXI (Tübingen, 1886).

 

 

"1.

 

Verzeichnisse verbotener bücher aus England,

1526 bis 1555."  [5]

 

 

"Roberte Barnes.  First a supplication made by the saide Barnes unto the kinges majestye.

 

Item a boke in articles touchinge christian religion.

 

Richard Tracy.  Fyrste a book called the preparation to the crosse and death.

 

John Bale alias Haryson.  First a briefe chronicle concerninge the examination of the death of syr Jhon Oldcastle, the Lord Cobham.

 

Item a preface against the genealogy of Jhon Huntington.

 

Item a mistery of iniquity disclosed and confuted by the said Jhon Bale.

 

Item the image of both churches.

 

Item the second and third part of the image of both churches.

 

Item the disclosing the man of synne, made by Bale naming him self Harrison."  [18].

 

 

"Index Pius IV von 1564 (der sogenannte Trienter index)."  [243].

 

 

"(Epigrammatum libri duo christianae sectae, ex variis christianis poetis decerpti1)."  [261].

 

            [footnote] "1 S. o. s. 257, Christianae scholae."  [261].

 

 

279

 

________________________________________________________________


"21.

 

Index des spanischen generalinquisitors [sic] Quiroga

von 1583.

 

Index

et Catalogus

Librorum prohibitorum, mandato Illustriss. ac

Reuerēdiss. D.D. Gasparis a Quiroga,

Cardinalis Archiepiscopi Toletani, ac in regnis

Hispaniarum Generalis Inquisitoris

denuò editus.

Cum consilio supreme

Senatus Sanctae Generalis Inquisitionis.

Madriti

Apud Alphonsum Gomezium Regium Typographum

Anno M.D.LXXXIII.

Tassado a cinco marauedis el pliego.

 

            Don Gaspar de Quiroga, por la miseracion divina Presbytero Cardenal de la santa Yglesia de Roma, titulo de Santa Balbina, Arçobispo de Toledo, Primado de las Españas, Chanciller mayor de Castilla, Inquisidor Apostolico General contra la heretica pravedad y apostasia en los reynos y señorios de su Magestad, y de su consejo de estado etc., a todas y qualesquier personas, de qualquier estado, orden y calidad que sean, vezinas y moradores, estantes o residents en los dichos reynos y señorios, salud en nuestro Señor Jesu Christo.  Por secretos juyzios del cielo ha permitido la divina providencia, que vean nuestros ojos los tiempos peligrosos, que el apostol San Pablo con su espiritu soberano nos advertia, en los quales los hereges, enemigos de la santa yglesia catholica apostolica Romana, por el insaciable odio y furor, con que la persiguen, inventan cada dia nuevas formas y maneras de injuriarla, y con este intento procuran yr sembrando por el mundo sus malditos y reprovados errores, para hazer, si pudiessen, por esta via a todos los hombres vasos de ira y perdicion, como ellos lo son y su maestro Sathanas les enseña....

 

G. Cardinalis Tolegan.

Por mandado de su Señoria Illustrissima y Reverendissima.

Pedro de Valle Villamañan,

Secretario."  [377-379].

 

[my Spanish (Mexican, and, not this vintage), after 5 1/2 years living in Mexico ("20" years ago)?  Very helpful (some, with Latin) (my level should be much higher)].

 

 

280

 

________________________________________________________________


"Epigrammatum christianae scholae libri duo, ex variis christianis poëtis decerpti."  [402].

 

 

"*Jacobi Sannazarii epigrammata,

 

nisi repurgentur [unless expurgated]."  [411].

 

 

"*Sannazari epigrammata,

 

nisi repurgentur [unless expurgated]."  [427].

 

 

 

 

"23.

 

Index Clemens VIII von 1596."  [524]

 

 

"Epigrammatum flores, [ex optimis quibusque auctoribus excerpti per Leodegarium a Quercu] nisi corrigantur."  [549].

 

_____     _____     _____

 

 

281

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  Chapters from the Religious History of Spain, Connected with the Inquisition.  Censorship of the Press—Mystics and Illuminati—Endemoniadas—El Santa Niño de la Guardia—Brianda de Bardaxí.  By Henry Charles Lea [1825 – 1909], LL.D., Burt Franklin, 1967 (1890).

                                             

 

"PREFACE"  ["v"]

 

            In the essay on Censorship I have departed somewhat from the sphere of purely religious history, but in Spain Church and State were so intimately connected that in some fields of activity it is impossible to treat them separately.  In its origin Censorship was devised by the Church to preserve purity of faith; then the papacy made use of it to strengthen the defences of the temporal power, and the State naturally took hold of the machinery thus created to serve its own purposes.  No survey of the subject could be complete that did not consider it in both aspects."  ["v"].

 

 

"The fifth council of Lateran [1512 – 1517], assembled in Rome under Leo X. [Pope 1513 – 1521], therefore adopted with but one dissenting voice a papal constitution laid before it which recited the injury to faith and morals and public peace arising from the increasing number of books containing doctrines contrary to religion and libellous attacks on individuals.  Therefore forever thereafter no book should be printed without a preliminary examination and licence, to be gratuitously given, in Rome by the papal vicar and the master of the sacred palace, and elsewhere by the bishop and inquisitor, the bishop being authorized to act through a deputy of adequate learning. 

 

Violations of this provision were visited with excommunication, suspension from business, a fine of a hundred ducats applicable to the fabric of St. Peter's and forfeiture of the unlicensed books, which were to be publicly burnt; persistent offences were to be repressed by the bishops with all the severity of the canons.1  The duties of censorship were thus shared between the bishops and the Inquisition; the former, as a rule, engrossed in temporal cares, were negligent, and there is no trace, at least in Spain at this period, of their discharging the functions thus imposed of them; the latter was active and aggressive, eager to extend its jurisdiction, and it formed the appropriate instrumentality through which Church and State could best curb the licentiousness of the press.  Still, as we shall see, the preliminary licence here provided for eventually passed into the hands of the State, and the functions of the Inquisition became practically limited to passing judgment on errors which had escaped the vigilance of the official censors, and to enforcing the surrender of forbidden books, for which its

 

 

282

 

________________________________________________________________


effective organization gave it special fitness.  Authors thus became subjected to a reduplicated censorship which guaranteed the faithful from contamination, at the expense, it must be allowed, of effectually checking the development of intellect."  [25-26].

 

 

            'If a work was regarded as wholly injurious to Church or State in its tendency, it was prohibited, and this prohibition might, in special cases, be extended to those who held licences to read prohibited books in general.  Unlike the Roman Congregations which generally contented themselves with the bald enumeration of the title and author's name, the Spanish edicts usually give the reasons, which frequently afforded an opportunity of branding book and writer in the most insulting manner.2  If the book as a whole was innocent except in certain passages, it was prohibited donec corrigatur or donec expurgetur—until corrected or expurgated—and a list was made of the objectionable portions which all possessors of the work were required to blot out (borrar), or to bring their copies to the Inquisition for the purpose within six months of the date of the edict, under penalty of their confiscation and a fine of fifty ducats.1  The passages thus expunged were rendered completely illegible, usually with printer's ink, apparently laid on with a brush, and where they happened to be frequent the appearance can easily be imagined.  Nor is it difficult to appreciate the effect upon the mind of the author whose disgrace was thus perpetuated through the very labors which he had hoped would bring him reputation and perhaps immortality.  Where the passage thus borrado could be stricken out without destroying the sense it was well, but where it could not the context was allowed to shift for itself.

 

            In this matter of expurgation the Spanish Inquisition took great credit to itself for its liberality, and it certainly spared no labor to preserve the faithful from contamination without absolutely prohibiting books. 

 

The Index Expurgatorius in its literal sense may be said to be a peculiar Spanish institution.  Rome, while issuing repeated revisions of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, only once attempted an Index Expurgatorius, which never was completed; the portion issued was speedily suppressed and has become one of the rarest of books.1  Thus the "suspension" of a book, as it was technically called, donec corrigatur, was

usually equivalent to prohibition, for the passages to be corrected were not publicly made known, although the author could ascertain them by proper application.  Spain did not shrink from the task of framing an Index Expurgatorius great as were the difficulties which it involved.  The first one was that of Antwerp, in 1571, superintended by Benito Arias Montano, and issued

 

 

283

 

________________________________________________________________


under the authority of the Duke of Alva for the Spanish Netherlands.  The next was by the Inquisitor General Quiroga, who followed his prohibitory Index of 1583 with an expurgatory one in 1584.  Then the two were combined in the Indexes of Sandoval, 1612, of Zapata, 1632, and of Sotomayor, 1640, which were large folio volumes, increasing to two volumes in that of 1707 by Vidal Marin, and that of 1747 by Francisco Perez de Prado y Cuesta.  That in performing this enormous labor the censors felt that they were treating authors with distinguished consideration is shown in a memorial presented about 1625 to Philip IV. by the Licenciado Francisco Murcia de la Llana, the royal corrector general de libros.  He compares the liberality of Spanish censors, who permit the use of heretic works of value by merely expurgating offensive passages, with the harshness of the Roman Congregation of the Index which, in violation of the Tridentine rule prescribing this practice, brutally prohibits the whole work of an orthodox Spanish writer for a few objectionable passages, without specifying them or giving reasons.  Thus the Spanish Inquisition permits the use of copies, expurgated according to its instructions, of the works of such heretics as Paul Fagius, Conrad Gesner, Erasmus, Bonaventura Cornelius Bertram, John Meursius, Isaac Casaubon, Reinerus Reineccius, Theodore Zwinger, Filippo Camerario and others.  On the other hand, books which have passed the preliminary examination in Spain and circulate freely with the assent of the Inquisition are condemned and prohibited in Rome to the great dishonor of the Spanish name.  Thus learned Spaniards are deterred from writing, and the booksellers are heavy losers, for the capital which they invest under the careful home censorship is destroyed:  they are afraid longer to take such risks and the art of printing which has been brought to such perfection in Spain is threatened with extinction.  The worthy licenciate therefore supplicates Philip to take such action as will lead to a change in the Roman practice.1  This was not the only source of quarrel between the Spanish and Roman censorships, and we shall have occasion to see how Spain arrogated to herself virtual independence.'  [76-80].

 

_____     _____     _____

 

 

284

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  The Censorship of Hebrew Books, William Popper, Burt Franklin, 1968 (1899).

 

 

'In the presence of the Queen-mother Blanche this debate was held on June 24, 1240, R. Jechiel of Paris acting as spokesman.  From an account of the affair which has come down to us it is worth while to quote the principal charges brought:  (1) The Talmud is given an undue value and authority by the Jews; (2) It contains blasphemies against Jesus, (3) against God and morality, (4) against Christians.

 

            As typical of the spirit in which these complaints were made, the last of them can most easily be explained.  Every instance of the use of the word "gōy" (non-Jew) and therefore every condemnation of any enemy, irrespective of when, how, or by whom it was supposed to have been uttered, was referred to "Christians."  After seeking to invalidate most of the charges, the Rabbis turned to the most important point, and acknowledged that the Talmud contained slighting references to a certain Jesus.  But, by taking into account the dates mentioned in the Talmud, and other evidence furnished by the early Church Fathers themselves, they attempted to show that another Jesus, who had lived at some time earlier than Jesus of Nazareth, was the subject of these notices.  They failed to convince the commission; the Talmud was again sentenced to the funeral pyre, though it was some time before the sentence was carried out.22'  [10].

 

 

            [footnote (not referenced above)] '72Thus in the treatise B'rākhōth, 17 a, and Rashi, 13 a and 28 b; in Sanhedrin, 16 a, the word "Jesus" has been omitted, and a space about the size of one letter left blank, but the adjective "Nazarene" has been retained.  In other places, as Sanhedrin, 43 a, the whole phrase "Jesus of Nazarus" is wanting, and the space left blank, while in the same treatise, 103 a and 107 b, the phrase is left complete.  In the treatise Shabbath, 67 a, the phrase "the son of Sateda, the son of Pandera" (names given to the mother and father of Jesus), is wanting.  (Rabbinowicz, 24 note; for the name "Pandera," Strauss, Life of Jesus, 139 and note 7.)'  [21].

 

 

            "The case, reopened, dragged along slowly, and was carried to Rome.  In November, 1513, Pope Leo X, beloved of the Jews in Italy, persuaded by his Jewish physician Bonet de Lates, ordered all former verdicts to be set aside; and in a bull to the Bishops of Speier and Worms he decreed that Reuchlin should appear before certain judges and defend himself against

 

 

285

 

________________________________________________________________

 


an Inquisitor who had lately come forward as his great opponent, Jacob Hochstraten."  [24].

 

 

            'Jekutiel had many a companion in his grief, for now all over Italy "there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing, yet they called upon God and prostrated themselves, saying:  God is just!"104  For in Ferrara, Mantua,104 Padua,105 the island of Candia (belonging to Venice),106 Ravenna,107 and all places which the Pope's decree reached, books were burnt by the hundred thousand.106'  [37].

 

 

'On Aug. 20, 1554, Ferdinand de Valdes, Archbishop of Sevilla, issued a "general censure against the errors with which heretics have sprinkled new editions of the Bible."  It contained a list of the heretical translations in each of 103 editions of the Bible; no new copies of such editions were to be sold, but all who already possessed copies were ordered to erase from them the indicated passages.  This may be considered the first model of what later developed into a general "Index Expurgatorius," or list of passages to be expurgated from those works, which, while not absolutely forbidden, still were deemed to require correction.114'  [39].

 

 

"On April 7 [1559],153 these Dominicans ["the hounds of Hell!"] wrote also to the Governor of Milan, suggesting that the Talmud be consigned to the flames because of its blasphemies against Jesus.152"  [46].

 

 

            'The plan of wearing out the resistance of the royal Governor finally proved successful; he yielded, agreed that the Talmud should be burned, and even ordered his Spanish soldiers to aid in searching Jewish houses and the printing establishment for proscribed works.  In general charge of all the parties of soldiers and minor Inquisition officers during this movement seems to have been the Vicar Sixtus Sinensis.  When the searchers returned, it was found that they collected enough fuel to furnish an imposing auto-da-fè, for they had not been careful to discriminate between Talmudic and non-Talmudic works.  Even two thousand copies of the Zōhar, being printed at the time under the patronage of Vittorio Eliano himself, would have been added by them to their plunder had not Sixtus Sinensis interfered.  The Vicar, however, did not grant the same immunity to 1000 copies of another work, the Pentateuch commentary Siyyūni, also in the course of publication with a license just granted157; these formed part of a great pyre of between 10,000 and 12,000 volumes, over the burning of which Sixtus presided sometime in April or May, 1559.158

 

 

286

 

________________________________________________________________


            This auto-da-fè exerted a great influence throughout Milan; it spurred the Dominicans in other cities to similar activity; it caused serious apprehension among the Jews, and made them bitter against the scholar whose quarrel they blamed for the trouble159".  [47-48].

 

 

            'Corrected passages are in kind such as Gershom of Soncino omitted in his Pesaro and Soncino tracts, and are typical of those attacked in all censorship and expurgation.  In every reference to non-Jews or non-Jewish customs an insult to Christianity was suspected; and so many of such references are found in the tract 'abhōdhāh zārāh, "On Idolatry," that Marcus Marino omitted it entirely.

 

            Of individual passages, all which treat of Jesus or of his works, or which contain merely the mention of his name, were likewise omitted, as in the tract Sanhedrin (43a) the entire following passage200a:

 

            But it is taught that on the eve of Passover Jesus was hung, and forty days before this the proclamation was made:  "Jesus is to be stoned to death because he has practiced sorcery and has lured the people to idolatry.  Whoever, now, has anything to say in his favor, come and testify for him."  But as no one had found anything in his favor, he was hung on the eve of Passover.  Concerning this story R. Ula asked:  "Do you mean that an excuse could have been found for him?  He was an enticer to idolatry, and of such the Bible says, 'Thou shalt not pity or condone.'"  But it was different in the case of Jesus, for he was a favorite of the royal power.

 

            [much smaller print in the original] The rabbis taught:  Jesus had five disciples, Mat'ai, Nekai, Néser, Būni, and Tōdhāh.  As Mat'ai was brought before the judges, he said to them:  "Surely Mat'ai is not to be put to death?  For the Bible says, 'I, Mat'ai,201 shall see the face of God.'"  Then they answered him:  "Not so; Mat'ai shall die, for it is written, 'Mat'ai shall die and his name perish.'"202  Then they brought Nekai; he said,

 

"Is  Nekai to be put to death?  For it is written, 'And thou shalt not kill Nekai 203 and the righteous.'"  "Not so; Nekai shall die.  For it is written, 'In secret he shall kill Nekai.'"204  They brought Nēser; he said, "Is Nēser to be put to death?  For it is written, 'Nēser shall sprout forth from his roots.'"205  They answered him:  "Not so; Nēser shall die, for it is written, 'Thou shalt be cast out of thy grave like the discarded Nēser .'"206  They brought Būni; he said, "Shall Būni  be put to death?  Is it not written, ' Būni, my first born, is Israel'?"207  They answered him, 'Not so; Būni shall die, for it is written, 'Lo!  I shall kill thy Būni, thy first born.'"208  They brought Tōdhāh; he asked,

 

 

287

 

________________________________________________________________


"Shall Tōdhāh die?  Is it not written, 'A song of praise be to Tōdhāh?'"209  They answered:  "Not so; Tōdhāh shall die, for it is written, 'Whoso slaughtereth Tōdhāh honors me.'"210'  [any questions?] [57-58]. 

 

           

[footnote (not referenced above)] "359The attitude of Rome toward expurgation in general is seen by the publication in 1607 of the only Roman Index Expurgatorius, a second edition of which was printed in 1608 at Bergamo, a Venetian city.  The editor was F. Io. Maria Brasichell, Master of the Sacred Apostolic Palace.  The Index is prefaced by the rules of expurgation adopted by Clement VIII; it is similar in its treatment of books to the Sēpher ha-zikkūk, except that in nearly every case where the page and the first and last words of an offensive passage are cited, certain words to be substituted are added.  Among the fifty works for which expurgation is provided are the Hebrew-Latin dictionaries of John Foster and Sebastian Münster.  (Cp. the reprint of this Index, edited with a preface by Richard Gibbings, Dublin, 1837 [see 276]).  Preparations had been made for another edition in 1611 (Antwerp), but, as it had not, apparently, been sanctioned by the Pope, early in the following year the Index was suddenly suspended (Reusch, I:555)."  [99].

 

 

            "As evidence that at this time Rome did not object to expurgation there is the record of restatement of the ruling made in 1598; viz., the Inquisitor of Placentia (Piacenza) was notified that when prohibited books were presented to an Ordinary, this officer was required to deliver them to the Inquisitor for burning or correction (Jan. 24, 1610).364  At the same time, however, the law which held a Jew responsible under all circumstances for the errors of any book in his possession, was not allowed to become a dead letter.  In Rome a certain Jew named Vita was arrested and charged with holding many Hebrew books containing Thalmudic [sic] errors.  Sentence was passed that he [vita] be punished in accordance with the index rules of Clement VIII; his books were therefore burnt, and his property was confiscated [confiscation of property, apparently, common motivation for inquisitional actions] (Feb. 4, 1610).365"  [100].

 

_____     _____     _____

 

 

288

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  The Censorship of the Church of Rome, and Its Influence upon the Production and Distribution of Literature, A study of the history of the prohibitory and expurgatory indexes, together with some consideration of the effects of Protestant censorship and of censorship by the state, by George Haven Putnam, Volume I (of two volumes), Benjamin Blom, 1967 (1906-1907).

 

 

'Bishop Barlow writes that he has found the

 

"Indices Expurgatorii invaluable as records of the literature of the doctrines and opinions obnoxious to Rome....Their Indices Expurgatorii are very good common-place books and repertories (for that use we make of them) by help of which we may presently find what any author by them censured has uttered against the vulnerable parts of the Catholic system.  In these Indices we are directed to the book, chapter, and line where anything is spoken against any superstition or error of Rome; so that he who has the Indices cannot want testimonies against Rome."1  [[footnote] "1Remains of Bishop Barlow, London, 1693, 70–71."   [13]]

 

            Reusch [see 278-281] points out that the Indexes have preserved the record and the purport of not a few works of interest and importance, the very existence of which would otherwise have been lost sight of.  It is also the case that the Index lists have preserved the titles of a number of works of comparatively trivial importance, which, if they had not been fortunate enough to secure the condemnation of the Church, would have fallen stillborn from the press.

 

            It was the practice, in making condemnation of books either through a general Index or under a separate decree, to order destroyed such copies of the condemned books as could be collected, and this destruction was, as a rule, done by fire.  In the record of censorship, there are, however, a number of instances of books which had received the honour of a special condemnation for burning, the titles of which had not appeared in any Index issued by the Church or in any separate papal or diocesan decree.  The books so recorded were, with hardly an exception, condemned under civil authority.  The writers who have brought together records of books condemned to be burned (of whom Peignot is perhaps the most important) give, under the same general heading, titles of books selected from the Index, books condemned under special decrees of the Church, and works which had fallen under the censorship of the civil authorities. 

 

 

289

 

________________________________________________________________


As will be noticed in the later chapters, the special emphasis given to the importance of a book through the burning of copies in a public place, constituted a valuable advertisement and usually extended its influence.'  [13-14].

 

 

'CENSORSHIP

 

Chapter I

 

Introductory:  The Index and Censorship

 

            In any investigation of the development of literary production and of the relations of the producers of books with the reading public, it is necessary to give consideration to the influence exerted upon literary activities, and upon the actual effectiveness of literature, by the censorship and the restrictive measures instituted by the Church.

 

            Church censorship may be said to have begun as early as 150, with an edict issued by the Council of Ephesus, in which the Acta Pauli (an unauthenticated history of the life of St. Paul) was condemned and prohibited [sources?].  During the centuries following, a number of similar edicts or mandates were published by councils, by individual ecclesiastics, and by civil officials acting at the instance of the authorities of the Church, under which edicts the faithful were cautioned against the pernicious influence of various works classed as heretical, and the heretics who had been concerned in the production and circulation of such writings were threatened with penalties ranging from confiscation of property to imprisonment, excommunication, and death.  A schedule of these decrees and edicts will be found in a later chapter.

 

            The revolution in the methods of the production and distribution of literature brought about by the invention of printing in the middle of the15th century, had, as an immediate result, an enormous increase in the influence upon the shaping of popular opinion of the written, or rather of the printed word, that is, of thought in the form of literature.  The work of the printers was at first welcomed by the rulers of the Church.  They convinced themselves that the Lord had placed at their disposal a valuable instrument for the spread of sound doctrine and for the enlightenment of believers, and with this conviction, they found funds for the support of a number of the early printers and kept their presses employed in the production of works of approved theological instruction.

 

 

290

 

________________________________________________________________


It was in fact not until nearly three fourths of a century after Gutenberg, when the leaders of the Reformation were utilizing the printing-presses of Wittenberg for the spread of the Protestant heresies, that the ecclesiastics became aroused to the perils that the new art was bringing upon the true faith and upon the authority of the Church.  If the people were to be protected against the insidious influence of the new heresies, it was absolutely essential that some system should be instituted under which the productions of the printing-press could be supervised and controlled. The more active and far-reaching the operations of the printers, the greater the necessity for the watchful supervision of their work, and the greater at the same time the difficulty in making such supervision complete and effective.  The requirement was met by the institution of a system planned to permit no books to reach the public that had not been passed upon and approved by ecclesiastical examiners appointed for the purpose.  To this end, the production and the circulation of any literature not so approved were stamped as constituting a misdemeanour of the most serious character, one that might, under certain circumstances, become the final sin against the light, the offence against the Holy Ghost.

 

            The German historian Pütter says1:

 

            "As a result of the great facility brought about in the production of books by the invention of printing, there came to be anxiety on the part of the authorities lest teachings destructive of religion or morality, or inimical to the interests of the State, should be given to the public.  On this ground, the conclusion was in all countries promptly arrived at that no production should be permitted to come into print that had not been passed upon and approved by an officially instituted censorship, and that no printing-offices should be established excepting under proper license and effective supervision."

 

            In 1559, the responsibility for the censorship of literature was first assumed directly by the papal authority through the publication of the Index Auctorum et Librorum Prohibitorum, of Paul IV, the first of a long series of papal Indexes, aggregating, up to 1899, forty-two in all....'  [1-3].

 

 

            'Joseph Mendham [1769 – 1856] finds in the Indexes the literary policy and the doctrinal policy of the Church of Rome.  He writes:

 

            "The Indexes issued by the Church of Rome may be regarded as a grand Index of the sentiment, spirit, and policy of an ecclesiastical empire, claiming with the most critical exactness the terrific appellation of the Mystery of Iniquity.

 

 

291

 

________________________________________________________________


            "To no power but modern Rome is equally applicable the encomium of the poet on the ancient:

 

                        Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento;

                        Hae tibi erunt artes; passisque imponere morem:

                        Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.

Aen. VI, 852.

 

            "The other class of Indexes, the expurgatory, contains a particular examination of the works specified and indicates the passages condemned to be expunged or altered.  For these Expurgatory Indexes, publicity was so little desired that it was the chief thing guarded against....The copies were intended for the possession and inspection only of those to whom they were necessary for the execution of their provisions....It was not thought desirable that the dishonest dealings of the writers of these censures should be known either to the authors who were injured and who would thus have an opportunity of justifying themselves, or to readers whose judgment must in many instances be at variance with that of the censors."1

 

            The framers of the several expurgatory Indexes found themselves occasionally under the necessity of censuring and correcting the works of writers accepted as the Fathers of the Church.  Mendham gives an example, from the Roman Index of Brasichelli, of a condemnation of certain propositions printed by Robert Estienne, which propositions are, he says, direct citations from the Fathers. 

 

Mornay [DU PLESSIS], in his edition of the Spanish Index of 1601, presents a list of similar condemnations or expurgations Of the texts of the writings of the Fathers themselves. 

 

The propositions which, naturally enough, came under this condemnation are those which appear to present grounds for the doctrine of justification by faith and those which enforce the importance of the injunction against the worship of images.  The Jesuit Gretser, in apologizing for the action of the Church in the case of Bertram's book, makes the following interesting argument:

 

            "Although Bertram be prohibited, I deny that a Father is prohibited, for that one can properly be called a Father of the Church who feeds and nourishes to the faithful salutary doctrine, who being placed over the family of the Lord, gives it in due season its portion of the corn.  If, therefore, instead of the food of salutary doctrine and the portion of corn, he offered and distributed cockles and tares and the burrs and briars of perverse doctrines, so far from being a Father he is but a stepfather, not a doctor but a seductor."1

 

 

292

 

________________________________________________________________


            In another page, Gretser writes:  "Who, therefore, is so stupid as not to recognise that the Church or the sovereign pontiff, while he reviews the lucubrations of his sons, and wherein he corrects these, performs a service grateful to the authors and a work useful to posterity."2

 

            It is a natural inference from the assumption by the Church of the responsibility of indicating in the Index lists the books which are on one ground or another pernicious and which require important corrections, that the further responsibility is assumed of approving by implication the books not thus condemned or not corrected through expurgation....'  [17-19].

 

 

            "There can, of course, be no question that from the outset the leaders of the Protestant Reformation believed as thoroughly in the necessity and in the rightfulness of the censorship of literature as did the ecclesiastics of Rome or of Spain.  The duty of protecting the minds of the faithful against the insidious and wrong doctrine was just as clear to Calvin, to Swingli, and to Luther, as it was to Loyola or to Brasichelli.  The Protestant ecclesiastics were, however, not in a position to enforce or even to threaten any such penalties as could be imposed by the authorities of Rome, and as in fact were imposed most consistently and effectively by the Inquisition in Spain.  They had under their control no such dread penalty as excommunication [burning heretics, etc.].  The leaders of the Protestant faith were compelled to rely upon the civil authorities of their several States for carrying out the provisions of such censorship policy as might be decided upon, and concerning the wisdom of which they had been able to convince the civil rulers."  [49-50].

 

 

            "The list of books which came into condemnation under such Protestant censorship during the centuries in question was very much more considerable than the aggregate of all the lists of the Indexes issued in Rome or issued under the authority of the Roman Church.  The censorship policy of the Protestants was more spasmodic, and may be admitted to have been directed on the whole by a less wholesome, dignified, and honourable purpose.  It represented very much more largely the spirit of faction or of personal grievance, while the political censorship was, of necessity, influenced by the action of the party which happened for the moment to be in control or of the minister who had for the time the ear of the ruler."  [51].

 

 

293

 

________________________________________________________________


"CHAPTER VIII

 

The Council of Trent and the Index of

Pius IV, 1564.

 

            Rome, 1564.  Pius IV, Council of Trent.—Index librorum prohibitorum cum regulis confectis per Patres a Tridentinae Synodo delectos, auctoriate Sanctis D.N. Pii IV Pont. Max., comprobatus.  Romae, apud Paulum Manutium, Aldi F. 1564."  [180]

 

 

"The Ten Rules of the Tridentine Index1

 

            I.  All books condemned by the supreme pontiffs, or general councils, before the year 1515, and not comprised in the present Index, are, nevertheless, to be considered as condemned.

 

            II.  The books of heresiarchs, whether of those who broached or disseminated their heresies prior to the year above-mentioned, or of those who have been, or are, the heads or leaders of heretics, as Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Balthasar, Pacimontanus, Swenchfeld, and others similar, are altogether forbidden, whatever may be their titles or subjects.  And the books of other heretics, which treat professedly upon religion, are totally condemned; but those which do not treat upon religion are allowed to be read, after having been examined and approved by Catholic divines by order of the bishops and inquisitors.  Those Catholic books also are permitted to be read which have been composed by authors who have afterwards fallen into heresy, or who, after their fall, have returned into the bosom of the Church, provided these have been approved by the theological faculty of some Catholic university, or by the general Inquisition.

 

            III.  Translations of ecclesiastical writers, which have been hitherto published by condemned authors, are permitted to be read, if they contain nothing contrary to sound doctrine.  Translations of the Old Testament may also be allowed, but only to learned and pious men, at the discretion of the bishop; provided they use them merely as elucidations of the Vulgate version, as a means of understanding the Holy Scriptures, and not in place of the sacred text itself.  But translations of the New Testament made by authors of the first class of this Index are allowed to no one, since little advantage, but much danger, generally arises from reading them.  If notes accompany the versions which are allowed to be read, or are joined to the Vulgate edition, they may be permitted to be read by the same persons as the versions, after the suspected places have been expunged by the theological

 

 

294

 

________________________________________________________________


faculty of some Catholic university, or by the general inquisitor.  On the same conditions, also, pious and learned men may be permitted to have what is called the Bible of Vatablus, or any part of it.  But the preface and Prolegomena of the Bible published by Isodorus Clarius are, however, excepted; and the text of his editions is not to be considered as the text of the Vulgate edition."  [182-183].

 

 

            "VIII.  Books, the principal subject of which is good, but in which some things are occasionally introduced tending to heresy and impiety, divination, or superstition, may be allowed, after they have been corrected by Catholic divines, under the authority of the general Inquisition.  The same judgment is also given concerning prefaces, summaries, or notes, taken from condemned authors, and inserted in the works of authors not condemned; but such works must not be printed in future, until they have been amended."  [185].

 

 

            "X.  In the printing of books or other writings, the rules shall be observed which were ordained in the tenth session of the Council of Lateran, under Leo X.  Therefore, if any book is to be printed in the city of Rome, it shall first be examined by the vicar of the pope or by the master of the sacred palace or by other persons chosen by our most holy Father for that purpose.  In places other than Rome, the examination of any book or manuscript intended to be printed shall be referred to the bishop with whom shall be associated the inquisitor of heretical pravity of the city or diocese in which the printing is done...."  [186].

 

_____     _____     _____

 

 

295

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  The Censorship of the Church of Rome [also, Protestant censorship; civil censorship], George Haven Putnam, Volume II (of two volumes), Benjamin Blom, reprint of the 1906–1907 edition, 1967.

 

 

            'The chief distinction, however, between the censorship methods of Protestant communities and those which came into force in Catholic States was the fact that for the former the censorship authorities were dependent for the enforcement of the prohibitions and penalties upon the machinery of the civil authority.  The Protestant divines had at their command no such dread penalty as the ban of excommunication by means of which the Catholic ecclesiastics were able to enforce upon the faithful obedience to the commands of the Church.  In the Protestant States, it was necessary for the divines, first, to convince the rulers of the essential importance of their particular creeds or forms of "orthodoxy," in order to secure the enactment of the necessary laws or the issue of censorship edicts; and, secondly, to keep the magistrates up to the mark in the enforcing of the penalties prescribed.'  [206].

 

l l l l l

 

 

296

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  The Encyclopedia of Unbelief, Gordon Stein [1941 – 1996], Ph.D., Editor, Volume One, Prometheus, 1985.

 

 

'BAYLE, PIERRE (1647–1706), was the most important skeptic of the 17th century.  Born in southern France, the son of a staunchly Protestant pastor, Bayle grew up during the severe persecutions of the Huguenots under Louis XIV.  Since many of the Protestant schools had been closed, or the teachers dismissed, young Bayle was sent, after an initial Calvinist training, to the Jesuit college at Toulouse.  He was soon converted to Catholicism by the logical attacks of his teachers on Protestantism.  Shortly thereafter Bayle applied the same sorts of attacks against Catholicism, and returned to his original religious belief.

 

            Under French law Bayle became a relaps, that is, someone who has again become a heretic after abjuring his heresy.  The penalties for such behavior were very severe, so Bayle fled to Calvinist Geneva, where he completed his philosophical and theological studies.  He returned to France incognito and first became a tutor; then in 1675 he was appointed professor of philosophy at the Protestant academy at Sedan, the last major Calvinist school still operating in France.  At this time he was the protegé of Pierre Jurieu [1637 – 1713], the leading orthodox theologian of the Huguenots.  The Sedan academy was closed in 1681, and Bayle and Jurieu fled to Holland, where they became teachers of the École illustre of Rotterdam, joining the burgeoning society of French Protestant refugees in the Netherlands.

 

            Work and Views.  In Holland Bayle began publishing his views, first in a work on the comet of 1680, then an attack on a Jesuit history of Calvinism, and  later a collection of defenses of Cartesianism.  From the outset Bayle used whatever themes he was dealing with as a means of attacking superstition, intolerance, bad philosophy, and inaccurate history.  From 1684 to 1687 Bayle edited the Nouvelles de la république des lettres, one of the first learned journals.  This brought him into contact with some of the leading European intellectuals, such as Boyle, Leibniz, Locke, and Malebranche.

 

            In 1686 he [Bayle] published a sensational work, his philosophical commentary on the words of Jesus:  "Constrain them to come in."  This began as an attack on the forceful methods used by the Catholics against the Protestants, and then broadened to state a forceful justification for complete religious toleration (going beyond what JOHN LOCKE would soon offer in his Essay on Toleration).  Bayle argued for tolerance for Jews, Muslims, Socinians (Unitarians), Catholics, and even atheists.

 

 

297

 

________________________________________________________________


            In these early works Bayle argued such novel claims as:  (1) A society of atheists could be as moral, or more moral, than a society of Christians.  (2) Everyone was entitled to believe according to his conscience, and if one had an "erring" conscience, one had the right to follow it.  Bayle's patron, Jurieu, was horrified.  He had become the chief spokesman for Calvinist orthodoxy among the exiles, and opposed all kinds of liberalizing religious deviations.  He [Jurieu] saw Bayle's writing as a grave danger to true religion and attacked Bayle as a secret atheist.  For the rest of his life Bayle attacked and ridiculed Jurieu's views, and Jurieu sought to have Bayle condemned at various consistories and synods of the French Reformed church; he was able to have him removed from his teaching post.  Extremely bitter enemies, the two only ceased quarreling when Bayle died; then Jurieu published his last blast, Le Philosophe de Rotterdam accusé, atteinte et condamné.

 

            Bayle not only attacked Calvinist orthodoxy and Catholic bigotry, he also challenged religious liberals, philosophers, and scientists. 

 

AS he [Bayle] said, he was a Protestant in the true sense of the word:  he opposed everything that was said and everything that was done.

 

            His skeptical critiques were put together in his most important work, The Historical and Critical Dictionary, first published in 1697. 

 

This opus began as a corrective for the errors in previous biographical dictionaries, especially that of Louis Moréri, and ended as a series of articles on many little-known persons omitted by Moréri, or people misrepresented or misunderstood by him.  (Major figures like Plato, Montaigne, and Shakespeare had been omitted.)  Bayle's work contains brief biographies, plus all sorts of digressions in the footnotes and footnotes to the footnotes, in which a running skeptical attack is carried on against a great many different philosophical, scientific, and religious theories.

 

            The Dictionary was an instant success, but it was banned in France and condemned by Bayle's church.  The latter group demanded that Bayle explain some of the shocking things he had said about atheism, skepticism, and the immortality of various heroes and heroines of the Old Testament.  They also wanted to know why obscene stories had been sprinkled throughout the volumes.  Bayle offered his explanations in an expanded, four-volume, second edition of 1702, in which he intensified the points that bothered his fellow Calvinists.  This edition was republished several times in the 18th and 19th centuries, and was translated into English and German. 

 

 

298

 

________________________________________________________________


It [the Dictionary] became what VOLTAIRE [1694 – 1778] called "the Arsenal of the Enlightenment" and was liberally used by the philosophes, by DAVID HUME [1711 – 1776] and Edward Gibbon [1737 – 1794], and many other freethinkers of the Enlightenment.  Its biographical and historical material became dated, and it was gradually replaced by DENIS DIDEROT's [1713 – 1784] ENCYCLOPÉDIE and the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

 

            Bayle's Arguments.  One of the main themes that runs through the Dictionary and Bayle's defenses of it—which he was writing up to the moment of  his death—was that an accurate examination of the most admired figures in the Old Testament, in the early history of Christianity, and in the Reformation, reveals that they were quite immoral persons, hardly good examples of pious living.  For example, Bayle pointed out that Ham impregnated his wife on the Ark, when he should have been praying all of the time to assuage God's wrath. 

 

The immorality of the ancient Jews, the institutional Christians, the pagans, the Muslims, and others is contrasted with the benign morality of some of the reputed atheists from Diogenes and Diagoraras to BENEDICT SPINOZA.[sic] who received the longest article in the Dictionary, although Bayle professed to find his philosophy ridiculous.

 

            Bayle was at pains to point out that religious belief does not necessarily lead to moral behavior, if the gross and brutal intolerance of most religious groups, especially Christian ones since the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, are examined.  This intolerance is based on claiming to know the truth.  Bayle deftly underminded such pretensions by developing the traditional skeptical gambits against all sorts of dogmatic claims.  A good Calvinist can only know the truth if God gives him grace.  But how does anyone know when and if this has occurred?  Fanatics like Jurieu may think they have grace, but can they be sure?  In view of possible doubts, all human convictions should be tolerated since their holders think they are true.

 

            Further, Bayle argued that neither Judaism nor Christianity could explain why there is evil in the world.  In a series of powerful articles, Bayle contended that in the Judeo-Christian view God either is responsible for evil, or is not omnipotent.  The most plausible theory, Bayle claimed, was that of the early Christian heretics, the Manicheans, who contended that there is both a good God and an evil one.

 

 

299

 

________________________________________________________________


            Bayle's critique of religious beliefs led him to deny that there were any that could be supported by reason, and to challenge the morality of Judeo-Christianity.  He also questioned whether there was any evidence that man was moving, as portrayed in the scriptures, from the Fall to the Redemption.  History, he [bayle] said, was just the lies, misfortunes, and catastrophes of the human race.  Mankind showed no signs of making any progress.

 

            Nonetheless, Bayle ended almost every discussion of the reasons for doubting claims about religion or theology with the assertion that we should therefore abandon reason and accept religion on faith.  In so doing, he claimed, he was strictly following his leader, John Calvin [1509 – 1564].  Was he being sincere in this appeal to irrationalism and fideism, which resembles what was said by Blaise Pascal [1623 – 1662] and later by Sören Kierkegaard [1813 – 1855]?  Contemporaries like Jurieu, and later admirers like Voltaire, assumed that this was just camouflage for a secret atheism [see 753-765].  After all, Bayle had provided many of the basic lines of antireligious argument that were to be employed in the Age of Reason.  Some even credited him with launching the Enlightenment.  Could he also, somehow, be a believer?

 

            He [Bayle] remained a member and participant in his persecuted church all his life.  Many recent scholars have sought to show that his radical skepticism—his attacks on the Bible, on the morality and practices of Christians, on God's role in the occurrence of evil—all make sense in terms of the issues being fought over at the time inside the French Reformed church.  Some have argued that his fideism could be sincere.  Bayle had every opportunity in Holland to drop out of the religious world, as Spinoza had done, or to join more tolerant groups.  But he insisted on remaining an active member of his Calvinist group, defending his orthodoxy against all opponents.  This may have been a private game, and it may have had some elements of sincerity.  However Bayle, unlike Pascal or Kierkegaard, never advocated any particular Christian view.  On his deathbed he wrote, "I am dying as a Christian philosopher, convinced of and pierced by the bounties and mercy of God."  This is a very minimal testament, which mentions neither Jesus nor any Christian doctrine.

 

            While scholars may still disagree about Bayle's actual beliefs, the impact of his views on the development of 18th-century unbelief is clear enough.  Voltaire called him [Bayle] the "greatest master of the art of reasoning."  He inspired almost all of the leading critics of traditional religion during the Enlightenment, and provided the basic form and material of argumentation against various religious positions. 

 

 

300

 

________________________________________________________________


He [Bayle] himself seems to have remained tranquil about the destruction of the intellectual worlds that he was causing; he exuded neither the religious fervor of a Pascal as the resolution of his skepticism, nor the optimism of a Diderot [1713 – 1784] or Condorcet [1743 – 1794] about what might issue from his critical skepticism.

 

            Other articles of interest:  Enlightenment, Unbelief During the.  Evil, Problem of.  Skepticism.

 

 

Bibliography

 

Bayle, Pierre.  Historical and Critical Dictionary Selections.  Translated with an introduction and notes by Richard H. Popkin, with the assistance of Craig Brush.  Indianapolis:  Bobbs-Merrill, 1965.

 

Brush, Craig B., Montaigne and Bayle; Variations on the Theme of Skepticism.  The Hague:  Nijhoff, 1966.

 

Dibon, Paul, ed.  Pierre Bayle, le philosophe de Rotterdam.  Amsterdam:  Elsevier, 1959.

 

Labrousse, Elisabeth.  Pierre Bayle.  The Hague:  Nijhoff, 1963.

 

Popkin, Richard H.  "Pierre Bayle."  Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  New York:  Macmillan, 1967.

 

Retat, Pierre.  "Le Dictionnaire" de Bayle et la lutte philosophique au xviiie siècle.  Paris:  Les Belles lettres, 1971.

 

Rex, Walter.  Essays on Pierre Bayle and Religious Controversy.  The Hague:  Nijhoff, 1965.

 

Robinson, Howard.  Bayle, the Sceptic.  New York:  Columbia U. Press, 1931.

 

Sandberg, Karl.  At the Crossroads of Faith and Reason.  An Essay on Pierre Bayle.  Tucson:  U. of Arizona Press, 1966.

 

Richard H. Popkin'  [46-48].

 

_____     _____     _____

 

 

301

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  The Dictionary Historical and Critical of Mr Peter Bayle.  The Second Edition, Carefully collated with the several Editions of the Original; in which many Passages are restored, and the whole greatly augmented, particularly with a Translation of the Quotations from eminent Writers in various Languages.  To which is prefixed, The Life of the Author, Revised, corrected, and enlarged, by Mr Des Maizeaux, Fellow of the Royal Society.  Volume The First.  A—Bi.  London:  Printed for J.J. and P. Knapton; D. Midwinter; J. Brotherton; A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch:  J. Hazard; W. Innys and R. Manby; T. Ward and E. Wicksteed; W. Meadows; T. Woodward; B. Motte; W. Hinchliffe; J. Walthoe, jun.  E. Symon; T. Cox; A. Ward; D. Browne; T. Longman; S. Birt; W. Bickerton; T. Astley; S. Austen; L. Gilliver; H. Lintot; H. Whitridge; R. Willock; J. and R. Tonson.  MDCCXXXVI (first edition, 1697).  Reprint:  Garland, 1984.

 

 

'[P. Des Maizeaux] To

 

The Right Honourable

 

Sir Robert Walpole [1676 – 1745],

 

First Commissioner of the Treasury, Chancellor and Under-Treasurer of the Exchequer, One of His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy-Council, and Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.  [later, though the term Prime Minister was not used then, "the first Prime Minister of Great Britain" (wikipedia.org)]

 

Sir,....

 

            True and extensive Knowledge never was, never can be, hurtful to the Peace of Society.  It is Ignorance, or, which is worse than ignorance, false Knowledge, that is chiefly terrible to States.  They are the furious, the ill taught, the blind and misguided, that are prone to be seized with groundless Fears, and unprovoked Resentment, to be roused by Incendiaries, and to rush desperately into Sedition and acts of Rage....

 

It will always be easy to raise a mist before eyes that are already dark:  and it is a true observation, "that it is an easy work to govern Wise Men; but to govern Fools or Madmen, is a continual slavery."

 

            It is from the blind zeal and stupidity cleaving to Superstition, 'tis from the Ignorance, Rashness, and Rage attending Faction, that so many, so mad, and so sanguinary evils have afflicted and destroyed Men, dissolved the best Governments, and thinned the greatest Nations.  And as a people well instructed will certainly esteem the Blessings which they enjoy, and

 

 

302

 

________________________________________________________________


study public Peace, for their own sake, there is a great merit in instructing the people, and in cultivating their Understandings.  They are certainly less credulous in proportion as they are more knowing, and consequently less liable to be the Dupes of Demagogues, and the property of Ambition.  They are not then to be surprised with false cries, nor animated by imaginary Danger; and wherever the Understanding is well principled and informed, the Passions will be tame, and the Heart well disposed.

 

            They therefore who communicate true Knowledge to their species, are true Friends to the World, Benefactors to Society, and deserve all encouragement from those, who preside over Society, with the applause and good wishes of all men.  Such a public friend and benefactor was Mr Bayle.  Truth and Knowledge were his mistress, and the pursuit of his life, and he studied to engage all men in that pursuit.  A curious searcher of error he was, a constant champion against falsehood, imposture, and all dishonest arts; zealous for public tranquility, and a foe to all who disturbed it; wonderfully qualified for his great undertaking, by an acuteness and penetration never exceeded by any Writer ancient or modern, and with such an accumulation of various, curious, and solid Learning, as perhaps was never equaled by any Writer whatsoever; a great Philosopher, a great Linguist, an universal Historian and Critic, vastly skilled in Divinity and Controversy, and a nice reasoner upon transactions of States, and the arts of Statesmen.

 

            Many enemies it is true he had; and what other Great Man ever wanted such?  their Greatness only is what often produces them.  It was therefore no wonder that the outcry and clamour against him was so loud and many-mouthed, even for his most excellent performances.  This comfort however attends his memory, and it is likely he foresaw it and enjoyed it in his lifetime; that all that clamour is now dead, and these excellent performances remain, and are likely for ever to remain.  What his own admirable talents and many solid defences could not do, time and the infinite merit of his works, and the force of truth have done, silenced his adversaries, and almost made it forgot that he ever had any.  This must be a pleasing reflection to all lovers of Truth and of great Merit greatly traduced, and spitefully used, to see such traducers sunk into oblivion, and such merit covered with lustre....

 

 

303

 

________________________________________________________________


with all Devotion and unbounded Respect,

 

Sir;

 

Your most Dutiful,

 

and most Obedient

 

Humble Servant,

 

P. Des Maizeaux.'

 

 

[Dictionary entry] 'BEMBUS (Peter) [PIETRO BEMBO 1470 – 1547], a noble Venetian, Secretary to Leo X [A],

 

and afterwards Cardinal [1539 – 1547], was one of the best Writers of the XVIth Century; though it must be agreed, that he made himself sometimes ridiculous, by an affected way of making use only of ancient Latin Words [B]. 

 

His History of Venice was very much censured by Lipsius [Justus Lipsius 1547 – 1606] upon That Account.  It has been also criticized by others, with respect to Sincerity (a).  His Letters have not been more spared [C]. 

 

He began betimes to run the hazard of being an Author [D];

 

and he was very successful in it; for his Azolani had an extraordinary Run (b).  He was much taken notice of at the Courts of the Duke of Ferrara, and of the Duke of Urbino, which were then the most polite of That Country, and the Rendezvous of the finest Wits (c).  He publickly testified his Gratitude for the Esteem, with which the Duke and Duchess of Urbino honoured him, for he wrote a Book in their Praise (d).  He was a good Italian, and Latin, Poet; but he was justly censured for having published some loose and obscene Poems [E]. 

 

He [BEMBUS] is one of Those, who have been accused of having spoken of the Word of God with great Contempt [F]. 

 

Perhaps he only found fault with the Stile of it.  Authors differ about the Sex of his Children [G];

 

but they agree, in saying they were illegitimate, and three in Number.  One of his Letters informs us, that his two Grandmothers lived a hundred Years [H]. 

 

 

304

 

________________________________________________________________


He died in the Year 1547 (e), in his Seventy seventh Year (f).  Speron Sperone  [Speron Speroni 1500 – 1588] says, he set a great Value on the Knowledge of Languages [I]. 

 

If this Article be short, it is because Moreri [Louis Moréri 1643 – 1680] has spoken at large of Cardinal Bembo....'  [741-743].

 

            [two footnotes] '[A]  He was Secretary to Leo X.] 

 

He [Pietro Bembo (Bembus)] wrote a great many Letters for That Pope; he was handsomely rewarded for them; and, besides, he had the Honour of being looked upon as the Author of all Those Letters; for they came out under his Name, and with Those, which he had wrote for himself.  The latter are divided into six Books, and the others into sixteen.  Leo X had another Secretary [Sadoleto], who was as great a Purist as Bembus (1).  He made choice of them before he came out of the Conclave, where he was promoted to the Papacy (2).  Mr Graverol [Francois Graverol?  1636 – 1694], the Advocate, would have published, with some Notes, the Letters, which they wrote for That Pope, if an untimely Death had not put a stop to That Work.

 

            [B]  Made himself sometimes ridiculous by an affected way of making use only of ancient Latin Words.] 

 

"How many Follies has the Affectation of making use only of Cicero's Words, and of what is called pure Latinity, caused certain Italian Authors to commit? 

 

Who would not laugh to hear Bembus [PIETRO BEMBO 1470 – 1547] say, that

 

a Pope was elected by the Favour of the Immortal Gods, Deorum immortalium beneficiis?"  I take these Words from the Author of the Art of Thinking (3). 

 

Before him, Justus Lipsius [1547 – 1606] had judiciously, and pleasantly, criticized Bembus's Latinity (4). 

 

 

305

 

________________________________________________________________


He [JUSTUS LIPSIUS] blames him [bembus], among other things, for having said, that the Senate of Venice wrote to the Pope; Put your trust in the Immortal Gods, whose Vicar you are on Earth:—ut sidat Diis immortalibus, quorum vicem gerit in terris. 

 

After this, we ought not to wonder, that he [bembus] made use of the Word Goddess, speaking of the Holy Virgin. 

 

It is in a Letter (5), where Pope Leo X reproaches the Inhabitants of Recanati, for having given bad Timber for the Building of our Lady of Loretto, and commands them to furnish better, least, says he, it should seem, that you deride us, and the Goddess herself;——  Ne tum nos, tum etiam Deam ipsam, inani lignorum inutilium donatione, lusisse videamini....'  [741-742].

 

 

Note:  Pietro Bembo (Bembus) could have developed the epigram attributed to Leo X: 

 

"What profit has not that Fable of Christ brought us!"

 

_____     _____     _____

 

 

306

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  The Dictionary Historical and Critical of Mr Peter Bayle, Volume The Third.  F—L.  MDCCXXXVI.  Reprint:  Garland, 1984.

 

 

[Dictionary entry] "LEO X [Pope 1513 – 1521 (1475 – 1521)]."  [761]

 

 

            "LEO X, elected Pope the eleventh of March 1513, was called John de Medicis.  He had been honoured with a cardinal's hat at fourteen years of age by Pope Innocent VIII, and a long time after, with the dignity of legate by Pope Julius II.  He discharged the functions of it in the army which was beaten by the French near Ravenna in the year 1512.  Here he was taken prisoner; and during his confinement he made a wonderful experiment of the force of superstition, even over the minds of common soldiers [A].  It is thought that nothing contributed more to his elevation to the Popedom, than the wounds he had received in the combats of Venus [B]. 

 

His expences were excessive on the day of his coronation [C]; and he [Leo X] led a life little suitable to a successor of the apostles, and perfectly voluptuous [D]. 

 

He [Leo X] took too much pleasure in hunting.  It is said his eye at this sport, was surprisingly quick [E]. 

 

As he had been taught by preceptors (a), who instructed him thoroughly in the Belles Lettres, he loved and protected men of wit and learning.  He favoured the poets in a particular  manner, and that without preserving always the gravity which his character required [F]. 

 

This appeared on several occasions, and even in the privileges he granted to Aristo's poems (b).  In a word, let us say, that scholars and buffoons, equally shared his friendship [G]. 

 

He had not the same relish for Theological studies [H]. 

 

            [footnote] [H] He had not the same relish for Theological Studies.]  Cardinal Palavicino could not deny it; he honestly confesses, that Leo X valued those more, who understood Mythology, the ancient Poets, and profane learning, than those who understood Divinity, and Ecclesiastical History.  His [Cardinal Palavicino] words, which are more frank, and have less of the biass [sic] than usual, are these.... [Italian, plus English translation]"  [764]]

 

 

307

 

________________________________________________________________


I will not vouch the story which is told, viz. that he once ridiculed the whole Christian doctrine as a mere fable [I]. 

 

[footnote] "[I]  He ridiculed the whole Christian doctrine, as a meer [mere] fable (§ a).]  The tradition is, that

 

Secretary Bembo alledging something from the gospel, he [LEO X] answered him,

 

it is well known of old, how profitable this fable of Jesus Christ has been to us. 

 

Quantum nobis nostrisque ea de Christo fabula

 

prosuerit satis est omnibus seculis notum. 

 

This story is found in the Mystery of Iniquity [English, 1612, page 635, has:  "Cardinall Bembo, his Secretarie"] (33) [see "note in margin", 309], and in abundance of other books:  but still without being supported by citations, or having any other foundation than the authority of Bale [source for Roscoe (see 90, 92)]:  so that three or four hundred authors, more or less, who have said this, copying one another, ought to be reduced to Bale's single testimony; a testimony manifestly exceptionable, since he wrote in open war against the Pope, and against the whole Romish church.  No tribunal in the world would receive the depositions of such a witness, swearing that he has seen or heard so and so, for when once the person appears to be his enemy against whom he deposes, the challenges of the accused party are declared valid.  Since books of controversy then are pieces which the parties produce in a suit pleaded before the public, it is certain that the testimony of a Protestant disputant, upon a fact which reflects upon the Pope, or the testimony of a Popish disputant, on a fact reflecting on the Reformers, ought to be reckoned as nothing. 

 

The public, which is judge of the process, ought to reject all these testimonies, and have no more regard to them, than to things which never happened. 

 

Private persons are permitted, if once persuaded of the probity of Bale, to believe what he affirms; but they ought to keep their persuasion to themselves, and not produce it to public

 

 

308

 

________________________________________________________________


view, as a juridical proof against their adversaries; which, in my opinion, is a thing not sufficiently observed."  [764].

 

[note in margin] "(33) [see 308] Cardinal Bembo, Secretary [to Leo X] (these two qualities ["Cardinall", and, "Secretarie"] do not well agree, Bembo was not a cardinal under Leo X)

 

[Leo X died 1521; Bembo was elevated to Cardinal, 1539] [this note is difficult to read; accuracy?];

 

quoting a passage out of the Gospel to him, upon some occasion, he was so presumptuous as to tell him,

 

WHAT A DEAL OF SERVICE HAS THIS FABLE OF CHRIST DONE US, AND OUR WHOLE COLLEGE. 

 

Du Plessis, Mystere d'Iniquité, page 584."  [764]]    

 

 

He had the industry to ruine the council, which the emperor and the king of France had set up against Julius II, and he made the council of Lateran triumph; for he obtained of Lewis XII, all the submissions he could desire (c).  He obtained of Francis I, a much more solid advantage by the concordat, concluded between them in the year 1515.  This did not make him more favourable to France.  He formed leagues against her, and took that affair so much to heart, that having received the news of the misfortunes of the French, he died, it is said, of meer joy (d) [K].  Not but there are writers who affirm he was poisoned.  He did not always behave in a manner agreeable to the emperor Maximilian [L].

 

The sordid traffic to which he reduced the distribution of indulgences [M], gave birth to Luther's Reformation, as every body knows.  Some say, he spoke honourably of this reformer in the beginning [N]. 

 

I do not find, that Guicciardin [Francesco Guicciardini 1549 – 1623] abuses this Pope so much as Mr Varillas [probably, Antoine Varillas 1626 – 1696] insinuates [O]; but Paul Jovius's apology to me seems very weak [P]:  It has given room to question, whether he ought to be reckoned an Atheist (e).  The other apologists have not succeeded much better [Q].  There is no need of confuting Mr Varillas, but by himself.  I shall produce a long passage from his Anecdotes, containing in short a pretty just character of Leo X [R], from whence I desire my reader to fill up what is wanting in the body of this article.  Mr Varillas is also mistaken with respect to Paul Jovius [S].

 

 

309

 

________________________________________________________________


Men of letters, of what religion or nation soever are bound to praise and bless the memory of this Pope, for the care he took to recover the manuscripts of the antients[sic]; he spared neither pains nor cost in searching for them, and procuring very good editions.  I have two anecdote letters, which are a proof of this [T], and which the reader will undoubtedly be glad to find here."  [761-770].

 

 

[footnote (which? (not legible)) (below footnote I) (not referenced above)] "Aud that the adversaries may not cry out, that these things are the fiction of Heretics, I give you an eye and ear witness of the thing, who both ought to know, and had no reason to tell a lye; I mean the nephew [probably, Giovanni Francesco Pico della Mirandola 1470 – 1533] of John Picus, count of Mirandola [Giovanni Pico della Mirandola 1463 – 1494] , who, in that conflict of the council of Pisa and Lateran, treating of the question, whether councils or Popes can err, and, among other things, speaking of Leo, says as follows:  [']I remember a Pope believed and adored, who himself not believing a God, went beyond the utmost pitch of Atheism:  which not only his vile actions, such as buying the Popedom, and being guilty of all manner of wickedness, but his very words, confirmed the truth of.  For it was affirmed, that he confessed to some of his domestics, even while he sate in the Papal chair, that he disbelieved the existence of God:  which words of his you may read in the book de side & ordine credendi, theorem. 4. pag. 259, 260.' 

 

It will, perhaps, not be unacceptable to find here more at large, John Francis Picus's account.  '[sic]Treating also the question, whether councils or Popes may err, which, from his own notion, may be easily decided, since he pre-supposes that they may swerve from the holy scriptures, he tells us that several councils have actually erred, several Popes fallen into Heresy:  it often happening, that he who was looked on as supream head of the church, either did not rightfully preside, or was not capable of so doing:  for, says he [apparently, "John Francis Picus"],

 

I.  History [legend] informs us, that a woman was made Pope; and I remember, that in our age a learned man, approved in his morals, and dignified with honours in his order, pronounced, though not publickly, that he who was reckoned Pope, was not such, because he had exercised the Pope's office before he was elected by two parts in three of the cardinals, against the laws of the church, which decree, that such a man, not only is not Pope, but is even absolutely unqualified, and incapacitated for the office, as being under an anathema. 

 

 

310

 

________________________________________________________________


II.  We remember also another chosen and adored as Pope, who yet, in the opinion of many great men, neither was, nor could be so, because he did not believe a God, and was arrived at the highest degree of Infidelity, which he testified by his most wicked actions, having bought the Popedom and exercised in it all manner of iniquity, and even confirmed it by his most detestable sayings; for it was affirmed, that he confessed to some of his domestics, that at the very time he possessed the pontifical see, he did not believe a God. 

 

III.  We have heard of another, who declared to one of his friends, when alive, that he did not believe the immortality of the soul; but being dead, he appeared to him, as he was awake, and declared, that he experienced an immortality, being condemned to eternal fire by the just judgment of God (39 [see 312])'

 

Mr Du Plessis thought that the first of these three things related to Julius II, and the second to Leo X.  Coëffeteau (40 [see 312]) only answered, that Du Plessis entering into the conscience of all mankind, had made this application without proof or judgment; but Gretser answered better:  he shewed that none of these three things concerned Leo X.  Since John Francis Picus's book was printed in the pontificate of Julius II [Pope 1503 – 1513] (41 [see 312]). 

 

Mr Rivet acquiesced in this censure:  these are his words. 

 

'As to the application made by our author to Julius II, and Leo X, of what he said of some Popes, that many great men did not look upon them as such, for the reasons he gives, it matters not at bottom, to whom the packet is addressed, provided it is certain, that it is to the Popes, of one of which he says, that it was maintained, he believed no God, that he was at the utmost degree of Infidelity, and even declared, that he did not believe a God.  If you will exempt Leo X (of whom possibly he might not have spoke, because he dedicated his books to Julius, unless he enlarged them afterwards, as is usually done) yet it cannot be denied as to Alexander VI.' 

 

There was in him [alexander vi. (Pope 1492 – 1503 (1431 – 1503))], says Guicciardin [Francesco Guicciardini 1483 – 1540]* [(margin note) "*Hist. of Italy, book i."], neither truth, nor faith, nor religion."  [765].

 

 

311

 

________________________________________________________________


[notes in margin (see 311)]

 

"(39) Du Plessis Mornai [1549 – 1623], Mystere d'Iniquité, pag. 590.

 

(40) Réponse au Mystere d'Iniquité [Nicolas Coeffeteau 1574 – 1623], pag. 1233.      

 

(41) Intolerabilis porro & plane diabolica calumnia est, com scribit Plessaeus, ea quae Theoremate quarto Joannis Francisel continentur, de quodam Pontifice, qui domesticis confessus fuerit, nullam se Deum aliquando, etiam cum cathedram Pontificiam tenerat, credidisse, ad Leonem X pertinere; nam Joannes Franciscus Picus edidit Commentarium de Fide & Ordine credendi ante Leonis Pontificatum; inscripsit enim Julio II.  Quomodo igitur relatione illa feu historiae feu fabellae Leonem X denotare potuit?  Gretser, in Examine Myster. Pless. pag. 573."  [765].

 

_____     _____     _____

 

 

312

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  The Dictionary Historical and Critical of Mr Peter Bayle, Volume The Fourth.  M—R.  MDCCXXXVI.  Reprint:  Garland, 1984.

 

 

[Dictionary entry] "Melanchthon [1497 – 1560]"

 

 

"Cardinal Bembus [Pietro Bembo 1470 – 1547 (Cardinal 1539 – 1547)] asked three questions which deserve to be related [P]."  [193].

 

            [footnote] "[P]  Cardinal Bembus asked three questions which deserve to be related.] 

 

Melanchthon wrote to him a letter; to recommend to him George Sabinus, who was going to see Italy (137 [see note, 314]).  The cardinal [Bembus] had a great regard to this recommendation, he showed much civility to Sabinus, and invited him to dine with him.  He asked him several questions during the time of dinner, and particularly these three: 

 

[1] What is the salary of Melanchthon? 

 

[2] What is the number of his auditors?

 

[3] And what is his judgment concerning another life and the resurrection? 

 

To the first Sabinus answered, that Melanchthon's salary was but three hundred florins a year.  O ungrateful Germany, said the cardinal, which purchases at so cheap a rate so many works of such a great man! 

 

The answer to the second question was, that Melanchthon had commonly fifteen hundred auditors [listeners, etc.].  I cannot tell how to believe it, replied the cardinal, for I know not in all Europe any university, besides that of Paris, where the auditory of a professor is so numerous.  Yet Melanchthon had often two thousand five hundred persons at his lectures. 

 

To the third question it was answered, that the writings of Melanchthon testify sufficiently his full persuasion as to those two articles ["another life"; "the resurrection"]. 

 

 

313

 

________________________________________________________________


I should have a better opinion of him, replied the cardinal [Bembus (Bembo)], if he did not believe this (138). 

 

I give you this story as I find it in Melchior Adam."  [193].

 

[note in margin]  "(137) Melch. Adam. in Vitia Theol. pag. 360."  [193].

 

_____     _____     _____

 

 

from:  The Dictionary Historical and Critical of Mr Peter Bayle, Volume the Second.  Bi—E.  MDCCXXXV.  Reprint:  Garland, 1984.

 

 

[Dictionary entry] "ERASMUS [1466 – 1536]"  [800]

 

 

[footnote] "[U] He was a Lover of Peace, and knew the Value of it.]  One of the finest Dissertations that can be seen is that of Erasmus upon the Proverb, Dulce bellum inexpertis,—Want of Experience makes War sweet.  He makes it appear therein, that he had profoundly weighed the most important Principles of Reason and the Gospel, and the most common Causes of Wars.  He proves, that the Wickedness of some particular Persons, and the Folly of the People, are the Source of almost every War, and that a thing so blameable in it's Causes, is commonly followed by a very pernicious Effect.  He pretends, that those, whose Professions ought to lead them to dissuade from War, are the Instigators of it."  [811].  [See 682, 769].

 

l l l l l

 

 

314

 

________________________________________________________________


from (online, via a local University):  Remarks on ecclesiastical history, John Jortin [1698 – 1770], Volume 5 of 5 volumes.  London:  printed for C. Davis, R. Manby and H. Shute Co Whiston, 1751–73.

 

 

            '"Amongst those, who are supposed to have been enemies to all religion, are placed

 

Petrus Pomponatius [pietro pomponazzi 1462 1525], Bodinus, Rabelais, Montagne, Des Perieres, Doletus, Charron, Leo X.  Bembus [pietro bembo], Politianus [also, Angelo Poliziano and Politian], Brunus, Ochinus, Paracelsus, Taurellus. 

 

Some have affirmed that there were Schools of impiety and atheism in France and in Italy, whence many of these Reprobates issued forth; nor will this accusation be thought groundless by persons versed in the history of  those times. 

 

Yet it will also appear, upon fair inquiry, that many of those who were thus charged with irreligion were either innocent, or not altogether profane to such a degreem."'  [500-501].

 

            [footnote] "m Mosheim [Johann Lorenz von Mosheim 1694? – 1755], p. 688."  [501].

 

l l l l l

 

 

315

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern, by John Laurence [Johann Lorenz] von Mosheim [1694? – 1755], D.D., Chancellor of the University of Göttingen.  A New and Literal Translation from the Original Latin, with Copious Additional Notes, Original and Selected, By James Murdock, D.D., Edited with Additions, by Henry Soames, M.A., Second Revised Edition.  In Four Volumes.  Vol. III—The Reformation.  London:  1850 (1755, Latin).

 

 

            "[part of footnote "1"] "….  Montagne [Montaigne 1533 – 1592] was a French nobleman, born in 1533, well educated in the classics at Bordeaux; succeeded to the lordship of Montagne in Perigord, and to the mayoralty of Bourdeaux, where he ended his life, A.D. 1592.  His great work is his Essays, often printed in 3 vols. 4to, and 6 vols. 12 mo.  He there appears to be skeptical in regard to scientific or philosophical morals; but he was a firm believer in revelation, which he regarded as man's only safe guide.  See Stäudlin, l.c. ["loco citato (Latin—in the place cited)" (Abbreviations Dict. c2001)] p. 606, &c.—Des Perieres was valet de chamber to Margaret, queen of Navarre, and was a wit and a poet.  A volume of his French poems was published after his death, which was in 1544.  Previous to his death, he published in French a pretended translation of a Latin work, entitled Cymbalum Mundi, which consists of four dialogues, not very chaste, ridiculing the pagan superstitions in the manner of Lucian.  See Bayle, l.c. art. Perieres.—Dolet was a man of learning, though indiscreet and much involved in controversies.  After various changes, he became a printer and a bookseller at Lyons; and having avowed lax sentiments in religion, he was seized by the inquisition, and burnt, upon the charge of atheism, A.D. 1546, at the age of 37.  What his religious opinions were, it is not easy to state.  He professed to be a Lutheran.  See Bayle, l.c. art. Dolet, and Rees's Cyclopaedia.—Peter Charron [1541 – 1603] was born at Paris, in 1541, studied and practiced law several years, and then became a catholic preacher in very high estimation for his pulpit talents.  He died at Paris, A.D. 1603.  He was a philosophical divine, bold and skeptical.  He did not discard revelation, yet relied more upon natural religion.  His most noted work was De la Sagesse, in three books; first printed at Bordeaux, in 1601.  See Bayle, l.c. art. Charron; and Stäudlin, l.c. p. 612, &c.

 

 

316

 

________________________________________________________________


Leo X. was a man of pleasure, and gave no evidence of genuine piety. 

 

Du Plessis [Mornay, Philippe de, seigneur du Plessis-Marly, 1549 – 1623, in The Mysterie of Iniquitie:  That is to say, The Historie of the Papacie], and other protestants, have reported remarks, said to have been made by him [leo x.] in his unguarded moments, implying, that HE [LEO X.] considered the Christian religion a fable, though a profitable one;

 

that he [leo x.] doubted the immortality of the soul, &c.  See Bayle, l.c. art. Leo X., note (L) p. 83.

 

 

Bembus was secretary to Leo X., a man of letters, a

 

facetious companion, a poet, and historian. 

 

He also is reported to have spoken equivocally of a future state, and to have despised Paul's epistles, on account of their unpolished [Christian "spin" (editing), by Mosheim.  See 56:  "ineptiae":  "sillinesses, fooleries, trifles, absurdities" (A Latin Dictionary, 1962 (1879)).  "instances of folly (in behaviour, word, thought, etc.), absurdities, frivolities, etc." (Oxford Latin Dictionary, 1968)] style. 

 

See Bayle, l.c. art. Bembus and art. Melanchthon, note (P).

 

 

—Politian [also, Angelo Poliziano or Politianus, 1454 – 1494] was a learned classic scholar in the preceding century, and is reported to have said that he never read the Bible but once, and he considered that a loss of time.  He was also reported to have given the preference to Pindar's poems before those of David.  On these rumours he has been classed among freethinkers.  See Bayle, l.c. art. Politien…."  [238-239].

 

 

Note:  references to "Bayle", are to Pierre Bayle 1647 – 1706, Mr. Bayle's Historical and Critical Dictionary, 1697 (see 297-314).

 

l l l l l

 

 

317

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  The School of Padua and the Emergence of Modern Science, John Herman Randall, Jr., Woodbridge Professor of Philosophy in Columbia University, Editrice Antenore Padova, MCMLXI.

 

 

[Dedication] "For

 

Pietro Ragnisco, Erminio Troilo, and Carlo Diano

 

The Three Founders

 

of

 

The Study of

 

The Aristotelian Tradition at Padua"

 

 

"FOREWORD"  ["9"]

 

            "...The author became interested in Italian Aristotelianism in the attempt to disentangle the various strands that came together in the sixteenth century to create in Galileo our modern scientific enterprise.  His concern with this particular theme does not prevent him from having an equal interest in Florentine Platonism and its humanistic values.  In fact, nothing in Italian intellectual history seems alien to him.

 

Columbia University                                                                          J.H.R., Jr."  [11].

 

 

"II

 

THE PLACE OF [PIETRO] POMPONAZZI [1462 – 1525] IN THE

PADUA TRADITION"  ["69"]

 

 

            "This paper appeared in The Renaissance Philosophy of Man, ed. by E. Cassirer, P.O. Kristeller, and J.H. Randall, Jr. (Chicago, 1945).  Itis[sic] now published with some additions and the Latin texts."  ["70"].

 

 

"During the Renaissance the organized intellectual life of the universities remained loyal to the Aristotelian tradition.  In most countries the fifteenth-

 

 

318

 

________________________________________________________________


century schools saw the teaching and refinement of earlier philosophies—Scotism, Ockhamism, and Thomism—with little basically new.  But in northern Italy, at Padua, Bologna, and Pavia, and to a lesser extent at Siena, Pisa, and the brilliant new university of Ferrara, Aristotelianism was still a living and growing body of ideas.  What Paris had been in the thirteenth century, and Oxford and Paris together in the fourteenth, Padua became in the fifteenth:  the center in which ideas from all Europe were combined into an organized and cumulative body of knowledge.  A succession of great teachers—Paul of Venice  (d. 1429),2 Cajetan of Thiene (d. 1465),3 and Nicoletto Vernia (d. 1499)4—carried that knowledge to the point where it could in the next century find fruitful marriage with the new interest in the mathematical sciences.

 

            Scientific Padua felt the effects of the same Humanistic impulse and the same revival of learning that were inspiring Florence in the second half of the quattrocento [fifteenth century].5"  [72-73].

 

 

            'Although Pomponazzi concluded his essay with the formal contention that the immortality of the soul is a "neutral problem,"50 like that of the eternity of the world, and that neither its affirmation nor its denial can be demonstrated by natural reason, an uproar broke out among  the clergy in Venice.51   They persuaded the Patriarch and the Doge to burn the book and proclaim him a heretic.  A copy was sent to his patron, Cardinal [not a Cardinal until 1539 (Leo died 1521).  This error occurs through the centuries.  A form of Protestant libel?] Bembo, the Platonist, to be condemned in Rome.  But Bembo found no heresy in it, and Leo X., who loved a good fight, encouraged both sides in the controversy.'  [99].

 

 

            'Pomponazzi did not confine his naturalism to psychology.  He saw in nature an orderly uniformity of law that admitted no miracles, no demons or angels, not even any direct divine intervention.  In De naturalium effectuum admirandorum causis (1520)61 he sought to explain all miraculous cures and events through purely natural causes, through natural powers not ordinarily experienced, and through the constant and regular influence of the heavens.  Against Rico's denial of astrology as incompatible with human freedom, he [Pomponazzi] tried to make an orderly and rational science of the stars, opposed to all superstition—the naturalist's answer to the Humanist.  "All prophesy, whether vaticination [(here) prediction], or divination, or excess[?], or speaking with tongues, or the invention of arts and sciences, in a word, all the effects observed in this lower world, whatever they be, have a natural cause [translation?]."62  The recorded miracles of religion are not events contrary to the natural order; they are merely unaccustomed and rare.  The very conception of

 

 

319

 

________________________________________________________________


an immaterial spirit precludes any particular operation.  "In vain do we assume demons, for it is ridiculous and foolish to forsake what is observable and what can be proved by natural reason, to seek what is unobservable, and cannot be proved with any verisimilitude."63  "No effect is produced upon us by God immediately but only through the means of his ministers.  For God orders and disposes everything in an orderly and smooth manner and imposes an eternal law on things which it is impossible to transgress."64

 

            Pomponazzi goes on to give a naturalistic account of the origin and development of religions themselves.  "Those men who are not philosophers, and who indeed are like beasts, cannot understand how God and the heavens and nature operate.  Therefore, angels and demons were introduced for the sake of the vulgar, although those who introduced them knew they could not possibly exist.  For in the Old Testament many things are alleged which cannot be understood literally.  They have a mystic sense and were said because of the ignorant vulgar, who cannot understand anything not bodily.  For the language of religions, as Averroes said, is like the language of poets:  poets make fables which though literally impossible yet embrace the truth [entertainment center] of the intellect.  For they make their stories that we may come into truth and instruct the rude vulgar, to lead them to good and withdraw them from evil, as children are led by the hope of reward and the fear of punishment.  By these bodily things they are led to the knowledge of what is not bodily, as we lead infants from liquid food to food more solid."65

 

Like all things human, religions are born and die;

 

for their renewing striking signs are needed among men, and therefore powers are placed in nature whose exercise is rarely called for.

 

[Pomponazzi] "Since a change of religion is the greatest of all changes, and it is difficult to pass from what is familiar to what is most unfamiliar, for the new religion to succeed there is need that strange and surprising things be done.  Whence on the advent of a new religion [pause] men making 'miracles' are produced by the heavenly bodies [pause] and are rightly believed to be sons of God [compare Jesus]...[.] 

 

It is with religions as with other things subject to generation and corruption:  we observe that they and their miracles are weak at first, then they increase, come to a climax, then decline, until they return to nothing.

 

[see 66, 321]

 

 

320

 

________________________________________________________________


Excursus:  from:  christianism.com, bottom of main page (Charles Guignebert 1867 - 1939):

 

"....to break up and die, to return to Nature the elements lent by her, that she may use them again according to her good pleasure. 

 

It is thus, moreover, that all religions end, religions which, like living

organisms, are born of a need, nourished upon death, die day by day of life, and finally lapse again into the eternal crucible."

 

End of Excursus

 

 

Whence now too in our own faith all things are growing cold, and miracles are ceasing, except those counterfeit and simulated, for it ["faith"] seems to be near its end."66'  [102-105].

 

l l l l l

 

 

321

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  Marsilio Ficino, Pietro Bembo, Baldassare Castiglione, Philosophical, Aesthetic, and Political Approaches in Renaissance Platonism, Christine Raffini, published by Peter Lang, c1998.

 

 

"CHAPTER TWO

 

PIETRO BEMBO"  ["59"]

 

            'He [Pietro Bembo] had nonetheless become an important figure in his own right.  In 1517, as the patron of Pietro Pompanazzi [1462 – 1525], he received a copy of the controversial De immortalitate animae, On the Immortality of Souls which had already been censured and burned in Venice.  He examined the work and was satisfied that it contained no trace of heresy:  Leo [LEO X] agreed and joined him in Pompanazzi's defense, insisting however that the author of the condemned work write a formal Apologia.  Thanks to Bembo's efforts and Leo's support, Pompanazzi, rather than being burned as heretic, was reappointed "...to his chair for a term of eight years at a doubled salary."49'  [78].

 

            [footnote] '49J.H. Randall, "Pietro Pompanazzi," 275.'  [78].

 

l l l l l

 

 

322

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  www.christianism.com, page 936.

 

 

            "Behold Luther [Martin Luther 1483 – 1546] in Italy.1 ["1He [Luther] was deputed thither by his monastery, in 1510, to adjust some differences before the pope, which had arisen between it and the pope's vicar general."]  It is a moment of ineffable joy, of boundless hopes, in which we begin the descent of the Alps, to enter for the first time that glorious land.  And for Luther, there was the further aspiration to confirm his wavering faith in the holy city, and throw aside all the growing burden of uneasy doubt at the tomb of the apostles [apparently, Peter and Paul.  Supposed tomb locations—then?].  Old Rome, too, the Rome of classic ages, was a powerful attraction to him, as the seat and sanctuary of the learning he had cultivated with such ardour in his poor Wittemberg.

 

            He [Luther] was received at Milan in a marble convent, and from that he visited one convent after another, or, rather one palace after another, for such they were.  In each he found good cheer, sumptuous entertainment.  The simple-minded German was somewhat astonished at all this magnificence of humility, at all this regal splendour of penitence.  He once ventured to suggest to the Italian monks that they would do well, at least to abstain from meat on Friday; the impertinence was near costing him his life; it was with the greatest difficulty he got out of the hands of the offended epicures."  [14]. 

 

           

            'He [Martin Luther] went on his journey,3

 

                              [[footnote] '3His object in making all possible haste was to arrive at Rome by St. John's Eve; "for," says he [Luther], "you know the old Roman proverb.  'Happy the mother whose child shall celebrate mass in Rome on St. John's Eve.'  Oh, how I desired to give my mother this happiness! but this was impossible, and it vexed me greatly to find it so."'] 

 

merely passing through Florence without stopping, and at length entered Rome,[sic]  He proceeded to the convent of his order, near the Porto del Popolo.1  "On arriving, I fell on my knees, raised my hands to Heaven, and exclaimed:  'Hail, holy Rome! made holy by the holy martyrs, and by the blood which has been spilt here.'"  In his fervour, he adds, he hastened to view the sacred places, saw all, believed all.  He [Luther] soon perceived, however, that he was the only person who did believe; Christianity seemed totally forgotten in this capital of the Christian world.  The pope was no longer the scandalous Alexander VI., but the warlike and choleric Julius II.  

 

 

323

 

________________________________________________________________


This father of the faithful breathed nothing but blood and ruin.  We know that his great artist, Michel-Angelo [1475 – 1564], represented him overwhelming Bologna with his benediction.  The pope had just at this time commanded the sculptor to prepare for him a funereal monument, as large as a church:  of this projected monument, the Moses, with some other statues which have come down to us, were to have formed a part.

 

            The sole thought that occupied the pope [Julius II] and Rome at this juncture, was the war against the French. 

 

Luther had manifestly slight chance of a favourable opportunity for discoursing of grace and the inefficacy of works, to this singular priest [Julius II] who besieged towns in person, and who only just before, had refused to enter Mirandola otherwise than by the breach he had made in its walls. 

 

His [julius II] cardinals, apprentice-officers under him, were politicians, diplomatists, or, more generally, men of letters, upstart savans, who read nothing but Cicero [106 – 43 B.C.E.] [see christianism.com, 19 (Augustine on Cicero)], and who would have feared to hurt their Latinity by opening the Bible....'  [15-16]. 

 

l l l l l

 

 

324

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  Luther's [1483 – 1546] Table Talk, A Critical Study, by Preserved Smith [1880 – 1941], AMS Press, 1970 (1907).

 

 

            'Little discrimination was shown by the students who sat around notebook in hand, eager to catch and transmit to posterity the gems which dropped from their master's [Luther] lips, "which they esteemed more highly than the oracles of Apollo."4  Nothing was too trivial for them, and occasionally the humor of the situation would strike Luther.  Once when a widower sent a messenger to Luther asking him for assistance in the selection of a wife, the master, after the departure of the messenger, turned to his disciple with a laugh, and said:  "For Heaven's sake, Schlaginhaufen, put that down too!"  Schlaginhaufen himself records the incident.1'  [12-13].

 

 

            'Luther is as frank as he is simple; there is nothing in his own life, no opinion of men or books,2 no recess of religious feeling which he is not willing to talk about.  His Table Talk outdoes Rousseau in frankness, though it must always be remembered that Luther would never have thought of publishing the details of his life which Rousseau made the materials of his confessions.  One passage, which also casts an interesting sidelight on Luther's marriage, is too good not to be quoted.

 

            He [Luther] spoke as follows [in 1538] of his own marriage:  Had I wished to marry fourteen years ago I should have chosen the wife of Basilius, Anna of Schonfeld.  I never loved my own wife, but suspected her of being proud, as she is; but God willed that I should show mercy to the poor fugitive, and by his grace it turned out that my marriage was most happy.3'  [93].

 

 

"[Luther] I would give the world [he says] to have the stories of the antediluvian patriarchs also, so that we could see how they lived, preached, and suffered….I have taught and suffered too, but only fifteen, or twenty, or thirty years; they lived seven or eight hundred or more, and how they must have suffered!2"  [94].

 

 

325

 

________________________________________________________________


'Luther's characterization of his contemporaries is always interesting to us, not as a final valuation, but as evidence of Luther's relations with them.  His opinion of the relative merits of himself and three other leaders is seen in his calling Melanchthon "Deeds and words," Erasmus "Words without deeds," himself [Luther] "Deeds without words" and Carlstadt "Neither deeds nor words."1  Erasmus always excites his wrath, being (if we may borrow a phrase from Milton) one of those lukewarm persons "who give God himself the vomit."

 

[Luther] I condoned all his [Erasmus] boasts, [says Luther in one place,] but I could not stand his catechism, because he teaches nothing certain in it, but tries to make the youthful reader doubtful.  It was the Roman curia and Epicurus who showed him the way.  In Germany we have a regular fraternity of Epicureans, Crotus, Mutianus and Justus Menius.2

 

Less than anything else Luther was able to understand or sympathize with the advocate of half-way measures.  Of Bucer he has a poor opinion:

 

[Luther] That little wretch (Leckerlein) [Bucer] has no credit with me.  I don't trust him, for he has too often betrayed me.  He showed himself up badly at Regensburg, when he wanted to be a mediator between me and the Pope, and said:  "It is too bad that there should be so much trouble for the sake of two or three little articles!"3

 

            Hardly less interesting than his opinion of his contemporaries is his opinion of men of former generations.  As is well known his estimation of Aristotle was small, a natural reaction against the schoolmen.

 

[Luther] Aristotle [384 – 322 B.C.E.] is nothing but Epicurus [c. 341 – 271 B.C.E.].  He does not believe that God cares for the world, or if he does, he thinks that God drowses along like a sleepy maid rocking a baby.  Cicero [106 – 43 B.C.E.] was much better; in my opinion he got all that was best in the Greeks.1

 

            Terence [c. 190 – 158 B.C.E.] was his favorite author among the heathen and in the following opinion of him we see a venerable sanction for the joke on the mother-in-law, which still makes so large a part of current humor:

 

[Luther 1483 - 1546] The Heeyra is a fine comedy, the best in Terence, but because it has no action it does not please the common student.  But it is full of grave sententious sayings, useful for common life, such as:  "All mothers-in-law hate their daughters-in-law."2'  [104-106].

 

 

326

 

________________________________________________________________


            "Luther's ill-health is a well-known fact, but we do not realize how constant and wearing it was until we read the Table Talk, where it is often alluded to, though never in anything but a brave and manly way.  He suffered hardly less from his ailments than from the barbarous remedies of the time.  Vertigo troubled him, for which he found help in a little food, remarking that butter was a good thing.1   A more serious complaint was the ulceration of his body; he once compared his sores to the stars in the sky, saying that there were over two hundred of them.2  At another time he wished he had died at Schmalkald, where he was tortured by the stone.  His observation that medicine was a good thing but he doctors poor, was fully justified by the treatment he received on this occasion.3"  [108].

 

l l l l l

 

 

327

 

________________________________________________________________


from:  The Age of the Reformation, by Preserved Smith [1880 – 1941], Jonathan Cape, London, 1960 (c1920).

 

 

"CHAPTER X

 

SOCIAL CONDITIONS"  [451]

 

            'Could we be suddenly transported on Mr. Well's [H.G. Wells] time machine four hundred years back we should be less struck by what our ancestors had than by what they lacked.  Quills took the place of fountain pens, pencils, typewriters and Dictaphones.  Not only was postage dearer but there were no telephones or telegrams to supplement it.  The world's news of yesterday, which we imbibe with our morning cup, then sifted down slowly through various media of communication, mostly oral.  It was two months after the battle before Philip of Spain knew the fate of his own Armada.  The houses had no steam heat, no elevators; the busy housewife was aided by no vacuum cleaner, sewing machine and gas ranges; the business man could not ride to his office, nor the farmer to his market, in automobiles.  There were neither railways nor steamships to make travel rapid and luxurious.

 

            Nevertheless, journeys for purposes of piety, pleasure and business were common.  Pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Rome, Compostella, Loretto, Walsingham and many other shrines were frequent in Catholic countries.  Students were perpetually wandering form one university to another; merchants were on the road, and gentlemen felt the attractions of sight-seeing.  The cheap and common mode of locomotion was on foot.  Boats on the rivers and horses on land furnished the alternatives.  The roads were so poor that the horses were sometimes "almost shipwrecked."  ….'  [498-499].

 

 

            'With the same insatiable gusto that they displayed in other matters the contemporaries of Luther [1483 – 1546] and Shakespeare went in for amusements.  Never has the theater been more popular.  Many sports, like bear-baiting and bull-baiting, were cruel.  Hunting was also much relished, though humane ["situationally humane" (my phrase)] men like Luther and [Thomas] More protested against the "silly and woeful beastes' slaughter and murder."  Tennis was so popular that there were 250 courts in Paris alone.  The game was different from the modern in that the courts were 121 feet long, instead of 78 feet, and the wooden balls and "bats"—as racquets are still called in England—were much harder.  Cards and dice were passionately played, a game called "triumph" or "trump" being the ancestor of our whist.  Chess was played nearly as now.

 

 

328

 

________________________________________________________________


            Young people loved dances and some older people shook their heads over them, then as now.  Melanchthon danced, at the age of forty-four [at 52, Tijuana, Baja California, cold December night (inexperienced young female teacher; insufficient warm up, etc.), I (LS) "gave myself" a hernia (later, in my Tijuana shower, tucking in my intestine, I said (brilliantly):  "this isn't right!"), in a ballet class (I started ballet classes at 38 (also, took some classes in jazz, freeform, flamenco)), trying to do "the splits"], and Luther approved of such parties, properly chaperoned, as a means of bringing young people together.  On the other hand dances were regulated in many states and prohibited in others, like Zurich and Geneva.  Some of the dances were quite stately, like the minuet, others were boisterous romps, in which the girls were kissed, embraced and whirled around giddily by their partners.  The Scotch ambassador's comment that Queen Elizabeth "danced very high" gives an impression of agility that would hardly now be considered in the best taste.

 

            The veneer of courtesy was thin.  True, humanists, publicists and authors composed for each other eulogies that would have been hyperboles if addressed to the morning stars singing at the dawn of creation, but once a quarrel had been started among the touchy race of writers and a spouting geyser of inconceivable scurrility burst forth.  No imagery was too nasty, no epithet too strong, no charge too base to bring against an opponent.  The heroic examples of Greek and Roman invective paled before the inexhaustible resources of learned billingsgate stored in the minds of the humanists and theologians.  To accuse an enemy of atheism and heresy was a matter of course; to add charges of unnatural vice or, if he were dead, stories of suicide and of the devils hovering greedily over his deathbed, was extremely common.  Even crowned heads exchanged similar amenities.' 

[500-501].

 

 

            "One winter morning a stately matron was ascending the steps of the church of St. Gudule at Brussels.  They were covered with ice; she slipped and took a precipitate and involuntary seat.  In the anguish of the moment, a single word, of mere obscenity, escaped her lips.  When the laughing bystanders, among whom was Erasmus, helped her to her feet, she beat a hasty retreat, crimson with shame.  Nowadays ladies do not have [some ladies have] such a vocabulary at their tongue's end."  [502].

 

 

            "The sixteenth century was a time when morals were perhaps not much worse than they are now, but when vice and crime were more flaunted and talked about.  Puritanism and prudery have nowadays done their best to conceal the corruption and indecency beneath the surface. 

 

 

329

 

________________________________________________________________


But our ancestors had no such delicacy.  The naïve frankness of the age, both when it gloried in the flesh and when it reproved sin, gives a full-blooded complexion to that time that is lacking now.  The large average consumption of alcohol—a certain irritant to moral maladies—and the unequal administration of justice, with laws at once savage and corruptly dispensed, must have had bad consequences."  [503].

 

 

            'It was an age of violence.  Murder was common everywhere.  On the slightest provocation a man of spirit was expected to whip out a rapier or dagger and plunge it into his insulter.  The murder of unfaithful wives was an especial point of honor.  Benvenuto Cellini boasts of several assassinations and numerous assaults, and he himself got off without a scratch from the law, Pope Paul III graciously protesting that "men unique in their profession, like Benvenuto, were not subject to the laws."  The number of unique men must have been large in the Holy City, for in 1497 a citizen testified that he had seen more than a hundred bodies of persons foully done to death thrown into the Tiber, and no one bothered about it.

 

            Brigandage stalked unabashed through the whole of Europe.  By 1585 the number of bandits in the papal states alone had risen to 27,000.  Sixtus V took energetic means to repress them.  One of his stratagems is too characteristic to omit mentioning.  He had a train of mules loaded with poisoned food and then drove them along a road he knew to be infested by highwaymen, who, as he had calculated, actually took them and ate of the food, of which many died.

 

            Other countries were perhaps less scourged by robbers, but none was free.  Erasmus's praise of Henry VIII, in 1519, for having cleared his realm of freebooters, was premature.  In the wilder parts, especially on the Scotch border, they were still rife.  In 1529 the Armstrongs of Lidderdale, just over the border, could boast that they had burned 52 churches, besides making heavy depredations on private property.  When James V took stern measures to suppress them, and instituted a College of Justice for that purpose, the good law was unpopular.'  [504-505].

 

 

'There was also much untruth in private life.  Unfortunately, lying in the interests of piety was justified by Luther, while the Jesuits made a soul-rotting art of equivocation.

 

 

330

 

________________________________________________________________


            The standard of sexual purity was disturbed by a reaction against the asceticism of the Middle Ages.  Luther proclaimed that chastity was impossible, while the humanists gloried in the flesh.  Public opinion was not scandalized by prostitution [I (LS) regard much (most?) of life—prostitution]; learned men occasionally debated whether fornication was a sin, and the Italians now began to call a harlot a "courteous woman" (courtesan) as they called an assassin a "brave man" (bravo).  Augustine had said that harlots were remedies against worse things, and the church had not only winked at brothels, but frequently licensed them herself.  Bastardy was no bar to hereditary right in Italy.

 

            The Reformers tried to make a clean sweep of the "social evil."  Under Luther's direction brothels were closed in the reformed cities.  When this was done at Strassburg the women drew up a petition, stating that they had pursued their profession not from liking but only to earn bread, and asked for honest work.  Serious attempts were made to give it to them, or to get them husbands.  At Zurich and some other cities the brothels were left open, but were put under the supervision of an officer who was to see that no married men frequented them.  The reformers had a strange ally in the growing fear of venereal diseases.  Other countries followed Germany in their war on the prostitute.  In London the public houses of ill fame were closed in 1546, in Paris in 1560.  An edict of July 23, 1566 commanded all prostitutes to leave Rome, but when 25,000 persons, including the women and their dependents, left the city, the loss of public revenue induced the pope to allow them to return on August 17 of the same year.

 

            One of the striking aberrations of the sixteenth century, as it seems to us, was the persistent advocacy of polygamy as, if not desirable in itself, at least preferable to divorce.  Divorce or annulment of marriage was not hard to obtain by people of influence, whether Catholic or Protestant, but it was a more difficult matter than it is in America now.  In Scotland there was indeed a sort of trial marriage, known as "handfasting," by which the parties might live together for a year and a day and then continue as married or separate.  But, beginning with Luther, many of the Reformers thought polygamy less wrong than divorce, on the biblical ground that whereas the former had been practiced in the Old Testament times and was not clearly forbidden by the New Testament, divorce was prohibited save for adultery.  Luther advanced this thesis as early as 1520, when it was purely theoretical, but he did not shrink from applying it on occasion.  It is extraordinary what a large body of reputable opinion was prepared to tolerate polygamy, at least in exceptional cases.  Popes, theologians, humanists like Erasmus, and philosophers like Bruno, all thought a plurality of wives a natural condition.

 

 

331

 

________________________________________________________________

 

            But all the while the instincts of the masses were sounder[?] in this respect than the precepts of their guides.  While polygamy remained a freakish [the author's culturally induced, reflex reaction] and exceptional practice, the passions of the age were absorbed to a high degree by monogamous marriage.' 

[506-507].

 

 

            'In the position of women various currents crossed each other.  The old horror of the temptress, inherited from the early church, the lofty scorn exhibited by the Greek philosophers, mingled with strands of chivalry and a still newer appreciation of the real dignity of woman and of her equal powers.  Ariosto treated women like spoiled children; the humanists delighted to rake up the old jibes at them in musty authors; the divines were hardest of all in their judgment.  "Nature doth paint them forth," says John Knox of women, "to be weak, frail, impatient, feeble and foolish, and experience hath declared them to be unconstant, variable, cruel and void of the spirit of council and regimen."  "If women bear children until they become sick and eventually die," preaches Luther, "that does no harm.  Let them bear children till they die of it; that is what they are for."  In 1595 the question was debated at Wittenberg as to whether women were human beings.  The general tone was one of disparagement.  An anthology might be made of the proverbs recommending (à la Nietzsche [?]) the whip as the best treatment for the sex.

 

            But withal there was a certain chivalry that revolted against all this brutality.  Castiglione champions courtesy and kindness to women on the highest and most beautiful ground, the spiritual value of woman's love.  Ariosto sings:

 

            No doubt they are accurst and past all grace

            That dare to strike a damsel in the face,

            Or of her head to minish but a hair

 

Certain works like T. Elyot's Defence of Good Women and like Cornelius Agrippa's Nobility and Excellence of the Female Sex, witness a genuine appreciation of woman's worth.  Some critics have seen in the last named work a paradox, like the Praise of Folly [by Erasmus], such as was dear to the humanists.  To me it seems absolutely sincere, even when it goes so far as to proclaim that woman is as superior to man as man is to beast and to celebrate her as the last and supreme work of the creation.

 

            The family was far larger, on the average, in the sixteenth century than it is now.  One can hardly think of any man in this generation with as many as a dozen children; it is possible to mention several of that time with over

 

 

332

 

________________________________________________________________


twenty.  Anthony Koberger, the famous Nuremberg printer had twenty-five children, eight by his first and seventeen by his second wife.  Albert Dürer was the third of eighteen children of the same couple, of whom apparently only three reached maturity.  John Colet, born in 1467, was the eldest of twenty-two brothers and sisters of whom by 1499 he was the only survivor.  Of course these families were exceptional, but not glaringly so.  A brood of six to twelve was a very common occurrence.

 

            Children who were brought up harshly in many families, strictly in almost all.  They were not expected to sit in the presence of their parents, unless asked, or to speak unless spoken to.  They must needs bow and crave a blessing twice a day.  Lady Jane Grey complained that if she did not do everything as perfectly as God made the world, she was bitterly taunted and presently so nipped and pinched by her noble parents that she thought herself in hell.  The rod was much resorted to.  And yet there was a good deal of natural affection.  Few fathers have even been better to their babies than was Luther, and he humanely advised others to rely as much on reward as on punishment—on the apple as on the switch—and above all not to chastise the little ones so harshly as to make them fear or hate their parents.'  [509-511].

 

 

"CHAPTER XIII

 

THE TEMPER OF THE TIMES"  [641]

 

 

            'Art was already on the decline when it came into conflict with the religious revivals of the time.  The causes of the decadence are not hard to understand.  The generation of giants, born in the latter half of the fifteenth century, seemed to exhaust the possibilities of artistic expression in painting and sculpture, or at least to exhaust the current ideas so expressible.  Guido Reni and the Caracci could do nothing but imitate and recombine.

 

            And then came the battle of Protestant and Catholic to turn men's minds into other channels than that of beauty.  Even when the Reformation was not consciously opposed to art, it shoved it aside as a distraction from the real business of life.  Thus it has come about in Protestant lands that the public regards art as either a "business" or an "education."  Luther himself loved music above all things and did much to popularize it,—while Erasmus shuddered at the psalm-singing he heard from Protestant congregations!  Of painting the Reformer [Luther] spoke with admiration, but so rarely!  What could art be in the life of a man who was fighting for his soul's salvation?  Calvin saw more clearly the dangers to the soul from the seductions of this world's transitory charm. 

 

 

333

 

________________________________________________________________


Images he thought idolatrous in churches and he said outright:  "It would be a ridiculous and inept imitation of the papists to fancy that we render God more worthy service in ornamenting our temples and in employing organs and toys of that sort.  While the people are thus distracted by external things the worship of God is profaned."  So it was that the Puritans chased all blandishments not only from church but from life, and art came to be looked upon as a bit immoral….'  [689-690].

 

 

"§ 5.  Books

 

            The sixteenth was the first really bookish century.  There were then in Germany alone about 100,000 works printed, or reprinted.  If each edition amounted to 1000—a fair average, for if many editions were smaller, some were much larger—that would mean that about a million volumes were offered to the German public each year throughout the century.  There is no doubt that the religious controversy had a great deal to do with the expansion of the reading public, for it had the same effect on the circulation of pamphlets that a political campaign now has on the circulation of the newspaper.  The following figures show how rapidly the number of books published in Germany increased during the decisive years.  In 1518 there were 150, in 1519 260, in 1520 570, 1521 620, in 1522 680, 1523 935, and 1524 990.

 

            Many of these books were short, controversial tracts; some others were intended as purveyors of news pure and simple.  Some of these broadsides were devoted to a single event, as the Neue Zeitung:  Die Schlacht des türkischen Kaisers, others had several items of interest, including letters from distant parts.  Occasionally a mere lampoon would appear under the title of Neue Zeitung, corresponding to our funny papers.  But these substitutes for modern journals were both rare and irregular; the world then got along with much less information about current events than it now enjoys.  Nor was there anything like our weekly and monthly magazines."  [691-692].

 

 

334

 

________________________________________________________________


            'It [the Reformation] was an "experiencing" age.  It loved sensation with the greediness of childhood; it intoxicated itself with Rabelais and Titian, with the gold of Peru and with the spices and vestments of the Orient.  It was a daring age.  Men stood bravely with Luther for spiritual liberty, or they gave their lives with Magellan to compass the earth or with Bruno to span the heavens.  It was an age of aspiration.  It dreamed with Erasmus of the time when men should be Christ-like, or with [Thomas] More of the place where they should be just; or with Michelangelo it pondered the meaning of sorrow, or with Montaigne it stored up daily wisdom.  And of this time, bone of its bone and flesh of its flesh, was born the world's supreme poet [apparently, Shakespeare] with an eye to see the deepest and a tongue to tell the most of the human heart. 

 

Truly such a generation was not a poor, nor a backward one.  Rather it was great in what it achieved, sublime in what it dreamed; abounding in ripe wisdom and in heroic deeds; full of light and of beauty and of life!' 

 

[end of Chapter XIII] [698].

 

l l l l l

 

 

335

 


HOME