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Among the many voluminous didactic poems of the twelfth 
and thirteenth centuries, one of the most voluminous is the "Archi- 
trenius," ' a moral epic in nine cantos, written in 1184 by the 
Cistercian monk, Johannes de Anville or Hauteville. The hero, 
whose sentimental character is sufficiently indicated by his name, 
Archweeper, is represented as being dissatisfied with the world and 
himself. To find relief from his anxieties and doubts, he under- 
takes a pilgrimage ; not, as one might expect, to Jerusalem, but 
to Nature's holy temple. The many adventures which he under- 
goes on his way to this imaginary sanctuary form the bulk of the 
poem. We see him jogging along over mountains and deserts, 
through lonely forests and populous cities ; we see him in the 
"house of Venus" barely escape the temptations of the flesh, in 
the " tavern of Bacchus " almost lose himself in wild dissipations. 
We see him on the " Mount of Ambition," on the " Hill of Pre- 
sumption"; we see him on the island of Thule listening to moral 
speeches of Greek and Roman philosophers; we see him finally 
in the " Garden of Nature," full of faith in the harmony of the 
universe, and comforted by the presence of a beautiful maiden, 
called Moderantia, whom the goddess Nature herself introduces to 
him as his bride. 

The poem is remarkable as one of the earliest specimens of 
allegorical poetry in modern Europe ; and as a forerunner of the 
"Roman de la Rose," of " Teuerdank," and of the " Pilgrim's 
Progress," it deserves a more careful attention than the histories 
of literature have hitherto given to it. 2 But its most remarkable 
part is a strikingly realistic description of student life in Paris, 
which forms one of the episodes of the hero's life, and which 
stands in a most curious contrast with the indistinctness and 
unreality of the rest of the poem. The picture which the author 
gives us of the daily work and habits of the Parisian student of 
the twelfth century is far from being pleasant. Paris itself, to be 

'Thus, instead of Archithrenius, the MSS. 

2 Gaston Paris, in " La Litterature Frangaise au Moyen Age," does not even 
mention its name. 


sure, seems to have possessed even at that time a charm of its 
own. It is called "altera regia Phoebi," " mundi rosa,""bal- 
samus orbis "; and its beautiful surroundings, its fertile vineyards, 
its good-natured population, are highly extolled. But alas ! the 
poor scholastic derives no benefit from all these attractions. His 
life is wasted in fruitless . plodding and incessant abnegation. 
His dress is shabby and antiquated, his meals consist of peas, 
bsans and cabbage, next to no care is taken of his room, his bed 
is a hard mattress lying close on the floor. So he lives day in 
day out, the true picture of a " grind," and even at night his 
studies pursue him ; for he suffers greatly from insomnia. 

The first complete edition of this work appeared at Paris, 15 17, 
aedibus Ascensianis, which is now very rare. Th. Wright, in his 
"Anglo Latin Satirical Poets of the Twelfth Century," Vol. I, 
London, 1872, gave a second edition of the poem, based on MSS 
from the British Museum. I have compared the following manu- 
scripts : 

Cod. A, Rome, Vatic. Reg. 1554, fol. 109-166, saec. XIII. 

Cod. B, Berne, City Libr. 683, fol. 93. saec. XIII. 

Cod.. C, Perugia, City Libr. 15548, saec. XIII. 

Cod. D, Rome, Vatic. Reg. 370, fol. 189-214, saec. XIV. 

Cod. E, Rome, Vatic. Reg. 181 2, saec. XV. 

From these manuscripts some extracts were published by 
myself in Vol. XX of the " Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte," 
p. 475-502, together with an analysis of the whole poem. Here 
I offer those passages relating to the scholastic life in the Paris of 
the twelfth century. Those desirous of further information about 
the poem and its author I would refer to my article just mentioned ; 
to the Histoire litt^raire XIV, p. 569-579 ; the Biographie univer- 
selle s. v. Jean de Hautville; Wright, Biogr. Brit. Lit. II, 250; 
and J. Simler, De archithrenio duodecimi saeculi carmine, Parisiis, 

De miseria scolarium. 

1 At ' diis paulo minor plebes Phoebea a secundos 
Vix metit eventus; quicquid serat, undique tortis 
Vapulat adversis. Gemit Architrenius agmen 
Palladis a miseris vix respirare, beatos 

1 The miserable life of the scholastics is contrasted with the preceding 
description of the delights of Paris life in general. 
2 Cf. Sil. Ital. 8, 271 Martia plebes. 


5 Pectore philosophos, fato pulsante, flagello 
Asperiore premi, nulla virtute favori 
Divitis adnecti, studio sudante ' malorum 
Continuare dies, senium, prohibentibus annis, 
Praecipitare malis pubisque urgere senectae 

10 Damna, rudimentis dum vitae abrumpit egestas 
Gaudia, 2 dum tenuem victum fortuna ministrat, 
Ad modicum torpente manu. 3 Ruit omnis in illos 
Omnibus adversis, vacui furit aspera ventris 
Incola, longa fames ; formae populatur honorem 

15 Exhauritque genas macies pallore ; remittit 
Quam dederat natura nivem, ferrugine texit 
Liventes oculos, facula splendoris adustam 
Exstinguit faciem 4 ; marcent excussa genarum 
Lilia labrorumque rosae ; collique pruina 6 

20 Deicitur livore luti ; maestissima vultu 
Mortis imago sedet ; neglecto pectinis usu 
Caesaries surgit, confusio crinis in altum 
Devia turbat iter, digito non tersa colenti 
Pulverulenta riget, secum luctamine crinis 

25 Dimicat alterno ; non haec discordia paci 

Redditur, intortum digito solvente capillum. 6 

De tenuitate vestUus. 

Quem scopulum mentis, scopulo quid durius ilia 
Horrida non flectat logicorum turba ? Rigorem 
Quis non excutiat et toto pectore dulces 
30 Derivet lacrimas, quotiens occurit honesta 
Philosophi fortuna minor ? Defringitur aevo 
Qua latitat vestis ; aetatis fimbria longae 
Est, non artificis ; ipsa est quae abrumpit amictum 
Portandique labor quodque omnibus unus adesse 

1 B, suadente. 

■ I. e. old age overtakes them before they have had an opportunity to 
enjoy their youth (rudimenta vitae). 

3 1, e. fortune is slow to grant even a moderate livelihood. 

4 Nature takes back the snow (transparency of skin) which she had given, 
she covers with dimness the leaden colored eyes, she puts out the face that 
had been lit up with the touch of brilliancy. 

6 1, e. whiteness. 

6 A similar picture of scholastic slovenliness is afforded by the description of 
Aristoteles' appearance in Walter of Chatillon's Alexandreis I, 59 sqq. 


35 Cogitur obsequiis, varios damnatus ad usus. 
Respirasse dies nullo sudore meretur, 
Quem dederint noctes venti suspirat ad ictus. 
Litigat ad Boreae flatus, adsibilat Euris 
Mollibus et Zephyri clementes ridet ad auras. 1 

De indigentia rerum familiarhwi et cibi maxime. 

40 Parva domus ; res ipsa minor. Contraxit utrumque 
Immensus tractusque diu sub Pallade fervor 
Et logices jucundus amor tenuisque laboris 
Emeriti merces et quae de more sophistas 
(Miror qua invidia fati) comitatur, egestas. 

45 Pauperies est tota domus, desuevit 2 ad illos 
Ubertas venisse lares, nee visitat aegrum 
Copia Parnassum, sublimior advolat aulas, 
His ignota casis, ubi pauca annosa supellex. 
Languida sordet anus, admoto murmurat igni 

50 Urceolus, quo pisa natant, quo caepe vagatur, 
Quo faba, quo porrus capiti tormenta minantur, 
Quo rigidum pallescit olus, quo fercula festo 
Atriplices 3 libanda die, quo vilior horti 
Jejunam expectat quaevis farrago Minervam. 

55 Hie undae assiduo conflictu litigat unda, 
Hie coxisse dapes est condivisse ; libido 
Mensae nulla venit, nisi quod sale sparsa rigorem 
Esca parum flectit ; solo fit amicior usu 
Coenula, luctanti minus obluctata palato. 

De vilitate servientium. 

60 Nudus in annoso tunicae squalore ministrat 
Geta 4 dapes, dum vile meri libamen in urbe 
Birria 5 venatur, pretio vestitus eodem 
Muricis ejusdem, luteus, macer, horridus, ore 
Languidus exsangui, plumarum squameus hirtam 

65 Agmine caesariem, festucae exstantis in altum 
Cuspide cristatus. Crinis silva intima denso 

1 1, e. the same garment is worn for any kind of work, day and night, and 
at all seasons. 

2 B, desuescit. 3 B, et triplici. 

4 Cf. Terent. Adelph. Ill 1 passim. 

6 A, Butria ; B, C, Birria; E, Biria; cf. Ducange s. v. 


Pulvere pressa jacet, sed et his pejora latere 
Suspicor, attritum digito scrutante capillum, 
Nescio quid facilem dum saepe adducit ad unguem. 

De cubilibtis. 

70 Sobria post mensae tenuis convivia frenum 
Suscipiente gula, satiem quod praevenit ante 
Dimidiasse famem, scabra farragine ' strati 
Contrahitur macies, quo vix 2 depressior infra 
Area descendit, ut texrea paene jacentem 

75 Proxima frangat humus. Illic pugil improbus 3 heres 
Sudat Aristotelis, oculum mordente lucerna, 
Dum pallens studio et marcens oleo ardet, utroque 
Languidus, insomnis et ocello et pectore noctes 
Extrahit alterutro vigiles, oculusque lucernae 

80 Pervigil et lippit et lippum torquet ocellum. 

De nocturno studio. 

Imprimit ergo libris oculi mentisque lucernam 
Et libro et cubito, dextraeque innixus et auri 
Quod nova quod veterum peperit cautela * revolvit ; 
Omnia, Castaliis pede quae sudaverat 6 antris 

85 Pegasus, exhaurit oculis et mente fluenta, 

Nunc oculo nunc mente bibens, nunc haurit utroque, 
Mo plus illaque minus, nunc lecta camino 
Decoquit ingenii memorique in pectore nodo 
Pressius astringit, nunc delibata reducto 

90 Praeterit affectu. 

De sopore scolaris studio fatigati. 

Talibus insudans olei librique lucerna, 
Tabidus illanguet, toti nupsisse Minervae 
Sedulus ardet amor, dum strato Phoebus ab axe 
Antipodum surgat et paucis distet ab ortu 
95 Jam gradibus. Tenui turn primum spargit ocellos 
Nube quies somni calamumque et caetera laxis 

1 Ed. Asc. ferrugine. s B, quovis. 

3 Cf. Verg. Georg. 1, 145 labor improbus. 

4 Cf. Ducange s. v. 

6 Cf. Pers. 5, 149 nummi pergant . . . avidos sudare deunces. 


Instrumenta rapit digitis, declive libello 
Suscipiente caput. Sed in ilia pace soporis 
Pacis eget studii labor insopitus, et ipso 

100 Cura vigil ' somno, libros operamque ministrat 
Excitae sotnnus animae, nee prima sopori 
Anxietas cedit, sed quae vigilaverat ante 
Sollicitudo redit, et major summa laboris 
Curarum studiis insomnibus obicit Hydram. 

105 Sic varia pectus ambage insomnia vexant 
Sollicitumque trahit curarum turba, soporis 
Indepasta fame. lam jamque Aurora diei 
Nuntiat adventum, cum Phoebo praevius ortum 
Lucifer explorat primumque excerpere rorem 

no Mane novo sudante parat, ne semita Phoebi 

Polluat uda togam chlamydisque elidat honorem. 

De proper atione ejusdem, adstudiumprofecturi. 

Ecce sopor Phoebo vigili cessurus ocellis 
Philosophi cedit, somno nutantibus 2 astris. 
lam vigilante die stellis citus insilit hospes 

115 Hospite mutato. Miser ecce excitur ocellus, 
Luciferi clamante tuba, damnoque lucerna 
Ardet adhuc, exstincta die caelique sepulta 
Lumine, non oleo summam aspergente papyrum 
Obsequiove manus vasi revocantis olivum, 

120 Post alios pastus se depascente papyro. 

Excutit ergo caput vultuque assurgit et ore 
Turbidus, et crinis digitorum verrit apertam 
Pectine caesariem, somnoque madentia siccat 
Summa labella sinu, noctisque laboribus ore 

125 Respirante gemit, oculosque in faece natantes 
Expedit a nodis cilii texentibus umbram 
Extricatque manu ; partesque effusus in omnes 
Undique discurrit oculus, dum tempore digna 
Nomina deprendat ; et ubi dinovit ad ortum 

130 Surgere solis equos, queritur dispendia somni 
Plus justo traxisse moras nimiumque citato 
Axe diem raptam, praecessurusque magistrum 

' B, jugis. 2 A, micantibus ; Ed. Asc, invitantibus. 


Praecessisse timet, et jam pro parte diurna 
Intonuisse tuba fontisque fecunda propinet ' 
135 Pocula Cirrhaei. Domitos torporibus artus 
Increpat, et maestos irae indignatio risus 
Excutit et tumidos flammato pectore questus 
Evomit, in lacrimas tandem vergente querela. 

De statu ejusdem in magistri praesentia. 

Ut ventum est Pallas ubi mitior agmina Cirrhae 3 
140 Armat et ad studii mens sudatura palaestram 
Suscitat ingenii flammas, conamina mentis 
Contrahit, exacuit animam totusque coacti 
Pectoris incumbit oculis riguaque magistrum 
Aure et mente bibit et verba cadentia promo 
145 Promptus utroque levat, oculique et mentis in illo 
Fixa vigilque manet acies aurisque maritat 
Pronuba dilectam cupida cum mente Minervam. 
Hanc sitit, hanc ardet studii Venus altera, major 
Alter anhelat Amor ; totumque impendit acumen, 
150 Expenditque diem, dum Phoebi roscidus orbis 
Crescit in occasum, sublataque redditur astris 
Flamma suusque dies, cum limina sole fugato 
Et noctis reserat et lucis vespera claudit. 

Kuno Francke. 

1 This distorted construction in all the MSS and Ed. Asc. 

2 Cf. Claud, praef. 2 Rap. Pros. 16. Cirrhaeae artes.