Angilbert (fl. ca. 840/50), On the Battle Which was Fought at Fontenoy

The Law of Christians is broken,
Blood by the hands of hell profusely shed like rain,
And the throat of Cerberus bellows songs of joy.

Angelbertus, Versus de Bella que fuit acta Fontaneto

Fracta est lex christianorum
Sanguinis proluvio, unde manus inferorum,
gaudet gula Cerberi.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Peter Lombard on the Virtues: Distinction 33

PETER LOMBARD'S SENTENCES--"a florilegium of theological texts plucked from the writings of the Fathers . . . and arranged in four books: God, creation, Christ the 'Incarnate Word,' and the sacraments"--was the subject of legion commentaries. Peter Lombard (c. 1096-1164) was a Master of Theology and Bishop of Paris, and it is impossible to believe he could have anticipated the popularity of his anthology.  Commenting on the Sentences was de rigeur, and indeed soon became a requirement for those seeking Masters in Theology.

The Sentences of Peter Lombard are divided into four books.  The third book describes the benefits, both internal and external, that God gives us as part of our life in Christ, including the theological virtues (d. 23-32), the gifts of the Holy Spirit (d. 34-35) and the Ten Commandments (d. 37-40).  Planted as it were, like grout between two blocks of ashlar, we find a treatment on the cardinal virtues (d. 33) between the treatments of the theological virtues and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Similarly, we have a short treatment of the connection between the virtues (d. 36) found in between the treatment of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Ten Commandments.

Peter Lombard

These two short treatment on the virtues (d. 33 and d. 36) in the Sentences proved to be the source of a "detailed doctrine of cardinal virtues" as a result of development through the many commentaries inspired by Peter Lombard's work.

The cardinal virtues were found perfectly in Christ, and so it is toward Christ that Peter Lombard (affectionately called "the Master) turns in his treatment of the virtues in Distinction XXXIII.

We may as well quote the entire Distinction XXXIII:


Chapter 1 (120)

1.  ON THE FOUR PRINCIPAL VIRTUES.  After the above matters, we must treat the four virtues which are called principal or cardinal; they are justice, fortitude, prudence, temperance.

2.  ON THEIR USES HERE.--IN BOOK 14, ON THE TRINITY.  Concerning these, Augustine says: "Justice consists in helping the wretched, prudence in guarding against treacheries, fortitude in bearing troubles, temperance in controlling evil pleasures."  [Aug., De Trin., 14.9.12]

3.  Of these, it is said in the book of Wisdom: He teaches sobriety and prudence, justice, and truth. [Wis. 8:7]  This text calls temperance sobriety, and fortitude truth.  These virtues are called 'cardinal,' as Jerome says [Cf. Jerome, Epist. 66 (ad Pammachium), n3]; 'by them, it is possible to live well in this mortal life,' and afterwards to come to eternal life.

Chapter 2 (121)

THAT THESE VIRTUES WERE IN CHRIST.  They were and are must fully in Christ, of whose fullness e have received [John 1:16]; in him, they had the same uses which they have in the fatherland, and even some of those which they have on the way.

Chapter 3 (122)

1.  ON THEIR USES.--AUGUSTINE, IN BOOK 14, ON THE TRINITY.  But "there is a little question a to whether these virtues, since they begin to be in the mind (which was a mind even when it existed before without them), cease to be when they have brought us to things eternal.  To some, it has seemed that they will cease, and in the case of three [of them], namely prudence, fortitude, and temperance, such an assertion seems not to be entirely empty." [Aug., De Trin., 14.9.12]

2.  ON THE USE OF JUSTICE IN THE FUTURE.  "For justice is immortal, [Wis. 1:15] and will then be made more perfect in us rather than cease to be, when we may blessedly live in contemplation of the divine nature, which created and established all other natures, and than which nothing is better and more loveable.  It pertains to justice to be subject to the rule of this nature, and so justice is wholly immortal; nor will it cease to exist in that [state of] blessedness, but it will be such and so great that it cannot be more perfect or greater." [Aug., De Trin., 14.9.12]

3.  ON THE USES OF THE OTHER THREE IN THE FUTURE.  "Perhaps, the other three virtues (prudence, but now without any risk of error, and fortitude without the trouble of bearing evils, and temperance without the thwarting of lust) will also exist in that [state of] felicity  there it will pertain to prudence to prefer to equate no other good to God; and to fortitude to adhere to him with the greatest steadfastness  and t temperance to take pleasure in no harmful defect."  [Ibid.]

4.  "But that which justice now does in assisting the wretched, and prudence in guarding against treacheries, and fortitude in bearing troubles, and temperance in controlling evil pleasures, will not at all exist there, where there will be no evil.  And so these works of these the virtues, which are necessary to this mortal life, like the faith to which they are to be referred will be reckoned among things past."  [Ibid.]  See, Augustine plainly states here that the aforesaid virtues will exist in the future, but they will then have other sues than they have now.

5.  BEDE.  And Bede agrees with him, speaking as follows, on Exodus: "The columns before which hands the veil are the heavenly powers, shining brightly with the four most excellent virtues, namely fortitude, prudence, temperance, justices; these are kept otherwise in heaven by the angels and the holy souls than they are here by the faithful."  [Ordinary gloss on Ex. 26:32, from Bede, De tabernaculo, 2.8]  Bede then distinguishes the uses of those virtues according to the present state and the future one, imitating Augustine in the distinctions placed above.*

As Houser summarizes Peter Lombard's thinking as found in Distinction 33:

For Lombard, then, the cardinal virtues are clearly Christian virtues: they are caused by God, and they lead us to 'eternal life.' Not distinguishing sufficiently between final and efficient causality, Lombard seems to have thought that, simply because they lead to the Christian end, the cardinal virtues must be 'infused,' that is, caused efficiently by divine grace rather than by human effort."
Houser, 41.

*Peter Lombard, The Sentences (Book 3) (Giulio Silano, trans.) (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 2008)
**The Latin text for Peter Lombard's Sentences may be found at:  The text is given here with footnotes and other academic instruments removed.

DISTINCTIO XXXIII Caput 1 (120). 1. De quatuor virtutibus principalibus. Post praedicta de quatuor virtutibus quae principales vel cardinales vocantur disserendum est, quae sunt iustitia, fortitudo, prudentia, temperantia.
2. De usibus earum hic. — In XIV libro De Trinitate. De quibus Augustinus ait: "iustitia est in subveniendo nhiseris, prudentia in praecavendis insidiis, fortitudo in perferendis molestiis, temperantia in coercendis delectationibus pravis". 
3. De his dicitur in libro Sapientiae: Sobrietatem et prudentiam docet, iustitiarum et veritatem. Sobrietatem vocat temperantiam, et yen tatem vocat fortitudinem. Hae virtutes ‘cardinales’ dicuntur, ut ait Hieronymus; "quibus in hac mortalitate bene vivitur", et post ad aeternam vitam pervenitur.

Caput 2 (121). Quod hae virtutes In Christo fuerint. Quae in Christo plenissinime fuerunt et sunt, de cuius plenitudine nos accepimus; in quo habuerunt usus eosdem quos in patria habent, et quosdam etiam viae. 

Caput 3 (122). 1. De usibus earum. — Augustinus in XIV libro De Trinitate. Verumtamen "an hae virtutes, cum et ipsae in animo esse incipiant (qui cum sine illis prius esset, tamen animus erat), desinant esse cum ad aeterna.  Quibusdam visum est esse desituras; et de tribus quidem, prudentia scilicet, fortitudine, temperantia, cum hoc dicitur, non nihil dici videtur".
2. De usu iustitiae In fiituro. "lustitia enim immortalis est, et magis tunc perficietur in nobis quam esse cessabit, cum beate vivemus contemplatione naturae divinae, quae creavit omnes ceterasque instituit naturas, qua nihil melius et amabilius est. Cui regenti esse subditum, iustitiae est; et ideo immortalis est omnino iustitia; nec in illa beatitudine esse desinet, sed talis ac tanta erit, ut perfectior et maior esse non possit".
3. De usibus aliarum trium in futuro. "Fortassis et aliae tres virtutes, prudentia sine ullo iam peniculo errons, fortitudo sine molestia tolerandorum malorum, tempenantia sine repugnatione libidinum, erunt in illa felicitate: ut prudentiae ibi sit nullum bonum Deo praeponere vel aequare, fortitudinis ei firmissime cohaenere, temperantiae nuflo defectu noxio delectari".
4. "Quod vero nunc agit iustitia in subveniendo miseris, quod prudentia in praecavendis insidiis, quod fortitudo in perferendis niolestiis, quod tempenantia in coercendis delectationibus pravis, non erit ibi omnino, ubi nihil mali erit. Ista igitur virtutum opera, huic mortali vitae neces— sana, sicut fides ad quam referenda sunt, in praeteritis habebuntur". Ecce aperte hic dicit Augustinus quod praedictae virtutes in futuro erunt, sed alios usus tunc habebunt quam modo.
 5. Beda. Cui Beda consentit, super Exodum, ita dicens: "Columnae ante quas appensum est velum, potestates caeli sunt, quatuor eximiis virtutibus praeclarae, id est fortitudine, prudentia, temperantia,, iustitia; quae aliter in caelis servantur ab angelis et animabus sanctis, quam hic a fidelibus". Et consequenter assignat Beda usus illarum virtutum secundum praesentem statum et futurum, imitans Augustinum in praemissis assignationibus.

The entire Sentences can be found here:

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