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and painful journey through Germany, the two preachers arrived in Jutland, their ungenial destination. There, Ansgard energetically prosecuted his appointed enterprize: there, also, he was supported by Harald the Hapless, who caused the pagan temples to be overthrown, and their idols to be destroyed. But, enraged by witnessing these outrages on their religion, two young princes attacked Harald, and once more drove him from his kingdom. No longer finding encouragement in Denmark, Ansgard passed into Sweden, where the aged king, a descendent of Regner Lodbroc's, had manifested intentions favourable to Christianity. As the good monk was travelling, he fell into the hands of robbers who plundered him of the presents he was carrying to the king, and also of about forty volumes of books, which formed, in these days, no inconsiderable treasure. Ansgard remained a year and a half in Sweden, and enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing a church consecrated to the worship of the true God, in a heathen country.
This zealous ecclesiastic composed a life of Saint Villehad; and, in all its features, his work resembles the holy legends which other zealots so abundantly produced. He wrote another book which might, even now-a-days, prove highly important in furnishing materials for histories of the Northern nations. This was a journal of his journey through Germany, Denmark and Sweden. It is certain that this record of Ansgard's adventures is deposited in the library of the Vatican, but the utmost researches hitherto instituted for its recovery have been unsuccessful.
The germs of religious instruction sown in the North, by Ebbo and Ansgard, took effect only in some isolated places, and produced few results. In the year DCCCCLXXII, the territories of Harald Blaatand were invaded by Otho the Great, who assented to discontinue his aggression on the condition of Harald's submitting to be baptized. But the example of this prince was not extensively followed by his people. Existing as a nation of soldiers, ever occupied with war and piracy, they had little leisure to listen to the sermons of missionaries, and still less to reflect on their doctrines. Moreover, the new religion thus preached to them, the humble and peaceful religion of Christ, was not of a nature likely to win their attention. How could the law of mutual reconciliation be comprehended by men who regarded revenge as a pleasure and a duty: how could the law of justice be understood by herds of corsairs who spent their lives in plundering foreign coasts: how could the law of humanity be recognized by ferocious myrmidons, who caused the blood of man to stream upon their altars, as a sacrifice for deprecating misfortune
or for ensuring success! Odin, with his murderous lance; Thor, with his mace, the emblem of violence; these were the gods whose goodwill they propitiated; and, when their sages discoursed to them of the Valhalla, with its eternal combats and its inebriating banquets dispensed by Valkyriar, all this to them constituted the Future; to them, it was their Heaven!
Another difficulty obstructed the propagation of Christianity among the northern people: this was their language. The French, English and German missionaries who successively undertook this beneficent office, were alike ignorant of the primitive Icelandic tongue and of the modern Scandinavian dialects. In A.D. MLXXVIII, Pope Gregory expostulated with the prince Harald Svendsson concerning this difficulty, and invited him to send some Danish youths to Rome, to be instructed in the principles of the Christian religion; and, on returning home, to explain these to their countrymen.
Like Julian the apostate, Svend Treskiog the successor of Harald renounced the Christian faith, and endeavoured to restore the worship of idols. Nevertheless, in spite of the people's indifference to the precepts of the Gospel, and in spite of the impediments opposed to the zeal of missionaries, the voice of Everlasting Truth had gradually gained attention, and the Bible was adopted for the
In the centre of Ida plain, that is the zenith of the heavens, the Æsir raised Valhalla, the chief abode of the Gods. Its roof is formed of glittering spears and shields; mail corslets are scattered over the seats; the wolf guards the western gate; the eagle hangs overhead. Thither the souls of the brave are invited to drink the good mead by Odin. They are served by celestial Valkyriar; listen to the harp of Bragi the eloquent; or pursue the exercises of war. Twelve other halls, answering to the signs of the zodiac, were also raised by the Æsir. Among these halls, were Alfheim, the dwelling of Freyr, the sun-god; Breidablick, the wide-shining palace, once the habitation of Baldur; and Vingolf, the hall of Freya, the moon-queen, where the Einheriar and Valkyriar, the pure on earth, join in immortal dances and enjoy the happiness of heaven. Odin, the all-father, the father of victories, daily selects from the dead those who, by their deeds and virtues, are thought worthy of Valhalla. His two ravens, Hugin and Munnin, memory and understanding, fly abroad every morning at daybreak and return at meal-time, when they whisper to Odin all that has taken place on earth, to enable him to make a worthy choice. The Valkyriar are his messengers to choose the slain on earth and to minister to them in Valhalla. The shooting stars were thought by the Northmen to be these Valkyriar, and their appearance denoted approaching battle. See The Voluspa, with a free translation and illustrative notes; by T. Smith, F.S.A. 8vo, Leicester, 1838, p. 19 and 35, -a remarkable Monograph, very highly distinguished by the purest literary elegance and the most judicious archæological research.
rule of their faith and conduct by increasing disciples. When, in the year MXIV, Canute the Great ascended the throne, the Christian religion had been well nigh established in Denmark. He now had only to maintain its ascendency, and he possessed the means of accomplishing his purpose. Never was there, in the north, a monarch more powerful. He reigned, at the same time, over Denmark and England; and, on the death of Olaf the Pious, he assumed the sovereignty of the Norwegian dominions. Above the contemporary princes, Canute was distinguished for his wisdom and courage and humility. He built churches and endowed monasteries. With equal zeal, his Danish successors promoted the interests of Christianity. The worship of Odin was forgotten. In Denmark, as in other European countries, the clergy furnished their flocks with education. Secular knowledge found a quiet resting-place in the temple of God. Civilization emanated from cloisters and churches.
During his episcopate, Saint Ansgard established an institution for learning at Hamburgh, and twelve young Danes were admitted into it as pupils. This is the most ancient school in the North, as mentioned in history. There was another at Lund, in the twelfth century in the thirteenth, one was founded at Ripen, one at Odensee, and one at Roeskild. These were capitular seminaries, superintended by bishops and regulated by canons: but, at Esrum and Soroe, others were conducted in the cloisters. All these institutions enjoyed particular endowments; but, for the most part, they were required to receive a certain number of free scholars. At Odensee, two bishops augmented the master's salary, and restricted him from educating poor boys. For such, however, Eric Menved* built a spacious house, and bishop Navne afterwards erected another. At the school of Roeskild, twelve students were gratuitously lodged, boarded and instructed in the principles of grammar and music. But these endowments were insufficient for the wants of many scholars; and, on those who could not obtain exhibitions, the privilege of soliciting eleemosynary largesses was conferred.
The same persons who founded establishments in cloisters for education, also founded libraries. These consisted of five or six vo
• Eric Menved, says the chronicler, "construxit domum divitem pro pauperibus scholaribus." See Scriptores Rerum Danicarum medii ævi, partim hactenus inediti, partim emendatius editi; folio, 6 Vol. Hafniæ, 1772-1786; Vol. IV, p. 61. This valuable collection was edited by James Langebek and Peter Frederic Suhm, who added notes and introduced corrections of the text.
lumes; and, in that age, two or three prayer-books with a few treatises in theology, were regarded as a rare and valuable collection. However, by the twelfth century, several of the classical writings had found their way into the Northern regions. Bishop Absalom presented the school of Soroe with a copy of Justin's history. Valerius Maximus had been studied by Saxo the grammarian. In Denmark, nevertheless, it was the same as in other European kingdoms. Paper had not yet been invented: parchment was still scarce and expensive. Many of the monks experienced no scruples in erasing classic manuscripts, for the purpose of writing on them the monastic rituals. For this practise, these men have been often and severely censured; but, while they are thus obstinately charged with vandalism, ought not this vice of misinstruction to be much extenuated, as an offspring of the age in which they lived, and of the kind of education they received? How could the treasures of Grecian antiquity, the elegancies of Roman literature, how could these be rightly appreciated by poor priests secluded in their conventual schools, where a barbarous latinity was the best wherewith they were familiar? How could devotees who cherished an austere faith, who deduced its origin from a manger, how could they entertain much respect for the fictions of paganism, for the renown of Athens and her eloquence? What they themselves knew, that they cheerfully and assiduously communicated to the people; and how, then, could they impart higher revelations? The vandalism with which there is a custom of reproaching them, it was no fault of theirs: not theirs it was, but a defect of the age when they lived. At the time when Christianity was introduced into the north, when the clergy had to contend with the brutal manners and the impetuous vindictive character of a nation of soldiers, then it was that a prayer-book would prove infinitely more conducive to the progress of civilization, than the epigrams of Martial, the metamorphoses of Ovid, or Cicero's oratory.
Among all the Danish libraries, that of Lund is the most ancient. Bernard the canon, who died in A.D. мCLXXVI, presented it with many valuable books:* the canon Amund bequeathed to it a missal, a capitulary and a psalter: but, as a munificent philobiblist, the archbishop Anders Sunesont surpassed all his predecessors, in be
When recording this liberal donation of Bernard's, the chronicler uses the words, "multos bonos libros Ecclesiæ dedit."-See Langebek's Collection, Tom. III, p. 452.
+ This generous prelate was a useful contributor to the literature of his country it owes to him the Leges Scania Provinciales, ante cccc annos, la
stowing an excellent library on the cathedral of this city. His precious gift consisted of a Bible in three parts, the gospels, the pentateuch with copious annotations and corrections, books of maxims and allegories and morals, gloses upon the canticles, seven books of laws, bodies of canons, and many others, as enumerated by Langebek, who has preserved the catalogue.
Libraries were also founded in other cities of Denmark, in coëval times; and, during the fifteenth century, several individuals meritoriously occupied themselves in forming private collections of books. Thus, from the twelfth century, Science derived its two primary sources-the Schools and the Libraries. The number of students admitted into the earlier institutions, was yearly augmented. At the epoch of the Reformation, seven hundred pupils were prosecuting their studies at Ripen: to Roeskild, eight hundred had then resorted for instruction. At these cloistral schools, the children of the nobility, as well as those of the commons, were educated. Christiern II was a scholar there, along with the sons of citizens; and, like them, the prince was taught to chant in the reading-desk.
Now, with regard to the pupils disciplined in these seminaries, to what irksome tasks would the best feelings of youth be frequently subjected? What, too, could be the fruits yielded by the long years devoted to such studies? At these institutions, all the prelections were delivered in an impure latin, abounding with solecisms. At one time, the scholar who found himself qualified to read, to explain a few passages in the Bible, and to chant the psalmody, had acquired high claims to the distinction of a learned character. With the twelfth century, however, there outglimmered a twinkling of intelligence. At that period, Absalom was bishop of Roeskild and the prime-minister of king Valdemar, having Saxo the historian for his secretary. But this light proved no better than a flickering gleam: it soon disappeared, and left Denmark to be dazzled with the deceitful glitterings of a counterfeit science.
Before the close of the thirteenth century, all the traces of true
tine reddita; 4to, Hafniæ, 1590; and Jus Selandicum xvII libris; 4to Hafniæ, 1592. Both these works were edited and illustrated by Harald Huitfeld, an eminent Danish historian and chancellor of the kingdom. In his youth, the archbishop visited England, Germany, France, and Italy: he graduated as Doctor of Laws at the university of Paris: on returning to Denmark he obtained the office of chancellor to Canute VI; who despatched him on an embassy to Rome in the year мCXCV: his was a very busy life, being constantly engaged in important civil, military and ecclesiastical con
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