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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects

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WILLIAM STUBBS
Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 96



ciò ECCLESIASTICAL SOURCES. [IV. perfection which has no parallel at all in ancient history. Such, for instance, is the picture of the life and death of Becket; some great scenes in the life of Simon de Montfort; some portions of the history of the Norman Conquest.mention these, not only because they are well known, but because they lie within the region for our knowledge of which we are altogether indebted to ecclesiastical writers. Now these ecclesiastical writers have for the most part two great points of interest in the direction of research. All, or almost all, are members of religious houses, and all are members of a great fraternity in close and direct correspondence. The annalist is the annalist of his monastery or his cathedral; his monastery or his cathedral has had a history, has records, charters, a library, a scriptorium for multiplying copies of records, perhaps a school of annalists of which the representative man appropriates and assimilates the labours. He is a member of a great fraternity of newsmongers; every visitor to the monastery, every pilgrim, every journey of the abbot or bishop up to parliament, every letter from abroad, contributes something to the multifarious store. Such a chronicle as that of Matthew Paris contains every one of those elements and perhaps more ; he was an antiquary, zealous of the history and fame of his own monastery, skilled in charters and in everything bearing on its origin and growth, the position of its estates, and the character of its inmates : he was a compiler who appropriated and digested the work of a whole school of earlier annalists; he was an eye-witness of much that he records of contemporary history, acquainted with the great men of the day; he had travelled and learned much, he had stayed at home and learned more, asking questions of every one who came down that way. Matthew Paris is an original authority ; but what a fine subject for analysis; what an admirable corpus for the Kritik der Quellen I Further back you have


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