De Mera Latinitate Hiberniae Olim Restituta
a Iasone Harris Lexintoniae in Kentuckia
anno 2014 habita.
Salvete amici doctissimi.
In animo est historiolam de Latinitate Hiberniae restituta aetate litterarum artiumque omnium renascentium breviter perstringere; ad eum enim scopum arcum meum collineo ut descriptiunculam auctorum quorundam praecipuorum praebeam qui vel in Hibernia floruerint vel extra Hiberniam exules, quasi propagines, folia eorum aurea demiserint.
Perspicuitatis causa orationem in duas partes divisi. Prima pars Hibernos tractat primos qui aevo litterarum renascentium opera Latina eleganter composuerunt. In altera parte quaedam dicenda sunt de Hibernia ipsa omnibusque Hibernis qui ineunte aetate recentissima vixerunt quo melius argumenta consiliaque scriptorum Hibernicorum intelligamus.
Pars Prima Orationis
Inde a saeculo decimo quinto post Christum natum floruerunt multi scriptores, qui nunc solent vocari humanistae, a quibus modus Latine scribendi colloquendique penitus reformatus est, id est, conformatus ad normas quas credebant se apud scriptores antiquos discernere posse. Ex hoc reformatorum grege, priores maxima ex parte fuerunt Itali. Horum attamen vestigiis mox institerunt alii, quibus variae fuerunt patriae: Hispani nempe, Lusitani, Galli, Germani, etiam ac Angli et Scoti. Inter eos autem primos perpauci exstiterunt Hiberni.
Verum enim vero apud eos hodiernos indagatores qui opera de his rebus in lucem dederunt nulla plerunque mentio fit de Hibernia aut scriptoribus eius. Fugiendum vero est ad historicos Hibernicos, si indicia de scriptoribus Hibernicis saeculi decimi sexti septimique legere vultis. Sed qui sint hi historici qui ante me has res tractaverunt?
Beati sumus quod Clio nobis olim dono donavit Jacobum illum Waraeum, equitem auratum, qui biformem compendium solertissime composuit cui inscriptio De scriptoribus Hiberniae, anno millesimo sescentesimo undequadragesimo in lucem editum, quem librum tam argute quam eleganter scriptum libenter vobis, amici, commendo. Atqui Waraeus tantum eos in suis libris scriptores enumerat qui ante initium saeculi septimi decimi floruerunt. Si autem de serioris aetatis scriptoribus indicia legere volumus, Gualterus Harris Waraei amplificator et emendator nobis auxilio esse potest, qui anno millesimo septingentesimo quadragesimo quinto in lucem dedit volumen alterum sui operis cui index The Whole Works of Sir James Ware, in quo posteritati reliquit opus Waraei de scriptoribus Hiberniae tantum auctum ut in se haberet elenchum scriptorum qui usque ad initium octavi decimi saeculi floruissent. Hoc monumentum utique utilissimum est nobis qui vestigia Gualteri Jacobive premere volunt.
Eos autem qui sententias ex indagatoribus recentioribus magis censent, suadeo ut perscrutentur commentariola duo de libris Hibernorum Latine scriptis saeculo vicesimo composita, Benigno Millet et Johanni Silke auctoribus, qui minus fuse sed satis scite scriptores praecipuos tractaverint. Sed, proh dolor, ne hi quidem satis disseruerunt de primis annis litterarum Latinarum apud Hibernos renascentium, in quem propositum perficiendum ego nunc incumbo. Viam autem primus ante me aperuit et iamdum sternit vir egregius et Latinissimus Keith Sidwell, qui me primum ad litteras Latinas recentioris aevi Hibernorum explicandas conduxit, et qui nunc praecipue poematibus quibusdam epicis aevi decimi septimi vacat. Si plura de eius aut aliorum praedictorum scriptis certiores factos esse velitis, quaeso indicem qui in Appendice est inspiciatis.
Nunc ad rem ipsam progrediamur.
His saeculis de quibus nunc agitur (hoc est, inde a saeculo quinto decimo usque ad finem septimi decimi), quantopere Hiberni reformatam foverent Latinitatem, facile cognoscitur ex tot eorum operibus quae illo tempore sub praelum missa sunt. Plus quam mille libri Hibernorum per totam Europam Latine typis mandati iam exstant, quamvis non pauci ex his potius opuscula vocari debeant. His porro adiungendi sunt libri quamplurimi qui tunc temporis publici iuris facti sunt, etiamsi manu scripti in scaenam progressi sint; eorum auctores plus minusve ter centum censu numerantur.
In his omnibus ut commorer tempus non suppeditat. Vestram ergo veniam poscere debeo quia non de singulis satis diligenter dicere possum et multa erunt quae fortasse desiderabitis; sed tamen conabor id efficere ut saltem maximi momenti opera eorumque auctores primi aevi litterarum in Hibernia renascentium in uno quasi conspecto vobis praebeam.
Inter prodromos qui veteris Latinitatis laudem Hiberiae restituerunt, primum locum tenuit Mauritius O’Fihely (c.1460-1513), vir, ut aiunt, scholasticus, qui binis aliis nominibus cluere solebat, quae sunt ‘Mauritius de Portu’, quia videlicet in portu Baltimore in ora Hiberniae meridionale sito ortus est, et ‘Flos Mundi’, quod, sententia saltem eius coaevorum, quam dilucide et eleganter de rebus reconditis et nodosissimis scribere videretur. Nostri autem temporis historicis paene ignotum est nomen Mauritii; hoc vero non sine causa, quia totam vitam impendit unum dumtaxat in opus magnum, etiamsi multis voluminibus distributum: id est, editor praestetit et enodator omnium operum philosophicorum unius scriptoris ex medio quod dicitur aevo, videlicet Joannis Duns Scoti.
Miramini fortasse me quendam Scotistam, ut ita dicam, in primo agmine humanistarum numerare velle. Nonne tales scholasticos increpaverunt tam Petrarca quam Erasmus, et multi praeter eos alii humanistae? Si hoc modo quereremini, non vana esse videretur tua querimonia. Ego certe non infitias eo omnia quae nunc exstant opera Mauritii multis scatere verbis barbaris et, si trutina antiquorum pensarentur, soloecismis. Insuper materia ipsa non solum insolita humanistae scriptori sed etiam paene interdicta. Potuitne ergo Scotista illius aevi humanista esse?
Si prooemia aut epistolas dedicatorias, uti dicuntur, quas libris suis praefixit Mauritius inspiciamus, sane potuit! Hae enim epistolae mentionibus antiquorum scriptorum repletae sunt una cum locutionibus antiquitatem redolentibus. Et, quod maioris momenti est, exhibent modum tractandi omnino aliter ac ille quo usi sunt prioris aevi scriptores.
Mauritius enim seriores suae vitae annos, hoc est ad finem saeculi quinti decimi et inenunte sexto decimo, contrivit in Italia; apud universitatem Patavinam exstitit professor egregius primo philosophiae et postea theologiae (uterque ad mentem Scoti), et eodem tempore Venetiae munere functus est corrigendi libros qui, ut aiunt, sub praelo fuerunt.
His revera artibus etiam usus est cum quaedam Scoti opera lyncaeis oculis castigavit. Si lubeat vobis Mauritium ipsum audire, de hac re plus discere possitis. Nos enim de labore suo his verbis docet:
Quantum rem christianam iuverit Johannes Scotus conterraneus meus et confirmando nostra et aliena refutando iam pridem doctissimorum hominum, praestantissime pater, ne omnium dicam gentium, praedicat consensus. Nihil sane habent divinae litterae tam obscurum arduum et difficile quod vir ille non subtili et peracuta indagine deprehenderit, deprehensum non ita in utranque partem disputauerit, ut manu una ignem, altera aquam ferre videatur ...
Notate bene quo modo scribendi usus sit Mauritius. Haec locutio de igne aquaque in manibus portata ex Plauti Aulularia sumpta est, quamquam non infitior eandem locutionem nonnunquam apud scriptores medii aevi inveniri posse.
tam pressus interim, tam gravis, tam denique a vulgo remotus, ut interdum delio indigeat natatore.
Iterum usus est Mauritius locutione antiqua. Apud librum alterum Diogenes Laertii De vitis philosophorum Socrates dixit cuiquam qui Heraclitum legat opus esse delio natatore. Multa huiusmodi exempla, si opus esset, monstrare possem. Ea tamen quae in hoc loco restant brevitatis causa recitare supersedebo; locum autem integrum in Appendice legendum relinquo. Atqui ex ipsis Mauritii verbis perspicuum est eum ex frustis et analectis librorum manuscriptorum redintegravisse unum integrum opus Duns Scoti, et hoc fecit, ut ego saltem suadeo, more humanistico.
Procul dubio cum Mauritius in minutias descendebat ut de rebus philosophicis aut theologicis scriberet, rationem scribendi scholasticam adhibuit; cum tamen epistolas componebat aut libros corrigebat, antiquiorem secutus est Latinitatem. Hanc ob causam maxime desideratum est eius commercium litterarum, quod olim ex plus quam octingenis litteris constitit, ut coaevi eius asseveraverunt; quo autem in loco, quibus sive in locis, haec nunc latitant, mihi omnibusque, quod sciam, proh dolor ignotum est. Si autem umquam reperiantur, non dubito quin meram vel haud foedam antiquitatem redoleant.
At quis fortasse exclamet, ‘O Iason, hunc Mauritium vocas prodromum (vel quasi antesignanum) litterarum Latinarum Hiberniae renascentium, attamen vitam, ut apparet, contrivit apud Patavinos in Italia!’ Si talis interpellatio orta esset, responderem ego, “Recte monuisti, amice, a iuventute usque ad senectutem aetatem suam extra Hiberniam, quod sciam, pertulit. Primo Oxoniae, tum Lutetiae Parisiorum, breviter postea Romae degit, et tum denique, cum munere archiepiscopale Tuamense primo functurus esset, statim ac ad oram maritimam occidentalem Hiberniae perventus morti obvius est. Misserimam insulam quae talem progeniem occidit! Attamen per opera et vitam Mauritii didicerunt Hiberni minus minusque balbutire magis magisque merum bibere vinum antiquitatis, ut mox fierent quasi ebriosi.
Inter mortem Mauritii et finem saeculi sexti decimi non multi exstiterunt Hiberni qui libros suos in lucem ediderunt, et hoc varias ob causas quas mox adumbrabo. Sed ii qui aliquot monumenta reliquerunt, id praeclare fecerunt. Duos tantum, ne prolix sim, huc advocabo.
Inprimis non praetermittendus est Doncanus quidam Hibernus, cuius praenomen, mea saltem sententia, debet esse Johannes, si velimus eum in censu eorum Hibernorum historicis explorate notorum invenire. Hic vir, quem Dubliniensem fuisse puto, procul dubio primus fuit illo litterarum renascentium tempore poeta Hibernicus qui versus Latinos antiquis numeris et vestitu panxit. Hos in Germania Albiorii, hoc est Vitebergae, anno millesimo quingentesimo undequadragesimo pubici iuris fecit. Discipulus enim egregius fuit Philippi Melanchtonis, qui haec de eo liberaliter scripsit:
Est enim moribus modestissimis et in literis Graecis et Latinis magna cum laude versatur, ad quas adiungit doctrinae christianae studium, ut aliquando possit usui esse ecclesiae Christi.
Dolendum autem est post duos versuum libellos sub praelum missos nostrum Doncanum, ut ita dicam, e conspectu serpsisse. Infauste fortasse suos libros Thomae Cromwello et cuidam ex eius asseclis dicavit, qui autem homines tunc temporis a gratia regis sui Henrici Octavi cadebant. Puto Doncanum fortunae amplificandae causa Hamburgiam petivisse, ibi latitisse, et fortasse debitum suum fatis soluisse, sed de ea eius vitae aetate nihil pro certo habeo. Verumtamen, cum symbolam olim de Doncano eiusque operibus typis mandaverim, hoc loco plura de eo dicere supersedebo.
Ne autem credamus Doncanum unum hac aetate ex Hibernia floruisse oportet alta voce canamus laudes viri praestantissimi Richardi Stanihursti Dubliniensis, qui elegantissime et nitidissime de rebus in Hibernia gestis sic contexuit historiam, ut nullo pacto nunc possimus credere eam umquam nondum scriptam fuisse. Hunc librum aureum, rosea scilicet sub patina, una cum Anglica interpretatione nuper ante oculos omnium posuit collega meus amatissimus Johannes de Barri, quam editionem toto corde vobis commendo.
Attamen quamquam, immo quia tam facete suam narrationem texuerat Stanihurstus, multae et longaevae ortae sunt rixae ex eius dentatis, ut ipse dixit, chartis. Quid animo effingeret aliquis peregrinus lector, rogavit Stephanus Vitus quidam Stanihursti castigator, si legeret quod nimis acerbe dixisset Richardus de rusticis Hibernis, terrae filiis, qui in nulla re alia aetatem contrivissent quam ut, tamquam pullarii, gallinae ova in materno aviario numerare discerent?
De Stanihursto autem ipso sat iam alibi scriptum est a collegis meis Johanne de Barri, Hieronimo Morgan et Keith Sidwell. Sufficit ergo ut pauca dicam de dentato Richardi modo scribendi et eius consequentiis. Quamquam hunc ut nimium mordacem dicacemve increpaverunt tum Stephanus Vitus cum Phillipus Sullevanus et alii Hiberni, ego autem assevero Stanihurstum optima praeditum esse Latinitate, hominemque fuisse ingenio fecundo artisque exquisitae qui naso emuncto verba locutionesque seligere sciret. Iuvenis tamen praecipitis ingenii suum librum ambitiose scripsit Richardus; ludibrio habuit eius concives quo planius suum acumen et scribendi copiam patefaceret. Sibi enim calamove suo liberalius indulsit quam oportuit, sive, quod argute monuit Stephanus Vitus, tamquam peregrinus in patria sua scripsit Richardus. Et, quod peius fuit, eo quidem tempore quo maxime opus Hiberniae fuit auxilio gentium exterarum, lectores alienigenae Richardi facetiis et argutiis delectati fidem nimis quam debuerunt ei accomadverunt.
Pars altera orationis
Nunc in alteram partem orationis advenimus, quia oportuit sciamus id quod aetate Stanihursti accidisset in patria sua. Dum primum enim artes humaniores in Hibernia arborescunt et praemetias suas praebent, irrupit subito exercitus Anglicanus, irruerunt etiam examina Protestantium Anglorum. Hi grassantes bella gerere, incendiis rapinisque vastare, Catholicos exagitare, exsules facere, totamque denique insulam expugnare. Vires meae deficiunt talibus depingendis. Nos autem adiuvet David quidam Rothe, episcopus olim Ossoriensis, qui sollertissime contexuit de his rebus librum cui nomen dedit Analecta, in quo libro Susannae angustiis assimulatur Catholicorum Hibernorum afflictio. Rem etiam tum acu tetigisse videtur, cum totam calamitatem nuncupavit Hiberniae Diasphendon, quale tormento eius sententia totum corpus Hiberniae diffindebat, hoc est, omnes eius artus laxabantur et e suis compagibus luxabantur. Haec tamen narratio sine dubio horrenda est, et tota historia plane nimis longa est quam ut eam satis perstringere possim; nec, ut scite dixit Horatius, conabimur tenues grandia. Cautiore igitur et tutiore cursu navigabo, qui non inter Scyllam et Charibdem tendit.
Nihilominus ante quam progrediar, hoc tantum dicere volo. Hae angustiae, hi dolores, praecipuae erant causae cur litterae antiquae tum primum in Hibernia renascentes tam sparsos aevo sexto decimo fructus offerrent. Et inter alia quae has aerumnas consecuta sunt, hoc praecipue animadvertendum est: homines in Hibernia illo tempore viventes, aut extra Hiberniam exules errantes, tum primum descripsisse quales essent veri Hiberni, quo modo iterum fierent unanimes, et in quo constaret vera laus Hiberniae.
Septimo decimo ergo ineunte saeculo, cum maxime Hibernia desideravit et eius scriptores Catholici quaesiverunt auxilium exterarum gentium in re religionis, maximo impedimento ille liber Richardi esse videbatur. Stephani Viti sententia, nemo sapiens et nullus lector peritus non potuit hunc librum non damnare tanquam infectum malis ac vitiis tam moralibus quam historicalibus; attamen quod decuisset non accidit. Late divulgatus fuit hic liber iuvenilis Richardi, quia perpolita eius Latinitas tam candide enituit, innotuitque Richardus ipse ut scriptor undique bene audiens, etsi pessime de sua patria meritus sit.
Sed id quod Stephanus Vitus et eius conterranei aegrius poterant ferre fuit hoc: Richardum gentem Hibernicam diffindisse, id est, in duas partes dividisse. Audiatis mecum haec quae dixit Stanihurstus:
Observare diligenter oportebit, Hiberniam in duas partes distributam esse; in Anglicam, et Hibernicam: hanc germani et genuini Hiberni, illam Anglorum progenies incolit: eaque portio, plebeio sermone, Anglica provincia nominatur, quod sit Anglorum territoriis, quasi palis et saeptis circumsessa.
Sententia Stanihursti, illi qui in Anglica provincia habitant, ab genuinis Hibernis, victu, cultu, et sermone differunt. Nam a pristinis Anglorum moribus ne transversum quidem unguem discedunt. Perrexit:
hi, quos iam in manibus habemus, Anglo-Hiberni, adeo sunt ab antiquis istis Hibernicis dissociati, ut colonorum omnium ultimus, qui in Anglica provincia habitat, filiam suam vel nobilissimo Hibernicorum principi in matrimonium non daret.
Mendacium sine dubio magnum! Subinde redarguerunt multi Hiberni Catholici: verbum ‘Anglo-Hiberni’ inauditum esse monstrum a Stanihursto ipso fictum; omnes Hibernigenas simplicter vocandos ‘Hibernos’; nec quicquam esse schisma qualecunque in gente prorsus Catholica; alioquin Hibernos Catholicos auxilium ab exteris nationibus non posse accipere.
Verum enim vero maximi momenti videbatur scriptoribus Catholicis Hibernicis hanc divisionem delere. Audite iterum Stephanum Vitum:
vana fuerit Stanihursti nova partitio Iberniae in Provincias duas, Anglicam et Ibernicam, sed etiam divisio Ibernorum in Anglo-Ibernos et Ibernos genuinos; quorum illi sint Progenies Anglorum priscorum; isti autem non sunt: vana, inquam quia difficile inveniri potest (extra paucas regiunculas Iberniae) ullus genuinorum Incolarum Iberniae iam ab annis 300. aut 400. qui non ducat originem ex Ibernicis genuinis olim, et Anglis advenis; qui tamen isti in Ibernia nati Iberni ab tot saeculis, etiamsi primitus orti sint ex Anglis, inepte appellantur Anglo-Iberni, sed absolute et absque addito sunt, et vocari debent mere Iberni natione natalique solo; sicut et hodiernam gentem Anglorum (quae vere est orta ab Anglis meris, seu Britannis et Normannis Galliae, et Danis, et Germanis) sunt dicendi simpliciter Angli, non Anglo-Galli, Anglo-Dani. Et Hispani sunt simpliciter vocandi tales, et si olim venerint ex Suevis, Gothis, Wandalis.
Audiatur etiam Philippus Sullevanus, ex stirpe mera Hibernica, qui hoc modo ius dicit:
Ego imposterum ne in meis scriptis Iberni his nominibus dicantur, operam dabo. Iberni patrio nomine nuncupentur. Posthac Iberni dicantur Iberni.
Et cum denique non solum scriptores sed viri politici (ut illo aevo vocabantur) arma sumpserant ut molem servitutis ex umeris Catholicorum exuerent, hoc pro symbolo adaptaverunt:
“Hiberni unanimes pro Deo, rege et patria.”
Bene notate: Latine primum indicaverunt Hiberni omnes Hibernigenas meros esse Hibernos; gentem Hibernicam semper vere fuisse Catholicam, patriaeque studium cum iis sententiis coniunctum esse. Reapse Stanihurstus de divisione inter gentes Hibernos minime mentiebatur; expressit quod eius aevo in proverbium erat. Attamen post eius librum publici iuris factum Hiberni Latine scribentes religionis causa finxerunt communem, ut illi dicebant, nationem; immo per linguam Latinam tum primum irrepservit in linguam Hibernicam hoc neologismum, ‘naisiun’ – derivatum scilicet ex verbo Latino ‘natio’, minime vero, ut false creduntur nonnulli, ex lingua Anglica.
Finem faciam cum illo viro locuplete similitudinibus, Davide Rothaeo, qui dixit Hibernos Catholicos Latine scribentes ex ludo quodam Erasmiano, cui ludimagister fuit quidam Petrus Vitus, efluxisse, tamquam Graeci olim ex ligneo illo equo omnibus notissimo, et exturbasse arcem Protestantium in Hibernia grassantium per litteras suas perpolitas Latinas.
Hoc maxime ergo notandum est: bella ab Anglis per totam insulam Hiberniam saeculo decimo quinto acta sine dubio litteras Latinas iam tum primo ibi renascentes oppressisse et tantum non occidisse; atqui eadem bella denique incitamenta fuerunt quo Hiberni Latine scribentes patriae causam enixius susciperent; deinde porro hanc ob causam litterae Latinae ad antiquas normas conformatae apud Hibernos tam in Hibernia quam extra tandem denique floruerunt.
Ibi sto et gratias auditoribus ago singulares. Dixi.
1. Index operum qui has res summatim tractant:
- Harris, Jason, & Keith Sidwell, eds, Making Ireland Roman: Irish Neo-Latin Writers and the Republic of Letters (Cork University Press, 2009)
- Harris, Jason, “Renaissance Ireland – some problems and perspectives” in Thomas M. Barr, ed., Italian Influences and Irish Outcasts: Essays on Torquato Tasso and Aspects of the Renaissance in Ireland, Europe and Beyond (Coleraine, 2009), 102-118
- Harris, Jason, “Ireland’s First Renaissance Poet: The Latin Verse of Duncanus Hibernus” in Luke Houghton & Gesine Manuwald, eds, Neo-Latin Poetry in the British Isles (Bristol Classical Press, 2012), 230-249
- Martin, F.X., ‘Ireland, the Renaissance and the Counter-Reformation’, Topic 13 (1967), 23-33
- Millett, Benignus, “Irish Literature in Latin, 1550-1700” Early Modern Ireland 1534-1691, ed. F.W. Moody, F.X. Martin and F.J. Byrne (A New History of Ireland, vol. 3) (Oxford: OUP, 1976), 561-86
- Sidwell, Keith, 'A theological literature? The shape of Irish Neo-Latin writing' in Gerhard Petersmann and Veronika Oberparleiter, eds, The Role of Latin in Early Modern Europe: Texts and Contexts. Grazer Beiträge, Supplementband IX (Horn/Wien, 2005), 154-160
- Silke, John J. “Irish scholarship and the renaissance, 1580-1673”, Studies in the Renaissance 20 (1973), 169-206
- Ware, James, De scriptoribus Hiberniae libri duo (Dublin, 1639)
2. Mauritius O’Fihely, Quaestiones subtilissimae Scoti in Metaphysicam Aristotelis; eiusdem de primo rerum principio tractatus atque theoremata (Venetiae, 1497).
Quantum rem christianam iuverit Johannes Scotus conterraneus meus et confirmando nostra et aliena refutando iam pridem doctissimorum hominum, praestantissime pater, ne omnium dicam gentium, praedicat consensus. Nihil sane habent divinae litterae tam obscurum arduum et difficile quod vir ille non subtili et peracuta indagine deprehenderit, deprehensum non ita in utranque partem disputauerit, ut manu una ignem, altera aquam ferre videatur. Tam pressus interim, tam grauis, tam denique a vulgo remotus, ut interdum delio indigeat natatore. Ceterum tanta ille vi disputat, tam validis nititur rationibus, ut eius scripta habere videantur oraculorum instar; sitque ipse per haec consecutus, ut in metaphysicis omnium longe eminentissimus habeatur. Sed quo clarior Scotus atque utilior, eo minus ferendum fuit quod illius theoremata, Metaphysice quaestiones, et materia de primo principio accuratissime disputata in occulto essent, dubium incuria hominum neglecta, an quia haec ita mendosa et corrupta videbantur, ut nulla tam diligens recognitio adhiberi posset, ut tuto in apertum referrentur. Sed quo consilio alii ab eo negotio abstinuerint, non facile dixerim. Ego non qui melius quam ceteri id praestare possem, sed officium potius et pietatem secutus, quum nuper in haec Scoti popularis mei monumenta incidissem, ne diutius in tenebris iacerent, multo studio et diligentia recognovi.
Latein des Mittelalters und der Renaissance
Latein des Mittelalters und der Renaissance: Kontinuität, Veränderung, Oder Dauer im Wechsel?
Salzburg, 2 April 2001
In the great work of the nineteenth century Renaissance scholar Jakob Burckhardt, we see the definitive image of the Renaissance break with the Middle Ages. However, in more recent times, it has been noted that it makes a difference that “Middle Ages”, or media tempestas, is a definition conceived by the Italian humanists themselves. The Florentine Matteo Palmieri (1406-75), for example, reflects this view in his Della vita civile:
“Of letters and liberal studies at large it were best to be silent altogether. For these, the real guides to distinction in all the arts, have been lost to mankind for 800 years and more. It is but in our own day that men dare boast that theysee the dawn of better things. For example, we owe it to Leonardo Bruni that Latin, so long a bye-word for its uncouthness, has begun to shine forth in its ancient purity, it beauty, its majestic rhythm. Now indeed may everythoughtful spirit thank God that it has been permitted to him to be born in thisnew age, so full of hope and promise, which already rejoices in a greater array of nobly-gifted souls than the world has seen in the thousand years that have preceded it.”
(tr. from W.H.Woodward, Studies in Education during the Age of the Renaissance, Cambridge 1906, p. 67; Italian ed. F. Battaglia, Scrittori politici Italiani, 14, Bologna 1944, pp. 36-7)
Of course, this means the term “Middle Ages” is also a form of self-definition, encapsulating an ideology. It has therefore only as much objective value as any other ideological statement. No doubt the humanists did regard themselves as living in a new epoch and as doing something fundamentally different from their precursors. But that is no reason for modern historians, or philologists, to take the statement at face value. There are several good reasons not to do so, or rather to see what writers like Palmieri say as aspirational rather than definitive.
First is the clear fact that the medium in which literary and scholarly discourse was conducted continued to be Latin. Hence, the break with the immediate past could by definition only be conditional, whatever it meant in substance. In fact, the programme outlined by the humanists required a completely new set of linguistic aids, which were forthcoming only slowly and for practical reasons (e.g. profits for publishers and booksellers) did not necessarily get quickly into the schools. Actually, many medieval handbooks and lexica continued in use for most of the Renaissance. For example, the Catholicon of John of Genoa (died c. 1298) was published in Mainz in 1460 andprinted many more times before 1500. In terms of the ideology of Latinity, even, the Ciceronian debate - so wittily engaged in by Erasmus in his Ciceronianus – shows that there was even in the early 16th century as yet no agreement about the precise direction the vaunted stylistic purification would take.
Second is the fact that this continuity of linguistic discourse was accompanied by a cultural continuity in religion. Catholicism was the continuum within which humanism was contained, for all its leaning towards pagan classical symbolism and imagery. One of humanism’s focal points of support was the Papal Curia. Two examples will suffice to show the interconnections between Church and the “new learning”. Poggio Bracciolini, one of humanism’s foremost hunters for forgotten and lost manuscripts, was Secretary of the Curia for a large part of his life. Lapo da Castiglionchio, il Juniore, who died in 1438 while seeking a career in the same institution, wrote a eulogy of the Curia entitled De curiae commodis (“The advantages of the papal court”). And it must also be remembered that the scholasticism against which the humanists reacted also continued side by side with the humanist venture along with its particular style of Latinity.
The other cultural continuity, of course, was the Roman Empire. The fact that Latin had been perpetuated as the international language was in the first place due to the seamless way in which political empire was subsumed into religious empire at the end of the Western Roman Empire. The “Roman Empire” of the Middle Ages was more an ideology than a reality. However, it nevertheless was fed by and continued to feed, the status of Latin as the language of international relations. An eloquent example of the way the two continua operated together to promote Latin can be seen in the work of Rainold Heidenstein, the historiographer of Poland’s King Stephen Bathory, who lived from 1553 to 1620 (handout 1 has the Latin text):
“The Latin language has been accepted by almost everyone as though by public consent as the common tongue of all the Christian peoples. I recall that at times there have been some who wrote to our king even in their own language, and that it was in turn proposed that they should receive a reply in our own Slavonic tongue, so that when they seemed too conscious of their own position and importance, we should not seem altogether negligent of our own. But in this, as in other matters, one should look to the agreement of the majority of Christian rulers and peoples and use Latin…”
Third is the fact that, quite apart from the realm of religion, important things had happened during that media tempestas, real things which had changed the shape of the world. No account of the history of any part of Europe could ignore this period and the sources for it were, of course, tainted with the “faults” of the epoch (as thehumanists saw the matter). But not every medieval Latin work was inelegant. A goodexample which illustrates both points is Saxo’s Gesta Danorum, written in the late twelfth century. On the one hand, it was an indispensable account of Danish history. On the other, the fact that it was a Latin work written by a Dane proved that Denmarkwas no barbarian country (as Minne Skafte Jensen puts it in A History of Nordic Neo-Latin Literature, Odense, 1995, p. 19). Accordingly, it was printed, in Paris in 1514, in an edition prepared by the Danish humanist Christiern Pedersen (c. 1480-1554), at a time when humanism had taken root even north of the Alps.
Equally important, though, is the perception that many things which had developed during these “middle ages” remained in place as realities or defining structures of life which contrasted with those which could be retrieved from antiquity. For example, the remnants of feudalism were still apparent throughout Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. Vocabulary had been developed in medieval Latin to express the gradations of status the system involved. An example is the change of meaning of the Classicalword miles by 1100 from “soldier” to “knight”, a mounted warrior with a distinctsocial status. Likewise, inventions such as the crossbow had to be found Latin terms. Neologisms could be based on Classical words – arcubalista from arcus and ballista is the normal word for crossbow – and the quarrel or crossbow bolt is called quadrellus from Classical Latin quadrus “square”. Or they could be borrowed from the vernacular, as is gunna, from English “gun”. The project of overlaying ancient lexis upon such modernities was likely to be long drawn out and to lead in very large number of cases to obfuscation, as we shall see.
What I want to do in this paper is to explore with the use of two exemplars some of the implications of this process involving linguistic and cultural continuity and change – or as Goethe would have put it Dauer im Wechsel. The two authors I have chosen both utilise medieval Latin sources. Both of them expect their readers to be familiar with them. Yet their approaches are distinct. The first is Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, who became Pope Pius II in 1458. The focus of my study will be upon his renowned letter De curialium miseriis (“On the miseries endured by courtiers”), written in 1444, at Bruck an der Mur during the period in which he served Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, at the Austrian court. The second is the Irish humanist Richard Stanihurst, whose De rebus in Hibernia Gestis (“On Irish History”) was published in Leiden and Antwerp in the Spanish Netherlands in 1584.
2. Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini’s De curialium miseriis and Peter of Blois
In 1978, Berthe Widmer drew attention to the use made by Aeneas Silvius Piccolominiof Peter of Blois in his De curialium miseriis. Peter of Blois, a twelfth-century Latinpoet, worked for some years at the court of Henry II of England, before eventually returning to the clerical life as archdeacon of Bath. From here he wrote two letters aboutthe life of the courtier. Letter 14 is a grave indictment of the life of the courtier. But its central message is that clerics should not serve at secular courts, since their task is to concentrate on the riches which await the soul in Heaven. Letter 150 is briefer, and recants on the main theme: the cleric does have a duty to serve the King, after all (and this is proved with a number of Biblical citations), yet in this each must follow his conscience.
Widmer began her investigation from the casual observation, also made by Claus Uhlig, that chapters 34 and 35 of the De curialium miseriis were little more than "a slight reworking", of the 14th epistle of Peter of Blois, done without any explicit mention of Peter's name. Widmer showed that use of this letter by Aeneas Sylvius was more widespread. Material from it appears in chapters 12 and 13, 20, 30, 34 and 35, and climaxes with the closest remodelling in chapter 45 (which is on your handout no. 2):
(1) Aeneas Silvius:
Nullus est cui non sint infinite molestie, atque, ut breviter dicam, permultas tribulationes intrant justi in gloriam dei. Curiales vero cum multis cruciatibus acquirere sibi gehennam student. Nichil de clericis etreligiosis dixerim, qui cum Joseph pallium, cum Mattheo theloneum, cum Johanne sindonem et cum Samaritana cupiditatis idriam sunt jussi relinquere.
“There is no one who does not suffer infinite troubles. And to sum up, itis through many tribulations that the just enter into the kingdom of God. But the courtiers are eager to acquire Hell for themselves with many tortures. Let me say nothing of the clerics and religious, who have been ordered to leave behind their cloaks with Joseph, their tax-table with Matthew, their linen garment with John and the hydria of greed with the Samaritan.”
(2) Peter of Blois:
Per multas siquidem tribulationes intrant justi in regnum caelorum.
“The just enter the kingdom of heaven through manytribulations” (=Acts 14)
Sic pallium cum Joseph, cum Mattheo telonium, sindonem cum Joanne,cupiditatis hydriam cum Samaritana relinquere et abjurare decrevi.
“Thus I have decided to leave and to abjure my cloak with Joseph, mytax-table with Matthew, my linen garment with John and the hydria ofgreed with the Samaritan.”
Despite the fact that part of this is a Biblical citation, there really cannot be any doubt that this is the direct source. It is too much of a coincidence that the passage from Acts is located next to the other in a context where the life of the courtier is the central theme.
Widmer went on to show that Aeneas Syvlius’ work also depended heavily upon a more recent work, Poggio Bracciolini’s De infelicitate principum, written only four years earlier. Her attitude to these discoveries is as follows:
"In der Tat aber ist es immerwieder erstaunlich, mit welcher Unverfrorenheit sich dieser Humanist literarischeDiebstähle geleistet hat, und dies zu einer Zeit, da andere Schriftsteller, solche etwa vomSchlage eines Poggio Bracciolini, scharf darauf achteten, wer fremde Schreibkunst füreigene ausgebe, und solche mit beissendem Spott bedachten, beinahe auch unerklärlich,warum er sich zu verschwiegenem Kopieren herabliess, wo man doch meint, er habe soviel Witz und Wortgewandtheit besessen, um selbständig zu denken und eine eigeneFeder zu führen." (Widmer 1978, p. 183)
Her word for Aeneas Sylvius’ literary procedure is “Plagiat”. And heexplanation for it does not cast the Austrian culture of the time in a good light:
"Was nun Enea betrifft, so hat er sicher abgeschrieben und sich mit Plagiaten geziert weit mehr, alses sich für einen Humanisten ziemte. Doch gibt es für ihn Entschuldigungen. Nachdemer einmal den Dichterlorbeer empfangen hatte, war er geradezu verpflichtet, von Zeit zu Zeit seine Schreibkunst unter Beweis zu stellen. Dabei war es ihm im Norden der Alpennicht leicht gemacht, sich gute Lateinkenntnisse zu bewahren oder diese gar zuvermehren. Zu einem Thema einige Texte zu sammeln und sie daraufhin zu exzerpieren,forderte von ihm offentsichtlich geringeren Aufwand an Zeit und Mühe, als eine durchaus selbständige Arbeit getan hätte. Neben der seltenen Gelegenheit, sich inmündlichen Gesprächen im Latein zu perfektionieren, wird ihm gerade auch die nötige Musse zu dichterischem Schaffen weitgehend gefehlt haben. Mit wenigen Schriften ein Bildungsniveau bewahren und mit wenigen sich das Zeug zum Produzieren erwerben:dies waren wohl die Forderungen, welche durch die Situation an ihn gestellt wurden,auch wenn das Literatentum im damaligen Wien nicht unterschätzt werden darf." (Widmer 1978, p. 205)
Now this evaluation is both unfair to Aeneas Sylvius and misleading for us. It wasnormal procedure in the Renaissance, as it had been in Antiquity and in the Middle Ages, to reuse material from other sources. But there was also a clear understanding ofthe concept of “Plagiat”. The material must be recast for a new context and varied stylistically. We can see that this has been done even from the passages already cited. But let us look also at chapters 34 and 35, where Uhlig first noticed the resemblance.
Peter of Blois speaks of the problems caused by marescalli when lodgings are to befound when the king’s entourage moves around on a “progress” as follows:
Ut caeteras taceam, molestias mareschallorum sustinere non possum. His siquidem blandissimi sunt adulatores, detractores pessimi, improbissimi emunctores. Importunissimi sunt, donec accipiant: cum acceperint, sunt ingrati; et nisi manum suam donator continuet, inimici. Vidi plurimos, qui mareschallis manum porrexerantliberalem; qui, dum hospitium post longi fatigationem itineris cum plurimo labore quaesissent, cum adhuc essent eorum epulae semicrudae, aut cum jam forte sederentin mensa, quandoque etiam, cum jam dormirent in stratis, mareschalli supervenientes in superbia et abusione, abscissis equorum capistris, ejectisque foras sine delectu, et non sine jactura, sarcinulis, eos ab hospitiis turpiter expellebant, amissisque omnibus ad quietis nocturnae solatium comportatis, non habebant miseri, divites tamen, ubi nocte illa capita reclinarent.
Aeneas Sylvius’ version reads thus:
Sed accipe alia, que inter hospitandum sunt tedia. Marescallus orandus est ac pretio conducendus rogandique servi ejus et alliciendi muneribus sunt, ut hospitium tibi tolerabile prebeant, quod etsi promiserint non tamen implebunt teque vel in remotissimis locis vel in fetidissimis ganeis collocabunt. Interdum et honestum locumquem dedit, ut deseras et alteri cedas, minis ac vi coget. Sed esset fortasse tolerabile marescallo caput inflectere, cujus est officium non inhonestum, at sordidos hominessequi atque his supplicare et offerre pecuniam gravissimum est. Nec tamen hoc potes effugere, nam et coccis et pistoribus et frumentariis et bladi vinique distributoribus humiliare te convenit et ipsorum benivolentiam emere.
There are several clear differences between these passages. First, the style. Petermanifests several notably “medieval” features: the use of siquidem as “without doubt”, as opposed to Classical Latin “if indeed” or “since”; dum with the Pluperfect Subjunctive used for cum to mean “when”; sedere in mensa meaning “to sit at table”, a formulation not found in Classical Latin (where in mensa means “on the table”) and only indirectly by the time of Macrobius and Ammianus (sed erit in mensa sermo iucundiorin Saturnalia, in nepotali mensa discumbens Amm. 31.5.5); in superbia et abusione where in meaning “in a spirit of” or even “with” reflects a usage found in the Vulgate (e.g. I Kings 17.50 praevaluit…in funda et lapide); the word mareschallus, derived by Guillermus Somnerus in his Glossarium, so Petrus de Gussanvilla tells us in Migne,from mare = “horse” and schal = “slave”, which was in use from the 8th century in themeaning “groom” and from the 11th in the meaning “marshal”, i.e. the court official incharge of requisitions and housing. The word emunctor, derived from Classical Latinemungo “I blow my nose”, a coinage of the 8th century in the meaning “reviser”, seemshere to mean something like “cheat” (a secondary meaning of the Classical Latin verbemungere). The sentence-structure is generally quite simple, and in the opening linessentences are short and snappy. But in the one instance where greater complexity isattempted (qui, dum hospitium…reclinarent), the writer has lost the run of his syntax,since qui here should be quos and he has to insert an otiose eos later on to make thesense clear.. In Aeneas, the only obvious medievalisms are the words marescallus andbladum. The latter means “corn” or “bread-corn” and seems to have come into regularuse in the 12th century. His sentences are under control, though mostly complex. Perhapsthe most significant difference, however, is in the treatment of the marescallus. In Peter,there is a plurality of them, they are venal, arrogant, violent, abusive and careless of theproperty of those they deal with. By contrast, in Aeneas Sylvius, there is only one, and his office is described as not dishonourable. Even though he occasionally uses the threatof force to dis-lodge (as it were) someone, it is not his role which brings the greatest protest, but the fact that the courtier must toady to his servants and others of low rank geta reasonable break. You will be able to see from the other passages I have put forcomparison on the handout that what Aeneas Sylvius does elsewhere is not dissimilar. Itseems to me at the very least unhelpful to call this standard type of variatio “Plagiat”. Aeneas Sylvius presumably finds the material useful because the structures of court lifeare still similar to those he found ready to hand in Peter of Blois’ anti-courtier epistle. Courts still move round at the king’s whim and courtiers must find lodgings where they can, using their influence (however obtained) with the court-official still known as the marescallus.
Piccolomini’s use of medieval vocabulary is interesting. We know that already by theearly 16th century, English schoolboys at Eton were being taught to avoid such terms. William Horman’s Vulgaria specifically mentions that marescallus is improperly usedwhere the correct terms are ethnarca or praefectus (handout 5). Either this process has not begun in Piccolomini’s time or there is another reason for his retention of the word.In fact, Aeneas Sylvius does not confine his “medieval” vocabulary in the passage we have examined to this dignitary. He also uses the word bladum. It could be argued that ittends here to stress the lowly status of the factotums mentioned. However, this use of vocabulary which is not only non-classical, but derived from vernacular languages is not, I think, a consistent feature of his other writing (though I am open to correction on this), but is a noteworthy feature of other parts of this tract. For example, in paragraph 12 we meet the word feudum “fief”; in 20 he mentions two wines, moscatellum andmalvaticum (“Muscatel” and “Malmsey”), which are very late coinages; the word temula in 23 seems to translate the Italian temolo; in 24 asperiolus “squirrel” is cited by Du Cange from a text of 1298; zinzala in 36 means “mosquito, possibly calqued on theItalain zanzara. Add to this the fact that Biblical quotation and vocabulary is also quite prominent, and it may begin to look as though Aeneas Sylvius had some purpose in writing thus.
In another paper, shortly to be published, I suggested the clue could be find by reversing another of Widmer’s comments on Aeneas’ “Plagiat” in De curialium miseriis:
"Undniemand fragte, woher Enea gerade die besten Gedanken und Wendungen bezogen -umnicht zu sagen: gestohlen -habe" (Widmer 1978, p. 206)
As I have suggested, the way Aeneas Sylviusstylistically varies the material he takes from Peter of Blois – and also from PoggioBracciolini – falls within perfectly acceptable literary parameters for his period. However, there are several places where he uses this type of remodelling with classical material clearly on the assumption that his audience will recognise his source. In these cases, he employs the classical model as an “intertext”, to point to some underlying pointhe wishes to get across. His reworking of Horace’s first Ode, for example, is meant toadd significantly to the praise of Gaspar Schlik it contains, for those who recognise thetransfer. I suggest in my paper that Aeneas has used both Peter and Poggio with the sameintention. Once Peter is recognised as a source, Aeneas’ intentions in De curialium miseriis can be more readily understood: like Peter, he rejects the life of court and welcomes the life of the religious, accepting Poggio’s criticism of the life of the courtierand giving it prominence, while at the same time repudiating his focus on the unhappiness of rulers. If this is what he was doing, then his procedure depends upon acontinuity between Middle Ages and his time not only because the social structures have stayed the same, but also because Aeneas Sylvius expects his readership to be sensitive to a hidden reference to a specific medieval text, the two “court” Epistulae of Peter of Blois.
3. Richard Stanihurst (1547-1618) and his De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis of 1584
Let me deal, rather more briefly, with a different type of continuity and change. I turn tothe Irish writer Richard Stanihurst. He was born in Dublin in 1547, the son of JamesStanihurst (d.1573), speaker of the Irish House of Commons. He attended school at PeterWhite's academy in Kilkenny, then studied at University College, Oxford, from wherehe graduated in 1568. He published his first work, a Latin commentary on Porphyry, in1570, which was well-received. At Oxford he had met Edmund Campion, and hehelped him to collect material for a history of Ireland. Stanihurst himself contributedthe "Description of Ireland" and the "History of Ireland under Henry VIII", to RaphaelHolinshed's Chronicles (London, 1577). In 1581 he left Ireland for the Low Countriesnever to return to his native country or England. He then converted to RomanCatholicism. At Leiden he published his translation of Virgil's Æneid into Englishhexameters (1582). Later he wrote De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis (Antwerp, 1584).Invited to Spain by King Philip II in the early 1590s he had an alchemical laboratory inthe Escorial and also offered political advice to the Spanish government. He was acorrespondent of Justus Lipsius, a fact which shows him to be well-found in thehumanist community of Europe. His later works tend increasingly towards thedevotional, displaying particular predilection for the cult of the Virgin Mary.
Stanihurst’s De Rebus came in for severe criticism from other Irish writers. The reasonwas that he had taken the viewpoint of the group known as the “Old English”,descendants of the Norman English who had conquered Ireland in the late 12th century.His view of the “native Irish”, that is, both the Gaelic-speaking population and thedescendants of the Vikings who lived there, was deeply insulting. The work is not, asone might expect, a contemporary history, such as he had written for Holinshead. It is anaccount of the Norman invasion based upon the Expugnacio Hibernica by the 12thcentury Welsh-Norman writer Giraldus Cambrensis. The only other sources for theseevents were written in Irish and seem to have been inaccessible to Stanihurst, thoughthey would not in any case have supported the political viewpoint he wished to take. Useof the medieval Latin source was thus essential.
Stanihurst is a classicising writer. His favourite model is Cicero, though when he wantsto raise a laugh, he is perfectly capable of using vocabulary drawn from Plautus. He isgiven to the use of Greek words. Examples include dicrotum “a galley with two banks of oars”, doriphorus “spear-bearer” and tyrotarichos “a dish made with salt-fish andcheese”. All these, and a significant proportion of the rest, are actually used in the worksof Cicero. When he uses a word which has no classical pedigree, a phenomenon which isextremely rare, he indicates his awareness. For example, at one point in book three herefers to a group of people qui ioculari ac gymnico certamine torneamentorum (sic enim vocant) diem consumserunt “who passed the day in the playful and athletic contestwhich they call tourneys”. He is constrained to use non-classical names, of course. Buthe avoids using formulations such as Hugo de Laci, employed by Giraldus. Instead, heclassicises as much as he can, in this case calling the man Hugo Lacius. Nonetheless, histraining does not prevent the incursion of items of vocabulary which may be classical, but which still convey a medieval undertone. For example, he uses the word miles tomean “knight”, rather than soldier. And the word ductor “general” or “guide” seems atone point to stand for what contemporary Italian would have called a “condottiere”, forwhich the Elizabethan English word was “conductor”. In our weekly seminar, in fact, themain problem is always that we think we can often see through Stanihurst’s classicisingversion of a medieval Latin text aspects of his own world which colour hisinterpretation. But the imprecision superimposed through the insistence on classicalterminology makes the detail opaque rather than transparent and poses a seriousmethodological difficulty.
I want to end with one example to show how Stanihurst classicises his medieval source.The passage comes from book three and is based on book two, chapter 3 of Giraldus (handout 6 for both passages). Giraldus first. He is reporting the contents of a letter written by Richard Strongbow to Raymond Fitzgerald, who had returned to Wales on the death of his father. Strongbow needed his services and used Raymond’s long-standing desire to marry his sister Basilia as the carrot:
Inspectis litteris istis, nobis in manu forti subvenire non differas, et desiderium tuum, inBasilia sorore mea tibi legitime copulanda, in ipso statim adventu tuo proculdubionoveris adimplendum.
Here is Stanihurst’s version:
RICHARDVS STRANGBOVS REIMVNDO GIRALDO, S. P. D.“Si non animi tui magnitudini, mi Reimunde, plus tribuerem, quàm communi hominumconditioni tribuendum censerem, communi etiam modo dolorem tuum consolandumiudicarem. Verùm cùm tua te virtus, contra omnem mundanarum rerum impressionem,adeò, tectè armarit, vt dissipabilis naturæ fragilitatem, si non æquo, saltem forti animo, tolerandam scias; non mihi assumendum putabam, vt sus Mineruam, id est, vt Strangbous Reimundum, lugendi modum facere, philosophorum, seu potiusChristianorum more, perdoceret. Ab his ergo abeo, quæ virtutis tuæ præconem, non debilitatis consolatorem postulant: ad Hiberniam venio, quæ tuum aduentum summodesiderio exspectat, cuius incolæ te absente facultatem bellandi arripiunt. Vereor, vtomnia nobis teterrimè cedant, nisi quàm primùm te ad nos receperis, & præcipitantireipub(licae) subueneris. A te igitur maximopere, mi Reimunde, etiam atque etiam peto& quæso, adflictis, & abiectis tuis necessariis, qui vehementer te requirunt, & perpetuumcommunium fortunarum propugnatorem agnoscunt, plures ac præsentes vires dare; & inprimis Basiliam, sororem meam, atque vxorem, simul atque huc te conferes, tuam, quætui profectò desiderio oblanguet, teque, quantum virginalis verecundia patitur, mente accomplexu tenet, ab hostium insidiis, & telis eripe. A denicalibus ad nuptias, ab inferiis adhymenæum, à viscerationibus ad genitalem lectum confestim aduola: vt tristiculam tuusreditus recreat, cuius abscessus hactenus adflixit. Ad te scriberem verbosioremepistolam, nisi tua prudentia contractiorem postularet. Vale, Basiliae amorem ama, adeam appropera.
There could hardly be a greater contrast between the two letters. Giraldus’ comes straight to the point, using in with the Ablative in three non-Classical ways in the spaceof the three lines it takes to make it clear that his arrival in force is the sine qua non ofthe marriage with Basilia. Stanihurst is more leisurely, his rhetoric is more florid, and hislanguage highly classical. He begins with Raymond’s grief for his father and expresseswhat passes for a consolatio as praise for Raymond’s natural understanding of the limitwhich must be put on grief. He then moves on to his real business, but again focusesupon the effect of Raymond’s absence and the specific need for him to return to save the situation in Ireland and in particular to rescue Basilia from danger. Throughout, the needfor Raymond’s presence by Ireland and by Basilia is central. There is scarcely a hint thathe will be helping Strongbow out of a tough spot and getting Basilia in return.
As much as anything, Stanihurst’s treatment shows a change of sensibility to the natureof dealings between men of power and of the focal role played by rhetorical discourse inthe management of such relations. If there was a practical advantage in the humanist appropriation of classical language, it was surely the perception of the powerful of its superior ability to impress. Stanihurst’s remodelling of Giraldus shows that this lesson had been carried from the Italian chanceries to the outer limits of Europe by the end of the 16th century.
Continuity, then, or change, or Dauer im Wechsel? Clearly, the evidence I havepresented in different ways gives support to each view. Medieval Latin writings continued, for various reasons, to be read and utilised by Renaissance writers. The process by which medievalisms were expunged from Latin writing was a slow one andcould never really be considered complete inasmuch as classical words sometimes continued to bear beneath their surface intimations of the range of meaning they had acquired during the Middle Ages. But there was a very definite ideology of the return topurity, which was rendered more and more practicable as studies such as Valla’sElegantiae and Perotti’s Cornu Copiae became more widely known. Goethe’s phrase is perhaps a useful summation of the situation, though one must not overlook the fact thatthe longer the humanist project continued the more the continued importance of theLatin of the Middle Ages was a matter of necessity than of choice. Stanihurst may well have thought that by providing a classical Latin version of Giraldus Cambrensis, he was saving men of taste from ever having to pass their sophisticated eyes over that rough terrain any more.
1.Rainold Heidenstein, Cancellarius sive de dignitate et officio cancellarii regni Poloniae (ed. Kempfi, p. 22):
Latina lingua tamquam communis omnium gentium Christianorum publico quasi consensu recepta fere abomnibus est. Repertos tamen aliquando quosdam memini, qui sua etiam lingua ad reges nostros scriberent vicissimque agitatum ut nostra quoque sclavonica eis responderetur, ut cum illi dignitatis gravitatisque suae nimis retinentes viderentur, nos nostrae non omnino etiam neglegentes videremur. Sed maioris partis principum populorumque Christianorum, ut aliis in rebus, ita in hac quoque fortassis consensus spectandus Latinaque oratione utendum …
2.Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, De curialium miseriis 45 (ed. Wolkan):
Nullus est cui non sint infinite molestie, atque, ut breviter dicam, per multas tribulationes intrant justi ingloriam dei. Curiales vero cum multis cruciatibus acquirere sibi gehennam student. Nichil de clericis etreligiosis dixerim, qui cum Joseph pallium, cum Mattheo theloneum, cum Johanne sindonem et cum Samaritana cupiditatis idriam sunt jussi relinquere. "
Es gibt keinen, der nicht ohne Ende geplagt wird.Kurz gesagt, durch solches kommen die Gerechten in den Himmel. Die Höflinge streben aber unterviel Folter in die Hölle zu gelangen. Dass ich von den Geistlichen und Nonnen schweige, denenanbefohlen worden ist, ihre Mäntel bei Josephus, ihre Steuertische bei Matthäus, ihre Wäsche bei Johannes und die Hydria der Habgier bei dem Samariter zurückzulassen."
Petrus Blesensis, Epistulae XIV (Migne, PL 207, 43 und 44):
Per multas siquidem tribulationes intrant justi in regnum caelorum. (= Acts 14) Sic pallium cum Joseph,cum Mattheo telonium, sindonem cum Joanne, cupiditatis hydriam cum Samaritana relinquere etabjurare decrevi."
Die gerechten gelangen nach viel Mühe in den Himmel""Deswegen habe ich mich entschlossen, meinen Mantel bei Josephus, meinen Steuertisch bei Matthäus,meine Wäsche bei Johannes und die Hydria de Habgier beim Samariter zurückzulassen"
3. Petrus Blesensis, Epistulae XIV (Migne, PL 207, 48-9):
Ut caeteras taceam, molestias mareschallorum sustinere non possum. His siquidem blandissimi suntadulatores, detractores pessimi, improbissimi emunctores. Importunissimi sunt, donec accipiant: cumacceperint, sunt ingrati; et nisi manum suam donator continuet, inimici. Vidi plurimos, qui mareschallismanum porrexerant liberalem; qui, dum hospitium post longi fatigationem itineris cum plurimo laborequaesissent, cum adhuc essent eorum epulae semicrudae, aut cum jam forte sederent in mensa,quandoque etiam, cum jam dormirent in stratis, mareschalli supervenientes in superbia et abusione,abscissis equorum capistris, ejectisque foras sine delectu, et non sine jactura, sarcinulis, eos ab hospitiisturpiter expellebant, amissisque omnibus ad quietis nocturnae solatium comportatis, non habebantmiseri, divites tamen, ubi nocte illa capita reclinarent."
To say nothing of other problems, I cannot bear the hardships caused by the marshals. These men arethe most beguiling flatterers, the worst slanderers, and the most dishonest of cheats. They are mostimportunate until they get something. When they have got it, they are ungrateful. If the giver does notkeep putting his hand into his pocket continually, they are enemies. I have seen lots of people who havestretched out a generous hand to marshals. Yet when they had found a lodging with the utmost effortafter a long day's journey, when their dinner was still only half-cooked, or when they were perhaps already sitting at table, and sometimes even when they were already asleep on their beds, the marshalshave arrived in their arrogant and abusive fashion, torn the halters from their horses, thrown theirbaggae outside without distinction, and not without loss, and expelled them vilely from their lodgings.Having lost everything they had got together to pass a peaceful night, the unfortunate fellows, albeitrich, had nowhere to rest their heads that night.”
4. Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, De curialium miseriis 34-35 (ed. Wolkan):
Sed accipe alia, que inter hospitandum sunt tedia. Marescallus orandus est ac pretio conducendusrogandique servi ejus et alliciendi muneribus sunt, ut hospitium tibi tolerabile prebeant, quod etsipromiserint non tamen implebunt teque vel in remotissimis locis vel in fetidissimis ganeis collocabunt.Interdum et honestum locum quem dedit, ut deseras et alteri cedas, minis ac vi coget. Sed esse fortassetolerabile marescallis caput inflectere, quorum est officium non inhonestum, at sordidos homines sequiatque his supplicare et offerre pecuniam gravissimum est. nec tamen hoc potes effugere, nam et cocciset pistoribus et frumentariis et bladi vinique distributoribus humiliare te convenit et ipsorumbenivolentiam emere."
But listen to the other trials which attend lodging. You must beseech the marshal and give him a bribe,you must ask his servants and give them financial inducements to give you a tolerable lodging. And evenif they have given you a promise, they will not fulfil it and instead will put you in the most out of theway spot or in the foulest-smelling cook-shops. Sometimes you will even be compelled by threats orforce to leave the honourable lodging the marshal has allotted you. It may be honourable to bow thehead to marshals, whose position is an honourable one, but it is a most serious matter to follow lowmen and to supplicate them and offer them money. Nor can you get out of this, for you will find itexpedient to humiliate yourself before cooks, bakers, corn-sellers and the distributors of bread and wineand to buy their goodwill.”
5.William Horman, Vulgaria, London, 1519, f. 314r:
marescallus pro ethnarca vel prefecto "marshal [wasused] instead of the words ethnarch or prefect" (Richard Sharpe in Medieval Latin, ed. F.A.C. Mantelloand A.G. Rigg, Washington D.C 1996, pp.317-8).
6.Giraldus Cambrensis, Expugnacio Hibernica (ed. Scott and Martin), Bk. 2 ch.3:
Inspectis litteris istis, nobis in manu forti subvenire non differas, et desiderium tuum, in Basilia sororemea tibi legitime copulanda, in ipso statim adventu tuo proculdubio noveris adimplendum."
When you read this letter, waste no time in coming to my aid with a strong force, and be assured thatimmediately you arrive, your wish to take my sister Basilia as your lawful wife will be fulfilled withoutfail."
7.Richard Stanihurst De Rebus in Hibernia gestis (Antwerp 1584, pp.150-151):
RICHARDVS STRANGBOVS REIMVNDO GIRALDO, S. P. D.Si non animi tui magnitudini, mi Reimunde, plus tribuerem, quàm communi hominum conditionitribuendum censerem, communi etiam modo dolorem tuum consolandum iudicarem. Verùm cùm tua tevirtus, contra omnem mundanarum rerum impressionem, adeò, tectè armarit, vt dissipabilis naturæfragilitatem, si non æquo, saltem forti animo, tolerandam scias; non mihi assumendum putabam, vt susMineruam, id est, vt Strangbous Reimundum, lugendi modum facere, philosophorum, seu potiusChristianorum more, perdoceret. Ab his ergo abeo, quæ virtutis tuæ præconem, non debilitatisconsolatorem postulant: ad Hiberniam venio, quæ tuum aduentum summo desiderio exspectat, cuiusincolæ te absente facultatem bellandi arripiunt. Vereor, vt omnia nobis teterrimè cedant, nisi quàmprimùm te ad nos receperis, & præcipitanti reipub(licae) subueneris. A te igitur maximopere, miReimunde, etiam atque etiam peto & quæso, adflictis, & abiectis tuis necessariis, qui vehementer terequirunt, & perpetuum communium fortunarum propugnatorem agnoscunt, plures ac præsentes viresdare; & in primis Basiliam, sororem meam, atque vxorem, simul atque huc te conferes, tuam, quæ tuiprofectò desiderio oblanguet, teque, quantum virginalis verecundia patitur, mente ac complexu tenet, abhostium insidiis, & telis eripe. A denicalibus ad nuptias, ab inferiis ad hymenæum, à viscerationibus adgenitalem lectum confestim aduola: vt tristiculam tuus reditus recreat, cuius abscessus hactenus adflixit.Ad te scriberem verbosiorem epistolam, nisi tua prudentia contractiorem postularet. Vale, Basiliaeamorem ama, ad eam appropera.“
To Raymond Fitgerald, warmest greetings. Dear Raymond, If I did not hold your greatness of spirit in higher esteem than I would think ought to be conceded tothe common condition of mankind, I would consider that I ought to console you in your grief in the common fashion. But since your courage has armed you so completely against all the stress of theaffairs of this world that you know that the fragility of unstable nature must be borne, if not withequanimity, at least with fortitude, I did not think that it was my place to assume a role, like a sow teaching Minerva, that is that Strongbow should teach Raymond to put a limit to his grieving, in themanner of the philosophers, or rather the Christians. I leave these themes, therefore, which call for aherald of your courage, not a consoler of your weakness: I come to the topic of Ireland, which awaits your arrival with the greatest longing; whose inhabitants have, in your absence, seized the opportunityof going to war. I fear that everything may slip away from us in the most wretched fashion, if you donot return to us as soon as possible, and come to the aid of a state which is toppling into ruin. Greatlytherefore dear Raymond, over and over I beg and beseech you to grant your abundant and presentstrength to your afflicted and downcast friends, who acknowledge that you are the eternal champion ofour common fortunes. And above all, rescue from the snares and weapons of the enemy Basilia, mysister (and your wife, as soon as you get yourself over here). She is languishing utterly with desire foryou, and holds you in her mind and in her embrace (insofar as maidenly modesty permits). Fly quickly from funeral rites to marriage rites, from the dead to the wedding, from the funeral baked meats to themarriage bed: fly so that your return may restore that sad little thing, you whose absence has so afflictedher. I would write you a more wordy letter, if your ready grasp did not demand a shorter. Farewell. PS For love of your Basilia, hasten to her.” (tr. John Barry)
Burckhardt, Jakob, Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien: ein Versuch, Basel, 1860
Ijsewijn, Jozef, Companion to Neo-Latin Studies, Part I: History and Diffusion of the Neo-Latin Literature, Leuven, 1990;Part II: Literary, Linguistic and Editorial Questions, Leuven, 1998 (= Humanistica Lovaniensia, Suppl. V and XIV)
Jensen, Minne Skafte, A History of Nordic Neo-Latin Literature, Odense, 1995
Uhlig, C, Die Hofkritik im England des Mittelalters und der Renaissance, Berlin, 1973
Widmer, Berthe, "Zur Arbeitsmethode Enea Silvios im Traktat über das Elend der Hofleute", Latomus 158(1978), 183-206
Woodward, W. H., Studies in Education during the Age of the Renaissance, Cambridge, 1906
Renaissance Ireland - Problems and Perspectives
RENAISSANCE IRELAND – SOME PROBLEMS AND PERSPECTIVES
[First published in Thomas M. Barr, ed., Italian Influences and Irish Outcasts: Essays on Torquato Tasso and Aspects of the Renaissance in Ireland, Europe and Beyond (Coleraine, 2009), 102-118]
A foreign scholar visiting Ireland at the end of the seventeenth century would have had little trouble recognizing amid the idiosyncrasies of the country an intellectual culture that shared much in common with the rest of Europe. The Irish had a university which both owned a printing press that had begun to produce works in Greek for local consumption and shared intellectual space with several other gentlemanly institutions that promoted the new experimental learning of the scientific revolution. There was also a thriving urban culture throughout the island, out of which had sprung schools that imbued young townsmen with the culture of antiquity. In rural areas the church, albeit illegally, provided a cognate education for privileged Catholics, some of whom could then continue their studies in the numerous Irish colleges overseas. In other words, Ireland seemed to have enjoyed a renaissance of classical learning and culture akin to that which had occurred in mainland Europe.
Yet, attempts to locate or describe the influence of the renaissance within Ireland have thus far been rather unsatisfactory, providing grist to the mill of those who see any hint of a renaissance in Ireland as derivative, adventitious, and a debasement of the richness of Gaelic culture. Thus Daniel Corkery:
Sé rud a deirim-se ná gurbé an buadh is mó atá againn féin ná dúthchas cruinn a bheith againn sa Ghaedhilg, go bhfuilimíd, toisg é sin a bheith amhlaidh chun tosaigh ar gach tír gur chur cló an Renaissance isteach uirthi; go bhfuilimíd, sa méid sin, níos comhgaraí ná iad don tSean-Ghréig. 
I affirm that our greatest asset is that we have a definite national culture in Gaelic, that we are consequently superior to every country that the Renaissance interfered with, that we are, in fact, much closer than they to ancient Greece.
To date, discussions of the renaissance in Ireland have treated four areas: first, the output of Irish authors in Latin during the late sixteenth and, largely, the seventeenth centuries; second, the activities of Gaelic lords in the early sixteenth century; third, the influence of renaissance literature and thought upon Irish language literature; and, fourth, the English language literature and political culture of sixteenth and early seventeenth century Ireland. Each of these areas raises conceptual difficulties with regard to the use of the term ‘renaissance’, but it seems to me that there is little point in debating semantics. Historians have employed the term in order to emphasize the relevence to Irish history of wider European developments, an emphasis which is, I think, nothing but salutary. Yet we must be careful not to be tripped up by our own short-hand. Ireland did not experience a deep-rooted cultural renaissance like that in Italy, France, the Low Countries, or even England, and it is questionable to what extent the term ‘renaissance’ can be employed as an analytic category to explicate the actions of Irish princes, politicans, writers and scholars.
The problem is, essentially, to acquire information about expressions of 'civility' in early modern Ireland. For example, the study of art, architecture, clothing, and models of behaviour would provide an important 'grass-roots' perspective on the lived environment, which could then be measured against developments elsewhere. Likewise, a detailed study of the educational institutions within the island could helpfully provide data for comparative analysis. For the present, I will confine myself to examining language, particularly Irish use of Latin in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, since the reform of Latin literature and language teaching was the defining feature of humanism, one of the central components of the renaissance.
The Irish only began to participate in Neo-Latin culture in large numbers during the middle deades of the seventeenth century, by which time the renaissance was quickly becoming a thing of the past throughout most of mainland Europe. The reformation had emptied much of the optimism out of humanism, while erudition had moved beyond ancient texts to embrace a world broader and more technologically advanced than that of antiquity. Although the classical frame of reference survived, mastery of it was increasingly now considered a precondition to serious study rather than an end in itself. Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, debate raged over whether the texts of antiquity should be allowed to retain their position as the foundation of a good education. Once modern science had demonstrably supplanted the authority of ancient scientific texts, the focus of this debate shifted to the role of literary studies in the education of a gentleman, and to the relative importance of literature and science. In the light of this, it is evident that the majority of Irish Latin publications appeared at the time of the late transformation of the renaissance in mainland Europe. One might debate whether the period may best described as 'baroque', 'confessional', 'absolutist', or simply 'early modern', but the relevant point is that the Irish, if they joined the renaissance at all, partook of a fundamentally different cultural movement than their earlier European forebears.
The attempt to identify an earlier Latin-language renaissance in Ireland is bedevilled by the limited number of available sources for the sixteenth century, particularly if we set aside the writings of English officials who were only temporarily resident in the island. A few striking observations may, however, be made. There was no efflorescence of Irish literature written in Latin, and the few exceptions prove the rule: that is to say, Richard Stanihurst’s Harmonia (1570) and De rebus in Hibernia gestis (1584), and Dermot O’Meara’s Ormonius (1615), are all the more remarkable for being isolated examples. While the scholars of Trinity College, Dublin, did produce orations and occasional verse of very high quality, their works are relatively few in number and of mixed literary character (about which, more will be said later). The same can be said for the literary output of the continental Irish colleges, with the exception of the writings of Bonaventure Baron, which are unique in terms of their quality and intellectual sophistication. This is not to dismiss the Latin output of Irish authors in the seventeenth century, which is of very high value for the history of Ireland’s intellectual culture, it is rather to question how best to situate this output within broader European contexts and trends.
The majority of the Latin writings of Irish authors was scholastic in origin, conception, and expression; much of this is of very high quality indeed, but it is done a disservice when it is shoe-horned into the category of ‘renaissance’ thought. This is also true of the new scientific writings of authors such as Robert Boyle and his associates. Irish historical scholarship presents a rather different picture. One can, for example, understand the historico-political writings of Philip O’Sullivan Beare or David Rothe as belonging to a tradition of rhetorical Latinity that is directly descended from earlier renaissance models. One might also include in this the works of Peter Lombard, James Ussher, Luke Wadding, Stephen White and John Lynch, though in these cases it is well to note the diminished concern with (indeed suspicion of) literary or rhetorical devices. It seems to me that most Irish authors in the seventeenth century sought to write good Latin, but eschewed the cultivation of a well-wrought literary style, favouring gravitas more than eloquentia. A concern with conscious imitation of the ancients, whether in terms of style or content, is lacking from much Irish Latin of the seventeenth century, whereas there is far greater concern to emulate and impress prominent contemporaries. For many Irishmen educated or employed in the continental Irish colleges, Latin was, above all, a technical tool, as indicated, for example, by Antony Bruodin, who apologized for publishing inelegant Latin on the grounds that he had spent too many years teaching scholastic theology. For such authors, elegantia and latinitas were the preserve of gentlemanly érudits rather than of theological or historical scholars.
The practical and quotidian use of Latin within Ireland is harder to assess because so little reliable evidence survives. There are, of course, well known stories of Irish peasants speaking Latin to survivors of the Armada, and there are several accounts of practical communication using Latin, whether at a diplomatic level or in a religious context. Already in the late sixteenth century, Richard Stanihurst and John Derricke satirized the Irish claim to widespread fluency in Latin among the Gaelic Irish. From an international (and perhaps less biased) perspective, Erasmus seemed to dismiss Irish knowledge of Latin, and, much later, Guy Patin noted his difficulty in understanding Irish pronunciation, claiming that even the great scholar Scaliger had believed that an Irishman who addressed him in Latin was actually speaking Irish.
Turning to manuscript sources, one can identify two different types of use of Latin within Ireland: that which was employed in legal documentation or record keeping, and that which was intended to impress a patron or foe. In the former case, it is not surprising to discover that administrative Latin was formulaic and therefore, even by the mid-seventeenth century, not strongly influenced by humanist linguistic reforms, whether in diction, idiom, or grammar. In the latter case, it is clear that by the last quarter of the sixteenth century Irish lords and prelates were able to avail of humanist-trained secretaries who could represent them adequately in letters to Rome. Before that, the picture is less well defined and requires further research using documents that are not always amenable to the relevant kinds of analysis. It is, however, worth remarking on the limited extent to which Latin penetrated the officialdom of Ireland; the vernacular is much more common in surviving documents. When we consider manuscript writings of literary character, this is overwhelmingly the case.
If it be true that renaissance Latinity had such limited impact within Ireland, an explanation is required. A prevailing assumption of historiography has been that early modern Ireland was immune to, or beyond the reach of, the European renaissance, and that the transformation of Irish culture coincided with the destruction of the Gaelic world and the forced introduction of English 'civility'. According to this model, New English humanists entered the country in the 1540s, bringing with them an administrative reform programme and a certain cultural caché that was then passed on to the Old English. Although the reform programme itself failed, humanism set down roots within the Pale; the Gaelic world was a gloomy shadow of ignorance at the edge of this picture. At best, therefore, the Irish renaissance could be seen as the alluvial deposit left by an influx of English humanists.
Brendan Bradshaw, having insightfully analysed the rise and fall of the reform programme in the 1540s, was the first to puncture what he called the 'legenda negra' of Gaelic Ireland. In a ground-breaking article, he argued that Maghnus Ó Domhnaill displayed all the characterisitics of a renaissance prince, not only acting as a sponsor of the arts and learning, but also composing his own literary works. Likewise, his career and personality could best be interpreted through comparison with his peers in Italy and the rest of continental Europe; indeed, he might fruitfully be examined with an eye to Machiavelli's The Prince, Erasmus's Education of a Christian Prince, or Castiglione's The Courtier. Bradshaw concluded that the Gaelic world was not backward-looking but was much more inter-connected with Europe than had previously been supposed.
Several scholars have followed Bradshaw's lead in examining princely representatives of renaissance culture in Ireland, most notably Vincent Carey in his study of the 'wizard earl' of Kildare. To an extent, this parallels the characterization of Hugh O'Neill in the flawed masterpiece of Sean Ó Faolaoin, The Great O'Neill; indeed, Hiram Morgan has done much to situate O'Neill in a renaissance context as a prince who appropriated the ideology of fides et patria. The difficulty for the authors of these studies is to show that the actions of Irish lords were in some way characteristic of the renaissance. For example, Manus O'Donnell's political endeavours and contributions to learning could as well be described in terms of Gaelic society as in relation to the ideas of Machiavelli, Erasmus, and Castiglione; indeed, it is only at the most general level that any similarity could be seen between his career and the differing, largely contradictory, writings of these three men. Patronage of the arts and cynical politicking are found in every age; it is the terms in which they are discussed that vary. A more compelling instance of renaissance Gaeldom has been identified by Hiram Morgan, who has detailed Hugh O'Neill's use of the ideology of fides et patria. Yet, notwithstanding his ability to employ renaissance themes in propaganda designed for the benefit of a foreign audience, O'Neill cuts a rather more traditional Gaelic figure within Ireland itself. His bivalent cultural habitus suggests, if anything, the limited currency of renaissance civility within Gaelic Ulster where he seems to have felt the need to exchange magnificentia for ríoghdhacht or flaitheamhlacht. In conclusion, the princely activities of Irish lords may well parallel those of their renaissance peers, but we need the insight of many more detailed studies before we can conclude that there is a direct relationship between them.
One would, indeed, have expected Irish lords, both Gaelic and Old English, faced with intimidation and demeaning slurs from their New English rivals, to have sought to convince English and European contemporaries of their grandeur and civility by a display of renaissance magnificence. The Butlers and Fitzgeralds perhaps began to operate in this fashion, particularly through patronage of humanist education and scholarship in order to advance their own prestige. It is not clear whether they initiated this development or whether they merely responded to the advances of townsmen who sought patronage for their new cultural enterprises. One would like more information about civic humanism in Ireland and its relationship to educational initiatives such as the creation of grammar schools and the project to establish an Irish university. It is in such circumstances, among the Old English in particular, that one can perceive a form of intellectual culture that is unambiguously renaissance in character.
To date, the most thorough study of the incipient renaissance in Ireland is Diarmuid Ó Catháin's recent article on European influences within the island. After a detailed survey of printing, patronage, and other traces of renaissance influence, Ó Catháin concludes with an appeal for 'a more differentiated and interesting evaluation' of Irish-European interaction in the future, towards which end he has himself greatly contributed. In conjunction with the studies mentioned above, this work has provided much food for thought and stimulation towards further research, yet one cannot help but be struck by the lean pickings that such diligent labours have produced. Not only was there no great efflorescence of renaissance court culture in Ireland, but also, as we have seen, the 'reflexes' of the renaissance in sixteenth century Ireland resulted in no great outpouring of renaissance Latin literature. The question is, therefore, if the renaissance managed to set down many roots, why did it not flourish in Ireland?
No comprehensive response to this question can be offered at this stage, but several suggestions may provide a stimulus to further research. The fragmentation of Irish clientage systems from the 1530s onwards might b expected to have provided an opportunity for lords to establish precedence through munificent patronage, yet it seems as though the opposite was the case. The lack of political leadership corresponded to a lack of cultural leadership. Ironically, the developing ascendancy of the New English in the middle decades of the sixteenth century, although it was bolstered by educated gentlemen with humanist agenda, may have thwarted the growth of a domestic renaissance culture in Ireland. Although the New English brought with them both humanist Latinity and renaissance concerns about civility, the latter subsumed the former in a desire to promote Englishness, and this had a knock-on effect upon the Old English. While the newly promulgated reformation empowered an elite group of Old English gentry, enriched by the dissolution of the monasteries, to patronize learning and civililty by the creation of Latin grammar schools, the initiative quickly passed to English language schools. Even a leading humanist patron like Henry Sidney was prompted to establish schools that had as their primary focus an emphasis upon inculcating the English language among the native Irish, irrespective of whether we assume that Latin was also to be taught in these schools. The New English brought with them a vernacular renaissance that had become firmly established in Ireland by the early years of the seventeenth century, but in so far as the Old English subscribed to this cultural model, they stepped away from the roots of Latin humanism that had begun to grow in the third quarter of the sixteenth century.
One wonders whether the goal of promoting the English language in the new schools was not, in fact, a cover for what may have been of far greater concern to the Old English: establishing good quality Latin grammar schools to fill the educational vacuum created by the dissolution of the monasteries. The current state of evidence does not permit us to judge, but it is noteworthy that Latin does not seem to have been seen as the best medium for inculcating civility in Ireland. This will require some explication in future research that hones in upon New English models of civility and the peculiarities of the Irish situation. For example, it cannot have helped the cause of humanist Latinity in Ireland that the first Old English Ciceronian, Richard Stanihurst, was an associate of the Jesuit missionary and martyr Edmund Campion. Indeed, with the hindsight of a religious exile, he described the Latin school of Peter White as a 'Trojan horse' out of which poured learned, Latinate scholars – though he does not explicitly say so, the individuals he mentions were all prominent recusants. If Stanihurst's example produced suspicion of a link between Catholic Latinity and clericalism, we have very little evidence of it. Nevertheless, by the end of the sixteenth century, if the Old English wanted to impress the English with their loyalty, value, and Englishness, they wrote in English.
The decapitation of Irish patronage networks by religious schism and political disenfranchisement at the hands of the New English is most clearly seen in the large-scale exodus of Old English gentry from the 1580s onwards. The most promising graduates of the new grammar schools were sent abroad for an education that redirected any literary impulses they may have had towards scholastic or confessional goals. Romanitas subsumed latinitas. Back home, political and military instability undermined, though it did not demolish, the remnants of civic humanism. Only in Dublin, however, in the environs of Trinity College, was there a sustained effort to develop a Latinate milieu that engaged with the literary culture of the ancients. The eager acquisition of an impressive library created a physical representation of civility and universal learning. Yet the confessional preoccupations of the young university, its Calvinism, and the prevalence of English language publication, did little to encourage the kind of literary endeavours that we might comfortably identify as signs of the renaissance.
Finally, without pandering to Corkery's notion of a pristine, backward-looking Gaelic world, one can readily assent to an argument that the strength and vitality of the bardic tradition at the courts of Gaelic lords diminished the incentive to embrace the foreign model of renaissance. On the continent, the cultural aspirations of the mercantile classes provided a launch-pad for the humanist assault upon the lively and, till then, thriving culture of university scholasticism. The bards faced no such challenge. Nor did the collapse of the Gaelic order provide much opportunity for the renaissance to find a foothold. The Tridentine Catholicism of the missionaries, even the Jesuits, introduced rudimentary catechetics rather than studia humanitatis. Civility meant, first and foremost, orthodoxy, and hence, for at least a century, the task of rebuilding and maintaining the Church 'under the Cross' was a higher priority than the provision of a secular education.
More research is required to confirm these suggestions as to the timing and character of the introduction of international educational norms and standards in Ireland. Yet it seems to me that the process was a piecemeal one, differing by region and religion. If we use the term 'renaissance' indiscriminately to mean everything new in the period from 1500 to 1700, then we could claim that there was, indeed, a dramatic Irish renaissance, since Ireland in these centuries witnessed the tumultuous overthrow of domestic government and its idiosyncratic cultural tradition. Yet this would be mere tautology. By contrast, if we wish to specify rather more precisely the nature of the links between Ireland and the continental renaissance in classical learning and models of civility, then we are faced with a more complex picture. Though the Irish did begin to embrace elements of the new trends in the sixteenth century, circumstances overtook them, and the powerful imperative of English political and cultural imperialism elbowed aside a wider, continental model of civility. Thus the model of renaissance that eventually succeeded in Ireland was an English literary renaissance, largely the product of New English settlers in the island, and complicit in the disenfranchisement of the domestic product. One should not, therefore, downplay the importance and the achievements of English renaissance writing in Ireland or see it in some kind of cultural isolation from the other language cultures in the island. On the contrary, it needs to be understood through its interrelation with the rising and falling fortunes of the island's Latin and Irish linguistic cultures. If progress is made in this respect, then we will be better placed to judge to what extent and in what ways the word 'renaissance' is relevent to discussion of early modern Ireland.
 Domhnall Ó Corcora, "Na hEorpaigh Seo Againne", Humanitas, I (Meitheamh, 1930), 1.
 Translation given by Mícheál Mac Craith, ‘Ireland and the Renaissance’ in The Celts and the Renaissance: Tradition and Innovation, edited by Glanmor Williams and Robert Owen Jones (Cardiff, 1990), 58.
 F.X. Martin, ‘Ireland, the Renaissance and the Counter-Reformation’, Topic 13 (1967), 23-33; John J. Silke, ‘ Irish Scholarship and the Renaissance, 1580-1673‘, Studies in the Renaissance 20 (1973), 169-206; Benignus Millet, ‘Irish Literature in Latin, 1550-1700’ in A New History of Ireland, Vol. III, edited by T.W. Moody, F.X. Martin and F.J. Byrne, (Oxford, 1976), pp., 561-586; Hiram Morgan, ‘The island defenders: humanist patriots in early modern Iceland and Ireland’ in G. Halfdánarson & A.K. Isaacs, eds, Nations and Nationalities in Historical Perspective (Pisa, 2002), pp.223-243; and Keith Sidwell, 'A theological literature? The shape of Irish Neo-Latin writing' in Gerhard Petersmann and Veronika Oberparleiter, eds, The Role of Latin in Early Modern Europe: Texts and Contexts. Grazer Beiträge, Supplementband IX (Horn/Wien, 2005), pp 154-160. In recent years, many individual studies of Latin texts have appeared, though these have rarely addressed the notion of ‘renaissance’. Further treatment is forthcoming in Jason Harris & Keith Sidwell, eds, Making Ireland Roman (Cork University Press, 2008), and critical editions of several texts are in preparation at the Centre for Neo-Latin Studies in University College Cork as part of a new series, Officina Neolatina, which has been undertaken in collaboration with Brepols Publishers Ltd.
 For example, see R. D. Edwards, ‘Ireland, Elizabeth I and the Counter-Reformation’ in S. T. Bindoff et al., eds, Elizabethan Government and Society (London, 1961), pp 321-3; Brendan Bradshaw, ‘Manus ”The Magnificent” O’Donnell as Renaissance Prince’ in Studies in Irish History presented to R. Dudley Edwards, edited by Art Cosgrove and Donal McCartney (Dublin, 1979), 15-36; Vincent P. Carey, Surviving the Tudors, (Dublin and Portland, Oregon, 2002); Hiram Morgan, ‘Faith and fatherland or Queen and Country? An unpublished exchange between O’Neill and the State at the height of the Nine Years War’, Dúiche Néill: Journal of the O¹Neill country historical society, 1994.
 Mícheál Mac Craith, ‘Ireland and the Renaissance’ in The Celts and the Renaissance: Tradition and Innovation edited by Glanmor Williams and Robert Owen Jones, (Cardiff, 1990), 57-90; idem, Literature in Irish, c.1550-1690: from the Elizabethan settlement to the Battle of the Boyne' in Margaret Kelleher and Philip O'Leary, eds, The Cambridge History of Irish Literature, 2 vols (cambridge, 2006), vol. 1, pp 191-231; Michelle O Riordan, Irish Bardic Poetry and Rhetorical Reality (Dublin, 2007).
 Among many studies, see Brendan Bradshaw, Andrew Hadfield and Willy Maley, eds, Representing Ireland: literature and the origins of the conflict, 1534-1660, (Cambridge, 1993); Patricia Palmer, Language and Conquest in Early Modern Ireland: English Renaissance Literature and Elizabethan Imperial Expansion (Cambridge, 2001); Clare Carroll, Circe's Cup: Cultural Transformations in Early Modern Writing about Ireland (Cork, 2001); Anne Fogarty, 'Literature in English, 1550-1690: from the Elizabethan settlement to the Battle of the Boyne' in Margaret Kelleher and Philip O'Leary, eds, The Cambridge History of Irish Literature, 2 vols (cambridge, 2006), vol. 1, pp 140-190; and Thomas Herron and Michael Potterton, eds, Ireland in the Renaissance c.1540-1660 (Dublin, 2007).
 See Thomas Herron's discussion of a 'fragmented renaissance', which raises some of these issues without, it seems to me, resolving them: Thomas Herron, 'Introduction: A fragmented Renaissance' in Herron and Potterton, eds, Ireland in the Renaissance, pp 19-39. A detailed account of early renaissance influences in Ireland can be found in Diarmuid Ó Catháin, 'Some reflexes of Latin learning and of the Renaissance in Ireland c.1450-c.1600' forthcoming in Jason Harris & Keith Sidwell, eds, Making Ireland Roman (Cork University Press, 2008). For a brief overview, see Hiram Morgan, 'Renaissance' in S. J. Connolly, ed., The Oxford Companion to Irish History (Oxford, 1998), pp 480-1.
 On architecture, domestic design, and monuments, see, amongst others, H. G. Leask, 'Early seventeenth-century houses in Ireland' in E. M. Jope, ed., Studies in Building History: Essays in recognition of the work of B.H.StJ. O'Neil (London, 1961), pp 243-274; David Newman Johnson, 'Lynch's Castle, ,Galway City: a reassessment' in Conleth Manning, ed., Dublin and Beyond the Pale: studies in honour of Patrick Healy (Bray, 1998), pp 221-251; Jane Fenlon, Ormond Castle (Dublin, 1996); Clodagh Tait, Death, Burial and Commemoration in Ireland, 1550-1650 (Basingstoke, 2002); Hanneke Ronnes, Architecture and Élite Culture in the United Provinces, England and Ireland, 1500-1700 (Amsterdam, 2006); and the articles by Bradley, Cockerham, Lyttleton, Ronnes and O'Keefe in Herron and Potterton, eds, Ireland in the Renaissance, pp 173-288.
 On education in early-modern Ireland, see T. Corcoran, Education Systems in Ireland from the Close of the Middle Ages (Dept. Of Education, U.C.D., 1928); William B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (Dublin and New Jersey, 1976); Helga Robinson-Hammerstein, 'Aspects of the continental education of Irish students in the reign of Queen Elizabeth', Historical Studies 8 (1971), pp 137-154; Colm Lennon, 'Education and religious identity in early modern Ireland' in John Coolahan, Richard Aldrich and Frank Simon, eds., Faiths and Education: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (Ghent, 1999), pp 57-76; and idem, 'Pedagogy and reform: the influence of Peter White on Irish scholarship in the Renaissance' in Herron and Potterton, eds, Ireland in the Renaissance, pp 43-51.
 For an excellent study of the failure of optimism among Irish Protestants, see Alan Ford, The Protestant Reformation in Ireland, 1590-1641 (Frankfurt, 1985; Dublin, 1997).
 Attempts to characterize this period in a coherent way have resulted in much debate and little consensus. For an indication of how the debate has developed, see T. S. Aston, ed., Crisis in Europe 1560-1660 (London, 1965); Erich Conchrane, ed., The Late Italian Renaissance, 1525-1630 (New York, 1970); Theodore K. Rabb, The Struggle for Stability in Early Modern Europe (Oxford, 1975); Geoffrey Parker and Lesley Smith, eds, The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century (London, 1978); Anthony Grafton and Lisa Jardine, From Humanism to the Humanities (Cambridge, Mass., 1986); Rosario Villari, ed., Baroque Personae, trans. Lydia G. Cochrane (Chicago, 1995); William Bouwsma, The Waning of the Renaissance, 1550-1640 (Yale, 2000); Theodore K. Rabb, The Last Days of the Renaissance: and the March to Modernity (New York, 2006).
 For discussion of Stanihurst's style, see John Barry, 'Richard Stanihurst's De Rebus in HIbernia Gestis', Renaissance Studies 18/1 (March 2004), pp 1-18; Dermot O'Meara's Ormonius is discussed in Keith Sidwell, 'Latin Epic in Ireland: O'Meara's Ormonius 10.45-11.30' in Veronika Oberparleiter, Ingrid Hohenwallner and Ruth Kritzer, eds, Zeitschrift für die Klassiche Altertumswissenschaft. Grazer Beiträge Supplementband XI (Horn/Wien, 2007); and David Edwards and Keith Sidwell, '"The Tipperary Hero": Dermot O’Meara’s Ormonius (1615)' forthcoming in Jason Harris & Keith Sidwell, eds, Making Ireland Roman (Cork University Press, 2008).
 For details of these texts see the website of the Centre for Neo-Latin Studies in UCC, Cork. A more complete treatment is currently in preparation: 'A Finding List of Irish Neo-Latin Authors', forthcoming in Jason Harris and Keith Sidwell, eds, Cambridge Handbook of Irish Neo-Latin, which will appear in 2009. Bonaventure Baron is briefly discussed in Benignus Millet, ‘Irish Literature in Latin, 1550-1700’ in A New History of Ireland, Vol. III, edited by T.W. Moody, F.X. Martin and F.J. Byrne, (Oxford, 1976), pp., 561-586.
 The studies of Robert Boyle that are most pertinent in this context are Steven Shapin, A Social History of Truth. Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England (Chicago, 1994); Michael Hunter, ed. Robert Boyle Reconsidered (Cambride, 1994); Lawrence Principe, The Aspiring Adept: Robert Boyle and his Alchemical Quest (Princeton, 2000).
 See, for example, Bernadette Cunningham, 'The culture and ideology of the Franciscan historians at Louvain 1607-1650' in Ciaran Brady, ed., Ideology and the Historians (Belfast, 1991), pp 11-30; and idem, The World of Geoffrey Keating: History, Myth and Religion in Seventeenth-Century Ireland (Dublin, 2000).
 There are very few studies of the Latinity of these authors, but see David Caulfield, ''Don Philip Strikes Back'in G. Petersmann and V. Oberparleiter, eds, The Role of Latin in Early Modern Europe: texts and contexts II (Salzburg, 2006), pp. 65-81; and Jason Harris, 'A Case Study in Rhetorical Composition: Stephen White's Apologia pro Innocentibus Ibernis' in Jason Harris & Keith Sidwell, eds, Making Ireland Roman (Cork University Press, 2008).
 On the Bruodin-Carue debate, see Thomas Wall, 'Bards and Bruodins' in Cathaldus Giblin, et al., eds, Father Luke Wadding: Commemorative Volume (Dublin, 1957), pp 438-462; Kevin McGrath, 'The Bruodins in Bohemia', Irish Ecclesiastical Record, lxxvii (1952), pp 333-343; and Helga Robinson-Hammerstein, ed., Migrating Scholars: Lines of Contact Between Ireland and Bohemia (Dublin, 1998).
 Allusions to these can be found in William B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (Dublin and New Jersey, 1976), passim.
 See John Barry, 'Richard Stanihurst's De Rebus in HIbernia Gestis', Renaissance Studies 18/1 (March 2004), pp 1-18; and idem, 'Derricke and Stanihurst: a dialogue' in Jason Harris & Keith Sidwell, eds, Making Ireland Roman (Cork University Press, 2008).
 Erasmus, Paracelsis to Novum Testamentum (Basle, 1516); Guy Patin, cited in Françoise Waquet, Latin: Or the Empire of a Sign (London, 2001), pp 160-1.
 See, for example, F.X. Martin, ‘Ireland, the Renaissance and the Counter-Reformation’, Topic 13 (1967), 23-33. Although he disagrees with Martin's lack of appreciation of renaissance trends among the Gaelic Irish and Old English, Brendan Bradshaw has provided the best account of the humanist component within the Irish reform movement in The Irish Constitutional Revolution of the Sixteenth Century (Cambridge, 1979).
 For a survey of historiography of the renaissance in Ireland, see Mícheál Mac Craith, ‘Ireland and the Renaissance’ in The Celts and the Renaissance: Tradition and Innovation edited by Glanmor Williams and Robert Owen Jones, (Cardiff, 1990), 57-90; and Thomas Herron, 'Introduction: A fragmented Renaissance' in Herron and Potterton, eds, Ireland in the Renaissance, pp 19-39.
 Brendan Bradshaw, ‘Manus ”The Magnificent” O’Donnell as Renaissance Prince’ in Studies in Irish History presented to R. Dudley Edwards, edited by Art Cosgrove and Donal McCartney (Dublin, 1979), 15-36.
 Vincent P. Carey, Surviving the Tudors, (Dublin and Portland, Oregon, 2002).
 Hiram Morgan, ‘Faith and fatherland or Queen and Country? An unpublished exchange between O’Neill and the State at the height of the Nine Years War’, Dúiche Néill: Journal of the O¹Neill country historical society, 1994.
 The O'Donnell family, for example, patronized large-scale literary endeavours in the early seventeenth century, but these appear to be, in many respects, parallel to the great preservation projects of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, embodying a response to political catastrophe rather than the development of a new renaissance ethos.
 Cf William B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (Dublin and New Jersey, 1976), p ix.
 On the Butlers, see Jane Fenlon, Ormond Castle (Dublin, 1996); and David Edwards, The Ormond Lordship in County Kilkenny, 1515-1642 (Dublin, 2003).
 For Old English humanism, the works of Colm Lennon are most instructive; see, for example: Richard Stanihurst the Dubliner, 1547-1618 (Dublin, 1981), and The Lords of Dublin in the Age of Reformation (Dublin, 1989); note also the articles of Lennon, McGowan-Doyle, Bradley, and Cockerham in Herron and Michael Potterton, eds, Ireland in the Renaissance c.1540-1660 (Dublin, 2007).
 Diarmuid Ó Catháin, 'Some reflexes of Latin learning and of the Renaissance in Ireland c.1450-c.1600' forthcoming in Jason Harris & Keith Sidwell, eds, Making Ireland Roman (Cork University Press, 2008).
 For discussion of the schools, see T. Corcoran, Education Systems in Ireland from the Close of the Middle Ages (Dept. Of Education, U.C.D., 1928), and Colm Lennon, 'Education and religious identity in early modern Ireland' in John Coolahan, Richard Aldrich and Frank Simon, eds., Faiths and Education: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (Ghent, 1999), pp 57-76.
 On the cultural programme to introduce English in Ireland, see Patricia Palmer, Language and Conquest in Early Modern Ireland: English Renaissance Literature and Elizabethan Imperial Expansion (Cambridge, 2001).
 Brendan Bradshaw, The Dissolution of the Religious Orders in Ireland under Henry VIII (Cambridge, 1974).
 For discussion of Peter White's school, see Colm Lennon, 'Pedagogy and reform: the influence of Peter White on Irish scholarship in the Renaissance' in Herron and Potterton, eds, Ireland in the Renaissance, pp 43-51.
 See, in particular, the articles by Elizabethanne Boran in Helga Robinson-Hammerstein, ed., European Universities in the Age of Reformation and Counter Reformation (Dublin, 1998).