Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/615

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Iberian mind, with its strongly-marked individuality, showed the impetus given by the Renaissance in other forms than those of classical scholarship. It found expression in the romance of Cervantes, in the epic of Camoens, and in the dramas of Lope de Vega; or, not less characteristically, in the wistful ardour of exploration which animated Vasco da Gama and Colombo.

Reactionary Spain, a stepmother to classical studies on her own soil, also delayed their progress in the Netherlands. Little time could be spared to them by men who were struggling against Philip II for political independence and for the reformed religion. But when humanism had once been planted in the Low Countries, its growth was remarkably vigorous and rapid. The University of Leyden became the principal centre of the New Learning. Among scholars of Dutch birth at the period of the Renaissance, Erasmus is the first in time as in rank; but neither his higher training nor his life-work was specially connected with his native land. He was, as we have seen, cosmopolitan. The first great name, after his, in the earlier annals of Dutch scholarship is that of Justus Lipsius (Joest Lips, 1547-1606), who was especially strong in knowledge of the Latin historians and of Roman antiquities. His chief work was his celebrated edition of Tacitus (1575). William Canter (1542-75), of Utrecht, who did good work for Greek tragedy, laid down sound principles of textual criticism in his Syntagma de ratione emendandi Graecos auctores (1566). In the next generation, Vossius (Gerard John Vos, 1577-1649) rendered solid services to the historical study of antiquity, more especially by setting the example of treating ancient religions from the historical point of view. In Daniel Heinsius (1580-1655) Holland produced a scholar who had more affinity with the Italian humanists. He excelled in the composition of Latin verse and prose; and, as an editor, in his treatment of the Greek poets. Hugo Grotius (Huig van Groot, 1583-1645) owes his fame to the De lure Belli et Pads (1625), a work fundamental to the modern science of the law of nature and nations. He wrote Christus Patiens, and two other plays, in Latin verse. With regard to the earlier Dutch humanism as a whole, it may be said that its characteristic aim was to arrange, classify, and criticise the materials which earlier labours had amassed, while at the same time it was distinguished by an original subtlety and elegance.

England felt the movement of the Renaissance somewhat later than France, and with less instinctive sympathy, but also without such active repugnance as had to be overcome in Germany. A few Englishmen had been pupils of the Italian masters. One of the earliest was William Selling, an Oxonian, who died in 1495. Erasmus, when he came to Oxford in 1498, found there a congenial group of Hellenists, chief among whom were William Grocyn and Thomas Linacre. Both had heard Politian at Florence: Linacre had also been a member of Aldo's Neacademia at Venice. Another Oxonian who did much for