Vivat Germania latina, Vivat Latinitas teutonica!

Eckhard Bernstein

Group Identity Formation in the German Renaissance Humanists:

The Function of Latin



When the German humanist Crotus Rubeanus (1480-1545), known primarily as the co-author of the Epistolae obscurorum virorum, in 1521 wrote a report at the end of his brief rectorate of the university of Erfurt, he added a large picture. In the center of that colorful parchment he proudly had painted his family coat of arms, a hunting horn held by a hand, an allusion to his pre-humanist name "Jäger", that is hunter. This coat of arms is framed by 16 smaller coats of arms, of which the four somewhat larger one in the corners belong to Erasmus of Rotterdam, Martin Luther, Johannes Reuchlin and Mutianus Rufus, while the remaining twelve depict the heraldic signs of his personal friends: Ulrich von Hutten, Eobanus Hessus, Justus Jonas, Philipp Melanchthon, Johann Lang, Peter Eberbach, Forchemius (Georg Peltz aus Forchheim), Heinrich Urban or Urbanus, Andreas Carlstadt, Adam Kraft, Joachim Camerarius and Jodocus Menus. The document, preserved in the Municipal Archives of Erfurt, is remarkable for a number of reasons: first, next to the three leading heads of German Renaissance humanism of the time, Reuchlin, Mutian and Erasmus, Luther is added as the champion of the new cultural movement of humanism. Second, the inscriptions and mottoes are in the three holy languages the humanists thought essential for any humanist, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Thirdly, the iconographical lay-out points to the typical humanist form of a community, a "sodalitas" . And fourthly, and for our context most importantly, the very fact that Crotus had made these coats of arms is in itself remarkable. Coats of arms were after all were the privilege of the nobility. All of the persons depicted here through their heraldic signs, with the exception of Ulrich von Hutten, came from a bourgeois background, and some like Eobanus Hessus and Crotus himself from peasant stock. To be sure, nine years before, in 1512, Mutianus Rufus, the undisputed head of the Erfurt, or to be precise Gotha humanists, had created his own set of coats of arms for his friends Spalatinus, Crotus, Urbanus and Jonas, [1] thus eliminating the stigma of the lack of coats of arms. [2]

Crotus's colorful drawing as well as Mutianus's earlier heraldic creations on behalf of his friends point to the claim of the humanists to belong to a nobilitas literaria, a nobility, to be sure, which derived its identity not through birth and privileges but through education and personal achievement and a shared interest in antiquity. Since the beginning of the second half of the fifteenth century a new elite had formed, parallel to the strictly hierarchically structured late medieval society, a group thatnot only had acquired a Latin modeled on Roman classical antiquity but also possessed a broad factual knowledge, by studying the "studia humanitatis", a cycle of of disciplines covering grammar, rhetoric, poetics, history, and moral philosophy. [3] These qualifications opened up to these men new and up to that time closed career opportunities in the territorial and municipal administrations, in schools and universities, at the courts and in the church. That some could break through the hitherto rigidly hierarchical social structures represents a revolutionary development, [4] foreshadowing the modern meritocracy in which social and professional opportunities and recognition are awarded according to one's individual accomplishment and not according to birth.

The importance of the humanists in German educational and cultural history is the more remarkable since they represented at all times a tiny minority compared to the total population. The few studies dealing with humanists as a sociological (in contrast to an intellectual) phenomenon estimate the number of what we now call humanists at the beginning of the sixteenth century at 250. A century later, around 1600, this number had risen to several thousands. [5] Trunz estimates the number of "Gelehrte" around 1600, including Prussia and Austria, but without the Low Countries, at 33000. [6] These number however are hardly comparable: the 250 represent real, biographically ascertainable humanists; Trunz's figures are based on university immatriculation figures extrapolated for the whole of Germany. But even if we accept this hardly realistic figure, compared with a total population of around 20 million [7] the group or "Stand" of the "Gelehrten" represents indeed a small group, namely 0.15% of the population. In reality the figure was probably much lower.

The humanists were not only a small group, but also a very heterogeneous one. They were employed in a variety of professions at the courts, in the cities, and at the universities, unless we embrace the narrow notion that only those can be termed humanists who are engaged in teaching the typically humanist courses, the studia humanitatis. However, included should be also those who having gone through a humanist education, in their profession retained an interest in the studia humanitatis and felt themselves to be members of the sodalitas literaria. [8] Each profession required its own allegiance and had its own values and rituals.

A similarly wide spectrum can be found in their ideology, i. e. the degree of their commitment to the humanist cause. That commitment ranged from a wholehearted embrace of the classics by the dangerously paganistic Jakob Locher to the tepid conservative humanism of a Jakob Wimpfeling who admitted only a few classical authors to the reading canon of young students. Finally, the humanists were dispersed over all the corners of the far-flung Holy Roman Empire, adding to their social, professional, and ideological differences a geographical isolation.

In spite of this diversity and dispersion, in spite also of the differing views held by the humanists, it is surprising that something like a collective humanist identity developed as a necessary prerequisite for their success and that it was a success can hardly be denied, because those who at the beginning of the sixteenth century had been outsiders," by 1530 had become "insiders." [9]

At the beginning of the sixteenth century this emerging new class, in German "Stand, " had not yet acquired a distinct historical definition, but the process of creating and perpetuating a group-consciousness was well underway. It is with that aspect that I will be dealing in this paper. I am, of course, aware that by examining the group identity formation of the humanists, I am entering a field which has "as yet no discrete location in the academic division of labor. [10] " Yet I believe that only by looking from outside our historical-philological discipline can we hope to gain fresh insights into a field that is plagued by asking the same questions over and over again.

It can be said that the creation of that group identity formation involved six interconnected factors: [11]

1. the founding of humanist sodalidates,

2. the creation of a sense of cohesion through letter writing,

3. the role of humanist friendship,

4. humanist travel as a community-building activity,

and finally

5. the use of Latin and the adoption of Latin names.

Each of these points would require a separate paper. In keeping with the theme of this conference I will concentrate on the latter, the centrality of Latin in creating a corporate identity, realizing of course that it is only one aspect of the whole picture with which I have tried to deal with in a previous article. [12] Before we begin our analysis let us remind ourselves of a few simple and obvious facts:
The language of the humanists was of course Latin. In that idiom they communicated, wrote and spoke, composed their poems, formulated their treatises, and recorded their thoughts. With the exception of works by some early German humanists such as Niclas von Wyle, Heinrich Steinhöwel, and Albrecht von Eyb, [13] who all wrote both in Latin and in German, humanist literature was written in Latin. Latin, or better Neo-Latin, as it had been reconstituted from the ancient sources by the humanists, first in Italy and then in the rest of Europe, was the life-blood of this emerging group of laymen. It was also at the core of their ideology. They defined themselves by its mastery. Humanist correspondences are full of discussions about Latin words, their meaning and admissability into the new vocabulary.

But since Neo-Latin, like Medieval Latin, was an artificial language, there were no native speakers of Latin to consult, the usual arbiters of linguistic disputes when learning a modern language --at least not since Carolingian times. No child ever learnt Latin from his/her mother or nurse -with the famous exception of Montaigne, although some children--the vast majority boys-- learnt it from a very early age on in school. [14] That some of the better known humanists wrote it so brilliantly and effortlessly should not blind us to the fact that for most students the study of Latin was a long and laborious process, as is so vividly shown in the correspondence between Wolfgang Reichart and his son Zeno, edited in such an exemplary fashion by Walther Ludwig. [15] But even mature humanists like Mutianus Rufus complained that the way to good Latin was hard (ardua) requiring continuous practice. [16] Only through constant reading, through steeping oneself into the ancient authors could one hope to gain a mastery of that language. [17] By its very nature, then, it was accessible to only a small minority held together by the bond of a common language, Latin.

But it is a truism of social psychology that a group derives its sense of a collective identity not only from common interests and shared values but also from a common enemy or common enemies. [18] Modern dictators understand that as well as leaders of political parties in democratic societies. [19] The cultivation of the language of ancient Rome gave the humanists a sense of collective identity because it allowed them to set themselves off against the overwhelming majority of the population. Those incapable of speaking or writing classically based Latin were frequently ridiculed as barbarians. Not always did this awareness of being an elite express itself as clearly as in the poem by the German arch-humanist Conrad Celtis: "Ad Sigismundum Fusilium Vratislaviensem" (To Sigismund Fusilius from Breslau):

Sperne mendacis rabiosa vulgi

murmura indoctam fugiens catervam

et datum paucis poteris beatus

noscere verum.

Magnus exemplo tibi sit Molossus,

quem premunt vasto fremitu catelli,

ille sed serpit tacitus minorum

murmura temnens. [20]

Since the decisive difference was not necessarily the social background of a person but the degree of (humanist) education a person had acquired, scorn could also be directed against aristocrats. To be sure, Ulrich von Hutten ridiculed his peers not as vulgus, but equally uncharitably as centaurs and cyclopes. With a few exceptions, therefore, humanists and authors writing in the vernacular moved in different circles, circles not determined by common social background but by the use of the vernacular or Latin. Though Willibald Pirckheimer and Hans Sachs, the famous Meistersinger, lived for decades only a few blocks from each other in the old imperial city of Nuremberg , a meeting of the two is not documented and a recent tourist brochure showing Sachs and Pirckheimer peeking out of the famous Fembo House in Nuremberg is unhistorical and wishful thinking.

This disdain of the uneducated, the vulgus, is not based on moral grounds, but on the fact that the common people were using the vernacular, an idiom considered to be incapable of expressing the nuances of ancient wisdom. Any translation from Latin into the vernacular was therefore, according to Günther Hess's well-known , phrase a "descensus." [21] Even a man like Thomas Naogeorgius, in spite of his engagement for the Reformation, which had ennobled the vernacular through the Luther's Bible translation, wrote all of his works in Latin. People "quibus vernacula tantum lingua patet" were suspect to him. [22]

The need to set themselves off from the profanum vulgus showed itself most clearly in the Latinization, and to a lesser degree Grecization, of proper names for it signified an initiation into an exclusive European community of scholars. And just as a novice often adopted a different name upon entering a monastery to mark the importance of his or her decision, so the humanists assumed a new name to celebrate their entrance into the lay order [23] of the humanist intelligentsia. Often the German name was simply translated into Latin or Greek: thus Köpfel became Capito, Hausschein Oekolampadius, Fischer Piscator, Müller Molitor, Kürschner Pellicanus, Spießhammer Cuspinianus, and Schreyer Clamosus. Occasionally the humanists called themselves after their home town or native region. Thus Georg Burckhard from the Saxonian town of Spalt called himself Spalatinus, Beat Bild from Rheinau in upper Alsace Latinized his name into Beatus Rhenanus, the vintner's son Peter Schade from Bruttig on the Mosel published his works under the name Petrus Mosellanus and Johann Krebs from Sommerfeld achieved under the name Aesticampianus a new humanist identity.

While some humanists were satisfied with just Latinizing their names (Joachim Watt became Vadianus and Johann Rack Rhagius), others came to their new names and thus new identities, in a rather complicated way. Up to 1506 Johann Jäger from Dornheim called himself Joannes Venatorius. Not satisfied with this simple Latinization, he came up with the more exquisite name of Crotus Rubeanus, whereby Crotus signified the zodiak of the sagittarius, the huntsman, and "rubus" meant a bramble or blackberry bush which has thorns, alluding to the Dornheim (literally thorn home). Famous is, of course Philipp Schwarzert's name metamorphosis to the Greek Melanchthon.

Motive for these name changes (done generally permanently), in addition to the wish to distance themselves from the profanum vulgus, was the need to identify themselves as members of a transregional and transnational community of scholars, to mark the entrance into the humanist lay order and the rebirth or renaissance of one's true "humanitas. " On occasion this step was ironized by the humanists themselves, as when Mutianus commented upon the just described name change of his friend Jäger: "After you have been reborn and the hunter (Jäger) is greeted as Crotus, Dornheim as Rubianus, the long ears and the hanging tail and the unkempt hide have fallen off, just as Apuleius tells us what happened to him, after he had been an ass, he was restored ... to his true humanity. " [24] Interestingly, Mutianus adds however, that "after having accomplished that, you can easily see how miserable those are who have not yet cast off barbarity." [25]

A second motive for these name changes, however, should not be forgotten. Adoption of a new name could mask the modest social backgroud of a humanist. For, as stated above, a majority of the humanists came from bourgeois or even peasant families and therefore had frequently class specific names that could easily betray them as social upstarts in a new environment. Thus assuming a Latin name concealed the humble origins and leveled the playing field. [26] In this sense humanist name changes can be interpreted as a step towards a more democratic society, because not birth and ancestral privileges but education and merit became the decisive factors in securing important positions. [27] That members of the nobility or the urban patriciate in most cases retained their names or Latinized them only superficially, confirms this interpretation: Ulrich von Hutten became Huttenus, Willibald Pirckheimer Pirckheimerus, and Conrad Peutinger Peutingerus. There was obviously no need to hide one's social origins.

Not all humanists, however, set themselves off from the profanum vulgus and the vernacular. Some, like Sebastian Brant and Ulrich von Hutten, even wrote in both idioms. But what united all humanists was a rejection of the medieval Latin, the "Mittellatein,"the Latin used throughout the Middle Ages by clerics, diplomats, and scholastic theologians and philosophers in the universities. Against this idiom they juxtaposed a Latin modeled on the authors of ancient antiquity which they claimed to have awakened from a prolonged sleep during the Middle Ages -the millenium of darkness -millenium tenebrarum. [28] Neo-Latin and Medieval Latin were therefore qualitatively different. [29] Mastery of the newly revived classical Latinat became therefore one of the central points of demarcation against the old educated clergy, as Christine Treml says in her important dissertation on "Humanistische Gemeinschaftsbildung." [30] This is a key point for the self-perception and self-understanding of the humanists.

Proficiency in Neo-Latin, which they elevated to a linguistic norm, became their status symbol and qualification at the same time, and those who had not yet opened themselves up to the studia humanitatis, who still spoke and wrote the medieval Latin became of the object of scorn and derision.

A few examples may suffice to illustrate this point. In 1462 Peter Luder, in a mixture of modern selling strategy and undiplomatic ridicule of the traditional Latin, tried to recruit listeners to his lecture on Terence. Using three free lectures as bait, he promised to "educate them in the human language and familiarize them with the art of style, so that they do not constantly insult the ears of other people with their kitchen Latin (culiniarium Latinum), but through training in the right choice of words avoid that terrible barbarism..." [31] With equal tact, Conrad Celtis, thirty years later, called his scholastic colleagues at the University of Ingolstadt "geese and roaring oxen" (answeres et mugientes boves), mocking them for using "common, insignificant and corrupt words " (verba abiecta, vilia et corrupta) and reciting the "sweet Roman tongue" (suavissiman linguam Romae) in a "rough and barbarian way" (aspere et barbare). [32] It goes without saying that he offered his own services to the university authorities to remedy these deplorable linguistic deficits. Similarly, Mutianus, described the Latin of his opponents at the University of Erfurt in terms of animals sounds, saying "let them grunt, croak, snore, bellow and bleat." [33]

Carried to extremes is this denunciation of medieval Latin in the Epistolae obscurorum virorum, for this satire is not only a criticism of the alleged empty terminological acrobatics of scholastic theology, the moral corruption and amorous excesses, but also, and most importantly so, by its very form, a ridiculing of the barbarous Latin employed by the viri obscuri. "Barbare ridentur barbari" (in a barbarian fashion the barbarians are ridiculed) - with this formula Ulrich von Hutten, the probable author of the second part of that work, summed up the style of that work. [34] To be sure, the work is in Latin, but it is an idiom that is a far cry from the Ciceronian Latin the humanists strove for. "Barbare" in this context means that the Latin of the obscure men is based largely on German syntax, structure and vocabulary. For instance, unaware of the non-existence of a Latin indefinite article, the obscuri blithely render ein and eine with unus and una. With the same innocence they occasionally latinize German words by adding a Latin ending to the German term, as in zecha, zechare (German Zechen zechen= carouse), landsmannus, kaufmannus, landsknechtus. Similarly, the grammar is simplified. Instead of the involved syntax of classical Latin with its predilection for subordinate clauses, they prefer the stringing together of brief main clauses. In addition the viri obscuri commit numerous grammatical blunders and have an extremely limited Latin vocabulary. [35]

The so called Reuchlin affair, of which the Epistolae obscurorum virorum are the best known literary manifestation, solidified the ranks of the humanists, creating a sense of solidarity among the friends of the embattled hebraist, though we have come to take with a grain of salt David Friedrich Straus's nineteenth century view who saw the clash between humanism and scholasticism as a gigantic, world-historical struggle between lightness and darkness, between the forces of progress and obscurantism. [36]

"The first aim of any revolutionary group must be ...to create and perpetuate its own group identity." The words of the social psychologist Richard Trexler [37] when discussing quite a different group is applicable mutatis mutandis to the social group we now call humanists. While there were many factors contributing to the formation of a sense of of collective identity (sodalitates, letter writing, friendship, travelling), I have limited myself to what I believe was a central aspect of that process, the unifying force of a common language,that served as a means of integration within the group and a demarcation against the others outside the group. That tis happened in a language that was an artificially revived one is the more remarkable.

It might be instructive to conclude with a brief look at two modern attempts to revive apparently "dead" languages: Hebrew in Israel and Gaelic or, Irish, as the politically correct term is, in Ireland. [38] In both cases the impulse or motif for reviving the language was the same: in the case of Irish it was the attempt to preserve or even create a national identity which was on the brink of being extinguished by complete assimilation into English after 600 years of continuous English occupation; in the case of Hebrew to create a sense of national entity and identity by reviving a language which was "dead", i. e. not spoken as a everyday language for two thousand years. The revival of Hebrew was a complicated process, as Benjamin Harshav tells us, because it was "an ideology that created a language that forged a society that became a state." [39] Could the same not be said about Neo-Latin? An ideology (the rediscovery of the classical antiquity with all that its historical connotations) created a language (Neo-Latin-an artificial language) that forged, if not a society and state, so at least a group, the humanists. While, for various reasons , Irish has not (yet?) become the primary language of Ireland, [40] in the case of Hebrew, the attempt has been a complete success, so much so that Benjamin Harshav used the words "miracle" and "unprecedented"to describe its achievement. [41] Hebrew has been molded into a language capable of expressing all the nuances of literature and the demands of a modern technological society.

And Neo-Latin? For more than 300 years it became the language of the European elite capable of expressing the most subtle nuances in literature, politcal science, science and philosophy.

No mean achievement either.



[1] Karl Gillert, ed. Der Briefwechsel des Conradus Mutianus (Halle: Otto Hendel, 1890), #231, p. 309.

[2] A more detailed interpretation of this drawing in: Eckhard Bernstein,"Der Erfurter Humanistenkreis am Schnittpunkt von Humanismus und Reformation. Das Rektoratsblatt des Crotus Rubianus," Der polnische Humanismus und die europäischen Sodalitäten. Pirckheimer Jahrbuch für Renaissance-und Humanismusforschung 12 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1997): 137-165.

[3] P.O.Kristeller, Renaissance Thought. The CLassic, Scholastic, and Humanists Strains (New York: Harper &Brothers, 1961): 9f.

[4] Erich Trunz, "Der deutsche Späthumanismus als Standeskultur," Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Erziehung und des Unterrichts 21 (1931):17-53; reprinted in Deutsche Barockforschung: Dokumentation einer Epoche, ed. Richard Alewyn, 2nd ed. (Cologne, Berlin: Kiepenheuer und Witsch, 1966): 147-81; here 150.

[5] James Tracy, in his article, "Humanism and the Reformation," Reformation Europe: Guide to Research, ed. Steven Ozment (St. Louis: Center for Reformation Research, 1986) has examined those humanists in Germany, the Low countries and Switzerland who were born between 1450 and 1510, and has arrived at the number of 278. Christine Treml, Humanistische Gemeinschaftsbildung :Sozio-kulturelle Untersuchung zur Entstehung eines neuen Gelehrtenstandes in der frühen Neuzeit (Hildesheim, Zürich, New York: Georg Olms Verlag, 1989), 16, based her study on 233 biographies of humanists who lived between 1470 and 1540, leaving it open whether humanists from Switzerland and the Low Countries were included. Since both studies are based on either dictionaries (Tracy) or humanist correspondence (Treml), only those humanists are included who in one form or the other left behind some writing.

[6] According to Erich Trunz, "Der deutsche Späthumanismus als Standeskultur", p. 154, the number had risen to approximately hirty -three thousand a century later around 1600.

[7] Trunz,"Der deutsche Späthumanismus als Standeskultur," p. 155

[8] Treml, Humanistische Gemeinschaftsbildung, 15-35.

[9] Cf. Eckhard Bernstein, "From Outsiders to Insiders: Some Reflections on the Development of a Group Identity of the German Humanists between 1450 and 1530," In Laudem Caroli. For Charles Nauert, ed. James V. Mehl. Sixteenth Century Essays & Studies, XLIX (Kirksville: Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1998): 45-64.

[10] Richard C. Trexler, Persons in Groups: Social Behavior as Identity Formation in Medieval and Renaissance Europe (Binghamton, N.Y. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1985): 3.

[11] Cf. Bernstein, "From Outsiders to Insiders, esp, 53 ff.

[12] "From Outsiders to Insiders." 45-62

[13] Cf. Eckhard Bernstein, Die Literatur des deutschen Frühhumanismus (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1978).

[14] The artificiality incidentally applied also to medieval Latin. The eminent scholar of Latin, Joseph IJsewijn rejected the thesis that medieval Latin was a living and humanist Latin a dead language. "Es mag genügen, noch einmal zu betonen, wie irreführend die These gewesen ist, das mittelalterliche Latein sei eine lebendige, das humanistische eine tote Sprache." "Mittelalterliches Latein und Humanistenlatein." In: Die Rezeption der Antike. Zum Problem der Kontinuität zwischen Mittealter und Renaissance (Wolfenbütteler Abhandlungen zur Renaissanceforschung 1. (Hamburg: Hauswedell, 1981): 71-83, here p. 71.

[15] Vater und Sohn im 16. Jahrhundert. Der Briefwechsel des Wolfgang Reichart genannt Rychardus mit seinem Sohn Zeno (1520-1543) (Hildesheim: Weidmann, 1999).

[16] Gillert, Der Briefwechsel des Conradus Mutianus, # 82 (1508): "Urbane, nostra via simplex est et angusta et clivosa at ardua et difficilis vel spinis horrentibus aspera ve saxis extantibus impedita." And the Mutianus explains the individual adjectives: " Simplex est, quia concorditer unum Deum sequimur et colimus, angusta, quia pauci nobiscum literas et mores affectant, ardua, quia ad cultum lingue latine, ad verum animi bonum pauci sine labore perveniunt." (My underlining) Also: "The return to classical standards was a long and laborious process: the rules of classical grammar and style had to be recovered by means of a thorough study of the ancient texts." Jozef IJsewijn, "Mittelalterliches Latein und Humanistenlatein." In: Rezeption der Antike., p. 80.

[17] Cf. Mutianus to Urbanus (1505) : "...et eos amare perge, qui rem latinam ex multa et idonea lectione restituunt." Gillert, Der Briefwechsel des Conradus Mutianus, # 8, p. 12.

[18] Stephen Mennel, "The Formation of We-Images: A Process Theory," Social Theory and the Politics of Identity, ed. by Craig Calhoun (Oxford, Cambridge, Blackwell, 1994): 175-95. esp. 180f.

[19] An instructive modern example would be the traditional Ash Wednesday speeches delivered by political leaders with their crude attacks on the political opponents, the purpose of which seems to be to unite the party faithful.

[20] Harry C. Schnur, Lateinische Gedichte deutscher Humanisten (Stuttgart: Reclam,1967): 46-47 (Despise the mad mutterings of the mendacious crowd and flee from the uneducated masses, then you can see happily the truth -- only a few are allowed that. Let a big hound be your example whom a group of small curs pursues with loud barking, but he goes his way, scorning the loud threats of the little pinschers).

[21] Deutsch-lateinische Narrenzunft. Studien zum Verhältnis von Volkssprache und Latinität in der satirischen Literatur des 16. Jahrhunderts (Munich: Beck, 1971), esp. 29 ff and 375 ff.

[22] Quoted after Hess, Deutsch-lateinische Narrenzunft, 32.

[23] A term Mutianus Rufus frequently employs: Gillert, Der Briefwechsel des Conradus Mutianus : I have given all quotes in the nominative with the corresponding number of the letter. #6 -"noster ordo;" # 9 "latinus ordo;" "ordo latinus;" #19 "ordo noster;" #23 "meus ordo;" #47 "noster ordo;" #58 "ordo noster;" 94 "ordo latinus;" #99 "totus ordo doctorum;" #108 "noster ordo;" #112 "noster ordo," # 140"noster ordo;" #165 "noster ordo;" #180 "ordo latinus;" #181 "noster ordo;" # 194 "ordo latinus;" # 202 "ordo noster;" # 205 'noster ordo;" #228 "noster ordo;" # 237 "sanctissimus ordo;" # 245 "literarius ordo;" # 223 "ordo literarius;" # 290 "ordo;" # 293 "literarius ordo;" #296 "ordo literarius." This survey covers only the years 1505 to 1513.

[24] "Postquam vero renatus es et pro Iheger Crotus, pro Dornheim Rubianus salutatus, ceciderunt et aures prelonge et cauda pensilis et pilus impexus, quod sibi accidisse dicit Apuleius, cum adhuc asinus esset... restitueretur sibi, hoc est humanitati." Gillert, Der Briefwechsel des Conradus Mutianus, # 260, p. 344.

[25] "facile cogniscis, quam miseri sint, qui nondum barbariam exuerunt." Ibid. # 260, p.344.

[26] Heinrich Kramm, "Besitzschichten und Bildungsschichten der mitteldeutschen Städte im 16. Jahrhundert,"Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial -und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 51 (1964), 469: " ... sodaß der Namensträger, wie es zumeist geschieht, anderwärts gleichsam als Unbekannter auftaucht, nicht abgestempelt durch das alte Milieu, neu beginnt und sich gewissermaßen erleichtert den Aufstieg zu ebnen versucht." Cf. also Treml, Humanistische Gemeinschaftsbildung, 147 ff

[27] This argument is made by Klaus Garber with the very title of the collection of essays, Europäische Sozietätsbewegung und demokratische Tradition (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1996).

[28] In a characteristic phrase Mutianus once called the German humanist Aesticampianus "extincte latinitatis excitator. Gillert, Der Briefwechsel des Conradus Mutianus, # 300, p. 386 (1513).

[29] Jozef Ijsewijn, "Mittelalterliches Latein und Humanistenlatein." In: Die Rezeption der Antike. p.80: "Mittelalterliches und humanistisches Latein sind zwei Traditions-oder Standessprachen innerhalb derrselben Kunstsprache. Die Folge ist, daß Texte in typischer scholastischer Fassung einerseits und gepflegtem humanistischem Latein anderseits wie zwei verschiedene Sprachen anmuten."

[30] Humanistische Gemeinschaftsbildung, p. 118: "Eines der zentralen Abgrenzungsmomente vom alten Bildungsklerus [ist] der Grad der Beherrschung der lateinischen Sprache."

[31] Quoted after Der deutsche Renaissance-Humanismus, ed. by Winfried Trillitzsch (Leipzig: Verlag Philipp Reclam, 1981):151.

[32] Hans Rupprich, ed. Der Briefwechsel des Conrad Celtis (Munich: Beck, 1934), nos 32, 56.

[33] Gillert, Der Briefwechsel des Conradus Mutianus, # 632, p. 83: "Fac suo iure moreque grunniant, coaxent, ronchissent, rudant, blaterent, balbutiant.."; and # 306, p. 398: "Balant more ovium, a tergo lancinant instar luporum."

[34] Eduard Böcking, ed. Ulrichi Hutteni opera. 5 vols. (Leipzig: Teubner, 1856-61):1-124.

[35] These few examples must suffice in this context. For more details on this aspect see Walther Brecht, Die Verfasser der Epistolae obscurorum virorum.(Strassburg, 1904): 94-112 and Reinhard Paul Becker,A War of Fools.The Letters of Obscure Men. A Study of the Satire and the Satirezed (Bern, Frankfurt am Main, Las Vegas: Peter Lang, 1981):130-151. Also Aloys Bömer in : Epistolae obscurorum virorum, ed. Aloys Bömer (Heidelberg: Richard Weissbach, 1924), esp. 69-74.

[36] David Friedrich Straus, Ulrich von Hutten (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1858). We owe this reassessment to three scholars: James H. Overfield, Humanism and Scholasticism in Late Medieavl Germany Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984); Erika Rummel, The Humanist-Scholastic Debate in the Renaissance and Reformation (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1995) and Charles Nauert, "The Clash of Humanists and Scholastics: An Approach to Pre-Reformation Controversies," The Sixteenth Century Journal 4 (1973): 1-13. See also: Eckhard Bernstein, "Creating Humanists Myths: Ywo Poems by Ulrich von Hutten," Acta Conventus Neo-Latini Totontonensis. Proceedings of the Seventh International Congress of Neo-Latin Studies, ed. by Alexander Dalzell, Charles Fantazzi, Richard Schoeck (Binghampton: Medieval &Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1991): 249-260.

[37] Persons in Groups: Social Behavior as Identity Formation in Medieval and Renaissance Europe (Binghamton, N.Y. : Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1985), 9.

[38] Irish was of course still spoken by at least 70000 in the socalled "Gaeltacht,"the area along Ireland's western seabord, when the process of revival or better restoration began with the founding of the Gaelic League in 1893.

[39] Language in Time of Revolution (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1993), p. VIII. "It gave its users a vehicle for expressing a totality of twentieth entury experience in a language of their own and a new social identity, irrespective of their various countries of origin and political views." (p.81) But unlike Irish, the revival of Hebrew has been very successful; it is used as a spoken language and has been molded into a language capable of expressing all the nuances of literature and the demands of a modern technological society. In this sense, it is a "miracle"(p.VIII) and is "unprecedented." (p.97)

[40] Cf. Gearóid Mac Eoin, "The decline of the Celtic Languages, " Proceedings of the First North Americn Congress of Celtic Studies (Ottawa, 1988), p. 589; Martin Brennan, S.J., " Language, Personality, and the Nation," A View of the Irish Language. ed. by Brian ó Cuív (Dublin: Stationary Office, 1969): "At the moment the Irish language is far from being the actual language of the country." (p. 75).

[41] Language in Rime of Revolution, p.VIII and 97.



Autor (author): Eckhard Bernstein
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