Page:English Law and the Renaissance.djvu/23

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11
and the Renaissance

and a part characteristic of that liberal and rational university of which he was professor, public orator and vice-chancellor18.

Some German historians, as you are aware, have tried to find or to fashion links that will in some direct and obvious manner connect the Reformation and the Reception. In one popular version of the tale protestantism finds a congenial ally in the individualism and capitalism of the pagan Digest19. In truth I take it that the story is complex. Many currents and cross-currents were flowing in that turbid age. It so happens that in this country we can connect with the heresiarchal name of Wyclif a proposal for the introduction of English law, as a substitute for Roman law, into the schools of Oxford and Cambridge20. On the other hand, the desire for a practical Reception of the civil law is ascribed to the future cardinal, who in his last days reconciled England for a moment, not with the Rome of the Digest, but with the Rome of the Decretals. And by the way we may notice