Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/492

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which Europe derived from the Crusades. The armies were intent upon booty and power; the philosophers who followed them were seeking for new truths; and the advance of knowledge that they returned with is one of the benefits the West of Europe derived from the Crusades.

Let us note some of the most important prizes they carried home. At Amalfi, a port in the southern part of Italy, a stopping-place for the Crusaders, they discovered a copy of the "Institutes and Pandects of Roman Law," a work which had been long lost to the world. From the Arabians of Spain or Alexandria they procured the works of Plato and Aristotle, as well as other learned treatises of ancient sages. These they studied and commented on with assiduity, each one according to the bent of his mind. Hence, in time we find the learned men not only becoming numerous, but divided into classes. Some follow the study of religion, humanity, and mind; others devote themselves to history, grammar, and poetry; others to law; others to mathematics and astronomy, and others to architecture. But we must keep in view that all these sciences and arts were yet in a crude state, far, far beneath what they are at this day. The book-men, the theorists, the philosophers, had centuries of research, discussion, and reflection to accomplish, and numberless labors to undergo, before producing the good harvest we are now enjoying.

Thus, in the thirteenth century the book-men and their disciples, the lawyers, politicians, poets, painters, masons, astronomers, architects, navigators, physicians, and all other seekers and distributors of knowledge, had hosts of adherents among the masses. Hence, the practical results of the labors of the scholars were becoming more apparent.

In religion St. Thomas produces his "Sum of Theology," and brings the scholastic philosophy to its perfection. In politics, the yeomanry of England, instigated by Archbishop Langton, a book-man, demand and obtain Magna Charta—that is to say, no taxes without representation, trial by jury, habeas corpus, and no taxes without the consent of Parliament; while in Florence a democratic constitution is established by the people. In science, the labors of the alchemists and astrologers are progressing toward the first positive dawn of chemistry and astronomy; and Roger Bacon, the first of the great prophets of natural science, reveals some of the most important secrets of chemistry. Roger Bacon, the first of the natural philosophers, who was he? History answers—a book-man, a monk, a solitary student of the works of his predecessors in philosophy and theology. In the arts, Gothic architecture raises a worthy tribute to Heaven. We also find that in this century navigation begins to improve and commerce to be developed, particularly in England and in Italy; and the learned take advantage of the facilities thus afforded to undertake voyages in search of geographical and other knowledge. Among the rest, Marco Polo, a student of languages, travels throughout Asia, finds his way even to