By Philip Schaff
Heritage of the Christian Church, quantity IV: Mediaeval Christianity. A.D. 590-1073. through Philip Schaff (Author) common advent to Mediaeval Church background. § 1. assets and Literature. August Potthast: Bibliotheca Historica Medii Aoevi. Wegweiser durch die Geschichtswerke des Europäischen Mittelalters von 375–1500. Berlin, 1862. complement, 1868. The mediaeval literature embraces 4 exact branches; 1. The Romano-Germanic or Western Christian; 2. The Graeco-Byzantine or jap Christian; three. The Talmudic and Rabbinical; four. The Arabic and Mohammedan. We detect the following purely the 1st and moment; the opposite may be pointed out in subdivisions so far as they're attached with church heritage. The Christian literature is composed in part of documentary assets, in part of ancient works. We confine ourselves right here to crucial works of a extra normal personality. Books concerning specific international locations and sections of church historical past can be spotted within the growth of the narrative. I. Documentary assets. they're more often than not in Latin—the legit language of the Western Church,—and in Greek,—the professional language of the japanese Church. (1) For the background of missions: the letters and biographies of missionaries. (2) For church polity and govt: the authentic letters of popes, patriarchs, and bishops. The records of the papal court docket embody (a) Regesta (registra), the transactions of a number of the branches of the papal executive from a.d. 1198–1572, deposited within the Vatican library, and tough of entry. (b) Epistolae decretales, which represent the foundation of the Corpus juris canonici, dropped at an in depth in 1313. (c) The bulls (bulla, a seal or stamp of globular shape, notwithstanding a few derive it from boulhv, will, decree) and briefs (breve, a quick, concise summary), i.e., the authentic letters because the end of the Canon legislation. they're of equivalent authority, however the bulls vary from the briefs via their extra solemn shape. The bulls are written on parchment, and sealed with a seal of lead or gold, that is stamped on one aspect with the effigies of Peter and Paul, and at the different with the identify of the reigning pope, and hooked up to the tool through a string; whereas the briefs are written on paper, sealed with purple wax, and inspired with the seal of the fisherman or Peter in a ship. (3) For the historical past of Christian existence: the biographies of saints, the disciplinary canons of synods, the ascetic literature. (4) For worship and ceremonies: liturgies, hymns, homilies, works of structure sculpture, portray, poetry, song. The Gothic cathedrals are as impressive embodiments of mediaeval Christianity because the Egyptian pyramids are of the civilization of the Pharaohs. (5) For theology and Christian studying: the works of the later fathers (beginning with Gregory I.), schoolmen, mystics, and the forerunners of the Reformation.