Vivat Germania latina, Vivat Latinitas teutonica!

Marc Laureys

Latin as Language 0f The Blessed

Melchior Inchofer on The Excellence and Dignity of the Latin Language



It is possible to care for Latin too much. Excesses in the pursuit of Latin have manifested itself throughout the ages in many appearances. The phenomenon has even been scrutinized in a learned German dissertation: in 1720 the schoolmaster Daniel Friedrich Jahn, published an essay De nimio Latinitatis studio, [1] in which he reviewed a long series of statements and comments by authors, who had accorded so much weight and dignity to the Latin language that they deemed it the sole appropriate vehicle of universal learning, without which all sciences would simply collapse. In other, less extreme cases the "excessive pursuit of Latin" was a term used to condemn too rigid forms of Ciceronianism. [2] An extravagant love of Latin also underlies some of the theses put forward by Melchior Inchofer in his Historia sacrae Latinitatis. [3] Two assumptions upheld in this treatise are downright spectacular. First, Inchofer believed that the blessed in heaven would eventually agree to converse only in Latin; [4] to his mind, it was obvious that the labium electum, prophesied by Sophonias, [5] the single predestined language with which God would restore the unity and harmony that reigned before he inflicted the confusion of tongues upon mankind as punishment for the construction of the Tower of Babel, could only be Latin, since this language was tied more intimately than any other to the eternal destiny of the Roman Church and would necessarily be transferred to the triumphant realm of heaven. Inchofer sustained his contention by pointing to Bernardinus of Siena, who had addressed the Council of Florence in Latin and had nonetheless been understood by the Greeks who were unfamiliar with that language. Latin, in other words, was the supernatural linguistic medium of religious unity. Secondly, Inchofer asserted that even Jesus Christ himself most probably spoke Latin with the Roman officers, such as Pontius Pilatus, by whom he was brought to trial and sentenced to death. [6] Given that Jesus would undoubtedly have abided by the Roman law that imposed the use of Latin in the administration of the Empire, the official proceedings of the trial, had they survived, would most likely have demonstrated that Jesus spoke Latin in court.

These two theories have been branded as foolhardy and ridiculous by most scholars who have commented on the Historia sacrae Latinitatis, including those who expressed their appreciation for the scholarly quality of the treatise as a whole. [7] Sadly enough, the two last philologists who discussed Inchofer's work in a scholarly context, Conrad Bursian in his history of Classical scholarship in Germany [8] and Gottfried Bernhardy in his history of Roman literature, [9] singled out only the two conspicuous theories mentioned above and, consequently, condemned the entire treatise as a naive and misguided treatment of the subject. Their verdict seems to have sealed the fate of the Historia sacrae Latinitatis, since no one after them has bothered to deal with it. No wonder, then, that Inchofer was hardly acknowledged when the theory of Jesus's command of Latin resurfaced in the 1920s under the impulse of the German Biblical scholar and specialist on 1st-century Judaism, Gustaf Hermann Dalman, whose writings [10] prompted a large number of investigations into the languages spoken by Jesus. On the basis of current knowledge about the linguistic situation in Palestine during the early Empire, it seems highly unlikely that Jesus would have used Latin in the Roman court. Possibly he spoke Greek with Pontius Pilatus, but he also might have used his native language, Aramaic, and dialogued through an interpreter. At any rate, the available evidence even today remains insufficient to decide the matter on a scholarly basis. [11]

Still, this debate shows that Inchofer's treatment of the question was not all that bizarre or exotic as it appeared to the 19th-century Latinists who last quoted him. More importantly, to focus only on these topics is to do injustice to the Historia sacrae Latinitatis, the scope and purpose of which are quite larger and should be understood in the intellectual and religious climate of the heyday of the Counter-Reformation. A few words, then, are in order first about the author. Melchior Inchofer was born around 1585, not in Vienna, as has been generally maintained in the older literature, but in nearby Köszeg in present-day Hungary. [12] Whether he is considered Austrian or Hungarian is really irrelevant, because he spent most of his life in Italy. Already in 1605 he was in Rome, studying at the Collegium Germanicum-Hungaricum. [13] Immediately after his studies he returned home for a brief period to assist his father in his conversion to the Catholic faith, but already in 1607 he was back in Rome, where he entered the Jesuit Order. He was enrolled in the provincia Romana of the Order, and in fact never left Italy again. From 1617 until 1629 he taught philosophy, theology, and mathematics at the Jesuit College of Messina. [14] In 1629 he moved to Rome, where we know him to have reviewed several new publications for the Index, although the available evidence does not allow us to follow his career continuously. [15] The most notorious episode of his entire professional life, though, namely his involvement in the Galileo affair, falls in this period. [16] During the trial against Galileo in 1632-1633, he acted as a consultor in one of the commissions and wrote a negative assessment of Galileo's Dialogo. Shortly after the trial, he published a monographic study, the Tractatus syllepticus, in quo quid de terrae solisque motu vel statione secundum Sanctam Scripturam et Sanctos patres sentiendum quave certitudine alterutra sententia tenenda sit (1633), in which he criticized more elaborately the entire Copernican system. [17] This was not the only controversy in which Inchofer became involved. In the 1630s he took on the flamboyant publicist Caspar Scioppius, whose attacks on the Jesuit pedagogical system he denounced both in reports for the Index and in separate tracts. [18] A number of times, moreover, he had to face criticism and official censures directed against his own writings. The charges variably pertained to matters of style as well as content. [19] Towards the end of his life, Inchofer's relationship to his Order deteriorated completely. [20] In January 1648 he was brought to trial and had to defend himself against several accusations, among which the alleged authorship of the Monarchia Solipsorum, a violent anti-Jesuit pamphlet, first published at Venice in 1645. [21] In the end, a compromise was reached and a teaching post was offered Inchofer at Milan, which, however, failed to satisfy him. On 8 September 1648, he died in Milan, in the midst of negotiations to leave the Jesuit Order.

It has been argued that excess somehow became an inherent feature of Inchofer's intellectual profile. [22] Inchofer definitely took a firm and outspoken stance on a number of issues and attracted an ever growing amount of controversy throughout his life. The Historia sacrae Latinitatis, however, does not seem to have been targeted by his critics during his lifetime, although more research is surely required before the nature of its immediate reception can be accurately determined. The work was first published at Messina in 1635, [23] at a time when he no longer taught at the college there, but had moved to Rome. It is the second of only two works he published at Messina. The first one, his very first independent publication, issued in 1629, was a study in which he defended the authenticity of a letter the Virgin Mary had supposedly sent to the inhabitants of Messina upon hearing of their conversion to Christianity by Saint Paul. [24] In his Historia sacrae Latinitatis Inchofer referred once to this earlier treatise, when he discussed the divine eloquence of Saint Paul. [25] Within Inchofer's variegated œuvre, however, the Historia sacrae Latinitatis is the only work that pertains directly to Latin language and literature. In a foreword to the reader he explains his motivation for writing such a monograph: moved by the dignity of Latin, he intends to celebrate the hallowed reign of Latinity that has been ever more securely consolidated over the course of time and will continue to overcome any future assaults when the foundations of its pristine glory are put in evidence. [26]

This general intention brings Inchofer to discuss a wide and diverse range of topics which he clearly has not been able to fit into a neatly structured exposition. Many details come up in more than one chapter, and the line of reasoning is often interrupted by digressions. The somewhat unwieldy subject matter of the treatise, divided into 6 books, [27] makes it difficult to summarize the work and has clearly prevented some earlier commentators from grasping its primary concern. [28] In the past, the work has been considered almost exclusively in the context of literary style and imitation. Inchofer appears regularly in bibliographical surveys of auctores linguae Latinae, such as those of Daniel Georg Morhof [29] and Johann Nicolaus Funck, [30] and he is granted a place in the Bibliotheca Latinitatis restitutae, published as an appendix to Johann Friedrich Noltens Lexicon antibarbarum. [31] The characterization of Inchofer as "restitutor Latinitatis" does of course reflect some of the issues dealt with in the treatise. In particular, the two main problems that traditionally dominated the discussion surrounding Latin throughout the Early Modern age, namely (1) the question of the best style to adopt, and (2) the defense of Latin against the vernacular, both receive attention from Inchofer. Furthermore, in his foreword as well as in his conclusion he unmistakably alludes to Cicero's Brutus. [32] These parallels are surely not gratuitous; they suggest, rather, that Inchofer wanted to be taken seriously as an auctor linguae Latinae and felt he had a message for those who engaged in Latin eloquence. [33] But Inchofer hardly perceived his treatise primarily as an enunciation of principles of literary criticism in combination with a survey of literary history. At closer look, the key message of the Historia sacrae Latinitatis is (3) related to the Church of Rome, rather than to its language.

Let us, then, review each of these three components of the Historia sacrae Latinitatis in their rising order of importance for the work as a whole. (1) Inchofer nowhere in his work addresses the question of the optimus stilus directly and explicitly, but still a number of passages evince his basic position in this long-standing debate. Just as other Early Modern authors who wrote on the history of the Latin language, Inchofer focuses as much on literary as on linguistic history, and does not limit himself to commenting on literary achievements of the past, but also offers his readers advice on how to write good Latin. The gist of Inchofer's message in this respect comes to the fore at the very end of the treatise, where he abundantly praises the efforts of Carlo Borromeo for a sustained cultivation of Latin in the service of the Roman Catholic faith and encourages his readers to continue pursuing his ideals. [34] Due praise, however, is extended as well to some of Borromeo's close friends and associates, namely Silvio Antoniano, [35] who composed several influential pastoral and pedagogical treatises, and Agostino Valier, author of one of the first post-Tridentine handbooks of sacred rhetoric. [36] These two authors, both widely reputed orators who had delivered speeches at the papal Curia on the most sollemn occasions, faithfully reflected and put into practice the concept of sacred eloquence, that Carlo Borromeo had defined in the wake of the Tridentine council. This concept was inspired by the model of the Church Fathers, who had considered spreading the wisdom of Christ as persuasively as possible an essential part of their ministry. In this respect, they themselves went back on the one hand to Saint Paul, who had repeatedly emphasized the central importance of preaching, and on the other to Cicero, whose stylistic standards they had espoused and whose idea of the union of eloquence and wisdom they had taken over in a Christian context. [37]

By crowning his Historia sacrae Latinitatis with the accomplishments of Borromeo and his companions, Inchofer suggests that this is the tradition he wants to place himself in. Accordingly, he extols the eloquence of the Church Fathers and hails Cicero as the supreme model of Roman literature, without, however, discussing any specific elements or problems of sacred rhetoric, such as the interconnection between divine inspiration and the technical rules of rhetoric. The writings of the Church Fathers are commended most conspicuously, but only in general terms, in Book 4, where they constitute one of the sources of the majesty of the Latin language. [38] The authority of Cicero is confirmed in a number of ways throughout the treatise. Inchofer occasionally polemicizes against stylistic tendencies that deviate from the Ciceronian norm. [39] The same picture emerges from the outline of the different periods of Latin literature, provided in the second half of Book 1. Surveys of this kind, nearly always based on the criterion of linguistic purity, were a traditional element of lexicographical, grammatical, and rhetorical hand-books of Latin in the Early Modern age and usually concurred in considering the age of Cicero as the highpoint of Latin literature. [40] Inchofer first refers to the basic fourfold periodization, found in Isidore's Origines (9, 1, 6), and associates these four eras with the periods of Roman history distinguished by Florus (Epit., PR., 4-8) after the stages of human life, i.e. infantia, adulescentia, iuventas ( et quasi quaedam robusta maturitas), and senectus, [41] but immediately realizes the basic problem inherent in this construction, namely the question how far to extend the final period of decline and how to account for the revival of letters in the Renaissance. [42] For Inchofer, it is particularly embarrassing to have to set the rise of Christianity and, consequently, all Early Christian authors in the demise that follows the climax attained by Cicero. [43] In his actual discussion, therefore, he completely abandons this scheme and presents a periodization that includes two climaxes, namely the age of Cicero and that of the Early Christian authors from Lactantius to Gregory the Great. They constitute the standards by which the following periods of rise and decline up to Inchofer's own time are differentiated, with the years 900, 1200, and 1500 as turning points. [44]

In the first half of Book 1, however, Inchofer traces the history of Latin further back, and shows at the same time that its sacred character is more important to him than its stylistic evolution. According to Inchofer, the authority of the Old Testament proves that Latin goes back to the earliest phases of world history, since the Vulgate translation of some Old Testament passages had identified as "Italy" the territory allotted to the fourth son of Iaphet, Iavan. [45] Inchofer further underscores this interpretation by adducing the lemma "Latini" in the Suda, from which he learnt that the son of Hercules, Telephus, had designated as Latins a people previously known as "Cetii" or "Chetii". [46] While he does not challenge, as opposed to some other Renaissance linguists, [47] the common assumption that Hebrew was the first language spoken on earth, [48] he points out at the same time that Latin would enjoy a worldwide resonance through the expansion of Christianity, whereas Hebrew would grew insignificant with the demise of Judaism. [49] Moreover, by grounding the history of Italy firmly in early Biblical times, [50] he minimizes the importance of both the Greek colonization of Italy and the dependence of Latin from the Aeolic dialect, reported by ancient authors. [51] The logical conclusion is that not Greek nor Hebrew, but rather Latin is the labium electum, prophesied by Sophonias: it is the unique prerogative of Latin to have restored the harmony that reigned before the Tower of Babel was constructed. [52]

Downplaying the alleged preeminence of the Greeks and their language remains a constant tendency throughout the entire work, and Inchofer is particularly keen on quoting evidence that supports the excellence of Latin against Greek. In a chapter in which he argues that Latin has always been the proper language of emperors, [53] he mentions the Latin speeches delivered by Constantine the Great and Marcianus at Church councils at Nicaea and Chalcedon respectively, and refers to the oration of Gregory the Wonder-worker in praise of his teacher Origen; in that oration (I, 7) Gregory praised the dignity of Latin and lamented his own poor mastery of that language. [54] What Inchofer did not consider and perhaps not fully realized, is the fact that the majority of the Greek Church Fathers knew little or no Latin. But no doubt even more convincing to Inchofer's mind are the testimonies drawn from Cicero himself, who had repeatedly affirmed the superiority of Roman over Greek culture and favorably compared Latin to Greek on account of its fullness in expression (copia dicendi). [55] Here, however, the bias in his argument is rather obvious, since the scholarship of Renaissance rhetoricians and commentators on Cicero had amply illustrated the profound dependence of Cicero's stylistic and rhetorical theory from the Greek tradition.

(2) Whereas Inchofer in this matter limits himself to adducing testimonies from the distant past, as if to suggest that the prevalence of Latin over Greek (and Hebrew) had been settled since long, and does not even deem the viewpoints of earlier Renaissance scholars worthy of mention, [56] he deals less flippantly with another threat to the supremacy of Latin, namely the rise of the vernacular. As opposed to the case of Greek, this was not a purely academic debate, since the defenders of Latin gradually had to realize that they could not turn back the mounting influence of the vernacular languages. [57] In Italy, the discussion had started when Dante in his De vulgari eloquentia had conceived a theory of a three-levelled poetical style for vernacular literature, which later readers – from the 16th century onwards, when Dante's treatise resurfaced, after having been ignored for nearly two centuries – sometimes interpreted as the recognition of Italian as a suitable language for literature. [58] From the linguistic perspective, the analysis of the relationship between Latin and Italian was largely sparked by a famous debate held by a group of humanists in Florence in 1435 and reported in a treatise of Flavio Biondo on the speech of the ancient Romans (De verbis Romanae locutionis); they pondered the question whether ancient Rome had known two different languages, Latin and vernacular, or just one, Latin, of which vernacular was nothing but a later degeneration. [59] The arguments these humanists exchanged were repeated by countless later authors down to the 17th century.

Inchofer adopted the position taken by Flavio Biondo in the Florentine debate and defended the unitary character of the language spoken and written by the ancient Romans. In stark contrast, however, to nearly all Italian scholars who had written on the subject, he did not make the dialects of the Gothic invaders responsible for the demise of Latin, but rather blamed Dante for initiating the plea in favor of the vernacular. [60] Italian vindicators of Latin had almost always argued along nationalistic lines and had imputed the corruption of Latin to the pernicious influence of foreign aggressors, even if they also chastized Dante, Petrarch, and others for their commitment to the vernacular. [61] Inchofer, on the other hand, emphasizes the strong efforts of the Gothic emperors both in Italy and in Spain for the preservation of Latin and draws attention to the flourishing Latin culture during their rule, pointing to the testimony of Cassiodorus. [62] At the same time he appeals for a more nuanced and unbiased understanding of what barbarian means, referring to the various shades of the original term in Greek and Latin. [63] Remarkably enough, Inchofer does not condemn the use of the vernacular altogether, but allows for a moderate use of modern languages in some circumstances. [64] This position, too, is a departure from a more radical viewpoint upheld by many earlier Latinists, and reveals a remarkable sense of reality on the part of Inchofer in spite of his veneration of Latin. The real danger, that to his mind should be prevented at all cost, is that the vernacular be held in higher repute than Latin and preferred over Latin for the discourse of science, scholarship, and religion – a development that he sensed was dangerously fuelled by the success of Lutheranism in Northern Europe. [65] Here again, then, Inchofer is not so much interested in the linguistic implications of the debate about Latin and the vernacular, but rather concentrates on the role Latin has to play in safeguarding the orthodoxy of the Roman Church. Since the Latin language had been elected by divine Providence to transmit the Catholic faith to the entire world, its continued cultivation in the spirit of the Fathers guaranteed the unity and durability of the Apostolic Church and saved it from being vilified and tainted by malign and incompetent critics. [66]

(3) Even while defending Ciceronian Latin against other stylistic trends and Latin against the vernacular, the real opponents Inchofer targeted are not the enemies of Classical Latin, but rather the adherents of the Reformed Church. Even if in many sections of his Historia sacrae Latinitatis he analyzes the historical development of Latin language and literature, he basically lifts Ciceronian Latin out of its historical context and endows it with a timeless, incorruptible, and hallowed status. [67] Earlier venerators of Cicero had occasionally bestowed an aura of unassailable sanctity upon their hero, but in Inchofer's perspective this sanctity is not grounded in the supreme quality of Cicero's style, but rather in the unique and everlasting bond between the brilliance of Latin and the salvational destiny of Rome. Already in Antiquity, of course, the singular fate of Latin had been linked to the outstanding history of Rome. Authors of the 1st century AD had started using the term "lingua Romana" to refer to the common language of the entire Roman Empire. [68] Valerius Maximus had praised the magistrates of old, who on account of the majesty of the Roman people insisted on using Latin even in the Greek-speaking part of the world in order to spread the honor of the Latin tongue ("Latinae vocis honos ") to all nations. [69] In a more critical vein, Saint Augustine [70] had observed that the Romans had used their language as an instrument to establish their rule and create a single world power.

During the Counter-Reformation a new dimension was added to these traditional elements of the praise of Latin, many of which had already been embroidered upon by earlier humanists, particularly in Rome itself. Just as the holy character of Rome as the capital of the Church Triumphant was now emphatically expressed by all possible literary and artistic means as part of a comprehensive strategy to oppose the Reformation and reconsolidate the Church on its Apostolic foundations, [71] so the Latin language, too, was endowed with a spiritual significance that surpassed the confines of temporal history and gave it an inherent and timeless prevalence over all other languages. Even if this unique distinction of Latin had not been officially decreed at the Council of Trent, this argument gradually acquired a quasi-dogmatic status in post-Tridentine defenses of Latin down to the Apostolic Constitution Veterum sapientia, promulgated by Pope John XXIII in 1962 in the midst of the deliberations at the Second Vatican Council. [72] In this document, signed on the tomb of Saint Peter, Pope John XXIII claimed that three essential qualities of Latin made it the congenial bearer of the message of the Roman Church: just as the Church itself, it is universal (universalis), not subject to change (immutabilis), and risen above the ordinary (non vulgaris). [73] Latin, in other words, is the genuinely "Catholic" language par excellence. [74]

Inchofer's Historia sacrae Latinitatis is arguably the most extensive and detailed celebration of Latin sub specie sanctitatis. He incorporates the main aspects of the discussion surrounding Latin from the 14th century onwards and makes them serve the glorification of Roman Catholicism in his treatise. Before Inchofer, the same ideas had been expressed perhaps most eloquently by the Roman priest, professor of rhetoric at the University of Rome, and pioneer of Early Christian archeology, Pompeo Ugonio. In his inaugural address, held at the Sapienza in 1586 and published that same year, he argued that the preservation of Latin is a necessary prerequisite for safeguarding the past legacy and future mission of Catholicism. [75] Adding an outspoken patriotic dimension to his discourse, Ugonio centered his entire argument more emphatically than Inchofer on the unique position of the city of Rome, and consequently viewed the preservation of Latin as a task the Romans should particularly take to heart. Inchofer knew Ugonio's oration and referred to it a number of times throughout his treatise, [76] without, however, acknowledging a particular debt to it. Nevertheless, while Ugonio's similar treatment of the subject is not necessarily Inchofer's main source of inspiration, still the intellectual climate of Ugonio's time may help better to understand the true objective of Inchofer's work. For it is quite striking and hardly a coincidence that in a treatise devoted to Latin language and literature and ending in a praise of the efforts of the Jesuit Order for Latin culture, Inchofer extols one of the first leaders of the Counter-Reformation, Carlo Borromeo, and highlights a manual of sacred rhetoric totally inspired by Borromeo's ideas, namely Agostino Valier's De rhetorica ecclesiastica (first published in 1574), but does not even mention, let alone discuss, more recent Jesuit authors who had come to dominate the literary scene in Inchofer's own time. From the early 17th century onwards some influential professors of rhetoric at the Collegio Romano, above all Famiano Strada, had revived a concept of moderate Ciceronianism, in which the rhetorical legacy of Classical Antiquity was more generously assimilated than in the older Borromean view. Similarly, sacred rhetoric was re-oriented along these same lines, as, e.g., in the Orator Christianus (1612), written by Carlo Reggio, another rhetorician of the Collegio Romano. [77] The fact that Inchofer ignores these authors, who had set new standards and were widely propagated in the Jesuit schools, may be partly explained by the somewhat strained relationship he had to his Order by the time he published the Historia sacrae Latinitatis. [78] Even although he spent a large part of his life in Rome, he does not seem to have cultivated any ties with the professors of the Collegio Romano. Likewise, while enjoying the sympathy of Francesco Barberini, who had a hand in Inchofer's role as consultor in the Galileo trial and used him as a advisor in later years as well, [79] Inchofer never became part of the literary entourage entertained by the Barberini family, who had fully embraced the stylistic views dictated by the Collegio Romano.

There may be a more fundamental reason, however, why Inchofer harks back to the initial promoters of the Counter-Reformation. For Carlo Borromeo had not only stressed the crucial significance of preaching and inspired several manuals of ecclesiastical rhetoric, but also strongly encouraged a renewed engagement in sacred history with a view to restoring Catholic practice to the purity of the Apostolic Church. This new focus did much to stimulate the conspicuous rise and development of scholarship in the fields of Church history, hagiography, liturgy, and Early Christian archaeology in the aftermath of the Tridentine Council. [80] In Rome itself, these investigations ran parallel with the spiritual renewal pursued by the community of the Oratorians, gathered round Filippo Neri; Carlo Borromeo, too, took an active interest in the activities of his circle, and repeatedly descended into the newly discovered catacombs for prayer and meditation during his visits to Rome. [81] Inchofer extends this scholarly tradition to the field of language: as the mere title suggests, historia sacra is the overarching principle that binds together the various facets of the Historia sacrae Latinitatis. His approach is essentially that of the first scholars who started to scrutinize the antiquities of Early Christian Rome in an attempt to unveil the Roman vestiges of the Christian faith. All facets of the Latin language Inchofer examines lead him to consider Latinitas an everlasting memorial that evidences the Roman foundations of Christianity. Yet, he should not be associated too closely with the pioneers of Early Christian archaeology. His historical insights and perspective, as opposed to those of many antiquarians of his time, were indeed colored, not to say biased, by his Catholic zeal. Furthermore, he paid hardly any attention whatsoever to the material culture of the Early Church, and only occasionally referred to ecclesiastical institutions, customs and rites to underscore his ideas. [82] Instead he derived his arguments about the connection between Latin and the Christian faith almost entirely from the rich tradition of Christian laudes urbis Romae that had accrued over the centuries and informed the vision of Rome upheld in his own time. Just as nearly all other authors in this tradition, Inchofer conveniently ignored that the roots of Christianity actually lay in the East and had found their first expression in languages other than Latin. In one particular instance, however, Inchofer could find evidence in antiquarian literature to sustain his case most strongly and directly: the prestige of Latin had been discussed before by specialists of sacred antiquity with regard to the trilingual inscription of the Cross, where a whole array of arguments was adduced to prove that Latin held the most distinguished place on the inscription. [83] The Latin language, Inchofer continued, was therefore consecrated by Christ himself, since it had been used to record both his birth, namely in the population register of the Roman Empire, [84] and his death. [85]

Seen from this perspective, Inchofer's Historia sacrae Latinitatis is more closely related to some of his other works than it might seem at first sight. Directly connected to it is his other venture in historia sacra, the Annales ecclesiastici regni Hungariae (published in 1644), a Church history of Hungary, in which his principal intention is to illustrate the pristine foundations and the unbroken and unsullied continuity of the Catholic devotion of the Hungarian people. [86] Whereas Inchofer of course views the deep faith of the Hungarian people as the main reason of their prosperity, [87] he does not omit to point out the benefit they have derived from embracing Latin culture. [88] From bibliographical information in other sources [89] we can deduce that Inchofer planned a number of other projects in the field of sacred antiquity. His interest in historia sacra may also clarify the peculiar concern for orthodoxy and authenticity that underlies most of his other works, and indeed marks a large part of his professional career. This focus, furthermore, may also explain the conspicuous absence of any reference to contemporary linguistic studies, which had reached a remarkable level of specialization but at the same time jeopardized a number of theological truths. The obvious tension prompted by the philological analysis of a holy language had already led some Renaissance humanists to challenge the intrinsically sacred nature of any language. [90] The increasing familiarity with exotic languages instilled doubts in the minds of some scholars concerning the Biblical account of the origin of language and its divine nature. [91] The quest for a new universal language in the 17th century necessarily implied a growing doubt about the universal dimension of Latin. [92] All these tendencies were in one way or another related to the growing sophistication of historical criticism. Inchofer's position was to elevate Latin as much as possible above history; he could have applied to his work the motto chosen by Baronio for his monumental Church history: Semper eadem. [93]

Inchofer's failure to enter into a serious dialogue with the linguistic scholarship of his time gives the treatise an uncomfortable tinge of backwardness and anachronism. In one way, however, Inchofer's history of Latin does look forward to new developments in the field of historical research. The last book of his treatise, offering a kind of institutional history of the promotion of Latin, represents in a way a nutshell history of schooling in the West, and also in earlier sections of the work Inchofer occasionally recognizes the intellectual and cultural background of the history of Latin. [94] He thus touches upon a subject that in the course of the 17th century would become part of a new domain of history, namely historia litteraria or the history of learning, first conceived and defined by Francis Bacon in his De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum (1623). [95] Inchofer surely did not seek to meet the ambitious goals set by Bacon, but nonetheless focussed on a pertinent topic that had not often been dealt with in a systematic fashion before. For the material related to this field, Inchofer drew heavily on one of the first comprehensive histories of schooling, the Academiae orbis Christiani of Jacobus Middendorp, first published in 1567, revised and expanded in 1583 and again in 1602. [96] It is no surprise that Inchofer should turn to Middendorp. The overall concept and orientation of the Academiae orbis Christiani is not unsimilar to that of the Historia sacrae Latinitatis. For Middendorp does not merely record the history of schools and universities, but also seeks to describe the origin and diffusion of the liberal arts among the Jews and the Christians. Adopting the same line of reasoning as Inchofer, Middendorp sets the foundations of schooling firmly in Italy and dates them back to early Biblical times. Thus, he makes Noah teach liberal arts at a publicum Vetuloniae gymnasium [97] and puts forward Saint Peter as rector of a publicum sacrarum literarum gymnasium in Rome. [98] In his perspective, Christian schooling had been instrumental in spreading both civilization and the true faith throughout the world, and all but confirmed the Roman roots of Christianity. [99] Needless to say, these theories were not taken seriously by later writers on the subject, who viewed this field as part of a more modern historia litteraria. [100]

In the 18th century, Johannes Georgius Walchius classified historia linguarum explicitly under historia litteraria, [101] and displayed in his own Historia critica Latinae linguae, first published in 1716, his concept of a history of Latin language. [102] In his outlook there was no longer room for Inchofer's notion of sacra Latinitas, but in spite of some fundamental differences in their approach to Latin, Walchius still acknowledged Inchofer as a respectable predecessor. [103] Only when some decades later another generation of Classical philologists imposed their views on what a history of Latin language and literature should look like, was Inchofer definitively relegated to the realm of obscure curiosities from a no longer relevant past.



[1] De doctoribus umbraticis eorumque variis incommodis in republica litteraria commentarius. Accedit eiusdem dissertatio Lipsiensis de nimio Latinitatis studio accessionibus aucta, Vitembergae, 1720; an earlier dissertation had been devoted to the same subject by Christian Uhlich: Dissertatio philologico-historica de nimio Latinitatis studio, praeside D.F. Iano, Lipsiae, 1712.

[2] See, e.g., J.G. Walchius, Historia critica Latinae linguae, Lipsiae, 1716, fol. )()(4r-v. At the time of writing, I had no access to the later, revised editions of this work.

[3] For the publication history of this work see below p. 4, with n. 23. References throughout this paper are to the reprint, issued at Prague in 1742.

[4] See 5, 2: Beatos in caelo locuturos probabile (pp. 310-319).

[5] See Vulg., So., 3, 9.

[6] See 5, 4: Christum Latine interdum locutum probabile (pp. 323-328).

[7] See, e.g., D.G. Morhof, Polyhistoris tomus I sive Polyhistor literarius, Lübeck, 17474, Liber IV, caput IX. De lingua Latina, § 3.

[8] Geschichte der classischen Philologie in Deutschland von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart (Geschichte der Wissenschaften in Deutschland, 19. Band), München-Leipzig, 1883, p. 287.

[9] Grundriss der Römischen Litteratur, Braunschweig, 18654, p. 27.

[10] Jesus-Jeschua. Die drei Sprachen Jesu. Jesus in der Synagoge, auf dem Berge, beim Passahmahl, am Kreuz, Leipzig, 1922; Die Worte Jesu. Mit Berücksichtigung des nachkanonischen jüdischen Schrifttums und der aramäischen Sprache erörtert, Leipzig, 19302.

[11] The problem has been recently discussed by B. Rochette, Le latin dans le monde grec. Recherches sur la diffusion de la langue et des lettres latines dans les provinces hellénophones de l'Empire romain (Collection Latomus, 233), Bruxelles, 1997, pp. 155-156.

[12] Secondary literature concerning Inchofer is scarce, and especially the older contributions should be used with utmost caution. A reliable picture of his career and personality has emerged only in recent times, thanks to intensive archival research, which has brought to light a wealth of previously unknown informations. The latest contribution, which again contains much new evidence and corrects a number of mistakes in older accounts, is that of Thomas Cerbu, Melchior Inchofer, "un homme fin & rusé", in: Largo campo di filosofare. Eurosymposium Galileo 2001, edd. J. Montesinos-C. Solís, La Orotava, 2001, pp. 587-611. My sincere thanks are due to the author, who allowed me to consult his paper before publication and shared his views on Inchofer with me. The only recent and reliable lexicon article is written by L. Szilas, in: Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, 25 (1995), coll. 979-980.

[13] See A. Steinhuber, Geschichte des Kollegium Germanikum hungarikum in Rom, vol. 1, Freiburg im Breisgau, 19062, p. 464. For a new assessment of the educational values pursued in the Collegium Germanicum Hungaricum see F.C. Cesareo, The Collegium Germanicum and the Ignatian vision of education, in: Sixteenth century journal, 24 (1993), pp. 829-841.

[14] This college, founded in 1548, even before the Collegio Romano (1551), had been the first Jesuit school in which the modus Parisiensis was systematically applied; see, in general, G. Codina Mir, Aux sources de la pédagogie des jésuites. Le "Modus parisiensis" (Bibliotheca Instituti historici SJ, XXVIII), Roma, 1968.

[15] To my knowledge, the available reports, either preserved in manuscript or included in the front matter of printed publications, have not even been systematically surveyed.

[16] For a fresh analysis of Inchofer's role in the Galileo affair, based not only on the traditional documentation but also on newly unearthed evidence, see T. Cerbu [as in n. 12].

[17] Opinions varied, both before and after the Galileo trial, as to the question whether heliocentrism ought to be considered a heresy. One of the three Jesuit censors of Inchofer's Tractatus, Christoph Schreiner, was not convinced that geocentrism was a matter of faith, as Inchofer had maintained. See, most recently, M.-P. Lerner, L'"hérésie" héliocentrique: du soupçon à la condamnation, in: Sciences et religions de Copernic à Galilée (1540-1610). Actes du colloque international [...] Rome 12-14 décembre 1996 (Collection de l'École française de Rome, 260), Rome-Paris, 1999, pp. 69-91; on Inchofer see ibid., p. 90, n. 60.

[18] On the pedagogical views of Scioppius see now W. Neuber, Paedia prudentiae. Zur Stellung von Kaspar Schoppes Consultationes de scholarum et studiorum ratione in der Geschichte der Pädagogik. Mit einem Ausblick auf Schoppes Amsterdamer Hauptdrucker Joost Pluymer und sein Programm, in: Kaspar Schoppe (1576-1649). Philologe im Dienste der Gegenreformation. Beiträge zur Gelehrtenkultur des europäischen Späthumanismus, ed. H. Jaumann [= Zeitsprünge. Forschungen zur Frühen Neuzeit, 2 (1998), Heft 3/4], Frankfurt am Main, 1998, pp. 391-422. The whole volume provides a good status quaestionis on Scioppius. Inchofer's reports on Scioppius's Actio perduellionis and Jesuita exenteratus date from 1633 (for the precise references see Cerbu [as in n. 12], p. 599, n. 31); his pamphlets Grammaticus paedicus sive puerilis and Grammaticus Palaephatius sive nugivendus appeared in 1638 and 1639 respectively, under the pseudonym Eugenius Lavanda. For a complete list of Inchofer's works see Aug. & Al. De Backer-C. Sommervogel, Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, tome IV, Bruxelles-Paris, 1893, coll. 561-566.

[19] The problems started already with his very first treatise, the Epistolae B. Virginis Mariae ad Messanenses veritas vindicata (1629), which the Congregation of the Index ordered him to revise. Many details of the sometimes complex publication history of Inchofer's writings remain to be elucidated. For an extensive discussion of the difficulties Inchofer encountered with the censors of his own Order in trying to publish his Annales ecclesiastici regni Hungariae (1644), see D. Dümmerth, Les combats et la tragédie du père Melchior Inchofer S.J. à Rome (1641-1648), in: Annales Universitatis Scientiarum Budapestensis de Rolando Eötvös nominatae, Sectio historica, 17 (1976), pp. 81-112, at 86-97.

[20] For Inchofer's troubles during the last years of his life, about which many earlier biographical accounts remain entirely silent, see especially Szilas [as in n. 12] and Cerbu [as in n. 12], pp. 603-607.

[21] Cerbu [as in n. 12, pp. 600-603] has argued, to my mind convincingly, that the author of the Monarchia Solipsorum is Melchior Inchofer, and not Giulio Clemente Scotti, as François Oudin maintained in the article he composed for Jean-Pierre Niceron's Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire des hommes illustres dans la république des lettres, tome 35, Paris, 1736, pp. 322-346, at 337-345. Oudin's identification of the author, hidden behind the pseudonym Lucius Cornelius Europaeus, has been accepted almost unanimously by later scholars. It may be noted, however, that in a recent exhibit catalogue, Ingrid Rowland refers to Melchior Inchofer as the author of the Monarchia Solipsorum, albeit without mentioning the discussion surrounding the authorship; see I.D. Rowland, Athanasius Kircher, missionary scientist, in: ead. (ed.), The ecstatic journey: Athanasius Kircher in Baroque Rome, Chicago, 2000, pp. 1-19, at 5 and 19-20.

[22] See Dümmerth [as in n. 19], p. 107: "Les luttes de Inchofer elles-même sont placées sous le signe de l'excès."

[23] It was reprinted twice, first at Munich in 1638, and again at Prague in 1742.

[24] Epistolae B. Virginis Mariae ad Messanenses veritas vindicata, Messanae, 1629; the revised version carried a different title: De epistola B. Virginis Mariae ad Messanenses conjectatio plurimis rationibus et verisimilitudinibus locuples, Viterbii, 1632.

[25] See 5, 6: Latina lingua principum apostolorum ore sacra (pp. 334-341, at 337), where Inchofer corroborates his earlier observations, contained in ch. 33 of the Veritas vindicata (pp. 209-212), about the misleading modesty of Saint Paul in calling himself imperitus sermone (Vulg., II Cor., 11, 6). Inchofer basically rehearses Augustine's De doctrina Christiana, 4, 6-7.

[26] Ad lectorem (fol. ††5v-7v, at 5v): "Et quidem aliis alia secum praecipientibus, omnes Latinitatis honos accendit, honorem huius tractationis velut tesseram quandam esse voluerunt. Ea de caussa Latinitatis Sacrae Historiam inscripsimus; quid enim honore sacratius? Historiam porro, ut Latinitatis regnum tot seculis servatum, nunc, cum maxime florere existimatur, exemplis et decretis maiorum ab insidiis vindicemus, quando ex imagine praeteritorum futura capiunt documentum."

[27] The titles of the 6 books are as follows: Liber I. De origine et vario progressu Latinitatis; Liber II. De causis declinantis Latinitatis; Liber III. De cultu linguae vulgaris; Liber IV. De maiestate linguae Latinae; Liber V. De sanctitate linguae Latinae; Liber VI. De variis variorum institutis circa linguam Latinam.

[28] The Historia sacrae Latinitatis seems to have been considered a manual of Christian Latin by the otherwise well-informed F. Hand, Lehrbuch des lateinischen Stils, Jena, 18392, p. 74.

[29] See n. 7.

[30] See J.N. Funccius, De adolescentia Latinae linguae tractatus, Marburgi Cattorum, 1723, pp. 9-13, at 11-12. This treatise is part of a larger series of writings on the origin and history of Latin language and literature; see Bursian [as in n. 8], pp. 380-382.

[31] See J.F. Noltenius, Lexicon Latinae linguae antibarbarum quadripartitum, cum annexa ad calcem recensione Latinorum scriptorum ad usque seculum XIII critica, catalogo restitutorum Latinitatis et lexicographorum tum antiquiorum tum recentiorum, Berolini-Stralsundiae, 17803, ed. G.J. Wichmannus, which contains, with a separate pagination, the bibliotheca Latinitatis restitutae, first edited by J.A. Noltenius in 1768 ex beati parentis mandato; the lemma on Inchofer is found on p. 274.

[32] See fol. ††6r: "Nam interim aspirantem iterum ad summa Latinitatem et per media decora velut quadrigis vehentem extrema omnia circumsistere coeperunt." (cf. Cic., Brut., 331); p. 479: "Et nunc quoque de excelso illo et illustri Beatarum mentium loco ita mihi videor audire [sc. Carolum Borromaeum] compellantem nos omnes, qui in vitam paulo serius tamquam in viam sumus ingressi et adhuc animos in custodia corporis retinemus." (cf. Cic., Brut., 330)

[33] Cicero's Brutus de claris oratoribus was the unanimously acknowledged model for historical surveys of Latin literature and style in Early Modern times, although these surveys rarely attained the level of sophistication apparent in the Brutus. It heads, e.g., the list of writings in Funccius's De adolescentia Latinae linguae tractatus [as in n. 30], p. 9. The most famous work inspired by it is the survey of papal secretaries, composed by Philippus Maria Bonamicus, De claris pontificiarum epistolarum scriptoribus, Romae, 1753; 17702. A global study of the reception of Cicero's Brutus in the Renaissance and Baroque has not yet been undertaken, as is pointed out by H. Jaumann, Critica. Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der Literaturkritik zwischen Quintilian und Thomasius (Brill's studies in intellectual history, 62), Leiden-New York-Köln, 1995, p. 122, n. 211. For a recent analysis of the Brutus itself see now J.P. Schwindt, Prolegomena zu einer "Phänomenologie" der römischen Geschichtsschreibung. Von den Anfängen bis Quintilian (Hypomnemata. Untersuchungen zur Antike und zu ihrem Nachleben, 130), Göttingen, 2000, pp. 96-121.

[34] See 6, 11: S. Caroli Borromaei institutum circa linguam Latinam (pp. 468-480). In accordance with the general theme of Book 6 (De variis variorum institutis circa linguam Latinam), Inchofer underlines in particular his merits for the institutional consolidation of the study of Latin and thus highlights his engagement in the literary culture of Rome through the foundation of the Accademia delle Notti vaticane, as well as his efforts as Archbishop of Milan for the library and school system in his diocese, which became an inspiring model throughout Italy and beyond, even if his high standards were not always met. On Borromeo's Academy see above all P. Paschini, Il primo soggiorno di S. Carlo Borromeo a Roma (1560-1565), in: id., Cinquecento romano e riforma cattolica (Lateranum, n.s., 24), Romae, 1958, pp. 93-181. His educational reforms, carried out in the context of his diocesan legislation, as well as their impact are concisely presented by R. Po-chia Hsia, The world of Catholic renewal 1540-1770 (New approaches to European history, 12), Cambridge, 1998, pp. 106-121.

[35] On Silvio Antoniano see the article, written by P. Prodi, in: Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, 3 (1961), pp. 511-515.

[36] To my knowledge, Valier's De rhetorica ecclesiastica ad clericos has never been analyzed in detail. See for now J.W. O'Malley, Saint Charles Borromeo and the Praecipuum Episcoporum Munus: his place in the history of preaching, in: San Carlo Borromeo. Catholic reform and ecclesiastical politics in the second half of the sixteenth century, edd. J.M. Headley-J.B. Tomaro, Washington, DC, 1988, pp. 139-157, at 146-148; F.J. McGinness, Right thinking and sacred oratory in Counter-Reformation Rome, Princeton, NJ, 1995, p. 50; C. Mouchel, Cicéron et Sénèque à la Renaissance (Ars rhetorica, 3), Marburg, 1990, p. 533, and id., Les rhétoriques post-tridentines (1570-1600): la fabrique d'une société chrétienne, in: Histoire de la rhétorique dans l'Europe moderne 1450-1950, ed. M. Fumaroli, Paris, 1999, pp. 431-497, at 434-435.

[37] On the sacred eloquence in Counter-Reformation Rome see McGinness [as in n. 36], especially pp. 62-86. Its roots in the High Renaissance have been studied J.W. O'Malley, Praise and blame in Renaissance Rome. Rhetoric, doctrine, and reform in the sacred orators of the papal court, c. 1450-1521 (Duke monographs in medieval and Renaissance studies, 3), Durham, NC, 1979. For a global characterization of the rhetorical handbooks inspired by Carlo Borromeo see M. Fumaroli, L'âge de l'éloquence. Rhétorique et "res literaria" de la Renaissance au seuil de l'époque classique (Bibliothèque de "L'Évolution de l'Humanité"), Paris, 1994 [= 1980], especially pp. 135-152.

[38] See especially 4, 6: Latinae linguae maiestas in sacris scriptoribus (pp. 268-273).

[39] His most emphatic defense of Cicero as model author can be found in 2, 15: Contemptus Ciceronis Latinitati plurimum obest (pp. 124-147).

[40] For an excellent overview of these periodizations of Latin literature in Early Modern times see W. Ax, Quattuor linguae Latinae aetates. Neue Forschungen zur Geschichte der Begriffe "Goldene" und "Silberne Latinität, in: Hermes, 124 (1996), pp. 220-240.

[41] See 1, 10: Varia aetas Latinae linguae (pp. 27-29). Whereas the source of Isidore's periodization (...quidam dixerunt...) remains unknown, it seems likely that the division based on the phases of human life goes back to Varro's De vita populi Romani; cf. R. Häussler, Vom Ursprung und Wandel des Lebensaltervergleichs, in: Hermes, 92 (1964), pp. 313-341. According to Ax ([as in n. 40], p. 239, with n. 59), such a division was first transferred to literary history by Juan Luis Vives.

[42] The same problem was encountered by those who applied the other traditional evolutionary scheme of literary history, in which the different periods were distinguished by means of noble (and less noble) metals.

[43] See the somewhat awkward statement in 1, 10 (pp. 27-28), where Inchofer struggles to follow the account of Florus (Epit., PR., 8): "A Cicerone usque in seculum nostrum varie defecta [sc. aetas], nescio an inertia hominum magis quam vitio peregrino quasi consenuit, nisi quod post illatum Evangelium et respirante religione vigere coepit, sed subinde quasi a reliqua sui parte discessione facta, suo splendore orbata est. Nunc demum praeter spem omnium (Deo dante) senectus Latinitatis velut reddita iuventuti facile revirescet, si Latinitatis pestis exscindatur." The beneficial influence of Trajan has been replaced by the appearance of Christ, and the restoration of Latin learning has been moved to Inchofer's own time, all in clear contradiction to views maintained in other parts of the Historia sacrae Latinitatis.

[44] See 1, 11-19 (pp. 29-52).

[45] See 1, 2: De origine Latinae linguae (pp. 3-5). In Gn., 10, 4, the territory is called "Cetthim". Passages such as Nm., 24, 24 suggest the term was interpreted in a broad sense as "the (Greek) islands (and lands in the West)". In the Latin Vulgate it was understood from the Roman perspective and translated as "Italy" (see Nm., 24, 24 and Ez., 27, 6) or even "Romans" (see Dn., 11, 30). For the interpretation of the term see especially F. Schmidtke, Die Japhetiten der biblischen Völkertafel (Breslauer Studien zur historischen Theologie, 7), Breslau, 1926, pp. 75-83; see also id., in: Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, 2 (1931), col. 818, and H. Bardtke, ibid., 6 (19612), col. 311.

[46] In this passage Telephus himself is identified with Latinus. See Suidae lexicon, ed. A. Adler, Pars III (Lexicographi Graeci, vol. 1), Stutgardiae, 1967 [= 1933], p. 237. Earlier authors had already explicitly located Telephus in Italy; see J. Schmidt, in: Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie, ed. W.H. Roscher, 5. Band, Leipzig, 1916-1924, coll. 274-308, at 291-292.

[47] For a sampling of nationalistic theories on the nature of the primaeval language, see U. Eco, La recherche de la langue parfaite dans la culture européenne, Paris, 1994, pp. 116-124 (the Italian original, first published in 1993, was not available to me at the time of writing).

[48] See Isid., Orig., 9, 1, 1, restating the opinion of the Church Fathers.

[49] See 1, 2 (p. 3): "Ea vero pridem ante sacra fuit quam nata, hoc est destinata prius in regnaturae Ecclesiae sanctitatem quam labiis hominum sermo insedisset. Nam Hebraea, qua Deus et primi parentes locuti perhibentur, sepulta Synagoga, ipsa quoque consenuit, nisi quod succedente Ecclesia, ne Dei testis et sacrorum interpres sermo excideret, iuventute quadam reddita, penes Latinam virere perrexit."

[50] See 1, 4: Qui primi Italiae habitatores (pp. 7-11); 1, 5: Latini an Graecorum coloni (pp. 11-13); 1, 6: Latina lingua nulla antiquior in Italia (pp. 13-17).

[51] See Dion. Halic., Arch. Rom., 1, 90, 1; Quint., Inst., 1, 6, 31.

[52] See 1, 8: Primitivae quaedam Latinae linguae praerogativae (pp. 22-24, at 24): "Ceterum ad summam in terris Ecclesiae Latinae praerogativam spectat, damnata illa superbae Turris molitione, quae linguas confudit, Romanam post secula surrexisse Ecclesiam et, coactis in unam religionem sub uno capite nationibus, labium electum in Latinitatem effloruisse." This theme is repeated in countless variations throughout the Historia sacrae Latinitatis.

[53] See 4, 1: Lingua Latina lingua imperatorum (pp. 235-242).

[54] See Grégoire le thaumaturge, Remerciement à Origène suivi de la lettre d'Origène à Grégoire, ed. H. Crouzel (Sources chrétiennes, 148), Paris, 1969, pp. 97-99.

[55] See especially Cic., Tusc., 1, 1, Fin., 1, 10 and 3, 5; compare also Tusc., 2, 35, Fin., 3, 51, and Caec., 51.

[56] On the debate surrounding the value of Greek letters in the Renaissance, the latest study is that of J.-C. Saladin, La bataille du grec à la Renaissance, Paris, 2000, in which attention is devoted to Hebrew as well, since they were often considered together as the two "sacred languages" alongside Latin.

[57] The literature on the rivalry between Latin and the vernacular is of course considerable. An excellent account of the situation in Italy has been given by P.O. Kristeller, The origin and development of the language of Italian prose, in: id., Renaissance thought and the arts. Collected essays, expanded edition, Princeton, NJ, 1990, pp. 119-141 [originally published: 1946].

[58] Dante himself never identified his volgare illustre, the highest of his three levels of style, with Italian, and most likely thought of the volgare illustre as a theoretical construction; see, e.g., H.W. Klein, Latein und Volgare in Italien. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der italienischen Nationalsprache (Münchner Romanistische Arbeiten, 12), München, 1957, pp. 23-33.

[59] This debate prompted several more texts, written by Leonardo Bruni, Guarino Guarini, Poggio Bracciolini, Francesco Filelfo, and Leon Battista Alberti. The entire documentation has been edited by M. Tavoni, Latino, grammatica, volgare. Studio di una questione umanistica (Medioevo e umanesimo, 53), Padova, 1984. His interpretation of the relevant texts, however, has been seriously questioned by R. Fubini in a postscript to his La coscienza del latino negli umanisti. "An Latina lingua Romanorum esset peculiare idioma", reprinted in his Umanesimo e secolarizzazione da Petraraca al Valla, Roma, 1990, pp. 1-75 [originally published: 1961], at 55-75, and by A. Mazzocco, Linguistic theories in Dante and the humanists. Studies of language and intellectual history in late medieval and early Renaissance Italy (Brill's studies in intellectual history, 38), Leiden-New York-Köln, 1993, especially pp. 13-105 and 189-208. Among the earlier studies, see especially C. Grayson, A Renaissance controversy: Latin or Italian?, Oxford, 1960

[60] See 3, 7: Lingua Latina an a Gothis corrupta, ut in vulgarem evaderet (pp. 180-186, at 185): "In Dantem ergo, non in Gothos linguae vulgaris principium merito recidat, nisi et huius tenuitatem pertaesi posteri sublatum dicendi genus nova Latinitatis aut etiam vetusti, si quod fuit Italici idiomatis, destructione quotidie molirentur."

[61] For a few examples, see, e.g., E. Norden, Die antike Kunstprosa vom VI. Jahrhundert v. Chr. bis in die Zeit der Renaissance, Leipzig-Berlin, 19183, pp. 770-771, with n. 1.

[62] This is a point to which Inchofer clearly attaches some weight, since it crops up a number of times throughout the Historia sacrae Latinitatis, most explicitly so in Book 2; see especially 2, 5: Gothos et Vvandalos multum obfuisse linguae Latinae quorundam opinio (pp. 67-71); 2, 6: Gothi Latinae linguae faventiores quam vulgo creditur (pp. 71-76). His Northern European origin no doubt gave him an extra motivation to inveigh against the "Gothic thesis". But some Italians, too, criticized this theory; E. Norden ([as in n. 51], p. 771) points out Celso Cittadini: see now Celso Cittadini, Trattato della vera origine, e del processo, e nome della nostra lingua, scritto in vulgar Senese, Venetia, 1601. Nachdruck mit einer Einleitung und Bibliographie von Gerd Schlemmer (Romanistik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 13), Hamburg, 1983, particularly cap. XV (pp. 132-133 of the reprint, at 133), where Cittadini polemicizes against Isidore's explanation of "barbarismus", i.e. "a barbaris gentibus". Cittadini goes on to try and prove that a pure and vulgar variant of Latin always existed side by side in ancient Rome. Among historians, the Goths were likewise almost unanimously made responsible for the demise of the Roman Empire. Notable exceptions in this respect are Flavio Biondo (Roma instaurata) and Onofrio Panvinio (Antiquitates Veronenses), who like Inchofer drew attention to the merits of the Ostrogothic emperors in Italy; see I. Herklotz, Historia sacra und mittelalterliche Kunst während der zweiten Hälfte des 16. Jahrhunderts in Rom, in: Baronio e l'arte, ed. R. De Maio e.a. (Fonti e studi baroniani, 2), Sora, 1985, pp. 21-74, at 32.

[63] See 3, 12: Quinam barbari proprie dicti (pp. 209-214).

[64] See 3, 13: Quae mala consequantur nimium vulgaris linguae cultum (pp. 214-224, at 214): "Moderatum linguae vulgaris studium laudabile est, nec ab instituto civili alienum; id hodie requirit quotidianus sermonis usus, rerum vulgo transigendarum necessitas, denique populorum eiusdem regni inter se commercia. Is dumtaxat cultus in vituperationem venit, qui a melioribus exercitiis abducit et Latinitatis honorem infra suum ponit."

[65] See 3, 13 (pp. 220-221): "In comperto enim est vix alias cum Ecclesia Romana felicius actum, quam cum Latinae litterae floruerunt. Certe sub initium Lutheranae factionis, cum plurima iuventus Latinitatis ornatu in partem allecta fuisset (his enim illecebris praecipue studebant sectarii, quo nitidus sermo in aures influeret venenumque in animos afferret) fecissent progressum bonis omnibus poenitendum, nisi ex adverso paribus armis decretorie certatum esset et diserta oratio Catholicae doctrinae lucem indidisset. Tum enimvero erectis ubique novis Romanae facundiae castris optima quaeque manus adulescentium ad militiam venit steteruntque Latinae acies semper in procinctu, non minus in haereses quam in barbariem depugnantes, crevitque res Catholica successu continuo, numquam ut annus exiret, quin multa epheborum milia Latinarum litterarum merito sectis renunciarent. Egregium sane documentum nihil umquam recte cum Latinitatis et bonarum artium periculo posse institui, cui periculo, si impensus vernaculi sermonis amor accedat, maiora etiam ac plane decumana mala sequantur necesse est." Inchofer refers in particular to the teaching of Melanchthon.

[66] See 3, 14: Quousque admittendus opinione quorundam Latinae linguae usus (pp. 224-234, at 234): "Atqui tanto malo nisi sanctiores leges adversum eant, verendum omnino ne nocentissima insolentia, consuetudine paucorum reddita facilior, in religionem abeat apud incautos, ut falsis originibus, insidiosa quadam et versuta transitione, barbaries sese in sacrum genus infundat, religiosae doctrinae labe et erroribus intercedat."

[67] See, e.g., 3, 1: Sua cuique nationi lingua praeclara (pp. 148-152, at 151): "Soli Latinitati Dei munere concessum, ut postquam semel a prisca illa infantia discessisset ac paulatim ad aetatem Ciceronis perducta perfectaque esset, numquam decorem omnem et habitum eatenus poneret, quin genuinam speciem inter barbaros etiam corruptores servaret ac subinde ostentaret."

[68] See, among other studies, P. Flobert, Lingua Latina et lingua Romana: purisme, administration et Invasions Barbares, in: Ktèma, 13 (1988), pp. 205-212.

[69] See Val. Max., 2, 2, 2. The passage must, however, be interpreted with caution; see the recent analysis of Rochette [as in n. 11], pp. 89-96. The "Latinitatis honos", it may be reminded, was what Inchofer first incited to compose his Historia sacrae Latinitatis (see the passage from the address to the reader, quoted in n. 25); the famous paragraph from Valerius Maximus may have rung in his ears. It is of course quoted later on in the treatise, namely in 4,3: Quanti fecerint Romani linguam suam, hoc est Latinam (pp. 248-254, at 249).

[70] See Aug., Civ., 19, 7.

[71] On the concept of Rome as a holy city see McGinness [as in n. 36], especially pp. 167-190, as well as his earlier article The rhetoric of praise and the new Rome of the Counter Reformation, in: Rome in the Renaissance, ed. P.A. Ramsey (Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 18), Binghamton, NY, 1982, pp. 355-370 [reprinted in: Rom als Idee, ed. B. Kytzler (Wege der Forschung, 656), Darmstadt, 1993, pp. 277-297].

[72] For a survey of (Early) Modern vindications of Latin, that are informed by the Roman Catholic faith, ranging from the aftermath of the Tridentine Council to Vaticanum II, see now F. Waquet, Le latin ou l'empire d'un signe. XVIe-XXe siècle (Collection "L'évolution de l'humanité"), Paris, 1998, pp. 56-98.

[73] See the Constitutio apostolica De Latinitatis studio provehendo (Veterum sapientia), in: Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 54 (1962), pp. 129-135. In recent literature, the document has been reflected upon not only by Waquet ([as in n. 72], pp. 92-93], but also by C. Schmitt, Latein und westeuropäische Sprachen, in: Sprachgeschichte. Ein Handbuch zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und ihrer Erforschung, 2., vollständig neu bearbeitete und erweiterte Auflage, edd. W. Besch e.a., 2. Teilband (Berlin-New York, 2000), pp. 1061-1084, at 1062.

[74] Latin is adorned with this epithet, which from a Roman Catholic perspective naturally imposes itself, in a document of Pope Pius XI: Epistola apostolica de seminariis et de studiis clericorum, in: Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 14 (1922), pp. 449-458, at 453 [this letter is partly reprinted in: A. Springhetti, Selecta Latinitatis scripta auctorum recentium (saec. XV-XX), Romae, 1951, pp. 74-75]. See also F. Waquet [as in n. 72], p. 81.

[75] For Ugonio's arguments in his oration see M. Laureys, The pagan and Christian legacy of Rome in Pompeo Ugonio's oration De lingua Latina, in: Neulateinisches Jahrbuch, 2 (2000), pp. 125-147, at 135-146.

[76] He did so most often in laudatory terms, as in 5, 7: Latina lingua Evangelium in orbem Romanum exportatum (pp. 341-346, at 345), but obviously declined Ugonio's endorsement of the "Gothic thesis", for which see 3, 7: Lingua Latina an a Gothis corrupta, ut in vulgarem evaderet (pp. 180-186, at 182-183).

[77] For a penetrating analysis of the stylistic and rhetorical theories in late-16th- and early-17th-century Rome, see M. Fumaroli [as in n. 37], pp. 122-226; the influence of the Jesuits is highlighted as well in his earlier study Cicero pontifex Romanus: la tradition rhétorique du Collège romain et les principes inspirateurs du mécénat des Barberini, in: Mélanges de l'École française de Rome, Moyen Âge-Temps modernes, 90 (1978), pp. 799-835.

[78] It may be reminded that the work was issued in Messina, not in Rome, as one guesses he would have preferred in 1635. So far I have not been able to determine whether Inchofer faced any particular stringencies or obstacles that prevented him from publishing the Historia sacrae Latinitatis in Rome.

[79] For the relationship between Melchior Inchofer and Francesco Barberini see especially Cerbu [as in n. 12], pp. 591-592. He has been able to trace back their mutual ties to at least 1623.

[80] See S. Ditchfield, Liturgy, sanctity and history in Tridentine Italy. Pietro Maria Campi and the preservation of the particular (Cambridge studies in Italian history and culture), Cambridge, 1995.

[81] Whereas there can be little doubt that the Counter Reformation movement provided a strong incentive and a beneficial climate for the development of scholarship on sacred antiquity, the scholarly pursuits and methods of the first specialists of the Early Church and its antiquities have in the past often been too closely and too exclusively linked to the objectives of men like Filippo Neri and Carlo Borromeo. A critical reflection had already been made by S. Grassi Fiorentino, Note sull'antiquaria romana nella seconda metà del secolo XVI, in: Baronio storico e la Controriforma, ed. R. De Maio e.a. (Fonti e studi baroniani, 1), Sora, 1982, pp. 197-211, at 208, n. 21. A close investigation of the scholarly production from the beginnings of Early Christian archaeology has led I. Herklotz to insist even more strongly upon largely dissociating the development of Early Christian archeology from the ideology of the Counter Reformation; see his Christliche und klassische Archäologie im sechzehnten Jahrhundert: Skizzen zur Genese einer Wissenschaft, in: Die Gegenwart des Altertums. Formen und Funktionen des Altertumsbezugs in den Hochkulturen der Alten Welt, edd. D. Kuhn-H. Stahl, Heidelberg, 2001, pp. 291-307. For the case of Ugonio see also M. Laureys [as in n. 75], pp. 128-130.

[82] He associates, e.g., the three segments of the papal tiara with the three holy languages, and interprets the crown itself, as well as the coronation ceremony, in which it were for a long time Basilian monks who placed the tiara on the new pope's head, as a symbol of the unity of the Church under the aegis of Roman Catholicism. See 5, 10: In Latinis sacris Graeca et Hebraea cur inserantur (pp. 360-365, at 364-365).

[83] See 5, 5: Latina lingua in Cruce consecrata (pp. 328-334).

[84] See Oros., 6, 22, 5-8.

[85] This point had already been made by Pompeo Ugonio; see the reprint of the central section of his oration in Springhetti [as in n. 74], pp. 23-26, at 24-25.

[86] See the address ad lectorem (I quote from the reprint issued in 1795-1797 at Bratislava: vol.1, part 1, fol. a5r): "Annales scribimus Hungariae, sed dumtaxat ecclesiasticos, pro munere nostro, ut iter intendamus ad avitae religionis et pristinae sanctitatis institutum. Qui igitur apud Hungaros Pannoniam obtinentes ortus fuit Evangelii, quae Catholicae pietatis adolescentia quibusve authoribus et quo ordine res fidei gestae, ex annorum serie notamus ea diligentia, quam argumenti obscuritas requirebat." For the title and the concept of this treatise, Inchofer was no doubt mainly inspired by Cesare Baronio. One of the reasons why the work was censured before its publication was alleged plagiarism from Baronio; see Dümmerth [as in n. 19], p. 86.

[87] Inchofer's praise of the unflagging faith of the Hungarian people leads him to more general reflections on the necessity of an undivided faith for the well-being of a state. He sums up his viewpoint as follows ([as in n. 86], p. 60): "Mihi semper praeclare sentire visi sunt, qui regnorum omnium Christianorum felicitatem religioni sancta cultae, calamitatem eidem temeratae adscripserunt."

[88] See [as in n. 86] p. 63: "Alibi ostendimus nulli quam Hungarorum nationi magis familiarem esse linguae Latinae usum, non qui illis nativus sit, ut quidam inepte existimarunt, Walachos cum Hungaris confundentes, antiquam Romanorum coloniam, quae hodieque Romanae, hoc est Latinae quamvis corrupte sermonem edit, sed quem indolis propensione et animi voluptate in scholis a tenera aetate capit. Quantum vero hinc existat ad omne genus doctrinae praesidii, superfluum est pluribus ostendere, quando palam est Latine loquentes in foro scientiarum versari et foro uti, aliis interim circumspectantibus dumtaxat velut baiulis litterarum." Inchofer refers to ch. 4,7 of his Historia sacrae Latinitatis: Latinae linguae maiestas ex peculiari quarundam nationum usu (pp. 273-278, at 273): "Et hoc ad maiestatem Latinitatis facit quam plurimum, habere eam apud quasdam exteras ac remotas nationes id cultus et venerationis, nihil ut ipsis videri possit esse sacratius. Cuius rei ratio ea mihi semper visa est potissima, quod olim in provinciam Romanae primum, deinde Christianae fidei concedentes ultro ipsae agnoscant sese beneficio Latinae linguae morum feritatem posuisse et, emollita nativi sermonis asperitate, cum Latinitate religionem ac humanitatem accepisse." While this was true for the Hungarians, Inchofer continues, it was also underlined in connection with the Polish people in a recent oration of Georgius Ossolinius to Pope Urban VIII on behalf of the Polish King Ladislaus IV.

[89] They include the article on Inchofer in the Bibliotheca scriptorum Societatis Iesu, ed. N. Southwell, Romae, 1676, pp. 608-609, and the prospective writings listed by Leo Allatius, Apes urbanae sive de viris illustribus qui ab anno MDCXXX per totum MDCXXXII Romae adfuerunt, Romae, 1633, pp. 190-191. Their information has been taken over in De Backer-Sommervogel [as in n. 18], col. 565. The two lists of "works in progress" are impressive and contain a conspicuous number of items in the field of martyrology. Although Allacci must have received his information directly from Inchofer, the list he gave in 1633 corresponds remarkably little with the works Inchofer actually published thereafter.

[90] Saladin ([as in n. 56], pp. 387-389) singled out ch. 2, 3 of Juan Luis Vives's De disciplinis (see Opera omnia, ed. G. Majansius, tomus VI, Valentiae Edetanorum, 1785, pp. 88-93), in which Vives refutes the idea that knowledge of Latin or Greek inspires by itself heretical beliefs and pleads instead for a strict separation between a philological and a theological analysis of Latin and Greek writings.

[91] On the gradual emergence of linguistic analyses that make no reference at all to the theory of language implied in Genesis, see M. De Grazia, The secularisation of language in the 17th century, in: Journal of the history of ideas, 41 (1980), pp. 319-329.

[92] See, e.g., G.F. Strasser, Lingua Universalis. Kryptologie und Theorie der Universalsprachen im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert (Wolfenbütteler Forschungen, 38), Wiesbaden, 1988; Eco [as in n. 47].

[93] For Baronio's attitude see Ditchfield [as in n. 80], pp. 278-285.

[94] See especially his periodization of post-Classical Latin literature in 1, 14-19.

[95] Historia litteraria has received much attention in recent years. The latest important contribution is P. Nelles, Historia litteraria and Morhof: private teaching and professorial libraries at the University of Kiel, in: Mapping the world of learning: the Polyhistor of Daniel Georg Morhof, ed. F. Waquet (Wolfenbütteler Forschungen, 91), Wiesbaden, 2000, pp. 31-56; on p. 33, n. 5, one finds all essential previous literature. The emergence of this concept must be understood in the context of the growing diversification of the domain of history from the second half of the 16th century onwards. In recent accounts of the rise of historia litteraria, Reiner Reineccius has been lost somewhat out of sight, although he proposed historia scolastica as a new, third branch of history, alongside the two traditional fields of civil and ecclesiastical history, in his Methodus legendi cognoscendique historiam tam sacram quam profanam (1583). His place in the series of attempts leading up to Bacon's notion is acknowledged by A. Klempt, Die Säkularisierung der universalhistorischen Auffassung. Zum Wandel des Geschichtsdenkens im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert (Göttinger Bausteine zur Geschichtswissenschaft, 31), Göttingen-Berlin-Frankfurt, 1960, pp. 70-71.

[96] Just as the size of the work increased considerably, the title changed in the later editions. The title of the first edition reveals best the intention of the author: Academiarum orbis Christiani libri duo, quibus praeter earum originem, institutionem et progressiones Noachi post diluvium et SS. Apostolorum Iesu Christi in Europam adventus et coloniae describuntur. My references are keyed to the second edition (Academiarum universi terrarum orbis libri tres).

[97] See pp. 245-246. Middendorp maintains that this institution, founded by Noah, was the oldest school in Italy, and, in an attempt to harmonize Biblical and Roman history, associates it with the vetus disciplina of the Etruscans.

[98] See p. 351.

[99] In his dedicatory epistle he formulates his goal as follows (fol. 5v): "... ut hinc Catholicae religionis et verae sapientiae vetustas et certitudo perspiciatur, quae tanto sacrorum conciliorum et florentissimarum academiarum consensu stabilita est."

[100] A case in point is H. Conring, De antiquitatibus academicis dissertationes septem, Gottingae, 17392, p. XXIV: "Sane haec etiam, quae nos narravimus, necessaria sunt scitu ad perfectionem historiae literariae, cuius solae illae partes, quae circa scriptores omnigenae doctrinae versantur, hactenus elaboratae sunt ... Mihi certe a teneris usque historia literaria fere plus voluptatis attulit quam ulla civilium." This second edition of Conring's work was prepared by Chr. A. Heumann, who appended his own Bibliotheca historica academica to it (with a separate pagination); in this bibliographie raisonnée he subjected Middendorp's treatise to severe criticism (see pp. 2-5). According to Heumann, the mere title (i.e. of the first edition) shows that the author is a "nugivendulus", who blindly followed the phantastic stories of Annio da Viterbo.

[101] See his Historia critica Latinae linguae [as in n. 2], p. 105-106: "Historia linguarum pertinet ad historiam litterariam, quae ferax est magnae utilitatis, quipped quam in omnes disciplinarum artes doctrinasque effundit. Sine auxilio historiae huius philologia accuratius tractari non potest, sive referas ad istam grammaticam sive philologiam stricte sic dictam."The scope and meaning of historia litteraria varied considerably in the course of time, and scholars often focussed on one particular segment of the field. Johann Jakob Brucker, e.g., presented his famous Historia critica philosophiae (1742-1744) as a pars historiae literariae; see H. Zedelmaier, "Historia literaria". Über den epistemologischen Ort des gelehrten Wissens in der ersten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts, in: Das achtzehnte Jahrhundert, 22 (1998), pp. 11-21, at 19, with n. 34.

[102] For brief summary of the contents see Bursian [as in n. 8], pp. 378-379.

[103] See his Historia critica Latinae linguae [as in n. 2], p. 16.



Autor (author): Marc Laureys
Dokument erstellt (document created): 2002-08-13
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