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magnificent, even in cases like Silchester, where the walls inclose an area three miles in circuit. The amphitheatres, still known to us, never equal the colossal dimensions of those of Verona or Treves, and only one instance is at present known in which the sides are not apparently of turf. The houses were probably thatched. And, except where the main streets ran, giving passage for horses and troops, the Roman towns were probably grouped in continuous masses of buildings, intersected by narrow alleys like modern Venice. In some sanitary details the civilization of several centuries had told upon the cus
toms of the people. Large sewers, large aqueducts, and 3 extramural interment are common features. At first the
bodies of the dead were burned, and their ashes preserved in mortuary urns. In the third and fourth centuries, the Christian belief in the resurrection of the body caused the old Roman practice of interment to be revived. But no kindly superstition was allowed to sanction burial in the crowded thoroughfares of the cities. The dead body, often covered up with lime, was carried out of the gates; and the great highways were lined with tombs, whose
inscriptions appealed to the passer-by for sympathy. 4 But the traveler in Roman England, who wandered away from the main road or from the cities, would find himself among villages which had known little change since the days of Conobelin. Probably to the last, native chiefs, like Cogidubnus of Chichester, were allowed to retain the shadow of their old royalty, and enjoyed the loyal allegiance of their clans. Between the British gentry and the Roman officials and merchants there would be constant intercourse in the towns, and at last frequent intermarriages. It is just possible that in such a county as Kent, which lay in the line of traffic between Britain and Gaul, the old British tongue died out, and was re
placed by a debased Latin, like that spoken in the towns, and in which inscriptions are found in the western counties. The barbarous Welsh tribes were probably least affected by Roman rule; yet the terms of civilization in Welsh are commonly from a Latin original. But, to ac-5 count for the great admixture of British words in AngloSaxon and in English, we must assume that the natives mostly retained their ancient tongue. The argument is even stronger if we look at literature. The Roman legislation favored schoolmasters, whom the prefect was charged to care especially for, that they might not be burdened with civic offices beyond their ability; and we have an incidental notice of one Briton whose father was said to have been of this profession. It is certain that the Roman authors were read in England; and we still possess a “Juvencus” which was once the property of a young Pictish officer. Yet so rare and superficial was this culture that Britain produced no single poet or rhetorician to rival the Gaul Sidonius or the African Tertullian. Only the name of one obscure epigrammatist has been embalmed for us in the verses of a rival. And 6 when the conquerors disappeared a race of native poets sprang up, whose complicated system of rhymes and alliterations and antithetical couplets presents the most exact contrast conceivable to the stately hexameters of Virgil or the graceful trochaics of Catullus. The laws of Rome, it may be thought, would strike root more easily than the language. They, of course, prevailed in the towns and in the more settled parts of the island. But in the Welsh codes that we possess, whatever be their antiquity, there is no immediate trace of the Pandects; while the Keltic custom of borough-English, by which property devolves to the youngest son, has lasted down to historical times in our own country, and has seemingly
7 been transplanted from England to Brittany. To make a bridge or cast a bell was the great feat of a Welsh saint in the fifth century. The cromlechs, or sepulchral monuments of the Britons, are known, from the trinkets and coins found in them, to have been erected during the period of Roman dominion. More striking evidence could not be wished of the barbarism, or, if a milder term be preferred, of the stubborn nationality, of the tribes in the country districts. They saw around them the marvels of Roman architecture and sculpture—the arch, the statue, and the bass-relief—and they preferred to overshadow the grave with the largest stone they could find in the neighborhood. Three stones, so placed as to bridge a space, are the highest achievement of native sepulchral art. 8 To sum up all, then, the occupation of Britain by the Romans was like the French colonization of Algeria, with the differences of a long and a short tenure. The government was military and municipal; the conquerors unsympathetic and hard. But the peace which they enforced favored commerce, and the mines which they developed were prolific in salt, iron, tin, and lead. They burned coal where wood was scanty in the north, and in one instance carried a mine under water. Under Julian (A. D. 358), eight hundred vessels were employed in the corn-trade between the English coasts and the Roman colonies on the Rhine. Before Cæsar's time even the beech and the fir had been unknown in our forests; and the apple, the nut, and the raspberry were probably the chief of our native fruits. The better half of our common trees, from the cherry to the chestnut, are of Roman origin; the vine and the fig-tree were introduced, and maintained themselves; the pea, the radish, and other common vegetables were then added to the garden; and
it is even possible that to Rome we owe the rose, the lily, and the peony. The mule and pigeon followed the track of the legions. Yet a country life was not that to which 9 the colonist generally inclined. He was rather a dweller in towns, a trader, and a builder, and he scattered cities broadcast over the island. The splendor of Roman remains attracted attention in the twelfth century, when the grass was growing over them, and generations had already quarried in them for homes. Above all, those numerous cities had been centers of Roman polity and law. These influences can hardly be overrated, nor can it be doubted that many of them remained, and even gathered strength, where all seemed to be swept away. For good or for evil, England was henceforth a part of the European commonwealth of nations, sharing that commerce for want of which Ireland remained barbarous; sharing the alliances for disregarding which the Saxon dynasty perished; penetrated by ideas which have connected the people in every historical struggle, crusades, and French wars, with the sympathies and hopes of other men.
DOMESTIC LIFE IN THE MIDDLE AGES.-CON
TRAST BETWEEN THE MIDDLE AGES AND MODERN TIMES.
ENGLAND IN THE EARLY AND MIDDLE AGES."
This description of the Middle Ages, by Professor Pearson, is one of the finest attempts to reproduce that strangely interesting period to be found in the English language. The Middle Ages may be regarded as extending from about the middle of the eleventh century to the end of the fifteenth. The invention of printing (1440 A. D.), the fall
of Constantinople (1453 A. D.), and the consequent transfer of Greek literature and scholarship to Italy, the discovery of America by Columbus (1492 A. D.), the circumnavigation of the Cape of Good Hope by Vasco da Gama (1497 A. D.)—are the great events that mark the gradual close of the Middle Ages, and the beginning of the modern historical era. Gibbon's “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” Hallam's “ History of the Middle Ages,” Guizot's “ History of Civilization in Europe and Guizot's “ History of Civilization in France,” Bryce's “Holy Roman Empire,” and Freeman's “ Historical Essays,” may be consulted with great advantage by the student.
1 A few incidental notices enable us to form an idea of social life among the middle and lower orders in the twelfth century.
London was even then preëminent among English towns. The high houses that lined the long, narrow streets were partly the abode of nobles who came to attend the court, partly of merchants. There were thirteen conventual, and a hundred and twenty-six parish churches. A long suburb lined the side of the Thames from Temple Bar to Westminster, but it can not have stretched far to the north, for the men of London and Westminster played football in the fields that lay between. Country houses and gardens studded the country round the walls, and farther still were forests, in which 2 the citizens hunted and hawked. To a stranger, the only drawbacks on residence were the frequent fires and the curse of drunken riots; rich young men would scour the streets at night, molesting the citizens. But sharp justice sometimes overtook the offenders. The justiciary, Richard de Lucy, hanged a ringleader in these disorders, although he was the son of an eminent citizen, and offered a fine of five hundred marks for his life.' A Jew, trying to inveigle a Christian, is represented as telling him that all the wickedness of the world was to be found in London: the gambling-house, the theatre, and the tavern;