Slike stranica



barbarians, declined. He valued Leo the more, and afterwards arranged his election as archbishop of Thessalonica (c. A.D. 840)."

The interest of Mamun in science and learning is an undoubted fact. He founded a library and an observatory at Baghdad ;? and under him and his successors many mathematical, medical, and philosophical works of the ancient Greeks appeared in Arabic translations. The charge that the Arabic geometers were unable to comprehend the demonstrations of Euclid is the calumny of a jealous Greek, but making every allowance for the embellishments with which a story-teller would seek to enhance the interest of his tale, we may accept it as evidence for the stimulating influence of Baghdad upon Byzantium and emulation between these two seats of culture. And in this connexion it is not insignificant that two other distinguished luminaries of learning in this age had relations with the Caliphate. We have seen how John the Patriarch and Photius were sent on missions to the East. Constantine the Philosopher is said to have been selected to conduct a dispute with learned Mohammadans on the doctrine of the Trinity, which was held by the Caliph's request.* The evidence for this dispute is unconvincing, yet the tradition embodies the truth that there was in the ninth century a a lively intellectual interest among the Christians and the Mohammadans in the comparative merits of their doctrines. It is not impossible that there were cases of proselytism due not to motives of expediency but to conviction. The controversial interest is strongly marked in the version of the Acts of the Amorian Martyrs composed by Euodios, 1 The date is inferred from the fact ticians. (ib. 204).

Mohammad ibn that he held the office for three years Musa (al-Khwarizmi), who belongs to (Cont. Th. 192) and must have been this period, wrote treatises on algebra deposed after the Council of Orthodoxy and arithmetic, which, translated into in 843.

Latin, were much used in Europe in 2 Brockelmann, Geschichte der arab. the later Middle Ages (216). Tabit Lit. i. 202. Cp. Gibbon, vi. 29 sqq. ibn Kurra (born 836), a distinguished (and recent books mentioned in mathematician, translated into Arabic editorial note 67). For the sources the 5th book of the Conic Sections of of Abu-'l-Faraj and D'Herbelot, on A pollonius of Perge (217). Hunain whom Gibbon relies, cp. M. Stein- ibn Ishak (born 809) translated works schneider, “Die arabischen Übersetzun- of Plato, Aristotle, and Hippocrates gen aus dem Griechischen,” in Beihefte (205-206). zum Centralblatt für Bibliothekswesen, 4 Vitá Const. c. 6. See above, p. 394. v. pp. 11, 13 (1889).

5 He seems to have been well acBalabakhi, c. 835, who

quainted with Islam and to have became a Christian, translated from known the Koran. One of the Euclid, Heron, and other mathema- Mohammadan arguments the


3 Ib.



but the great monument of the concern which the creed of Islam caused to the Greeks is the Refutation of Mohammad by Nicetas of Byzantium, a contemporary of Photius. The fanaticism of the two creeds did not exclude mutual respect. We have an interesting instance in the friendship of Photius with an Emir of Crete. The Patriarch, says one of his pupils, writing to the Emir's son and successor, “ knew well that though difference in religion is a barrier, yet wisdom, kindness,

a and the other qualities which adorn and dignify human nature attract the affection of those who love fair things; and therefore, notwithstanding the difference of creeds, he loved your father, who was endowed with those qualities.” 2

When Leo, as an iconoclast, was deposed from his see, he resumed the profession of teaching, and during the regency of Theodora there were three eminent masters at Constantinople -Leo, Photius, and Constantine. It was to Theoktistos that Constantine owed the official chair of philosophy which he was induced to accept; but Leo and Photius belonged to the circle of Bardas, who seems to have had a deeper and sincerer interest in intellectual things than either Theophilus or Theoktistos. To Bardas belongs the credit—and his enemies freely acknowledge it—of having systematically undertaken the task of establishing a school of learning. In fact, he revived, on new lines and apparently on a smaller scale, the university of Constantinople, which had been instituted by Theodosius II., and allowed to decay and disappear under the Heraclian and Isaurian dynasties. Leo was the head of this school of advanced studies, which was known as the School of Magnaura,* for rooms in the palace of Magnaura were assigned for the purpose. His pupils Theodore, Theodegios, and Kometas became the professors of geometry, astronomy, and philology. wonderful success of Moslem arms. 3 Cont. Th. 185; he used often to Cp. Acta 42 mart. Amor. 102. The attend the demonstrations (ib. 192). disputations in Vita Const. cc. 6 and From the passage 184-185, one would 11 were probably intended for the infer that the school of Magnaura edification of Bulgarian ecclesiastics. was founded by the influence of

1 This treatise is published in Bardas before the fall of Theoktistos. Migne, P.G. 105. Cp. Krumbacher, He endowed it richly (ib. dayılôs G.B.L. 79; and ib. 78 for Bartholomew επαρκών).

Edessa, whose controversial work 4 Ιb. της κατά την Μαγναύραν φιλο(Migne, 104, 1383 sqq.), of uncertain σόφου σχολής. date, shows great knowledge.

5 Ι6. της τας φωνάς εξελληνιζούσης 2 Nicolaus Mysticus, Ep. 2 (Migne, γραμματικής. Arethas seems to have P.G. 111. p. 37).

taken down a lecture of Leo on


The intensity of this revival of profane studies, and the new prestige which they enjoyed, might be illustrated by the suspicious attitude of a monk like the Patriarch Ignatius towards secular learning. But the suspicion which prevailed in certain ecclesiastical or monastic circles is violently expressed in a venomous attack upon Leo the Philosopher after his death 2 by one Constantine, a former pupil, who had discovered the wickedness of Hellenic culture. The attack is couched in elegiacs, and he confesses that he owed his ability to write them to the instruction of Leo:


I, Constantine, these verses wrought with skill,
Who drained the milk of thy dear Muse's rill.
The secrets of thy mind I searched and learned,
And now, at last, their sinfulness discerned.

He accuses his master of apostasy to Hellenism, of rejecting Christ, of worshipping the ancient gods of Greece:

Teacher of countless arts, in worldly lore
The peer of all the proud wise men of yore,
Thy soul was lost, when in the unhallowed sea
Thou drankest of its salt impiety.
The shining glory of the Christian rite
With its fair lustrous waters, the awful might
Of the great sacrifice, the saintly writ,-
Of all these wonders recking not one whit,
Into the vast and many-monster'd deep-
Of heathen Greece did thy fair spirit leap,

prey of soul-devouring beasts to be.
Who would not pity and make moan for thee?

Then a chorus of good Christians is invited to address the

Euclid vi. def. 5. See J. L. Heiberg, Der byz. Mathematiker Leon, in Bibliotheca mathematica, i. 2, 34 sqq. (1887), where attention is also drawn to a note at the end of the Florentine MS. of the treatise of Archimedes on the Quadrature of the Parabola : ευτυχoίης, Λέον γεωμέτρα, πολλούς εις λυκάβαντας τους πολύ φίλτατε Μούσαις. Leo is to be distinguished from Leo Magister, a diplomatist in the reign of Leo VI.; cp. de Boor, B.Z. 10, 63.

1 Printed with the works of Leo VI. (surnamed ó oooós and hence confused with the Philosopher) in Migne, 107,

c. lxi. 899. The verses are quite good, for the period.

2 See below, p. 441, n. 4. Leo had two pupils named Constantine—the Slavonic apostle (see above, p. 394) and the Sicilian. The latter is doubtless the pupil in question. He wrote good Anacreontics (conveniently accessible in Bergk's Poetae Lyrici Graeci, ed. 4, 348 sqq.). The ωδάριον ερωτικόν (351 sqq.) is pleasing. It begins :

ποταμού μέσον κατείδον
ποτέ τον γόνον Κυθήρης,
ενενήχετο προπαίδων
μετά Νηΐδων χορείης.



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apostate who had made Zeus his divinity, in the following strain :

Go to the house of gloom, yea down to hell,
Laden with all thine impious lore, to dwell
Beside the stream of Pyriphlegethon,
In the fell plain of Tartarus, all undone.
There thy Chrysippus shalt thou haply spy,
And Socrates and Epicure descry,
Plato and Aristotle, Euclid dear,
Proclus, and Ptolemy the Astronomer,
Aratus, Hesiod, and Homer too

Whose Muse is queen, in sooth, of all that crew.3 The satire was circulated, and evoked severe criticism. The author was sharply attacked for impiety towards his master, and some alleged that he was instigated by Leo's enemies to calumniate the memory of the philosopher. Constantine replied to these reproaches in an iambic effusion. He does not retract or mitigate his harsh judgment on Leo, but complacently describes himself as “the parricide of an impious master—even if the pagans (Hellenes) should burst with spite.” 5 His apology consists in appealing to Christ, as the sole fountain of truth, and imprecating curses on all heretics and unbelievers. The spirit of the verses directed against Hellenists may be rendered thus :

Foul fare they, who the gods adore
Worshipped by Grecian folk of yore !-
Amorous gods, to passions prone,
Gods as adulterers well known,
Gods who were lame, and gods who felt
The wound that some mean mortal dealt;
And goddesses, a crowd obscene,
Among them many a harlot quean ;
Some wedded clownish herds, I trow,

Some squinted hideously enow. 1 Among some epigrams ascribed to is an extraordinary error, which, so Leo, one is in praise of Proclus and far as I know, has not been hitherto the mathematician Theon.

pointed out. The opening lines state 2 και Πτολεμαστρονόμους.

that the author was reviled for having 3 This homage to Homer is not accused his master Leo of a postasy. ironical. It is a genuine though We learn from l. 14 that Leo was dead ambiguous tribute.

when Constantine published his attack. 4 Migne, ib. 660 sq. The poem is (I may note that in l. 25 ÉLÉMevos here described (after Matranga, from should be corrected to εξιώμενος). whose Anecdota Graeca, vol. ii., it is reprinted) as an Apology of Leo the Philo

5 ο πατροραίστης δυσσεβούς διδασκάλου, sopher, vindicating himself against

κάνει διαρραγείεν "Έλληνες μέσον the calumnies of Constantine. This

μανέντες εν λόγοισι Τελχίνων μέτα.

The sentiment is quite in the vein of the early Fathers of the Church ; but it would not have displeased Xenophanes or Plato, and the most enthusiastic Hellenist could afford to smile at a display of such blunt weapons. The interest of the episode lies in the illustration which it furnishes of the vitality of secular learning (ý Qúpabev copía) in the ninth century. Though the charges which the fanatic brings against Leo may be exaggerations, they establish the fact that he was entirely preoccupied by science and philosophy and unconcerned about Christian dogma. The appearance of a man of this type is in itself significant. If we consider that the study of the Greek classics was a permanent feature of the Byzantine world and was not generally held to clash with orthodox piety, the circumstance that in this period the apprehensions of fanatical or narrow-minded people were excited against the dangers of profane studies confirms in a striking way our other evidence that there was a genuine revival of higher education and a new birth of enthusiasm for secular knowledge. Would that it were possible to speak of any real danger, from science and learning, to the prevailing superstitions ! Danger there was

Photius, not Leo, was the typical Byzantine savant, uniting ardent devotion to learning with no less ardent zeal for the orthodox faith.

Another sign of the revival of secular studies is the impression which some of their chief exponents made on the popular imagination—preserved in the stories that were told of Leo, of John the Patriarch, and of Photius. It was said that when Leo? was archbishop of Thessalonica the crops

1 failed and there was a distressing dearth. Leo told the people not to be discouraged. By making an astronomical calculation he discovered at what time benignant and sympathetic influences would descend from the sky to the earth, and directed the husbandmen to sow their seed accordingly. They were amazed and gratified by the plenteousness of the ensuing harvest. If the chronicler, who tells the tale, perfunctorily observes that the result was due to prayer and not to the


i That Leo was actu interested in the arts of discovering future events may be argued from the attribution to him of a μέθοδος προγνωστική του αγίου ευαγγελίου και του ψαλτηρίου (Krum

bacher, G.B.L. 631) and of a fragmentary astrological treatise on Eclipses (published in Hermes, 8, 174 sqq.,1874), which is evidently copied from a work dating from the pre-Saracenic period.

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