1 Non ignoro ,venerandi patres ac viri clarissimi ,cunctos fere qui ex hoc loco anniversariam de studiis auspicandis orationem habuerunt fecisse ut laudes scientiarum liberaliumque artium referrent et in hoc tanquam latissimo campo pro sua quisque facultate vagarentur et velut equos quosdam atque quadrigas eloquentie exercerent .2 Quos equidem probo magnopere ac laudo : quid enim est aut convenientius quam doctrinas laudare ,que nos laudabiles reddunt ,et scientiis suum honorem habere ,que nos honoratos efficiunt ,aut utilius honestiusque quam per hanc ipsam disciplinarum laudem animos hominum ad eas capessendas erigere atque excitare ? 3 Mihi tamen aliam quandam ingrediendam arbitror viam ,ne detrita et pervagata et iam quasi fastidium moventia vobis inculcare videar .4 Aliquid potius novi dicendum ,et id potissimum quod a nemine ,ut reor ,antehac dictum sit ,quod ,et si non sua magnitudine ,quanquam non minus magnum quam novum erit ,certe ipsa novitate aures erigat et sibi audientiam faciat ,cum presertim non minus pertineat ad hodiernum munus oratoris quam illa disciplinarum laudatio .5 Nam quid ,queso ,magis hoc ex loco laudandum quam hoc unde factum est ut discipline ipse nec hactenus extincte sint nec unquam extinguende ,que alioquin extincte fuissent ? 6 Animadverto iam nunc vos esse ipsa rei nove promissione excitatos et tacite me appellantes de differentia dicere : « quid nam illud est cui tantum scientie debeant ? » .Dicam vero ,et si puto vos cum dixero admiraturos nec fidem protinus habituros .7 Sedes romani pontificis ,quam apostolicam vocant ,est cui omnes scientie debent ,que ,ut iterum dicam ,effecit ut ille incolumes sint ,effectura ,quod spero ,ut incolumes perseverent .8 An hoc novum non est ,non vobis admirationi ,ut dixi ,non etiam ad credendum difficile ? Sed ipsum credibile probatio faciet .9 Quare rei ratio altius repetenda est et duo prius ostendenda ,primum que fuerit causa cur in lingua latina scientie ex parvis humilibusque in summum fastigium quondam et in altissimum culmen ascenderint ,deinde cur rursus ab eadem sublimitate descenderint et pene collapse sint .10 Que posteaquam ostenderimus ,tunc id quod nostri propositi est ,ab apostolica sede effectum esse ne ille prorsus extinguerentur ,aperiemus .11 Igitur ,quod ad primam attinet partem ,scientiarum omnium propagandarum apud nos ,ut mea fert opinio ,auctor extitit magnitudo imperii illorum .12 Nanque ita natura comparatum est ,ut nihil admodum proficere atque excrescere queat quod non a plurimis componitur ,elaboratur ,excolitur ,precipue emulantibus invicem et de laude certantibus .13 Quis enim faber statuarius ,pictor item et ceteri ,in suo artificio perfectus aut etiam magnus extitisset ,si solus opifex eius artificii fuisset ? Alius aliud invenit et quod quisque in altero egregium animadvertit id ipse imitari ,emulari ,superare conatur .14 Ita studia incenduntur ,profectus fiunt ,artes excrescunt et in summum evadunt et eo quidem melius eoque celerius quo plures in eandem rem homines elaborant ,veluti in extruenda aliqua urbe et citius et melius ad consumationem pervenitur ,si plurimorum quam paucissimorum manus adhibeantur ,ut apud Virgilium : Miratur molem Eneas ,magalia quondam ,miratur portas strepitumque et strata viarum .Instant ardentes Tyrii : pars ducere muros molirique arcem et manibus subvolvere saxa ,pars aptare locum tecto et concludere sulco ; iura magistratusque legunt sanctumque senatum .Hic portus alii effodiunt ; hic alta theatri fundamenta locant alii ,immanesque columnas rupibus excidunt ,scenis decora alta futuris .15 Neque enim minus operosum est artem aliquam omni ex parte consumari quam urbem .Itaque ,sicuti nulla urbs ab uno ,immo nec a paucis condi potest ,ita neque ars ulla ,sed a multis atque a plurimis ,neque his inter se ignotis - nam aliter quomodo emulari possent et de laude contendere ? - sed notis et ante omnia eiusdem lingue commercio coniunctis .16 Quoniam ab urbe extruenda comparationem ac similitudinem sumpsi ,nonne ita e sanctis libris accepimus ,eos qui immanem illam turrim Babel extruebant ideo ab extruendo cessasse ,quod alius alium loquentum amplius non intelligebat ? 17 Quod si in iis artificiis que manu fiunt necesse est communionem sermonis intercedere ,quanto magis in iis que lingua constant ,idest in artibus liberalibus atque scientiis ! Ergo tam diu scientie et artes exiles ac prope nulle fuerunt quandiu nationes suis singule linguis utebantur .18 At romana potentia propagata ,in suas leges nationibus redactis ac diuturna pace stabilitis ,effecit ut plereque gentes uterentur lingua latina et inter se consuetudinem haberent .19 Tunc ab his omnibus ad omnes disciplinas latine scriptas tanquam ad optimam mercimoniam properatum est ; neque aliter quam invento nummo factum est ut illius beneficio omnes omnia que usquam essent mercari et sua ipsi aliis venditare possent ,sic accepta lingua latina velut aureo nummo nationes cunta que apud alios scripta erant discere potuerunt et sua vicissim docere ,cum antea nihil aliud legerent nisi quod a popularibus suis compositum essent ; 20 et quemadmodum ante inventum nummum vix quisquam quid boni apud alios nasceretur cognitum habuit ac ne longius quidem peregrinari aut diutius abesse domo potuit ,invento numismate tunc vero mercatura vigere ,tunc peregrinatio frequentari ,tunc omnium bonorum abundantia esse cepit ,ut id contigerit quod Virgilius ait ,« omnis ferat omnia tellus » ,sic propagata lingua latina non solum he artes ad provincias sunt profecte ,sed etiam provincialium ad istas ingenia accessere ,ut multo plures eximii in his scientiis provinciales extiterint quam Romani ,nec plures modo ,sed etiam propemodum prestantiores .21 An non M. Tullius fuit arpinas ,Virgilius mantuanus ,Seneca cordubensis ,Livius patavinus ,Priscianus cesariensis et ,quod mirabilius sit ,in ipso iure civili Romanorum Ulpianus e Phenice ? Elaborabant enim pro se quisque in exornando latinis monumentis nomine romano non modo ut ipsum imperium romanum sub cuius tutela erant exornarent ,sed etiam ut patriam suam .Nam omnes fere scriptores egregii cives romani fuerunt aut nati aut facti .22 Ex his igitur ,ne plura dicam ,palam est omnes scientias beneficio romane magnitudinis romaneque pacis amplificatas fuisse et illustratas .23 Quod cum ita sint ,quis dubitet ,ut ad aliam partem veniam eamque paucis absolvam ,ruina imperii easdem omnino fuisse collapsuras sicuti ex parte magna videmus esse eo collapsas ? 24 Nam ,ut in eadem qua cepi comparatione verser ,si nummus tollatur e medio ,nonne tolletur etiam commercium et consuetudo generis humani et redietur ad illam asperam et difficilem et pene impossibilem rerum permutationem ? 25 Ita sublato imperio romano ,quo lingua latina nitebatur ,ipsam linguam necesse erat corruere et cum ea cunctas disciplinas ,quemadmodum ex magna ,ut dixi ,parte corruerunt .26 Et enim post collapsum imperium quis in grammatica ,dialectica ,rhetorica nisi nugas scripsit ? quis orator hoc dignus nomine extitit ? quis historicus ,poeta ,iurisconsultus ,philosophus ,theologus ulli veterum comparandus ? 27 Parum dico : nonne apud plerasque latinas nationes tam in iudiciis quam extra iudicia scribitur illitterate ,idest non latine ? nonne singule pene civitates suum ius civile vernacula lingua condiderunt ? Quod cum fit ,quid aliud quam ius civile romanum exterminatur et pro nihilo habetur ? 28 Ita dum lingua latina abiicitur ,omnes propemodum cum illa liberales abiiciuntur artes ,ut licet videre ex Asia atque Africa ,ex quibus quia lingua latina cum imperio eiecta est ,ideo omnes bone artes pariter eiecte sunt et pristina barbaries rediit in possessionem .29 Quod cur in Europa non contingit ? Nempe ,ut reddam quod tertium est quod initio promisi ,quia id fieri sedes apostolica prohibuit .30 Cuius rei sine dubio caput et causa extitit religio christiana .Cum enim utrunque testamentum extaret scriptum latinis litteris ,quas deus in cruce una cum grecis et hebraicis consecravit ,cumque tot hominum clarissimorum ingenia in illis exponendis consumpta essent ,nimirum hi qui christiano censebantur nomine ,quanquam imperium romanum repudiassent ,tamen nefas putaverunt repudiare linguam romanam ,ne suam religionenem profanarent ; 31 quorum presertim tot milia erant cum sacerdotum tum aliorum clericorum ,quos omnes necesse esse litteratos ,apud quos videmus maiori in usu esse linguam latinam quam apud principes seculares ,quorum etiam iudicia litterate duntaxat exercentur .32 Ceterum eorum magistra et parens et nutrix et gubernatrix est apostolica sedes ,in qua sedet romanus pontifex ,Christi vicarius ,Petri successor ,qui in hac navi ,ut sic dicam ,latine fidei clavum tenens adversus procellas ac tempestates ceteros nautas atque vectores ne ab ea tutanda desisterent semper est adhortatus .33 Nam cum in curia romana non nisi latine loqui fas sit et ad eam tanquam ad caput cunte christiane nationes privatim publiceque concurrant ,fit ut singule operam dent lingue latine discende et ob id libris omnibus latine scriptis et ut quisque maxime aliquo in genere doctrine excellit ,ita cupidissime ad hanc se curiam conferat et velit in hac tanquam in clarissima luce versari .34 Plus igitur hic quam usquam gentium est hominum litteratorum ; plurimi hic atque optimi pro conditione temporum oratores ; plurimi in omni doctrinarum genere eruditissimi ; qui profecto nulli forent si curia romana non esset .35 Argumento sunt gentes ille quibus sedes apostolica honori non est ,quales ,ut dixi ,Africa et Asia ; que quantulum doctrine habent ,quantulum † nihil † in rebus caducis et frivolis sapientie ! 36 Usque adeo mihi videntur religio sancta et vera litteratura pariter habitare et ubicunque altera non est ,illic neque altera esse posse et quia religio nostra eterna ,etiam latina litteratura eterna fore .37 Quarum utraque cum in curia romana precipue vigeat ,quis amator litterarum quemadmodum amator christiane religionis non plurimum se apostolice sedi debere fateatur ? 38 Quo magis laudandi sunt ii romani pontifices qui excolenda publice hec studia curaverunt ,quod facientes ipsamquoque excolunt religionem christianam .Inter quorum precipuos est noster summus pontifex Calistus tertius ,ut virtutum ,ita studiorum amantissimus ,qui etiam salaria lectoribus augenda duxit .39 Hunc ergo talem pontificem sortiti cum simus ,quid magis debemus quam toto pectore disciplinis discendis docendisque incumbere ? 40 Hec enim una res est per quam et veram in hac vita gloriam consequimur et viam cognoscimus qua ad illam celestem perveniamus vitam ,quam daturus est nobis qui per se vivit et regnat per omnia secula seculorum .Amen .
1 I am not aware ,venerable fathers and most brilliant men ,nearly all men ,who from this place have been able to deliver the annual oration about the beginning studies ,it happened that they praised the sciences and the liberal arts ,and they wandered ,each man ,as much as [ he was able ] according to his own ability in this most extensive field ,and they would exercise ,so to speak ,certain horses and chariots of excellence .2 Which men indeed I commend and I praise very much : for either what is more appropriate than to praise the doctrines ,which makes us praiseworthy ,and to attribute their honor to the sciences ,which make us honored ,or what is more beneficial and more honorable than to encourage and to excite the minds of men through this very praise of the disciplines to study them ? 3 Nevertheless I think I should follow another certain path ,so that I do not seem to inculcate topics already discussed ,well known ,and even perhaps annoying for you .4 Rather I should say something new ,and especially that which has been spoken by no one before ,as I think ,which ,even if not with its greatness ,although it will be no less great than new ,may certainly excite your ears with its very newness and may create an audience for itself ,especially since that praise of the disciplines is no less suitable to the present duty of the speaker .5 For what ,I ask ,ought to be praised from this place more than what happened so that the disciplines themselves have not been abolished thus far nor would they ever be abolished ,those disciplines which otherwise had been abolished ? 6 Just now I am aware that you were excited by the very promise of a new matter and that you ,addressing me quietly about the difference ,say : “For what is that for which the sciences owe so much ? ” .I will tell you truly ,although I think ,after I have said it ,you would be amazed and immediately you would not believe me .7 The seat of the Roman Pontiff ,which they call Apostolic ,is [ that ] to which all the sciences are in debt ,which ,as I will say again ,made it possible that the sciences are in good condition ,and which would make it possible ,what I hope ,that the sciences would continue on in good condition .8 Is this not a new matter ,is this not amazing to you ,as I said ,is this not even difficult to believe ? But my speech will make this believable .9 Therefore ,I must revisit the account of the matter more deeply and show two matters first ,first ,what was the reason why the sciences once rose in the Latin language from small and lowly places to the uppermost peak and the highest summit ,and then why again they fell from that same height and almost collapsed .10 After I have demonstrated this ,then I will demonstrate that which is our thesis ,I will reveal that it was made possible by the apostolic seat that the sciences would not be immediately abolished .11 Therefore ,what pertains to the first point ,the expanding of all the sciences before our eyes ,the author [ of this accomplishment ] ,according to my opinion ,was the greatness of the empire of those men [ the Romans ] .12 For thus it has been proven by nature ,that nothing is able to progress completely and to develop which has not been composed by many ,and is not labored over and is not cultivated by many ,particularly by competing with one another and by striving for praise .13 For what carpenter ,sculptor ,painter ,and likewise other artists ,would have been perfect or even great in his craft ,if he had been the only workman of his artistic field ? One man discovers one thing ,another man discovers another thing ,and each man himself attempts to imitate ,emulate and surpass what he considers extraordinary in the other .14 Thus studies are incited ,they make progress ,the arts expand and they proceed into the highest place indeed much more successfully and much more quickly by means of the fact that many men labor in the same subject ,just as in building some city ,one reaches the end both more quickly and more successfully ,if the hands of very many men rather than very few are used ,just as in Vergil : Aeneas wondered at the massive structure ,once little homes ,he wondered at the gates and the clatter and the hum of the streets .The Tyrians ,working eagerly ,hasten forward ,some of them to erect the walls ,and some to erect the citadel and some to roll the rocks up [ to the citadel ] with their hands ,some to select a place for the building and to enclose [ the space ] with a trench ; they select their magistrates and laws and a sacred senate .Some dig up a harbor in this place ; some lay the deep foundations for a theater in this place ,some cut out immense columns from the cliffs ,the tall adornments for a future stage .15 For in every respect it is no less laborious that some art be perfected than a city .Therefore ,just as no city is able to be built by one man ,nor even by a few men ,thus no art is able to be perfected unless by many men and by very many men ,and not by these men ,who are unknown among one another - for otherwise in what manner would they be able to emulate one another and to strive for praise ? - but by men ,who are known among one another ,and ,above all ,men who have been joined by the commonality of the same language .16 Since I began the comparison and similarity to the building of a city ,in this way have we not understood from the sacred books ,that those men ,who were building that huge tower ,Babel ,therefore ,ceased from building ,because one man was no longer understanding the other ,when he spoke ? 17 Because if it is necessary that there is commonality of language in those arts which are done by hand ,how much more [ necessary is it ] in those arts ,which are established by language ,that is ,in the liberal arts and sciences ! Therefore ,as long as the sciences and arts were inadequate and nearly insignificant ,nations were using their own languages individually .18 But since Roman power extended ,the people have been subdued to their laws and have been stabilized by a long - lasting peace ,it came to pass that many people were using the Latin language and had a familiarity among themselves .19 Then all of these men hastened to all the disciplines written in Latin ,just as to the best merchandise ; and in a similar manner to when coinage was invented ,it happened that by the benefit of this invention ,every single man was able to buy and to sell all of his own things ,what ever they were ,to others ,thus when the Latin language was undertaken ,just as with gold coinage ,people have been able to understand everything ,which has been written by others ,and to produce their own writing in turn ,when before they were not reading anything except what has been composed by their own people ; 20 and just as before coinage was invented ,hardly anyone had the knowledge of what good work was created by others and was not even able to travel too far or to be away from home for too long ,when coinage was invented ,commerce then truly flourished ,travel was then frequent ,there then began to be an abundance of all goods ,so that what Virgil says came to pass ,“may every land bear everything ,” thus when the Latin language spread ,not only did these arts come to the provinces ,but the arts of the provinces also came to them ,so that many more provincial men were excellent in these sciences than Roman men ,and these men were not only more multitudinous ,but they were also nearly more superior .21 Was Marcus Tullius [ Cicero ] not from Arpino ,was Virgil not from Mantua ,Seneca not from Cordoba ,Livy not from Padua ,Priscianus not from Cesarea ,and ,what is more extraordinary ,by that very law of Roman citizenship ,was not Ulpianus from Phoenicia ? For they ,each man on behalf of himself ,were striving to elevate the Roman name with Latin works not only so that they would enhance the very Roman empire under whose protection they were ,but also their fatherland .For nearly all distinguished authors were Roman citizens either having been born [ citizens ] or having been made [ citizens ] .22 Therefore ,from these matters ,in short ,it is clear that all the sciences had been expanded and made illustrious with support of Roman greatness and peace .23 Since these things are so ,who should doubt ,that I would come to another point and I would finish it in a few words ,that these same sciences would have collapsed entirely with the fall of the empire ,just as we see that a great deal of them have collapsed ? 24 For ,so that I may return to the same comparison by which I began ,if coinage is removed from the public ,should commerce and the familiarity of the human race also be removed and should one return to that adverse and difficult and almost impossible exchange of matters ? 25 Thus when the Roman Empire was destroyed ,by which the Latin language was nourished ,it was necessary that the language itself fell and with it all the disciplines ,just as a great deal of them fell ,as I said [ before ] .26 And for ,after the collapse of the empire ,who in grammar ,dialect and rhetoric wrote [ anything ] unless nonsense ? What orator is worthy of this name ? What historian ,poet ,jurist ,philosopher ,theologian ought to be compared to any of the ancient authors ? 27 In short ; among many Latin peoples ,does one not write in the vernacular ,and that is to say not in Latin ,as much in the courts as out of them ? Did almost all the citizens not establish their own civil law in the vernacular ? Since this is so ,what other than Roman civil law is abolished and considered worthless ? 28 Thus while the Latin language is eschewed ,nearly all the liberal arts are eschewed with it ,just as one can see from Asia and Africa ,since the Latin language ,along with the empire ,has been abolished from these places ,therefore ,all the good arts were equally abolished and the former barbarian custom returned into common use .29 Why did this not extend into Europe ? So that I may return to what is the third point ,which I promised in the beginning ,as everyone knows ,this did not extend into Europe because the apostolic seat prohibited it from happening .30 Without a doubt ,the Christian religion is the origin and cause of this matter .For since both testaments existed written in the Latin language ,which god anointed on the cross together with Greek and Hebrew ,and when the arts of so many most brilliant men had been squandered in exhibiting these things ,certainly those men who were distinguished by a Christian name ,although they had rejected the Roman empire ,however they considered it sacrilege to reject the Roman language ,so that they would not disrespect their own religion .31 Especially since many thousands of them were then priests and other clergy ,we see that the Latin language was in use for more of them ,all of whom were educated in Latin by necessity ,than for the secular leaders ,whose sermons are still practiced only in Latin .32 The rest of them ,the teacher ,parent ,nurse and conductress ,is the apostolic seat ,in which the Roman pope sits ,the vicar of Christ ,the successor of Peter ,who in this ship of the Latin faith ,so to speak ,holding its rudder against the hurricanes and storms ,always urged other sailors and passengers so that they would not cease from protecting it .33 For since one is not allowed to speak unless in Latin in the Roman curia and since all Christian peoples ,privately and publicly ,come together in the curia as if to their capital ,it happens that each of them give their attention individually to learning the Latin language and ,on account of this ,to all the books written in Latin ,and as each man excels most greatly in the origin of the doctrines at some time or another ,in this way ,he brings himself most passionately to this curia and he wants to be returned into this curia as if into the most brilliant light .34 Therefore ,in this place there are more generations of men ,educated in Latin ,than in any other place ; in this place there are the most and best orators on account of the nature of the times ; in this place there are the most numerous and most learned men in every type of the doctrines ; who would certainly not exist if there were no Roman curia .35 In addition ,there are people for whom the apostolic seat is not an honor ,of what sort ,as I said ,[ are the people of ] Africa and Asia ; how little of the doctrines they have ,how little of wisdom ,nothing in matters fleeting and frivolous ,they have ! 36 In addition ,it seems to me that sacred religion and true literature live equally ,and it is not possible to have one without the other ,and since our religion is eternal ,the Latin language will also be eternal .37 And since each of them thrives in the Roman curia especially ,what lover of literature ,as a lover of Christian religion ,should not confess that he is very much in debt to the apostolic seat ? 38 Those Roman pontiffs ought to be praised much more ,who took care to cultivate these studies at the cost of the state ,because ,doing this ,they also cultivated the Christian religion itself .Among these excellent men there is our pope ,Calistus the third ,who ,as the most loving man of virtues and thus studies ,also considered increasing the salaries for the lectors .39 Therefore when we have appointed such a man as this pontiff ,what more do we owe than to devote [ ourselves ] to the teaching and learning of the disciplines with our entire heart ? 40 For this is the one matter through which we pursue true glory in this life and we know the way on which we may come to that celestial life ,which would give to us ,he who lives through himself and rules through all ages of ages .Amen .