Thursday, January 04, 2007

Richer of Rheims

Richer, a monk of Rheims, wrote a history of France in the late 900s.

Translation by Michael Markowski of this part of Richer's History from the Latin text in Histoire de France, ed. by Robert Latouche .

In it he told of his journey to attend school in Chartres. His story opens to us, the conditions of medieval life. It shows how features of Europe had deteriorated, and how the indomitable spirit of some individuals kept going forward despite difficult conditions:

"While engaged in the study of the liberal arts, I wanted very much to learn logic through the works of Hippocrates. One day a horseman from Chartres came to Rheims and we began to talk. He told me that Heribrand, a clerk of Chartres, had sent him here to bring a message to a monk named Richer. When I heard my friend Heribrand's name, I told the messenger that I was Richer. He gave me the letter which I opened with some excitement. This was it! An invitation from Heribrand to come to Chartres and study the Aphorisms of Hippocrates with him. My joy faded somewhat because my own abbot gave me nothing more for the journey than one saddle-horse and a young lad to help with the trip. Without money or even a change of clothes, I decided to go anyway."

read on via fordham

1 comment:

Princess Haiku said...

This tantalizes. I wonder about this monk who would rather study than eat.