Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/646

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preserving with a reverence uncommon in his day all that he could find of its original furniture.

A brief parenthesis may be allowed at this point on the application of the science of archaeology to things Christian. For more than a century had the remains of classical art and architecture been studied and treasured before it occurred to scholars that the Church possessed antiquities which merited consideration. Probably the first book entirely devoted to the consideration of Christian monuments was that of Onofrio Panvinio on the older Roman basilicas, published in 1554. Rome was thus the parent of Christian as of classical archaeology. In 1578 the reopening of the Catacombs began, and the discoveries of ancient paintings and inscriptions excited a keen interest, though it was not until 1632 that the first great work on "Roma sotterranea"-that of Bosio-saw the light. The study was carried on and developed during the seventeenth century chiefly by Italians: it is probably fair to say that no work of real importance in this department was done outside Italy before 1700.

To return to the wider field of Church history. In this, the Centuriators and Baronius may be regarded as pioneers. Theirs were, of course, not the only works of the kind that appeared, but they deserve special prominence in view of their large design and the extent of the new ground they broke.

We ought to glance briefly at the progress made in two subdivisions of this great subject. One is the study of the lives of the Saints. Most people have some idea of the character of the popular medieval collections of such Lives. The Legenda Aurea of Jacobus de Voragine was, of all, the most widely diffused both in manuscript and print, and it was one which made no pretensions either to completeness or critical selection. The later collections, that of Mombritius, for example, or the Catalogus Sanctorum, were of the same character, though of larger compass. Criticism of these ancient documents other than stricture could not well be expected from the Protestant side; save perhaps in the case of the Acts of some of the earliest martyrs. The first man who attempted seriously the task of collecting the best accessible texts of the Lives of the Saints was probably Aloysius Lippomannus, who was assisted by such scholars as Gentianus Hervetus, and Cardinal Sirleto. His copious employment of Greek authorities is a principal mark of his superiority to his predecessors. His collection filled eight volumes, and was a worthy beginning of the work which in later centuries was continued by Bolland, Papebroch, Surius, Ruinart, and a host of others.

The other department of Church history of which it was our intention to speak was the bibliography of Christian literature. Jerome had set the fashion of compiling notices of Christian writers and their works. Gennadius had supplemented his book, and the tracts of both