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Cuvier’s History of the Natural Sciences

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Georges Cuvier

7. The Middle Age and Early Renaissance / Le Moyen age et la Pré-Renaissance

22. The Crusades

Texte intégral

THE BATTLE OF NICEA (A.D. 1096-1097). Illustration by Gustave Doré, engraved by Doms, from Michaud (Joseph F.), History of the Crusades [illustrated with one hundred grand compositions by Gustave Doré, engraved by Bellenger, Doms, Gusman, Jonnard, Pannemaker, Pisan, Quesnel], Philadelphia: G. Barrie, 1896, vol. 1, following p. 64.

THE BATTLE OF NICEA (A.D. 1096-1097). Illustration by Gustave Doré, engraved by Doms, from Michaud (Joseph F.), History of the Crusades [illustrated with one hundred grand compositions by Gustave Doré, engraved by Bellenger, Doms, Gusman, Jonnard, Pannemaker, Pisan, Quesnel], Philadelphia: G. Barrie, 1896, vol. 1, following p. 64.
  • 1 [Sylvester II, original name Gerbert of Aurillac (born c. 945, near Aurillac, Auvergne, France; di (...)

1In the eleventh century, Europe received little enlightenment except from the Arabians in Spain. Most of the Christians who sought instruction, especially in medicine, attended their schools. Gerbert the archbishop of Reims, one of the great men of the century, and who became pope under the name of Sylvester II,1 had studied at Cordova. Through him, Christians were introduced to the use of Arabic numerals, so convenient for calculating. But we must point out that the Arabians were not the inventors of these numerals, as might be inferred from the name generally given them; rather, this invention is due to the Indians, among whom these numerals were in evidence from earliest antiquity. Gerbert, like all learned men, was accused of magic; but he succeeded in triumphing over his enemies, and his learning, which nearly cost him his life, carried him to the supreme pontificate.

  • 2 . [Constantine the African, Latin Constantinus Africanus (born c. 1020, Carthage or Sicily; died 10 (...)
  • 3 [Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum (“Salernitan Guide to Health”), of uncertain date and of composite (...)

2The Arabian schools were far too famous not to become the model for schools established later in France and elsewhere. By the eleventh century, Paris had schools held by secular priests and even by laymen. In particular, medical schools were founded. The Benedictines opened a medical school at Monte Cassino; but the earliest and most celebrated one was at Salerno, near Naples. In 984, a bishop of Verdun went there purposely to be treated. The story is that a Moor, a Jew, and a Latin founded this school, but it should not be taken literally; it is probably meant only to refer to the triple influence under which the school was founded. The first university was established at Salerno –that is to say, it was at Salerno that the first uniting of schools took place under the direction of a single, special authority. In 1075, Constantine the African2 published various Greek and Latin translations there. The famous Regimen Sanitatis,3 containing rules of hygiene written in verse, dates from 1100. In the course of the twelfth century, the Norman kings instituted at Salerno rules in imitation of the Arabian schools, which schools themselves had received theirs from the Nestorians.

3After the school at Salerno, the school of medicine at Montpellier is the oldest of the schools that enjoyed fame among the Christians. Its administration was half French, half Spanish. A host of Jewish physicians brought Arabian enlightenment to it from Spain. In the twelfth century, almost all royal physicians were Jewish; the people, who feared and at the same time admired their learning, little doubted that the princes who died in their care were victims of some poison or other. Jewish physicians, almost all of them travelers, rendered great service to science by propagating the information they gathered in various lands. The setting up of corporations [merchant guilds] and their wardens dates back to them.

4The Crusades brought about ever more numerous and more informative relations with the East, and we shall see that these enterprises –which had such a disastrous result, considering their original aim– contributed in various ways to the progress of civilization and the improvement of the sciences.

  • 4 [Charles Martel (born 23 August 686, died 22 October 741) was proclaimed Mayor of the Palace, ruli (...)

5Under the early caliphs, the Saracens had threatened to invade all Europe. They conquered Spain; they were even setting foot on the soil of France, when Charles Martel4 saved Europe at Saltz. After that, the power of the Arabians went into decline. The caliphate was dismembered and the degenerate caliphs were surrounded by powerful enemies –the Christians in Spain, and in Persia the Turks, who had wrested several provinces from them. Such was the state of affairs at the time of the first Crusade. This great movement of Christianity against Islamism, therefore, was not caused by the need for protection from the danger of an invasion by the infidels. This danger had not existed for a long time; the desire to facilitate Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Sepulcher was the only motive driving the European peoples to take up the distant and perilous wars called the Crusades. However, we must add to that the need to get rid of a considerable quantity of the poor, whose plight was real and who were assembling in a numerous host and beginning to alarm the nobility.

  • 5 [Peter the Hermit, French Pierre l’Ermite (born c. 1050, probably Amiens, France; died 8 July 1115 (...)

6As long as Jerusalem was in the power of the Arabians, their tolerance had made easy enough the pious visits of the Christians to the Holy Land. But under the domination of the Turks, such travels became quite difficult. It was the vivid picture given by the pilgrims, and especially by Peter the Hermit,5 of the harassments and cruelties inflicted upon them by the Turks that caused all Europe to rise up against the latter.

  • 6 [Louis VII, byname Louis the Younger, French Louis Le Jeune (born c. 1120; died 18 September 1180, (...)
  • 7 [Coradin, better known as Conrad III (born 1093; died 15 February 1152, Bamberg, Germany, Holy Rom (...)
  • 8 [Saladin, Arabic in full Salah Ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub (“Righteousness of the Faith, Joseph, Son of (...)
  • 9 [On 2 October 1187, following a siege of Jerusalem by Saladin that had begun on 20 September 1187, (...)
  • 10 [Philip II, byname Philip Augustus, French Philippe-Auguste (born 21 August 1165, Paris; died 14 J (...)
  • 11 [Saint Louis, see note 32, below.]
  • 12 [William of Tyre (born c. 1130, Syria; died 1185, Rome), Franco-Syrian politician, churchman, and (...)

7The First Crusade took place in 1099. It was the only crusade that attained its goal: Palestine was conquered, the kingdom of Jerusalem established, and the Holy Sepulcher set free. But this kingdom of Jerusalem, small, weak, and far from the West, was soon attacked by the vanquished Turks. Each time it was in danger, the Christian princes made new efforts to succor it, which produced further crusades. The Second Crusade, which took place under Louis VII6 and Coradin,7 in 1147, outside of the taking of Edessa by Coradin, was without effect. The third was undertaken when Saladin8 captured Jerusalem and invaded the entire kingdom founded by the First Crusaders with the exception of the town of Acre.9 The fourth took place in 1204 under Philippe-Auguste.10 The crusaders, instead of proceeding to Palestine, turned towards Constantinople, seized it and founded the Latin empire of Constantinople, which lasted for sixty years. In 1248, Saint Louis11 attacked Egypt at the head of a new crusade (the fifth). He understood perfectly well that the only way of ensuring the existence of the kingdom of Jerusalem was to conquer Egypt. The Crusades had a most deplorable ending; however, they gained for Europe a much more accurate knowledge of the countries traversed and had a most felicitous influence on the development of Western literature. Scarcely another work can be found in which more noble, more exalted sentiments reign than those expressed in the works of William of Tyre:12 he is especially admirable when compared with the writers of the previous century.

8The Crusades had another very important result, the weakening of the power of the great vassals; in proportion to this weakening, central power increased. The nobles, ruined by these enormously expensive wars, increasingly enfranchised communities in order to procure money for themselves. It was especially upon the cities of Italy that the crusades bestowed the greatest benefits. Such foreign enterprises, requiring costly maritime expeditions, gave rise to an immense commerce in which Venice, Genoa, Pisa, etc., took part, and which re-established between East and West the relations that had been interrupted by the barbarian onslaught. The inhabitants of the Italian towns, made rich by their commerce, took an interest in the sciences that burgeoned throughout the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

9Superstition was not alone in profiting from the increase in power that the crusades brought the pope and the clergy: men of letters obtained a position of independence. We are going to examine some developments on this head.

10The opinion became widely held in Christendom that the world would end exactly one thousand years after the birth of Jesus Christ; and many people had given their goods to the Church to be certain of saving their souls. If the end of the world had occurred, I am not too sure what the Church expected to do with the gifts it had received; but the end did not occur and the Church found itself in possession of immense wealth. Its benefices were thenceforth the object of widespread ambition: Clergy and laymen vied for them, and often the great lords succeeded in having them conferred on their creatures. Already, under the palace ministers, Charles Martel had set this dangerous example, and the possession of benefices was thereafter a permanent cause of quarreling between the clergy and the secular power. It would have been extremely unfortunate for science and letters if ignorant, barbarian nobles had succeeded in getting hold of the goods of the clergy. Now, the crusades, by diminishing the power of the great lords and augmenting that of the popes, gave the latter the ability of efficaciously protecting the clergy, and the interests of the scholars withal. The popes soon were also powerful enough to protect the people effectively against the greed of each new emperor, who, on coming to Rome to be crowned, did not fail to levy taxes. The enfranchisement of the leaders of the Germanic nations was linked to that of the peoples of Italy: the princes profited from all wars incurred by the emperors by getting out from under their sway more and more.

  • 13 [Guelph and Ghibelline, Guelph also spelled Guelf, members of two opposing factions in German and (...)

11No doubt an infinity of circumstances counteracted and complicated the principal interests debated in such wars; but in the final analysis, the growth of papal power was directly bound with the emancipation of the German princes, on one hand, and on the other, with the establishment of the sovereignty of the Italian republics. Judging according to this view the two notorious parties of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines,13 one clearly recognizes that the Guelphs, who supported the popes, actually were fighting in behalf of the true interests of Italy. The establishment of the sovereignties of Germany, and especially of Italy, was also quite useful in multiplying the centers of government. Every capital, if it possesses wealth, necessarily attracts a body of scholars, men of letters, and artists, and thus becomes a center of instruction that spreads enlightenment to the other parts of the state.

12Two sorts of establishments benefited from the impetus favoring science and letters that the Crusades impressed upon minds. In the thirteenth century, the universities were founded by ordinances that brought certain school bodies under a special, independent jurisdiction. These ordinances were of great use to science in that they added to the power of and respect for persons who cultivated the sciences.

  • 14 [Frederick I, byname Frederick Barbarossa (Italian: Redbeard) (born c. 1123; died 10 June 1190, Ki (...)
  • 15 [Irnerius, also spelled Guarnerius, or Warnerius (born c. 1055, Bologna; died in or after 1125), o (...)
  • 16 [Alexander III original name Rolando Bandinelli (born c. 1105, Siena, Tuscany; died 30 August 1181 (...)

13In 1158, Frederick Barbarossa14 authorized a law by which scholars would be brought before ecclesiastical tribunes, unless they preferred to be judged by their professors. It was this ordinance of 1158 that set up the universities in Bologna, where Irnerius15 taught law, and in several other Italian cities. After that, one sees universities taking form in all cities having even modestly renowned schools of law, medicine, theology, or literature. The University of Paris goes back to the year 1200, during the reign of Philippe-Auguste. Also introduced with the universities was the use of licenses, which conferred upon those who obtained them the right to teach. At first, people were made to pay for the licenses; but Alexander III16 forbade this abuse and ordered that the licenses be conferred without charge on all who merited them.

14The popes contributed, as it concerned their interests, to the establishment of the universities; they granted apostolic privileges widely, which were indispensable to graduates seeking ecclesiastical benefices.

15University students, each one according to the rank he had obtained, could, as the saying went, fix their choice on this or that field of learning. Any benefice that did not include the cure of souls could be granted them.

16In 1238, there was a university of law and medicine at Salerno;

17in 1229, the university of Oxford was founded;

18in 1336, that of Pisa;

19in 1347, that of Prague;

20in 1389, that of Cologne.

21Latin Europe composed as it were a single nation.

22I should like to point out that one would be mistaken about the etymology of the word university to think that it had some connection with the great number of subjects sometimes taught in the universities. At the University of Montpellier, only medicine was taught; the word university merely meant corporation; there were “universities” of cobblers.

  • 17 [Mendicant, member of any of several Roman Catholic religious orders who assumes a vow of poverty (...)

23The establishment of scientific and literary universities brought about the orders of mendicant friars.17 Observing that the old monastic orders, which had become excessively rich, were neglecting scholarship, the clergy feared lest instruction be taken entirely from its grasp, and had the idea of establishing new orders for the purpose of preserving the superiority that it had had until then in science and letters. To avoid the recurrence of the problem that it meant to remedy, the clergy based the new orders on poverty, directing them to live on public alms.

  • 18 [Saint Francis of Assisi, Italian San Francesco d’Assisi, baptized Giovanni, renamed Francesco, or (...)
  • 19 [Franciscans or Cordeliers, members of a Christian religious order founded in the early thirteenth (...)
  • 20 [Capuchins, members of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, an autonomous branch of the Franciscan (...)
  • 21 [Saint Dominic, Spanish in full Santo Domingo de Guzmán (born c. 1170, Caleruega, Castile; died 6 (...)

24And so, in 1208, Francis of Assisi18 founded the order of Franciscans or Cordeliers,19 whence arose at the beginning of the sixteenth century the order of Capuchins.20 Eight years later, in 1216, Saint Dominic21 founded the order of Dominicans or Preaching Friars, for traveling through the countryside where the secular priests were too ignorant to instruct the people. These Preaching Friars, meeting at Paris at the church of Saint Jacques, were called Jacobins.

25Men with a scientific bent hastened to enter the mendicant orders, and the other wealthier orders were virtually neglected. The Franciscans were the first to distinguish themselves; many undertook voyages that had a beneficial effect on the progress of the sciences.

  • 22 [Albigensian War or Crusade: the Albigenses, also called Albigensians, the heretics –especially th (...)

26But the bad must too often be taken with the good. The Dominicans, who rendered many a service to the sciences, introduced into France the infamous inquisition during the Albigensian war.22 Fortunately, this institute did not last long in our country, and went to carry out all its horrors in unhappy Spain.

  • 23 [The Mongol Temüjin or Temuchin (born 1155, in 1162, the date favored today in Mongolia, or in 116 (...)
  • 24 [Genghis’s son, who succeeded his father in 1229, was Ögödei, also spelled Ogadai, Ogdai, or Ugede (...)
  • 25 [Möngke, also spelled Mangu (born 1208, Mongolia; died 1259, Szechwan, China), grandson of Genghis (...)

27The Mongolian and Tartar conquests in the East were also the occasion of very instructive travels. Genghis Khan23 led these nomadic peoples and made conquests that were the equal of those by Mahomet several centuries before. His wars began in 1212, and by 1227 his son24 reigned over Mongolia, Tartary, and all of northern China. Möngke,25 one of Genghis’s successors, completed the conquest of China. Before the end of the thirteenth century, his successors were masters of Persia and all of Russia, where they reduced the princes to a cruel subjugation, and they had penetrated as far as Silesia.

  • 26 [Jean Duplan-Carpin is Giovanni da Pian del Carpini: with hopes of ultimately converting the Mongo (...)
  • 27 [Pope Innocent IV, original name Sinibaldo Fieschi (born end of the twelfth century, Genoa; died 7 (...)
  • 28 [Karakorum, ancient capital of the Mongol empire, whose ruins lie on the upper Orhon River in nort (...)
  • 29 [Vincent of Beauvais (born c. 1190, Beauvais?, France; died 1264, Paris), French scholar and encyc (...)
  • 30 [Asselin is apparently Pierre Ascelin, a Franciscan who was sent to Mongolia by the Pope in about (...)

28These events, which took place while Europe was occupied with the Crusades, naturally drew the attention of the Christians; they believed they might consider the Tartars –the enemies of their enemies– as allies. The popes especially bent their efforts towards establishing relations with them and converting them. Many Europeans profited from this state of affairs by traveling into regions unknown until then. It was a Cordelier named Jean Duplan-Carpin26 who, in 1246, made the first of such journeys; he was sent by Pope Innocent IV27 to Karakorum.28 In the thirty-seventh volume of the works of Vincent de Beauvais29 one finds the narrative of this voyage, which constitutes the first observations by Europeans of the peoples situated beyond the Caspian Sea. The following year, Asselin30 was sent to the Tartar general who commanded in Persia; we have his narrative also.

  • 31 [Marco Polo (born c. 1254, Venice, or Curzola, Venetian Dalmatia, now Korcula, Croatia; died 8 Jan (...)

29From these contacts with the Tartars resulted a singular enterprise. Venice was then the West’s center of trade with India and the East. In this city there was a distinguished family of wealthy traders by the name of Polo. Several of its members fancied visiting these countries that so preoccupied Europeans. They made several journeys to the Khan of the Tartars and went as far as northern China. The first reports that we have about China came to us from one of these Polos –Marco Polo.31 His narratives, written from memory in the prison at Genoa, but in good faith, were far from meriting the distrust and incredulity that welcomed them. Marco Polo was mistakenly called the greatest of liars; people absolutely refused to believe what he wrote about the flourishing state of Chinese cities.

30The travels of Marco Polo are dated 1252.

  • 32 [Saint Louis is Louis IX (born 25 April 1214, Poissy, France; died 25 August 1270, near Tunis; can (...)
  • 33 [We have been unable to further identify Guillaume Picard.]

31In 1253, Saint Louis32 also wished to have contact with the Tartars and to convert them. He sent to Möngke Khan a Cordelier named Guillaume Picard,33 who wrote a highly exact account of every part of Tartary that he had crossed. He reports having encountered in Tartary some Nestorian Christians, whose presence there was tolerated, and he found at the court of Möngke a jeweler whom he had known in Paris.

  • 34 [This new narrative of 1300 about the East cannot be further traced.]

32In 1300, a new narrative about the East was published.34

  • 35 [Sir John Mandeville (fl. fourteenth century), purported author of a collection of travelers’s tal (...)

33In 1332, John Mandeville35 wrote about his travels in these countries.

34It was impossible for the princes of Europe not to participate in the intellectual movement that characterized the century we are examining. Thus we see princes protecting the sciences and even cultivating them; we must cite especially the emperor Frederick II and Saint Louis, his contemporary.

  • 36 [Frederick II (born 26 December 1194, Jesi, Ancona, Papal States; died 13 December 1250, Castel Fi (...)

35Frederick36 reigned from 1210 to 1250, warring against the popes and restricting their power, which was then excessive. He was falsely accused and excommunicated, but his courage and his talents never flagged. He had found perhaps the sole practicable method of getting possession of the Holy Land, to which Christians attached so great a price –namely, obtaining it through treaty; but it was precisely his attempts in this endeavor that drew down upon him the popes’ persecutions.

36Frederick was highly cultured: he wrote verse in Provençal, an idiom derived from Latin, then in use in the south of France, in Italy, and in Spain, and from which arose, through modifications, the various tongues spoken today in these three countries. Frederick II had Aristotle’s works translated into Latin and ordered them taught throughout his dominions. By another quite remarkable ordinance, this prince permitted the dissection of one human corpse every five years. The revival of anatomy dates from this ordinance.

37Frederick II imported many animals to Europe, including a giraffe.

  • 37 [Frederick’s most important work, De arte venandi cum avibus (The Art of Hunting with Birds), is a (...)

38He wrote a treatise on falconry entitled De arte venandi cum avibus;37 the Latin in this work, although rather poor, is good enough for an emperor overwhelmed as he was with duties and cares. The work is especially remarkable for being the first of the Middle Ages containing the observation of nature. Frederick describes several birds quite well. His description of the pelican is correct. He is the first to write accurately about birds of the chase. The art of falconry, little known in ancient times, originated in Arabia and Syria, on the great plains where the flight of birds can be followed on horseback. Such hunting was for a long time the noblest of all.

39Saint Louis, like Frederick, was no great author, but he protected the sciences and letters. He made laws full of wisdom that brought about the return to order needed for progress in the sciences; he established the royal bailiwicks, which was the first blow brought against the power of the turbulent nobles. From such various ameliorations in the administration of France resulted the founding of the Sorbonne and the college of surgeons in Paris. The university included medical teaching in its jurisdiction, and medical doctors issued from its schools; but they were all ecclesiastics, and since the Church abhorred blood, they could none of them practice surgery, not even bleedings. Therefore, these doctors had to have under them men especially charged with carrying out operations; such men were necessarily in a subordinate position, in a sort of servitude to the doctors; their status was raised by the establishing of the college of surgeons.

40After this, surgeons enjoyed somewhat more respect, and progress in education brought about equality between the professions of medicine and surgery that had existed in antiquity, or, to put it more accurately, made medicine and surgery one and the same science as they had been of old; for the ancients never made distinctions between the various branches of the art of healing: Hippocrates and Galen were at the same time physicians and surgeons, and even pharmacists.

  • 38 [For Albert the Great, see Lesson 23.]
  • 39 [Saint Thomas Aquinas (born in 1224 or 1225, at Roccasecca, near Aquino, on the road from Rome to (...)

41Thus, in the thirteenth century the sciences acquired various ways of progressing. Then, there were Albert the Great38 and Saint Thomas Aquinas.39 There occurred at this time a kind of renaissance of letters and sciences, and the human spirit was treading a path somewhat like the one we found in Greece. Speculative philosophy was first applied to solving theological questions, for scholastic philosophy, the principal reason for establishing the universities, had long preceded the universities. As early as the eleventh century, and all through the twelfth, questions about the nature and origin of ideas were heatedly argued in the schools, and two different solutions were presented, directly related to those proposed in Greece –namely, Plato on one hand, Aristotle on the other.

  • 40 [In other words, “realism,” as contrasted with “nominalism,” holds that universals –which, here, C (...)

42Those scholastics were called realists who believed, with Plato, that ideas have a real existence of their own, that they exist outside the human mind –in short, that they are true entities. Those scholastics who on the other hand believed, with Aristotle, that general ideas are abstractions only, the result of the workings of the mind, which deduces them from sensation, and who saw in ideas names only, were called nominalists.40

43These two sects of realists and nominalists fought heatedly with each other, and since they could call to their aid both civil and ecclesiastical authority, their arguments spawned disturbances that had never been produced in Greece by the rival schools of Plato and Aristotle. The sect that was winning would persecute the opposing sect. Most often it was the nominalists who persecuted the realists. The pope issued a bull forbidding the reading of Aristotle. Several laws made the same prohibition. The nominalists had their turn later, when it was ordered that Aristotle and only Aristotle would be taught in the schools. This contradiction in the opinions of authority shows that it is dangerous and ludicrous for authority to intervene in quarrels like those between the realists and the nominalists.

Notes

1 [Sylvester II, original name Gerbert of Aurillac (born c. 945, near Aurillac, Auvergne, France; died 12 May 1003, Rome), French head of the Roman Catholic church (999-1003), renowned for his scholarly achievements, his advances in education, and his shrewd political judgment. Gerbert remains the dominating figure of the late 10th century for modern scholars, who are concerned especially with more precise dating of his letters and a more detailed understanding of his political roles, his teaching (especially in logic, dialectic, mathematics, and astronomy), his transmission of Arabic learning, his relations with Otto III, his papacy, and his influence on later ages.]

2 . [Constantine the African, Latin Constantinus Africanus (born c. 1020, Carthage or Sicily; died 1087, monastery of Monte Cassino, near Cassino, Principality of Benevento, now in Italy), medieval medical scholar who initiated the translation of Arabic medical works into Latin, a development that profoundly influenced Western thought. Constantine’s most important accomplishment was his introduction to the West of Islam’s extensive knowledge of Greek medicine, represented principally by his Pantechne (“The Total Art”), which was an abbreviated version of the Kitab al-maliki (“The Royal Book”) by the tenth-century Persian physician `Alī ibn al-`Abbās, or Haly Abbas (see Constantine the African & `Alī ibn al-`Abbās al-Mağūsī, the Pantegni and related texts [edited by Burnett Charles and Jacquart Danielle], Leiden; New York: E. J. Brill, 1994, ix + 364 p.) Constantine also translated Arabic editions of works by the Greek physicians Hippocrates and Galen. These translations were the first works that gave the West a view of Greek medicine as a whole.]

3 [Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum (“Salernitan Guide to Health”), of uncertain date and of composite authorship, is the best-known work of the Salernitan school, the first organized medical school in Europe established at Salerno, in southern Italy. The Regimen, written in verse, has appeared in numerous editions and has been translated into many languages (see Regimen sanitatis Salernitanum; a poem on the preservation of health in rhyming Latin verse, Oxford: D. A. Talboys, 1830, xix + 199 p.; The school of Salernum, Regimen sanitatis Salerni [the English version by Harington John], Salerno: Ente Provinciale per il Turismo, 1966, 92 p.]

4 [Charles Martel (born 23 August 686, died 22 October 741) was proclaimed Mayor of the Palace, ruling the Franks in the name of a titular King, and proclaimed himself Duke of the Franks and by any name was de facto ruler of the Frankish Realms. He expanded his rule over all three of the Frankish kingdoms: Austrasia, Neustria, and Burgundy. Martel was born in Herstal, in present-day Belgium, the illegitimate son of Pippin the Middle and his concubine Alpaida (or Chalpaida). He is best remembered for winning the Battle of Tours in 732, which has traditionally been characterized as an event that saved Europe from the Islamic expansionism that had conquered Iberia.]

5 [Peter the Hermit, French Pierre l’Ermite (born c. 1050, probably Amiens, France; died 8 July 1115, Neufmoustier, near Huy, Flanders), ascetic, monastic founder, considered one of the chief stimulators in the launching of the First Crusade.]

6 [Louis VII, byname Louis the Younger, French Louis Le Jeune (born c. 1120; died 18 September 1180, Paris), Capetian king of France who pursued a long rivalry, marked by recurrent warfare and continuous intrigue, with Henry II of England. Louis might have defeated Henry if he had made concerted attacks rather than weak assaults on Normandy in 1152. Anglo-Norman family disputes saved Louis’s kingdom from severe incursions during the many conflicts that Louis had with Henry between 1152 and 1174. Louis was helped by the quarrel (1164-1170) between Henry and Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, and a revolt (1173-1174) of Henry’s sons. Suger, abbot of Saint-Denis, who acted as regent in 1147-1149 while Louis was away on the Second Crusade, is the primary historian for Louis’s reign.]

7 [Coradin, better known as Conrad III (born 1093; died 15 February 1152, Bamberg, Germany, Holy Roman Empire), German king from 1138 to 1152, the first king of the Hohenstaufen family.]

8 [Saladin, Arabic in full Salah Ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub (“Righteousness of the Faith, Joseph, Son of Job”) (born 1137/1138, Tikrit, Mesopotamia; died 4 March 1193, Damascus), Muslim sultan of Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and Palestine, founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, and the most famous of Muslim heroes. In wars against the Christian crusaders, he achieved final success with the disciplined capture of Jerusalem (2 October 1187), ending its 88-year occupation by the Franks. The great Christian counterattack of the Third Crusade was then stalemated by his military genius.]

9 [On 2 October 1187, following a siege of Jerusalem by Saladin that had begun on 20 September 1187, Balian of Ibelin (born early 1140s, died 1193) surrendered the city. Saladin then allowed the citizens to leave by paying a ransom, but those who could not pay were eventually sold into slavery. With the defeat of Jerusalem it signaled the end of the first Kingdom of Jerusalem, and Europe responded to this defeat in 1189 by launching the Third Crusade.]

10 [Philip II, byname Philip Augustus, French Philippe-Auguste (born 21 August 1165, Paris; died 14 July 1223, Mantes), the first of the great Capetian kings of medieval France (reigned 1179-1223), who gradually reconquered the French territories held by the kings of England and also furthered the royal domains northward into Flanders and southward into Languedoc.]

11 [Saint Louis, see note 32, below.]

12 [William of Tyre (born c. 1130, Syria; died 1185, Rome), Franco-Syrian politician, churchman, and historian who produced two major works. The first, Gesta orientalium principum (“Acts of the Eastern Kingdoms”), a history of the Arab East, has been lost; but his second work, Historia rerum in partibus transmarinis gestarum (“History of Matters Done in Foreign Parts”), a history of the Latin kings of Jerusalem, has been preserved (William of Tyre, La continuation de Guillaume de Tyr [text in French published by Morgan Margaret Ruth], Paris: Librairie orientialiste P. Geuthner, 1982, 220 p.; The conquest of Jerusalem and the Third Crusade [sources in translation by Edbury Peter W.], Brookfield: Ashgate Publishing Co., 1998, 196 p.) It is a scholarly account of the history of the Latin East from 614 to 1184.]

13 [Guelph and Ghibelline, Guelph also spelled Guelf, members of two opposing factions in German and Italian politics during the Middle Ages. The split between the Guelphs, who were sympathetic to the papacy, and the Ghibellines, who were sympathetic to the German (Holy Roman) emperors, contributed to chronic strife within the cities of northern Italy in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.]

14 [Frederick I, byname Frederick Barbarossa (Italian: Redbeard) (born c. 1123; died 10 June 1190, Kingdom of Armenia), duke of Swabia (as Frederick III, 1147-1190) and German king and Holy Roman emperor (1152-1190), who challenged papal authority and sought to establish German predominance in western Europe. He engaged in a long struggle with the cities of northern Italy (1154-1183), sending six major expeditions southward. He died while on the Third Crusade to the Holy Land.]

15 [Irnerius, also spelled Guarnerius, or Warnerius (born c. 1055, Bologna; died in or after 1125), one of the scholars who revived Roman legal studies in Italy and the first of a long series of noted legal glossators and teachers of law (late eleventh-middle thirteenth century) at the University of Bologna.]

16 [Alexander III original name Rolando Bandinelli (born c. 1105, Siena, Tuscany; died 30 August 1181, Rome), pope from 1159 to 1181, a vigorous exponent of papal authority, which he defended against challenges by the Holy Roman emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Henry II of England.]

17 [Mendicant, member of any of several Roman Catholic religious orders who assumes a vow of poverty and supports himself or herself by work and charitable contributions. The mendicant orders surviving today are the Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians (Augustinian Hermits), Carmelites, Trinitarians, Mercedarians, Servites, Minims, Hospitalers of St. John of God, and the Teutonic Order.]

18 [Saint Francis of Assisi, Italian San Francesco d’Assisi, baptized Giovanni, renamed Francesco, original name Francesco di Pietro di Bernardone (born 1181/1182, Assisi, Duchy of Spoleto; died 3 October 1226, Assisi; canonized 15 July 1228; feast day 4 October), founder of the Franciscan orders and leader of the church reform movements of the early thirteenth century. His fraternal charity, consecration to poverty, and dynamic leadership drew thousands of followers and made him one of the most venerated religious figures. He is (with Catherine of Siena) the principal patron saint of Italy.]

19 [Franciscans or Cordeliers, members of a Christian religious order founded in the early thirteenth century by Saint Francis of Assisi. The members of the order strive to cultivate the ideals of the order’s founder. The Franciscans actually consist of three orders. The First Order comprises priests and lay brothers who have sworn to lead a life of prayer, preaching, and penance. The Second Order consists of cloistered nuns who belong to the Order of Saint Clare and are known as Poor Clares. The Third Order consists of religious and lay men and women who try to emulate Saint Francis’s spirit by performing works of teaching, charity, and social service. Congregations of these religious men and women are numerous all over the Roman Catholic world. The Franciscans are the largest religious order in the Roman Catholic Church. They have contributed a total of 98 saints and six popes to the church.]

20 [Capuchins, members of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, an autonomous branch of the Franciscan order of religious men, begun as a reform movement in 1525 by Matteo da Bascio (born c. 1495, Bascio, Papal States; died 6 August 1552, Venice), who wanted to return to a literal observance of the rule of St. Francis of Assisi and to introduce elements of the solitary life of hermits. The Capuchins were noted for their heroic ministry during the dreadful epidemics that plagued Europe and elsewhere from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. They have been actively engaged in missionary and social work.]

21 [Saint Dominic, Spanish in full Santo Domingo de Guzmán (born c. 1170, Caleruega, Castile; died 6 August 1221, Bologna, Romagna; canonized 3 July 1234; feast day 8 August), founder of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans), a religious order of mendicant friars with a universal mission of preaching, a centralized organization and government, and a great emphasis on scholarship.]

22 [Albigensian War or Crusade: the Albigenses, also called Albigensians, the heretics –especially the Catharist heretics– of twelfth-thirteenth-century southern France. It is difficult to form any very precise idea of the Albigensian doctrines because present knowledge of them is derived from their opponents and from the very rare and uninformative Albigensian texts which have come down to us. What is certain is that, above all, they formed an antisacerdotal party in permanent opposition to the Roman church and raised a continued protest against the corruption of the clergy of their time. The first Catharist heretics appeared in Limousin between 1012 and 1020. Protected by William IX, duke of Aquitaine, and soon by a great part of the southern nobility, the movement gained ground in the south, and in 1119 the Council of Toulouse in vain ordered the secular powers to assist the ecclesiastical authority in quelling the heresy. The movement maintained vigorous activity for another 100 years, until Innocent III (original name Lothair of Segni, born 1160/61, died 16 July 1216; pope from 1198 to 1216, under whom the medieval papacy reached the height of its prestige and power) ascended the papal throne. At first he tried pacific conversion but at last (1209) ordered the Cistercians to preach the crusade against the Albigenses. This implacable war, the Albigensian Crusade, which threw the whole of the nobility of the north of France against that of the south and destroyed the brilliant Provençal civilization, ended, politically, in the Treaty of Paris (1229), which destroyed the independence of the princes of the south but did not extinguish the heresy, in spite of the wholesale massacres of heretics during the war. The Inquisition, however, operating unremittingly in the south at Toulouse, Albi, and other towns during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, succeeded in crushing it.]

23 [The Mongol Temüjin or Temuchin (born 1155, in 1162, the date favored today in Mongolia, or in 1167; died 18 August 1227), known to history as Genghis Khan (Chinggis, or Jenghiz, Khan), was a warrior and ruler of genius who, starting from obscure and insignificant beginnings, brought all the nomadic tribes of Mongolia under the rule of himself and his family in a rigidly disciplined military state. He then turned his attention toward the settled peoples beyond the borders of his nomadic realm and began the series of campaigns of plunder and conquest that eventually carried the Mongol armies as far as the Adriatic Sea in one direction and the Pacific coast of China in the other, leading to the establishment of the great Mongol Empire.]

24 [Genghis’s son, who succeeded his father in 1229, was Ögödei, also spelled Ogadai, Ogdai, or Ugedei (born 1185, Mongolia; died 1241, Karakorum, Mongolia). The first ruler of the Mongols to call himself khagan (“great khan”), he greatly expanded the Mongol Empire.]

25 [Möngke, also spelled Mangu (born 1208, Mongolia; died 1259, Szechwan, China), grandson of Genghis Khan and heir to the great Mongol empire. Elected great khan in 1251, he was the last man who held this title to base his capital at Karakorum, in central Mongolia. Under his rule the city achieved an unprecedented splendor, and the Mongol Empire continued to expand at a rapid rate. Its territory became so large and diverse that Möngke was the last great khan capable of exerting real authority over all the Mongol conquests.]

26 [Jean Duplan-Carpin is Giovanni da Pian del Carpini: with hopes of ultimately converting the Mongols to Christianity, Pope Innocent IV (see note 27, below) sent friars to “diligently search out all things that concerned the state of the Tartars” and to exhort them “to give over their bloody slaughter of mankind and to receive the Christian faith.” Among others, Carpini in 1245 went forth to follow these instructions. Traveling the great caravan routes from southern Russia, north of the Caspian and Aral seas and north of the Tien Shan (Tien Mountains), Carpini eventually reached the court of the Emperor at Karakorum. Carpini returned confident that the Emperor was about to become a Christian.]

27 [Pope Innocent IV, original name Sinibaldo Fieschi (born end of the twelfth century, Genoa; died 7 December 1254, Naples), one of the great pontiffs of the Middle Ages (reigned 1243-1254), whose clash with Holy Roman emperor Frederick II formed an important chapter in the conflict between papacy and empire. His belief in universal responsibility of the papacy led him to attempt the evangelization of the East and the unification of the Christian churches.]

28 [Karakorum, ancient capital of the Mongol empire, whose ruins lie on the upper Orhon River in north-central Mongolia. The site of Karakorum may have been first settled about 750. In 1220 Genghis Khan, the great Mongol conqueror, established his headquarters there and used it as a base for his invasion of China.]

29 [Vincent of Beauvais (born c. 1190, Beauvais?, France; died 1264, Paris), French scholar and encyclopedist whose Speculum majus (“Great Mirror”) was probably the greatest European encyclopedia up to the eighteenth century (cf. Lusignan (Charles), Préface au Speculum majus de Vincent de Beauvais: réfraction et diffraction, Montréal: Bellarmin; Paris: J. Vrin, 1979, 146 p.) The original Speculum majus consisted of three parts, historical, natural, and doctrinal. A fourth part, the Speculum morale (“Mirror of Morals”), was added in the fourteenth century by an unknown author. An immense undertaking, the work covered all of Western human history from the Creation to the time of Louis IX, summarized all natural history and science known to the West, and provided a thorough compendium on European literature, law, politics, and economics. The final synthesis of the three sections included 80 books, an enormous project for a single scholar.]

30 [Asselin is apparently Pierre Ascelin, a Franciscan who was sent to Mongolia by the Pope in about 1260.]

31 [Marco Polo (born c. 1254, Venice, or Curzola, Venetian Dalmatia, now Korcula, Croatia; died 8 January 1324, Venice), Venetian merchant, adventurer, and outstanding traveler, who journeyed from Europe to Asia in 1271-1295, remaining in China for 17 of those years, and whose Il milione (“The Million”), known in English as the Travels of Marco Polo, became a geographical classic (Marco Polo, The book of Ser Marco Polo, the Venetian: concerning the kingdoms and marvels of the East [edited with an introduction by Parks George Bruner], New York: Book League of America, 1927, xxxiii + 392 p.)]

32 [Saint Louis is Louis IX (born 25 April 1214, Poissy, France; died 25 August 1270, near Tunis; canonized 11 August 1297, feast day 25 August), king of France from 1226 to 1270, the most popular of the Capetian monarchs. He led the Seventh Crusade to the Holy Land in 1248-1250 and died on another crusade to Tunisia.]

33 [We have been unable to further identify Guillaume Picard.]

34 [This new narrative of 1300 about the East cannot be further traced.]

35 [Sir John Mandeville (fl. fourteenth century), purported author of a collection of travelers’s tales from around the world, The Voyage and Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Knight, generally known as The Travels of Sir John Mandeville. The tales are selections from the narratives of genuine travelers, embellished with Mandeville’s additions and described as his own adventures (see Mandeville (Jean de), The book of John Mandeville [an edition of the Pynson text, with commentary on the defective version by Kohanski Tamarah], Tempe (Arizona): Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001, lviii-132 p.)]

36 [Frederick II (born 26 December 1194, Jesi, Ancona, Papal States; died 13 December 1250, Castel Fiorentino, Apulia, Kingdom of Sicily), king of Sicily (1197-1250), duke of Swabia (as Frederick VI, 1228-1235), German king (1212-1250), and Holy Roman emperor (1220-1250). A Hohenstaufen and grandson of Frederick I Barbarossa, he pursued his dynasty’s imperial policies against the papacy and the Italian city states; and he also joined in the Sixth Crusade (1228-1229), conquering several areas of the Holy Land and crowning himself king of Jerusalem (reigning 1229-1243).]

37 [Frederick’s most important work, De arte venandi cum avibus (The Art of Hunting with Birds), is a standard work on falconry, but based entirely on his own experimental research (Frederick II, De arte venandi cum avibus [Ms Pal Lat. 1071, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana; commentary volume, introduction and elucidative description of the facsimile edition by Willemsen Carl Arnold], Graz: Akademische Druck-u. Verlagsanstalt, 1969, 2 vols).]

38 [For Albert the Great, see Lesson 23.]

39 [Saint Thomas Aquinas (born in 1224 or 1225, at Roccasecca, near Aquino, on the road from Rome to Naples; died 7 March 1274, at the Cistercian abbey of Fossanova, Italy), a Christian philosopher who developed his own conclusions from Aristotelian premises, notably in the metaphysics of personality, creation, and Providence; a theologian responsible in his two masterpieces, the Summa theologiae and the Summa contra gentiles, for the classical systematization of Latin theology; and a poet who wrote some of the most gravely beautiful eucharistic hymns in the church’s liturgy (see Thomas Aquinas, On the truth of the Catholic faith [translated, with an introduction and notes, by Pegis Anton C.], Garden City (New York): Doubleday, 1955, 1 vol.; The cardinal virtues: Aquinas, Albert, and Philip the Chancellor [translated by Houser R. E.], Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2004, ix + 256 p.) Although many modern Roman Catholic theologians do not find St. Thomas altogether congenial, he is nevertheless recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as its foremost Western philosopher and theologian.]

40 [In other words, “realism,” as contrasted with “nominalism,” holds that universals –which, here, Cuvier calls “ideas”– are real, and more real than the particulars of sense experience. In this sense, Plato was a realist. “Nominalism” is the view that only particulars are real and that universals are but observable likenesses among the particulars of sense experience; “ideas” are not real at all, but merely the names of likenesses shared by certain particulars.]

Table des illustrations

Titre THE BATTLE OF NICEA (A.D. 1096-1097). Illustration by Gustave Doré, engraved by Doms, from Michaud (Joseph F.), History of the Crusades [illustrated with one hundred grand compositions by Gustave Doré, engraved by Bellenger, Doms, Gusman, Jonnard, Pannemaker, Pisan, Quesnel], Philadelphia: G. Barrie, 1896, vol. 1, following p. 64.
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