Contextualizing Hiberniam: Research Opportunities towards the Writing of a History of Irish Classical Scholarship, NAE Kalospyros

Content: Journal of Modern Education Review, ISSN 2155-7993, USA November 2014, Volume 4, No. 11, pp. 900­909 Doi: 10.15341/jmer(2155-7993)/11.04.2014/004 Academic Star Publishing Company, 2014 Contextualizing Hiberniam: Research Opportunities towards the Writing of a History of Irish Classical Scholarship Nicholas A. E. Kalospyros (University of Athens, Greece) Abstract: In our attempt to render Irish contribution to Classical Studies we may venture the written form of a philological and literary struggle to estimate the philological contribution of Ireland and its scholars in the History of Classical Scholarship; to establish equivalent standards and measures, in order to set the presuppositions of appraising the encounter between the advancement of Altertumswissenschaft in Europe, alma mater in humanities, and the achievements in both historical Hibernia and modern Ireland. Therefore, we register nine theoretical criteria efficient for the filtration of the subject under discussion, so as to elucidate their utility and application to any future handbook constructed under a similar scope. Keywords: Altertumswissenschaft, history of classical scholarship, Ireland, Hibernia, Homeric studies An attempt to render Irish contribution to classical studies amounts to a philological, sometimes literary, struggle to estimate the philological contribution of Ireland and its scholars in the History of Classical Scholarship; such a demanding attempt will not be fulfilled, unless we venture the writing of a respective handbook so that we establish equivalent standards and measures, in order to set the presuppositions of appraising the encounter between the advancement of Altertumswissenschaft (Henrichs, 1995) in Europe, alma mater in humanities, and the achievements in both historical Hibernia and modern Ireland. Without rendering an absolute approbation to Fr. Nietzsche's aphoristic projudication in favour of interpretations compared to facts, I think it proper enough in matters concerning History of Classical Scholarship to describe the eminent scholars' production and the course of established achievements than to give a bare account of publications. Therefore, I register below nine hints which I could also consider as theoretical criteria efficient for the filtration of the subject under discussion, so as to elucidate their utility and application to any future handbook constructed under a similar scope. i) To construct a useful and profound handbook for scientists from the philological orbit, that is both a descriptive and interpretive study -- rather than compiling a biographical encyclopedia -- with every possible detail which can provide scholars with the reasons for the course and advance of classical philology in its age of maturation in Gaelic, Christian, and, finally, British Ireland. In attempting to write a major work on the classical scholarship in Ireland it is obviously interesting to discourse at length on the great figures who proved to be admirable in their perceptions of classic literature and equally prevailing in their conscientious decision to work in service of demanding philology; since -- in Irish matters -- emphasis cannot be placed on the editorial Nicholas A. E. Kalospyros, M.A., Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Classics and Literature at the Department of Philosophy and History of Science (MITHE), University of Athens; research areas/interests: history and methodology of classical scholarship, textual criticism, ancient literary theory, Graeco-Judaean literature. E-mail: [email protected] 900
Contextualizing Hiberniam: Research Opportunities towards the Writing of a History of Irish Classical Scholarship scholarship and the scientific production of philological commentaries on classical authors, the academic service which somehow or other could be stated as a sociological or even political peculiarity in Ireland till nowadays, is the challenge to deal with; e.g., major ideological torrents, the Latinists, the Myth-Chapter, the "Nationality Question" even in the formation of Irish-Gaelic Literature, or even the literary Irish Christianism. It is equally difficult to track down publications and scholarly reaction to publications, taken for granted a material scattered and apparently elusive in bibliographies. Both the philosophy of classical scholarship and the methodology of it are numbered among the functional elements of the history of classical scholarship, in order to illuminate the orientation of research and the fullest documentation of events. Such a project is necessary; otherwise Sandys' history and Wilamowitz' more judicious outline (Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, 1998) are bound to remain indispensable even for Irish scholarship, whilst such as Pfeiffer's disproportion (Pfeiffer, 1976) doesn't seem any defensible at all; if we turn to Irish scholars in his pages, we will notice almost total oblivion. In conclusion, I evoke the serious epistemological study by Pascal Hummel (2000) on the history of classical scholarship, a reference book of which we should take advantage and profit from: the History of Classical Scholarship could not but stand in its own terms and so demand its particular epistemological genre in the special historical terms of Hibernia and its challenging background. Unlike neighbouring Britain, Ireland never knew Roman occupation, yet literary and archaeological evidence prove that Iuverna was more than simply terra incognita in classical antiquity (У. Crуinнn, 2005). We should not forget that on the boundaries of the considered habitable world for the ancient Greeks and Romans, Ireland was a land of myth and mystery in classical times. ii) The second one is consistent with the previous: To apply our scope in the nourishing domain of European classical scholarship, parallel to the other excellent personalities of European Wissenschaftsgeschichte, else our study will have no scientific equivalence. This means that we always have to describe figures and intellectual production in the natural orbit of European studies (Borinski, 1968; Bieler, 1987): this is what I named above as European context. The earliest classical philologist whose editorial work also proved influential outside of Ireland was Thomas Leland (1722­1785) with his editions of Demosthenes' Philippic and Olynthiac Orations (1754). So we must examine the possibility of an Irish scholar's direct or indirect apprenticeship to famous scholars from the Renaissance (Silke, 1973; Mac Craith, 1990) or, given the literary sympathy towards Homeric scholarship, to F. A. Wolf and his forerunners, who dominated Homeric scholarship for over a century (Bolter, 1980; Neschke-Hentschke, 1998). Still the speculated conjecture by any modest scholar or a marginal gloss in a manuscript, or a pedantic footnote in an article, must be examined among the general dimensions of their cultural and scientific past. For example, let us figure a chapter about the Irish Latinists, which must include information about the imitation of late Latin rhetorical prose; "this Kunstprosa (formal prose), rhythmical, and often rhymed, has influenced not only their Latin production, but also their literature in Gaelic" (Bieler, 1987, p. 225)1. Since the times of late antiquity the Irish were the first who extensively glossed their texts; the commentary on Virgil by Servius in both the original and the augmented form has passed through Irish hands. Philip Freeman rightly set as his starting point the relationship between Ireland and the classical world being a source of fascination for scholars for more than a century; he explored the evidence regarding Greek and (mostly) Roman knowledge of Ireland during the classical period and, to a lesser extent, the degree of actual interaction between the inhabitants of Ireland and classical civilizations until the date traditionally ascribed to the arrival of St. Patrick in Ireland (A.D. 432) (Freeman, 2001). Without exhausting his Latinist material in the cases of the missionaries Palladius and St. 1 repr. of "The Island of Scholars", Revue du moyen вge latin 8, Strasbourg 1952, pp. 213­231. 901
Contextualizing Hiberniam: Research Opportunities towards the Writing of a History of Irish Classical Scholarship Patrick in the first half of the fifth century, the first known Latinists in Ireland, and the classical stereotypes of Ireland, he also examined linguistic similarities between Latin and Irish: especially loan-words dated by "linguistic chronology, semantics, and educated conjecture" (Freeman, 2001, p. 15) and the "generally conceded" origins of the Ogham alphabet in Latin grammar (Freeman, 2001, p. 17­25)2. The Ogham writing system was developed in the 4th century and was probably inspired by a knowledge of the Latin alphabet and of the classification of speech sounds by late antique grammarians. This last issue could prove of high importance for medieval palaeography studies, for the existence of the Irish script. The fact that the Irish created the first minuscule, i.e., a form of fluent and continuous writing, should be stated as an important proof of the vitality of Latin studies in Ireland (Bieler, 1987, p. 230). Checking and finding out any intellectual proximity would prove of increasing interest on matters related to the progress made abroad and inventions achieved. For instance, the eighteenth century should be credited with more significance in the History of Classical Scholarship than is usually ascribed to it. Therefore, such a study cannot be indifferent to the historistic (of neohumanistic type) issues raised by A. Hentschke & U. Muhlack in their Einfьhrung in die Geschichte der Klassischen Philologie (1972), but we must avoid the schematic partiality and the unpardonable for classical scholarship overgeneralization. iii) To include scholars who have personally contributed either (mainly) to the promotion of classical studies and research or -- forming a less distinguished group -- to the revival of classical scholarship by keeping classics alive through their effective authorship or teaching in the capital cities and the smaller or more remote institutions of Ireland, thus achieving at least regional distinction and bibliographical mention for their work. Then, the crucial point concerns those who should enter the pages of such a handbook: What should they possess, fame or extant production? We can accept, for instance, the three criteria for inclusion, recorded by Briggs and Calder (Briggs & Calder, 1990, pp. ix-x) and also another from Briggs (Briggs, 1994, p. xv), in order to enrich items in critical bibliographies to the History of Classical Scholarship. The pioneering work by W. B. Stanford (1976), along with the volume edited by Luce, Morris and Souyoudzoglou-Haywood (2007), awaits their successors. The primary target is not simply to select the outstanding Irish scholars and to list down a catalogue concerning the Irish reception of classics in Ireland through the ages, but to interpret classical culture in its Hibernian context, from eighth-century Gaelic monks till eighteenth-century Anglo-Irish gentlemen (Dillon, 1982, pp. 133­136). By discerning in all these a common Hibernian attitude to reality and to language, William Bedell Stanford (1910­1984) became till nowadays the most public interpreter of Hibernian classical scholarship. While Stanford was arguably the best classical scholar Ireland produced in the 20th century (McGing, 2007), Oscar Wilde concerning his relationship with Greek culture and the influence of classical education upon his literary work, was treated as the most eminent Irish classicist of the 19th by Patrick Sammon (2007; Ross, 2013). Nevertheless, other scholars left their mark through their work on ancient Greece, like Lord Charlemont (1728­1799, founder of the Royal Irish Academy in the 18th century and a significant figure in the Western European rediscovery of Greece in the 18th century as a whole), J. P. Mahaffy (one of the first scholars to recognize the importance of travel to the classical lands for classical scholars) (Stanford & McDowell, 1971) or E. R. Dodds (an avid Irish nationalist). Mahaffy's Social Life in Greece from Homer to Menander (1874) influenced his pupil, Oscar Wilde, with whom he took a trip to Greece in 1877, to sites in the Peloponnesus and Attica. Generally speaking, the whole antiquity has been embraced by Irish scholars: Mahaffy and J. B. Bury (the classical period), Mahaffy (the Hellenistic and Graeco-Roman period), Bury (the Byzantine Empire), William Ridgeway (the prehistoric period) and Samuel Dill 2 On the possible origin of the Ogham alphabet within the Latin grammatical tradition. 902
Contextualizing Hiberniam: Research Opportunities towards the Writing of a History of Irish Classical Scholarship (the era of Republican and Imperial Rome). Among other scholars we could mention Henry Dodwell (1641­1711), the first Irish scholar as a specialist in ancient history; the satirist Jonathan Swift (1667­1745) quoting many ancient historians, from Herodotus to Polybius and Livy in his famous work A Discourse on the Contests and Dissentions between Noble and Commons in Athens and Rome (1701); Thomas Leland (1722­1785) with his enduring historical work History of the Life and Reign of Philip, King of Macedon (1758). Some cases regard specific interest: An important early contribution to the study of Homer was Robert Wood's (1717­1771) Essay on the Original Genius and Writing of Homer (in draft form 1767, not published until 1769), which sought to interpret Homer against the historical backdrop of his time as an oral poet. This interpretation on the oral nature of Homeric poetry and pre-literate age (before Milman Parry) was received positively by Goethe, Heyne and F. A. Wolf (Stanford, 1976, pp. 166­167; O'Nolan, 1969; Simonsuuri, 1979, pp. 133­142; Luce, 2007); Wilamowitz judged Wood's essay to be a greater achievement than even Bentley's rediscovery of the digamma. However, both scholars and Educational institutions obtain scholarship. Thus, the academic analysis of ancient literature reached its zenith at Trinity College Dublin in the second half of the 19th century, and is associated by scholars such as Mahaffy, A. Palmer, R. Y. Tyrell, L. C. Purser and Bury. In 1869 Kottabos, a termly journal devoted to verse compositions and humorous articles, mainly classical, by members of Trinity College appeared under the editorship of Tyrell, hosting especially his parodies of Greek authors in modern dress, until it ceased publication in 1895 (Stanford, 1976, p. 177). The other great university in Dublin was University College (originally the Catholic University). Mainly as a result of Henry Browne's (University College Dublin) diplomatic success the Classical Association of Ireland was founded in 1908 -- a remarkable demonstration of the unifying power of the classical tradition in a country divided in race and religion (Stanford, 1976, p. 68). Almost recently, the Irish Institute for Hellenic Studies in Athens (IIHSA) was established in 1996. Other literary achievements are worthy of mentioning: The first Irish translator into English was Richard Stanihurst (1547­1618) who rendered the first four books of the Aeneid in a very idiosyncratic linguistic form (published at Leyden in 1582), into English hexameters, in a grotesque diction and fondness for strong alliteration and assonance reminiscent of Irish poetry; when success eluded him, he composed historiographical treatises in Latin. Even John Toland's (1670­1722) Latin tract Pantheisticon sive Formula Celebrandae Sodalitatis Socraticae (1720), an exposition of his pantheistical beliefs and rationalistic convictions, deserves place in our handbook (Stanford, 1976, pp. 233­234). iv) To take advantage of such works existing even in foetal status as the basement for further writing. So, it is essential to criticize our predecessors in their own terms, and not refrain from criticizing their less convincing arguments, but, at the same time, to be content to understand the past and not to underestimate it. It is true that Stanford, unfortunately, had not fully managed to avoid writing a catalogue. However, in the vernacular highly developed both prose and verse literature, those studying Irish scholarship have to tackle the question of classical influences upon Irish sagas. In more recent times Irish writers, including the nobelist Seamus Heaney, continue to find inspiration in Greek themes (Arkins, 2005). James Joyce and Odysseus is the perfect example reflecting a national affection for classical models (Joyce's Ulysses 1922, a refraction of Homer's epic) (Stanford, 1954; Jouanno, 2013). This should also infer to the broadened definition of "Irishness" concerning classical ancestry and parentage, beyond nationality (Leerssen, 1997) and language (Crowley, 2004) factors. My insistence on a possible Myth-handling chapter should be explained to the extent to which Latin literary models influenced the Irish language, still a matter of controversy; e.g., the Middle Irish poems which compared the heroes in the local tradition with the heroes of the Troy expedition, and prominent Irish places such as Cruachбn and Emain Macha with the city of Troy, or the Irish adaptations of late Ancient historical works (e.g., the oldest Irish version of 903
Contextualizing Hiberniam: Research Opportunities towards the Writing of a History of Irish Classical Scholarship Dares Phrygius' Historia de excidio Troiae (Togail Troн), the biography of Alexander based on Orosius' depiction in the Historia adversus paganos probably date to the 10th/11th cent.; of Lucan's Bellum Civile (In Cath Catharda), of Statius' Thebais (Togail na Thebe), and of Virgil's Aeneid written in the first half of the 10th cent.) (Kobus, 1995; Poppe, 1995; Harris, 1998). Translations form an immediate reflection of the involvement with Latin literature; an early example of a rare translation into Irish is Riocard do Bъrc's poem Fir na Fуdla ar ndul d'йag, a free translation of Ovid's Amores II.4, probably transmitted via John Harrington's English translation of 1618. The same remark is valid even in a number of texts whose origin cannot be clearly identified, for instance texts about Odysseus, with an idiosyncratic combination of Homeric and international folkloric motifs, about Atreus, Oedipus or about the Minotaur, sometimes free adaptations with close adherence to local stylistic conventions. Literature in Irish is not irrelevant to the subject. The Celts had their own sophisticated myths and methods of storytelling and poetry making to match those of the Graeco-Roman world (Stanford, 1976, p. 11)3. The earliest surviving example of the native Gaelic treatment of a famous classical theme is the aforementioned Togail Troн, based on the postclassical account of the destruction of Troy given by an impostor calling himself Dares the Phrygian (Stanford, 1976, p. 74; Nн Shйaghdha, 1984; Myrick, 1993; Mac Gearailt, 2000­2001; Szerwiniack, 2002). Although the frequent insertion of passages in the style of the Gaelic heroic tales is remarkable, apart from stylistic Gaelicisms there is not any notably originality in the Togail Troн. In contrast the medieval Irish version of the adventures of Ulysses on his return from Troy, entitled Merugud Uilix Maicc Leirtis (The Wanderings of Ulysses, Son of Laertes), written ca. 1300 at the latest (Stanford, 1976, pp. 75­78), is full of imaginative inventions. This Irish admiration for the Greeks is reflected in the image of Greece preserved in local legends and folktales down to the present day, while classical allusions and comparisons are evident in early modern Irish bardic poetry (Greene & Kelly, 1970). v) To develop the archival research, the indexing of scholars' correspondence, articles and manuscripts, and the bibliographical survey that are necessary in order to search for and consequently admit the paternity of a brilliant idea in classics, which is unconceivable outside thorough research in the personal and official archives. The self-definition of the scholar matters a lot in our glimpse of scholarship. Perhaps the comparative study of the greatest scholars' correspondence towards its philological particularity (bibliographical allusions, philological method, critical observations, exchange of views, amiability and affability between scholars, intimate communication concerning philological knots, attitude towards corresponding, systematic arrangement of philological problems, tactics of approaching, unknown parts of the ergobiography from those who kept in contact, etc.) could serve so that we may indicate different possible ways of a philological appraisal of the correspondence among scholars in the under preparation manuals of the history of classical scholarship. From this point of view, it is intelligible that Pfeiffer's handbook was completed via compression and judicious omissions, else the pages would be crowded with the annals of insignificance. Let's discuss again Latin scholarship in Ireland and its stylistic formation. Although the extent of the knowledge of Greek by Irish scholars up to 900 is a matter of debate, Latin scholarship in Ireland reached its zenith in the 7th and 8th centuries. The outstanding Hiberno-Latin authors of the 9th cent., such as Sedulius and Eriugena, were really active on the Continent, while the Hiberno-Latin text culture encompassed all the genres relevant to Christian education and culture: among them fundamental texts, theological, legal texts, inscriptions and poetry; provided an education both in Latin and in vernacular, glossaries and commentaries. L. Bieler wrote that Columbanus' Latin style is not that of 6th cent. Gaul 3 The classical myths were less dangerous in Ireland than on the continent. 904
Contextualizing Hiberniam: Research Opportunities towards the Writing of a History of Irish Classical Scholarship but it is modelled on the sort of late Patristic Latin that would have come to Ireland with the introduction of Christianity (Bieler, 1971, p. 46). Each case is unique and deserves unique understanding. John Scottus (Eriugena)'s style and grammar seems of overall normality, since it resembles that of Augustine or Boethius and it expresses a specific intellectual passion with its rhetorical devices; as a translator Eriugena coined numerous Latin philosophical and theological terms rendering Greek ones. Where Eriugena learnt his Greek we do not know. His success in translating from that language and rethinking works of Christian Neoplatonism is above all a manifestation of his own genius (Bieler, 1971, pp. 48­49). Although Hibernian Latin is a controversial form, it could hardly ever be attributed or applied to Eriugena's spellings or wording (Bieler, 1987, pp. ch. XXII; O'Meara & Bieler, 1973, pp. 140­146). The culture of Latin texts was actively appropriated through the compilation of vernacular glossaries, translations or paraphrases into the vernacular. Adamnбn of Iona may have been the compiler of a commentary, based partly on Junius Philargyrius, on Virgil's Eclogues and Georgics (Bieler, 1987, p. 47). The St. Galen glosses on the first 16 books of Priscian's Institutiones Grammaticae (a total of 9412 glosses, of which about 37% are in Old Irish) also afford some insight into the degree to which late ancient authors were known and preferred in the 9th century -- Virgil the only ancient poet to be mentioned, together with late Ancient Virgil commentators, late Ancient scholars such as Boethius and Martianus Capella and other Christian authors. Other texts point to the conclusion that Horace was known, and there are a number of allusions to classical mythology in the Hiberno-Latin hymns. In common with the rest of Europe, the Irish possessed a certain body of late Latin encyclopaedic literature, e.g., Macrobius, Martianus Capella, Isidore of Seville, and were also familiar with the late Latin chroniclers. The Irish scholars had their own classical literary taste, which should be estimated in the frame of forming knowledge and -- why not? -- cultural directions of a national scholarship. vi) To take under consideration in our project theoretical matters such as the Theory of Literature, the reception theory (Calder, 1980­1981, p. 245) or other more or less modern and postmodern methods of approaching classical antiquity, in every case we need the advocational argumentation of these scientific accesses to the classic antiquity. Many classical philologists today use mostly the tools of conventional stylistics, although they should look forward to mobilizing human imagination, for still one proposed correction in a classical text comprises a serious step in the ensuring of the needed superveillance of the classical antiquity. In the end, the author of a study like that cannot neglect his duty to the general reader. It is important to show reverence for antiquity and not for its lifeless phantom, but you should not confound classics with modern conceptions in such a way that it would be difficult to foster an awareness. For they more or less received classical education and were invigorated by the classics. For example, the intellectual and emotional analysis of antiquity by authors such as Oscar Wilde (1854­1900), William Butler Yeats (1865­1939) and James Joyce (1882­1941), took a more unconventional and idiosyncratic form, while Seamus Heaney (1939­) was able to take the life-blood of the ancient classics and infuse it in the veins of enriched modern poetry. vii) Not to exclude from that project study the contribution of Irish monks and classical scholars to the text of the New Testament and other ancient Christian texts. Classicists may as well deal with the figure of St Patrick (Bolgar, 1954, pp. 91­95, 121­123; Corish, 1961; Browne, 1975), "the first missionary to barbarians beyond the reach of Roman Law" (Cahill, 1995, p. 108), through his work of founding monasteries all across Ireland, since these monasteries became the centers for education in Ireland and the development of Ireland's Christian culture from St. Patrick to the Irishmen so notably associated with the Carolingian Remaissance is a subject of abiding 905
Contextualizing Hiberniam: Research Opportunities towards the Writing of a History of Irish Classical Scholarship interest (Bieler, 1963, 1987)4. St. Columbanus of Bobbio was for Bieler not just the solitary witness to classical Humanism but the first Irish Latinist with a definite literary personality (Bieler, 1963, p. 92). Ireland appeared unique in the medieval western world in having a native tradition of professional learning. Latin came to Ireland as the language of Western Christendom (Bieler, 1987, pp. 213­231) owing to the Scotti peregrini, the wandering Irish monks and scholars. Several monasteries gathered impressive collections of manuscripts of the New Testament as well as classic literature and the early Church fathers. The transcription of books, primarily Scriptures but also the classical writers, became a priMary Mission of most of the monasteries beginning in the 6th century (Ryan, 1963, p. 380). The Abbey of St. Gall became one of the great educational centers of Europe for more than a thousand years (Zimmer, 1891, pp. 69­70). One of the most known Irish teachers in Gall's history was Moengal (or Marcellus) who arrived at Gall in 850. At a time when there were still few books in Europe, the abbey library at Gall in Moengal's time included copies of Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, Victorinus, Cassiodorus, Bede, Origen, the Etymologies of Isidore, Josephus, the Rules of Benedict and Basil, Eusebius, Priscian's Grammar, Orosius, Solinus and Boethius. Some rare grammatical and metrical works -- Probus, Sacerdos -- were also preserved at Bobbio. The extensive travel of the Irish missionary-monks is amazing in the Carolingian era when most people never travelled more than a few miles from their birthplace. But the Irish were shifting their education as far north as Iceland and Greenland, as far south as Italy and eventually, east as far as Jerusalem and Kiev (Fiaich, 1967, p. 4). Still, many issues await further clarification, just like Stanford's remark that the eminent Irish Hellenists of the 9th century first gained some knowledge of Greek in Ireland and then extended it after they had gone abroad (Stanford, 1976, p. 9). viii) To draw an exact delineation of figures and their scientific and/or literary production in classical scholarship embedded in the total educational (Reinke, 1985) system and socio-political tendencies in Ireland. It is known that grammar schools funded by private endowments were established from 1538 onwards, of which the educational focus was on classical languages (Latin regularly taught). Classics primarily form education and education has been a hazardous or political experience in the social and political history of modern Ireland. Was it about patriotic endeavour or nationalistic syndromes? Did it produce specialists' preponderance in universities or individual and contemplating authors? How far could it be a widespread tendency or a deep persuasion? Some of these questions, if not all, must be directed to project-related answers (O'Higgins, 2007; Stray, 1998)5 and answers responding to the educational philosophy of the main educational centers (such as the Trinity College Dublin (McDowell & Webb, 1982; Dillon, 1991; Luce, 1992)). During the 16th century the Catholic religious orders courageously continued to maintain classical studies in their schools; the Franciscans were specially active in the west of Ireland and the Jesuits concentrated on the cities. The first university, Trinity College in Dublin, was founded in 1592; under the influence of Cambridge, its initial orientation was Ramist, changing to conservative and Aristotelian after 1633. The establishment in 1734 of a print shop owned by the university provided the impetus for editing and publishing classical texts. As for classical education, for the period from 1550 to 1700 Latin remained an important medium of written culture and contemporary critical analysis; Latin translating and composing, the contrast between this conventional medievalism in the newly founded Dublin College and the Renaissance liveliness in Oxford and Cambridge almost a century earlier is remarkable (Stanford, 1976, p. 22). 4 Ireland, Harbinger of the Middle Ages was the title of one of Ludwig Bieler's most popular books. Many articles are now reprinted in Bieler (1987). 5 Such as O'Higgins (2007), concerning threadbare teachers and students in eighteenth-century Ireland who deployed classical learning to articulate and assert Irish identity. We also need books like Stray (1998). 906
Contextualizing Hiberniam: Research Opportunities towards the Writing of a History of Irish Classical Scholarship The shift in philosophical tendencies is also remarkable. The Dublin courses prescribed no classical text except Aristotle's for undergraduates until many years after its foundation. Until Aristotle's monopoly was broken in the specifically philosophical courses, in the 15th century Aristotelian logic was the master-subject of secular education in all higher ecclesiastical education. The favourite textbook was Porphyry's Introduction, translated into Latin (Stanford, 1976, pp. 13­14). This all-pervading Aristotelianism, with its main emphasis on logical principles, didn't enable the study of the literary and mythological elements of the classical tradition. The lecturers and students had to read Aristotle's Topics for logic and his Ethics for moral philosophy. In the new University, however, it was Aristotle with a difference, not the Aristotle of the schoolmen. A new approach to his doctrines had been widely popularized by the French scholar Pierre de la Ramйe, academically known as Petrus Ramus (1515­1572); being a Huguenot, he deliberately set out to present an interpretation of Aristotle which would be more acceptable to Protestant theologians than the scholasticism deeply permeated with Catholic doctrine. From Cambridge it was that Ramism came to the Dublin College (Stanford, 1976, pp. 45­46). ix) Last as supplementary to the previous one: To explain the absence of scholasticism as a going concern in ages of traditional (Pelican, 1984) and vigorous debates on language models and educational merits and teaching of archaiognostic subjects, and to set forth the other ideological streams engaged in both Irish literature and art perceptions. The salient qualities of a classic are ever moving and cause their reverberations in social priorities, art tendencies and literature issues. Encyclopaedism operated as an antidote to the state of being dangerously ignorant of scientific matters. As many of the Irish scholars subordinated their interests to teaching or to research, classicism and its ideology (Dundas, 1998) with its varied implications and elitist judgment in both literature and art perceptions didn't threaten any more the rationalization of everyday life. "Stanford does indeed identify the salient contribution of translation to the development of national literatures, the breaking down of barriers, the creative interaction between different languages, styles, mentalities. However, this fact is not peculiarly Irish and is true for most languages where contact with other literatures or cultures has features in their development. What he characterises as peculiar to the Irish mind is in fact intrinsic to the translation process in most historical periods, namely that target-culture expectations and values are crucially important but that this does not prevent the source text and source culture form having a decisive impact on the cultures into which they are translated" (Cronin, 1996, p. 38). The above mentioned hints-criteria cannot be applied rigidly when considered as some scientific suppositions worked out deliberately for research activity. Besides, in a Western Europe committed itself to humanistic education as the training for ingenious and cultivated citizens, the intimidating responsibilities that devolve before us set another criterion, the supreme one: In selecting and ranking of scholars priority must be given to their intimate acquaintance with the ancient authors. This, above all, is a matter of philology. Subsequently, in classics what matters most is to do our utmost in underlining the efforts of our ancestors in science to cultivate the unremitting zeal, which echoes down to be also our duty towards them, and to restore its own authority as the philosophical and the methodological study of classical philology. There is no better way to conclude, but by discussing Stanford's remark that `Scholars in the nineteenth century often took an optimistic view, as when Douglas Hyde stated in his influential history of Irish literature that "the classic tradition, to all appearances dead in Europe, burst out in full flower in the Isle of Saints, and the Renaissance began in Ireland seven hundred years before it was known in Italy"' (Stanford, 1976, p. 216). 907
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