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THE GOSPELS IN THE PARIS SCHOOLS IN THE LATE 12TH AND EARLY 13TH CENTURIES* PETER THE CHANTER, HUGH OF ST. CHER, ALEXANDER OF HALES, JOHN OF LA ROCHELLE IV. Hugh of St. Cher Hugh's postills, as we have them, represent the fruit of team work. It is easy to imagine a team of assistants supplying the master with suitable excerpts for each text of the Bible. But whatever their final form may be, they originated as lectures. There are references to lectio and to lectura: "sicut videbitur in lectione" (Matt. 5.1); "ut in prima lectura dictum est" (Matt. 5.22). The master's statements are put sometimes in the singular: "Et haec opinio magis placet mihi" (Luke 22.19), and sometimes in the imperative: "Nunc lege litteram" (Luke 22.42). The possibility that the original derived from a reportatio appears when Hugh is referred to as 'the master.' One passage seems to represent a reporter's note on Hugh's discussion of Matt. 12.25. Jesus' answer to the Pharisees, who accused him of casting out devils in the name of Beelzebub, raised a grammatical point. He refuted them by an analogy: Omne regnum divisum contra se desolabitur ; et omnis civitas vel domus divisa contra se non stabit. According to the postiU, the Lord here refuted the Pharisees indirectly by synaeresis (drawing together or contraction) and/or by hypozeugma (combination of several subjects with a single word or predicate); but 'the master' in the postiUs altered the text so as to make it a major proposition: Infirmât Dominus quod de eo dixerant pharisaei, primo indirecte dupliciter per synaeresim vel hypozeuxim sumpto quod dixerant, et ex hoc deducens eos ad inconveniens, et secundum ordinem * Continued from Franciscan Studies, 39 (1979), 230-254. The Gospels in the Paris Schools299 litterae, licet magister in postillis hoc modo permutet textum, ut sit propositio maior: Et si Sathanas, assumptio, omne regnum, omnis civitas, assumptions probatio vel probationis supprobatio- 'The master' cannot mean Comestor or the Chanter; they discuss the text in different terms. Hence it must refer to Hugh himself. The only safe hypothesis must be that the postills were given as lectures and in some places reported, either before or after the travail d'équipe of Hugh and his assistants. A study of the shorter version, which has not been printed, and a comparison with the longer version available in print, might clear up the problem. A mere glance at the postills suffices to show that we have a mosaic of quotations. Hugh's purpose, it follows, was to provide masters and students of the sacred page with a vast instrument de travail, incorporating traditional and more nearly contemporary sources into its framework. This intention did not permit that fresh approach to the Gospels which we might expect from a Friar Preacher. Hugh wanted instead to equip his colleagues with the best means to continue and enlarge the work of his secular predecessors. That need not discourage us from looking for flashes of personal opinions, reflecting the new milieu of the friars' studia. It does mean that a study of his postills must proceed like an archaeological dig, beginning with the top layer of twelfth-century sources and moving downwards to earlier commentaries. Only after sorting out and identifying these pieces can we hope to discover what Hugh thought for himself and what he contributed to Gospel exegesis. The tedious process of excavation will have its reward in showing us what sources Hugh preferred and how he differed from Alexander of Hales and John of La Rochelle in his choices. Peter the Chanter is quoted by name on Matt. 13.19 on the various kinds of seed in the parable. Hugh suggests three meanings for seed, adding that the Chanter gave a fourth: 'Quartum sciUcet apponit Cantor, sciUcet bonum propositum, quod dicit bonam voluntatem ." This corresponds roughly to the Chanter: "Semen... voluntas bona, cui collaborai liberum arbitrium" (M. fol. 63™). Hugh sometimes also quotes from Unum ex quatuor anonymously. He ascribes to the Chanter an exemplum on Matt. 8.3: "sicut narrât Cantor Parisiensis...": a priest who shunned lepers contracted leprosy himself. I have not found this in Unum ex...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 298-369
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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