Richard H. Popkin' [46-48].
l l l l l
l l l l l
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.
—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).
"....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
"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." .
'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.
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].
'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].
from: The Age of the Reformation, by Preserved Smith [1880 – 1941], Jonathan Cape, London, 1960 (c1920).
SOCIAL CONDITIONS" 
'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.
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.'
"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." .
"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.
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." .
'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.
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.
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.'
'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
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].
THE TEMPER OF THE TIMES" 
'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.
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].
'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] .