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I have already said, whether the doctrine of these Sophists, as they are called, was true or false; more than very partially true it could not be, whether in morals or in physics, from the circumstances of the age; it is sufficient that it powerfully interested the hearers. We see what it was that filled the Athenian lecture-halls and porticos; not the fashion of the day, not the patronage of the great, not pecuniary prizes, but the reputation of talent and the desire of knowledge,-ambition, if you will, personal attachment, but not an influence, political or other, external to the School. “Such Sophists,” says Mr. Grote, referring to the passage in Plato, “had nothing to recommend them except superior knowledge and intellectual fame, combined with an imposing personality, making itself felt in the lectures and conversation.”—Newman's Rise of Universities.
DIOGENES, CARNEADES, AND CRITOLAUS AT ROME.
In Rome. Greek literature and philosophy had to encounter at first the direct opposition of the ruling party in the state, and of the hereditary and popular sentiment. The story goes, that when the Greek treatises which Numa had had buried with him, were accidentally brought to light, the Romans had burned them, from the dread of such knowledge coming into fashion. At a later date decrees passed the Senate for the expulsion from the city, first of philosophers, then of rhetoricians, who were gaining the attention of the rising generation. A second decree was passed some time afterwards to the same effect, assigning, in its vindication, the danger, which existed, of young men losing, by means of these new studies, their taste for the military profession.
Such was the nascent conflict between the old rule and policy of Rome, and the awakening intellect, at the time of that celebrated embassy of the three philosophers, Diogenes the Stoic, Carneades the Academic, and Critolaus the Peripatetic, sent to Rome from Athens on a political affair. Whether they were as skillful in diplomacy as they were zealous in their own particular line, need not here be determined; any how, they lengthened out their stay at Rome, and employed themselves in giving lectures. “Those among the youth,” says Plutarch, "who had a taste for literature went to them, and became their constant and enthusiastic hearers. Especially, the graceful eloquence of Carneades, which had a reputation equal to its talent, secured large and favorable audiences, and was noised about the city. It was reported that a Greek, with a perfectly astounding power both of interesting and of commanding the feelings, was kindling in the youth a most ardent emotion, which possessed them, to the neglect of their ordinary indulgences and amusements, with a sort of rage for philosophy.” Upon this, Cato took up the matter upon the traditionary ground; he represented that the civil and military interests of Rome were sure to suffer, if such tastes became popular; and he exerted himself with such effect, that the three philosophers were sent off with the least possible delay, "to return home to their own schools, and in future to confine their lessons to Greek boys, leaving the youth of Rome, as heretofore, to listen to the magistrates and the laws." The pressure of the government was successful at the moment; but ultimately the cause of education prevailed. Schools were gradually founded; first of grammar, in the large sense of the word, then of rhetoric, then of mathematics, then of philosophy, and then of medicine, though their order of introduction, one with another, is not altogether clear. At length the Emperors secured the interests of letters by an establishment, which has lasted to this day in the Roman University, now called Sapienza.-Newman.
THE EARLIEST CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS.
HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT.* The earliest Christian school or formal gathering of young persons for instruction in the principles and practice of christianity, is traced back to the apostle Mark at Alexandria, then one of the most populous and influential centers of Roman power and Grecian thought, in the year 10 of Nero's reign, and 60 of the Christian Era. Its beginning was not with children, but an adult in the house of the cobbler Anianus, whose hospitality to the apostle was rewarded by direct oral explanation of the Gospel, which he held in hand, and written by himself, in the Greek language, of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. To the systems of philosophy, and the sciences then taught in the schools of Athens and Ptolemy Soter, was added, not the Hebrew Scriptures (for they were already to be found translated into Greek, in the Library of the Museum), but the Gospel according to Mark, the Creed, the Liturgy, and the ecclesiastical Chant—and the inculcation and illustration of these elements and agencies of a higher spiritual culture than had yet been reached in individual or social life in the most advanced civilization. By degrees the instruction, which was first directed to rooting out false principles and erroneous habits, and in the exposition of the wishing aims and methods of the new faith-addressed to men and women as well as children, for all were children in respect to their knowledge-absorbed all branches of learning then or afterwards cultivated in the schools of the country where Christianity obtained a foothold, and Christian families existed, and children were not only to be converted but to be educated. To the direct religious and catechetical teaching of the apostle, and his companions and successors down to 179, Pantænus, a former stoic, whose eloquence had earned him the title of the Sicilian Bee, and his pupil Clement, who is said to “have visited all lands, and studied in all schools, in search of truth,” add a wider range of studies to enforce and illustrate and dispense with attendance on other schools. Their successor, the celebrated Origen, in a letter to Gregory Thaumaturgus, his own pupil, thus speaks of the sciences of the day. “They are to be used so that they may contribute to the understanding of the Scriptures; for just as philosophers are accustomed to say that geometry, music, grammar, rhetoric, and astronomy, all dispose us to the study of pbilosophy, so we may say that philosophy, rightly studied, disposes us to the study of Christianity. We are permitted, when we go out of Egypt, to carry with us the riches of the Egyptians, wherewith to adorn the tabernacle; only let us beware how we reverse the process, and leave Israel to go down into Egypt and seek for treasure.” To Origen the school of Alexandria owes the computum (used frequently in descriptions of the curriculum of church schools to signify an elementary knowledge of arithmetic), or such knowledge of arithmetic and astronomy, as was necessary to calculate the time of Easter. The method was taught to Origen by Hippolitus, an Alexandrian by birth, and the spiritual son of the apostle John. Under Origen, who took charge of the Catechetical school of Alexandria in the year 211, and continued in it with little interruption for twenty years, the school became a type of similar schools, until under imperial authority, the Christian faith became a recognized branch of liberal study in the public schools. He taught his pupils in succession the different branches of philosophy; logic in order to exercise their minds, and enable them to discern true reasoning from sophistry ; physics, that they might understand and admire the works of God; geometry, which by its clear and indisputable demonstrations serves as a basis for the science of thought; astronomy to lift their hearts from earth to heaven ; and finally-philosophy, which did not end in empty speculations, but took hold of practical duties and eternal life.
* For material for this and subsequent articles on the same subject, we have drawn freely from Christian Schools and Scholars, or Sketches of Education from the Christian Era to the Council of Trent. London : Longinan, 1867.
TEACHINGS OF ORIGEN AT ALEXANDRIA AND CÆSAREA. With Origen, as the erudite Biblical scholar and stanch defender of Christianity against Greek, Roman, and Hebrew assailants, when to be its avowed defender was to encounter wit, argument, eloquence, and arms, in their supreme authority-we have here nothing to do—but simply with this learned and God-led man as the head-master of a Christian School—the earliest and best of the period. Of his aims, subjects and methods of teaching, we have an authentic account in an oration by one of his scholars, Theodore, better known by his Christian name already cited, of Gregory : Thaumaturgus, who, with his brother Athenodorus, became acquainted with Origen at Cæsarea, on their way from Cappadocia to Berytus (modern Beyrout), to study Roman jurisprudence-baving already made some progress in rhetoric. They were induced to remain with him five years at Cæsarea and Alexandria. The following running commentary, and extracts from the “Oratio Panegy. rica” of St. Gregory, is taken from an essay in the Dublin Review on the Christian Schools of Alexandria, slightly abridged. The extracts from the oration, where literal, are quoted.
First of all, then, the scholar was not of an emphatically philosophic cast of mind. The Greek philosophers were absolutely unknown to him. He was a rich and clever young man, bade fair to be a good speaker, studied the law not because he liked it, but because his friends and his master wished it; thought the Latin language very imperial, but very difficult; and had a habit of taking up what opinions he did adopt more after the manner of clothes that he could change as he pleased than as immutable truths. He was of a warm and affectionate disposition, and had a keen appreciation of physical and moral beauty. He was not without leavings to Christianity, but he leaned to it in an easy, offhand sort of way, as he might have leaned to a new school in poetry or a new style of dress. He had no idea that there is such a thing as the absolutely right and the absolutely wrong in ethics any more than in taste. He was confirmed in this state of mind by the philosophic schools of the day, among whom it was considered disreputable to change one's opinions, however good the reasons for a change might be; which was to degrade philosophy from truth to the mere spirit of party, and to make a philosopher not a lover of wisdom, but a volunteer of opinion. So prepared and constituted, the scholar, on his way to Berytus, fell in with Origen, not so much by accident as by the disposition of Providence and the guidance of his angel guardian; so at least he thought himself. The first process which he went through at the hands of the master is compared by the scholar to be catching of a beast, or a bird, or a fish, in a net. Philosophizing had small charms for the accomplished young man; to philosophize was precisely what the master had determined he should do. We must remember the meaning of the word pilooopiv; it meant to think, act, and live as a man who seeks true wisdom. All the sects acknowledge this theoretically; what Clement.and Origen wanted to show, among other things, was that only a Christian was a true philosopher in practice. Hence the net he spread for Theodore, a net of words, strong and not to be broken.
"You are a clever young man," he seemed to say; “but to what purpose are your accomplishments and your journeys hither and thither? you can not an. swer me the simple question, Who are you? You are going to study the laws of Rome, but should you not first have some definite notion as to your last end, as to what is real evil and what is real good? You are looking forward to enjoyment from your wealth and hopor from your talents; why, so does every poor, sordid, creeping mortal on the earth; so even do the brute beasts. Surely the divine gift of reason was given you to help you to live to somo higher end than this.” The scholar hesitated, the master insisted. The view was striking in itself, but the teacher's personal gifts made it strike far more effectually. “ He was a mixture,” says the scholar, "of geniality, persuasiveness, and compulsion. I wanted to go away, but could uot; his words held me like a cord.” The young man, unsettled as his mind had been, yet had always at heart believed in some sort of Divine Being. Origen completed the conquest of his intellect by showing him that without philosophy, that is, with.. out correct views on morality, the worship of God, or piety, as it used to be called, is impossible. And yet wisdom and eloquence might have been thrown away here as in so many other cases, had not another influence, imperious and all-powerful, been all this time rising up in his heart. The scholar began to
love the master. It was not an ordinary love, the love with which Origen inspired his hearers. It was an intense, almost a fierce, love (we are almost translating the words of the original), a fitting response to the genuineness and kindly spirit of one who seemed to think no pains or kindness too great to win the young heart to true morality, and thereby to the worship of the only God" to that saving word,” says St. Gregory, in his lofty style," which alone can teach God-service, which to whomsoever it comes home it makes a conquest of them; and this gift God seems to have given to him, beyond all men now in the world.” To that sacred and lovely word, therefore, and to the man who was its interpreter and its friend, sprang up in the heart of the scholar a deep, inextinguishable love. For that he abandoned pursuits and studies which he had hitherto considered indispensable; for that he left the "grand" laws of Rome, add forsook the friends he had left at home, and the friends that were then at his side. "And the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David," quotes the scholar, noting that the text speaks emphatically of the union of the soul, wbich no earthly accidents can atfect, and tinding a parallel to himself in Jonathan, to his master in David, the wise, the holy, and the strong. And though the hour for parting had come, the moment when these bonds of the soul should be severed would never come! The scholar was now completely in the hands of his teacher—"as a land,"
empty, unproductive, and the reverse of fertile, saline" (like the waste lands near the Nile), “burnt up, stony, drifted with sand; yet not absolutely barren; nay, with qualities which might be worth cultivating, but which had hitherto been left without tillage or care, to be overgrown with thorn and thicket.” He can hardly make enough of this metaphor of land and cultivation to show the nature of the work that the teacher had with his mind. We have to read on for some time before we find out that all this vigorous grubbing, plowing, harrowing, and sowing, represents the dialectical training which Origen gave his pupils, such pupils, at least, as those of whom Gregory
Thaumaturgus was the type.' In fact, the dialectics of the Platonists and their offshoots is very inadequately represented by the modern use of the word logic. It seems to have signified, as nearly as a short definition can express it, the rectifying the ideas of the mind about itself, and about those things most intimately connected with it. A modern student takes up his manual of logic, or sits down in his class-room with his most important ideas, either correct and settled, or else incorrect, beyond the cure of logic. At Alexandria manuals were scarce, and the ideas of the converts from heathenism were so utterly and fundamentally confused, that the first lessons of the Christian teacher to an educated Greek or Syrian necessarily took the shape of a Socratic discussion, or a disquisition on principles. And so the scholar, not without much amazement and rufiling of the feelings, found the field of his mind unceremoniously cleared out, broken up, and freshly planted. But, the process once complete, the result was worth the inconvenience.
It was about this stage, also, that the master insisted on a special training in natural history and mathematics. In his youth Origen had been educated, as we have seen, by his father in the whole circle of the sciences of the day. Such an education was possible then, though impossible now, and the spirit of Alexandrian teaching was especially attached to the sciences that regarded numbers, the figure of the earth, and nature. The schools of the Greek philosophers had always tolerated these sciences in their own precincts; nay, most of the schools themselves had arisen from attempts made in the direction of those very sciences, and few of them had attempted to distinguish accurately between physics and metaphysics. Moreover, geography, astronomy, and geometry, were the peculiar property of the Museum, for Eratosthenes, Euclid, Hipparchus, and Ptolemy bimself, had observed and taught within its walls. Origen, therefore, would not be likely to undervalue those interesting sciences which he had studied with his father, and which most of his educated catechumens were more or less acquainted, and puzzled, or delighted with.
With this view present to our minds, the words of the scholar in this place are very significant. "By these two studies, geometry and astronomy, he made us a path toward heaven." The three words that Saint Gregory nses in the description of this part of the master's teaching are worth noticing. The