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of this name in France. Here he was charged with the direction of the schools, and became known by the name of the town, as appears in the epitaph, ambitiously suggestive of Virgil, which he wrote for himself:
"Insula me genuit, rapuit Castellio nomen;
Perstrepuit modulis Gallia tota meis."
But he is known sometimes by his birthplace, and sometimes by his early residence. The highest French authority calls him "Gaultier of Lille, or of Châtillon." 1 He has been sometimes confounded with Gaultier of Coutances, Archbishop of Rouen, who was born in the island of Jersey,2-and sometimes with the Bishop of Maguelonne of the same name, reputed author of an Exposition of the Psalter, whose see was on an island. in the Mediterranean, near the coast of France.s
Not content with residence at Châtillon, he repaired to Bologna, in Italy, where he studied the Civil and Canon Law. Returning to France, he became secretary of two successive Archbishops of Rheims, the latter of whom, by the name of William, a descendant by his grandmother from William the Conqueror, occupied this place of power from 1176 to 1201. The secretary enjoyed the favor of the Archbishop, who seems to have been fond of letters. It was during this period that he composed, or at least finished, his poem. Its date is sometimes placed at 1180; and there is an allusion in its text which makes it near this time.
1 Histoire Littéraire, Tom. XV. p. 100. The article on Gaultier in this famous work was contributed by Ginguené, the well-known author of Histoire Littéraire d'Italie.
2 Ibid., Tom. XVI. p. 536.
8 The latter mistake is gravely made by Quadrio, in his great jumble of literary history, Tom. IV. p. 480; also by Peerlkamp, De Poetis Latinis Nederlandiarum, p. 15. See also Edélestand du Méril, Poésies Populaires Latines du Moyen Age, p. 149.
Thomas à Becket was assassinated before the altar of Canterbury in 1170; and this event, so important in the history of the age, is mentioned as recent: “Nuper ... cæsum dolet Anglia Thomam.” 1 The poem was dedicated to the Archbishop, who was to live immortal in companionship with his secretary:
"Vivemus pariter, vivet cum vate superstes
Gloria Guillermi, nullum moritura per ævum." 2
The grateful Archbishop bestowed upon the poet a stall in the cathedral of Amiens, where he died of the plague at the commencement of the thirteenth century.3
This does not appear to have been his only work. Others are attributed to him. There are dialogues adversus Judæos, which Oudin publishes in his collection entitled "Veterum aliquot Galliæ et Belgii Scriptorum Opuscula Sacra nunquam edita." This same Oudin, in another publication, speaks of "Opuscula Varia," preserved among the manuscripts in the Imperial Library 4 of France, as by Gaultier, although the larger part of these Opuscula have been ascribed to a very different person, Gaultier Mapes, chaplain to Henry the Second, King of England, and Archdeacon of Oxford.5 But more recent researches would restore them to Philip Gaultier. An edition appeared at Hanover, in Germany, in 1859, by W. Müldener, after the Paris manuscripts, with the following title: "Die zehn Gedichte
1 Alexandreis, Lib. VII. 339-341.
2 Ibid., Lib. X. ad finem.
3 Graesse, in his Trésor de Livres Rares, which ought to be accurate, makes a strange mistake in calling Gualterus "Episcopus Insulanus." He was never more than canon, and held no post at Lille. Fabricius entitles him simply "Magister Philippus Gualterus de Castellione, Insulanus." (Bib. Lat. Mediæ et Infimæ Ætatis, Tom. III. p. 328.) See also Wright's Early Mysteries and other Latin Poems of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, Preface, p. xviii.
4 It is pleasant to call this magnificent library National. 5 Histoire Littéraire, Tom. XV. p. 101.
des Walther von Lille genannt von Châtillon, zum ersten Male vollständig herausgegeben." Among these are satirical songs in Latin on the World, and also on Prelates, which, it is said, were sung in England as well as throughout France. Indeed, the second verse of the epitaph already quoted may point to these satires :"Perstrepuit modulis Gallia tota meis."
Here, as in the "Alexandreïs," we encounter the indignant sentiments inspired by the assassination of Becket. The victim is called "the flower of priests," and the king "Neronior est ipso Nerone," which may be translated by Shakespeare's "out-Herods Herod." But these poems, whether by Walter Mapes or Philip Gaultier, are forgotten. The " Alexandreïs" has a different fortune.
The poem became at once famous. It had the success of Victor Hugo or Byron. Its author took rank, not only at the head of his contemporaries, but even among classics of antiquity. Leyser chronicles no less than ninety-nine Latin poets in the twelfth century,2 but we are assured that not one of them is comparable to Gaultier. M. Édélestand du Méril, who has given. especial attention to this period, speaks of the " Alexandreïs" as a "great poem," and remarks that its "Latinity is very elegant for the time." "4 Another authority calls him "the first of the modern Latin poets who appears to have had a spark of true poetic genius."5 And still another says, that, "notwithstanding all its defects, we must regard this poem, and the 'Philippis' of William
1 Edélestand du Méril, Poésies Populaires Latines du Moyen Age, pp. 144-163. Wright, Latin Poems commonly attributed to Walter Mapes. 2 Historia Poetarum et Poematum Medii Evi, pp. 367-763.
8 Histoire Littéraire, Tom. XVI. p. 183.
4 Poésies Populaires Latines du Moyen Age, pp. 149, 150.
6 Millin, Magazin Encyclopédique, Tom. II. p. 51.
of Brittany, which appeared about sixty years later, as two brilliant phenomena in the midst of the thick darkness which covered Europe, from the decline of the Roman Empire to the revival of letters in Italy."1 Pasquier, to whom I have already referred, goes so far, in his chapter on the University of Paris, as to illustrate its founder, Peter Lombard, as having for a contemporary "one Galterus, an eminent poet, who wrote in Latin verses the life of Alexander, under the title of the 'Alexandreïs,' a great imitator of Lucan"; and the learned writer then adds, that it is in his work that we find a verse often quoted without knowing the author.2 These testimonies show his position among contemporaries; but there is something more.
An anonymous Latin poet of the next century, who has left a poem on the life and miracles of Saint Oswald, calls Homer, Gaultier, and Lucan the three capital heroic poets. Homer, he says, has celebrated Hercules,-Gaultier, the son of Philip,-and Lucan, so he declares, swells the praises of Cæsar; but these heroes deserve to be immortalized in verse much less than the holy confessor Oswald.3 In England, the Abbot of Peterborough transcribed Seneca, Terence, Martial, Claudian, and the "Gesta Alexandri."4 Even in Iceland there was an early version, edited at a later day by Arnas Magnæus (the Latin for Arne Magnussen), Secretary and Antiquary to the King of Denmark, and Professor in the University of Copenhagen, who, styling the poem the "Gualterian Alexandreïs," characterizes the Icelandic version as "the incomparable mon
1 Michaud, Biographie Universelle, nom. GAULTIER.
2 Recherches de la France, Liv. III. ch. 29: Œuvres, Tom. I. col. 276.
8 Warton, History of English Poetry, Vol. I. p. clxix, Dissertation II. p. cxlvi.
ument of Northern antiquity." The new poem was studied, even to the exclusion of ancient masters and of Virgil himself. Henry of Ghent, who wrote about 1280, says that it "was of such dignity in the schools of the grammarians that the reading of the ancient poets was comparatively neglected."2 This testimony is curiously confirmed by the condition of the manuscripts that have come down to us, most of which are loaded with glosses and interlinear explanations, doubtless for public use in the schools.3 It is sometimes supposed that Dante repaired to Paris. It is certain that his excellent master, Brunetto Latini, passed much time there. This must have been at the very period when the new poem was taught in the schools. Perhaps it it may be traced in the "Divina Commedia."
Next after the tale of Troy, the career of Alexander was at this period the most popular subject for poetry, romance, or chronicle. The Grecian conqueror filled a vast space in the imagination. He was the centre of marvel and of history. Every modern literature, according to its development, testifies to this predominance. Even dialects testify, and so does art. Wood engraving is supposed to have been invented in Italy, somewhere about 1285, by the two Cunio, and their earliest work was a representation, in eight parts, of the actions of Alexander, with explanatory verses in Latin beneath the prints. In France, the professors of gram
1 "Veterem Islandicam versionem Alexandreidos Gualterianæ, incomparabile antiquitatis septentrionalis monumentum." - FABRICIUS, Bibliotheca Latina (Venetiis, 1728), Tom. II. p 256, Lib. IV. c. 2, § 3.
2 Fabricius, Bib. Lat. Media et Infimæ Etatis (Hamburgi, 1735), Tom. III. p. 328. Leyser, Historia Poetarum et Poematum Medii Ævi, p. 765.
8 Histoire Littéraire, Tom. XV. p. 118.
4 Papillon, Traité Historique et Pratique de la Gravure en Bois, Tom. I. p. 4. Ottley, History of Engraving, Vol. I. pp. 10-21, 255.