Page:English Law and the Renaissance.djvu/18

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6
English Law

accomplished jurists, the Italian Andrea Alciato and the German Ulrich Zäsi. They and the French scholar Guillaume Bude were publishing books which mark the beginning of a new era6. Humanism was renovating Roman law. The medieval commentators, the Balduses and Bartoluses, the people whom Hutten and Rabelais7 could deride, were in like case with Peter Lombard, Duns Scotus and other men of the night. Back to the texts! was the cry, and let the light of literature and history play upon them8. The great Frenchmen who were to do the main part of the work and to make the school of Bourges illustrious were still young or unborn; Cujas was born in 1522; but already the advanced guard was on the march and the flourish of trumpets might be heard9. And then in 1520—well, we know what happened in 1520 at Wittenberg, but perhaps we do not often remember that when the German friar ceremoniously and contumeliously committed to the flames some venerated lawbooks—this,