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a siege in form, but this is not stated by other writers, and was probably invented to excuse the acts of vandalism that followed. It is clear, however, that by some means Theodosius was persuaded to give the bishop a free hand in the matter, and that the latter and his monks entered the place under the protection of the Imperial troops. Once there, they broke in pieces or melted down all the statues of the gods on which they could lay their hands, and razed the temple to the ground. There is some doubt as to whether the destruction extended to the library and other buildings, but as M. Botti, the Curator of the Alexandrian Municipal Museum, claims to have discovered the site of the Serapeion, and his excavations will probably solve this question, it seems unnecessary to dwell further upon it. It is at any rate certain that a Church dedicated characteristically enough to no Christian saint but to the feeble Emperor Arcadius, was built upon the ruins of the Serapeion, and that the worship of the Alexandrian gods after having endured for a period of 700 years was thus finally extinguished. Ecclesiastical writers have it that a great number of the worshippers of Serapis immediately received Christianity, and it is to this fact that Protestant controversialists have attributed the introduction into the Church of the adoration of the Virgin, the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and the Real Presence, the use of images and incense, and, in short, all the dogmas and practices of the Catholics which the sects rejected at the Reformation. But this matter also is beyond the scope of this paper.

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Some notice of the causes which led to the success of this-the first world-religion which appeared in the West-may not be so much out of place. First, it must be remarked that anything like a priestly caste was unknown to the Greeks. In some cities, the priests were chosen for their personal beauty; in others, for their wealth; in all, their functions were so purely ministerial that they did not interfere with their lay occupations, and carried with them no obligation to extend the worship of the divinities whom they served. But in the Alexandrian cult all this was changed. In Ptolemaic Egypt the worship of Serapis was an

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established and endowed religion, the ministers of which were officers of state. In other parts of the Hellenist world, as in Rome, its propagation was at first the work of voluntary associations, but so soon as a temple was built, its services were provided for out of the offerings of the faithful. In both cases the same result was achieved. The priests of Serapis became, in their own phrase, 'a sacred soldiery,' devoting their whole lives to the service of the religion and profoundly interested in its extension. From this came stately processions through the streets, a splendid ritual in which even the uninitiated were allowed to join, and the use of all the means by which priests in all ages have tried to arouse the enthusiasm of the indifferent. The Alexandrian worship probably did more to spread the knowledge of its faith in a single decade than did the Mysteries of Eleusis during the thousand years of their existence.

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Another point that must not be lost sight of is the great simplicity of its theology. In the Mysteries the devout must always have been puzzled to reconcile their duty to Zeus father of gods and men,' but the ruler of a third only of the Universe, with the reverence which the mystic rites taught them for the gods of the underworld. But the universal supremacy of Serapis, the greatest of the highest, and the ruler of the greatest gods,' † was asserted from the first. He is an independent (i.e., self-existent) god,' says Aristides .'not inferior to a greater power, but is present in all things, and fills the Universe.' Wouldst thou know what god I am?' said his oracle in the reign of the first Ptolemy to the Cyprian King, Nicocreon ; 'I myself will tell thee. The world of heaven is my head, the sea my belly, my feet are the earth, my ears are in the ether; my far beaming eye is the radiant light of the sun.' The ⚫ monotheistic pantheism,' as it has been called, of the Orphics could hardly be more precisely stated.

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But, after all, the world accepted the Alexandrian worship because it came to it in its hour of need. Alexander's conquests had carried the Greek language and culture to the furthest limits

* Apuleius, Metamorphoses, 1. XI., c. 15. + Macrobius, Saturnalia, 1., I., c 20.

+ Ibid., c. 30.

of the then known earth, and had broken down the barriers which a jealous patriotism had set up between people and people, as well as between god and god. The rise of the Roman power had followed to establish the reign of law throughout the world, and to accustom the nations to the idea of a Supreme Ruler before whom, as before a father, all the peoples of the earth should be equal. But side by side with this, a conception of the Deity as an all-ruling Providence, the personification of mercy and love, was forming in the minds of men, and only at Eleusis had it found expression in a formal creed. 'Those masculine goddesses,' to quote the words of Renan, 'for ever brandishing a spear from the height of an Acropolis, no longer awoke any sentiment,' nor was it very natural that they should. The Hera of Homer does not conceal her scorn for the creatures of a day'; Athena rages with implacable spite against any mortal who is unlucky enough to offend her; even Aphrodite is forward to thrust herself into scenes of blood and battle. Alone among the Greek divinities, Demeter stands as the ideal of the gentler and more humane emotions, the type of divine sorrow and of purified affection. And it was this type that the Alexandrians gave to the world. Isis was to her worshippers the haven of peace and the altar of pity. Thou holy and eternal protectress of the race of men,' prays to her the suppliant in Apuleius, thou who ever givest good gifts to comfort-needing mortals, thou bestowest upon the lot of the wretched the sweet affection of a mother.' While her consort Serapis, true descendant of the merciful lords,' Merodach and Osiris, extends to the human race the protection which they formerly confined to particular nations, The protector and saviour of all men'; 'The most loving of the gods towards mankind'; 'He alone among the gods is ready to help him who invokes him in his need'; 'He is greatly turned towards mercy turning ever to the salvation of those who need it alway.' Such are the terms in which Aristides addresses him. And in this way, too, it has been said his worship did much to prepare and facilitate' the advent of Christianity. F. LEGGE.

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Lafaye, op. cit., p. 169 (quoting Bottiger's Isis Vesper).

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ART. III-THE UNIVERSITIES OF EUROPE IN THE MIDDLE AGES.

The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages.

IT

HASTINGS RASHDALL. 2 vols. Oxford: at the Clarendon Press. 1875.

T is not so long ago that it was the fashion to say that the days of Universities were over; Carlyle laid it down that the University of the future would be the library of books, where the scholar would roam and read at his will. But so far is this from proving to be the case, that it may well be doubted whether Universities have ever, since their early days, played a more vigorous part in the life of their respective countries than at the present time. In France the freedom of the provincial Universities is being emancipated from the centralization of Paris; in Germany the 'Socialists of the Chair' have contributed and are contributing a powerful solvent to the present organization of the relations between Capital and Labour; in Great Britain the Universities, old and new, have never attracted more students to themselves, while their influence makes itself felt in all departments of education; in the United States so popular is the idea of University culture that it draws from the pockets of the munificent millionaire endowments which bid fair soon to eclipse the ancient wealth of Oxford and Cambridge, and the State subventions of Germany.

It was natural that this revival of present interest should stimulate study as to the past history of the Universities, and it was high time that something should be done in this direction. Not that patriotic sons had failed in the past to write the stories of their Alma Matres; each old University had its historian, or its many historians; in the case of some of them, e.g., Oxford or Bologna, the mere list of books professing to tell their story, in whole or in part, swells to a treatise. But it was patriotism and not criticism which inspired these studies; few chapters in the history of literature contain more reckless assertions or even more unblushing

forgeries, than the works of the University annalists. This was due to several causes, which it may be well to illustrate. In the first place, the Mediæval University attached such importance to authority and prescription that absolute forgery was employed to supply documents, which bad all the authority of the 'littera scripta,' and the authenticity of which no one thought of examining. So, probably as early as the beginning of the thirteenth century, a charter was produced at Bologna, which purported to derive the foundation of that University from Theodosius II. in 433. Unfortunately 'the zeal of the forgers somewhat over-shot the mark, and discredited itself by producing two distinct charters, each professing to be issued by the same Emperor in the same year.' At Oxford the forgeries were as unblushing, but they concerned rather individual foundations like University College than the University as a whole; Cambridge, however, was not outdone in audacity even by Bologna. As soon as it began to rise into prominence as an European, and not merely a provincial school, it proceeded to furnish itself with an antiquity commensurate with its new importance, by producing a bull of privileges, purporting to be granted by Pope Honorius I. in 624, in which the Pontiff says that he himself had been a student of Cambridge. This reckless forgery, with other documents equally valuable, was made the base of the legatine judgment, given at Barnwell in 1432, in favour of the ecclesiastical independence of the University. Such stories as these are only interesting in the combination of reverence for authority and of lack of criticism, which is characteristic of the Medieval mind, and which had such an important influence on the faith of Europe in the ready acceptance it secured for the Forged Decretals of Isidore.

But it was not only by actual forgeries that the University annalists swelled their histories. Mere assertion went for much, without any trouble being taken to substantiate it. Thus Charlemagne had a prescriptive right to be called the founder of the great University of Paris, and its historian Du Boulay (perhaps the stupidest man that ever wrote a valuable book' as Mr. Rashdall quaintly calls him), fills 2 folios of

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