High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period of European history that commenced around 1000 and lasted until around 1250. The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended around 1500. Key historical trends of the High Middle Ages include the increasing population of Europe, which brought about great social and political change from the preceding era, the Renaissance of the 12th century, including the first developments of rural exodus and of urbanization. By 1250, the robust population increase had benefited the European economy, which reached levels that would not be seen again in some areas until the 19th century; that trend faltered during the Late Middle Ages because of a series of calamities, most notably the Black Death, but numerous wars as well as economic stagnation. From around 780, Europe saw the last of the barbarian invasions and became more and politically organized; the Carolingian Renaissance led to philosophical activity in Northern Europe.
The first universities started operating in Bologna, Paris and Modena. The Vikings settled in the British Isles and elsewhere, Norse Christian kingdoms started developing in their Scandinavian homelands; the Magyars ceased their expansion in the 10th century, by the year 1000, a Christian Kingdom of Hungary had become a recognized state in Central Europe, forming alliances with regional powers. With the brief exception of the Mongol invasions in the 13th century, major nomadic incursions ceased; the powerful Byzantine Empire of the Macedonian and the Komnenos dynasties gave way to the resurrected Serbia and Bulgaria and to a successor crusader state, which countered the continuous threat of the Seljuk Turks in Asia Minor. In the 11th century, populations north of the Alps began a more intensive settlement, targeting "new" lands, some of which areas had reverted to wilderness after the end of the Roman Empire. In what is known as the "great clearances", Europeans cleared and cultivated some of the vast forests and marshes that lay across of the continent.
At the same time, some settlers moved beyond the traditional boundaries of the Frankish Empire to new frontiers beyond the Elbe River, which tripled the size of Germany in the process. The Catholic Church, which reached the peak of its political power around called armies from across Europe to a series of Crusades against the Seljuk Turks; the crusaders founded the Crusader States in the Levant. Other wars led to the Northern Crusades; the Christian kingdoms took much of the Iberian Peninsula from Muslim control, the Normans conquered southern Italy, all part of the major population increases and the resettlement patterns of the era. The High Middle Ages produced many different forms of intellectual and artistic works; the age saw the rise of ethnocentrism, which evolved into modern civic nationalisms in most of Europe, the ascent of the great Italian city-states and the rise and fall of the Muslim civilization of Al-Andalus. The rediscovery of the works of Aristotle led Thomas Aquinas and other thinkers of the period to expand Scholasticism, a combination of Catholicism and ancient philosophy.
For much of this period, Constantinople remained Europe's most populous city, Byzantine art reached a peak in the 12th century. In architecture, many of the most notable Gothic cathedrals were built or completed around this period; the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages began at the start of the 14th century and marked the end of the period. In England, the Norman Conquest of 1066 resulted in a kingdom ruled by a Francophone nobility; the Normans invaded Ireland by force in 1169 and soon established themselves throughout most of the country, although their stronghold was the southeast. Scotland and Wales were subdued to vassalage at about the same time, though Scotland asserted its independence and Wales remained under the rule of independent native princes until the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in 1282; the Exchequer was founded in the 12th century under King Henry I, the first parliaments were convened. In 1215, after the loss of Normandy, King John signed the Magna Carta into law, which limited the power of English monarchs.
Much of the Iberian peninsula had been occupied by the Moors after 711, although the northernmost portion was divided between several Christian states. In the 11th century, again in the thirteenth, the Christian kingdoms of the north drove the Muslims from central and most of southern Iberia. In Italy, independent city states grew affluent on eastern maritime trade; these were in particular the thalassocracies of Pisa, Amalfi and Venice. From the mid-tenth to the mid-11th centuries, the Scandinavian kingdoms were unified and Christianized, resulting in an end of Viking raids, greater involvement in European politics. King Cnut of Denmark ruled over both Norway. After Cnut's death in 1035, England and Norway were lost, with the defeat of Valdemar II in 1227, Danish predominance in the region came to an end. Meanwhile, Norway extended its Atlantic possessions, ranging from Greenland to the Isle of Man, while Sweden, under Birger Jarl, built up a power-base in the Baltic Sea. However, the Norwegian influence started to decline in the same period, marked by the Treaty of Perth of 1266.
Civil wars raged in Norway between 1130 and 1240. By the time of the High Middle Ages, the Carolingian Empire had been divided and replaced by separate successor kingdoms called France and Germany, although not with their modern boundaries. Germany was under the banner of the Holy Roman Empire, which reached its high-water mark of unit
Abbey of Saint-Victor, Paris
The Abbey of Saint Victor, Paris known as Royal Abbey and School of Saint Victor, was an abbey near Paris, France. Its origins are connected to the decision of William of Champeaux, the Archdeacon of Paris, to retire to a small hermitage near Paris in 1108, he took on the life and observances of the Canons Regular, his new community followed the Augustinian Rule. William was famed for his teaching, was followed to his hermitage by many of his disciples, including Peter Abelard, was convinced by them to take up his lecturing again. William was made Bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne in 1113, was succeeded in his hermitage at St. Victor's by Gilduin, who promoted the canonical order and its new abbey vigorously. Through generous gifts from popes, kings and nobles, the Abbey of St. Victor was soon richly endowed. Many houses of canons regular came under its influence and were reformed through its leadership, including the Abbey of Ste Geneviève, Wigmore Abbey in Wales, St. Augustine's, St. Catherine's, St. Thomas's, San Pietro ad Aram.
King Louis VIII mentioned no less than forty abbeys of the Order of St. Victor in his last will and testament, he left 4,000 pounds to be divided among them, all his jewels for the building of the abbey church in Paris. Before the abbey was 160 years old, several cardinals and at least eight significant abbots had been produced from among its members; the traditions of William of Champeaux were handed on, the abbey became a center of piety and learning, attracting famous students and intellectuals including Hugh of St. Victor, Peter Lombard and Thomas Becket. In fact, the school of Saint Victor, with the schools of Ste Geneviève and Notre-Dame de Paris, was the cradle of the University of Paris, it was around 1108 that William of Champeaux retired from teaching with a few disciples in a hermitage abandoned near a chapel dedicated to St. Victor, at the foot of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève. In 1113, when William was elected Bishop of Chalons-sur-Marne, Louis VI transformed the small retreat into an abbey, richly endowed the following year.
The Pope dedicated the foundation. The successor of William was the prior Gilduin, dearest disciple of William and confessor of the king. Born in Paris, he is the abbot of 1113–1155, it is most during his abbacy, that the customs of St. Victor were composed in the Liber Ordinis Sancti Victoris, following a rigorous asceticism, where silence and manual labor prevailed. In 1148, the abbey acquired the college of Sainte-Geneviève; the abbey fell on hard times, being identified in the 17th and early 18th centuries with the Jansenist movement. It was destroyed during the French Revolution; the site of the former abbey is now occupied by Paris VI and VII Universities and by the Muséum and Jardin des Plantes. The name survives in a neighbouring street; the Victorines are one of the most illustrious of the twelfth-century congregations in terms of cosmopolitan and intellectual pursuits. Thanks to Hugh and his comprehensive teachings, the school took on a universalist dimension that Victorines defended against those who wanted to "rip and shred the whole body and who, by a perverse judgment, arbitrarily choose whatever pleases them."
Saint-Victor became a popular retreat of Bernard of Clairvaux and Thomas Becket, the bishops of Paris had an apartment there. The cloister became a public school of theology and liberal arts, a kind of monastery-university attended by the philosopher Abelard and Peter Lombard, author of the famous Sentences; the abbey had a rich library open to the public. In the consulting room the manuscripts were chained, but there were other properties: liturgical manuscripts were kept for the choir, some others near the refectory, for reading aloud in the infirmary to the sick and dying, others consisting of double reserves by the librarian. Part of the library consisted of a group of books the canons or students could borrow over long periods; the teaching of the abbey activity favoured the development of library funds. Richly endowed, the abbey would be filled by purchases or copies from elsewhere: the scriptorium seems not to have been well developed. Endowments enriched the collection. In addition, the documents found upon the death of a Victorin were compiled and stored in the library.
In Gargantua and Pantagruel by Rabelais, there are satirical references to the library of St Victor. The scriptorium of Saint-Victor has been the cause of experience glosses texts of Scripture by formatting columns, "formal provision unique"; this seems to be influence of Italian origin. The main and iconic masters of this scholarly abbey remain Richard of St. Victor; the first being recognized as the true founder of the school, abbot of 1125-1140, the complete scholar, philosopher and teacher, whose book De sacramentis christianae fidei is the most important theological synthesis before scholastic Saint Thomas Aquinas. The second, Richard of St. Victor is considered the founder of the medieval mysticism. Philosophies developed by these Victorines were to give a rational support for the mystical, aided by divine grace, enlightenment or innate principles of truth to the soul. One of the goals of all the Victorines was to promote the spiritual life. William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100 to 1700, a program of employing that method in articulating and defending dogma in an pluralistic context. It originated as an outgrowth of and a departure from Christian theology within the monastic schools at the earliest European universities; the rise of scholasticism was associated with the rise of the 12th and 13th century schools that developed into the earliest modern universities, including those in Italy, France and England. Scholasticism is not so much a philosophy or a theology as a method of learning, as it places a strong emphasis on dialectical reasoning to extend knowledge by inference and to resolve contradictions. Scholastic thought is known for rigorous conceptual analysis and the careful drawing of distinctions. In the classroom and in writing, it takes the form of explicit disputation; because of its emphasis on rigorous dialectical method, scholasticism was applied to many other fields of study.
As a program, scholasticism began as an attempt at harmonization on the part of medieval Christian thinkers, to harmonize the various authorities of their own tradition, to reconcile Christian theology with classical and late antiquity philosophy that of Aristotle but of Neoplatonism. Some of the main figures of scholasticism include Anselm of Canterbury, Peter Abelard, Alexander of Hales, Albertus Magnus, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham and Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas's masterwork Summa Theologica is considered to be the pinnacle of scholastic and Christian philosophy. Important work in the scholastic tradition has been carried on well past Aquinas's time, for instance by Francisco Suárez and Luis de Molina, among Lutheran and Reformed thinkers; the historical legacy of scholasticism lay not in specific scientific discoveries, for these were not made, but laying the foundations for the development of natural science. The terms "scholastic" and "scholasticism" derive from the Latin word scholasticus, the Latinized form of the Greek σχολαστικός, an adjective derived from σχολή, "school".
Scholasticus means "of or pertaining to schools". The "scholastics" were "schoolmen"; the foundations of Christian scholasticism were laid by Boethius through his logical and theological essays, forerunners to scholasticism were Islamic Ilm al-Kalām "science of discourse", Jewish philosophy Jewish Kalam. The first significant renewal of learning in the West came with the Carolingian Renaissance of the Early Middle Ages. Charlemagne, advised by Peter of Pisa and Alcuin of York, attracted the scholars of England and Ireland. By decree in AD 787, he established schools in every abbey in his empire; these schools, from which the name scholasticism is derived, became centers of medieval learning. During this period, knowledge of Ancient Greek had vanished in the West except in Ireland, where its teaching and use was dispersed in the monastic schools. Irish scholars had a considerable presence in the Frankish court, where they were renowned for their learning. Among them was Johannes Scotus Eriugena, one of the founders of scholasticism.
Eriugena was the most significant Irish intellectual of the early monastic period and an outstanding philosopher in terms of originality. He had considerable familiarity with the Greek language and translated many works into Latin, affording access to the Cappadocian Fathers and the Greek theological tradition; the other three founders of scholasticism were the 11th-century scholars Peter Abelard, Archbishop Lanfranc of Canterbury and Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury. This period saw the beginning of the'rediscovery' of many Greek works, lost to the Latin West; as early as the 10th century, scholars in Spain had begun to gather translated texts and, in the latter half of that century, began transmitting them to the rest of Europe. After a successful burst of Reconquista in the 12th century, Spain opened further for Christian scholars, as these Europeans encountered Islamic philosophy, they opened a wealth of Arab knowledge of mathematics and astronomy. Scholars such as Adelard of Bath traveled to Spain and Sicily, translating works on astronomy and mathematics, including the first complete translation of Euclid's Elements into Latin.
At the same time, Anselm of Laon systematized the production of the gloss on Scripture, followed by the rise to prominence of dialectic in the work of Abelard. Peter Lombard produced a collection of Sentences, or opinions of the Church Fathers and other authorities The 13th and early 14th centuries are seen as the high period of scholasticism; the early 13th century witnessed the culmination of the recovery of Greek philosophy. Schools of translation grew up in Italy and Sicily, in the rest of Europe. Powerful Norman kings gathered men of knowledge from Italy and other areas into their courts as a sign of their prestige. William of Moerbeke's translations and editions of Greek philosophical texts in the middle half of the thirteenth century helped form a clearer picture of Greek philosophy of Aristotle, than was given by the Arabic versions on wh
School of Saint Victor
The school of St Victor was the medieval monastic school at the Augustinian abbey of St Victor in Paris. The name refers to the Victorines, the group of philosophers and mystics based at this school as part of the University of Paris, it was founded in the twelfth century by Peter Abelard's tutor and subsequent opponent, the realist school master William of Champeaux, a prominent early member of their community was Hugh of St Victor. Other prominent members were Achard of St. Victor, Andrew of St Victor, Richard of St Victor, Walter of St Victor and Godfrey of St Victor, as well as Thomas Gallus. Under the rigorous supervision of Hugh, St Victor offered a coherent and structured approach to learning through the cultivation of personal virtue rather than the requisition of knowledge for its own sake; this is exemplified in the schema for the liberal arts laid out in Hugh's Didascalicon, in which he exhorts the reader to Omnia Disce, or to know all. By 1160, the abbey had become a place of retreat from the schools, echoing the original act of weary retirement enacted by William of Champeaux at its founding.
By the time of Godfrey, St Victor was concerned with the instruction of its own canons, rather than the emphasis on the extern school operated earlier in the twelfth century. The end of the Victorines as a unique force came by 1173, when the reactionary Walter was appointed as prior. Walter launched a furious attack upon the intellectual culture of the school and its members with his Contra quatuor labyrinthos Francae, a denunciation of secular theological teaching. After this violent repudiation of Victorine pedagogical tradition the abbey was, in effect, a self-contained Augustinian priory like any other. Jan van Ruusbroec submitted his Groenendael Priory to their Rule in 1335, from which stemmed the Brethren of the Common Life and Thomas à Kempis' Devotio Moderna. A major theme of their studies was the anagogical relationship between the Divine and the Mundane, adopted by Pope Eugene IV in his 5.1.1435 bull declaring Roman supremacy
Liberal arts education
Liberal arts education can claim to be the oldest programme of higher education in Western history. It has its origin in the attempt to discover first principles –'those universal principles which are the condition of the possibility of the existence of anything and everything'; the liberal arts known as the seven liberal arts, are those subjects or skills that in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free person to know in order to take an active part in civic life, something that included participating in public debate, defending oneself in court, serving on juries, most military service. Grammar and rhetoric were the core liberal arts, while arithmetic, the theory of music, astronomy were the following stage of education. Liberal arts today can refer to academic subjects such as literature, philosophy and social and physical sciences. For both interpretations, the term refers to matters not relating to the professional, vocational, or technical curriculum. Rooted in the basic curriculum – the enkuklios paideia or "education in a circle" – of late Classical and Hellenistic Greece, the "liberal arts" or "liberal pursuits" were so called in formal education during the Roman Empire.
The first recorded use of the term "liberal arts" occurs in De Inventione by Marcus Tullius Cicero, but it is unclear if he created the term. Seneca the Younger discusses liberal arts in education from a critical Stoic point of view in Moral Epistles; the exact classification of the liberal arts varied however in Roman times, it was only after Martianus Capella in the 5th century AD influentially brought the seven liberal arts as bridesmaids to the Marriage of Mercury and Philology, that they took on canonical form. The four'scientific' artes – music, arithmetic and astronomy – were known from the time of Boethius onwards as the quadrivium. After the 9th century, the remaining three arts of the'humanities' – grammar and rhetoric – were grouped as the trivium, it was in that two-fold form that the seven liberal arts were studied in the medieval Western university. During the Middle Ages, logic came to take predominance over the other parts of the trivium. In the Renaissance, the Italian humanists and their Northern counterparts, despite in many respects continuing the traditions of the Middle Ages, reversed that process.
Re-christening the old trivium with a new and more ambitious name: Studia humanitatis, increasing its scope, they downplayed logic as opposed to the traditional Latin grammar and rhetoric, added to them history and moral philosophy, with a new emphasis on poetry as well. The educational curriculum of humanism spread throughout Europe during the sixteenth century and became the educational foundation for the schooling of European elites, the functionaries of political administration, the clergy of the various recognized churches, the learned professions of law and medicine; the ideal of a liberal arts, or humanistic education grounded in classical languages and literature, persisted until the middle of the twentieth century. Some subsections of the liberal arts are in the trivium – the verbal arts of grammar and rhetoric – and other parts are in the quadrivium – the numerical arts of music and arithmetic, the graphical and mathematical art of Geometry; each subsection includes the interpretation of information.
Academic areas that are associated with the term liberal arts include: Arts Philosophy Religious studies Social science Mathematics Natural Sciences For example, the core courses for Georgetown University's Doctor of Liberal Studies program cover philosophy, history, art and the social sciences. Wesleyan University's Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program includes courses in visual arts, art history and professional writing, history, film, education, biology and astronomy; the liberal arts education at the secondary school level prepares the student for higher education at a university. They are thus meant for the more academically minded students. In addition to the usual curriculum, students of a liberal arts education study Latin and Ancient Greek; some liberal arts education provide general education, others have a specific focus. The four traditional branches are: humanities education modern languages lower level mathematical-scientific education economical and social-scientific education Curricula differ from school to school, but include language, informatics, chemistry, geography, music, philosophy, civics / citizenship, social sciences, several foreign languages.
Schools concentrate not only on academic subjects, but on producing well-rounded individuals, so physical education and religion or ethics are compulsory in non-denominational schools which are prevalent. For example, the German constitution guarantees the separ
Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages as centers of advanced education, some of them evolving into medieval universities. Throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, they were complemented by the monastic schools; some of these early cathedral schools, more recent foundations, continued into modern times. In the Roman Empire, as Roman municipal education declined, bishops began to establish schools associated with their cathedrals to provide the church with an educated clergy; the earliest evidence of a school established in this manner is in Visigothic Spain at the Second Council of Toledo in 527. These early schools, with a focus on an apprenticeship in religious learning under a scholarly bishop, have been identified in other parts of Spain and in about twenty towns in Gaul during the sixth and seventh centuries. During and after the mission of St Augustine to England, cathedral schools were established as the new dioceses were themselves created; this group of schools forms the oldest schools continuously operating.
A significant function of cathedral schools was to provide boy trebles for the choirs, evolving into choir schools, some of which still function as such. Charlemagne, king of the Franks and Emperor, recognizing the importance of education to the clergy and, to a lesser extent, to the nobility, set out to restore this declining tradition by issuing several decrees requiring that education be provided at monasteries and cathedrals. In 789, Charlemagne's Admonitio Generalis required that schools be established in every monastery and bishopric, in which "children can learn to read. Subsequent documents, such as the letter De litteris colendis, required that bishops select as teachers men who had "the will and the ability to learn and a desire to instruct others" and a decree of the Council of Frankfurt recommended that bishops undertake the instruction of their clergy. Subsequently, cathedral schools arose in major cities such as Chartres, Paris, Reims or Rouen in France and Utrecht, Cologne, Speyer, Würzburg, Magdeburg, Hildesheim or Freising in Germany.
Following in the earlier tradition, these cathedral schools taught future clergy and provided literate administrators for the elaborate courts of the Renaissance of the 12th century. Speyer was renowned for supplying the Holy Roman Empire with diplomats; the court of Henry I of England, himself an early example of a literate king, was tied to the cathedral school of Laon. Cathedral schools were oriented around the academic welfare of the nobility's children; because it was intended to train them for careers in the church, girls were excluded from the schools. On, many lay students who were not interested in seeking a career in the church wanted to enroll. Demand arose for schools to teach government and other Church affairs; the schools, accepted fewer than 100 students. Pupils had to demonstrate substantial intelligence and be able to handle a demanding academic course load. Considering that books were expensive, students were in the practice of memorizing their teachers' lectures. Cathedral schools at this time were run by a group of ministers and divided into two parts: Schola minor, intended for younger students would become elementary schools.
There was the schola major, which taught older students. These would become secondary schools; the subjects taught at cathedral schools ranged from literature to mathematics. These topics were called the seven liberal arts: grammar, rhetoric, arithmetic and music. In grammar classes, students were trained to read and speak Latin, the universal language in Europe at the time. Astronomy was necessary for calculating times. Rhetoric was a major component of a vocal education. Logic consisted of the criteria for sound or fallacious arguments in a theological context, arithmetic served as the basis for quantitative reasoning. Students read poems in Latin by authors such as Cicero and Virgil. Much as in the present day, cathedral schools were split into elementary and higher schools with different curricula; the elementary school curriculum was composed of reading and psalmody, while the high school curriculum was trivium, the rest of the liberal arts, as well as scripture study and pastoral theology.
While cathedral schools are no longer a significant site of higher education, many Roman Catholic and Lutheran cathedrals operate as primary or secondary schools. Most of those listed below are modern foundations, but a few trace their history to medieval schools. Bathurst – Cathedral Primary School Bunbury – Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School Perth – St George's Anglican Grammar School Rockhampton – The Cathedral College Sydney – St Andrew's Cathedral School Sydney – St Mary's Cathedral College Townsville – The Cathedral School of St Anne and St James Wangaratta – Cathedral College Hamilton – Christ the King Ribe – Ribe Katedralskole Aarhus – Aarhus Katedralskole Aalborg – Aalborg Katedralskole Viborg – Viborg Katedralskole Odense – Odense Katedralskole Roskilde – Roskilde Katedralskole Turku – Katedralskolan i Åbo Paris – École cathédrale de Paris Colegio San José de los Infantes Bangalore – Cathedral High School, Bangalore Koorschool St Bavo, Haarlem Kathedrale Koorschool Utrecht Bergen katedralskole Hamar katedralskole Kristiansand katedralskole Oslo katedralskole Stavanger katedralskole Trondheim katedralskole Punjab, Pakistan – Cathedral High School
John of Salisbury
John of Salisbury, who described himself as Johannes Parvus, was an English author, educationalist and bishop of Chartres, was born at Salisbury. He was of Anglo-Saxon, not of Norman extraction, therefore a clerk from a modest background, whose career depended upon his education. Beyond that, that he applied to himself the cognomen of Parvus, "short", or "small", few details are known regarding his early life. From his own statements it is gathered that he crossed to France about 1136, began regular studies in Paris under Peter Abelard, who had for a brief period re-opened his famous school there on Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, his vivid accounts of teachers and students provide some of the most valuable insights into the early days of the University of Paris. When Abelard withdrew from Paris John studied under Master Alberic and Robert of Melun. In 1137 John went to Chartres, where he studied grammar under William of Conches, rhetoric and the classics under Richard l'Evêque, a disciple of Bernard of Chartres.
Bernard's teaching was distinguished by its pronounced Platonic tendency, by the stress laid upon literary study of the greater Latin writers. The influence of the latter feature is noticeable in all John of Salisbury's works. Around 1140 John returned to Paris to study theology under Gilbert de la Porrée under Robert Pullus and Simon of Poissy, supporting himself as a tutor to young noblemen. In 1148 he resided at the Abbey of Moutiers-la-Celle in the diocese of Troyes, with his friend Peter of Celle, he was present at the Council of Reims in 1148, presided over by Pope Eugene III. It is conjectured that while there, he was introduced by St. Bernard of Clairvaux to Theobald, whose secretary he became. John of Salisbury was secretary to Archbishop Theobald for seven years. While at Canterbury he became acquainted with Thomas Becket, one of the significant potent influences in John's life. During this period he went on many missions to the Papal See; the following year John visited him. He was at the court of Rome at least twice afterward.
During this time he composed his greatest works, published certainly in 1159, the Policraticus, sive de nugis curialium et de vestigiis philosophorum and the Metalogicon, writings invaluable as storehouses of information regarding the matter and form of scholastic education, remarkable for their cultivated style and humanist tendency. The Policraticus sheds light on the decadence of the 12th-century court manners and the lax ethics of royalty; the idea of contemporaries standing on the shoulders of giants of Antiquity first appears in written form in the Metalogicon. After the death of Theobald in 1161, John continued as secretary to his successor, Thomas Becket, took an active part in the long disputes between that primate and his sovereign, Henry II, who looked upon John as a papal agent, his letters throw light on the constitutional struggle agitating England. In 1163, John fell into disfavor with the king for reasons that remain obscure, withdrew to France; the next six years he spent with his friend Peter of La Celle, now Abbot of St. Remigius at Reims.
Here he wrote "Historia Pontificalis". In 1170 he led the delegation charged with preparing for Becket's return to England, was in Canterbury at the time of Becket's assassination. In 1174 John became treasurer of Exeter cathedral. In 1176 he was made bishop of Chartres. In 1179 he took an active part in the Third Council of the Lateran, he died at or near Chartres on October 25, 1180. John's writings are excellent at clarifying the literary and scientific position of 12th century Western Europe. Though he was well versed in the new logic and dialectical rhetoric of the university, John's views imply a cultivated intelligence well versed in practical affairs, opposing to the extremes of both nominalism and realism a practical common sense, his doctrine is a kind of utilitarianism, with a strong leaning on the speculative side to the modified literary scepticism of Cicero, for whom he had unbounded admiration and on whose style he based his own. His view that the end of education was moral, rather than intellectual, became one of the prime educational doctrines of western civilization, but his influence is to be found, not in his immediate contemporaries but in the world-view of Renaissance humanism.
Of Greek writers he appears to have known nothing at first hand, little in translations. He was one of the best Latinists of his age; the Timaeus of Plato in the Latin version of Chalcidius was known to him as to his contemporaries and predecessors, he had access to translations of the Phaedo and Meno. Of Aristotle he possessed the whole of the Organon in Latin, he first coined the term theatrum mundi, a notion that influences the theater several centuries later. In several chapters of the third book of his Policraticus, he meditates on the fact that "the life of man on earth is a comedy, where each forgetting his own plays another's role". John was portrayed by actor Alex G. Hunter in the 1923 silent film Becket, based on a play by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Bollermann, Karen. "John of Salisbury". In Zalta, Edward N. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy