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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume II. The End of the Middle Ages.

XV. English and Scottish Education. Universities and Public Schools to the Time of Colet

§ 6. The Schoolmen

At Oxford, the Franciscans Duns Scotus and William of Ockham emulated the fame won for the Dominicans at Paris by Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas. Grosseteste, before his elevation to high office, lectured in the Oxonian Franciscan school, where he had as pupil Adam Marsh, destined to be Hugo de Balsham’s competitor for the see of Ely. Friar Bungay became head of the Franciscan convent in Cambridge, where Humphry Necton, a Carmelite, took the D.D. degree in 1259. The glory of the Grey Friars culminated in Roger Bacon (c. 1214–94). Skilled in all the recognised studies of his age, he, in opposition to prevailing ideas, though remaining a schoolman, pointed to the study of languages and mathematics as affording the true basis for a sound system of education, and incurred amongst his contemporaries and succeeding generations the lasting suspicion of tampering with the illegitimate by leading the way in the pursuit of natural science.

As a rule, the schoolmen did not amass knowledge, but trained ability; the real value of their discussions lay in their development of the art of expression, in the fostering of agility of thought and subtle distinction: in a word, in the development of pure dialectical skill. Logic was their contribution to the world’s future. Chaucer’s clerk of Oxenford had “unto logik longe y-go.”