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The Jewish Quarterly Review

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The Jewish Quarterly Review

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    Available in PDF Format | The Jewish Quarterly Review.pdf | Unknown
    Israel Abrahams
Excerpt from book: EARLY ENGLISH HEBRAISTS. ROGER BACON AND HIS PREDECESSORS. In trying to fathom the state of learning in Western Europe during the Middle Ages, we are not so much struck by the ignorance of the masses, as by the ignorance of the learned. The occasional appearance of scholars of great breadth and depth of erudition makes the low level of the learning possessed by the mediocrities all the more conspicuous. The ordinary student moved within well-defined limits: his learning was for the most part confined to theological disquisitions, on the lines laid down by the Church, which narrowed more and more as time went on. It was always the moulding and re-moulding of the existing material in customary grooves and after approved methods. Philosophy and knowledge of nature were drawn from sources that had lost all their purity. The works of the ancients, or as much of them as was within reach, had suffered from bad translations, bad transcriptions, mutilations, interpolations, and incorrect interpretations. No new facts were evolved, no new data fixed. No wonder, therefore, that whenever a bolder spirit ventured to break through the conventional humdrum of that which was miscalled study and research, the mediocrities rose as one man against the disturber. It took centuries to lead up to the Renascence of letters, and when that event actually took place, when scholasticism succumbed at last, and the vigilant observation of nature commenced to supersede the a priori speculations of physical science, the change was accompanied by a friction and disturbance that altered the aspect of almost all European affairs. This self-satisfied slothfulness, this vague horror of every new departure, both in regard to method and to subject- matter, affected the whole field of knowledge. The study of lan...  
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Book details

  • PDF | 548 pages
  • Israel Abrahams
  • General Books LLC
  • Unknown
  • 3
  • Other
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