Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/610

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(1497-1560), though his services to humanism in earlier life are now less prominently associated with his memory than the part which he afterwards bore in the theological controversies of his age. It was from Reuchlin that the precocious boy, Philip Schwartzerd, received the Greek name, a version of his patronymic, under which he was to become famous. After taking his doctor's degree at Tübingen in 1514, Melanchthon won notice by expositions of Virgil and Terence, which led Erasmus to hail him as a rising star of learning. He was only twenty-one when, in 1518, the Elector of Saxony, moved by Reuchlin, appointed him to the chair of Greek in the University of Wittenberg. It was characteristic of the man and of the period that he began with two concurrent sets of lectures, one upon the Epistle to Titus, and the other upon Homer; observing, in reference to the latter, that, like Solomon, he sought "Tyrian brass and gems" for the adornment of God's temple. Luther, his senior by fourteen years, derived from him a new impulse to the study of Greek. Melanchthon did very important work towards establishing or improving humanistic education in the schools of Germany. In his Discourse on Reforming the Studies of Youth, a work imbued with the genuine spirit of the Renaissance, he advocated a liberal discipline of classical literature as the soundest basis of school-training, in opposition to the methods of instruction favoured by the older scholastic system. Many of the aids to classical study which Melanchthon produced (chiefly at Wittenberg) were popular school-books in their day. Among these were his Institutiones Linguae Graecae (1518); his Grammqtica Latino. (1525); Latin versions from Greek classics; and comments on various Greek and Latin authors. After Melanchthon may justly be named his friend and biographer Camerarius (Joachim Kammermeister, 1500-74), a prolific contributor to scholarly literature, whose edition of Plautus (1552) was the first that placed the text on a sound basis.

Thus, in the course of the sixteenth century, the new studies gradually conquered a secure position in Germany. Broad and solid foundations were laid for the classical learning which Germans of a later age were to build up. But, while there was this progress in humane letters, the Teutonic movement showed nothing analogous to the Italian feeling for the aesthetic charm of ancient culture and existence. The German mind, earnest, and intellectually practical, had not the Italian's delight in beauty of literary style and form, still less his instinctive sympathy with the pagan spirit. Germany drew fresh mental vigour and freedom from the Classical Revival, without adopting the Italian ideal of self-culture, or admitting a refined paganism into social life. The Teutonic genius, which had moulded so much of all that was distinctively medieval, remained sturdily itself. A like contrast is seen in the province of art. Michelangelo and Raff'aelle are intimately affected by classical influences; Dürer and Holbein, men of